INDIANAPOLIS — The Steelers made it a point this week to call out George Pickens’ sideline antics, but they ensured they would get him going, too. Offensive coordinator Eddie Faulkner vowed to get Pickens going because of the type of playing he is, and so far, that has continued.
“We definitely need to (get him the ball),” Faulkner said. “That’s always something we’re always thinking about, scheming up, and trying to get done. And then we have to throw the ball to him. We’re never going to tire on getting GP the ball. We know what type of talent he is.”
George Pickens caught a drag route on a key third down that allowed him to make a nice diving catch for the first down. Plays later, he would go down low and grab a dig route, turning that into yards after the catch. All in all, the team has him at two receptions for 30 yards on two drives, and that was seemingly a focal point on how the Steelers wanted to operate. It netted them a touchdown.
The lack of open communication could be between Pickens and Trubisky. Faulkner acknowledged that is something that has to happen. They don’t fault Pickens for being a competitor and wanting to make plays. But the more significant issues remain that it is hard to get Pickens the football on specific plays when he does not tell anyone else what he sees from his perspective. They can not read his mind. He is often open on a play but not the main progression, which is a separate issue, but if they see particular looks, they can alert him earlier in the progression.
Pickens is a dynamic football player when used correctly. More than anything, the team is better when Pickens is operating at a high level. So far, they have allowed him to get involved in the middle of the field and make him the primary target, and Pickens is rewarding them for that commitment.