Happy Friday to yinz and welcome to another exciting weekend with this one actually including the Pittsburgh Steelers playing a preseason game on a Saturday.
That’s right, the Steelers will play the Tennessee Titans Saturday at Heinz Field in the annual tune up game that should include most starters on both sides of the football seeing some first half action. It should be a fun game to watch and hopefully both teams can come out of it without any injuries. Remember, the Saturday game against the Titans will be shown live on the NFL Network if you live outside the local television viewing market.
Well, today is my wife’s birthday and we just returned from a nice quiet lunch in Summerlin and are about to cut the cake. That’s about all of the excitement we have planned for the day, however. In case you didn’t know it, today is Dr. Melanie Friedlander’s birthday as well so make sure to reach out to her on the Twitter machine at @GirlSurgeon if you have time.
I’m not sure if most of you have noticed but we now offer an ad-free experience for our loyal readers. For just $25, you can have access to an ad-free version of Steelers Depot for one calendar year. We’ve had this feature up and running now for several weeks at the request of several readers but didn’t want to promote it heavily until we got all the bugs worked out of it. We believe that has now happened. I think we already have around 100 ad-free subscribers.
As usual, I have five questions for yinz to answer on this Friday night and I look forward to reading the replies in the comments. We should be able to keep you thoroughly entertained with a ton of Steelers content the rest of the weekend and into next week.
Have a great weekend and peace and love to all of yinz.
1 – Assuming the Baltimore Ravens won’t ultimately keep four tight ends on their 53-man roster this season, between Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle, which one would interest you more as far as the Steelers are concerned.
2 – With two preseason games now remaining, are you keeping rookie running back Jaylen Samuels on the 53-man roster or are you waiving him and signing him to the practice squad?
3 – True or false: Steelers quarterback Joshua Dobbs will be on another team’s 53-man roster for Week 1 of the season.
4 – Name me one offensive and one defensive player who will shine Saturday in the team’s third preseason game against the Titans.
5 – How many games do you have the Cleveland Browns winning this season and will any of those wins come against the Steelers?
Question 1 – School has just started, and we are already handing out grades. Joshua Dobbs and Mason Rudolph both played a full half in the second game and both tossed a pick 6 on their first pass. Despite that ignoble start both were given passing grades through the first two preseason games by Steelers Depot respondents. Dobbs earned himself a C+ (2.19 on the 4-point scale) and Rudolph a C (2.0).
Question 2 – So far, Fitzgerald Toussaint has gained 55 yards on 13 attempts for 4.2 yards gained per rush including a touchdown. He’s looked solid in pass blocking. Jaylen Samuels has 45 yards on 15 attempts for 3.0 yards a rush plus a touchdown. He has also caught four passes for 14 yards. Stevan Ridley only played in one game, gaining 14 yards on 10 attempts for 1.4 yards per carry. He added three receptions for 45 yards. 52% of Steelers Depot respondents would keep Ridley out of the three since he is the best pure runner in their view. Samuels got 32% of the vote based on his versatility and Toussaint only 16% based on his pass blocking and complementary style to wither Le’Veon Bell or James Conner.
Question 3 – The consensus of Steelers Depot respondents is that the Steelers will keep five wide receivers on the 53-man roster. 21% did say the team would keep six but the rest were firm at five. Many cited having Eli Rogers on the PuP as a reason to keep just five to start the season (questions were out before the 1 game suspension news). Not surprisingly, Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, and special teamer Darrius Heyward-Bey are locks. Justin Hunter should be the 5th receiver according to 43%; Damoun Patterson was mentioned by 34% and Marcus Tucker by 20%.
Question 4 – Only one person believes that all the draft picks will make the 53-man roster this season. An overwhelming 96% say that Joshua Frazier will not make it. An early favorite to supplant Dan McCullers for the 6th defensive line spot; big Dan’s recent performance and the lack of big plays by Frazier seemed to have swayed Steelers Depot respondents. Marcus Allen was also put on the block by 92%. His lack of playing time due to an unspecified injury plus the multitude of defensive backs have this popular draft pick on the ropes. Jaylen Samuels is another practice squad candidate by 42%. His versatility is appreciated but questions about his pass blocking experience plus more seasoned running backs has tempered enthusiasm for his chances on making the initial 53-man roster. No other draft picks were mentioned.
Question 5 – Perhaps Mike Tomlin has become too predictable or stuck in his ways. 77% answered false when asked whether Cameron Sutton will return the first punt of the 2018 regular season. Several folks noted Tomlin’s adverse views on using defensive players as returners. Sutton was on one punt formation, but the ball was kicked out of bounds, so he did not return the ball in the 2nd preseason game. With Eli Rogers on the PuP, the only other Steeler on the roster who returned a punt last season is Antonio Brown.
Bonus Question – One person just wanted the film burned from the second preseason game. Most of the folks who answered were focused on the defensive side of the ball. With interest specifically on the inside linebackers or breaking down the secondary by targets. There were a bunch of articles that sliced and diced the game including the missed tackle report; focus on individual play like Terrell Edmunds, James Washington, and Dan McCullers. With the 3rd preseason game upon us even more analysis of the 2018 edition of the Pittsburgh Steelers is on the way.