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September 2, 2010 - Buck Frank
Little buzz here at Heinz Field because of these reasons:
1. It's not just a preseason game -- it's the final preseason game. That means the stars will see very little action.
2. The Pitt Panthers open their season tonight in Utah.
3. It's extremely HOT.
These games are just for the hard-core fans. Here is what I'll be looking at tonight:
--Two ex-Penn Staters, Scott Paxson and Sean McHugh, are most likely seeing their final action for the Steelers. Paxson would have to beat out Chris Hoke for the backup nose tackle job, and McHugh is behind David Johnson for the tight end/fullback job.
--It will be interesting to see how CB Keenan Lewis bounces back from his lost opportunity in Denver. He got chewed out on national TV by Mike Tomlin, then smashed a sign outside the team's locker room. If he's going to stick in the NFL, now is the time to show something.
--WR Tyler Grisham should get a final chance at earning a spot. The 5-foot-11 second-year man has looked good but most likely will lose a spot to Antonio Brown or Stefan Logan. It would be nice to see him return a punt or two tonight.
--Charlie Batch has survived NFL cutdown days in the past with strong showings in the fourth preseason game. He should be playing the entire second half (if he doesn't get hurt) tonight. Ben Roethlisberger won't count toward the Steelers' 53-man roster during his suspension, so Batch could make a case to keep three QBs during Big Ben's absence.
--Jonathan Dwyer had a strong showing against Denver but received little praise from Tomlin. He has a final chance to get out of Tomlin's doghouse.
--Special teams aces Anthony Madison and Patrick Bailey are fighting a tough battle to make the team because of draft picks like Jason Worilds, Thaddeus Gibson and Crezdon Butler. Madison and Bailey are the types of players you don't realize what you have until they're gone.