Football is back, sort of, and although the upcoming Pittsburgh Steelers vs Green Bay Packers game in Week 2 of the 2018 preseason is technically meaningless, it doesn’t mean there aren’t specific players fans are excited to see.
While Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and other starters will be taking a night off and will enjoy being spectators, there are plenty of players fans should be excited to watch on the field.
Maybe you haven’t kept good tabs on the Steelers this offseason? Don’t know who you should be watching? Here are 5 players to keep an eye on during tonight’s preseason fracas.
1. Bud Dupree — OLB
Dupree missed Week 1 with a concussion, and after the switch from left outside linebacker to right outside linebacker, fans want to see something flash from the former 1st round draft pick. Dupree, who had his 5th year option picked up by the Steelers this offseason, is in a very critical season for his NFL future. Show up and play big, be rewarded by the team that drafted you. Keep up the usual lack of production and prepare to hit the free agent market sooner than later. This game is Step No. 1 for Dupree to make a new name for himself.
2. Terrell Edmunds — Safety
Fans didn’t get to see much of Edmunds in Week 1, because the starting defense didn’t play a great deal in the preseason opener, but the hope is Edmunds will see more playing time in Week 2. He will have his hands full as the Steelers defense will face Aaron Rodgers for at least part of the first quarter...talk about trial by fire. With Sean Davis nursing a groin injury, there is a chance Edmunds makes the start at Strong Safety.
3. Damoun Patterson — WR
Was Week 1 a flash in the pan? Or is this what we can expect from the former Youngstown State wide receiver? Patterson could, and probably should, be given more than enough opportunities to showcase his talent and prove last week wasn’t a fluke. The reality of the situation is to keep an eye on Patterson when special teams are on the field. It will be in this area where Patterson can truly make a name for himself.
4. Mason Rudolph — QB
Rudolph looked good in his first NFL action last week, but that was in the second half of a Week 1 preseason game. While Mike Tomlin hasn’t stated who will start for the Steelers in Week 2, between Rudolph and Joshua Dobbs, Rudolph hopefully gets a shot at going against stiffer competition. Fans should also remember while Rudolph could be going against a better defense, he will also have a better supporting cast around him on offense as well. All fans want to see is the progression continue with their young rookie quarterback.
5. Keion Adams — OLB
The need for depth at outside linebacker could start and end with Keion Adams. Anthony Chickillo has cemented himself as the first off the bench at the position, but if Adams is trying to keep the team from looking elsewhere for pass rush help, he needs to show up in a big way. Adams, in his first NFL action last week, showed some promise, but will need to continue to play well to ease fans’ minds regarding the depth at the outside linebacker position.
Other players to keep an eye on:
James Washington — WR
Chukwuma Okorafor — OT
Cameron Sutton — CB
James Conner — RB
Joshua Dobbs — QB
Ola Adeniyi — OLB