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3 Steelers in major need of a good performance against Tampa Bay

The first NFL preseason game is in the books, and the juices within NFL fans have begun to flow. It is definitely watered-down football, but any NFL football is welcomed with open arms at this time of year.

With the Steelers now in preparation mode for their first preseason game, it is time to further evaluate which players have the most at stake. There will not be any cutdowns prior to the final cuts to trim the roster down to 53, but there are definitely players who need to make a strong first impression. If not, there is always a chance the team could opt to release them ahead of final cutdowns.

The players we discuss below are players who need to play well in Game 1 of the preseason in order to get more opportunities in the remainder of the preseason.

Kendrick Green

Green has been the center of much criticism since being drafted, as his performance has left a lot to be desired. Earning a 52.4 PFF grade in 2021 (which is somehow considered an average grade for PFF), Green has struggled with consistency, often being pushed off the ball by stronger defenders. He has been unable to overcome his lack of length, and if things do not improve, I do not see a way he makes this roster strictly as a lineman.

The additions of Isaac Seumalo and Nate Herbig have helped round out a crowded room of offensive linemen, which means there are not many reserve spots available. With Le’Raven Clark, Kevin Dotson, and Spencer Anderson all competing for roster spots as well, it seems highly unlikely Green makes the roster without an impressive preseason on the offensive line unless he makes a full position change. But if Green’s versatility allows him to adequately cover a multitude of reserve positions, his path gets much easier. He cannot afford to mess up his chance both on the line or at fullback.

James Nyamwaya

Nyamwaya is an unknown commodity to the average fan, but his collegiate resume was intriguing. Originally playing Division III football, Nyamwaya made the move to Merrimack in 2022, where he started 10 games and recorded 6.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. For someone who did not even play football until high school, his production in college is a testament to his sharp mind and strong work ethic.

However, he has very little room for error, as the additions of Armon Watts, Breiden Fehoko, and Keeanu Benton fill out a room which already includes the likes of Cameron Heyward, Larry Ogunjobi, Montravious Adams, Jonathan Marshall, and Isaiahh Loudermilk. To earn a roster spot, he would most likely have to outplay at least two of the aforementioned players, if not three. It is a tall task, but he should definitely see the field against the Buccaneers. He needs a strong performance to get a closer look in Game 2.

Dez Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick is a former fouth-round pick of the Titans who never had a legitimate shot to be a difference-maker in the Tennessee offense. A strong, physical presence on the outside, Fitzpatrick is sure to see playing time during the preseason, but with the likes of Myles Boykin, Hakeem Butler, Cody White, and other big-bodied receivers on the roster, he will need to make quite the impression out of the gate to have a legitimate shot at the roster.

Which players do you think have the most to prove against the Buccaneers? Be sure to share your thoughts on this and all things Pittsburgh Steelers in the comment section below!


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