Shannon Sharpe Feb 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; NFL former player Shannon Sharpe arrives on the red carpet prior to the 6th Annual NFL Honors at Wortham Theater. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens had a big night at the office. The former University of Georgia standout dealt with a week’s criticism against him. Several media members, including former Steelers defensive back Ryan Clark, questioned Pickens’ effort and intentions on the field. Former Steelers coach Bill Cowher also spoke on it, calling it a “bothersome” situation.

Pickens responded with a massive day with two touchdown passes and 195 yards on four receptions. He also clarified that he heard the chatter but wasn’t concerned.

Pro Football Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe was outspoken earlier this week about Pickens’ conduct. In Sharpe’s eyes, this performance changes nothing because “two things can be true.” Sharpe and Chad Ochocinco bantered about the performance on their show ‘Nightcap.’

“Two things can be true: George Pickens loaded on a block. This week, George Pickens had an incredible ball game,” Sharpe told Ochocinco. “You see how two things can be true? Just because he had an incredible ball game, that doesn’t negate what he didn’t do last week.”

The former Hall of Famer kept chatting with the former All-Pro receiver about it.

“As a receiver, you’re a receiver. We played a dependent position. We couldn’t throw ourselves the ball. We couldn’t call plays for ourselves. The only thing that we could control was our effort. How hard did you get in and out of that break? How hard did you get into that break? What did you do when you didn’t have the ball? The effort is the only thing as an athlete I can control. So that’s all I’m saying to George Pickens. There’s no denying his talent.”

Sharpe is correct in saying that this doesn’t negate what he did. But obviously, the story now is all about his performance Saturday night. This may only heighten things if things get hairy in the future because Sharpe doesn’t seem to be backing down from his stance.


About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022