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Steelers vs. Panthers Preseason Week 4: 4 Winners and 4 Losers after the win over the Panthers

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The Pittsburgh Steelers played their final game of the preseason, and was time to see who played well, and who left a lot to be desired.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

After a game, even a meaningless preseason game, there are players who impress, and some who disappoint. This is where our weekly “Winners and Losers” column was born. Sometimes being labeled a loser is a bit harsh, but ultimately there are players every game who simply aren’t up to “the standard”.

Time to diagnose who falls into which category for the Pittsburgh Steelers after the team’s Week 4 preseason game against the Carolina Panthers Thursday night.

Winners

Terrell Watson — The Steelers wanted to get a good look at Terrell Watson in the preseason finale, and they should have liked what they saw. Watson gained 60 yards in the first quarter alone, and ended with 89 yards rushing on 19 carries, all behind the second and third string offensive lines. I don’t know if Watson will make the team, but he has had a tremendous preseason.

Justin Hunter — You only have a handful of plays to make your case, and Hunter capitalized on his. After a couple nice possession grabs, Hunter hit pay dirt for a 58-yard touchdown. While others were floundering in their last push to make the roster, Hunter put his best foot forward. The questions now is, will it be enough?

Joshua Dobbs — Dobbs’ up-and-down preseason continued, but the deep pass to Hunter, and the game-winning drive at the end of regulation prove just what this kid is capable of. Dobbs had his head-scratching moments, as most rookies do, but his bad plays are becoming fewer and fewer. In other words, he is getting better, and that is all you can ask from the rookie from Tennessee.

Key Players’ Health — While you see stories of other NFL teams losing key players in meaningless games, the Steelers were fortunate to escape the preseason without losing any starters to major injury. Sure, Mike Mitchell is still not at 100-percent, but the big guns are back and ready to roll in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns. That is ALWAYS a win.

Losers

Sammie Coates — So much talent, yet so little effort. Sometimes, and not just this presason, Coates simply doesn’t seem like he is trying that much. Questioning a player’s effort is difficult at times, but Coates’ lack of effort on the comeback route thrown by Dobbs in the preseason finale punctuated a tumultuous preseason for Coates. After his knee injury before training camp, I’d go as far as saying Coates’ job is anything but safe.

Trey Williams — You have one way to make the team, and that is as a return man. When this is your only avenue to make a splash, you can’t fumble the opportunity away — literally. That is what Williams did in the first half when he muffed a punt, and unfortunately that one mistake likely ended his brief stint in the Steel City.

Cobi Hamilton — “Combat Catch” Cobi Hamilton had an uphill fight to make the team, and when he caught a fourth quarter pass and looked to score the go-ahead touchdown, only to be caught from behind and coughing up a fumble, you could see the frustration and disappointment on his face. Hamilton filled in admirably in 2016, but there simply isn’t a spot on the team for him anymore, and that one play punctuated it.

Injuries — Injuries suck, especially in meaningless games. Although the lack of injuries were a “winner” tonight, the injuries to Jordan Dangerfield and Cameron Sutton could really shake up the team’s 53-man roster. In fact, it could land Sutton on injured reserve, most likely designated to possibly return, but it all depends on the severity of the injuries. Doesn’t mean they don’t still suck.