Forget the Antonio brown saga, The Steelers have lots to be excited about.
The Pittsburgh Steelers started the 2019 pre-season with a Friday night (Saturday Am for me) showdown with Bruce Arians and the Bucs and boy did they have to grind out 30-28 win over the Arians men at Heinz Field. The Steelers roster was missing a host of their top stars but that wasn’t going to take away the importance of this pre season opener as it was a chance to give the rookies and the WR2/3 and RB2/3 a chance to show what they’ve got before the season opener against the Patriots.
James Washington, Devin Bush, Mason Rudolph all impressed but Washington is a stud in the making and he had a killer game.
For me personally Washington had a poor rookie season, this season he seems to have cleared his head and gave himself a good look in the mirror as he looks hungry and determined. Washington impressed and hauled in an easy four receptions on five targets for 84 yards and a receiving touchdown. Without Donte Moncrief and Diontae Johnson in the lineup, Washington impressed and at half time Mike Tomlin was equally pleased with his performance in the 1st half.
Devin Bush though is unbelievable and boy that kid is a star in the making for the Pittsburgh Steelers organisation, I’m genuinely excited to see what he brings to us.
Devin Bush was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers 10th overall in the 2019 NFL draft. His father, Devin Bush, was also a first round NFL draft pick. The Steelers originally acquired this selection in a trade with the Denver Broncos, trading their first round selection (20th), their 2019 second round selection, and 2020 third round pick to Denver.
Bush was the star on defence. The machine rookie linebacker was all over the field and In that mean everywhere in the first half. He finished his time with 10 total tackles, seven of which were solo. He dropped into coverage no problem and had a pass breakup and he rushed the passer nearly getting a sack.
The Future at QB
Mason Rudolph v Joshua Dobbs is an exciting battle for the QB2 role and who comes out on top of this one? Only time will tell.
Who will be QB2 though? There’s not necessarily a wrong answer to this, as both QB’s are serviceable moving forward. Do the Steelers value Dobbs’ experience, or Rudolph’s pro-style of play at quarterback? Given a short sample size, both quarterbacks are capable of making comparable throws and using their legs to extend the play. Neither quarterback stands out when it comes to basic attributes such as accuracy or arm-strength.
Dobbs entered last season as the man behind Big Ben, and is the front-runner to keep that spot going into 2019. That may not last for long, Rudolph feels as if he’s better prepared coming into his second season. Is Dobbs’ athleticism enough to keep Rudolph from ascending him on the depth chart? Or are the strides Rudolph believes he made in the off-season big enough to warrant him ready for the next step?
There are a few dynamics that may play into making the final decision. Considering how creative offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner gets with play-calling, the Steelers might fancy a quarterback that is just as much of a threat on the ground as he is throwing the ball. Yet should second-year wide receiver James Washington take a big leap in 2019, would Pittsburgh want to pair former Oklahoma State Cowboys Washington and Rudolph for chemistry sake?
The Steelers Future
Luckily for the Steelers, plenty of time and reps remain before an official decision has to be made. Pittsburgh should hope neither of the two quarterbacks are able to see the field in 2019, as that would mean Roethlisberger remained upright and healthy. However, the race for second place behind him shouldn’t remain meaningless, as we are witnessing the second of potentially many years of a quarterback competition that will stretch until Roethlisberger calls it quits.
But if tonights game is any indication, he’s going to have a hard time holding off Rudolph. This isn’t to say Dobbs had a bad game but you can really see how far Rudolph has grown as a player in the offseason. His passes have more zip on them, he’s keeping his head up and maintaining his poise and doing well with his progressions.
The future looks bright for the Pittsburgh Steelers as we have many positions up for grabs and a young hungry roster looking to seize the moment and become the next stars of the NFL. Whether its Standard, Half point PPR, Full point PPR or IDP the Steelers have talent that are either ready for late round consideration now or stashes in Dynasty Leagues going forward. Obviously Juju, Big Ben and Vance McDonald are names you already know. These sleepers in this article will possibly, maybe, help you to win those Championships.
Until next time, Keep Rushing.
– Stewart Love @stewartloveNFL