The Pittsburgh Steelers offense has struggled mightily just two weeks into the 2022 season. Despite having a talented set of wide receivers, quarterback, Mitch Trubisky and offensive coordinator, Matt Canada have struggled to get the ball to the playmakers. There’s no better example of that than rookie wide receiver, George Pickens.
In his first two professional games, Pickens has just two catches for 26 yards. Despite the lack of stats reflecting it, he’s still been able to get open at a consistent rate. In fact, Pickens thinks he’s been open on nearly every play in the first two weeks. On Tuesday, Mark Kaboly of The Athletic asked Pickens how often he thinks he’s getting open and the rookie WR said:
“I’d say about 90% of the time. I say that because I am a big guy who runs low 4.4s. I am always going to have a step,” Pickens said via Kaboly’s tweet.
Pickens believes all of the wide receivers are getting open, not just him. Canada admitted that the offense needs to get their talented rookie the ball more moving forward. While that may point to a problem of the quarterback, he made sure that’s not where the full blame should be directed to. Timing is something that he kept referring back to, as Trubisky and some of the wideouts just don’t seem to be on the same page right now.
As a newcomer in the offense, as well as for Pickens, it simply takes time to get used to each other. In a short week like this one, as the team travels to Cleveland for Week 3, it may be difficult to get any better at that timing issue. In order for a pass to be completed, it’s a whole chain effect as Pickens referred to. It begins with the play-calling, and then is on the quarterback and receiver to convert. Trubisky’s lack of aggressiveness thus far in 2022 seemingly has a lot to do with Pickens’ minimal production. In his press conference on Monday, head coach Mike Tomlin pointed out that Trubisky needs to be more aggressive.
Despite just six total targets, the 2022 second-rounder has still played a majority of the snaps to begin the season. In the Week 1 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, he played 45 snaps (71%). That number increased in Week 2 against the New England Patriots, as he played 85% of the team’s offensive snaps (50). A breakout against the Cleveland Browns this week couldn’t come at a better time, as the offense desperately needs it. A win would push the Steelers to 2-0 in the AFC North already, both of which will have come on the road.
Yinz, do you think Trubisky/Canada need to make sure to get the ball to Pickens more? Do you think any blame should be placed on the rookie WR for his lack of stats to show for in the first 2 weeks? What do you expect out of him this Thursday? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below, and be sure to interact with our social media sites as well!
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