The Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins open their 2011 preseason campaigns with a Friday night contest at Fed Ex Field in Landover, Maryland. The Steelers are coming off a 12-4 season in which they were edged out 31-25 by the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV. The Redskins began the Mike Shanahan era with a 6-10 record, marking their third straight non-winning season.
As would be expected of a Super Bowl runner-up, the Steelers did not make many changes in free agency. Their only outside addition was backup tight end John Gilmore. The NFL Draft yielded primarily depth but also some immediate starting options. Second round pick Marcus Gilbert is competing right away for the starting right tackle position, while first round pick Cameron Heyward is alsobattling for playing time at defensive end. However, given their talent level, many of the preseason position battles will revolve around depth rather than starters.
Dan Snyder and the Washington Redskins continue their trend of spending money like a drunken sailor. The good news for Redskins fans is the team didn't bring in an Albert Haynesworth-type contract. The bad news is their quarterback battle consists of John Beck versus Rex Grossman. They both have some manner of upside, but that might be a generous assessment. The preseason will come down to which of the two can impress Mike Shanahan. All things considered, we might have an early entrant in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.
Game Date/Time: Friday, August 12; 7:30pm ET
Location: FedEx Field, Landover, Maryland
Steelers: CBS 2
TV Distribution Map: The506.com
Steelers: WDVE 102.5 FM, WBGG 970 AM
Redskins: WTEM 980 AM, WWXX 94.3 FM, WWXT 92.7 FM