The Pittsburgh Steelers host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tonight in their first preseason action of 2019. Here are the players who have the most to gain.
It’s the moment we have all been waiting for: The Steelers are about to take the field for first time since December.
Last season was one Pittsburgh fans would like to forget. The Steelers imploded down the stretch, and Antonio Brown walked out on the team in their darkest hour.
Today marks a fresh start to a new season. Many players will have the opportunity to prove themselves, and showcase why they belong on this team. Here are the players with the most to gain from tonight’s game against the Buccaneers:
Kameron Kelly, FS
Not many backups have it better than Kameron Kelly right now. The former AAF safety was first in line to fill in for the injured Sean Davis at free safety, and the Steelers will likely give him an extensive look tonight.
Kelly was once a long-shot to make the team, but currently sits inside the roster bubble. A solid showing could help solidify his role as a primary backup safety this season.
Ola Adeniyi, OLB
Ola was one of the most impressive defensive players at training camp this year. A hamstring injury plagued his rookie season, but fortunately, the Steelers didn’t do much in the way of addressing the outside linebacker position in the draft or free agency.
Adeniyi is still the hands-down favorite to land a spot as the team’s 4th edge defender, but a strong preseason performance again in 2019 could have him carving out an even larger role early in the season than we initially thought.
Zach Banner, OT
Nobody gave Zach Banner much of a chance when he joined the team almost exactly a year ago today. Though he didn’t see any action for the Steelers last year, Banner has stuck around and has been impressive this camp.
Banner is a massive human being, listed at 6’8” and 360 pounds. However, he has gotten in much better shape and he carries his weight noticeably better than he did when he was on the Browns in 2017. Jerald Hawkins really struggled in camp. Banner may be able to take the inside track to a backup tackle role this season.
The former rugby player finally made a dent in his second offseason with the Steelers. Though he hasn’t been the most impressive player on the field, he is listed as the team’s 3rd tight end on the initial depth chart.
Scotland Williamson presents a massive 6’9” target, and currently sits above rookie Zach Gentry on the depth chart. If he can impress during preseason, he may be able to find his way on the roster in 2019.
The Steelers still have a lot of question marks on their team, but these players could have a lot to gain from tonight’s game against the Buccaneers. If they impress, it could help solidify their spots on the roster this season.