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Steelers Preseason Week 4: 5 Players on defense to watch vs. the Panthers

With the acquisition of Joe Haden, several Steelers are playing for their football life against Carolina.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Tennessee Titans Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Here we go. The Steelers are ten days from the start of the season. With Joe Haden coming to town, things got a whole lot more interesting on defense. There are still battles to be won and lost. The secondary has more players departing than a mere day ago. Here’s five players to take interest in their play on Thursday. They may be playing for their black and gold lives.

No. 31 CB Ross Cockrell

Ross did not look good at all this preseason. Even though he's an intelligent player, he commits dumb penalties and is frequently beaten by any caliber of WR. I think he'd be fine in relief, but Hayden could render him irrelevant. I think he's playing for his job tonight.

No. 24 CB Coty Sensabaugh

Sensabaugh was brought in to provide depth and I still think he can do just that. But again, he hasn't done enough to seize the starting job. He'll be in an outright battle with Cockrell.

No. 22 CB William Gay

Even though he is long-in-the-tooth, I actually think Gay is valuable in the slot at this time. Cam Sutton is the future, but he's not "Day One Ready". Gay also may be called on at safety. So it behooves No. 22 to shine in Carolina too.

No. 93 DT Daniel McCullers

The gigantic McCullers has not echoed the ghosts of Casey Hampton like so many had hoped four years ago. With the emergence of L.T. Walton, Johnny Maxey and the acquisition of Tyson Alualu, I don't think the experiment continues for the Steelers with Big Dan.

No. 21 S Robert Golden

Golden was a starter a year ago, but Sean Davis wrestled his job away after Rob failed to justify his surname. He's probably fine with the lack of depth at safety, but a strong performance would go a long way to ensure he remains.