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Report Card: Steelers 2023 Preseason grades

The 2023 preseason is over, and for the Pittsburgh Steelers you can’t ask for better, as it pertains to exhibition success. But did every part of the Steelers grade out with flying colors? Time to get out the red pen and do some grading.

Below you’ll see the grade report for the entire preseason, and this isn’t just for the starting units. Thinking about how all phases of the offense/defense/special teams played throughout all three games is where these grades derive.

Time to get started…


The starting offense lit up the scoreboard, and dominated to the tune of 5 total drives, and 5 touchdowns. On top of that, the second and third units didn’t completely fall apart and were able to move the ball. Did they score as well? No, but the depth of the units were evident throughout the entirety of the preseason.

Grade: A+


The Steelers’ defensive starters played sparingly in the preseason, but when they did there were several aspects of their game which were clear throughout the three game stint. They are going to get after the passer, they are taking the football away, and they are a group which is extremely deep at several positions. Just like the offense, the Steelers defense played well throughout the preseason, regardless of who was on the field. Pitching a shutout in Week 3 just added the ‘plus’ to the grade.

Grade: A+

Special Teams

When your starting punter is relegated to doing nothing but holding for extra points, the special teams units look pretty good. However, when the kick coverage teams were called onto the field they did their job. The only real issue were made by the back up kicker who missed a field goal. Other than that, some tremendous work all around for Danny Smith’s special teams units. And I can’t believe I just wrote that last sentence.

Grade: A


The preseason is a great way to see how the coaching staff has prepared the team from top to bottom. When you view the 3-game preseason in this way, it’s hard not to be impressed with Mike Tomlin and his staff’s work at Saint Vincent College throughout training camp. The offense looked dynamic, the defense was stifling, and the special teams play was crisp. Can’t ask for much else.

Grade: A

Overall: A+

I really hate giving such glowing grades for the Steelers at any point, but when you watch a preseason simply go off according to plan it’s hard to disagree with near perfect grades. Granted, these games don’t count, but it sure would be nice to see these type of grades hold true throughout the regular season.

I’ll have my red pen ready to go every week as the team awaits the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1 at Acrisure Stadium. In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to SCN and FFSN for the latest news and notes as the regular season approaches.


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