Coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers (left) and quarterback Kenny Pickett of the Steelers (right).
This week, quarterback Kenny Pickett of the Pittsburgh Steelers made headlines across the country for his reaction to defensive lineman Quinnen Williams’ hit during last Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.
To complete a pass down the middle to tight end Pat Freiermuth on the aforementioned play, Pickett took a significant hit from the 300-pounder, but he still got up smiling and jawing with Jets defenders.
Kenny Pickett of the #Steelers quarterback gave me life with this entire sequence. he takes the big shot and completes it over the middle. The swagger he has to smile at Quinnen Williams after the shot, talk trash, and play with that edge is what I adore the most, though. The “It” factor pic.twitter.com/TmCwMyOmpq
— Josh Carney (@ByJoshCarney) October 5, 2022
Earlier this week, when recounting the incident to the media, Pickett said he couldn’t exactly recall what was said during that particular exchange.
“Man, I can’t remember; I like to have a good time. The entire game, Quinnen Williams and I spoke. While it may appear that we are smack talking at times, we are actually just playing. He is a fantastic player. I enjoy competing against the best, so I’m eager to play against one of the best again,” he added, likely alluding to this weekend’s game against the top-ranked defense of the Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills, who are giving up just 234.5 yards per game on average.
Notably, Pickett’s actions are nothing new. He started his first full season at Pitt, where he played college football, when a comparable incident occurred. Kenny Pickett, the Steelers’ trash-talking Goliath-slayer, is prepared for his moment, according to a new article in The Athletic. One of Pitt’s offensive linemen recalled Pickett’s reaction after being tackled by UCF’s nose tackle in a game in 2018.
Before I could help him up, Kenny appeared and started yelling at the child while talking smack. Jimmy Morrissey, a former center for Pittsburgh, said, “Like, you know, certain words that you can’t say in an article.
Kenny Pickett Likes to Trash-Talk With Mike Tomlin
At this week’s mid-week press conference, Pickett also talked about how much he likes to trash talk during practice.
“I’d say being on the scout team wasn’t always the most enjoyable experience, but I’m competitive. Since I’m not the nicest person, I tend to say some things, but everything is fine. I enjoy competition,” he continued, before acknowledging that he has no qualms about giving everything he has, even if it comes from Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.
“We would go back and forth,” Pickett recalled of his trash-talking sessions with Tomlin while he was recently the quarterback of the scout team.
He would chirp at me a bit if the defense made a good play. I’d ask if he was at practice that day because if I made a big play, I wouldn’t hear him very much. It excelled. It was a fantastic environment for competition, he said.
Cam Heyward: Mike Tomlin Targets Chris Boswell, Too, with Trash Talk
Of course, Pickett is not the only Steelers player to encounter Mike Tomlin’s sarcastic remarks during practice.
All Steelers players are susceptible to Tomlin’s jabs, but kicker Chris Boswell hears it more than anyone else, according to Steelers captain Cam Heyward, who made the revelation earlier this year.
Boz is very good at it, says Heyward. “Mike T. is constantly bringing up (Justin) Tucker. Tucker is 1A, Boz, you’re 1B, he says, referring to the All-Pro placekicker for Baltimore.
Heyward adds, “But Boz always backs it up. “Yeah, but you got me, though,” he says.
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