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Josh Dobbs and Mason Rudolph led the offense on four scoring drives as the Steelers defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-28 on Friday night in the preseason opener for both teams.Two-time Super Bowl winner Ben Roethlisberger gave way to recent draft picks Dobbs and Rudolph to battle for the backup quarterback job.Article continues below ...“It was good to get out there Mike Webster Jersey , make plays and move the ball efficiently,” Dobbs said.In Tampa, the Buccaneers want to see if Jameis Winston is the long-term answer at quarterback this season. His short sting Friday was a positive step.Winston led the Bucs‘ first-team offense to a touchdown in his only offensive series against a Steelers defense that featured few regulars.“We executed pretty well and really established the run game,” Winston said. “When you run the football well, you get touchdowns on the first drive.”Dobbs started and played two series, going 5 of 8 for 85 yards and throwing an interception that was nullified because of offsetting penalties. Dobbs, a fourth-round draft pick in 2017, also had two third-down scrambles for 44 yards, including a 36-yarder that set up a 33-yard field goal by Chris Boswell.Rudolph entered on the third series and played into the third quarter. He finished 5 of 8 for 91 yards and two touchdowns.Rudolph, the Steelers’ third-round pick in 2018, completed all three attempts during his first series, including an 8-yard touchdown to James Washington, his college teammate at Oklahoma State. In the third quarter, a 59-yard catch-and-run by Johnny Holton set up a 3-yard score to Zach Gentry, the Steelers’ fifth-round pick.“I’m more comfortable,” Rudolph said. “Just the way I’ve been feeling in practice and just coming along in my second year overall.”Bruce Arians coached his first game for the Buccaneers, and he did it where he was an assistant coach from 2004-11, winning two Super Bowls. Arians, back on the sideline after a year of retirement, coached in Arizona for five seasons and, while in Pittsburgh, helped develop Roethlisberger into one of the league’s top quarterbacks.The Bucs hope he can do the same with Winston, the No. 1 overall pick in 2015 who led the league’s top-ranked passing offense in 2018 Mel Blount Jersey , but has been spotty.WINSTON’S PERFORMANCEWinston finished 5 of 6 for 40 yards with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Chris Godwin. Winston’s lone incompletion was a first-down deep shot from midfield; the Bucs faced third down once during the 12-play, 81-yard drive.“It was a perfect drive,” Arians said. “We ran the ball well, and that sets up a lot of stuff for us. I thought Jameis took what was there.”Winston, close to the franchise passing record, has thrown for 14,628 yards. But he’s won only 21 of 56 career starts and the Bucs have gone 5-11 in consecutive seasons. Entering the final year of his rookie contract, he’s thrown for a franchise-record 88 touchdowns in four seasons, but he also has 58 interceptions in those 56 games.BUSH’S BIG GAMESteelers first-round pick linebacker Devin Bush finished with 10 tackles, including seven solo in one half. He had six tackles in the first quarter alone, with four solo. Bush, the No. 10 overall pick from Michigan, nearly had an interception and was part of a fourth-and-1 stop in the second quarter.“I was just feeling it,” Bush said. “I was just having fun. I think that’s the biggest thing, I was having fun and playing football.”BUCS RUNNING BACKSTampa Bay running backs Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones combined for 36 yards on just seven carries against the Steelers. The Bucs had one of the worst rushing offenses in the league last season. Barber led the team with 871 yards and five touchdowns in 16 games. Jones, the Bucs’ second-round pick in 2018, had just 22 yards on 28 carries in the preseason last year, and 44 yards and a score on 23 carries during the regular season, when he struggled with the playbook. He had 18 yards on four carries Friday.WASHINGTON WITH THE CATCHWashington, the Steelers’ second-round pick in 2018, finished with four catches for 84 yards and a touchdown. Washington also caught a 43-yard pass while Pittsburgh was backed up at its 6-yard line, and hauled in a 22-yard reception on third-and-21 from the Steelers 10.“I’m just making plays and doing whatever I can to help this team move down the field,” Washington said.KICKING GAMEBoswell converted both his field goal tries for Pittsburgh Troy Polamalu Jersey , while Matt Gay went 1 for 1 for Tampa Bay.Boswell was a Pro Bowler in 2017, but he struggled last season, converting just 65% percent of his kicks. He hit from 47 and 33 yards against Tampa Bay.Gay, the Bucs’ fifth-round pick from Utah, closed the first half with a 55-yard field goal. It matched the longest NFL kick in stadium history.UP NEXTTampa Bay: welcomes Miami next Friday.Pittsburgh: host Kansas City on Saturday, Aug. 17 Ben Roethlisberger is well versed in the drill. When things go well, the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback is quick to deflect praise elsewhere.And when they don't, he's just as quick to shoulder the responsibility regardless of how many yards he passes for or touchdowns he throws."We take these losses on us as an offense, and me as a leader of the offense, I take it on myself that we haven't done enough to score enough points to win football games," Roethlisberger said Wednesday. "So, offensively we need to be better and we will be better."Thing is, on paper Pittsburgh's offense looks fine. The Steelers (1-2-1) are a respectable sixth in total yards and 10th in points heading into Sunday's visit from Atlanta (1-3).The problem is the success has come in fits and spurts. Consistency has been elusive. For every 21-point flurry — such as the one against Kansas City in Week 2 that helped them escape from an early hole — there have been large swathes of meh.And while coach Mike Tomlin is frustrated by his team's slow starts — the Steelers have been outscored 42-6 in the first quarter — the finishes haven't been great either. Pittsburgh has just one fourth-quarter touchdown through four games, a 3-yard dive by Roethlisberger in the waning moments against the Chiefs.The Steelers often look dynamic and vulnerable in the same half, a sporadic juggernaut that doesn't exactly have Atlanta Falcons defensive end Takk McKinley overly concerned. The brash second-year player is eager to get a look at Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and the rest of a team coming off its worst September in five years."Big Ben, you know, he's one of the best quarterbacks of all time, but he hasn't seen Takk McKinley, and that's just me being honest," said McKinley, who already has five sacks this season. "So, great quarterback and respect him Carnell Lake Jersey , but he hasn't seen me."There's no specific area that's lacking for the Steelers, though the running game has gone silent for long stretches since James Conner piled up 135 yards and two touchdowns in the opener against Cleveland. Rock bottom — at least what the Steelers hope is rock bottom — came last week against Baltimore when Pittsburgh managed just 19 yards rushing on 11 carries."I know everybody wants to see the run game and trust me, as an offensive lineman, we want to see it to," Pouncey said. "It's early in the season, things will come along."The anticipated arrival of All-Pro Le'Veon Bell — who told ESPN earlier this week he plans to report later this month — should help.Of course, that's predicated on Bell not changing his mind in the interim. Until Bell's familiar No 26 goes from hanging idly in the locker room to the field, Conner will continue to do his part. The issue is a lack of chances.The Steelers ran the ball just three times in the second half against Baltimore even though the game was tied at the break. That's not exactly a firm commitment to taking some of the load off Roethlisberger's considerable shoulders and giving the NFL's 30th-ranked defense a true breather.Still, there's also a point where running it for the sake of running it reaches a point of diminishing returns."You don't want to run into a brick wall, that's idiotic as a team," Ramon Foster said. "We've got to be a team that understands the situation we are put in and maximize those."That includes creating a cleaner pocket for Roethlisberger to work in. The 36-year-old has been erratic at times. He was brilliant in the first half against Tampa Bay two weeks ago — when he threw three touchdowns to help stake the Steelers to a 20-point lead — and all over the place in the second half against the Ravens as they consistently disrupted his timing."There's a couple of times on film, if Ben didn't have a little bit of pressure, AB is going across the middle wide open," Foster said. "The thing that is going to help us more is just owning up to what we're doing and taking care of the small pieces."Having a defense that doesn't seem to find its footing until after it has given up multiple scores isn't helping. The Steelers have allowed opponents to score first in each of the past three games, developments that have rendered portions of offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner's game plan moot.Not that Roethlisberger wants to talk about it. Yes the offense has been forced to play catch-up a lot. But it's not as if there's no time left on the clock when these outbursts happened. Pittsburgh tied Baltimore with 2:50 left in the first half and didn't score again. That can't happen, particularly in a season where more points are being scored than ever before.There's time to get it fixed, yes. Just not as much as there was."We're looking at this next week and trying to get a win because that's all that really matters," Roethlisberger said. "If this has to happen it's better to have it early in the season than middle or late in the season."NOTES: LB Vince Williams (hamstring) and WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (ankle). ... S Morgan Burnett (groin) was limited. ... CB Mike Hilton (elbow) was a full participant, as was K Chris Boswell (left foot). ... Pouncey, Roethlisberger and CB Joe Haden were given the day off.
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