The journey toward the 2017 season is now in full swing with the Pittsburgh Steelers having reported to Latrobe for their annual training camp at Saint Vincent College, where they have held their camps for over half a century now.
This is surely the time more than any other in which we find ourselves full of questions that we are looking to get answered, and this also tends to be the best time to get answers to those questions that have been building up over the course of time since the 2016 season ended.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the training camp and the preseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: Which players are you most looking forward to seeing in action tonight?
I’m sure that today is a day that many of you have been anticipating for several months now. For the first time since the AFC Championship game, the Steelers are actually going to participate in a football game. The score is not going to matter, but hey, at least they’ll be keeping track of it.
While there is a 90-man roster, there will be many not participating in the game, though we probably won’t be given a full list of those who will definitely not participate until later. But there is plenty to look forward to when it comes to those who will be participating.
I suppose the best way to deal with this question is to answer it myself, whether the answers are obvious or not. I expect T.J. Watt to play a lot tonight, and I will be happy to see it, because I think he is going to have to play a critical role this season for the defense to be successful. Let’s see how he handles somebody other than a 6’9” Army Ranger.
With the number of issues at the wide receiver position, JuJu Smith-Schuster should also log extended time. Given that he should be vying for a starting role in the slot, or at least a subordinate role, it would be beneficial to get a look at him against a quality secondary, even versus vanilla coverages, though the Giants play a lot of man.
A lot of attention should be paid to the running backs, particularly Knile Davis, Fitzgerald Toussaint, Terrell Watson, and perhaps Trey Williams as well. They all could potentially be competing for one roster spot. And they all could feature in the return game as well.
Javon Hargrave is the man I want to see along the defensive line. He had a solid rookie season, but he needs to step it up even more this year. He has been turning it on lately in practice. I want to see how disruptive he can be after a year of experience.
These are just a few of the players I’m most looking forward to observing, but there is no shortage of options. I’m sure many will be looking out for Tyler Matakevich. L.T. Walton is another that I want to watch closely. Brian Allen at cornerback; I’d like to get a first-hand look at where he is in coverage.
Who are the guys you’re excited to see?