Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the location for the Steelers final pre-season game of the year, which is against a familiar foe; the Carolina Panthers.
The Panthers have played the Steelers the final week of the pre-season the past couple of years, making this game expected and familiar.
With the majority of the starting, established players sitting out such as Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, Antonio Brown, Heath Miller and so on, this game will serve as one final audition for the younger players to make their case to make each teams roster. With that being taken into account, let's discuss what i would like to see from the Steelers on Thursday evening.
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The veteran quarterback is a lock to make the Steelers' 53 man roster, but I would like to see him get a longer, extended period of play on Thursday. He excited us all with a huge 63-yard deep throw on his first snap of being a Steeler, which showcased his still, huge arm strength.
But, despite a few exciting plays here and their, Michael Vick only played a limited amount of time, mainly due to the fact that he had only recently been added to the team and had yet not learned the entire playbook. So, in this upcoming game, I expect him and Landry Jones to split the game, this will give all of us Steeler fans an idea of what impact Michael Vick will have on our team if he ever has to step in for one or two games.
With Michael Vick and Landry Jones expected to split the game, I am hoping for Landry to show some improvement from last week.
In the game versus Green Bay, Landry Jones showed growth in his play that suddenly dissipated in Saturday's game versus the Buffalo Bills. Landry and the offense failed to respond to the mounting points the Bills were putting up against the Steelers, scoring no points at all in the second half.
That needs to change this week, he will most likely be playing with receivers who won't make the team, behind lineman who won't make the team, with running backs that won't make the team, but hey, who is to say Landry Jones will make the team if he plays poorly again?
The only reason I mention Josh Scobee here is because I want to see how he fairs kicking in Heinz Field. I expect the veteran kicker to have no problems at all but it is something to watch out for, considering he will be our kicker for the rest of the year (fingers crossed).
I don't hold much stock in what the defense does during this game as a lot of starters won't be playing, but I do still want to see improvement from last week.
Having 43 points put up on you by the Bills who were rotating quarterbacks every other drive is seriously not good enough, Now will be the time for a lot of younger, lesser known players to state their case to make this Steelers defense.
As it is a younger defense going through transition, positions are open to people who can make plays. This game should be a game to step up and show you can make plays. An interception here, or a fourth down tackle there could be the difference between a roster spot and carrying you stuff out of the building at the end of the day.
Like I mentioned above, this game is being played by a lot of players who won't be on both the Steelers and Panthers rosters, but it is still a game I want to see the Steelers win.
We need momentum going into New England for week one of the regular season, a win versus Carolina and some signs of improvement on defense, will go a long way im calming my nerves about this 2015 Steelers team.