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Pregame Report: Week 1 @ Browns

Picture Credit to @GoldSulftin

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. 

Betting Line: Steelers -4.5; O/U 41.5

Projected Score: Steelers 24 @ Browns 19

TV Broadcast:

TV coverage: CBS (local broadcast on KDKA-TV-2) starting at 1:00 p.m. ET. On the call will be Greg Gumbel (play-by-play), Trent Green and Bruce Arians (analysts) and Melanie Collins (sideline).

Radio Broadcast:

Steelers Radio Network- Game coverage begins at 1:00 p.m. ET; Pregame programming begins at 9:00 a.m. Calling the game will be Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play), Tunch Ilkin (color analyst) and Craig Wolfley (sideline).

All fans in the Pittsburgh area can listen locally on WDVE 102.5 FM & WBGG 970 AM.

Injury Report:

  • TE Vance McDonald – Out (Foot)
  • LB James Burgess – Doubtful (Concussion)
  • DB E.J. Gaines – Out (Knee)

3 Players to Watch:

  1. James Conner: 

The headlines swirling around the Steelers the past week have mostly centered around Le’Veon Bell and his continued holdout. What has not been talked about nearly enough is James Conner’s first career NFL start. During his career at University of Pittsburgh, Conner was viewed as one of the top premier college RBs before he was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma and missed all but one game in 2015. After beating cancer he returned in 2016 to produce 1,400 total yards and 20 total touchdowns, en route to be drafted by the Steelers in the 3rd round with the 106th pick. Last year in very limited playing time he rushed 32 times for 144 yards before ending his season due to a torn MCL. This preseason he was very improved he rushed 19 times for 100 yards and reeled in 7 receptions for 61 yards. This past week James Conner was praised by his teammates along with Mike Tomlin. In recent memory I am not sure if there has been a player with more people hopes that he succeeds, Conner is without a doubt the biggest player to watch this Sunday.

 

 

2. Ben Roethlisberger:

Entering his 15th NFL season Big Ben looks to build upon a strong, but disappointing end to the 2017 season. He will face off against a Browns team in which he has absolutely dominated in his career with 21 wins and only 2 losses. In those games he has thrown for 5,573 yards with a 37 TD to 18 INT ratio, good for a 95.9 rating. With Le’Veon Bell out and a stingy Browns team against the run, expect the Steelers to have Roethlisberger air it out in this one. It is also noteworthy that Ben lost upwards of 10 pounds over the offseason, while utilizing a strict training regimen and diet.

 

3. Terrell Edmunds 

The rookie first round pick will immediately get the nod at starting safety, the first of this NFL career. Edmunds was drafted in the first round with the 28th overall pick out of Virginia Tech University, many experts felt that was a reach. However, the Steelers felt confident enough to ride with Edmunds over newly signed, Morgan Burnett, the former Green Bay Packer. Burnett likely will claim the starting role eventually but injury kept him out during the preseason, so it is likely the Steelers are just playing it safe with him. Still, expect to see a rotation between Edmunds and Burnett.

Edmunds improved over the course of training camp and the preseason drawing praise from the coaching staff in his development. This will be the second year in a row and four out of the last five where the Steelers start their first round draft pick. It will be hard for Edmunds to top T.J. Watt’s performance a year ago, but without a doubt it will be exciting to see Edmunds on the field tomorrow.

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