PITTSBURGH — During Thursday night’s game against the Patriots, safety Miles Killebrew got a massive blocked punt that at least gave the Steelers a fighting chance. They would score a touchdown on the ensuing drive on a short field, cutting the Patriots lead to 21-18. Coming off a three penalty outing, Killebrew felt the weight off his shoulders.
Talking at his locker, he got emotional. Killebrew detailed a debilitating four days leading up to the game for him that ended up with multiple death threats coming his way from fans after the outing against Arizona. He wants to remind fans that athletes are human, and that death threats are not acceptable.
“I wish we could’ve done a little more. But hey, glory to God, I was able to get a block,” Killebrew said. “I was just telling James, I was fielding a bunch of hate mail and death threats three days ago, so it was nice to kind of flip the script a little bit. Obviously, I want to encourage my guys. Keep them together. We wanna do the most we can to win the game as far as special teams goes, and I think we left a little bit out there. A little meat on the bone, as coach likes to say. We’re gonna watch the film, figure out ways we can help us win the game.”
The Steelers and Killebrew did not do enough, but Killebrew juggled the threats all week. He made sure that his family was safe from all potential threats. He called it ‘part of the job,’ but it’s unacceptable for just that explanation. Killebrew says he would rather it be him as the target of ire than anyone else, but that the hate is too much.
“It’s part of the game,” Killebrew said. “But at the end of the day, we’re human, so I just want everybody to remember that. We’re trying to do our jobs and we’re trying to do it well. I love these guys, so if anyone’s gotta take them, I’d rather it be me.”
Killebrew, the Steelers’ special teams captain, has four punt blocks since joining the Steelers in 2021. That’s an impressive stat, and he had an off day against the Cardinals when he can usually boast himself as elite in that area.