The Steelers had some players that stepped up their game in week two of the preseason against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Steelers will be getting ready to take on the Detroit Lions in their final game of the 2022 preseason schedule. Week two just wrapped up against the Jacksonville Jaguars and it brought some tough competition. It was a tough matchup for Pittsburgh overall and some positions struggled more than others.
Despite some issues and that contest being low scoring, there were some players that stood out more than they did in week one. They were able to have a rebound performance in this one and show the coaches that they can accomplish things during game action. They took a step forward for this club and will hope to finish their preseason strong this upcoming game.
Mason Rudolph played some safe football for the Steelers
Mason Rudolph had a nice outing as the main quarterback for the Steelers in this game. He was able to handle the bulk of the snaps comfortably and he showed why he has been able to stick around on this club for a while. He kept calm and made some smart throws even with the lack of quality of play that the offensive line failed to muster.
This performance will probably not sway the way that the coaching staff currently have the depth at the position listed. Rudolph is the third-string player and will likely stay at the spot for the season. He did well and might have gotten Pittsburgh the opportunity to see a nice trade return come their way if they can find a dance partner.
Mark Robinson seemed to find a calming balance at linebacker
Mark Robinson had a splash play in week one and he followed that up with an overall solid performance in the middle. Both he and Buddy Johnson had good outings on the road in Florida. This seventh-round pick was able to come out and fill run lanes in an effort that showed his best strengths.
He has only played the position for a short while, so he still needs some seasoning and growth in the middle of the defense. One of his best traits is his physicality and ability to lower the boom. Robinson did that again by knocking a Jaguars player back three yards with a hit heard around the world. He had a nice performance and could be stacking them into a roster spot.
Justin Layne was able to make a splash play for the Steelers defense
Justin Layne is in trouble when it comes to him potentially losing his roster spot. He has been a bottom-of-the-roster corner since being drafted in the third round a handful of seasons ago. He has not panned out too well and is struggling to fend off other players like James Pierre and Chris Steele for the final spots.
One thing that this young veteran has on his side is familiarity. Layne has shown the ability to start games in a limited time and has also been able to play on special teams. He was able to get a gifted interception thrown his way and that will hopefully spark him into a new direction. It might be too late for him to make it.
DeMarvin Leal showed some pass rush ability in the trenches
DeMarvin Leal was the third-round pick by the Steelers in the 2022 NFL Draft. He did not play poorly in game one versus the Seahawks, but it could have been better. He has been having a decent camp when it comes to rushing the passer, and that is promising. This rookie still needs to develop further, but his starting point is promising.
This Texas A&M standout was able to notch his first sack of the preseason and continues to apply pressure. If he can fill out his frame and grow his defensive efforts against the run, this could be a special player. Leal has a long way to go, but he has done a nice job and could form into a role player on this defense.
The Steelers still have another week of the preseason before they can start turning their attention to the regular schedule. These players seemed to step up their efforts in week two and that will need to carry over into week three.