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Summary from the Final Week of Camp
Ben Roethlisberger was held out of the preseason finale, which was not surprising given his veteran status and importance to the team. He played last week and finished with a perfect passer rating. Mason Rudolph was also held out of the game, further solidifying his status as the backup. Dwayne Haskins got the start but ultimately hurt his chances of either sticking with the Steelers or landing elsewhere as a No. 2. The usually pragmatic Mike Tomlin didn’t mince words after the game. “Like the rest of us, I didn’t think it was enough varsity work from him,” Tomlin said of Haskins. “It wasn’t the type of performance he wanted, or we wanted. But such is life.”
The coaches initially planned on playing Najee Harris in each preseason game, but they changed their minds before the finale. When asked about that decision, Tomlin said, “Succinctly, he's varsity. He checks the boxes. He's varsity.” It’s confirmation that Harris is one of the most valuable pieces of the offense. Kalen Ballage has pushed incumbent No. 2, Benny Snell, throughout camp. Snell was healthy enough to see his first preseason action Friday night. He started the game, but that decision could have been more to catch him up and evaluate him than an indication he’s held off Ballage. There were rumors throughout the preseason that Snell could be cut, but he should make the final roster. Anthony McFarland Jr’s special teams’ contributions give him a strong chance of making the final roster, too.
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