3. Can George Pickens cool off?
I have been a big supporter of George Pickens since he was drafted by the team, but his antics are getting hard to justify. I have no issue with a receiver wanting the ball more when the team is losing/struggling. While harder to justify, I can live with wanting the ball more when winning depending on the situation. That said, how Pickens acted a week ago is foolish.
While his final stat line was abysmal, he can’t go off like that after a close victory. While his own stats weren’t there, this team accomplished what they set out to do with a win. Trying to distance yourself from the team and asking to be “freed” isn’t going to help the Steelers.
Pickens also has to realize that teams are keyed in on him. He flashed elite talent, and the opposing defense wants to avoid having him beat them. That isn’t going to change either, especially this week against a talented Packers secondary that is among the best in stopping the pass.
While Mike Tomlin claims that this is a non-issue and just a pebble in his shoe, Pickens can’t keep acting out like that. He expects the best out of himself and has the confidence to believe that he can be the focal point of this offense. Weeks where he is erased though can’t lead to blowups.
I’m assuming another tough week for Pickens against the Packers, and I will be keyed in to see how he reacts if he has another quiet week. There seems to be a plan in place to keep him focused on what he needs to be focused on. That said, if he continues to act out, this pebble can quickly turn into a thorn in the side of this team.