It’s still early in the 2022 season but there is already some small, building tensions within the Pittsburgh Steelers. Namely, from the offensive side of the game.
In the preseason, George Pickens took the NFL by storm early with his circus catches and abilities that justified a near consensus first-round grade. Despite falling into the second round. So much so that he and teammate Kenny Pickett were the early season betting favorites to win Offensive Rookie of the Year, according to Caesar’s Sportsbook.
However, through the first two games, Pickens only has two catches on six targets for 26 yards. Even though Pickens is insistent that he is constantly getting open.
While not necessarily direct, this is possibly a shot at starting QB Mitchell Trubisky. Trubisky is only completing 59.2% of his passes and has the rookie Pickett standing right behind his shoulder. Despite Trubisky having a “long leash” on the season.
In fact, head coach Mike Tomlin recently said the Steelers are not yet at the point where a change of quarterback needs to be made.
“… The difference between success and failure are small things. It’s understanding. Its cohesion. It’s playmaking. When it’s things of that nature, when it’s a small number of tangible things that you can point to, then you proceed, and you continue to grow and develop. When it’s multiple things, when it’s popcorn, then that’s a different suggestion or a different story. What I’m seeing to this point are singular, tangible, minute things, and so that just tells you to keep your head down, have a certain collective resolve about your approach to business in spite of outcome, in spite of outside noise or what have you and get better.”
Pickett developed a good connection with Pickens in the preseason. To the point that many believed the Pittsburgh Steelers would opt-in for both rookies to be starters by or near the start of the season. Even with coach Tomlin’s confidence in Trubisky.
Again, it’s still early. However, frustration can build like a fire and only get hotter if not treated.
Trubisky is still the starter and wants to get Pickens involved more. Only time will tell if this is true and these frustrations build itself more and more within the offense.
Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports