George Pickens proved Ben Roethlisberger right in ways the Steelers can't afford

The Pittsburgh Steelers can't afford the drama George Pickens is providing on a weekly basis.

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers
Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages

Prior to the Pittsburgh Steelers loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger called out his former team, suggesting that the Steeler Way truly is lost on this group.

"Who is grabbing someone by the face mask and saying, 'That's not what we do,'"Roethlisberger continued. "Is that happening? Yes, you have guys on defense doing it, but you need guys on other sides of the ball doing it. ... You need someone to stand up in that room, on offense, and be like, hey, this isn't what it means to wear the black and gold."

While Roethlisberger himself wasn't perfect during his playing days, he was proven right by the likes of George Pickens, who despite a conversation with Mike Tomlin during the week still displayed a stunning lack of effort on several plays in the Steelers defeat.

Ben Roethlisberger was right about the 2023 Pittsburgh Steelers

Tomlin used his experience as a defensive backs coach to try and calm Pickens down last week. Tomlin even said he'd tried the same technique with Antonio Brown when he was a Steeler.

"When you have a dynamic player, oftentimes from a game playing perspective, you'll pick a block of time or block of plays where you're just going to deny that guy the ball and make others beat you. And the agenda is to keep the ball out of the hands of a significant player, but also if it's a significant player it's to create angst within him and within that unit," Tomlin said.

Pickens is talented, but his lack of effort has been obvious throughout the season. Here is Pickens failing to run after a Colts defender after Mitch Trubisky threw and interception.

And here is Pickens refusing to run block for teammate Jaylen Warren.

Pittsburgh's offense is one of the worst in the league, so to some extent I understand Pickens frustration. However, football is a team game and the young wide receiver just had a heart-to-heart with his head coach.

Now, both Tomlin and Pickens have egg on their face. Roethlisberger is right about one thing -- something is wrong in the Steelers locker room, and drastic measures ought to be taken to right the ship this offseason.