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Monday, August 20, 2012

Initial thoughts from the Colts game

The first-team offense and defense both looked pretty good against the Colts in their first extensive action.

Ben Roethlisberger threw a bad pick and Chris Rainey fumbled - he might be too small for the beating he'll take in the NFL - but, overall, it wasn't a bad showing.

The Steelers came into this game trying to work on their running game a little bit - they wanted to give Willie Colon an opportunity to pull - and were effective doing that.

The defense gave up a drive, but it also put seven points on the board. And remember, they weren't throwing a lot of different stuff at the Colts defensively, so even that one drive might have been avoided in the regular season with an exotic blitz or two.

@ It was a preseason game, so the main thing was to get out of it unscathed, which the Steelers did.

@ Rookie punter Drew Butler didn't have the kind of game he did against Philadelphia, but he was solid, averaging 44.8 yards per attempt.

@ How bout the hands on Ike Taylor?

I've covered Ike since his start here and don't remember him coming out of a break too many times and actually catching the ball.

@ Guys who helped themselves:

David Gilreath led the team with four receptions for 78 yards working against a team that had him on its practice squad in 2011. (Point of interest, Gilreath is sharing a locker with some guy who wears No. 17. Didn't see that player here though).

Jerrod Johnson looked much more comfortable at QB, completing 4 of 5 passes for 65 yards and scrambling three times for 11 more yards. Was poised during the game-winning field goal drive.

Justin Peelle caught one pass for 21 yards and isn't Leonard Pope.

Jonathan Dwyer rushed eight times for 43 yards, including a 23 yarder. Didn't get hurt.

Guys who didn't help themselves:

Kelvin Beachum had two more penalties. I know he's wearing 68, but that doesn't mean he has to play like Chris Kemoeatu as well.

Chris Rainey lost a fumble. That was the knock against him at Florida - too small to play in the NFL - and losing fumbles isn't going to help. He's not in danger of being cut, but he's not helping his cause to be a bigger part of the offense.

Marquis Maze averaged just 1.5 yards on a pair of punt returns. He really needed to do something special and failed to do so.

Leonard Pope completely whiffed on his block on Antonio Brown's touchdown catch and run. Don't know what he brings to the table other than being familiar with Todd Haley's offense.


Patrick said...

Rainey is too small for the NFL. He won't last. Hes not even Stefan Logan and though he will have a few splash plays here and there, the more he gets the ball, the more likely he is to get completely destroyed (and/or fumble). And don't say Sproles, MJD etc. Those guys are about as wide as two Rainey's.

But did anyone see Barron Batch block 2 guys like bowling pins on Brown's TD?

I'm liking what I'm seeing out of Dwyer too. He seems very focused.

Jerrod Johnson is at least going to the PS - but if they fear someone signing him, Lefty or Batch has to go. Johnson looks like he could be the backup we need for a few years.

bruinmann77 said...

Dale what about the Rookie kicker solid tonight and showed a strong leg.

adamg said...

Hard to really judge a kicker in warm weather, but Hraptmann might be giving Suisham a run for a job. If Kapinos' back heals, he's the punter.

Thought Foster showed he can handle T in a pinch and Essex didn't help himself. Legursky was better. Beachum was awful at G, but not too bad at T. Adams isn't ready and I won't be surprised if he doesn't dress for most of the season let alone start.

I'm sure Haley will design some plays specifically for Rainey.

Mark said...

We've seen how much McLendon has improved with a few years of strength training. Maybe (the rookie) Rainey will get more durable after he gains some mass in the weight room.

Batch's block was beautiful. Brown changed direction and hesitated slightly, which got the two defenders off-balance and allowed Batch to catch up.

marc said...

i could only watch bits and pieces of the game:

they should keep johnson as the 3rd QB. good potential there and i think they will lose him from the practice squad.

rainey will help this team this year.

adams is not even close to being ready to play at LT. very disappointed.

brown keeps showing his success last year was no fluke. i have said before he is better than wallace, and i still think so.

Pistol said...


It seemed to me like Beiler got like 5 snaps. Is he in the doghouse or something??

Peele> Pope

marc said...

by the way, the replacement refs are horrendous. not sure what the nfl is going to do about that.

and, did you guys see DRC only got $21,000 fine for his hit on lefty? absurd.

kyle said...

I don't think the officiating in that game deserves to be called "horrendous." The cut block call on Rainey was bad both because the player was not engaged AND Rainey missed him entirely. The replay on Luck's slide is on the replay officials who are not replacement refs. They have a separate contract and thus are not locked out. I would be much more concerned about phantom calls and I didn't see much of that (Rainey's block notwithstanding). The Steelers got away with two pass interferences, otherwise what was so glaring?

marc said...

the holding on run plays when the colts were on offense. like i said, i only watched part of the game and i saw the colt's fullback all but tackle a steeler's player on a sweep play. it was a joke.

i also saw a colt's RB pick up a pass rusher with two arms wrapped around him. again, terrible.

as you mentioned, the two pass interference calls. i didn't see them, but they were mentioned to me this morning as being terrible non-calls.

if that is what a typical game will be like in the regular season, then the crap will hit the fan.

Anonymous said...

What about Ford bulldozing their camp fodder?

kyle said...

I don't have much of a problem with "missing" calls. I'm much more of a "let them play" advocate. If they're letting both sides get away with more then it's fine. I don't want to get to the place where the NBA and MLB are, where you never know one game to the next how it's going to be officiated but I'll take omissions over ticky-tack any day of the week...and at least once on Sundays.

adamg said...

Agree about the replacement refs and would rather see the "no call" than the regular refs who pick and choose when to throw the flag. Frankly, the NFL rules are so convoluted and subjective they often ruin the game. Football isn't that hard to officiate, but the NFL sure makes it so.

Anonymous said...

adamg "Football isn't that hard to officiate"

Seriously, Where do you get the balls? You havn't tried doing it on the field like them you're just talking out of your ass while sitting on your couch eating potato chips.

Anonymous said...

As bad as Mike Adams has looked thus far, can he still become at least a capable starter?

Anonymous said...

The problem the Steelers have with refs usually occur when the team they're playing decides that they are going to make obvious holds on every play and leave it in the hands of the refs to make the calls. Everyone knows the refs won't call it on every play, but they will make sure to call it on some key plays.

That's when people get all up in arms about "questionable calls". Yeah, the hold wasn't that bad on the touchdown pass, but when the players have been holding on the 10 previous plays as well then it needs to be called at some point.

It ruins the game for everyone, but if your strategy against the Steelers is to hold every play, then it's eventually gonna bite you in the backside, which is how it should be.

kyle said...

" Anonymous said...
adamg "Football isn't that hard to officiate"

Seriously, Where do you get the balls? You havn't tried doing it on the field like them you're just talking out of your ass while sitting on your couch eating potato chips"

Wow, man. Is your Dad a ref or something? You can go ahead and calm down. But yeah, you're right, if you're not a referee then you're not allowed to criticize them (or suggest that officiating doesn't have to be difficult, hooray nuance). We shouldn't criticize the players either right? Because of asses on couches and the chip-eating, right?

alexrkirby said...

I think Adamg was just saying that all the crazy hard to interpret rules the NFL puts in place make refereeing more complex than it needs to be.

adamg said...

Thanks, yes, that's what I meant, hard as in "complex", not hard as in physically difficult. I think it takes plenty of guts to stand there and officiate with those NFL players flying all around you.