What's Happening: Pickett receives rookie honor

QB1 receives rookie honor: Quarterback Kenny Pickett was presented with the PNC Bank Joe Greene Great Performance Award at halftime, given annually to the team's rookie of the year. Pickett was the 2022 winner of the honor, voted on by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America.

No rookie played a more significant role than quarterback Kenny Pickett, the Steelers No. 1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft out of the University of Pittsburgh.

"I want to thank PNC for this honor. I don't take it lightly," said Pickett at halftime. "I want to thank Mr. (Art) Rooney, Kevin (Colbert), Omar (Khan) and Coach (Mike) Tomlin for giving me the opportunity to be a Steeler and stay in Pittsburgh. I want to thank my coaches, teammates, and my family who is here. I appreciate all the support throughout my life and last season. And finally, thank you to the fans. I can't wait to play for you again this season.

"Go Steelers."

Pickett stepped in as the team's quarterback at halftime of the Week 4 game against the New York Jets and never looked back.

He completed 245 of 389 pass attempts for 2,404 yards and seven touchdowns in 13 games, starting 12 of them. He has also carried the ball 55 times for 237 yards and three touchdowns, including mastering the quarterback sneak.

The other thing he mastered is fourth quarter game-winning drives, coming through with back-to-back efforts in Week 16 and Week 17. In doing so, Pickett became the first rookie in NFL history to have a game-winning touchdown pass in the final minute in back-to-back games.

In Week 16, Pickett led the Steelers to a 13-10 win over the Raiders on a fourth quarter drive that ended with a 14-yard touchdown pass to George Pickens. The Steelers got the ball back with 2:55 on the clock and down 10-6, when Pickett engineered a 10-play, 76-yard drive, completing seven passes for 75 yards and on fourth-and-one getting the yard himself on a quarterback sneak to set up the touchdown.

Against the Ravens in Week 17, Pickett took the Steelers on an 11-play, 80-yard drive, in 3:20 that culminated in a 10-yard touchdown pass to Najee Harris. He showed veteran poise, with no panic at all, completing a 20-yard pass to tight end Pat Freiermuth and a 28-yard strike to Steven Sims on the drive.

The Joe Greene Great Performance Award was established in 1984 and named after the legendary Hall of Famer.

The winners are: The recipients of the 2023 Art Rooney Scholarship were recognized pregame, with Pat Rooney-Gerrero, granddaughter of Art Rooney Sr. and daughter of Dan Rooney Sr., on hand to honor the winners.

The three winners are Rigel Everett Weakland (unable to attend) from North Catholic High School who will attend Penn State University and major in Engineering, and Rooney Scholars of the Pittsburgh Promise Brianna Starkey from Perry High School, who will attend Indiana University of Pennsylvania and major in Nursing, and Kenian Williams, also from Perry High School, who will attend CCAC and major in Business and Political Science.

Kicks for a cause: The annual United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania Kick Off event took place at halftime of tonight's game against the Bills at Acrisure Stadium, and it was field goals that were the primary goal for the fundraising endeavor.

Three kickers from area companies, including representatives from Bayer, Elliott Group and Massaro Construction Group, competed in the contest.

It was Elliott Group who won and earned the honor of presenting a $10,000 check to the United Way to kick off their campaign. Pittsburgh Based Acrisure Partner Elliot Dinkin also presented a matching contribution of $10,000 from Acrisure to the United Way.

Family affair: The Steelers will celebrate Family Day during the game with activities throughout Acrisure Stadium.

Steely McBeam and other area mascots will be on hand. There will be face painting and interactive games for fans of all ages. Live music and food trucks will be available to enjoy.

Welcome back: The Steelers extended a special welcome home to Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin during pregame introductions on Saturday night at Acrisure Stadium.

While opposing teams are normally introduced as one, Hamlin was acknowledged and welcomed in front of his hometown crowd.

The McKees Rocks, Pa. native and former University of Pittsburgh has made an amazing return to the field after he suffered cardiac arrest against the Cincinnati Bengals on national television.

A look at player arrivals before the Steelers' Week 2 preseason game vs. the Buffalo Bills

Twirl the Towel: The Terrible Towel Twirl will by the Moon Area Girls Flag Football Team as a part of the celebration of youth football.

Enter early: Heinz Field Management and the Pittsburgh Steelers are reminding fans to enter the stadium early to ensure they will not miss kickoff.

Fireworks, which will be presented by Zambelli Fireworks, will be set off an hour prior to kickoff and 30 minutes prior to kickoff to serve as reminders for fans to enter Acrisure Stadium so they will not miss all of the pregame activities, including Steelers introductions and kickoff.

Fans are also being reminded of the mobile ticketing process in place at Heinz Field starting this year. Prior to coming to Acrisure Stadium, fans should:

• Save their mobile tickets to the digital wallet on their smartphone.

• Make sure their phones are fully charged.

Quicker entry: Acrisure Stadium will deploy next generation security screening at stadium gates this season. This technology will expedite fan entry into the stadium. Guests approaching the gates, will be instructed not to remove any items from clear bags or pockets and walk through the security screening system while following the instructions of Acrisure Stadium Team Members.


What's new at Acrisure Stadium: Check out all of the delicious food offerings, including new options, at Acrisure Stadium.

Find out where to find your favorite game day treats here: Acrisure Stadium Food Options.