Mike Tomlin attributes Kenny Pickett, Steelers’ recent late-game success to being fearless: ‘We play to win’

Mike Tomlin has learned something about his team through six games, something that has helped the Pittsburgh Steelers get off to a 4-2 start. 

The Steelers’ longtime coach was asked what has led to the Steelers’ recent fourth-quarter success. Over the past two games (both wins), Pittsburgh has outscored the Ravens and Rams by a combined score of 28-0 in the fourth quarter. 

“We’re not scared,” Tomlin responded. “We play to win, we don’t play not to lose.” 

Tomlin added that his quarterback, Kenny Pickett, shares that mentality. It’s something that compelled the Steelers to select him in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. 

While he and the Steelers offense haven’t started fast, Pickett and his teammates have had recent success late in games. Against the Ravens, Pickett hit George Pickens for the game-winning score with 1:17 left. Pickett led the offense to 21 second-half points on Sunday that included a pair of scoring drives in the fourth quarter. 

“We’re going to continually go to work on more fluid and more productive starts. But it’s a component of it that’s not new, and that’s his ability to rise up in moments,” Tomlin said of Pickett, who has won nine of his last 12 starts.

“I don’t know that any of us are surprised by his ability to make the plays that he makes when it really gets thick. I just think that some people are built like that. Some people relish the opportunity. Some people really smile in the fact of adversity. Some people are competition junkies. I think he’s all of those things, but that’s not something that we just discovered, as I mentioned. It’s something that we knew even prior to him being a Pittsburgh Steeler.”


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