What to watch for in the Redskins-Steelers preseason opener

I'm so pumped up; it's time for game matchups and breakdowns again. This week’s game against the Steelers is not one to break down in terms of keys to victory, but there are still some things to watch for in the Redskins’ preseason opener.

OFFENSE
It begins with the offensive line. I want to see what this new-look group can do against a proven and strong defensive line.

The specific matchups to watch will be Will Montgomery against the Steelers NT, whether it be Casey Hampton or someone else. I want to see how he holds up and if he's able to quarterback this line, because the Steelers will blitz. Yes, even in a preseason game.

Then there's the tackles vs. the backers. I look forward to seeing how Trent Williams and Jammal Brown compete against LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison out on the edges.

By no means will this determine how the o-line will do this season, but I do think it's important to start things off the right way.

I want to see an upright quarterback on pass plays and some space to move on run plays. That would be a win for the offense.

DEFENSE
Just like with the offense, I will be paying close attention to how the defensive front plays: Barry Cofield , Stephen Bowen , Jarvis Jenkins , Adam Carriker and the rest of the d-line.

The Steelers’ o-line isn't the best in the league, so I'd like to see some good efforts up front by the Redskins.

I'd like to see the run front sturdy and strong — no caving or collapsing on downhill run plays. On passing downs, I want to see the d-line show that they can collapse the pocket.

If the d-line is able to pressure the quarterback and plug up the front in the run game, that will be a win.

SPECIAL TEAMS
I will be watching to see who's returning kicks and punts in a position that will be fought over during preseason.

NOTABLES
I will keep an eye on all of the rookies and see how they do, but the ones that I will have a fine-toothed comb out on will be of course Ryan Kerrigan (if he plays), Niles Paul , Roy Helu and Evan Royster .

I never put too much into first preseason games, and neither should you, but I will grade out effort, intensity and level of competition.

Leave your comments below and chat with me on Twitter, @LavarArrington.

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