The Pittsburgh Steelers have been outgained in all eight of their games this year, yet have somehow managed a 5-3 record. Mike Tomlin refuses to ever have a losing season it seems.
Despite a 20-16 victory over the Titans on Thursday night, not all is well in the Steel City. That’s especially the case for wide receiver George Pickens, who had two catches for a total of -1 yard. That came after recording only one catch for 22 yards in Week 8.
Pickens took to IG Reels to voice is displeasure and hint that he wants out, writing “Free Me” on his latest post:
𝗧𝗥𝗘𝗡𝗗𝗜𝗡𝗚: #Steelers WR George Pickens shares a post to his Instagram story after last night’s -1 yard performance.
He says “free me” on the bottom right of the photo. Pickens could be frustrated over the last two weeks.
Too bad for Pickens that the trade deadline has already passed. Doubt Pittsburgh would’ve moved him anyway.
Being in an offense that features Matt Canada as the play-caller and Kenny Pickett as the quarterback is the gridiron equivalent of a dungeon. I get where Pickens is coming from. I wouldn’t want Kenny P’s popgun arm trying to throw me open outside the numbers either.
And I say outside the numbers in an exclusive sort of way because, well…
Failing to get two feet down in the end zone with that much real estate to work with? Tough look, my guy.
The talent is undeniable here, though. It’s clear who the Steelers’ go-to option in their anemic passing attack should be. It’s Pickens. They’ve fed him at times in 2023. Just not enough lately. Whether it’s dictated by the opposing defense, scheme-related, QB incompetence or a blend of all those elements, Pickens ain’t getting the job done at this time.
…In his defense, this is a legit potential short-pass, long-YAC touchdown for Pickens from Thursday if Pickett doesn’t Jimmy G-style airmail him.
Kenny Pickett cannot miss these routine crossers. Doesn't get much easier than this. George Pickens had lots of room for YAC if Pickett could get him the football in stride. #Steelerspic.twitter.com/kRrNEp1kY0
Taking to social media is certainly a choice. Doesn’t always end well. Creates a little friction. But you know what? In this instance, I’m all for it. Somebody needs to wake this team up out of complacency. Retaining Matt Canada as offensive coordinator is coaching malpractice at this point. When your job is being called for in and around other major sports venues across the country, you know you’re not doing so hot.
We’ll never know if Kenny Pickett is a legit franchise quarterback until Canada is removed from the equation. From what we’ve seen so far, it does not look terribly good.
Players know, particularly those like Pickens who are begging for the ball so they can spark this eyesore of an offense. We’ll see if the perpetually rigid Tomlin-led Steelers actually do something about it now that Pickens has spoken out.