Pittsburgh Steelers Fans Get What They Want in Kenny Pickett
Marketing is not something that the Steelers need to worry about. The Steelers have sold every home game since 1972, and there is still a waiting list for fans who wish to purchase season tickets.
However, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin offered his fans what they wanted during the second half Sunday’s 24-20 defeat to the New York Jets at Acrisure Stadium.
Tomlin replaced Mitch Trubisky, the starting quarterback of his team, with their score at 10-6. Rookie Kenny Pickett made it to the NFL with a debut on the field. The crowd of 66 578 cheered his arrival and roared in approval as he ran onto the field.
Tomlin stated, “We just thought that we needed a spark.”
Pickett is clearly the choice of the people. Pickett won the hearts of the community during his five seasons as a quarterback at Pitt. The stadium also houses a training facility and Acrisure Stadium.
His college career culminated in Pitt winning its first ever ACC championship. Pickett placed third in the Heisman Trophy balloting.
Pickett was selected by General Manager Kevin Colbert as his last first-round draft selection before he retired in April. Pickett was the quarterback selected in Round One, and since then fans have been calling for Pickett to be the starter.
In March, Trubisky was signed by the Steelers to a $14-million two-year contract. Eigentlich, Trubisky was hired to be the QB1 link between Pickett and Ben Roethlisberger. He retired last season after 18 seasons with the Steelers.
It remains to be determined if the bridge was completed Sunday. Pickett’s performance was mixed with good as the Steelers lost to 1-3.
Tomlin did not respond to a question about Pickett’s participation against the Buffalo Bills at Orchard Park.
Tomlin stated, “We did everything we had to do to be in a position to win this match.” We’ll do it again. But I prefer to keep it at the present moment in terms of what happened here today. Next week, we’ll be addressing that.”
Pickett was not without his moments. He became the first quarterback to rush two touchdowns in his NFL debut. With 13:36 left, his second touchdown put the Steelers up 20-10.
Pickett also completed 10 passes for 120 yards. His three incomplete passes for 120 yards all led to interceptions, which helped the Jets overcome a double-digit deficit.
With 3:34 remaining, Michael Carter II made the second of three picks and gave the Jets control at their 35 yard line. They trailed 20-17. Zach Wilson marched New York for the winning touchdown in 10 plays, covering 65 yards.
Breece Hall’s 2-yard run ended the drive with 16 seconds left and made it 24-20. Pickett attempted one more desperate heave from Steelers’ 48 but it was stopped by Lamarcus Joyner in end zone.
Pickett was described by Tomlin as “I thought that he did some positive things.” Pickett was a good example of energy. We scored some touchdowns. We also lost the ball.
Pickett acknowledged that it was thrilling to make his debut, and he appreciated the support from the crowd.
He was not happy with the interceptions. During his last college season, he was only intercepted seven times in 497 attempts.
The 24-year-old didn’t like losing.
Pickett described the emotions of being on the field for the first-ever regular season game. “But the only thing that I am thinking about is winning out here.” I tried to stay in tune with the game and what was needed to win, but that didn’t work.
“So, it is something I need to quickly learn and fix for when my next opportunity might come.
This opportunity could come to Buffalo. It could also not.
Pickett stated, “I haven’t been told anything.”