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Listen to Steelers stadium erupt when fans realize Kenny Pickett is coming into the game (Video)


Acrisure Stadium erupted when the Steelers replaced Mitch Trubisky with Kenny Pickett against the New York Jets.

Trubisky had yet to prove himself through 3.5 games of football, and Mike Tomlin gave him every opportunity to do just that. Even a half of unpredictable football against the Jets left some doubt in the minds of Steelers fans as to whether or not Pickett would receive playing time.

But relent Tomlin finally did, and Pickett was inserted to start the second half. Pittsburgh faithful had been waiting for this moment for three long weeks — at points even making it brutally obvious with ‘Ke-nny’ chants. When Pickett went out to take his first NFL snaps, Acrisure Stadium gave him a standing ovation.

Steelers: Kenny Pickett comes in for Mitchell Trubisky

The first four plays of Pickett’s NFL career were all runs, including a quarterback sneak on fourth and 1. When Matt Canada finally opened up the playbook for Pickett on a play-action pass, he got a little too greedy.

It’s tough to put all the blame on Pickett there, but the ball was under-thrown. He gave his wide receiver a chance, and Chase Claypool couldn’t come through on a jump ball.

Shortly thereafter, Zach Wilson threw and interception to Minkah Fitzpatrick, who returned the ball inside the 10-yard line. Pickett notched his first NFL touchdown on a quarterback sneak to make up for the interception.

Had Pickett not played against the Jets, it’s unclear exactly when he would’ve received his first NFL action. Pittsburgh’s schedule is a gauntlet the next few weeks, as they travel to Buffalo and then play the Buccaneers and Dolphins. Perhaps Tomlin wanted to give the rookie a chance to prove himself against lesser competition in the Jets.

Pickett remains a rookie, and he will certainly make rookie mistakes. The interception was just one example. But at the very least, the Steelers are building for the future. It’s a good start.



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