Mike Tomlin Reacts to George Pickens’ Frustrations: ‘It’s a Problem’ - Sport News

Mike Tomlin Reacts to George Pickens’ Frustrations: ‘It’s a Problem’

Head coach Mike Tomlin avoided placing a lot of blame on Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens when he spoke to the media about the wideout openly expressing his frustration during games.

George Pickens

But Tomlin admitted that Pickens’ frustration has become an issue because it’s not productive for the team.

“It’s a problem because it’s not solution-oriented,” Tomlin told reporters during his December 11 press conference. “You know, we’re all frustrated. But we have to manage our frustrations in a professional, mature way, and when it’s not done that way, it’s not necessarily pushing us toward solutions.

“So from that perspective, certainly [it’s a problem].”

Pickens received criticism for his effort on a couple plays during the Week 14 matchup against the New England Patriots on December 7. A camera also caught Tomlin talking to Pickens on the sideline during the game.

“Tomlin and Pickens on the sideline,” the Blitzburgh X account wrote for a video caption in a tweet on December 7.

Steelers’ Mike Tomlin Addresses Why Frustration From WR George Pickens Can Be a Problem

In a way, Tomlin defended his 22-year-old receiver. Tomlin argued that a lot of players get frustrated when things aren’t going well.

But the head coach also called for Pickens’ to channel that frustration in a more positive manner.

“I think it can happen to anybody when things aren’t going well, to be honest with you,” Tomlin said of Pickens on December 11. “We care a lot. We put a lot into it. So frustration is a natural human response.

“But I’m also completely comfortable asking these guys to do unnatural things because they are professional athletes. That’s our job to do the unique things and make it look regular. Make it took ordinary.”

Another way the Steelers could fix Pickens’ frustration is by getting him the ball. In the 21-18 loss to the Patriots, Pickens had just 5 catches for 19 yards.

After reaching 100 yards in three of Pittsburgh’s first six games, Pickens hasn’t been over the century mark in yards since then. He’s posted more than 58 yards just once since Week 8.

But the old saying, “what came first, the chicken or the egg” could be applied to the situation with Pickens. Is he not producing because of a lack of targets or does Pickens allow his frustrations to slow him down?

If Pickens isn’t receiving targets early in a game, he can’t showcase poor effort that makes it easier for defenses to stop the Steelers’ other offensive players.

Pickens Received Criticism During Week 14

Amazon Prime’s Kirk Herbstreit argued in Week 14 that Pickens displayed poor effort during the December 7 matchup with New England.

“He’s kind of taking the play off,” Kirk Herbstreit said of Pickens during the game. “I think it sends a message to me, to your team. I look at receivers when it comes to their willingness to block and the effort that they’re willing to put forth.

“It kind of represents the pulse of the team. Bad look.”

The analysis led to more criticism for Pickens on social media.

However, Pickens had plenty of defenders too. During the game, Teddy on X joked that Pickens represented Steelers fans with one of his frustration outbursts.

“George Pickens is all of Steelers Nation rn,” wrote Teddy.

Getting Pickens more targets should be a priority for the Steelers. But so should getting him more deep targets.

In Week 14, Pickens didn’t have a target longer than 11 yards, and only one of his targets was beyond 6 yards from the line of scrimmage.

“Why is George Pickens being so toxic?!” Chris Burgh posted as a caption on X to a picture of the receiver’s Week 14 route tree.

With Tomlin addressing Pickens publicly on December 11, it will be interesting to see if the young receiver changes how he voices his frustration the rest of the season.


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