George Pickens is a frustrated wide receiver in the middle of a cold spell. It happens to all of the best receivers in the league. Sometimes, quarterback play is sporadic, and defenses do everything they can to take you away, and all you end up with is meager results. Over the last two games, Pickens has struggled to get anything going, with -1 receiving yards against the Titans.
But former Bengals receiver Chad Johnson has advice for Pickens. He wants him to continue to play like an alpha receiver, but he has to make the most of his opportunities. Johnson points to the botched toe drag from Pickens on what should have been a touchdown. He says that due to Kenny Pickett running hot and cold, Pickens’ production can do the same, and he has to take better advantage of his targets.
“Pickens, you’re easily one of the best,” Johnson said on Shannon Sharpe’s Nightcap Podcast.” Easily one of the top-five in the league if they can use you right, but when your opportunities come to you and I love you, you got to make the most of them. Due to the inconsistencies at the quarterback position. You got to do everything you can when the ball comes your way.”
Hines Ward echoed a similar sentiment, though he said that Pickens needs to focus just as much on playing for the team as much as himself. George Pickens seemed frustrated despite their win, leading to some concern from his teammates, as Allen Robinson II noted that he was frustrated at his lack of production. But Ward says he has to overlook that.
“George, he’s just young,” Ward said to CBS Sports. “Extremely talented. Wants the ball. It’s not a bad thing. I love receivers who want to impact the game, but also, you have to keep everything in perspective and understand that it’s not about you. There’s a lot that goes on in the passing game. You may be wide open, but protection breaks down and the quarterback has to scramble and you never got that opportunity because of that.”
Shannon Sharpe called the catch by Pickens ‘lazy feet’ and then cost himself a touchdown. Of course, the Instagram comments from Pickens are what sparked this entire ordeal. But the team has to focus on their next game against the Packers, and they would hope that Pickens can come along for the ride by getting much more production against the Packers’ group of cornerbacks on the outside.