At long last, is someone stepping up and grabbing what figures to be the Pittsburgh Steelers' final WR job?
David Gilreath has had the best training camp of a group of undistinguished and inexperienced group receivers battling for the fifth spot behind veteran starters Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Jerricho Cotchery and likely Mike Wallace, who is holding out.
Sunday night in a 26-24 preseason victory over the Colts on the Heinz Field turf, Gilreath (Wisconsin) did a credible job of separating himself from the pack with a team-high four catches for 78 yards.
Gilreath was known more for his kick return abilities at Wisconsin than for offense prowess.
When it Rainey, it pours: Rainey, a rookie, showed why the Steelers want to utilize him as much as possible … and why they might want to be careful with him.
The 5-8, 175-pound RB has elite speed and can make people -- even NFL tacklers -- miss. But his size is why he was available in the fifth round of the Draft.
Rainey took a hit from Jarraud Powers at the end of an 8-yard run on Pittsburgh's first possession. Rainey fumbled and was dinged up enough on the play that he laid on the turf for a few minutes and needed to be taken to the locker room for evaluation.
But Rainey returned in the second quarter, and the Steelers went to him on all three plays of a possession (two passes -- one incomplete -- and a run).
Rainey finished with 20 rushing yards on six carries, two catches for 3 yards and two kickoff returns for 43 yards.
Hrap it up: Is rookie K Daniel Hrapmann being given a serious look as a potential alternative to incumbent Shaun Suisham? Hrapmann, from Southern Miss, has a strong leg. His accuracy looked good, too, in making all four of his field-goal attempts in the second half Sunday.
Hrapmann hit from 25, 39, 43 and 22 yards -- the final, game-winning FG was even partially blocked.
Suisham was a pedestrian 23 for 31 in FGAs last season.
The defense makes its ‘splash‘: Coach Mike Tomlin likes to call big plays “splash plays,” and he said all three phases of the team made splash plays Sunday. The offense had two passing plays of at least 40 yards, two rushing plays of at least 20 yards and a 57-yard touchdown catch-and-run by Antonio Brown. The special teams came up with a blocked punt that led to a field goal.
And the defense got a 49-yard interception return for a touchdown from Ike Taylor.
Last season, the splashes were missing from a defense that ranked No. 1 in yardage but was last in turnovers.
“It's very, very important -- we have to create as many turnovers as possible,” Taylor said.