The Pittsburgh Steelers 24-19 preseason victory over the Green Bay Packers may have been costly with injuries to Bruce Gradkowski, Stephon Tuitt and most ominously, Maurkice Pouncey.
The game wasn’t without its highlights, however, some of which we can share thanks to the magic of YouTube (available as of 8/24/15, watch now as Roger Goodell’s YouTube police will get this down soon.)
Based on the Steelers Packers preseason video highlights reel, the good news is that Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell look to be in mid-season form. So does Heath Miller, while Markus Wheaton announced to Steelers Nation that he is not letting Martavis Bryant take his starting slot without a fight.
- James Harrison now has 2 sacks in, what 3-4 series during preseason.
Mike Tomlin and Joey Porter are right to limit Harrison to conserve his body for the duration of season, but if Harrison keeps that level of production up, it will be hard to keep him off the bench. Fortuantely, Jarvis Jones and Bud Dupree also registered sacks.
Signs of life from the pass rush were not enough to please Mike Tomlin, nor should they be. Green Bay moved effortlessly down the field for its first touchdown, and Eddie Lacy scored his touchdown untouched.
But the defense also had its bright spots, with Antwon Blake tied with Shamarko Thomas for 6 tackles, while defensing a pass.
Steelers Roster Battles Come Into Focus
One of the things that the Steelers Packers preseason video highlights above doesn’t bring into focus is how the game helped define some of the Steelers roster bubble battles.
Ian Wild is making it hard for coaches to cut him, as is Kevin Fogg. Per Jim Wexell’s Steel City Insider, both men have little chance of making the team but there is probably a spot for one of them, unless they can convince coaches that B.W. Webb and his experience are expendable.
- Pouncey’s broken ankle will force some tough decisions by the Steelers on offensive line.
Cody Wallace will step into the starting role, while the Steelers will need to find a back up. The two candidates are B.J. Finney and Chris Hubbard, with Finney likely getting the inside track.
Landry Jones of course rallied the team to victory, and in doing so he tossed touchdown passes to both Tyler Murphy and Shakim Phillips. The prospects of either man making the final 53 are bleak, unless the Steelers keep six receivers. But both men made a strong case for a slot on the Steelers practice squad.