Rudolph, Bush Lead Steelers Past Bucs 30-28
[Pittsburgh,Pa] The Pittsburgh Steelers began Preseason action Friday night defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-28 in front of 45,396 at Heinz Field.
Like most of their wins in 2018, it wasn’t easy as the Steelers had to hold Bucs comeback after leading 30-16. After Quarter back Jameis Winston got the Bucs to an early 7-0 lead finding Tampa Bay wide out Chris Goodwin, Steelers QB Josh Dobbs got the Steelers going when leading the black and gold on a late scoring drive ending with a 33-yard Field Goal by Kicker Chris Boswell. Then QB Mason Rudolph got the Steelers into the end zone on an 8-yard TD pass to WR James Washington to give the Steelers a 10-7 lead and they never trailed again.
“It is going to be good learning video for us. It is good to win in the process of that.”Said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin “There will be some good and some bad. I just like the general overall energy and enthusiasm. Obviously, we were far from perfect, particularly at the start of the game. I thought we warmed up to it. You can’t afford to do that. Some people really made a good accounting of themselves.”
One player who really made a good job of accounting for themselves was 1st round pick Devin Bush who helped spark a struggling 1st quarter defense with 10 tackles, which included a 4th down stop and broke up a pass that he almost intercepted and returned for a TD. Bush was truly all over the field. “I did decent. I did alright.” Said Bush “I think the pick would’ve made it a lot better. Some throws got behind me, that disappointed me a bit, so I got a lot to work on.”
After a less-than-par 2018, Washington is aiming for a better 2019 as he finished with a 4 catch- 84-yard night that included a 43-yard catch from Dobbs. An improved Washington would really benefit a Steelers WR corps that was affected by the loss of All-Pro Antonio Brown “I would say the game has slowed down a little bit.” Said Washington. “I know the playbook and being more of a well-rounded player.”
Dobbs would finish the game with 85 yards completing 5 of the 8 passes he attempted. He also led the Steelers with 44 yards rushing which included a 36-yard run. Meanwhile Rudolph who also went 5/8 passing finished with 91 yards and the 2 TDs. Undrafted free agent Devlin Hodges went 8/14 passing and finished with 79 yards and a TD pass to WR Tevin Jones.
“Obviously it was good to start.” Said Dobbs “It was good. It was fun to get out there and compete.”
For the Bucs, Winston finished with 5/6 passing for 40 yards and the TD, and Ryan Griffin led with 330 yards and a TD. 119 of those yards went to WR Spencer Schell. WR Tanner Hudson had 84 yards and a TD.
Local Product Takes the Field for Steelers- Defensive back Trevon Mathis signed with Pittsburgh on Thursday after he was waived by the Minnesota Vikings. The undrafted free agent is a Woodland Hills
high school graduate and played his college ball in at Toledo. Mathis saw significant time in the 4th quarter as he finished with 4 solo tackles.
“Man, it was a dream come true. I have always wanted to play for the home team, and I’m glad we got the W.” Said Mathis “I’m just glad to be out there, it was the first time in a while that I’ve been out there and I think I did pretty good. The coach put me in good situations to make good plays.” When asked about what it means to play at home, Mathis replied “Man, it means a lot. You’ve got the whole city behind you. It’s an honor and it gives you more to play for.”
Who’s That Guy? There was a #80 who was on the field for the Steelers and he looked rather impressive on a few plays. 6-3, 190-pound WR Johnny Holton, who signed with the Steelers after 3 years with the Raiders finished with 69 yards on 2 catches, made his mark Friday when he took a slant pass and turned it into a 59-yard run, setting up the Steelers 2nd TD.
The Steelers will return to action Saturday August 17th when they take on the Kansas City Chiefs at Heinz Field.
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