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.