5 Steelers players with more to prove in next preseason game

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens (14)
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens (14) / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
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Steelers could see George Pickens breakout

While George Pickens was only on the field early in the first preseason game and caught a single pass, he made it count. Pickens took his single reception the distance for an early score. That alone is great, but the entire play seems to indicate that Pickens is growing as a receiver and could be in for a big year.

Pickens caught the initial pass toward the middle of the field. That alone is a notable change, as he was usually just thrown to on 50/50 passes down the sidelines and used his incredible hands to make the snag. His route tree seems to have expanded some, and while his route running could be sharper, this is still a needed development.

The next notable thing was what happened after the catch. Pickens made a few quick moves that allowed him to get into space and use his athleticism to ultimately end up with the score. Last year, while Pickens would make quite a few incredible catches, he failed to do much after the catch. The first game showed some traits there as well.

Am I looking too much into one catch? Perhaps, but Pickens showcased everything I wanted to see him improve on in his second season. While he will still be a down-the-field threat primarily, adding these other elements to his game could take him to an elite level. I want to see that progress through the next preseason game.

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The first preseason game was an eventful one for the team, and these five players have a lot to prove heading into the second game. Some need to stack good games, while others need to prove that they are still realistic roster options for this team given their struggles early on in the preseason.