Mike Tomlin minimizes George Pickens’ playing offensively for the first time

Mike Tomlin wants to diffuse the positive press that George Pickens has received for his preseason work with the Steelers.

The young offensive talent on the Steelers has received a lot of attention leading up to the preseason. Pittsburgh’s biggest surprise has likely been wide receiver George Pickens.

Naturally, head coach Mike Tomlin has little interest in praising his new playmaker until the games start to matter.

The good news for Pickens is that early in the preseason, Tomlin already has him labeled as a first-string wide receiver. The former Georgia star’s bad news is that Tomlin doesn’t put much effort into creating depth charts in August.

When asked if Pickens being listed as a starter was a “testament” to his performance during the preseason, the seasoned head coach replied cynically that it was just a result of having to submit a depth chart. In other words, Steelers supporters shouldn’t be too excited about Pickens’ potential contributions come Week 1.

George Pickens is playing offensively for the first time for the Steelers because Mike Tomlin had to publish a depth chart, according to the coach

On the other hand, Pickens does have a fantastic chance to secure a spot in the Steelers’ offense’s starting lineup for the regular season.

For Tomlin, Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson are guaranteed starters, but the third receiver slot is undoubtedly open. If Pickens wants to claim that position for himself, he only needs to hold off opponents like Anthony Miller and Calvin Austin.

When the regular season starts, the bigger concern for Pittsburgh will be who will be tasked with passing to Pickens and his teammates.

On the team’s current depth chart, Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph are both listed above rookie Kenny Pickett. It won’t be long until Ben Pickett has the opportunity to succeed him as Roethlisberger’s long-term replacement.

For the foreseeable future, Steelers supporters can count on Tomlin to continue to minimize Pickens’ performance. He absolutely does not want another diva wide receiver to emerge under his leadership. The seasoned head coach of the Steelers will continue to place a high premium on controlling Pickens’ ego.