After further review: Potential on display in latest comeback 

After further review …

They've played eight games, enough to know by now who they are and what they are.

But we still don't know who they might yet become.

Thursday night's hosting of Tennessee confirmed the former and teased the latter in another tug of war that was at times exasperating but ultimately exhilarating on the way to 5-3 via a 20-16 come-from-behind triumph over the Titans.

With 5:06 remaining the offense was still stuck on one touchdown, the Steelers were trailing and the game was in danger of slipping away. But on third-and-6 from the Steelers' 45-yard line, wide receiver Diontae Johnson and quarterback Kenny Pickett made a play.

Both noticed Titans cornerback Tre Avery in press-coverage on Johnson, who was lined up wide-right.

What happened next is what's supposed to happen in such situations.

"I had a certain route based off coverage," Johnson said. "If he was 'press,' it turned into a go-route."

The go-route turned into a 32-yard gain to the Titans' 23, the Steelers' longest play of the night and one of the most critical.

Just five days earlier Pickett and Johnson had succumb to "miscommunication" on what should have been a layup touchdown in what eventually became a 20-10 loss to Jacksonville.

What if those two are starting to get on the same page?

Protection was provided on the play by No. 1 pick Broderick Jones, among others.

Jones wound up starting at right tackle rather than on the left side and had no issues whatsoever despite his relative unfamiliarity with the position.

"I just like to play football," Jones maintained. "They can put me at quarterback if they want to."

Jones played 100 percent of the offensive snaps on an offensive line that didn't allow a sack and paved the way for a season-high 166 rushing yards.

What if he's one of the best five up front moving forward?

Take a look at the best photos from the Week 9 game against the Tennessee Titans at Acrisure Stadium

And on the other side of the ball, rookie cornerback Joey Porter Jr. wound up shadowing three-time first-team All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, not all of the time but the vast majority of the time.

It wasn't all that long ago that Porter was playing exclusively in the six-defensive backs "Dime" sub-package.

But for a night, at least, he was tasked with shutting down the other team's best receiver, one of the best in the league.

"I always told myself I wasn't going to back down from no type of work, no type of smoke," Porter insisted.

Hopkins had 60 yards receiving, far fewer than the 49ers' Brandon Aiyuk (129), the Raiders' Davante Adams (172), the Texans' Nico Collins (168) and the Rams' Puka Nacua (154) had managed against the Steelers.

Porter wasn't sure if that type of responsibility is now included in his job description, but he'll accept subsequent assignments enthusiastically should more such work be forthcoming.

"Of course," he insisted. "You always want that."

How might that change the games they have yet to play?

Stay tuned.

These Steelers are still evolving, still growing, still figuring things out, still progressing.

They're not who we thought they'd be, at least not yet.

But there's a lot of golf left.

Their story has yet to be written.