The third preseason game is traditionally one where starters see more playing time, where the week takes on a new look, one more reminiscent of the regular season than what training camp was like, and basically is a final tune-up for when it all counts.
“You just get the game prep,” said Maurkice Pouncey. “The way Coach (Mike) Tomlin sets it up, the way we come in and do meetings and everything like that. It shows you what a real game is going to be like for the younger guys and everyone who is playing.”
Getting that normalcy back helps everyone, even guys who have been through it before.
“Just getting back to the swing of things, treating it like a game week, getting back to that kind of schedule, giving guys a taste of what in season is like, getting back to that rep count for starters and shaking some of the rust off,” said B.J. Finney.
Relieved: There is no doubt the offensive line loves Ben Roethlisberger, and when he went down on the last day of training camp everyone was holding their breath. But they are breathing a sigh of relief now.
“Ben makes football easy,” said Pouncey. “He is a heck of a quarterback. He is a Hall of Fame first ballot guy. Whenever you have a quarterback like that, football is fun and easy.
“That was really good (that he is okay), especially your franchise QB. To get hit unexpectedly and I think he bounced back pretty quickly, that was good.”
The Steelers prepare for the Week 3 preseason matchup against the Tennessee Titans.
Conner strong: With Le’Veon Bell not reporting yet, James Conner is getting plenty of opportunities. And he is making them count.
Conner, who played only in the first half of the Steelers loss to the Packers, had five carries for 57 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown.
“He runs the ball hard,” said Finney. “He finds the hole, hits it and doesn’t think twice about it. It’s really nice. When you have a back like that you get a quick fit. You make sure you are in front of your guy. He hits the hole and he is gone. It’s nice.
“He is a hard-nosed runner, he wants to get downhill and get those yards. He is just keeping true to his form.”**
He said it**: DeCastro on if he feels Le’Veon Bell will come in ready to go Week 1.
“You would think so. You would think selfishly he would do it for himself just to have a good year. Hopefully he is working hard.”