Steelers Fans Should Be Excited by Pickett and Pickens’ Impressive Preseason Connection
If Friday night’s preseason football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is any indication, the Pittsburgh Steelers have something special brewing with their second-year players, Kenny Pickett and George Pickens. The duo showed great chemistry, reminiscent of their rookie season, and Steelers fans should be thrilled with what they witnessed.
In Pickett’s final eight starts last year, he emerged as a promising young quarterback for the Steelers. He threw five touchdown passes, with three of them finding their target in Pickens. These performances played a significant role in propelling the team into the playoff race.
During the team’s first preseason game, Pickett and Pickens wasted no time reigniting their connection. On a crucial 3rd-and-8 play at the Tampa Bay 33-yard line, Pickett displayed his poise and accuracy by hitting Pickens on an in-breaking route. The young wide receiver showcased his skills by breaking through a tackle attempt and eluding a safety for an impressive catch-and-run touchdown.
Upon closer examination of the play, it becomes apparent that both second-year players have grown since their rookie campaigns. Let’s delve into the play and analyze their performances.
From the end-zone replay, we can observe Pickett’s ability to manipulate the defense. The Buccaneers opted for a Cover-1 defense, featuring single-high man coverage with a free safety in the middle. Pickens, running an in-breaking route, faced linebacker K.J. Britt as the “hole” defender.
Pickett employed his eyes and body movement cleverly to deceive Britt. Initially, he looked left towards veteran receiver Allen Robinson, who ran a route out of the slot. Pickett’s shoulder and feet positioning suggested the throw would go in that direction, leading Britt to shift his attention accordingly.
However, just as Pickett finished his drop, he swiftly redirected his gaze and footwork towards Pickens. The young quarterback delivered a perfectly timed and accurate throw to his target.
Pickens, known primarily as a vertical receiver during his rookie season, typically operated outside the numbers. However, on this particular play, Pickens demonstrated his versatility by working the middle of the field. Pickett found him perfectly in stride, resulting in a significant gain.
Pickett’s overall performance for the night was impressive, completing 6-of-7 passes for 70 yards and the touchdown. This play marked Pickens’ sole catch of the game, but it was undoubtedly a notable one.
The AFC North is undeniably a formidable division, with all four teams boasting talent on both sides of the ball. However, Steeler fans can find solace in plays like this, as the success of their sophomore duo may pave the way for surprising results in one of the NFL’s toughest divisions.
Steelers supporters should be excited about the connection between Pickett and Pickens. If these two continue to develop their rapport, Pittsburgh could become a team to contend with in the AFC North.
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