The journey toward the 2017 season is now in full swing with the Pittsburgh Steelers having reported to Latrobe for their annual training camp at Saint Vincent College, where they have held their camps for over half a century now.
This is surely the time more than any other in which we find ourselves full of questions that we are looking to get answered, and this also tends to be the best time to get answers to those questions that have been building up over the course of time since the 2016 season ended.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the training camp and the preseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: Which fringe roster player helped themselves the most during their performance against the Giants?
I’m going to assume that the most exciting thing about the preseason for the majority of our readers is watching the roster battles unfold, seeing how players begin to separate themselves from a group, or fight their way into contention.
Frankly, I think we’re going to have to hold Mike Hilton out of this one, because I have a feeling that most people are going to name him. He had three tackles on special teams alone in addition to recovering a fumble and recording a sack and two pressures as a blitzer on defense.
So aside from Mike Hilton, who else in particular helped themselves in trying to secure a spot on the 53-man roster—even if they remain longshots to get there? Personally, I think a lot of the inside linebackers helped themselves.
Both L.J. Fort and Steven Johnson played well based on my initial observations. Johnson even had an interception that was negated because of a penalty, while Fort was able to get pressure on the quarterback. Rookie Keith Kelsey also made a couple of tackles on special teams in the second half.
Cobi Hamilton had a good night for himself, catching two long passes for over 70 yards combined and a touchdown. Just as it seemed that he was fading into irrelevance, he earned himself a second look from many, perhaps.
Arthur Moats also goes without saying. While he is on the inside of the roster bubble, his big night obviously helped him stay there. Brian Allen’s pass breakup was also exactly what coaches wanted to see from him as well.
I already talked about tight end Jake McGee and his blocking yesterday, as well as the efforts of Terrell Watson. Who else do you feel helped themselves among players who are on the fringes of the roster?