Mike Tomlin talked this week about saving spots for two or three guys who make this team better.
Verron Haynes has to have one of those spots. I know he's brittle and the Steelers have some talented young backs, but Haynes runs harder than anyone else on this team.
© The Steelers can't cut Gary Russell, one of those young backs. He's the second-best pure runner on this team behind Willie Parker.
Russell did whiff on a block on kickoff coverage, though. He has to do a better job there.
© The next guy that Matt Spaeth blocks will be the first one.
© Same goes for Trai Essex.
© William Gay opened in the first-team quarter defense in place of Deshea Townsend. But after Washington converted its first two third downs, Townsend was back in.
© Townsend started and played the first two plays, but was replaced at right corner by Bryant McFadden.
© The Steelers' run defense may be better than it was last season, which is saying something considering they were the only team in the league not to allow a 100-yard rusher.
© That pass defense, however, was pretty bad in this game. It wasn't so much the downfield stuff that was killing them, though. It was more poor tackling on dumpoffs to the tight ends and running backs.
But when the season starts, we won't see Tyrone Carter trying to tackle a tight end in the flats. Anthony Smith will be handling that third safety spot.
© Lawrence Timmons got one snap in the first half quarter in place of LaMarr Woodley and then played more in the fourth quarter. He looked OK. Nothing great, but the kid's still getting his feet wet.
© Sean Mahan didn't help his cause at center with a bad shotgun snap late in the first half. There was also another snap in the first half that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger nearly mishandled. It's a good thing for Mahan that Chukky Okobi is still hurt. Mahan may win the center job by default.
© At this point, I'd take Willie Colon as my starting right tackle and Kendall Simmons as my starting right guard.
Colon is just plain nasty and Simmons makes fewer mistakes than Chris Kemoeatu.
© Punter Dan Sepulveda's net average was 48.5 yards on four kicks. Still think he wasn't worth a fourth-round pick?
Heck, even giving up the sixth-rounder they did was worth it.