There is no doubt that Pittsburgh Steelers rookie quarterback, Kenny Pickett is one of the most fiery competitors in the NFL. That fact had been evident to Steelers fans, players, and coaches throughout the preseason, and Pickett’s first regular season appearance in Week 4 against the New York Jets. However, now players from other teams are starting to take notice. Among those players are Denver Broncos legend and current Buffalo Bills linebacker, Von Miller, and Bills star wide receiver, Stefon Diggs.
ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 09: Kenny Pickett #8 of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at Highmark Stadium on October 09, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
In a recent episode of Miller’s The Voncast, he and Diggs took to complementing the competitive spirit displayed by Pickett during the Steelers Week 5 matchup with the Bills. The game in question had a few scuffles – which has seemed to become the norm for the frequent matchups between the two teams; but one moment in particular stood out to Miller and Diggs.
The play in question took place late in the fourth quarter, when the game was in essence, already decided. Pickett was rolling out of the pocket on 4th and 10 with less than two minutes to go in a game that was far out of reach, Pickett threw the ball away just before Bills’ defensive end, Shaq Lawson would make a diving attempt at Pickett, likely trying to pad his stats with an extra quarterback hit or sack.
Pickett, however, did not take very kindly to this action as Lawson landed directly on Pickett’s left knee and buckled it inward in a scary collision that could have ended Pickett’s rookie season, just as it was getting started. Almost immediately the Steelers young quarterback jumped up and gave his best attempt at shoving the 260 pound Lawson. As you could imagine, Lawson immediately struck back at Pickett, grabbing him by the facemask as Steelers offensive linemen tried to separate the two.
“I liked it… he not my quarterback though so he still the ops”
Kenny Pickett showed heart in the scuffle vs. the Bills pic.twitter.com/hV1VEjpA1b
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) October 12, 2022
It’s safe to say that many Steelers fans shortly after the game assumed that Bills players did not take too kindly to Pickett’s actions. Those fans, however (at least in the case of Miller and Diggs) would be mistaken. Surprisingly, the two Bills stars were actually giving credit to Pickett for sticking up for himself! It seems absurd that two players would commend the opposing quarterback for getting into it with their teammate, but that’s exactly what they did. Diggs even went as far as to say this about the scuffle:
“I liked it… that takes a lot of guts from a quarterback to push a d-lineman.”
The gravity of the respect of two bona fide superstars like Diggs and Miller is surely not lost on anybody, and it’s a testament to the way Pickett carries himself when guys like that come out and commend him publicly. That becomes more evident when you look at the way the Steelers offensive line came to his defense during not only that little dust-up, but also the previous brawl where Pickett was hit late by Bills rookie safety, Damar Hamlin (James Daniels promptly responded by nonchalantly tossing Hamlin to outer space, see here).
It’s one thing for the fans to take notice of Pickett and his ferocity, but it’s when it comes from an opposing player, that means a little bit more. With Pickett, it seems the more you “F around” the more you’re gonna find out, and that is a mentality that fits the mold of what the Steelers have been in the past, and are trying to be in the future. It will be interesting to see if Pickett’s fiery competitiveness will rub off on any other Steelers players in Week 6, as George Pickens and James Daniels were seemingly the only two offensive players that wanted to win on Sunday.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you think Kenny Pickett’s fieriness will be an asset going forward? Click to comment below!
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