Monday, August 1
Words of praise: George Pickens hasn't heard the comments from his teammates. He hasn't heard the compliments. Hasn't paid attention to any of that.
But the comments are coming from all over.
The Steelers selected Pickens in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the 52nd overall pick. The Georgia product finished his college career with 90 receptions for 1,347 yards and 14 touchdowns. Pickens missed some playing time in the 2021 season after suffering a knee injury in the spring, playing in just four games and finishing with five receptions for 107 yards.
But so far in his first NFL training camp you would never know he is coming off an injury.
"You can't even notice he was hurt last year," said quarterback Mitch Trubisky. "He has so much bounce, change of direction. You are going from a college system to an NFL system, but he is picking it up very quick. He has been making plays and turning heads out here."
Pickens smiled and didn't boast or brag that his quarterback was dishing praise his way.
"I hadn't really heard any teammates say anything," said Pickens. "They just keep telling me to do what I am doing. I feel like my first week went good.
"I just keep working. That is what I said at the combine too. I probably say that every interview. I just keep working."
Fellow receiver Chase Claypool has also been seeing what Pickens can do up close and personal, and he has high hopes for him in 2022.
"I think he's gonna be the best rookie receiver in the NFL," said Claypool.
"I just tell him thank you Chase," said Pickens. "I am going to just keep working. I don't really look at the accolades. I just let it happen. It's going to happen naturally.
"My objective in camp is to show I am a nice route runner. Everyone knows I am big, fast, a deep ball kind of guy. But that is what I wanted to display."
A love for football: Gunner Olszewski smiled when he started to talk about special teams coordinator Danny Smith.
And you can understand why.
It hasn't taken long for Olszewski, the receiver and special teams standout who signed this offseason, to love Smith the way all his players love him.
"He knows everything about the game and he has a sweet personality to him," said Olszewski. "He loves football. It oozes off of him. It's fun working with a guy who loves what he does. He expects a lot out of his special teams unit and I am used to that and love it."
Knowing those expectations, and wanting to arrive at camp totally prepared, Olszewski moved to Pittsburgh during the offseason, spending time over the summer working at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex preparing, learning and just getting comfortable overall with the people and surroundings.
"Being new here I wanted to see how they run things so there were no hiccups when I showed up, that I am just one of the guys on the team," said Olszewski. "I didn't want to get my feet wet here. I just moved to Pittsburgh and started doing things the way the Steelers do things.
"I think you can talk to people better when you are around them more and more. It makes football easier when you know somebody."
Olszewski has a passion for what he does, and it doesn't take long to see how motivated he is.
"I think anybody that plays this game has to be self-motivated," said Olszewski. "It isn't easy physically on your body or mentally on your head. Everybody does it for their own reason. My reason is simple. I love playing football."
Gillin' N' Chillin': Tight ends Zach Gentry and Pat Freiermuth are next level entertaining in their training camp feature, Grillin' N' Chillin', where they grill their teammates on all things ... not Steelers.
The questions are off the wall as they keep their teammates on their toes.
The first episode can be found right here, with long snapper Christian Kuntz as the guest.
Too cute: The Steelers teamed with Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh to help find homes for adoptable pets. The photo shoot was one that melted everyone's hearts, even tough football players.
In case you missed anything last week, check out the Training Camp Blog: Week 1.