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Bills/Steelers: What to Watch For

Losman, Bills throttled by Steelers in '07 (Photo Source)

Note: Watching the game tonight?  Be sure to stop by Buffalo Rumblings for tonight's Open Game Thread!

The Buffalo Bills will take the field for the second time this pre-season this evening as they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.  While the rest of the world focuses on the fact that the game is being played in Toronto, we'll focus on what really matters here - the team.

Just as we did last week, this will be a list of things to keep an eye out for during tonight's game.  And, just like last week, I'll be slapping this game on the ol' DVR for a little Film Session, likely to be posted over the weekend.  So, without further ado, here's what I'll be watching for during tonight's action:

Trent Edwards: I'm not exactly sure just how much pressure a starter can feel in the pre-season; rest assured that Edwards has reached that max.  After a rather inauspicius start to the pre-season in Washington last week, Edwards will look to silence his early critics with a stronger showing against the Steelers.

Lee Evans: We didn't get to see much of Evans last week, as he didn't record a reception and barely saw the field.  Ergo, I didn't even glance his way during my film review.  I'll be keeping a closer eye on him tonight.

Tight Ends: I was not at all impressed with the performance of Derek Schouman last week, so I'll be watching him - as well as his competitors - closely tonight.  I'm curious to see how they rotate in and out, where they line up (i.e. how often they're split out wide), and, obviously, who performs well.

Offensive Line: I won't be keeping as close an eye on this, simply because Ron from NM does a better job than I at keeping tabs of the bigs, but I'm interested to see more of Langston Walker on the left side - especially against a blitz-happy 3-4 defense, such as the Steelers employ.  I also never got the chance to check out the second half of the Redskins game (I certainly will get to it, just not before the game tonight), so I'll be keeping track of Demetrius Bell as well.

Chris Ellis: Buffalo's rookie defensive end played pretty well last week, in my opinion, so I'll be interested to see if he can sustain some of the momentum he accrued in Washington.  The Steelers have a rookie first-round pick in RB Rashard Mendenhall that may see some carries with Ellis on the field; seeing how Ellis defends the rush should give us an indicator as to exactly how far along he is in his development.

Cornerbacks: This goes without saying.  The Battle Royale will be closely monitored again, particularly in regards to Leodis McKelvin and Ashton Youboty.

Ko Simpson: I wasn't impressed with Simpson's play last week.  I don't fault him, simply because it was the first live football he'd played in nearly 12 months; it would be nice, however, to see some encouraging progress out of Buffalo's starting free safety.

Special Teams: Tracking the depth chart on special teams generally gives us an idea of who is really moving up the depth chart.  I'll be keeping tabs on who plays where on the coverage units; changes from last week will tell us whose chances have improved at locking up a final roster spot.

Be sure to stop back tonight for the Open Game Thread, which will go live about an hour before kickoff!