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Time for Steelers WR George Pickens to Take Step in Maturity

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a talented wide receiver, but there have been moments where you question his attitude.

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens spent his college years at Georgia showing that he can be a top-tier player. His rookie year in the NFL provided highlight-reel after highlight-reel catch. The first game of his sophomore season in the NFL wasn't gaudy, according to the stat sheet. However, he made a sweet one-handed grab along the sidelines in the end zone that would've been a highlight-reel play had he brought it down inbounds.

His play certainly isn't going to be called into question. He's proven time and time again he can be an elite receiver in the National Football League. The 1.issue - his Instagram name that has been called into question over the last 36 hours - is that he can display diva-like qualities at times.

For some reason, receivers are the most diva-like position across the sport. The Steelers have seen their fair share of receivers cause issues for the team, from when Martavis Bryant dominated secondaries only to have his bouts with the substance abuse program to Antonio Brown clowning his way to an early retirement. Pickens is no exception.

Far too often last season, Pickens was seen on the sidelines pouting to himself or anyone who would listen. He had another incident on the sidelines Sunday where he was throwing a bit of a tantrum. All of this because he came away with just five catches for 36 yards Sunday in the blowout loss to the 49ers.

Look, I tend to agree that the second-year receiver should be more involved in the game plan. The fact that Diontae Johnson will likely miss some time makes Pickens the de facto number one option in the passing game. He is capable of being such a weapon for the Steelers, and they need to scheme him some more plays.

This doesn't mean, however, that every time he doesn't get a ball on an offensive drive he should be angrily taking off his helmet and subsequently pouting on the bench. That kind of stuff is inexcusable.

That isn't even to mention the saga of him "liking" a comment on Instagram throwing shade at Kenny Pickett. I believe that you can certainly like a post on accident. If Pickens came out and said that his "like" happened on accident, not too many people would likely believe him. But that's got to be better than trying to cover up the incident and play it off like you've got no idea what happened.

Aside from his college injury, Pickens had some small character issues after being drafted. Nothing that was a complete red flag, but the "all about me" attitude would certainly point to those issues potentially being a problem in the NFL.

Mike Tomlin has spent his career keeping the locker room together. He juggled the likes of Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell at the same time. Tomlin kept the team together last season after a 1-4 start. He's the ultimate rah-rah guy and has a knack for keeping guys believing and staying on the same page.

Hopefully, Pickens' Sunday was just a rash of frustration in a game that no one came away happy about, save for maybe T.J. Watt. I would like to think that is going to be the case as Pickens should see plenty of targets with Johnson likely on the shelf. The pattern of immaturity has become a bit of a problem, however, and undoubtedly needs to be monitored as the season trudges on.

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