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Bleeding black and gold...

August 29, 2010 - Ray Eckenrode

Three things to watch for in tonight's Steelers-Broncos game:

Rookie receivers
No one will come out and say it, but the Steelers braintrust is getting excited about the potential AND performance of Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown, so much so that each of them will get a look tonight in a different receiving position than they've learned so far. Sanders will move into the flanker position, the "thinking receiver" spot that Hines Ward plays to near perfection, while the speedy Brown will play split end, the "pure speed" positon. Wide receiver is considered the toughest position to adjust to between college and the NFL and the fact that both guys are getting a look at a second position bodes well for them.

Dennis the menace?
Steelers coaches obviously have considered Dennis Dixon to be a "high risk, high reward" proposition early in his career. That's why he worked with a limited playbook in his one start last year at Baltimore and that's why Byron Leftwich is assumed to have the inside track for the starting job come September. NFL coaches hate risk. But Dixon might be alterning that mindset, looking very poised, efficient and in charge in his play so far this preseason. Tonight, he'll get to run with the Steelers first team and if he shines again, his role is likely to expand when the real games begin.

New look line
Maurkice Pouncey's ascension to starting center also means the coaching staff isn't giving serious thought to the idea of playing Pouncey at guard and moving Trai Essex to right tackle. That means the coaches must be happier with Flozell Adams than the fans are so perhaps we need to take another look here.

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