Steelers News

‘No One Batted An Eye’ After Negated TD, Pickett Says: ‘Just Play The Next Play’

The Pittsburgh Steelers are getting a decent look at their next potential franchise quarterback this preseason in rookie first-round pick Kenny Pickett—even if he doesn’t begin the season as the starter. He is looking the part, looking comfortable, and showing the ability to shake things off. Like when he throws a touchdown that doesn’t count.

Pickett already has three touchdowns on a total of seven offensive possessions over the course of the first two preseason games this year, all of them off the end of his arm—two of them to running backs. Last night’s score came to Benny Snell Jr. out in the flat, but not before finding Diontae Johnson in the end zone first.

Looking at 1st and 10 from the 11, Pickett found the Pro Bowl wide receiver open off of a well-run post pattern from the left side, beating and going over the defensive back for six. But offsetting penalties, including an offensive holding call on left tackle Dan Moore Jr., forced a replay of the down. They bounced right back and scored the next play.

We had a touchdown and got it called back. No one batted an eye. We just got the next play. Definitely happy with the execution there”, Pickett told reporters in the locker room after the game, via the team’s website. Explaining what gives him the poise to bounce back so easily, he credited his college experience.

“Just play the next play. It was something that Coach [Mark] Whipple taught me back in college”, he said. “Just short memory, play the next play, and that’s what we did, and we got in the end zone”.

That play gave the Steelers a temporary 7-6 lead just before halftime, the second time in three opportunities that Pickett was able to get the offense into the end zone under two-minute conditions, although the other opportunity resulted in a turnover on downs.

For most, I believe, the biggest quality that they have seen from Pickett has been his ability to handle the game itself. He looks comfortable on the stage and within the in-game adversity with which he has been presented.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t still major challenges he has yet to face, but nothing in his performance nor what we know of his makeup indicates that he will shrink from any of it, even if he has periods in which he struggles.

The Kenny Pickett hype train is certainly growing, even if it will likely have to wait before it can truly leave the station. But when it does, there will be plenty on board, and it will be because of qualities displayed in moments like his consecutive touchdown passes at the end of the first half of last night’s game.

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