Steelers Urged to Make Major Move With WR George Pickens - Sport News

Steelers Urged to Make Major Move With WR George Pickens

Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers benched quarterback Mitch Trubisky for Week 16. NFL insider Peter King argued the Steelers should do the same with wide receiver George Pickens.

Steelers Urged to Trade George Pickens

During a guest appearance on 93.7 The Fan on December 19, King ripped into the 22-year-old receiver for his effort.

“What George Pickens is doing right now is absolutely, totally, unacceptable,” King said on The Cook & Joe Show. “I don’t really care how great he could be or should be, I care about how great he is, and he’s not great right now. Because there are plays where he absolutely dogs it.

“His career’s not over. It can be salvaged, it can be fixed. But if I were the Steelers right now … I know how important this game is … he’d be deactivated Sunday against Cincinnati.”

That would be a drastic measure with the Cincinnati Bengals matchup in Week 16 being a must-win game for the Steelers. Pickens leads Pittsburgh with 52 receptions and 814 receiving yards this season.

But the Steelers need a more consistent effort from their play-making wide receiver.

Steelers’ George Pickens Receives Criticism for Blocking Effort in Second Straight Game

The most obvious play where Pickens displayed questionable effort in Week 15 against the Indianapolis Colts was on a running play.

Running back Jaylen Warren broke outside and was approaching the goal line when Pickens appeared to be standing still. Then, he jumped out of the way instead of blocking a Colts defender

“George Pickens standing still like it’s draft night,” NFL Notifications X (formerly Twitter) account wrote.

In Week 14, Pickens received criticism for his blocking effort against the New England Patriots from Amazon Prime’s Kirk Herbstreit.

“He’s kind of taking the play off,” Herbstreit said. “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.”

Pickens received criticism on social media from Steelers and NFL fans for both plays.

“Chuck Noll would’ve had George Pickens running laps at halftime with an effort like this while the Steelers were losing 21-3 in the second quarter,” wrote Billy Hartford on X.

Pickens Rips Media for Blocking Criticism

Similar to his play, Pickens has been stirring the pot with recent comments to the media. On December 14, Pickens blasted Pittsburgh’s play calling, saying that he “can’t really produce” by running the very short routes the Steelers are asking him to.

On December 19, he responded the criticism about his blocking.

“All the people that’s questioning my effort, they don’t play football, they do what y’all [in the media] do,” Pickens told reporters, via Steelers Now’s Nick Farabaugh. “All that people that got opinions, they’re media, surface guys. None of them play football.”

There’s an obvious flaw in that argument. Some of his critics, at least at one point, did play football.

Although he didn’t play in the NFL, Herbstreit played quarterback at Ohio State. Shannon Sharpe and Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson played in the NFL. Sharpe is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Both Sharpe and Johnson criticized Pickens on their podcast, Nightcap, for having “lazy” feet on a potential touchdown in Week 9 against the Tennessee Titans.

After Week 7, Ben Roethlisberger was critical of Pickens on his podcast after the receiver earned two 15-yard penalties versus the Los Angeles Rams. Obviously, Roethlisberger played football too.

Pickens, though, didn’t just take issue with his apparent non-football playing critics. He added during his rant that he didn’t block for Warren because he didn’t want to get hurt.

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

Houston Texans wide receiver Tank Dell suffered a season-ending injury on December 3 while blocking on a running play.

 

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