Pittsburgh Steelers Preseason Week 3: 5 takeaways

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Aug 25, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (30) picks up short yards in the first quarter against the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 25, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (30) picks up short yards in the first quarter against the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers made their 2018 Heinz Field debut and showed their strut in a 16-6 victory over the Titans.

1. James Conner proved his receiving ability. 

Aug 25, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (30) picks up short yards in the first quarter against the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

James Conner will be the backup running back this season. His running game has been electric all preseason. He found few paths this week, so he let his hands do the talking. Conner caught six passes for 62 yards. He hasn’t been known for his receiving, so it’s a good strength to build on for Conner. If he were to get even better, the future of the running back position in Pittsburgh is preserved.

2. Matthew Thomas will start at linebacker

One player Steelers fans should see play is Matthew Thomas. The rookie showed up multiple times on Saturday. He came up with five tackles of his own and nine total. Thomas, 23, saw most of his playing time alongside linebacker Vince Williams, who just signed a four year contract extension with the team. Playing alongside a veteran and playing well is a recipe for success on defense.

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3. Terrell Edmunds has room to add strengths.

Terrell Edmunds was a surprising first round pick and many fans have had their say of him. He’s not shown anything notable and has lacked more often than not this preseason. Saturday changed that. Edmunds had four tackles and one interception that opened a lot of eyes. The pass was thrown by Titans starting quarterback and former Heisman winner Marcus Mariota. Hopefully this is a sign of Edmunds breaking out of his shell. The only way to go is up.

4. Ben Roethlisberger is in mid-season form.

Ben Roethlisberger made his preseason debut–and likely only appearance– a three drive outing where he went 11 for 18, throwing 114 yards and throwing one touchdown. The future hall of famer is ready for the season. The offense itself is going to be in tremendous condition. Ben has his arm, the best offensive line in the game is ready to stand for a dominate running back and the scariest group of receivers the team has had in years.

5. The defense is getting better

Preseason football is about getting ready for the new season and find the right roles for the right players. The Steelers defense had their best outing Saturday and more players are finding their way. Tackle Cam Heyward stood out and the defenders fighting for spots stepped up their game. The Titans didn’t cross the 50 yard line until late in the third quarter. They’re capable of greatness

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