We're just a few hours away from kickoff, so let's cover a few things around the league before settling into our respective seats on the couch or bar.
*Nate Washington, as has been discussed, will get the start today in place of Hines Ward. Washington admits he's a touch nervous, even if it is just an exhibition game:
"I'm anxious kind of. It's a position that I'm in right now that you never know, really. I'm just trying to go out with a focused head and do what I have to do to get through the game and show them I can play at this level," said Washington, who will start because Hines Ward is out with a hamstring injury. "Other than that, I'm not worried about starting right now. This is preseason. It's still a tryout. Any of us can start right now, I'm just trying to show them I can play at this level."Washington set records at Divsions II Tiffin College, where he caught 212 balls for 4,214 yards and 47 TDs. He was only active for one game during the regular season last year, but played in the final three playoff games after Quincy Morgan broke his leg against Cincinnatti. Coach Cowher definitely has confidence in him:
"Nate Washington's had a great camp but when he played last preseason a lot of it was in the fourth quarter," said head coach Bill Cowher. "Then he got a chance to play in the playoffs, and now let's see him get a chance to get up there and play with the first group. I think it'll be great for him."*Tyrone Carter will start today at free safety. In the second preseason game, Ryan Clark will get the starting nod. *I'm eager to see Willie Reid return kicks and do a better job not getting jammed at the line of scrimmage. He's a speedster, but he's got to learn to be more physical at the line of scrimmage if he's going to be an available target for the Steelers' QBs.*Matt Leinart is an idiot . Dude, there's a reason you weren't selected higher and offered more money; you're not as good as you think. If Leinart had reported to camp, I believe there would have been a decent shot that he'd be starting for them by week 6 or so. There's not way Kurt Warner is going to stay healthy and productive, and with all that talent at the skill positions, the Cardinals would probably be willing to hand him the keys to the offense sooner rather than later. As is, he'll be behind John Navarre on the depth chart unless he gets his butt to camp this coming week.*Steve McNair looked sharp in his first game as a Baltimore Raven. The veteran led the first unit down the field on a 12 play, 80 yard touchdown drive. The Giants came back to win in the fourth quarter on a last second field goal by Jay Feely, but I doubt the Ravens care too much. McNair looked sharp and that was priority #1.*Hopefully our game today will be as exciting as the game played between the Falcons and the Patriots last night. Rookie D.J Shockely engineered a late drive that put the Falcons in position for a game-winning FG. Hopefully Omar Jacobs and Shane Boyd will be similarly impressive late in today's game. *GO STEELERS!