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What Went Wrong on the Sack That Injured Kenny Pickett?



Kenny Pickett

PITTSBURGH — The first drive of the Steelers loss to the Baltimore Ravens went disastrous. After a drive that saw Kenny Pickett pick up a first down with his legs to start the game, it ended up with Pickett in the medical tent and out for the rest of the game in concussion protocol.

So, in came Mitch Trubisky. But what happened on that sack by Roquan Smith that left Kenny Pickett dazed and out for the rest of the game? The Ravens showed a double A-gap pressure where they ‘mugged’ the gaps. That simply means that showed blitz to both sides of the center, and they intended to blitz both of those inside linebackers.

While some are calling the hit a penalty, there is no doubt that something went wrong up front. Kevin Dotson and Dan Moore slide left while the rest of the line slides right. Meanwhile, Queen gets through untouched. Pickett somehow gets away, but because Cole had to try to save the play, Smith gets by and both players get to Pickett in the end.

So, in reality, what went wrong here? Steelers Now talked to Dotson about what the original call was for the offensive line. And it seems that the Ravens did a bit of trickeration on film that messed up the slide protection and the read for Dotson. Dotson and the line thought one of Queen or Smith would drop back, so when both came, the protection call was completely messed up on the Steelers’ end.

“Yeah, it was a miscommunication,” Dotson said. “Stuff like that happens sometimes. We weren’t expecting them back out when you dummy calls and things like that. It didn’t pan out how we expected it to.”

The calls up front called for the Steelers offensive line to slide left aside from Moore, who was supposed to kick out an watch the end from the backside of the play. With Dotson sliding left to thinking that the blitz was a dummy call and that it was not coming, it allowed the free blitzers to come through the A-gap. As such, Pickett could not even get into his drop in order to make a play. It ended with him getting thrown to the turf, and exiting the contest.

“That’s pretty much what happened,” Dotson said. “It was the wrong call for the wrong call. What I did was wrong, so I could’ve come in there and helped. It would’ve been a better play.”

Dotson and the Steelers’ offensive line are not happy about what transpired on the hit. When in the locker room, the offensive line wore their heads low and it seemed to go beyond just the loss that made them feel apathetic to the game and the performance. Against Carolina, they will look to bounce back in a big way.

Pickett’s status for Pittsburgh’s matchup down in Carolina is yet to be determined. If he can not go, the Steelers will turn to Mitch Trubisky yet again. With Pickett suffering his second concussion this season, Pittsburgh will likely have to take it cautiously in regard to his health.


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