With the Pittsburgh Steelers first preseason game tonight, all eyes will be on which players have made an impact during training camp while others will be looking for redemption. Here are the biggest winners and losers of Steelers’ training camp thus far.
1. Vince Williams
A crowded roster of linebackers leaves players like Vince Williams to really turn some heads to secure a roster spot. He’s doing just that.
Williams saw some playing time last season, but never panned out to be a linebacker that could be of immediate use this season. Williams, however, has been making a statement at training camp. He’s been a force to be had during back-on-backers, including a scuffle with running back Le’Veon Bell.
He’s been described as a hard-hitting linebacker and has been making big-time plays as of late. It will be interesting to see if Williams can translate his training camp intensity to the playing field tonight.
2. Terrence Garvin
To stay on the linebacker trend, fellow linebacker Terrence Garvin has been another name tossed into the mix. While it seems likely he’ll be a successful special teams player, he’s still making a case for time on the defensive side of the ball.
A player who is “all around the ball” during team drills has a legitimate shot if he can continues his recent play. Garvin has been working at both inside and outside linebacker. This only helps his case as a more versatile player is of higher value than a player who only knows one position.
With the ability to line up on the inside and outside and contribute on special teams, Garvin has a lot of areas he could cover. He’s going to be a good special teams player and a solid back up for the linebacking corps.
3. Martavis Bryant
Martavis Bryant has got a lot of raw talent that has a lot of potential. He’s far from a well-groomed receiver, but he’s been red zone threat in camp.
When the Steelers drafted the former Clemson wide receiver, his height was a major turn on. He’s Plaxico Burress-like and no one is happier than Ben Roethlisberger. While he’s nowhere near Burress from a talent stand point just yet, he could still be a very valuable player for a team that struggled in red zone.
He may only see time in red zone situations, but if he’s the tall receiver Big Ben’s been craving then Roethlisberger may have a new favorite target inside the 20-yard line.
1. Landry Jones
A third string quarterback isn’t that relevant, but what stands out about Landry Jones is the fact that the team spent a fourth round pick on him.
He was a wasted pick.
Jones will remain a third string quarterback for his entire career. There seems to be very little hope that he’ll pan out to be something special in the NFL. His struggles in training camp are very evident and it’s hard to swallow that he was taken so high in the 2013 draft.
2. Mike Adams
There were high hopes for Mike Adams, in fact, there’s still high hopes for the offensive lineman. But, he continues to disappoint.
The Steelers brought in Mike Munchak as the new offensive line coach and while he’s a tremendous pickup for the coaching staff, he’s not a miracle worker as some have made him out to be. Maybe it’s going to take time, but there’s no reason to believe (as of right now) that Adams is going to live up to his potential this season, maybe ever.
3. Chris Carter
Unlike Williams and Garvin, the large linebacking crowd hasn’t been kind to Chris Carter. He hasn’t stood out. His only chance of making this team may be on special teams.
With excellent play from Williams, Garvin and Sean Spence, Carter is fading into the background and unless a major statement is made, he’ll vanish completely.