I liked Todd Haley's approach to this game with his first-team unit.
With a pair of rookie offensive linemen starting, he had Ben Roethlisberger throwing screen after screen. It allows the rookies to get their feet wet while also protecting the franchise quarterback.
Plus, the Steelers have really been working hard on their screen game. Might as well try it out and see if it works. It does.
@ Speaking of those rookie linemen, I'd give David DeCastro a C-plus for his first game. Mike Adams, meanwhile, gets a D.
DeCastro wasn't overwhelmed and was OK in pass protection for the most part. Adams did a good job in run blocking, not so much in pass protection when his guy came with a speed move.
Adams left early after suffering a slight knee injury. He's expected to be OK.
A bigger issue was the play of Marcus Gilbert at right tackle. Hard to believe he started a whole season in 2011 after looking as bad as he did against the Eagles.
@ The news was not as good for fullback/tight end David Johnson. Johnson suffered a torn ACL and is out for the season.
Johnson was injured when Gilbert was being thrown into the pocket for about the fifth time on the opening drive.
With Johnson down, the Steelers are left with Will Johnson at fullback. Look for them to bring somebody else in, or at least take a look at Jamie McCoy at fullback as well.
@ Of the young receivers, Marquis Maze showed some moves as a return man - though he had a couple of nice punt returns called back due to penalties.
Tyler Beiler also made a nice adjustment on a back shoulder throw from Jerrod Johnson for a 30-yard gain as well.
Other than that, however, it was continued blah.
I felt bad for Johnson, who was playing behind a shoddy third-team offensive line with receivers who couldn't get open.
He's looked better than what he showed against the Eagles.
@ I really thought Adrian Robinson and Myron Rolle helped themselves among the bubble guys. Both were very active.
Robinson has been a guy who has shined throughout camp, while Rolle had been pretty quiet until the game against the Eagles.