The Steelers made it through their final preseason game without any major injuries, which was the best they could hope for.
They also got some nice contributions from players who had been out throughout most of the preseason, Emmanuel Sanders and Cortez Allen.
Sanders wasn’t an unknown commodity and the Steelers knew he would be a contributor in 2011. They just weren’t sure when after he had two offseason foot surgeries.
But Sanders had four catches for 60 yards, showing he’s ready to roll in the opener at Baltimore.
Allen, meanwhile, is a raw rookie who had missed the team’s first three preseason games. The fourth-round draft pick showed his athleticism, recording two tackles and defending three passes, including one that he batted into the air for teammate Will Allen to pick off.
There’s now no way the Steelers can risk trying to slip Allen onto the practice squad.
Fellow rookie Curtis Brown also showed some nice coverage skills, while last week’s star, Crezdon Butler had an up-and-down game, making a couple of nice plays, but also allowing a touchdown – though safety help over the top would have helped.
© Morty Ivy also made a strong case to stick on the roster, at least as a special teams player.
Ivy had a team-high nine tackles, a sack, a pass defense and a quarterback hit.
One would think that Stevenson Sylvester is safe, but could Ivy push Larry Foote off the roster?
That’s doubtful as well, but it shows you the kind of tough decisions the Steelers face in the next two days.
© It was about time for Jason Worilds to show up in a game and he finally did.
Yes, he was unblocked on his sack, but he showed nice burst throughout the game getting down the line of scrimmage.
I liked the sense of urgency he played with and would like to see more of it.
© Jonathan Dwyer, welcome to the team.
Again, like Worilds, I liked the sense of urgency I saw from Dwyer. Mike Tomlin likely noticed as well.
© David Johnson looks much quicker in the open field than previous No. 2 tight end Matt Spaeth, even if he doesn’t offer Spaeth’s height.
Then again, it would be difficult not to look quicker than Spaeth.
He’s a better blocker as well – again, something that isn’t all that difficult.
© Wesyle Saunders has wrapped up the No. 3 tight end position.
© I don’t see how the coaching staff can cut Corbin Bryant, but looking at the numbers at other positions, it will also be difficult to keep him.
That will also leave a tough decision between Chris Hoke and Steve McLendon.
McLendon still has some practice squad eligibility, which could mean he's headed there again.
Bryant, however, would get scooped up in a heartbeat.
© The Steelers look like a team that can't wait to roll into Baltimore in a little over a week.