Steelers Preseason Week 1: The Good vs The Bad

The Good:

  • Damoun Patterson – Obvious.  Great game by the UDFA. Basically unheard of prior to this game, Patterson was quietly having a strong camp prior to his breakout game. Good thing the hype was backed up by some great play.
  • James Connor – In his very small sample size, I felt like I saw huge improvement. He looked faster and stronger, and his vision seems to be better than ever. Another player who has lived up to his training camp hype.
  • Joshua Dobbs – Not a perfect game, but he played quite well. Much better than last preseason. Accuracy still a problem, but throw power and running ability keep his ceiling sky-high. And his pass to Damoun Patterson was nothing short of spectacular. After looking to be last in the race for a spot on the roster, Dobbs puts himself back into the race.
  • James Washington – Really only made one big play, but it was huge. He made a great catch along the sideline, and showed how though he isn’t the tallest receiver, he sure knows how to “Moss” corners with his vertical and ability to pinpoint the ball.
  • JuJu – As always.
  • Nat Behre – Behre quietly had a solid game and showed that he is not only a special teams ace but that he is good safety depth as well.
  • Fitzgerald Toussaint – Though on a pretty limited snap count he looked really good. Still think he is very questionable to make the roster but he looked pretty dang shifty.
  • Cam Sutton/Coty Sensebaugh – Though neither of the picks were flashy or extraordinary, the secondary has been such a problem in the recent past that Steeler fans should be very happy with a pair of picks.


The Ehh

  • Landry Jones – The same as always. Solid. Unspectacular (though his long bomb to JuJu was great–and mostly JuJu). Firmly in the race for the No. 2 spot and should have a roster spot.
  • Ola Adeniyi/Keion Adams – Both of the young pass rushers showed their potential in the preseason game, but were not a consistent presence like I had hoped for them to be. They did show enough, though, to leave me confident in their bright futures.
  • Stevan Ridley – Ridley looked better than ever in the pass game, but didn’t do much in the run game. Still like him as a veteran presence to mentor Connor and Samuels, but him, Samuels, Franklin, and Toussaint are really gonna have to battle it out for the 3rd/4th spot.
  • Mathew Thomas – Thomas did not play at ILB as much as I hoped he would, but he was decent at OLB, where he played most of the game. Hope he can see more playing time there soon.
  • Terrell Edmunds – Edmunds looked like a solid, consistent tackler, but didn’t do much do to a mall snap count Hope to see more of him in future preseason games. Didn’t do anything amazing, but didn’t make any huge mistake either.
  • Mason Rudolph – Rudolph was another player who showed potential, but is definitely raw. He displayed two sides–the Ben’s long-term replacement side–and the–oh, I can see hwy he fell to the 3rd round side. Content with the performance.
  • Jon Bostic – Bostic showed in this game that, of the ILBs currently on the roster he is probably the most prepared to take Shazier’s spot. He definitely wasn’t perfect, but he played well. His injury concerns and inconsistency have kept him from being successful in the past though I hope that can change in the future. The ILB is clearly the weakest position on an otherwise vastly improved defense.

The Bad

  • Quandree Henderson/Justin Thomas – The return game, made of Henderson and Thomas, looked as boring as ever, with short returns and zero flashy plays. At the same time, neither of the two really had the volume of returns to possibly show out. Hope to see better from them in the future.
  • Dashaun Phillps – Phillips made some crucial mistakes, and as a practice squad hopeful, he will really have to step his game up.
  • Jaylen Samuels – Samuels was on a limited snap count, but he didn’t do much. I believe he will do more with more opportunities in the passing game and a higher volume of carries
  • Marcus Tucker – Other than solid special teams play, Tucker didn’t really do much on the field. Coming in, Tucker was one of my favorites to sneak into the roster, but things are looking to good for hi anymore.
  • Tyler Matakevich – My finale. Matakevich. I’ve quietly been tooting his horns and throwing him out there as an underrated player with more potential than many people give him credit for. But he had a really game. He regressed from last preseason where he had zero missed tackles and made himself a presence on almost every single play. I never expected him to be a 3-down ILB considering he is a “Mike” linebacker attempting to play the “Will,” but I expected more. I hope he redeems himself and at least earns himself some starting time.

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