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Ben Roethlisberger Offers Insight into George Pickens Frustration

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Steelers WR George Pickens

As he watched the Pittsburgh Steelers take on Atlanta during his podcast Sunday, former Steelers signal-caller Ben Roethlisberger weighed in on the visible frustration from rookie wideout George Pickens.

“I’ve been watching his body language,” Roethlisberger said on his show, Footbahlin with Ben Roethlisberger. “They just showed him on the sideline on the bench, sitting there, like, pouting. They showed the coach come up and sit next to him and they showed Cam (Heyward) come up and get down in front of him and talk to him. And so, I don’t know what was said, I can hear anything, but you can tell he’s mad because he’s not getting the ball.”

More specifically, as he approached the sideline, television cameras showed Pickens yelling, “Throw me the ball, man. Throw me the f***ing ball.”

Soon after, rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett hit Pickens for a short gain. Roethlisberger had seen the sort of situation before, mentioning that the target was aimed specifically to calm the disgruntled receiver. Pickens was only targeted twice in the contest.

“That is prototypical offensive coordinator trying to keep a guy happy,” Roethlisberger said. “They threw him a three-yard pass to try to keep him happy. We would do that to guys. ‘Hey, we got so-and-so’s mad. Like, they’re not happy right now, they’re fighting with everybody. We’ve got to throw a screen.’ You would throw a screen. You would do anything to get them the ball. That’s what just happened. They threw him that ball to try and, like, make him feel better.”

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that any disapproval was misconceived. He’s alright with Pickens wanting to get the ball more, but added that he could have gotten that across in a better fashion. Pickett and fellow pass-catcher Diontae Johnson also reduced the emphasis on the passionate outburst.

RELATED: George Pickens Slams Criticism for Sideline Outburst: ‘It’s Not Me, It’s Y’all’

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