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Steelers preseason preview, full schedule for 2023 NFL season

The Steelers kick off Week 1 of the preseason on the road against the Buccaneers Friday, August 11.

Mason Cole #61 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on October 16, 2022 at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers officially kick off their 2023 NFL preseason on Friday, traveling to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1.

Paragraph about the Steelers biggest storylines ahead of preseason

Here, well outline the 2023 Steelers preseason schedule and what you may have missed with their opponents through the offseason.

All game odds come courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

Week 1 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Date: Friday, August 11
Kickoff time: 7 p.m. ET
TV channel: KDKA (local markets), NFL+
Listen: Steelers Nation Radio, WDVE 102.5 FM, WBGG 970 AM

DraftKings Sportsbook odds: Steelers -2.5, O/U 39

Bucs storylines you may have missed this offseason

  • Since the retirement of QB Tom Brady, the Bucs are working through a training camp competition between former second-round pick Kyle Trask and free agent signing Baker Mayfield. Though neither of them has far excelled above the other in training camp so far, the consensus among beat reporters is that it’s Mayfield’s job to lose.
  • The Bucs run game will also look a bit different in 2023, following the release of veteran RB Leonard Fournette. Starting in his place will be second-year back Rachaad White, who will look to build on an incredibly inefficient showing in his rookie season, averaging just 3.7 yards per rush attempt with more fumbles (2) than he had rushing touchdowns (1).
  • Among the many questions on offense, there’s a lot to like about the Bucs defense ahead of 2023, with a number of cornerstone players returning, including veterans Jamel Dean, Ryan Neal, Antoine Winfield Jr. and Carlton Davis in the secondary. Despite requesting a trade earlier this offseason, star LB Devin White will also return.
  • On the defensive line, rookie DE Calijah Kancey will look to make a splash after being selected by the Bucs with the 19th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Last year, the Buccaneers allowed just 5.1 yards per play — tied with the Cowboys, Chiefs, and Bills for the seventh lowest among NFL teams.

Week 2 vs. Buffalo Bills

Date: Saturday, August 19
Kickoff time: 6:30 p.m. ET
TV channel: KDKA (local markets), NFL+
Listen: Steelers Nation Radio, WDVE 102.5 FM, WBGG 970 AM

Bills storylines you may have missed this offseason

  • The Bills defense might be what takes this team over the top in 2023. Despite finishing with the No. 2 overall defense on the year, there were several key injuries that limited their overall upside. Starting safety Micah Hyde (neck) will make his return this year, as will LB Von Miller (ACL) and safety Damar Hamlin (cardiac arrest). Also worth noting is the impact of having CB Tre-Davious White in the mix for a full season, having missed Weeks 1-11 recovering from a torn ACL last year.
  • The team let RB Devin Singletary walk in free agency, signing former Patriots RB Damien Harris to work in tandem with second-year RB James Cook in the run game. Another key addition on offense is TE Dalton Kincaid, who the team traded up for in the 2023 NFL Draft — set to be a potential big-time threat as a slot receiver with Dawson Knox likely to continue in a role as a blocker. Once again, this offense could be among the top in the league.
  • You may have heard rumblings of some drama between QB Josh Allen and WR Stefon Diggs earlier this offseason, but it seems as though that water is all under the bridge... at least for now.

Week 3 at Atlanta Falcons

Date: Thursday, August 24
Kickoff time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV channel: KDKA (local markets), NFL Network, NFL+
Listen: Steelers Nation Radio, WDVE 102.5 FM, WBGG 970 AM

Falcons storylines you may have missed this offseason

  • The team committed to third-round pick Desmond Ridder as the team’s starting quarterback in March, the second quarterback off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft, only behind Steelers’ Kenny Pickett. After opening his rookie season behind veteran Marcus Mariota, Ridder got limited action to close out the year, posting a 2-2 record as a starter. He wasn’t asked to do much within the run-heavy scheme, averaging just under 29 pass attempts per game, throwing for two touchdowns and zero interceptions across those four starts.
  • The Atlanta Falcons have set Ridder up with plenty of weapons, drafting the consensus RB1 in the 2023 NFL Draft, Bijan Robinson, with the No. 8 overall pick — yet another addition to the run game that ranked among the league’s best in 2022. He’ll round out the run game alongside second-year backup Tyler Allgeier, with a healthy TE Kyle Pitts and second-year WR Drake London in the mix as receivers.
  • The defense made a couple of splashes this offseason, too, signing three former AFC North-ers in free agency in former Steeler Bud Dupree, former Raven Calais Campbell, and former Bengals safety Jessie Bates III.