George Pickens has been in the eye of the storm this week after he uploaded a controversial social media post to Instagram following a quiet performance against the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football. But the wide receiver on Wednesday tried to dispel any notion that he is unhappy in Pittsburgh as the Steelers prepare for an important game against the Green Bay Packers in Week 10.
Pickens claimed his frustration is not centered on anything related to football — after a two-catch, negative-1 yard night in an eventual victory against the Tennessee Titans. The second-year star further said he doesn’t mix football and social media, and the deletion of Steelers content from his Instagram page has nothing to do with his role in the team’s offense.
Pickens just “clearing out his page”
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Pickens said he simply wanted to “clear out” his cluttered Instagram grid — although the timing was suspicious, coming the day after the Steelers defeated the Titans 20-16 at Acrisure Stadium.
“It’s got nothing to do with the Steelers at all,” Pickens explained.
Pickens, who posted an Instagram story that said “free me,” also appeared frustrated that fellow receiver Diontae Johnson was the one who caught the eventual winning touchdown pass. But on Wednesday, Pickens said there was no way he could be upset at the play — it helped Pittsburgh win the game and improve to 5-3.
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A pebble in Tomlin’s shoe
Head coach Mike Tomlin hasn’t been distracted by the furor around Pickens and his future with the franchise. Although the star wideout unfollowed quarterback Kenny Pickett in addition to Tomlin, it doesn’t sound like the Steelers will be knocked off-course as they push for a surprise return to the playoffs.
“It is a pebble in my shoe,” Tomlin told the media about Pickens’ comments and social media activity.
The Steelers on Sunday wrap up a rare three-game homestand against the Packers, in a rematch of Super Bowl XLV. A win would push Pittsburgh to 6-3 on the season — and they will need to involve the explosive Pickens in the offense more as the second half of the campaign kicks off.