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Steelers get familiar exhibition opponents

| Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 4:27 p.m.

The Steelers' exhibition schedule features most of the usual names but is missing one familiar face.

Namely, network television.

For the first time since 2001, when they were coming off a third consecutive playoffs-free season, the Steelers will not play a network TV preseason game. All four games will be televised in the Pittsburgh region on KDKA-TV.

The lack of network exposure likely is the result of 8-8 records in 2012 and 2013 that caused the Steelers to sit out the playoffs in successive seasons for the first time since 1998-2000.

The NFL announced its preseason schedule Wednesday but listed only one Steelers playing date, Aug. 28 against the Carolina Panthers at Heinz Field.

The Steelers will play at the New York Giants during Week 1, Aug. 7-10, the Buffalo Bills at Heinz Field during Week 2, Aug. 14-18; and at the Philadelphia Eagles during Week 3, Aug. 21-24. The dates are expected to be announced when the NFL regular-season schedule is revealed this month.

All of the preseason opponents are familiar ones. The Steelers also opened the preseason against the Giants last year at Heinz Field, and they met the Bills and Eagles in 2012. They have closed out the preseason against Carolina every year since 2003.

The Steelers are becoming a regular visitor to MetLife Stadium, where the Super Bowl was played in February. They'll play there twice in 2014, including their second regular-season game against the Jets in as many seasons. They also played the Giants there in the 2012 regular-season.

The Steelers announced last week that preseason tickets will cost about 20 percent less than regular season games, although season-ticket holders still must pay an overall increase for their 10 game tickets.

The lower exhibition ticket price drop will be reflected in the individual game seats the Steelers will sell after the full season schedule is announced.

Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at arobinson@tribweb.com or via Twitter @arobinson_Trib.

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