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Pickett Says He Didn’t Hear ‘Fire Canada’ Chant, Hopes Offense Can Soon Return Favor To Defense


Make no mistake about it: the defense bailed the Pittsburgh Steelers out Monday night against the Cleveland Browns in a 26-22 win in AFC North play.

Entering the fourth quarter Monday night, the Steelers trailed 22-19. Pittsburgh needed a spark; it just couldn’t get it from the offense. In the final 15 minutes, the Steelers generated minus-seven yards of offense, yet somehow won the game.

Thanks to the defense, specifically outside linebackers Alex Highsmith and T.J. Watt.

Highsmith forced a fumble on Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson and Watt scooped and scored from 16 yards out, eventually helping lift the Steelers to an ugly but gutsy win.

Second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett was quite appreciative of the defense’s effort on Monday night, picking up the offense — especially late in the game. But Pickett wants the offense to return the favor moving forward, doing some of the “basic ABC stuff” offensively.

“Yeah, it’s awesome when you’ve got a defense like that. They make plays and put points up on the board and get those turnovers. It’s unreal, as an offense, to have that. We wanna return that favor though. I felt like we let those guys out there way too long,” Pickett said, according to video via the Steelers’ YouTube page. “There’s things that we gotta do a lot better offensively to also help those guys out. …Third downs, putting points up. I mean, very, very ABC, vanilla stuff, playing better offensively, period.”

The Steelers need to figure out how to play better offensively and do so in a hurry.

Fans are growing restless with a “Fire Canada!” chant breaking out after a failed third and 1 late in the game.

Pickett, in his post-game interview, stated that the didn’t hear the chants and that he was locked in on the game, not what fans were chanting in the stands.

“I was going over two-minute, four-minute scenarios with the guys, finding a way to win whatever we needed to do there at the end,” Pickett said, according to video via the Steelers’ YouTube page. “Hats off to our defense; they played unbelievable. We got the best player in the world, in my opinion, in 90 [Watt] and 56 [Highsmith] is close behind. He’s unbelievable. So those guys did a hell of a job, and happy that they’re on our side.”

After a disastrous Week One performance against the San Francisco 49ers, Pittsburgh got out of the gates slowly in Week Two against the Browns. Pickett had a bad interception early and missed a handful of throws before settling down. He hit second-year wide receiver George Pickens for a 71-yard touchdown in the first quarter, that play following a 30-yard swing route to second-year running back Jaylen Warren out of the backfield.

Even with those two big plays through the air, the Steelers generated just 222 passing yards and another 56 rushing yards. There were issues with pre-snap penalties, protection, play designs and general play calls on weighty downs that had fans irate in the second half, leading to the firing chant.

It’s rather ironic that Pickett stated he didn’t hear the chants regarding “Fire Canada” but can explain — in detail — what he was doing when the chants were happening and knowing what situation the game was in that time. He gave the politically correct answer, protecting his offensive coordinator in the process.

But the players had to have heard the chants. They were loud and rather clear.

Figure out how to do the very basic, ABC stuff offensively, play better and maybe those chants will go away. And maybe the offense will be able to return the favor to the defense a few times moving forward.

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