Steelers football has returned. There will be football in Heinz Field just a short time from now. Granted, it may not look like what you would expect to see in the regular season–many starters will be rested–but it will be Steelers football.
Expect to see a long look at some of the team’s newest components, particularly their draft picks, such as Devin Bush, Benny Snell, Jr., and Isaiah Buggs. Others are dealing with minor injuries, but perhaps some, like Diontae Johnson, may be able to give it a go.
Arguably the biggest story of the game may be the quarterback position, as Joshua Dobbs, who will start, looks to tend off 2018 third-round pick Mason Rudolph for the backup job. Also, can Devlin Hodges get on the field and try to make this a three-horse race? For some reason, many are intensely interested in this, so I would be remiss not to mention it.
Matthew Wright kicked off with Snell and Tegray Scales in on the tackle at about the 20-yard line to start things off. Bush recorded the run stop on first down after a couple yards. Breshad Perriman had space at the right side for a first down, Justin Layne slowing him down for the tackle after a game of 12. Barber spun away from Mark Barron but still only picked up four yards. Ola Adeniyi looked like he was held. On second down, Barber spun through the middle of the defense for a first-down run to the 45.
Jameis Winston looked for the bomb against Layne down the right sideline, but the ball was overthrown to Perriman. Layne was a bit behind. Barber one-cut for seven yards past Adeniyi. Now third and three, Winston had Chris Godwin for an easy completion in front of Layne. Both Haden and Burns are not playing. Neither is Steven Nelson. Cameron Sutton is on the opposite side.
A dumpoff to Ronald Jones picked up four off the right side, Anthony Chickillo making the tackle. Adeniyi put the pressure on Winston, but he spun out of it from the blind side and peeled off to his left to run for a first down.
At the Steelers’ 22, Jones was stopped after a seven-yard gain through the B gap on the right side by Terrell Edmunds. He almost got all the way to the right edge for a first down run before being stopped by Kameron Kelly, starting for Sean Davis.
Now first and goal from the 9, it was a screen to Godwin, making a tackler miss for the relatively easy score. It was Layne missing the play, the rookie having a rough first drive in the NFL as the Buccaneers march 80 yards for the touchdown on Keith Butler’s unit.
Johnny Holton made a mistake taking the kickoff out from deep in the end zone, stopped not much beyond the 10. Edmunds was flagged for a hold to boot, putting Dobbs in awful field position.
Jaylen Samuels got the first touch for perhaps a yard on what looked like a read option. On second down, Dobbs looked down the field for James Washington, who came up with the catch for 40-plus yards, beating Vernon Hargreaves.
Near midfield, it was a short slant to Tevin Jones for a gain of six. Diontae Spencer now in, Dobbs dropped back to pass but was sacked with some miscommunication in the protection. Now third and 12, his pass sailed over everybody in Jones’ direction down the field. Jordan Berry’s punt traveled about 43 yards with a fair catch at the 10.