Winners want the ball. And Kenny Pickett wants the ball. Though new Pittsburgh Steelers’ WR Allen Robinson is only on his third practice with Pickett, he was well aware of his game before being acquired from Los Angeles last month. Speaking to reporters Thursday, Robinson praised Pickett’s winning mentality, which has followed him throughout his career.
“I’m a person who watches a lot of football,” Robinson said, as tweeted by The Trib’s Chris Adamski. “I’ve been able to see Kenny in college win some of those big games. When you have a guy like that who has a knack for winning…I don’t think that goes anywhere when a guy comes to the NFL.”
Pickett nearly left Pitt early after the 2020 season but decided to remain in school. The decision paid off for him and the Panthers’ program. They went 11-3, their first 11-win season since Dan Marino led the charge in 1981, including a big win against #18 Wake Forest. The team lost its bowl game to Michigan State but Pickett and WR Jordan Addison did not participate, making for a predictable loss.
As a rookie, Pickett took his lumps. He was blown out by Buffalo in his first career start and didn’t win the first game he participated in until Week Ten. But he and the Steelers turned things around. Pickett won his three final starts and five of his last six, the only exception being a loss to the Ravens where he was knocked out of the game very early, to the point where it shouldn’t even be a loss against him.
For Robinson, he’s hoping to be part of a winner. In nine seasons, he’s been part of just two winning teams: the 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars and 2018 Chicago Bears. And he’s never been on the field for a playoff win. His ’17 Jaguars’ team made it to the AFC title game, upsetting the Steelers along the way, but Robinson spent the postseason on IR. He’s only played in two other playoff games, both losses.
Of course, Pittsburgh is looking to write playoff success in its upcoming seasons, too, not having won a postseason game since the 2016 season. They’re expected to be in the wild card mix this year with Robinson being one piece of an improved offense.