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5 things I’ll be looking for in the Steelers first preseason game

Your Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2023 preseason opener at 7 p.m. EST on Friday night at Raymond James Stadium.

I’m assuming the temperatures will be a little hot, as will the reactions to said game.

Below are five things that I’ll be watching for:

The play of the quarterbacks

Cliched, I know, but how could I not be interested in the play of the quarterbacks? Notice how I used quarterbacks in a plural form? That’s because I’m not sure if Kenny Pickett will play (as of this writing), and I’m just trying to cover my butt. I already know I spelled Tanner Morgan, the 2023 undrafted free agent out of Minnesota, “Tyler Morgan” in my “Day at Training Camp” article, so it’s just a matter of time before I hear about that. I don’t want this article to be hijacked by comments like, “Ummm, Kenny Pickett isn’t even playing….” Anyway, I really, really hope Pickett plays; I want to see how he looks in his first in-stadium action after a full offseason of knowing he’s THE MAN in the Steelers’ offense. But I’m also interested in seeing how Mason Rudolph plays. Why? Because I want to see how fans react to it one way or another. I’m not that worried about Mitch Trubisky. I’m already comfortable with him in his role as the backup quarterback; in fact, there may not be a better No. 2 passer in the league right now.

Tanner Morgan

That’s right, as I mentioned in my training camp article, Morgan looked pretty sharp on Sunday. Could this be your typical “I have nothing to lose” attitude that is quite common for undrafted quarterbacks like Devlin “Duck” Hodges? I’m not sure, but I do know that Morgan has nothing to lose and everything to gain by performing well against the Buccaneers.

Broderick Jones

Obviously, I want to see Jones, Pittsburgh’s most-recent first-round draft pick, in action on Friday. As per the Steelers’ initial 2023 depth chart, it doesn’t look like Jones will start against the Buccanneers, but he’s certain to see plenty of action. How will the big youngster look in his NFL preseason debut?

Joey Porter Jr.

Could I be more unoriginal with the things I want to see in the Steelers’ first preseason game? No, but at least I’m authentic. After all, these are things I really want to see–including the debut of Peezy Jr. The opinions on Porter out of training camp have been a mixed bag up until now. I guess that’s because he’s a rookie. But since social media includes Steelers fans, Browns fans and media types, it also could be because Porter is a total bust of a second-round draft pick. I want to see for myself on Friday.

The reactions of Steelers fans

Since I specialize in mocking Steelers fans, I can’t wait for the three hours of overreactions that will occur during Friday night’s game. I also want to see the overreactions that will take place in the days following Pittsburgh’s first preseason matchup. Which player have fans already seen enough of (besides Mason Rudolph)? How ill-prepared did head coach Mike Tomlin have his team?

There you have it, the five things I want to see during the Steelers 2023 preseason opener vs. the Buccaneers on Friday night. I’d ask you what you want to see, but you’re going to tell me anyway.

Enjoy the game!

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