MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The deciding plays in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 16-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday were two late-game interceptions out of the hand of rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett.
Pickett, the team’s first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, was inserted into the starting lineup in the middle of the team’s Week 4 loss to the New York Jets, and made his third start of the season against the Dolphins on Sunday.
Pickett has shown promise and the ability to move the offense, in spurts. But he’s also shown a propensity for negative plays that is all too common for rookie quarterbacks.
But his teammates are supporting him, even in the face of a strong relief performance from Mitch Trubisky in Week 12.
“He showed extreme confidence in himself, calm in the huddle, he directed us and put us in a position to score,” tight end Pat Freiermuth said. “No one is faulting Kenny for those two interceptions. I think that we should be in better position to make those plays for him. That’s Kenny. He’s going to be aggressive. Tonight, it backfired. But we have all the belief in Kenny that he’s going to make the right decisions.”
“We’re both rookies, so like, you can’t really expect nothing too crazy, but you also can’t expect to lose,” George Pickens said. “I feel like he fought.”
“I think he played a great game,” Chase Claypool said. “Social media, they might do what they do. But he doesn’t deserve it.”