The Pittsburgh Steelers play their first preseason game on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday, August 11. Here are three players to keep a close eye on during the Steelers preseason games in 2023 based on what they’ve done so far in training camp.
WR Calvin Austin III
Calvin Austin is what the Steelers wanted Ray-Ray McCloud to be. He has all you want in a gadget-type player, and he can be utilized as a returner, should the Steelers decide to go that route.
Calvin Austin uses his speed on a corner route and burns Chandon Sullivan. Pickett hits him in the corner for a touchdown— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) August 3, 2023
We were robbed of seeing Austin’s skill, and potential, in 2022 due to an injury he suffered right around this time last season. It will be interesting to see what Matt Canada draws up for the Memphis product, and how long we see him taking snaps in exhibition play.
LB Kwon Alexander
Really, you could just say the entire core of off-ball linebackers, but Alexander has fans excited. The middle of the defense, as well as its depth, were one of the few question marks remaining on the Steelers’ roster. The addition of the former Pro Bowler answers those questions, though.
Kwon Alexander in pads in only his second practice as a Steeler. But he’s got no questions about jumping right in.— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) August 1, 2023
“I put the pads on and I hit. As you can see. You can go watch film." pic.twitter.com/hkgFJeVm1m
Jordan Schultz: Kwon Alexander will make an impact on the Steelers@Schultz_Report joins @JYorkFootball & @MikedUpSports1 to discuss the #Steelers acquiring Kwon Alexander.— The Sick Podcast - Steelers Crazy! (@sickpodsteelers) August 2, 2023
Listen: https://t.co/9KYte6bAkR#HereWeGo #NFL #thesickpodcast pic.twitter.com/eFEwNylivz
Watching the different combinations of Alexander, Cole Holcomb, and Elandon Roberts will be fascinating, as will figuring out who the best out of the three linebackers is throughout the preseason.
Joey Porter Jr.
It will be extremely exciting to see the second-generation star dawn the black & gold for the first time in live-game action. Porter has had a fantastic first week of camp. The tutelage of Patrick Peterson, combined with Porter’s natural ability in coverage is what the Steelers envisioned when they drafted him the the 32nd overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
For all the ball production/ball skills questions Joey Porter Jr. had coming out of Penn State:— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) August 3, 2023
3 picks through 7 practices so far down here in Latrobe.
After a Joey Porter Jr. Interception:— Christopher Carter (@CarterCritiques) August 3, 2023
Tomlin: “Hey GP! Joey won today!”
Pickens: “yeah but it wasn’t on me!”
Tomlin: “still was smooth though!”
Pickens: *laughs* “yeah it was a good*ss pick.”#Steelers
Having three preseason games to begin harnessing that raw talent at the NFL level will be great to see unfold in real-time.