What to Watch For in The Pittsburgh Steelers First Preseason Game

By Matt Papiernik, @Matt_Papiernik on Twitter


As the Pittsburgh Steelers head out into their first preseason game tonight, 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.


The Battle to be Ben’s Backup

Ben Roethlisberger isn’t going to be playing tonight, so that’ll open up a lot of opportunity for both Mason Rudolph and Josh Dobbs. Dobbs is going to start the game, but that doesn’t mean Rudolph won’t have his opportunity to show his talents. It would be nice to see Devlin Hodges get some work with how well he has performed in training camp, but the Steelers likely want to figure out who will be their number two QB, and Hodges likely isn’t in that conversation because of the draft pedigree that both Rudolph and Dobbs have.


The Kicking Battle

Chris Boswell has all but won the job in the last week, as Matthew Wright has missed a few kicks and Boswell has held pretty steady only outside of one or two longer attempts. Ultimately it’ll come down to how well Boswell performs in real game action, but he definitely has the upper hand.


Young and Reckless Wide Receiver Core

The Steelers have the youngest wide receiver core in the league, but they also have one of the most explosive. Their top four outside receivers all have the ability to take the top off a defense and take it to the house at any given moment. Seeing the battle of James Washington vs. Diontae Johnson and Ryan Switzer vs. Eli Rogers will be interesting tonight, assuming they all are active.


Linebacker Battle

With the Steelers making two high profile acquisitions to their linebacking core this off season, it’ll be interesting to see what type of rotation/lineup they will deploy there. Both Devin Bush and Mark Barron will see playing time in my opinion, with the latter likely only for a series or two. I think they both ultimately play a key role once the regular season hits, but how the timeshare gets split up will be a topic of debate.



Comment below and let me know what you will be looking for tonight as the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers!


Follow me on Twitter! @Matt_Papiernik


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