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Preseason Week 2, What to Watch For

By Matt Papiernik, @Matt_Papiernik on Twitter
SteelerNation.com

 

As the Pittsburgh Steelers head out into their second preseason game, there are several things to keep an eye on. Many people only pay attention to the third preseason game as that is considered the “dress rehearsal” for the regular season, but the other preseason games can be pretty telling on how the rest of the roster behind the starters will play out. This especially holds true for the key backups.

 

The Battle to be Ben’s Backup

Ben Roethlisberger yet again won’t be playing in the second game of the preseason, so that’ll open up a lot of opportunity for both Mason Rudolph and Josh Dobbs. Unlike week one, Rudolph will be heading out with the “first team” offense as he is listed as the starter. In week one both Rudolph and Dobbs played decent, but Rudolph’s stat line will stand out more because he ended up with two scores. I’d actually argue Devlin Hodges performed the best on the night, but with him not having the same draft pedigree of the other two, he likely won’t play in week two and is unlikely to make the team.

 

Battle for a Role Behind JuJu

The Steelers have the youngest wide receiver core in the league, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be asked to play a significant role in the offense. They have a total of five wide receivers behind JuJu who could potentially play meaningful snaps. It’ll be interesting to see James Washington, Diontae Johnson, Donte Moncrief, Ryan Switzer, and Eli Rogers battle over the next few weeks to see who gets the larger share. Washington had a big week one, but the others will have plenty of opportunities this week assuming they all suit up.

 

Improved Defense vs. High Power Offense

It isn’t 100% clear who will be playing for the Chiefs offense on Saturday just yet, but even if some of their starters are rested, they still have a plethora of talented players. The Steelers put a lot of focus on improving their defense this year through both free agency and the draft, so this will be the first look of what we might be able to expect. I am sure some of the veteran starters on defense will be rested, but there likely still going to be a good portion of the starting defense out there trying to build some chemistry before next week’s dress rehearsal.

 

 

Comment below and let me know what you will be looking for tonight as the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Kansas City Chiefs!

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Follow me on Twitter! @Matt_Papiernik

 

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