As far as preseason games go, this is the ‘important’ one. The Pittsburgh Steelers will be hosting the Colts tonight, and all healthy starters are expected to play. How much they will play remains to be seen, but we should at least be getting a look at everybody who can go.
Obviously, the biggest different between this time and the other preseason games will be the presence of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown. This is as complete as the offense is going to look before the regular season, so it goes without saying that it will be very interesting to see how they look.
It will be especially relevant to see the chemistry between Roethlisberger and Martavis Bryant. The third-year wide receiver who was suspended for all of last season played 21 snaps on Sunday against the Falcons with Joshua Dobbs at quarterback. While he caught a 23-yard back-shoulder throw, it certainly looked evident that he hadn’t been in a game in some time. I’m sure nerves were a factor as well.
The running back position really needs to be sorted out. I have a feeling that the Steelers got a long, long look at James Conner on Sunday because they knew that he would be there, and that he would presumably be their number two running back.
So I think we get a long look at some of the other guys tonight. Fitzgerald Toussaint was the only other one who played in the last game, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Knile Davis gets the chance to start, and perhaps to see the most carries.
Then the question is, will Trey Williams get any work on offense? It seems as though they are potentially gearing for the opportunity to get him a look at returning kicks, having already brought a punt home for a touchdown, but if they think he can make the roster, I would imagine they might want to see him on offense too.
Defensively, the biggest thing I’m looking for is a rebound from the secondary, especially the safeties and Ross Cockrell. The defense should be gameplanning for this one, so that alone will make a difference, but needless to say, they’d love to put some positive tape down, no matter who the opposing quarterback is.
Will Coty Sensabaugh play with the starting unit? Will Mike Hilton? It doesn’t sound like Mike Mitchell is going to play. Could they give any snaps to William Gay at safety? After his two-interception game, might Jordan Dangerfield get a lot ahead of Robert Golden?
We will also be getting our first look of the year at James Harrison. Will he start, and how long will he play? Perhaps more importantly, will Bud Dupree play? He hasn’t been on the field for the first two preseason games, despite dressing on Sunday.
In the secondary, I want to see how much time they spend playing in man coverage. Keith Butler previously said that they wanted to get a long look doing it now to see if they can run it, but it hasn’t been all that prevalent through two games.