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George Pickens and company need to beware the hockey tactics

A major talking point among the Pittsburgh Steelers fan base and media this past week have been the penalties which were thrown on the team’s wide receivers for taunting. Both Diontae Johnson and George Pickens were flagged for taunting on two separate occasions, and it has many wondering what the future will hold for these receivers.

What will the future hold? For Pickens, he can expect more of the same, and by the same I’m talking about the tactics by the opposition to get him out of character.

After the game, when addressing the media as a whole, Pickens was asked about what the Rams did to get him into the taunting penalty. According to Pickens, the Rams defensive backs were doing things intentionally get under his skin.

Here’s what he said after the game:

“A game like this showed me they are looking for me for trying to mess up.” Pickens said to the media. “Guys are trying to antagonize me more. Today is the first day I’ve seen anything like that. Guys trying to get me out of the game, or get under my skin deliberately. All I can say is keep fighting hard, that’s all you can do in football.”

What exactly did they do to get Pickens to react the way he did?

“Blatant stuff. Pushing me to the ground. Stuff you have to not respond to, but turn around and look to see who did what.” said Pickens.

To hear his full interview, watch the video below:

If you are a hockey fan, you likely are very familiar with these type of tactics. To give you a good example, I’ll harken back to the late 2000s when the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals were not just bitter rivals, but also highlighted on a “Hard Knocks” type show leading up to their Winter Classic clash at Heinz Field.

At one point, then coach Bruce Boudreau was talking to his Capital players about how to play the Penguins two superstars: Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Boudreau talked about how the team can’t crack Crosby. He’s too mentally strong to retaliate. However, when it came to Malkin, the game plan was simple: Hit him often, even late, because he’ll get himself into the penalty box.

It was a game plan.

With Pickens falling for some of the Rams’ chatter, and extracurricular activities, don’t be shocked to see other teams try and get the young receiver to fall for more taunting penalties. Don’t think this will happen? We clearly don’t watch the same league.

With the Steelers’ offense as fragile as it currently is, there is no doubt the team, and mainly the receiving corps, will have to have some thicker skin in the coming weeks. Until they prove to the league they won’t play with pure emotion, but also carry a level-headed approach which won’t see the team suffering 15-yard penalties.

Will the Steelers receivers learn their lesson? We’ll find out soon enough, as the chatter through the media has already begun between the Steelers and Jaguars.

Be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news as they prepare for Week 8 of the regular season.


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