August 9, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Marquis Maze (3) runs with the ball past Philadelphia Eagles long snapper Jon Dorenbos (46) during the second half at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Steelers 24-23. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE
The Steelers offense looked sluggish in its first preseason game. Poor pass protection, even worse run blocking and a meager 3.3 yards per play overall.
While it's just the preseason, there's still something to be said about simply performing well for the sake of performing well.
Expect that to change tonight.
The Steelers shook up their offensive line due to injuries, moving Ramon Foster from left guard to right tackle to accommodate the return of Willie Colon. Marcus Gilbert will move to left tackle replacing rookie Mike Adams, who was injured during the Aug. 9 loss at Philadelphia.
It's worth watching Colon, as he'll start at left guard for the first time in a live NFL game. It'll also be his first live action since tearing his triceps in Week 1 of the 2011 season.
No one has really stood out so far in the competition for the 5WR position behind Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery. Give the edge to Beiler, on the speed of a nice 30-yard catch from Jerrod Johnson last week.
Outside of him, Clemons has dropped passes and generally lacked consistency. Clemons, at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds has a physical advantage over Beiler at 6-foot-0, 200 pounds. He just hasn't put everything together just yet.
Marquis Maze has the added benefit of special teams potential, helping to make his argument. The diminutive Maze has game-breaking quickness, but at 5-foot-8, would be among the shortest players in the league. Without showing some ability to run after the catch from the slot, Maze will finish out of the money by quite a bit.
If none of these players, or David Gilreath or recently signed Paul Cox, do anything to show value, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Steelers kick the tires on a veteran free agent receiver. Training camp is over, and the Steelers will be traveling in Denver for the season opener in less than three weeks. They'll need to find someone who would be able to get on the field and compete in the event of an injury to the four top receivers on the depth chart.