Sunday, August 28, 2011
Steelers Week 3 preseason recap
By James Walker
The Pittsburgh Steelers were the last AFC North team to complete Week 3 of the preseason on Saturday night.
Here are some observations:
Steelers 34, Falcons 16
- Receiver Antonio Brown continues to be Pittsburgh's star of the preseason. The second-year standout lit up Atlanta with four catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Brown's two scores were for 77 and 44 yards. Brown had a huge reception in last season's playoffs to help Pittsburgh beat the Baltimore Ravens. He is carrying that momentum and confidence into this season. After Saturday's stellar performance, Brown likely has the edge over veteran Jerricho Cotchery to become Pittsburgh's No. 3 receiver.
- Pittsburgh backup cornerback Crezdon Butler showed playmaking ability against Atlanta. Butler returned an interception 95 yards for a touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter. Butler was also active. He led the Steelers with nine tackles and made a big impression. He could be one of Pittsburgh's top reserves in the secondary.
- Steelers backup quarterback Byron Leftwich broke his arm Saturday and reportedly could miss the entire season. Leftwich had a good chance to be Pittsburgh's No. 2 quarterback. Now, that job goes to Dennis Dixon and reduces his chance for a trade. The biggest goal of the preseason is to prevent injuries. Leftwich and top cornerback Ike Taylor (broken thumb) suffered big injuries in two of Pittsburgh's three preseason games.
- Pittsburgh’s first-team defense gave up chunks of yards to Falcons No. 1 receiver Roddy White. He recorded eight receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown. The Steelers didn't make any significant upgrades to the secondary in the offseason and teams will continue to attack Pittsburgh through the air this season.