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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Post-Giants thoughts

For a preseason opener, it wasn't a train wreck, at least not early.

The Steelers gave up a long touchdown and had a punt blocked, but both were correctable things.

Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu both took the blame for the 57-yard TD pass from Eli Manning to Victor Cruz. The Steelers were in a cover 2 there and Clark and Polamalu said they both got out of position trying to disguise what they were doing.

That's something that has not been a problem and likely won't be one in the future.

@ The fact that the running game clicked early, to the tune of 56 yards on 11 carries in the first quarter, was a good sign.

LaRod Stephens-Howling, getting a surprise early look with Le'Veon Bell sitting out, was especially effective cutting back against the grain.

@ Several young defensive players stood out.

Among them were Al Woods, who had been playing a lot of nose tackle with Alameda Ta'amu out, but recorded nine tackles, two for losses, a sack and a hurry working at defensive end.

Woods was very active, though he was working against the New York JVs.

Veteran Brian Rolle also had a nice game from his inside linebacker position, recording four tackles, a sack, two hurries and a tackle for a loss.

Rolle is undersized at 5-10, but he's put together solidly.

Rookie Jarvis Jones also showed up as you would hope a No. 1 pick would. Jones had two tackles, including one on a screen in which he beat three blockers on third down to get to the running back.

Had Jones not made that shoestring tackle, it would have gone for a big gain and first down. He also recovered a fumble.

He does, however, need to work on his pass rush. You can see his strength show up, but he needs to develop some moves to get to the quarterback. Strength alone might have worked in college, but there are plenty of strong guys in the NFL.

I thought second-year safety Robert Golden was also solid, though you'd like to see him hold onto the football after making a nice read and jumping a pass at the line of scrimmage.

@ Offensively, the young receiving group of Justin Brown, Markus Wheaton, Derek Moye, Reggie Dunn and J.D. Woods all had their moments.

With Plaxico Burress now out of the picture, there are now likely two spots, maybe even three, open for those guys.

Wheaton, a third-round pick, obviously has one locked up.

That's going to be a nice battle for those final one or two spots.

@ The run defense, regardless of which unit was out there, was very good.

@ Conversely, the rest of the offensive reserves weren't very good, as expected.

The backup offensive line on this team is really poor, which is disappointing in many ways.

It seemed like late in the game, even Kelvin Beachum and John Malecki, two guys who will make this team, were being beaten.

But we'll chalk that up to the utter chaos that was happening around them. Both of those guys have looked better than that in training camp.

@ David Gilreath, with so many talented young wideouts in camp, it wasn't a good time to muff a punt - or field one inside your own 5.


Anonymous said...

DD wow night and day from last season. Now I see what Steelers saw when they sprinted to podium to draft him. Adams, Pouncy and DD = potentially outstanding youg oline core.

Dale Lolley said...

Yeah, the first-team line was clicking really well.

Sure, Foster got beat for a sack, but it was on third and long. That's going to happen on occasion.

Gilbert, after the early holding penalty, really caved some stuff in at times as well.

Anonymous said...

Getting beat in open space by Cullen Jenkins is going to happen. Gilbert needs to stop with the one really bad moment: that hold looked like it was on a blitzing Db...I like LSH but I am salivating if Bell is as good as camp reports say, he is going to have a very nice rookie year.

carync said...

on that bomb to Cruz, Ike Taylor was clearly beat badly, causing Troy to cheat his way. Gay was beaten, which is the norm with him, and the combo of the 2 caused the long TD

adamg said...

Amazing the team had no use for Starks given the complete lack of OL talent after the starters. If young guys Golic, Long and/or Farrell show anything, they could easily make the team.

Thought Gradkowski was fine and showed himself to be capable of stepping in for BR if needed. Hard to judge the other qbs due to playing behind the OL irregulars.

They seem to have a nice collection of wrs. I won't be surprised if they let Sanders walk after the season.

Loved the multi-dimensional running game. The OL/RBs looked good executing it although I'm sure BR would rather be flinging the ball 50 yds downfield.

Jarvis Jones showed why he's a 1st rounder.
He just needs to learn to not overrun plays.
I watched Ta'amu and he is a bull. He did get turned on one run, but I also saw him just shoving his man backward about 5 yds. Not sure he's a 3-4 NT, but in a 4-3 he'd be very good.

scotty dee said...

need depth at ol.I like the wr.s ilb.s,and even the db.s. The offense has to get sharp as well as special teams.Now we know they can run!Not too bad for 1st outing but room for improvement.

Dale Lolley said...

Starks wasn't coming back without an opportunity to start. The Steelers wanted to go with their young guys. They have depth at tackle with the starters and Beachum. But nobody else.
Inside, they have Beachum and Malecki.
That's about all you're going to get these days unless you draft one every year. And they went for skill guys this year.

Anonymous Brian said...

Just got back from a two-week vacation yesterday.

Feeling weird and out of place in my own home, caught a bit of the game:

Special teams screwed up, the offense was sloppy and penalized, and the defense held the Giants to a FG.

Nice to know some things never change :)

Run game looked good with DD and LSH, though.

marc said...

LB's as a group looked good. Jarvis showed good motor, but i thought he lacked in the pass rush. consistently too wide and too far upfield. he needs to get stronger, it shows.

what was up with worilds two penalties? i didn't see them, but someone told me they were both stupid.

Nate said...

Victor Cruz beats people from the slot, that's why he just got paid by the Giants. I'm not too concerned about the secondary messing that up in the first quarter of the first preseason game.

As far as Worilds goes, the penalties were stupid. But again, I think they were acceptable in preseason. He's showing some fire, which is good.

Steve-O said...

I finally got a chance to watch the game and by now most of the observations have been made. Lots of missed assignments and conversely a few players who flashed really well. One thing I noticed (I watched the's abriged version) is that our screen plays are either poorly designed (or executed). They don't seem to get seperation from the DL and the running backs don't explode quickly enough when they catch the ball. Hopefully that changes when Bell gets in the lineup.

Dale Lolley said...

Guys, remember, there was absolutely no game planning for this. Just out there running some basic offensive and defensive plays.

If they had a game plan, they would have designed things to work specifically against the Giants both offensively and defensively. So don't read too much into a first preseason game.

Anonymous said...

Get kion Wilson out of there. He sucks