Something new we’ll do daily for Steelers Depot. A quick hit of some Pittsburgh Steelers and Steelers-related stories that may not require a complete and dedicated article but nuggets worth mentioning and passing on to you guys. The same as our recent Depot Daily but now late at night to better capture the news of the day.
Your Depot After Dark for Sept. 27th.
Texans Praise Pickens
During a Wednesday press conference with Houston media, Texans first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans praised Steelers WR George Pickens and the big plays he’s capable of making.
“Pickens is a big-time playmaker,” Ryans said via the team’s YouTube channel. “You turn on the tape, he pops off the tape, right? Big time, explosive playmaker. We have our challenges there. But credit to him and the plays that he’s made, the quarterback, putting the ball out there. They’ve taken a couple shots and they’ve connected on a lot of them and his speed after the catch and just his home run ability is definitely a problem for us, and we know we’ll have eyes on him.”
Through three games, Pickens leads the Steelers in targets (23), receptions (13), yards (238), and yards per catch (18.3). With WR Diontae Johnson out, teams have been rotating coverage and doubling Pickens more often, forcing him to win in ways other than just downfield. But he’s always a threat if he gets the right matchup.
Pickett’s Improbable Completions
NextGen Stats tracks the completion probability of every throw in the league. For Sunday night’s win over the Las Vegas Raiders, it ranked Kenny Pickett’s three most “improbable” completions. They were:
1. 72-yard TD to Calvin Austin III (48.4 percent chance of completion)
2. Third-Down Conversion To George Pickens (36.6 percent chance of completion)
3. Sideline Throw to Allen Robinson II (23.5 percent chance of completion)
Click below to view all three plays yourself. It’s obviously a little granular and stat-heavy that ultimately doesn’t mean much except in the case of super unlikely catches but for stats nerds, here you go.
Kelce Responds To Heyward’s Tweet
Sitting on an emergency-landed plane stuck in Kansas City, Steelers’ DT Cam Heyward tweeted out to Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift for some help. Neither came to the rescue but on the latest episode of the Kelce brother’s New Heights podcast, Travis did respond to Heyward’s message.
“Dang, man, if you would’ve gave me a text, I’d have made sure I had some barbecue for the boys, man,” Kelce said. “Barbecue and beers waiting for after a big win over the Raiders. Help us out in that division.”
Kelce praised the Steelers for being a tough team to earn a road win against the Raiders on a short week. With Las Vegas’ loss, Kansas City remains in clear first place in the AFC West at 2-1.
Bettis Thanks Roethlisberger
At the end of his guest appearance on Ben Roethlisberger’s Footbahlin podcast that aired Sunday, Jerome Bettis heaped praise on Roethlisberger for his touchdown-saving tackle of Indianapolis Colts’ DB Nick Harper in the 2004 Divisional Game.
Roethlisberger jokingly asked Bettis for the best tackle he ever saw by a QB. Bettis exclaimed back that it was Ben and the tackle saved him from working at a 7-11 the rest of his career.
Bettis expanded on that moment, which you can read about here.
Watt Tops Pressures
As tweeted earlier today, OLB T.J. Watt is tied for the league-lead with 19 pressures. It matches the same mark as Detroit’s Aidan Hutchinson and Las Vegas’ Maxx Crosby.
Watt leads the NFL with six sacks through the first three weeks, the first player since Shaq Barrett to have that many during that span. He also leads the NFL in quarterback hits with 12 and is tied for the league lead with a pair of forced fumbles. It’s looking like he’ll have another tasty matchup in Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans and their beat-up offensive line.