Quarterback Kenny Pickett is the present and future of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and newcomer Allen Robinson can see why.
The 29-year-old told the Steelers’ official team website Thursday that Pickett’s drive makes him special.
“For a second-year quarterback he’s definitely wise beyond his years,” Robinson said. “How he leads the charge. His work ethic day in and day out. Very focused. He’s definitely beyond his years.
“I was impressed when I got here. Seeing someone from the outside looking in, you definitely see the talent. Once you get inside the facility and you get to be around Kenny, you see why he’s successful.”
Robinson also alluded to Pickett’s success in college at Pittsburgh as a harbinger for his future in the NFL.
The Steelers selected Pickett with the 20th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and named him their starting quarterback in Week 5. Pickett finished his rookie season with 2,404 passing yards, seven passing touchdowns, nine interceptions and a passer rating of 76.7 while completing 63.0. % of his passes. He also rushed for 237 yards and three touchdowns.
Pickett and the Steelers took off in the second half of the season, winning six of their last seven games to finish 9-8. The rookie quarterback threw just one interception during that span, despite missing one game with a concussion.
The Steelers acquired Robinson and the No. 251 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft from the Los Angeles Rams for the No. 234 pick in April. Robinson is coming off an underwhelming season with the Rams, which saw him total just 33 receptions for 339 yards and three touchdowns in what was a disastrous 5-12 Rams campaign.
He spent the previous four seasons with the Chicago Bears (2018-21), coming after spending the first four seasons of his NFL career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Over the course of his nine-year career, Robinson has accumulated three 1,000-plus yard seasons (2015, 2019 and 2020), a Pro Bowl selection and led the league with 14 receiving touchdowns in 2015.
Robinson joins a Steelers pass-catching core that includes wide receivers Diontae Johnson and George Pickens and tight end Pat Freiermuth.
As for the team’s second-year signal, Robinson already sees Pickett as a leader.
“Leaders are born,” Robinson said. “It doesn’t take long for a guy to be a natural leader. I think anyone here can tell that for Kenny. I’ve been here a little over a month, and you can already tell his leadership, how he leads. load day after day. For a second-year guy, that’s not easy. For a guy to be able to take a bull by the horns like that, it’s pretty impressive.”
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