PRESEASON WEEK 3: Steelers @ Bills Preview and Prediction
Unlike the Buffalo Bills, the Steelers don’t have to worry about who their starting quarterback will be with Ben Roethlisberger and the rest of the offense’s starters projected to play into the third quarter, just like every other squad in the third week of the preseason.
Though Pittsburgh did sign veteran Michael Vick to serve as their back-up, head coach Mike Tomlin said he wanted to see how practices went leading up to the game before deciding whether Vick will see any action.
Still, Pittsburgh does face questions about its receiving corps, especially after it was revealed Thursday that second year wide out Martavis Bryant failed a drug test and has been suspended for four games to start the season. The appeals process for Bryant is already underway.
Antonio Brown and Markus Wheaton will cover the #1 and #2 receiver positions today, but be sure to keep an eye out for rookie Sammie Coates, who definitely has the opportunity to show what he has to earn the #3 spot during Bryant’s suspension. That is unless Darrius Heyward-Bey has anything to say about that.
Not to mention another rookie in Tyler Murphy, whose scored his first touchdown of the preseason on a pass from backup quarterback, Landry Jones. Murphy showed impressive speed and elusiveness over the past three preseason games, so look for a lot of him on the offensive side of the ball.
The Steelers also have a #3 running back situation to figure out. With DeAngelo Williams stepping for Le’Veon Bell during his two game suspension, hopeful backups Dri Archer and Josh Harris are still vying for the third spot. Along with Archer, coach Tomlin also pointed out that this is a big week for second year back Josh Harris as well.
Mike Tomlin told reporters Thursday that defensive end Stephon Tuitt (ankle) will sit out against Buffalo, but did not rule out linebackers Lawrence Timmons (toe) and Vince Williams (hamstring), or defensive backs Mike Mitchell (ankle), Ross Ventrone (ankle), and Cortez Allen.
Look for the Steelers offense to explode early on with Roethlisberger and his receivers. Their defense to continue to improve this week against the Bills, look for more quarterback pressure and zone coverage.