Death, taxes and Pittsburgh Steelers being unhappy playing for Mike Tomlin. Oh, this team will go at least 9-8 because that is what Tomlin's teams do. However, you have to wonder if Pittsburgh is going to be anything more than middle of the pack in the deep AFC under their current iteration. The latest player to voice his frustrations are second-year pro wide receiver George Pickens after their TNF win.
In an NSFW Instagram Story posted on Friday, Pickens essentially indicated that he wants to be freed.
"Free me," he wrote.
Whether that is from the Steelers or Matt Canada's craptastic offense remains to be seen. Pittsburgh did beat the Tennessee Titans 20-16 in Nashville on Thursday Night Football, but the Steelers' passing offense was mediocre at best. Pickens had two catches for a loss of one on the day.
Pickens had first-round talent coming out of Georgia. When healthy, he could do it all for the Dawgs. He is an ultra-competitive player, albeit with a mercurial personality. Again, Pickens is not for everyone, but when his willingness to compete is compromised, then we have a serious problem. Although I am not ready to punt on "The Fake Slide King" Kenny Pickett just yet, Canada needs to go...
Tomlin will find a way to win anyway, but this is not a serious football team with Canada on his staff.
George Pickens voices frustrations on Instagram in more Steelers drama
I don't know why this keeps happening, but there always seems to be trouble in wide receiver paradise. Historically, nobody does a better job of drafting wide receivers than Pittsburgh. This dates back to the days of John Stallworth and Lynn Swann being dynamic catching passes from Terry Bradshaw in the 1970s. But now, Pickens is the latest Steelers wideout trying to force his way out.
To be fair, most wide receivers who leave Pittsburgh do not achieve the same level of success they had with the Steelers. This principle would apply to guys like Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Chase Claypool. As for if there is any correlation, the only real common thread is team and Tomlin, as quarterbacks and offensive coordinators have come and gone over the years.
To me, this is all about Canada. He may have recruited Pickett when he was a prospect coming out of high school, but let's just stop. When it comes to dialing up plays in the AFC, are you going to pick Canada over the likes of Andy Reid/Matt Nagy, Zac Taylor/Brian Callahan or Doug Pederson/Press Taylor? Me neither. Pickens may be frustrated after a bad game, but this passing offense needs work.
All I'm going to say is there were a lot of Bubby Bristers in between Bradshaw and Ben Roethlisberger.