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Game Day Preview: Preseason Game 4 vs Panthers

Written by: Logan Leslie

@L_TIMES_TWO

The Steelers will take the field in Pittsburgh tomorrow at 7:30pm to square off against the Carolina Panthers in their Preseason finale. This game will be on locally broadcasted on KDKA-TV and the Steelers Radio Network. Fans in the Pittsburgh area can also listen locally on WDVE 102.5 FM & WBGG 970 AM. Game coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. ET; Pregame coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on KDKA. This game will be called by Bob Pompeani, Charlie Batch and Missi Matthews. If you are not in the Pittsburgh market you can find this game on NFL Gamepass and Fubo TV. If you are listening on the Radio, game coverage will also begin at 7:30 p.m. ET with pregame programming begining at 3:30 p.m. Calling the game will be Bill Hillgrove, Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley.

What to Watch For:

  • With the games that matter right around the corner it is likely we see only a few starters on Thursday. Fringe starters such as Jon Bostic, Terrell Edmunds, and James Washington are the most likely to see some time as they continue to become more comfortable with the team and the playbook. We have seen Edmunds and Washington turn in exceptional performances over the last few weeks, but we have yet to be wowed by Bostic who was signed this offseason. The hope is that he can sure up the giant hole at the Inside Linebacker position that Ryan Shazier left after his spinal injury last season. Should he continue to be less than spectacular the team will have to look else where to fill that hole, likely with Tyler Matakevich or Matthew Thomas.

 

  • It is also likely newly acquired WR/PR Ryan Switzer will log a few snaps in the slot and in the return game. Switzer was great at University of North Carolina. In his 4 year career at UNC he amassed 2,903 yards over 243 receptions. He also had 1,082 yards over 99 punt returns with an average of 10.9 yards per return. In those 99 returns he scored a total of 7 touchdowns. In his short professional career, Switzer has found little success in the passing game. He did however return  24 kickoffs for an average of 25 yards and 29 punt returns for an average of 8.8 yards with one touchdown. If Switzer can produce in the return game that would help take the load off of stars Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster. It is very likely this move by the Steelers means Fitzgerald Toussaint is going to be cut.

 

  • Joshua Dobbs will receive his one last shot to win a job with the Steelers. Since the selection of Mason Rudolph, Dobbs, has been seen as either a trade candidate or the odd man out when it comes time to make final cuts. Should he absolutely dazzle against the Panthers this may open up an option for the Steelers to trade him. The other and less likely option, would be to keep him and move on from Landry Jones. Jones has been the Steelers back up over the last few years and has been able to stick due to his knowledge of the offense and less because of his talent which has proven to be average at best. All 3 of Jones career wins have been games against horrible Browns teams, where his career losses have been to the Patriots and Chiefs. The Steelers will without a doubt have a very tough decision to make over the next week. My personal prediction is that Dobbs has a successful night then gets traded for a late round draft pick.

 

  • Two players I am most excited to watch are ILB Matthew Thomas and OLB Olasunkanmi Adeniyi. With Jon Bostic under performing thus far in his time with the Steelers, fans should keep their eye on the UDFA out of Florida State in Thomas. He is an athletic freak who undoubtably will draw comparison to Shazier in that respect. Otherwise, he is at times very raw but with a bit of refinement could jump Bostic on the depth chart come midseason. Adeniyi is another UDFA to keep an eye on, the OLB out of Toledo has shown the ability to get after the quarterback and make tackles behind the line of scrimmage. With Bud Dupree a free agent after the 2019 season, Adeniyi who is still only 20 years old has the opportunity to show his worth should they choose not to bring Dupree back after next season. Both players are currently very young and raw but looking toward the future and keeping them on the roster as back ups is never a bad idea.

 

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