PITTSBURGH — Steelers wide receiver George Pickens lets his critics be, mainly because he believes they do not understand him. On Thursday, he talked for the first time since Mike Tomlin made critical comments on his sideline outbursts. However, he clearly stated that his frustrations are tied to Pittsburgh losing games to 2-10 teams more than anything.
“It ain’t really fun losing,” Pickens said. “I don’t really know what reaction you guys would expect. If you lose at a video game. If you lose at anything you participate in, you are going to be mad. That’s the biggest component of it.”
But when asked if he thought everyone overstepped their boundaries in criticizing him for it. He believes they did, but instead of fighting back against them, he simply wants them to be because he believes they are not watching the games to get the full context of the issue.
“I let people talk because that’s their job, to make up stories. You just have to watch the games, they were both losses,” Pickens said.
Pittsburgh’s leading receiver has not had a touchdown reception since the team’s loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars on October 29th. He has not eclipsed 100 yards since the team went to Los Angeles and beat the Rams out of the bye week. It got to the point this week that Mike Tomlin even admitted that it was a problem because Pickens is not offering up general solutions to fix the issue at hand. If his response is anything to go by, Pickens has to manage those emotions better to find answers.
“It’s a problem because it’s not solution-oriented,” Tomlin said. “We’re all frustrated, but we have to manage our frustration in a professional and mature way and when it’s not done that way, it’s not necessarily pushing us towards solutions.”
Over the last six games, George Pickens has averaged just five targets per game. Pickens is not even the only frustrated player in the locker room. Diontae Johnson has been blasted for a lack of effort, voiced his frustrations, and has generally done similar things to Pickens.
However, he has to find a way to channel those frustrations into productive conversations. That is what will ultimately get him the football rather than the fruitless methods he employs right now.