Of course, the preseason wins and losses don't matter a whole lot. There were plenty of positives to take away from this game, and at many different positions.
Tampa Bay saw three players, in particular, impress the coaches and fans enough to warrant confidence going forward. Let's start with a guy who began his professional career as a lesser-known name, but is soon on his way to becoming much more.
Christian Izien, DB
The Bucs have a battle going on for that nickel spot, and before Saturday's game, it appeared as though veteran Dee Delaney might still have a grasp on the job. But, sixth-round pick Josh Hayes and the undrafted Christian Izien have other plans. In this one, it was Izien who stood out.
Against the Steelers, Izien played 27 snaps versus Hayes' 16. Maybe it's because the Bucs want to see more out of the undrafted free agent versus a guy they spent draft capital on. Or, maybe, it's because they actually believe Izien is proving to be the better player.
if head coach Todd Bowles has anything to say about it, Izien could even be gunning for the starting job:
“Izien was solid, he had one technical error but I thought he was solid. He didn’t get a lot of action but he did a lot of right things. We knew what he can bring to the table. He’s the frontrunner right now.”
Well, then. The undrafted rookie out of Rutgers just might take over as the starting nickel. He should feel great going into the rest of preseason, but especially because his coach believes in the talent.