Home Steelers 2023 Season Not-So-Rapid-Fire Thoughts on the Steelers Win in Atlanta

Not-So-Rapid-Fire Thoughts on the Steelers Win in Atlanta

by Steeldad

Normally I publish my ‘rapid-fire’ thoughts within an hour or so of the Steelers’ game being completed. With last evening’s preseason finale butting right up to the SCB Steelers Podcast I didn’t have time to crank this out so please forgive my tardiness here. Anyway, here are my thoughts on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 24-0 win over the Atlanta Falcons.


-Kenny Pickett played seven drives during this preseason and those drives resulted in seven touchdowns. I’m not sure what else can be said that hasn’t. He is confident. He is poised. He is accurate and he’s in complete charge of this offense. I only ask that fans temper their expectations when the regular season begins. This doesn’t mean you can’t have high expectations but the preseason and regular season are significantly different.

-George Pickens is going to be a huge problem for defenses. If you leave him one on one then he beats you with ability and athleticism. If you double him, he may still do that but now you leave Diontae Johnson or Allen Robinson or Pat Freiermuth or Calvin Austin III one on one. Good luck!

-Connor Heyward is a true hybrid. He’s on the wing… He’s at tight end… He’s in the slot… He’s at fullback… He’s at tailback getting carries. His versatility will be a huge asset this season.

-The O-line looked better – more cohesive – throughout both in the in the running game and in pass protection.

-I thought Broderick Jones looked much better in pass protection. He getting to his spot quicker and with more authority.

-Najee Harris is hearing the noise. He knows fans are suggesting that Jaylen Warren should be the starter and based on Harris’ running last night he’s not a fan of it. Najee was aggressive and authoritative.

-Anthony McFarland looks as good as he ever has as a running back. What a great asset he could turn into.

-Both Miles Boykin and Gunner Olszewski got some serious snaps on offense last night. They both know that if Mike Tomlin is keeping just five receivers then one of them is on the way out. Both had one reception last evening and each has importance on Special Teams so this will be interesting.


-T.J. Watt looks to be in midseason form.

-I honestly don’t know how many snaps Nick Herbig will get in the regular season but he has performed at an incredibly high level. He recorded a sack in each of the three preseason games and displayed better than expected run stopping skills too.

-Much like Olszewski and Boykin, there was a battle going on defensively between Chandon Sullivan and Elijah Riley. Sullivan had a pass breakup while Riley had two tackles. It is possible, they both make it but I’m not confident in making a pick here just yet.

-Elandon Roberts comes downhill like a rocket. He is going to be fun to watch this season.

-The inside linebacker rotation is going to be intriguing and I think it’s going to rotate from game to game based on the opponent matchups. One thing I know is that Kwon Alexander needs to be on the field.

-The toughest decision Tomlin might have is who stays and who goes on the D-Line. I thought several guys played well last night.

-Get your head up Trenton Thompson. He was flagged and rightfully so for leading with the crown of his helmet.

Special Teams

-I think Calvin Austin III has done more than enough to be the punt returner.

-Same goes for Pressley Harvin III. He has survived his challenger.

-Anthony McFarland made some questionable decisions in terms of taking out kickoffs but I have to believe he had the green light to do so in the preseason. I’m not going to worry about it.

Coming Up

The Steelers have until Thursday afternoon to get down to their 53-man roster. All of you know of course that this roster will be fluid leading up to the game against San Francisco in 16 days.


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