The Pittsburgh Steelers, like most other NFL teams in the second week of the preseason, will employ their starting units a bit longer than last week when they take on the Washington Redskins on Monday night.
We will continue to look at our starters a little bit more than we did last time. We will rotate in from there. - @CoachTomlin on MNF game— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 17, 2013
Ben Roethlisberger played two series in the opening loss to the New York Giants exiting late in first quarter, while the first ranks of the offensive line played most of the first half, except pro-bowl center Maurkice Pouncey who was subbed out early to give more snaps to guard John Malecki who is trying to earn the backup center job.
How much longer the starters will play has yet to be determined. Coach Tomlin's estimate of '10 to 12' snaps was a little shy or reality, but loose guesstimations are subject to change. For example, Kelvin Beachum is expected to see work early and often as the second string center, despite only being listed at right tackle on the depth chart. Such is preseason football.
The team saw fit to use the word 'or' to pair players at certain spots on the depth chart posted before the upcoming contest. Joe Long and D'Anthony Batiste share the second left tackle spot, Isaac Redman and Le'Veon Bell hold the top tier for running backs and Drew Butler and Brian Moorman are the team's two starting punters. Playing starting units together for an extended time give the team plenty of opportunity to work different players as part of the group - more than Redman's two carries in the first game.
Starting groups will probably play an entire half next week as a final warm-up before the regular season begins. The fourth week is usually played by the deeper reserves who are battling for final roster spots.
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