Playing to win: The Steelers pulled off a fantastic finish in their preseason opener, defeating the Seattle Seahawks 32-25 in an exciting game at Acrisure Stadium.
The Steelers turned the ball over on downs with 1:17 to play when Kenny Pickett was sacked on fourth-and-one. The defense came through on the next play when Mark Robinson recorded a strip-sack of Drew Lock and Tuzar Skipper recovered.
Pickett took over with 1:10 to play, leading the Steelers on a five-play, 43-yard drive that he capped with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Vaughns while getting hit.
"I don't care what time of year it is, we play and play to win," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "I appreciate the group's efforts, particularly a lot of the young guys. We held a lot of guys out. It created an awesome play opportunity for guys, not only in terms of play making and so forth, but just displaying conditioning and seeing if they're capable of playing with detail as fatigue and so forth sets in.
"A lot of awesome efforts. We'll comb through this. It's big. A lot of good effort. Some things to learn from, some positive things, some negative things. That's probably the nature of the first week out. It's good to learn those lessons and explore those things with a win."
Moving the unit: During his press conference in advance of the Seahawks game, Tomlin said one of the key factors he wanted to see from the three quarterbacks was how they moved their unit.
Rookie Kenny Pickett completed 13 of 15 passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns, a quarterback rating of 132.6, and Tomlin noted that he liked the way he moved the unit.
"He moved his group," said Tomlin. "He played situational football. He displayed a competitive spirit. A lot of good things to build on from a first performance standpoint."
Mitch Trubisky, who started the game, finished completing four of seven passes for 63 yards and a touchdown, for a quarterback rating of 126.8, while Mason Rudolph completed nine of 15 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown, a 100.1 quarterback rating.
"I could say the same thing about all three, to be honest with you," said Tomlin. "They moved their units. They did the informal things associated with the position from a leadership and communication standpoint. They were engaged. It was a good first time out for all three. We'll comb through it tomorrow and evaluate it in that way."
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Welcome home: The crowd at Acrisure Stadium was fired up on Saturday night, giving the Steelers a homefield advantage and energy that Tomlin loved.
"I'd just like to thank the fans," said Tomlin. "They were really into it' and we appreciate their presence, creating the type of atmosphere that we desire here. That was good to get back in front of them."
Injury update: The Steelers came out of Saturday night's game relatively injury-free, with Karl Joseph suffering an ankle injury that is being evaluated.
Tomlin also said receivers Anthony Miller (shoulder) and Calvin Austin III didn't play because of injuries suffered late in the week.
"You guys didn't see us work on Friday, so Calvin Austin had a foot injury that didn't allow him to play," said Tomlin. "We'll evaluate him and hopefully he'll get back to it sooner rather than later but don't have a lot of details in that regard."