PITTSBURGH, Pa – Don’t tell head coach Mike Tomlin a win during the pre-season is meaningless. “It is going to be a good learning video for us. It is good to win in the process of that,” said Tomlin after Pittsburgh held on and managed to kickoff their preseason schedule with a win over the Buccaneers.
With quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sitting this one out, which is to be expected for the future Hall of Famer only a few days after the conclusion of training camp, it was yet another opportunity for Josh Dobbs and Mason Rudolph to lay claim to the backup job. While both young quarterbacks played well, it was Rudolph who threw two touchdown passes.
Dobbs spoke about getting the start, and if he feels the backup job is his to lose.
Regardless who was under center, James Washington showed why many expect him to step up as the new second receiver option. “I would say the game has slowed down a little bit. I know the playbook and being more of a well-rounded player,” Washington said in response to if he feels different heading into the 2019 season. Washington finished the game with 4 catches for 84 yards and a touchdown, including extending a drive with a 21 yard catch on third and long.
Even though the Steelers need more from Washington this season, he’s not obsessed with where exactly he ranks on the death chart. Washington said, “you know, it really doesn’t matter. I just want to be on this team and do whatever I can do,” when asked how important the number two receiver spot is to him.
In the preseason, the individual victories are more important than even the final score. Will Rudolph receive a preseason start? Can Benny Snell, who only finished with 26 yards on 13 carries, get going? And will Donte Moncrief have an opportunity to show that maybe he’s the better option behind JuJu Smith-Schuster? Those are just some of the many questions that still surround this Steelers team with three more preseason games left until the real journey begins.
Highlights from Steelers Practice 9/18/20
James Conner tested out his injured ankle and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw passes to JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington and Chase Claypool during practice on Friday, September 18, 2020.
This practice was in preparation for the Steelers week 2 game on Sunday against the Denver Broncos.
Cam Heyward Named NFLPA Community MVP for Week 1
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward has been named NFLPA Community MVP for Week 1.
Heyward was honored for installing his first Little Free Library, a book-sharing box placed in underserved communities around the Pittsburgh area.
Congrats to @camheyward on being named Week 1 #CommunityMVP for installing his first Little Free Library. The book-sharing boxes provide 24-7 access to literacy for underserved Pittsburgh communities while honoring the legacy in education of his late grandfather. pic.twitter.com/uKwbnz28A1— NFLPA (@NFLPA) September 18, 2020
Little Free Library is a non-profit organization that “inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.”
The installation of the book-sharing boxes marks the launch of the Rufus and Judy Jordan Literacy Project, a new initiative of the Cameron Heyward Foundation that will work to promote children’s literacy and honor his late grandparents, both of whom were lifelong educators in Pittsburgh.
Drafted in first round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, Heyward has spend his entire career in Pittsburgh. He is a three-time Pro Bowler, and has twice received First-Team All-Pro honors.
Heyward and the Steelers agreed to a four-year, $71.4 million contract extension on Sept. 6 that will allow him to retire in Pittsburgh and make him the highest-paid defense player over the age of 30 in NFL history.
Highlights from Steelers Practice 9/17/20
The Steelers finally experienced a practice with almost everyone on the roster able to take the field. Only two players did not take part in practice before their week 2 game against Denver.
Alex Highsmith and Minkah Fitzpatrick stood out from the rest on Thursday, September 17, 2020.