The Pittsburgh Steelers lost their second preseason game in 2016, this time to the Philadelphia Eagles. We continue the winners and losers column here at BTSC as we evaluate the performance of individual players, coaches, etc.
Players dubbed as winners are those that showed up and either were stars that made big plays for their team in key situations or less reputable players that showed significant improvement or an impressive performance. Losers however are players that made key mistakes that led to a loss and did not make up for it at any time, or were players that were complete disappointments.
Eli Rogers - The undrafted second year wide receiver from Louisville backed up his highly touted training camp performance with a solid showing in the second preseason game. Rogers only caught four passes for 39 yards, but he looked good doing it and it was all that could be expected in an offense that was pitiful all evening.
Shamarko Thomas - Thomas does not look very good, but he’s showing flashes of what Pittsburgh has been waiting to see from him in the secondary. Though his nickname as a rookie was “headache” because he asked so many questions, he could’ve earned that nickname from fans over the years with many costly mistakes in big games. He had five solo tackles and looked to be understanding the defense.
Jordan Berry - The punter position has been locked up. Berry has continued to show serious improvement from last year and it seems like Pittsburgh may be back to having a reliable full time punter.
Tyler Matakevich - Despite limited time, Matakevich looked on defense with three tackles and two assists. He had one significant tackle for loss which saw him dissect the running play and hit the right hole at the right time to make the play. If he hopes to make the final roster, Pittsburgh will need to see more of what he did tonight.
Vince Williams - Williams is showing why he stayed over Sean Spence every time he’s on the field. He has a command of the defense and continues to be fundamentally solid. The sixth round draft pick that survived his trial by fire as a rookie in 2013 is the new Larry Foote, just sitting behind Lawrence Timmons and Ryan Shazier.
Landry Jones - I don’t care who tipped what pass or anything, Jones has had four years to get it together and has shown that he absolutely cannot. Four interceptions in a half is ridiculous and is a result of him not reading the field as well as not having a good arm. He occasionally makes a play here and there, but he is not a backup quarterback to be trusted. Kevin Colbert needs to get on the phone to find a solid #2 quarterback, now.
Jesse James - The second year tight end from Penn State doesn’t look horrible, but he also isn’t looking all that good either. This was supposed to be his time to prove to the team that he could steal the position away from the presumptive starter of LaDarius Green, but he has left that up to question with his play. He’s still young and has time to develop, but right now he’s missing an opportunity to establish himself.
Chris Hubbard/any backup offensive linemen - It’s looking so bad against backup defensive fronts that I feel bad for Dustin Vaughan and anyone that has to rely on them for protection. Quarterbacks are under siege, running backs have no holes to hit and the offense goes nowhere without the offensive line. But that’s probably what the Steelers get when they draft in the later part of rounds for 20 years.