When the Steelers first reported to Saint Vincent College back on July 25 for the start of their training camp, one of the questions to be answered had to do with whether second-year receiver James Washington was going to step up and compensate for some of the catches, yards, and touchdowns that this year will be playing for the Oakland Raiders. Through two games of this preseason, Washington seems to be up to the task.
In the Steelers’ 17-7 victory over the Chiefs tonight at Heinz Field, Washington caught four passes for 78 yards, which is good for a 19.5-yard average. And beyond the raw numbers, Washington made plays that had an impact. On the Steelers first touchdown drive, his 22-yard catch converted a third-and-11, and he added an 11-yard reception that was good for another first down. Later in the first half, Washington confirmed himself as a deep threat with a 40-yard catch.
In two preseason games, Washington now has eight receptions for 162 yards (20.3 average) and one touchdown. For his performance against the Chiefs, Washington is the Steelers Digest Player of the Week.
Also considered were Bud Dupree, who had three tackles, two sacks, three total hits on the quarterback, and one pass defensed; Mason Rudolph, who finished the game 10-of-15 for 77 yards, with no touchdowns, no interceptions, and a rating of 79.0, but on the team’s first touchdown drive, he completed 5-of-6 for 60 yards; Marcus Allen, who had three tackles and a forced fumble on defense, plus two tackles on special teams; and rookie receiver Diontae Johnson, who caught three passes for 46 yards and a touchdown.