Motor is running:** With Cameron Heyward not playing in Thursday's preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers defensive end Ricardo Mathews will get a few more snaps. But those aren't even needed for Coach Mike Tomlin to say he is happy with what he has seen from the seven-year veteran who joined the Steelers as a free agent this offseason.
"He's a high-motor, high-energy guy, a blue-collar worker and he doesn't care what you ask him to do," said Tomlin. "He's willing and able. All of those are good attributes, in terms of the job description in being a versatile backup defensive lineman for us."
- Keeping it tight: With Ladarius Green still nursing an ankle injury, the work at tight end has been divided and Tomlin likes what he has seen so far from the group, including some of the young guys who have been making their mark.
"These young guys are continually on the rise, in terms of the quality of their play," said Tomlin. "I'm talking about Jesse James and Xavier Grimble. We'll expect that maturation process to continue as we get into the regular season. Often, that's the case. None of us are finished products just because we're approaching opening day. I'll expect those guys to continually get better on a day-to-day basis. And even over the course of the journey. I'm excited about where they're headed, and I'm excited about some of the things they've been able to accomplish from a developmental standpoint, to this point. But it's reasonable to expect those guys to continue to get better, even as we get into the journey."
Potential is just that: The Steelers have the makings of a great group of wide receivers in Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Sammie Coates and company. But Tomlin isn't ready to evaluate them just yet.
"I think they'll write that story, because it's about delivering and delivering in the significant moments over the stretch of the season," said Tomlin. "And so, I don't know that I'm ready to analyze them in that way. I know they have the potential to be a good group, but potential is just that."