There were some intriguing performances against the Jaguars. Here are the Pittsburgh Steelers with the biggest stock shifts after their second preseason game.
I know this is still exhibition action, but I feel like we learned a lot from Saturday night’s preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. In their second performance of the summer, the Pittsburgh Steelers played another hard-fought game that came down to the wire and required a scoring drive to seal the victory. There were some interesting performances in this game, to say the least.
After Week 1 of the preseason, the Steelers had several players with soaring stock while others had rather cringeworthy outings. This time around paradigm shift for a few of these players while others stayed straight on the course.
I’ve now watched the Steelers vs Jaguars game several times through — stopping to rewind after each snap. After getting a much better look at the performances in this contest, here is my stock report following preseason Week 2:
Steelers stock trending up
I was thoroughly impressed by the performances of safeties Terrell Edmunds and Damontae Kazee in this contest. Both players supported the run very well and were two of the top performers on the defensive side of the ball.
I was also pleasantly surprised with what I saw from both Mark Robinson and Buddy Johnson. Robinson flashed in his first preseason contest against the Seahawks but struggled in coverage, while Johnson was unspectacular in Week 1. This time around, both linebackers played fast, physical, decisive football. They got a big boost in stock this week.
Obviously, all eyes were on Kenny Pickett in this contest and he didn’t disappoint. The rookie quarterback was even more impressive against the Jaguars than he was against the Seahawks. This week, he passed for 10.9 yards per attempt and finished the game with a 151.5 passer rating before Mike Tomlin decided he saw all he needed to see.
Receiver Tyler Vaughns had another very impressive game, but his path to the roster is still incredibly difficult. Pat Freiermuth, Ahkello Witherspoon, and Chukwuma Okrafor each had impressive performances as well.
Steelers stock trending down
I’ve lost all hope for Kendrick Green at this point. I have been very vocal about my disapproval of his switch from center to guard, and this experiment couldn’t be going much worse. Green is simply overpowered by bigger, stronger defensive linemen on most plays.
Right next to him on the offensive line, Dan Moore Jr. really struggled in pass protection. He had some ugly reps that nearly got Mitch Trubisky hammered early in the game. Fortunately, the veteran QB has more escapability than Ben Roethlisberger did. James Daniels has also been disappointing during these first two preseason games and his trending in the wrong direction currently.
None of the running backs performed well in this contest (largely because of the offensive line), but Benny Snell just makes it look like it’s a struggle to get back to the line of scrimmage. This has been the story of his career. Though he did have a nice broken tackle on his touchdown catch and made a solid play on special teams, Snell managed -2 yards on 3 carries, via ESPN.
After an excellent first performance against the Seahawks, defensive back Tre Norwood took a step backward against the Jaguars with a bit of a rough performance this week. The same can be said for offensive guard, John Leglue who looked good in the first week of the preseason, but really struggled against the Jaguars.
We are starting to get a very good feel of which players could be key contributors for this team in 2022. It’s encouraging to see some of the linebackers and role players step up this week, but the offensive line, in general, is trending in the wrong direction.