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Steelers rookie George Pickens claimed to be open ‘90% of the time’ vs. Patriots


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Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wide receiver George Pickens has a message for his quarterback Mitch Trubisky: He’s open.

Of course, football isn’t that simple, but the Steelers have been slow offensively early in the season. Trubisky hasn’t passed 200 receiving yards in two games, and Pickens, a standout during training camp and preseason, has two receptions for 26 yards on six targets.

Pickens is playing alongside wide receivers Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool and has been on the field on 71% of offensive snaps thus far. He just isn’t getting the ball.

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George Pickens (14) of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates a 26-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter of a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks at Acrisure Stadium on August 13, 2022 in Pittsburgh.
(Justin Berl/Getty Images)

But the Georgia product said he was open “90% of the time” against the New England Patriots, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He explained why.

“I’m only saying that because I’m a big guy who runs in the low 4.4,” Pickens said. “I always have a step on someone, and my step is naturally longer than the other person’s, and I’m actually fast. I’m always [going to] I have a step and I always feel like 99% of the time I’m open even though the ball comes into the air and [the defender] You have time to catch up.”

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Veteran Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger retired after last season. That called into question the most important position in the field. The team signed Trubisky and selected Pittsburgh product Kenny Pickett for open training camp competition with Mason Rudolph. Trubisky won the job with Pickett supporting him.

George Pickens (14) of the Pittsburgh Steelers catches a 26-yard touchdown reception as Coby Bryant (8) of the Seattle Seahawks defends in the first quarter during a preseason game at Acrisure Stadium on August 13, 2022 in Pittsburgh.

George Pickens (14) of the Pittsburgh Steelers catches a 26-yard touchdown reception as Coby Bryant (8) of the Seattle Seahawks defends in the first quarter during a preseason game at Acrisure Stadium on August 13, 2022 in Pittsburgh.
(Justin Berl/Getty Images)

However, they drafted Pickens to make up for the loss of Juju Smith-Schuster, who left for the Kansas City Chiefs in free agency.

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The Steelers also have Najee Harris, their second-year running back who has worlds of talent in both the running and passing games. But the offensive line has been a bit suspect early in the season, which is one of the main reasons the Steelers can’t move the ball.

George Pickens of the Pittsburgh Steelers during a game against the Detroit Lions at Acrisure Stadium on August 28, 2022 in Pittsburgh.

George Pickens of the Pittsburgh Steelers during a game against the Detroit Lions at Acrisure Stadium on August 28, 2022 in Pittsburgh.
(Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

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It’s a short trade for Pittsburgh this week. They take on the division rival Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football. Pickens hopes his quarterback finds it wide open this time.



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