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Steelers Stock Report: Atlanta Falcons Preseason Week 3 Edition

The Pittsburgh Steelers completed their perfect 3-0 preseason with another convincing road victory over the Atlanta Falcons. The Steelers won 24-0, but it really wasn’t that close.

I actually felt sorry for the Falcons broadcast team, who spent the evening making excuses, blowing smoke up the nether regions of the NFL Network audience, praising the value of stadium concessions, and trying on ridiculous hats and fake mustaches.

At one point I thought isn’t it funny when life imitates art. Confused? Let me try to explain.

The NFL has done the unimaginable. They have finally produced a clever commercial. In the aforementioned commercial, the NFL pokes fun at all the conspiracy theorists who religiously claim that the NFL is scripted. If you can’t shut them up, make fun of them in an entertaining commercial. I fully realize that I say that now, but I will loathe it by midseason after being forced to watch it every commercial break throughout every game. That being said, my favorite part is the shirtless Kirk Cousins wearing his Mr. T gold chains starter kit.

Life imitates art? The Steelers 2023 preseason played out like it was perfectly scripted. How perfect you may ask? Steelers second year QB Kenny Pickett finished his first preseason as the starter with a perfect QB rating. Five total drives, five touchdown drives. You couldn’t have scripted it any better.

Let’s took a look at what direction Steelers Stock is trending after their almost perfect preseason.

Steelers Stock Trending Up: Kenny Pickett

What else can I actually say about the talented young man, seeing how I already mentioned his perfect preseason performance. Pickett exudes confidence at the helm of his offense. Yes, I said his offense, because he has obviously seized total control of the starting unit. Pickett has an elite presence about him, which instills confidence in his teammates. They believe in him, and want to perform to the best of their abilities. This unique quality reminds me of a young Joe Montana. If only the Steelers could be so lucky. The only thing that Pickett needs to do now is carry over his preseason performance to the Steelers upcoming games that actually count.

Steelers Stock Trending Up: Mike Tomlin

Tomlin is in charge, and the man is having the time of his life. Don’t believe me, just checkout the look on his face after yet another explosive punt return by Calvin Austin lll Thursday night. Dare I say, he was absolutely giddy.

That is the countenance of a man comfortable in his own skin. Not a care in the world. Why would he? Tomlin finally has full control over operations, after sharing control with Kevin Colbert and Ben Roethlisberger for years. Tomlin is the biggest voice in the room now. I know Omar Khan is the GM, but he looks to Tomlin for guidance and approval.

Tomlin is arguably the most powerful head coach in the NFL, alongside Andy Reid and Bill Belichick. Tomlin has unmatched job security with the most stable franchise in sports history. Tomlin has been rejuvenated by his newly acquired status within the organization, and the challenge of rebuilding the roster to his liking. Tomlin is already a legend, but he has never been more focused on building on that legacy.

Steelers Stock Trending (?): Kendrick Green

I have avoided putting Kendrick Green in my previous stock articles because he has made crushing mistakes in both previous games, and I didn’t see the need to pile on. After the third and final Steelers preseason game, I feel like I should address the situation, because it could have been his final game in a Steelers uniform.

I really don’t know what to say about Green at this point. To be honest, he played a solid game Thursday night in Atlanta. Even more surprising, he enjoyed most of his success at right guard. Yes, I know what I always say, and I still believe it. Green lacks the length necessary to ever play guard full time in the NFL. But I always give credit where credit is due.

Green played well with the starting unit. He executed all of his combo blocks with precision. This proved to be the ideal scenario for Green, as he wasn’t left on an island one-on-one against superior length and power. That’s when Green has struggled the most throughout his career.

Green has always been able to reach second level blocks easily due to his exceptional mobility, which makes him ideal for the Steelers outside zone blocking schemes. Tomlin wanted to give Green one more opportunity to show what he could do working with the starting Oline; and to his credit, performing with his Steelers career hanging in the balance, Green answered the bell and rose to the occasion.

So now what? Green didn’t have any disastrous snaps for the first time this preseason, but the tendency is always lurking just under the surface. Green has had stretches of solid play before, only to inevitably regress. He has proven to be consistently inconsistent and unreliable. Undoubtedly talented but troubled. What do the Steelers do with that dichotomy? Only Mike Tomlin can answer that question. It’s good to be king.

Steelers Stock Trending Up: Random observations

Nick Herbig continues to look like one of the biggest steals of the 2023 draft class. Another game, another sack and multiple pressures. His combination of athleticism, intensity, and motor makes him an irresistible force of nature.

It may take Darnell Washington a little while longer than expected to solidify his place in the pecking order as a receiver, but he is already one of the best blocking tight ends in the league. His power is astonishing, and he attacks each opportunity with youthful enthusiasm. Dominating presence.

The Steelers offensive line continues to gel. At times they operate like a finely tuned machine, in complete unison. Isaac Seumalo is easily the Steelers best offseason addition, and a huge upgrade. He is a walking masterclass at the position, and a shear beauty to behold.

I believe that the wide receiver depth chart is settled, and they will roster 6. Gunner Olszewski will be the WR6, and the backup kick returner.

Nothing really happened in the game to change my mind about the 53 man depth chart, but I honestly have no idea what Mike Tomlin is thinking about Kendrick Green after his solid performance against the Falcons backups.

In conclusion, the Steelers have an unique problem on their hands. More NFL caliber players than they have positions for on the 53 man roster. There are going to be multiple players cut who would have made the Steelers roster just two short years ago.

Shout-out to Omar Khan and Andy Weidl, along with the Steelers revamped scouting department, for rapidly strengthening the depth on a rebuilding roster.

Kudos to Mike Tomlin and the coaching staff for getting everyone on the same page so quickly, and for the perfect preseason. Now it’s time to kick some behind for real. Go Steelers!

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