Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens was clearly upset about his lack of targets in the team’s eventual win over the Falcons on Sunday. Mike Tomlin wants to channel that energy.
George Pickens was caught on camera throwing a sideline tantrum due to a lack of targets during a fourth quarter change of possession in the Steelers eventual win over the Falcons on Sunday.
While one cannot fully fault Pickens given he’s been one of Pittsburgh’s only reliable receivers all season long, one would hope he could channel that energy into helping his team win, rather than complaining about his own lack of opportunities. The Steelers were winning the game at that time, after all.
Steelers: Mike Tomlin has words of encouragement for George Pickens
Nonetheless, Mike Tomlin is taking the right approach with a young player in Pickens. Rather than disciplining the former Georgia wideout, Tomlin wants to help him use that energy and fire to win in a positive light.
“I’d rather say ‘Whoa’ than ‘Sic ’em,’” Tomlin said Tuesday, per ESPN. “I want a guy that wants to be a significant part of what it is that we do. Now, the appropriate and professional and mature way to express that, we’re growing and working on, and we will continue to. But that spirit, that competitive spirit, the guy that wants the ball. I want that guy.”
Tomlin was far from the only stable veteran voice to pull Pickens aside. Fellow wide receiver Diontae Johnson offered some words of encouragement after Pickens one catch, two-yard performance on Sunday.
“Stay focused, just try not to get down and out, just keep playing,” Johnson said of his message to Pickens. “You never know when the ball’s going to come to you. … I’ve been there before. Just try not to let it get to you as much so it don’t take you out the game.”
These are all valuable lessons for the young Georgia product. Pickens has a ton of talent. If he can put it all together, he could be one of the game’s best.
- Mike Tomlin defends George Pickens despite Steelers sideline tantrum
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