After watching the Pittsburgh Steelers first preseason game there are a lot of fascinating takeaways, especially considering the players that may be cut. The players who most likely won’t be cut consist of household names like WR Antonio Brown, QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, CB Joe Haden, and every other starter from last year is presumed safe.
Players like WR Damoun Patterson, RB Fitzgerald Toussaint, WR Eli Rogers, TE Scotland-Williamson, LB Ola Adeniyi, CB Brian Allen, LB Keion Adams , DT Daniel McCullers, WR Quadree Henderson, QB Joshua Dobbs and CB Jamar Summers are all under evaluation.
Thursday’s Preseason game against the defending NFL champion Philadelphia Eagles showcased most of the players I’ve mentioned above. The players that helped their case the most were WR Damoun Patterson, QB Joshua Dobbs and LB Ola Adeniyi.
Patterson hooked up with Dobbs on a 29 yard TD pass in the second Quarter. Patterson showed why he had been raved about in training Camp and OTAs. The Youngstown State product looked promising ending the game with 6 receptions totaling 77 yards and a TD.
Dobbs on the other hand demonstrated improved arm talent throughout half of the first quarter and all of the second. He went 9/13 totaling 91 yards and a TD. He utilized his scrambling ability as well picking up 19 yards on two rushing attempts. Dobbs lacked power and didn’t have much poise in the pocket last season, so seeing him Thursday was comforting. He did throw an interception in the second quarter to Eagles CB Rasul Douglas, but it was a result of superb coverage by Douglas.
LB Ola Adeniyi looked almost identical to the former Steelers player who dawned the number 92 as season before him; 2008 NFL DOTY James Harrison. Adeniyi had a sack in the third quarter that caused Eagles QB Joe Callahan to fumble the football. Adeniyi was a force on the edge, and his efforts may be rewarded by receiving more playing time in the next three preseason games.
Patterson, Dobbs, and Adeniyi were phenomenal Thursday and weren’t afraid of the spotlight. The players that they put pressure to perform on is QB Landry Jones, LB Bud Dupree, and WR Eli Rogers. Jones threw a 72 yard TD to Smith-Schuster in the first, and we went 4/4 for 83 yards. Jones played well and for now he seems to still be QB2 on the depth chart. Bud Dupree did not play in Thursday’s game due to a concussion, but after a underwhelming 2017-2018 season his future play will be under a microscope. Recently signed WR Eli Rogers was a productive player last year, but he’s recovering from a torn ACL that he suffered in last years AFC Divisional Round game against the Jaguars. Rogers had a prominent role in the Steelers offense last season as slot receiver, but his role may be diminished if Patterson, WR Justin Hunter, or rookie WR James Washington continue to impress.
Players to keep a look out for in the preseason game against the Green Bay Packers next Thursday include Patterson, Adeniyi, Dobbs, RB Steven Ridley, TE Scott-Williamson, and CB Jamar Summers. This year’s 53-man roster will have a lot of close calls. General Manager Kevin Colbert and Coach Mike Tomlin will certainly be attentive during the next three preseason games.