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Friday, August 15, 2008

Post-game thoughts

I don't know how the coaching staff will be able to keep Lawrence Timmons off the field.

I like Larry Foote a lot. He's always been a stand-up guy with me through thick and thin. But Timmons has the look of a future Pro Bowl player.

His closing speed is Kendrell Bell-like. And unlike Bell, Timmons has a head on his shoulders.

© I don't lose a lot of sleep over preseason games – though it is currently past 2 a.m. when I'm making this post – but you know what I mean.

Buffalo really, really wanted to win this game in front of a Canandian crowd it was trying to impress.

That's no exuse for allowing Trent Edwards to look like the second coming of Steve Young, but hey, Tyrone Carter was on the field.

© Justin Hartwig's holding penalty was really the only thing I saw from him that I didn't like. Remember, he was facing a much defensive line this week than Sean Mahan did against Philadelphia.

Marcus Stroud is still a load in there when he wants to be. And Hartwig helped keep him out of Ben Roethlisberger's face.

Marvel Smith also saw just how good Aaron Schobel is.

Schobel might be the best player in the NFL nobody has heard of.

© Rashard Mendenhall has got to learn to get lower if he wants to pound it between the tackles in the NFL.

Running high through a hole may work against Minnesota, but he'll find out next week it won't work against the Vikings.

© I really like what I'm seeing now out of Dennis Dixon. The kid is looking much better than he did in the first week of camp.

Much of that is probably because he's shaken the rust off. It's hard to believe – especially after watching him hug the sidelines on his long TD run – that he had major knee surgery less than a year ago.

© Johnathan Dekker's injury may have opened a spot for Cody Boyd on this roster - though I thought Boyd was the better option until he was slowed by a shoulder injury.

But Dezmond Sherrod had a nice block as well on Dixon's touchdown run.


kyle said...

like you, dale, i don't put much stock in preseason. i mostly just try to watch execution and while the first team left much to be desired on that front i'm not ready to throw my hands up just yet. i came away from the game impressed by Timmons easily, Dixon surprisingly, and Baker for a couple of good the fourth and fifth WR spots are really becoming the most interesting part of preseason for me.

Ben said...

How Tyrone Carter is still on the team is beyond me. I saw him miss 3-4 tackles tonight and blow coverage at least twice. Let's hope Mundy can show them something and make the team.

With Polamalu hurt -- for god knows how long -- Tyrone is a real liability. I'd much rather have Anthony Smith backing up Troy than Carter.

Speaking of Polamalu, a lot of people are beginning to think he's destined for an injury plagued career. Though few can deny that he's one of the most talented defenders in the NFL, none of that matters if he can't get on the field at 100%. What's your take, Dale?

Anonymous said...

Sweed is the #4 WR, #5 is between Baker and Reid.

Monique Ringling said...

What the heck happened up there last night? I was listening to Mikey on DVE this morning and was pissed about the way he was treated. He said in the 23 years he's been doing this, he has never ever been told he couldn't be in the press box. He said the media was treated like shit and the city sucks. What's up with that?

Anonymous said...


What exactly do you mean about Kendrell not having a head on his shoulders? Game observations: Timmons is a force, the swiss cheese defense & ko return td reminded of last year, Leftwich was victimized by dropped balls, we still don't have a game changing returner, we need to use every 2009 draft pick on defense and Mendenhall still needs conditioning work(did you see him panting after his td?).

Too early too be worried but concerned.

BoJangles said...

I'm sure what Dale means is Kendrell wasn't the most cerebral player. He was more instinctive, reacting to what he thought may happen instead of knowing what was going to happen. He was never the smartest LB on the field.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with your assessment of Hartwig. I really was hoping he'd clearly beat out Mahan, but he did not look good. Rewatch some of those run plays, and a lot of times, he was getting pushed around. I think Mahan played much better and that scares me. But the Bills defensive front is better than Philly so that could be a factor.

adamg said...

Thought Leftwich looked in the best condition of his career. He throws a heat-seeking missile and it seemed the WRs haven't adjusted to the velocity.

I, too, liked what I able to see from Hartwig. He did not need double team help on his man. In fact, I thought the whole OL showed well again. I was again impressed with Stapleton at center. If the Steelers didn't have so few OL signed for next year and Mahan did
not have 4 years left on his deal, I could see Mahan not making the team.

Dixon is coming along very well. He almost pulled off the perfect hail mary at the end. His pass hit Rucker right in the hands. His TD run was nice. He showed toughness with the run on 3rd down when he tried for the first down instead of sliding. I see Batch starting the season on the PUP.

Ben's INT was shades of last year,
trying to make a play where none existed.

On defense, thought Hampton looked in much better shape than at the end of last year. Buffalo had to double team him for many plays. But overall, the DL looks problematic.
They need better backups. Eason is awful. Kirshke is ok for a few snap, but no more than that. Hoke looks to be slipping. Do you know what happened to Paxson? I heard the radio guys say the trainer was looking at his shoulder. The 4-3
can't come soon enough for me.

Anonymous said...


Batch is not Pup eligible , so for Charlie its a release , IR , or simply taking a roster spot for 6 weeks or so without the ability to contribute ...

I love Batch as the #2 but he has had health issues and with the way Dixon has come on and the signing of Leftwich ( and Leftwich's contract states he gets paid even if cut ) I believe that Batch equals the odd man out before its over ...

Leaving the #2 Job for Dixon in 2009 when Leftwich becomes a FA and I believe he will be more than capable in that role

rocket9 said...

I don't care about the score but they made Trent Edwards into Joe Montana for a day and that was the first string D letting it happen. I agree with the bad tackling assessment. Go watch old clips on youtube and you will see how they used to wrap up (even the big time hitters like Butkus and Lambert and Lott). I am sick of the shoulder hit and that includes when Polamalu does it. Tyrone Carter was laughably bad in every respect last night.

The D-line is one injury away from disaster. We don't have any depth there and its more clear with each fake game they play. They didn't learn their lesson from the Aaron Smith disaster last year and if he or Keisel or Hamp goes down..the season is toast.

This is early to make predictions but this looks like a sub .500 team to me, given the schedule and the lack of depth along both lines.

Hartwig doesn't get any push, but he does hold his own, unlike Mahan last year who regulariy got pushed anywhere the NT wanted him to go. He's going to be OK there, I think. Kemo looks OK but seems unsure on some plays. Mendy runs too high, but what a talent. He'll learn in time.

DD is looking like a great pick. He makes good decisions and knows when to pull the ball down and run. I loved the fact that on one run to his left that he kept the ball cocked and was looking downfield right until he crossed the line of scrimmage. Smart kid with a lot of athleticism. about blossoming into a star after a year. He's going to start soon..maybe even this year.The speed he brings to the position over a guy like Foote is just so eye popping. We need more pressure on the QB and Woodley and Timmons should supply some.

Just when the ST's looked to be improved..they give up a long TD return with many missed tackles and dumb angles taken. Thats a huge part of the game that the Steelers just cant seem to get fixed. They aren't a dominant team that can afford to give up field position and scores on changes of possession. Few teams can.

adamg said...

Did Keyaron Fox play last night? I didn't notice him in at LB.

I'm not too worried about the TD return. There are so many players running in and out of the ST in preseason, you can't really draw conclusions. However, I DO think Mitch Berger won himself a job. His kicks were consistent. Ernster's kick off was noting special as far as depth and won't be enough to earn him a roster spot.

I think the DL back ups will be in flux all year with the team picking up other team's cuts or PS guys.

Dale Lolley said...

Fox had a back problem and didn't play.

Kendrell wasn't a very bright bulb. They just told him to attack the football. But he never grasped the defense.

Stapleton looked good, but he's playing against garbage.

adamg said...

Dale, when do think Tomlin will start clearing out the vets who don't or aren't buying into his system?

Are you referring to Stapleton's time at center or as second OL OG? I might agree that his time at center has come against pretty lesser lights, but he's been playing with the second OL unit and seems to be able to handle playing G there. I think right now, Stapleton could handle back up center and Mahan could be shifted to guard where he seems a better fit.