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#pounditThursday, September 29, 2022

Steelers rookie already frustrated with lack of opportunities

George Pickens holds the ball

May 26, 2022; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens (14) participates in organized team activities at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After just two weeks, one Pittsburgh Steelers rookie is already publicly voicing frustration with his role.

Wide receiver George Pickens has just six targets through the first two games of the season. This has frustrating him, especially since the rookie believes he has been open “99 percent of the time.”

“I just say that because I’m a big guy that runs in the low 4.4s,” Pickens said, via Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I always have a step on somebody and my step is naturally longer than the other person, and I’m actually fast. I’m always (going to) have a step and always feel like 99 percent of the time I’m open even though the ball gets there in the air and (the defender) gets time to catch back up. … But I’m open as soon as I get off the line.”

Pickens did openly admit that as a rookie, he has not yet earned the right to demand the ball. Regardless, it’s a bit unexpected to see the second-round pick publicly discussing the issue so soon into his career.

On the other hand, Pickens might have a point. He was a standout player in training camp, even earning his own nickname. He looked poised to carve out a role in the passing game, but so far Pittsburgh’s offense just has not been productive enough to support him. Perhaps that will change in the coming weeks.

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