Steelers News

Washington’s Unsurprising Combativeness One Of Few Positives In Preseason Loss To Packers

Even though there aren’t many positives to focus on from the Pittsburgh Steelers Thursday night preseason loss to the Green Bay Packers, rookie wide receiver James Washington certain is one of them.

Washington, the Steelers second-round draft pick this year out of Oklahoma State, had a solid second preseason game Thursday night as he caught five passes for 114 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Packers in a 51-34 loss.

Both of Washington’s touchdown receptions were combative catches and after the game was over, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked to speak about his young wide receiver’s ability to win the 50/50 footballs and essentially take them away from whoever is fighting him for the football.

“Yeah, but you know, we saw that in Stillwater {Oklahoma] as well,” Tomlin said. “Latrobe, Stillwater, you know, all those are good signs because of the consistency and performance.”

In addition to his two touchdown receptions against the Packers, Washington also caught a deep pass from quarterback Joshua Dobbs in the second half that resulted in a gain of 54 yards. He also had another second half reception from Dobbs that resulted in a gain of 20 yards.

With Washington now putting together two very good showings to start his first preseason in the NFL, Tomlin was asked Thursday night if the young wide receiver will be elevated to the next group, meaning the first-team offense, moving forward.

“We’ll see how it goes,” Tomlin said.” He didn’t do anything in the stadium that we hadn’t seen on the practice fields of Latrobe, so that’s a good sign.”

It’s a good sign indeed and at this point it will be a huge surprise if Washington doesn’t play a large percentage of offensives snaps when the regular season finally gets underway. He certainly appears to be the real deal two games into the preseason and a wide receiver that can not only stretch the field vertically, but be a touchdown producer as well. Just like he was the last four years at Oklahoma State.

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