Tonight’s preseason game should give us our first look at some important  Steelers players.  There will several players to keep an eye on as this game progresses.  Having said that, we have narrowed it down to seven must watch players for this Thursday night game against the Philadelphia Eagles…..

1. Kevin Dotson:

We have heard all too much about the negative things regarding Dotson this off-season.  From indications that he was out of shape, to the latest blunt comments from Mike Tomlin saying he hasn’t earned first team reps.

Tonight we actually get a chance to see Dotson play, and see exactly where he is at with his conditioning and health.  This is perhaps the most pivotal player on the Steelers offensive line.  If he does not have a successful season, the entire line could be in huge trouble in 2021.  Will the Steelers offensive line be their undoing in 2021?

2.  Pat Freiermuth:

Tonight should mark the debut of second round pick Pat Freiermuth in a Pittsburgh Steelers uniform.  We shouldn’t expect too much from the rookie considering it is his first live action.  Still, it will be interesting to see how he does after some considerable hype out of training camp reports.

3.  Melvin Ingram:

The Steelers suddenly look very deep at the edge rusher position.  After the impressive performances of Alex Highsmith, Quincy Roche, Cassius Marsh, and even Jamir Jones last week, we now get our first look at Melvin Ingram.  Hopefully Ingram’s debut goes as well as his fellow outside linebackers did.  The main thing will be to see Ingram get out of this game healthy, regardless of how he does.

4.  Chuks Okorafor:

The Steelers have a ton riding on the successful transition to left tackle for Chuckwuma Okorafor.  This first obstacle in this is the health of Okorafor.  We need to see one or two clean series, and then a seat on the bench for this critical player.

5.  Devin Bush:

The play of the Steelers inside linebackers last week left a lot to be desired.  This makes the come back of Devin Bush all the more important for this defense.  Bush is critical to the success of this defense especially on passing downs.  This is another player we only want to see for a series or two.

6.  Pete Guerriero:

Pete Guerriero was just signed this week because of the rash of injuries at the running back position.  This is a smaller back (5’10”, 190), but one with explosive speed (4.47/40).  He should be an entertaining player to watch in the latter portion of the game.  Maybe he can break a big run, and force the team to take a harder look at him going forward.

7.  Mathew Sexton:

Mathew Sexton provided the biggest play of the preseason opener with his long punt return.  He has an outside chance to make this roster if he can continue to make big plays on special teams.  His main rival Ray-Ray McCloud has been injured the last few days, leaving the door open for Sexton.  A few receptions, and another big punt return could very well put McCloud on the hot seat.