Mike Tomlin downplays George Pickens' frustration over role on team
The Pittsburgh Steelers got the win last Thursday against the Tennessee Titans. That's good. Even though the team improved to 5-3 on the season and sat in a playoff spot after Week 9, there was one player on offense who was disgruntled.
Wide receiver George Pickens took to Instagram after the game and shared a post to his story, but he wrote in a caption, "Free me." But days later, Pickens shared images of the Steelers and highlights with quarterback Kenny Pickett, showing that he is seemingly over his frustrations.
While speaking with reporters on Tuesday, head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed that Pickens was frustrated and expressed it throughout the season but said it wasn't an issue. Tomlin then declared that it was "a pebble in my shoe."
Tomlin's comments come courtesy of Steelers Now's Nick Farabaugh.
Pickens is the team's leading receiver on the team with 30 receptions, 58 targets, 521 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns. The player with the second-most targets is running back Jaylen Warren, with 35, but he caught 29 for 209 yards. Diontae Johnson is listed third with 35 receptions, where he caught 23 of them for 302 yards and a touchdown. While Pickens didn't haul in 28 targets, he only dropped one pass. The other were caused by either defensive coverage or Pickett overthrowing the football.
The second-year wide receiver is easily the team's most explosive player in the passing game. But thus far, Pittsburgh's passing attack has been rather pedestrian, averaging just 188.0 yards per game, the eighth-worst in the NFL. It's not pretty, but the Steelers are doing just enough to win games.
As for frustrations with Pickens, they appear to be over and done with.