George Pickens caught everyone’s attention when he was seen yelling on the sideline in frustration about his lack of targets in Week 13. Television cameras caught Pickens yelling to someone on the sideline “throw me the [explicit] ball”.
Once the game was over, the Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wideout finished with his second-worst game of the season, catching just one pass for two yards.
Despite his behavior being viewed as negative, head coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t see it that way.
“I’d rather say whoa than sic ’em,” Tomlin explained. “I want a guy that wants to be a significant part of what it is we do … the mature way to express that, we’re working on. That competitive spirit of a guy that wants the ball, I want that guy.”
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The veteran head coach did, however, acknowledge Pickens will learn how to properly express his displeasure during games but continued to defend him from criticism.
“Now the appropriate and professional and mature way to express that we’re growing and working on and we will continue,” Tomlin said. “But that spirit, that competitive spirit, the guy that wants to ball, nah, I want that guy. You know, I would imagine T.J. [Watt] wants to lay the quarterback down more. We got competitors, this is professional football.
These guys know that they have to deliver. And so for a guy that wants to do that, I’m not gonna make that a negative, no matter how silly I think the commentary is or people talking about him expressing frustrations and stuff and trying to make it a negative storyline. I laugh at that. Again, that’s one of the reasons why we’re continually progressing, because we’re capable of tuning that BS out.”
For the year, the Steelers’ second-round pick has caught 37 passes for 512 yards and two touchdowns this season. He’s now had four games of one reception or less this season.
At 5-7, the Steelers are tied for last place in the AFC North but they keep their slim playoff hopes alive.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.