PITTSBURGH -- The long slog that is the NFL preseason is coming to a close. The Steelers play their final exhibition tonight at Carolina, and the 53-man roster has to be finalized by 6 p.m. Saturday. Most of today's morning links take a look at the significance of the fourth preseasson game, particularly in regard to the players who are fighting for roster spots.
Before delving into those, here is a look at some NFL.com predictions for league MVP in 2013. There is a certain quarterback on that list. It's hard to argue with that reasoning, and if Ben Roethlisberger leads the Steelers to a division title, you have to think he will be on the short list of MVP candidates at the end of the season.
The Post-Gazette takes a bigger picture look at preseason finales. It is easy to refer to the final preseason games as throwaway contests since the starters barely play. But even those who never had to fight for a job understand the significance of them. They know players are battling for roster spots as well as their livelihood, and they want to see them get every opportunity to make the team. The downside of the fourth preseason game is that it's still football and injuries are inevitable. Steelers rookie inside linebacker Sean Spence is still recovering from a gruesome knee injury he suffered in the final preseason game last year.
The Trib looks at what the Steelers are hoping to get out of the game in Carolina. The players don't seem overly concerned about the prospect of the Steelers going 0-4 in the preseason, and rightfully so. Their top objective should be leaving Carolina with their starting lineup intact, starting with the quarterback.
The Beaver County Times highlights three players to watch in tonight's game
The Washington Observer checks in with rookie quarterback Landry Jones, who will take most of the snaps tonight after not getting any in the third preseason game.