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Steelers eyeing needs after uneven preseason

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PITTSBURGH (AP) -- One of Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin's pet phrases is: ''Your tape is your resume.''

Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey is hoping he won't have to polish his up when rosters are trimmed to 53 players on Saturday.

The former first-round pick made a compelling argument during training camp, making contributions on special teams and catching a team-high nine passes for 98 yards during Pittsburgh's 1-3 preseason.

Heyward-Bey is fighting for a spot behind Pro Bowler Antonio Brown, second-year prospect Markus Wheaton and veteran Lance Moore on the depth chart and seemed to get better as he grew more familiar with offensive coordinator Todd Haley's multi-faceted approach.

''I just went out there with the mindset of getting better each and every day, dealing with the coaching staff and I think that's a good way to go about it,'' Heyward-Bey said. ''I think that's a good way to go about it because you don't stress about it.''

The Steelers signed Heyward-Bey to a one-year contract in March hoping they could succeed where Oakland and Indianapolis failed. The speedy seventh overall pick in the 2009 draft has failed to live up to expectations, spending four unimpressive seasons with the Raiders before catching 29 passes a year ago for the Colts.

Heyward-Bey missed time early in camp with concussion-like symptoms and fell into a competition with Derek Moye and Justin Brown for playing time with the second unit. He started to flourish during joint practices with the Buffalo Bills two weeks ago, putting together an 85-yard touchdown catch-and-run that showcased the dazzling quickness that has only shown itself occasionally during five uneven years in the league. Six catches in the preseason finale against Carolina on Thursday night followed.

''That's the plan, you want to get better each and every day, each and every game,'' he said. ''I think I've done that.''

It's unclear if third-string quarterback Landry Jones can say the same. A fourth-round pick last spring, the former Oklahoma star looked much improved in practice but couldn't seem to make that success translate under the lights. Jones went 14 of 19 for 97 yards in Thursday night's 10-0 loss to the Panthers and failed to lead the Steelers into field-goal range.

Jones felt he did some good things but didn't exactly impress Tomlin.

Asked late Thursday night if he's ready to make a decision on whether the Steelers can afford the luxury of carrying three quarterbacks, Tomlin wasn't exactly effusive.

''I'm not confident of anything right now in that regard,'' he said. ''I'll look at the tape and we'll make appropriate decisions based on performance.''

The Steelers won't exactly head into the opener against Cleveland on Sept. 7 with momentum after ending the preseason with a pair of duds. Though most of the regulars emerged from August healthy, rookie wide receiver Martavis Bryant sprained his right shoulder on Thursday and his immediate status is unclear. That uncertainty is probably good news for Heyward-Bey but perhaps not for Jones. The games start counting for real in less than 10 days and Pittsburgh has needs in several other areas besides a position where franchise cornerstone Ben Roethlisberger is coming off a season in which he took every offensive snap.

''This business, being cut, staying here, that's so far out of my control I don't even like thinking about it,'' Jones said.

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