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Steelers’ Kenny Pickett praises George Pickens: ‘best athlete I’ve ever played with’

Kenny Pickett and George Pickens are entering their second season together with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

George Pickens #14 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates his touchdown with Kenny Pickett #8 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter against the Las Vegas Raiders at Acrisure Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett is entering his second season, and so is the player who could emerge as his top target, wide receiver George Pickens.

Pickett and Pickens kicked off Pittsburgh’s 2022 draft class, and both are expected to play key roles in the offense in 2023.

This training camp has been about getting on the same page and elevating their understanding of each other and the offense.

“He’s the best athlete I’ve ever played with,” Pickett said. “And now that his route tree is coming along and you’re seeing him catch different routes out there, I think it’s night and day from last year from how much he can do now. ... He’s a really, really smart player.”

In his rookie season, Pickens caught 52 passes for 801 yards and four touchdowns. Those numbers are only expected to grow as he and Pickett continue to develop and become comfortable in the NFL.

The best offenses in the NFL are highlighted by strong QB-WR duos; Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs, Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown, Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase are examples of this.

If Pickett and Pickens can build that chemistry, it can shape the entire offense and give Pittsburgh much-needed improvement on that side of the ball.

Pickett and Pickens will have a chance to flex their chemistry in the Steelers’ preseason opener Friday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.