throw shade bro? WR George Pickens’ All-American practices were more difficult in college than they were with the Steelers

On Thanksgiving, the Pittsburgh Steelers held practice in preparation for Monday’s game in Indianapolis against the Colts before spending the rest of the afternoon and evening spending time with family and friends and celebrating the holiday.

Several Steelers were interviewed after practice, including WR George Pickens who came off a four-catch, 83-yard performance against the Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday where he also staggered a TD from Kenny Pickett.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Ray Fittipaldo, Pickens stated in the interview that he does not see practices at the NFL level as very difficult compared to the practices he had with his former teammates at the University of Georgia.

At first glance, that doesn’t seem like much because Georgia’s defense was loaded last season, shutting out opposing SEC offenses in a race to a national championship. However, when you look at the statement from the perspective of the Pittsburgh Steelers, it seems as if Pickens is saying that he believes the competition he faced in college was more difficult than what he currently sees on a regular basis in the league at practices with the Steelers.

Granted, NFL practices are more about maintenance and mental preparation rather than physically beating each other like they used to back when Jack Lambert and Joe Green played “Mean.” However, this can be seen as some shade thrown by Pickens in the context of comparing the level of competition and difficulty from the college game to the pro game.

If you investigate further, Pickens might have a point. Certainly, the Steelers boast Pro Bowl and All Pro players like Cam Heyward, TJ Watt, and Minkah Fitzpatrick on the defensive side of the ball that would be tough for any college program to compete with. However, if you look at it through the lens of Pickens and the defenders he had to face, he had Georgia S Lewis Cinema and CB Dereon Kendrick who are both currently in the league as well as CB Kelly Ringo and S Christopher Smith. This made the transition to the pros after this season.

Given that Ringo is considered one of the best prospects for a position in this recruiting class, Pickens’ fights with the first-round nominee may have been more challenging than those he’s had with Akilo Witherspoon, Levi Wallace and James Bearer so far in Pittsburgh. Pickens likely didn’t mean it as a shot at his current teammates, but may have been a shout out to the former Dawgs currently in the league and those looking to join him for Sunday play.

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