Coach Mike Tomlin has uttered the saying time and time again.
Two dogs…one bone.
On Thursday night there will be a battle for that bone at Heinz Field, as Joshua Dobbs and Mason Rudolph get one last shot of winning the third spot at quarterback on the Steelers roster.
And both of them are approaching it without thinking about the final roster cuts on Saturday, but instead on what they can accomplish against the Carolina Panthers.
"I think it's something you guys like to look at. For me I just play football," said Dobbs. "I can't control a lot of things. I can control how I approach every day, how I practice and how I play games. I just worry about that and let my tape do the talking for me, focus on what I can control and take it one day a time."
Dobbs said he will get the start against the Panthers and is hoping to see extended playing time.
"You have to enjoy the opportunity, keep the offense in good situations, positive plays, and take it one play at a time," said Dobbs. "That is my mindset going into the game and have fun with it. I want to take advantage of all of the reps. It will be fun to go out and compete. I feel like I have performed well. I know the ultimate decision isn't in my hands. I just want to go out and play good football and get the win for the team.
"You just control what you can control. When you get the opportunity, go out and make the most of them and play good football."
Rudolph, who saw significant playing time against the Titans on Saturday night, said he is feeling more comfortable in the offense, including being more at ease taking snaps under center, something he didn't do in college.
"It's an ongoing process," said Rudolph. "Just being more comfortable under center after not doing it the last eight years. That is something I have been pleased with my progression there. I am looking forward to the season, even though the reps will be cut down pretty substantially soon, but you have to take advantage of mental reps, all of the virtual reps, and even when you aren't playing stay engaged."
The speed of the game is another area where he is feeling more comfortable, with the way the team practices making it a simple adjustment.
"Whenever you get the ones in practice, you can feel the speed jump up," said Rudolph. "I think everyone has been playing at a high level. Through all three groups, everyone has been performing well. The speed, you saw it in the spring, in OTAs, now you see it in the games. It slows down in the games. You are not playing against the guys you see 16, 17 weeks in a row. It's refreshing to get out there with new faces, guys who are nervous too. They don't want to screw up. It slows down on game day."
Chip on his shoulder: Rookie linebacker Olasunkanmi Adeniyi will use Thursday's game as another opportunity to show what he can do in his battle to make the 53-man roster. Adeniyi has been a standout in camp and the preseason, fighting the uphill battle a lot of undrafted rookie free agents face.
"That chip is always going to be on my shoulder," said Adeniyi. "Me coming in here as an undrafted player, I have high expectations for myself. I know what I can do. I know that I can produce and play in the league. I just have to keep doing what I can do. If it's special teams I have to get better at, so be it. If it's defense, so be it."
Adeniyi said he has been leaning on outside linebackers coach Joey Porter since his arrival, taking in everything the fiery coach has to say, and never being afraid to ask questions.
"When I come back to the sideline I ask him what I was supposed to do, did I do my job, can I do better," said Adeniyi. "When we watch film, I get with him. I worked with him on my zone coverages because I never really did it. Just working with him a lot, I got comfortable with it."
The Steelers prepare for the Week 4 preseason matchup against the Carolina Panthers.
Welcome aboard: The Steelers acquired Ryan Switzer from the Oakland Raiders via trade on Monday, and he seems happy with his new location.