It took four practices for Kenny Pickett to get his first chance to throw a pass in the “Seven Shots” 2-point simulation session that historically opens each practice for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The first-round pick and former Pitt star was permitted just one attempt.
He made the most of it.
Pickett threw a fade to the left corner of the end zone. His target was first-year receiver Tyler Vaughns, who was blanketed by cornerback James Pierre.
Vaughns leaped high into the air, made the catch and tumbled to the ground alongside Pierre. The receiver got his elbow in bounds for the score. It was a pretty throw-and-catch combination by a duo that has worked extensively on the third team during camp.
• For the second day in a row, Trubisky couldn’t direct a score in Seven Shots. Twice, Trubisky looked for rookie George Pickens. The first was a fade that was out of bounds. The second was an attempt that Myles Jack deflected. On the third throw, Ahkello Witherspoon dived to break up a pass for Anthony Miller. The fourth attempt was a completion to rookie tight end Connor Heyward, but it was short of the goal line
• Heyward made a nifty diving catch on Mason Rudolph’s first attempt of Seven Shots. On a free play, Rudolph lofted a pass toward the end zone. Donovan Stiner appeared to make a diving interception, but the ball popped into the air and Heyward grabbed it as he dived toward the end zone. Rudolph’s second pass was incomplete, but he likely would have been sacked had tackling been permitted.
• In the competition at left guard, Kendrick Green got the first-team reps in Seven Shots. Kevin Dotson was back working with the ones in the first team period. The rotation continued thereafter.
• The first team period began with miscommunication between Trubisky and Miller. Trubisky lofted a pass deep down the left sideline. Miller pulled up, thinking it was a curl route. Trubisky’s second attempt was deflected. Pickens came up with a leaping catch in front of Robert Spillane, who pulled up to avoid contact that perhaps would have dislodged the ball.
• Rudolph went 3 for 4 in the initial team period. Perfection was eluded when running back Anthony McFarland dropped the ball on a checkdown.
• Pickett continued to face heavy pressure and was hurt by several low snaps during his team sessions. He also had a pass batted down by defensive lineman Doug Costin, who was signed a few days before camp. Drops by Gunner Olszewski and Jace Sternberger didn’t help his completion percentage.
• T.J. Watt batted down a pass, then celebrated by punting the ball into the stands. At least his kick was intentional. Punter Cameron Nizialek shanked one into the crowd during the first competitive punting of camp.
• Vaughns added to his highlight reel with a toe-tapping catch of a Rudolph pass during the seven-on-seven session. Pickett also threaded a pass to Vaughns over the middle later in the period.
• Watt’s day featured a pick-6 of Trubisky in the final team period. He stepped in front of the pass intended for Pickens, grabbed it and was in position for a 30-yard return for a TD.
• Miles Boykin made a nice catch across the middle, maintaining focus as a Rudolph pass zipped through Pierre’s fingers.
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .