Steelers fans shower Kenny Pickett with cheers on dramatic debut

Fans in Pittsburgh are already chanting Kenny Pickett’s name.

Locked into a three-way league to be named the successor to retired Ben Roethlisberger as the Steelers’ starting quarterback, Pickett enjoyed a strong preseason debut on Saturday night with a game-winning touchdown pass with three seconds left in a 32. -25 win over the Seahawks.

Pickett, the 20th overall draft pick from nearby Pitt, is battling for the runway with Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph as free agents. The rookie completed 13 of 15 passes for 95 yards in the second half with two touchdowns, including Tyler Vaughns’ 24-yard score in the closing seconds.

“Really, all night was special,” Pickett said after the game, according to the Pittsburgh Tribine-Review. “The first I had as an NFL player, to finish it that way in that stadium with a lot of family and friends there, it was amazing.”

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said the opener was “a good first time for all three” quarterbacks, with Trubisky and Rudolph each throwing a touchdown pass in the first half.

But many fans at Acrisure Stadium made their feelings known with multiple chants of “Kenny” during Pickett’s time on the field.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t” [hear it]’ said Picket. “It was an incredible feeling. It was very cool. It was special.”

Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett celebrates after throwing a touchdown on Saturday.
Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett celebrates after throwing a touchdown on Saturday.
AP
Kenny Pickett slams fans' hands after the Steelers' victory over the Seahawks on Saturday.
Kenny Pickett slams fans’ hands after the Steelers’ victory over the Seahawks on Saturday.
Getty Images

“He moved his group, he played situational football and he showed competitive spirit,” Tomlin added. “Lots of good things to build on.”

Roethlisberger, a six-time Pro Bowler, was the Steelers starter for 18 seasons, leading the team to two Super Bowl titles after three appearances in the championship game.

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