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Joey Porter Jr., George Pickens Locked in Intense Camp Battle



Steelers CB Joey Porter Jr

UNITY TWP., Pa — Joey Porter Jr. has seen it all through his first week as a Pittsburgh Steeler in Latrobe. On familiar ground, Porter Jr. is having new experiences that are shaping his NFL career. None might be more intense and competitive than those with George Pickens.

Those are shaping the experience for Joey Porter Jr. right out of training camp. He’s a guy who has shown out at times. But moreover, he’s taking his lumps in a productive manner. Things are not easy for just any NFL player, but Porter Jr. is taking all of the lumps in stride as competitive residue that comes with the territory.

“I’m always hungry to get better, to get my win,” Porter Jr. said. “He (Pickens) got his today, and tomorrow, I’m going to try to get mine. If I don’t, I’m going to keep going until I get mine.”

Pickens makes a play for the highlight reel often. Porter Jr. knows he’s not the only one to put on the reel by Pickens. He takes it in stride. The thing about the competition is that it is making both players naturally better through their maturing process as football players.

For Pickens, it’s about something different. The encouraging point for him is the diverse route tree he is running and separating one. He looks like he is finding soft spots in zone coverage. Moreover, Pickens looks like a guy who is running in-breaking routes at a high level. I still have questions about his outside routes such as nine routes and comebacks, but he has more shake in his game on those inside-breaking routes over the middle of the field. If that continues, keep an eye out for Pickens to really make some serious noise this season.

But those two are the battle of training camp. And that’s probably just how Mike Tomlin wants this rodeo to go at this juncture. If the battle of training camp ends up being the team’s young, ascending receiver and their promising rookie cornerback, there should be no qualms held there.