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George Pickens stepping up, and making an impact, in Year 2

The Pittsburgh Steelers have high hopes for their young offense, and a lot of those hopes hinge on the progress, and production, of their second year players.

Of those young playmakers, most fans focus on Kenny Pickett as the main man, but don’t discount George Pickens’ ability to expand his role on the team. And when you talk about this expanded role, don’t think it is purely on the field.

Part of making an impact can be welcoming younger players to the team. Sometimes this isn’t a hand-holding experience. In fact, sometimes it’s a trial be fire, and Pickens did just that with rookie Joey Porter Jr. at training camp practice Friday.

This video has made its rounds on social media, and while most see offensive pass interference, which it was, don’t think it also wasn’t Pickens sending a message to another fellow 2nd Round draft pick.

Check out the video below:

Some might see the above video as being a sign of immaturity and not truly leading in any way. But when Pickens met with media this week before practice, he spoke openly about him stepping up into more of a leadership role, not just being more of a playmaker on the field.

Check out the video below:

The Steelers don’t just need Pickens to expand his repertoire on the field, but also be more of a leader off the field. And don’t think Mike Tomlin doesn’t know this.

When it came time for Tomlin to pair up players in the dorms at Saint Vincent College, Pickens was placed with veteran Allen Robinson.

Smart move.

Will all of this pay dividends for both Pickens and his teammates? That has yet to be determined, but he is certainly making an impact in multiple ways in the early stages of 2023 training camp.

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