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George Pickens blames play-calling for lack of production

The second-year receiver has had a frustrating stretch of games

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers were excited about the potential of second-year receiver George Pickens entering this season after a breakout rookie year. Unfortunately for the Georgia product, year two hasn’t gone exactly as planned.

Pickens has been the focal point of criticism this season for his emotions getting the best of him. His body language against the New England Patriots after a failed fourth-down conversion in the red zone was a talking point amongst Steelers fans, as was his lackluster stat line. Pickens had five receptions for just 19 yards against the Patriots.

When asked about his production, Pickens took aim that the play-calling.

“I can’t really produce when [I am] running five yard routes, three yard routes,” Pickens said.

Pickens route tree showed the vast majority of his routes were all in the shallow portion of the field against New England. This won’t help the public image of Pickens, who has already been under fire from fans this year for various reasons.

He cleared his Instagram of anything Steelers related earlier this season, which prompted rumors that he wanted out of Pittsburgh. Penalties were also an issue, especially against the Rams where a crackback block cost the Steelers a big gain.