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Steelers WR coach Zach Azzanni on George Pickens: “It’s right there for him”

Steelers receiver George Pickens has superstar potential. For whatever reason (and part of the problem is the team hasn’t given him enough chances), it has yet to fully emerge.

With a revamped offensive coaching staff, led by new coordinator Arthur Smith and including new receivers coach Zach Azzanni, Pickens in his third year might finally become what the Steelers need him to be.

It’s right there for him,” Azzanni said recently, via Dale Lolley of “He’s just got to . . . pick it up and take the cheese, do the things we asked him to do and he can do anything he wants. He’s that talented. I think you guys all know that. Ray Charles can see that. You don’t need to be a coach. So we know that’s out there for him if he wants it. Now, he’s just got to keep stacking the days and that’s my job, too.”

Even without nearly as many opportunities as he should have had, and despite the sluggish nature of the offense in 2023, Pickens did well. He had 63 catches for 1,140 yards. He averaged 18.1 yards per carry.

One of the other issues with the Pittsburgh receiving corps involves the status of the depth chart behind Pickens. For now, there’s no clear No. 2. Azzanni doesn’t seem to be troubled by that.

“I know that a lot [of] people look at the one, the two, the three,” Azzanni said. “Listen, these days we move everyone around and guys get good balls depending on matchups so that number thing is a little overrated to me. But yes, we’re trying to find the best three or four we can put out there for sure.”

Pickens is clearly the best of the bunch. This is the year for him to prove it. This is also the year for the Steelers to let him prove it, by finding ways to get the ball in his hands.