Should starters play in preseason finale?

August, 24, 2014
Aug 24
2:30
PM ET
PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers’ final preseason game Thursday night against the Carolina Panthers may go off script a little bit.

Both teams are coming off humbling losses, and Panthers coach Ron Rivera has said his starters will play against the Steelers in the 7:30 p.m. ET game at Heinz Field.

Should the Steelers take the same approach to the game in which starters typically play for no more than a series if they play at all?

“I’m sure we might get a series or two in this game,” left guard Ramon Foster said. “You just don’t know how much you’ll do.”

If coach Mike Tomlin wants more work than usual for his starters after the Steelers played so poorly in a 31-21 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, he won’t have to balance that against the concern of coming off a short week.

The Steelers have a full week in between their last two preseason games, and fatigue shouldn’t be an issue going into the their final exhibition contest.

The Steelers watched film of their loss in Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon, and prior to that, the players were asked what the level of concern should be after a dismal showing in a preseason game.

“There’s been times when we didn’t play well in he preseason and great in the regular season. There’s been times when we didn’t play well in the preseason and we didn’t play well in the regular season,” tight end Heath Miller said. “We can just control what we can moving forward and that’s get the most out of these next practices and start preparing for Week 1."

As for whether he thinks the starters need more work Thursday night, Miller said, “Obviously that’s up to coach, and we’ll do whatever he wants us to do and whatever he feels is best for the team.”

Scott Brown

ESPN Pittsburgh Steelers reporter

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