Watch: Calvin Austin to the house on deep pass over Bucs

Steel City Underground will pick an exceptional play of the game as a highlight each week of the Steelers 2023 preseason. Stay tuned as we hand-select the very best from the Black and Gold!

On Friday night at Raymond James Stadium, there wasn’t just one quarterback-receiver duo on the Pittsburgh Steelers roster who struck gold together, but two. Kenny Pickett‘s opening drive throw to George Pickens got everyone but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers excited, but it was a deep route, a great pass, and speedy catch by an up-and-coming redshirt rookie that had fans talking later in the 27-17 NFL preseason win.

With the score at 20-7 in Pittsburgh’s favor, Tampa Bay’s offense was forced to punt the ball back due to a big second-down sack by rookie linebacker Nick Herbig; he totalled 1.5 sacks in the game. Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada sent Mason Rudolph back into the game, having led two previous drives that resulted in field goal conversions.

Rudolph was able, on first-and-ten with 8:38 left in the third quarter, to grab the snap and air-out a deep ball to the left sideline where Calvin Austin had easily beaten the cornerback. Austin watched the ball all the way in, secured it, and sprinted – untouched – to the end zone for a 67-yard touchdown.

Austin, who was drafted by the Steelers in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft and missed the entirety of his rookie season due to a foot injury, didn’t miss a step in Friday night’s preseason game. He logged two receptions for 73 yards as well as two carries for 23 additional yards in what was his first career NFL preseason appearance. The touchdown was Austin’s first as a professional player despite statistics not counting officially in exhibition matches.

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