Steelers OC opens up about George Pickens drama

Much-maligned Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada spoke with reporters during a Thursday news conference regarding any lingering drama involving second-year wide receiver George Pickens. 

“Obviously, he wants to — he’s a super talent,” Canada said about Pickens, per Myles Simmons of Pro Football Talk. “He wants the ball. Everybody who plays football at a skill position wants the ball, and they want the ball more. I don’t think you’d find anybody anywhere that doesn’t. We’re in a great spot with that. We’ll continue to go, continue to find ways to win.” 

Pickens seemed visibly annoyed during Pittsburgh’s 20-16 win over the Tennessee Titans on Nov. 2 and then scrubbed Steelers references from his Instagram page before he restored some team-related content to the platform. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin called the matter “a pebble in my shoe” earlier in the week, and Pickens said Wednesday his recent social-media activities had “nothing to do with the” club. 

Pickens recorded three catches for 21 yards and a touchdown over Pittsburgh’s past two games. He tallied two receptions for minus-one yard against Tennessee. 

“Obviously, GP is an unbelievable talent, has had some great games this year and has drawn a lot of attention,” Canada added. “If you look at the attention he’s drawn the last couple weeks, especially on Thursday, what happened? The run game opened up. Why? Because there’s two guys on George almost every play…We can’t let him just be minimized completely. That’s a balance there. We understand both sides of that.”

ESPN stats show Pickens leads the Steelers with 30 receptions, 58 targets, 521 receiving yards and three touchdown catches on the season. His next opportunity to contribute will come when the 5-3 Steelers host the 3-5 Green Bay Packers on Sunday. 

As of Friday afternoon, oddschecker listed the Steelers as 3.5-point home favorites against the Packers. 

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