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Jaylen Warren on George Pickens’ Effort: ‘I Would Have Blocked for Him’



Steelers RB Jaylen Warren
Steelers RB Jaylen Warren against the Indianapolis Colts, Dec. 16, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Jaylen Warren has a right to be irked after George Pickens’ comments on Tuesday, where he explained his lack of effort on a Warren run inside the five-yard line. Pickens wanted to avoid an injury after seeing what happened to Texans receiver Tank Dell. Dell suffered a season-ending leg injury.

“I was just trying to prevent the Tank Dell situation, the same thing that happened to (him). I ain’t want to get an injury. When you stay on the block too long, you can get ran up on very easily,” Pickens said.

For reference, this was the injury to Dell, who was blocking in-line and got rolled up on, resulting in him fracturing his fibula and requiring season-ending surgery. However, for the first time since those comments, Warren talked about Pickens’ words to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and while he seemed understanding, he also let it be known he would have blocked for Pickens.

“Some people play the game differently,” Warren said. “If I was in that position, I would have blocked for him. But we play differently, so.”

Jaylen Warren did say that he understands where Pickens is coming from there. No one wants to get hurt, that’s obvious. But football is a violent game where that can happen at any point.

“I see where he’s coming from,” Warren said. “It is what it is. At the end of the day, he was doing what he thought was best for him.”

Pickens was immediately ripped by the rest of the media that wasn’t already, including many former football players. On Wednesday, some of his teammates and head coach Mike Tomlin joined the chorus, who made a lengthy, unscheduled media appearance to clear up the situation. Warren, the player affected by it, did not seem pleased, either. That does not mean that Pickens is done, but he has to rectify the situation by proving himself in the coming weeks.

No one is happy with the offense. It sucks to be on a losing team. But what Pickens is doing can not continue or it will only fester into something much bigger. That might Pickens’ way of protesting, but it’s actively hurting the team the way he goes about it.