The Steelers are in Jacksonville for their second preseason game of 2015. Here’s what you need to know for tonight.
Kickoff: 730pm ET
Where: EverBank Field, Jacksonvile, FL
TV: KDKA – Bob Pompeani, Charlie Batch and Jeff Verszyla on the sideline.
Radio: Steelers Radio Network/WDVE Bill Hillgrove, Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley on the sideline.
Rabble.tv: I will NOT be doing the game this week.
Series History: The Steelers and Jaguars are tied 11-11 in their all-time series. The Steelers are 5-7 on the road in Jacksonville but won their last season 17-9.
Key Injuries: S Robert Golden, LB Vince Williams, S Ross Ventrone and Dan McCullers are all out.
What to Watch: Head Coach Mike Tomlin said in his presser this week that “all healthy veterans will play this week.” I would look for Ben Roethlisberger and other skill position starters to see maybe a drive or two and/or about 10-15 plays.
Outside the veterans finally seeing some playing time, attention must still be paid to the guys who are fighting for roster spots. From everything I’ve been told, Landry Jones will get one more extended shot but I’m not sure it happens tonight.
Keep an eye on Alejandro Villanueva as well. There was a lot of buzz about him following Sunday’s game and rightfully so. Still, I need to see that carry over to the next game and against a different style of defense.
Special Teams must be better tonight as well. The Steelers gave up some big yardage on both punt and kick returns and the excuse that these won’t all be your 11 starters there only goes so far.
Speaking of special teams, new kicker Garrett Hartley makes his debut for the Steelers. He had a great day on Wednesday in practice and hopefully he keeps himself out of harm’s way.
I don’t think you’ll see anything different from Keith Butler’s defense. Perhaps a new wrinkle here or there but I don’t expect massive changes from Sunday.
Notes of Interest: Sammie Coates will get a chance to chat his former Auburn teammate Nick Marshall who is a defensive back for the Jags. Marshall was Auburn’s quarterback at the time the two were there.
Also, Antwon Blake returns to Jacksonville where he last played prior to coming to Pittsburgh.