It is the second preseason game. There is a certain amount of excitement which accompanies the any type of football game this time of the year, even if it is a meaningless exhibition. However, if you haven't been glued to the Pittsburgh Steelers training camp at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA, but want to know who to keep an eye on in the game Thursday night, we've got you covered.
Here are 5 offensive players to keep an eye on in the game at Heinz Field. Keep in mind the focus of this task was based on the players who will still see significant playing time despite it being the first preseason game.
Fitzgerald Toussaint - RB - No. 33
Everyone assumed Toussaint would be the man to claim the RB3 spot on the team's depth chart, but a certain player listed below has been putting some doubt into everyone's minds with his stellar performance throughout training camp, and the first preseason game. Toussaint needs to play in the preseason the way he did in the 2015 AFC Playoffs to cement his spot on the team.
Daryl Richardson - RB - No. 38
The aforementioned player throwing a wrench in the RB depth chart would be Daryl Richardson. Fans might now know him, but he isn't a rookie. He spent time with the Rams and there was a time he was considered a quality backup running back. Richardson looks fresh, and fast, and that is a good thing for the Pittsburgh Steelers. If he can show some life on special teams, and continue to run the ball the way he has, Mike Tomlin and Todd Haley will have a tough decision on their hands.
Alejandro Villanueva - LT - No 78
Let's just say 'Big Al' didn't play his best game last Friday night against the Lions. With that said, if he wants to truly win the left tackle position in 2016, he will have to prove it throughout the preseason. What might have been the most troubling is how Villanueva had the look of being nervous last week. This after playing the second half of the regular season, and the playoffs, in 2015. A meaningless preseason game should be just another walk in the park. Time for Villanueva to get his mojo back.
Landry Jones - QB - No. 3
We know Jones doesn't have Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell or DeAngelo Williams at his disposal Thursday night, but what he will have is a complete offensive line. Maurkice Pouncey will be back, and protection should be good enough for Jones to put the ball where his receivers can make the play. He did that on a couple passes, and you can't fault Jones for others' poor play; however, he has to start delivering when it matters to ease the tension throughout the organization with only Dustin Vaughan standing behind him.
Sammie Coates - WR - No. 14
Who had the worst game Friday night could be a toss up between Coates and Villanueva, but most would say Coates. He caught three passes, and fumbled two of those. Coates has never been known for being a fumbler, but he better learn some ball security quick because word gets around fast in the NFL. I fully expect Coates' play to step up Thursday night, and throughout the preseason for that matter. He could be a special player, but needs to have the consistency necessary to truly be great. Let's hope we see shades of that at Heinz Field Thursday.