There's not a lot to take away from a game like this.
The Steelers were playing with their JV- for the most part - but the starters that did play, played pretty well.
Ryan Shazier missed a tackle early, but it was his play on fourth down, shooting through and driving the guard into the backfield, that allowed Steve McLendon to make the fourth-down stop.
Stephon Tuitt, meanwhile, looked like what we thought he would - a dominant force.
And Lawrence Timmons, William Gay and others looked good as well.
Offensively, there were so many starters missing, it was really difficult to gauge anything.
Dri Archer had a strong game, looking like a completely different player. He dodged defenders. He used his speed. He displayed a vision he had not showed.
It was a good start for Archer.
Landry Jones started well and finished poorly. That wasn't all on him. He was mostly on target in the first half, despite the Steelers sitting their top four - and most experienced - receivers.
But once the starters on the line were out of there, Jones started looking like the Jones of the past.
@ If Shaun Suisham is out for any extended period of time - and that's what it looks like might happen - there isn't a lot out there in terms of kickers. Jay Feely and Mike Nugent are probably the top guys available.
@ Jesse James had been a guy I was interested in seeing in a game situation. He had been very good in training camp.
But he had perhaps the worst game of anyone on the field for either team - at least anyone who didn't need to be helped off the field.
@ Cam Thomas played pretty well, albeit against backups.
@ I liked what I saw from Mike Thornton, Shakim Phillips, Alejandro Villanueva and Terence Garvin, too.
@ You can't fumble C.J. Goodwin. But it was a close enough call that Mike Tomlin probably should have challenged it.
He might not have won the challenge - it was close - but you have to hold onto the ball, even when you're getting drilled by a linebacker.
@ Brandon Boykin and Antwon Blake are going to have a heck of a battle for that No. 3 corner spot.
Both of those guys play with a lot of grit.
@ Bud Dupree has to learn how to get off blocks if he's ever going to be a player in the NFL. It was a problem in college and it was a problem in this game.
It doesn't matter how fast you run or how athletic you are if you can't get away from the guy in front of you.
@ The Steelers used some 4-3 in this game, though it wasn't a 4-3 in the truest sense.
They kept a linebacker at the line of scrimmage and aligned the other three linebackers behind the defensive front.
They hadn't shown that at training camp - or if they did, I missed it.
Jones really did look slightly better and the stat line doesn't tell all. On the first quarter he did benefit from some kind of a game plan / plays that fit well but he also executed well. Like usually when a young QB plays longer he faded when defense gets some more reads and offense will dig deeper on playbook. On goalline he actually threw three TD's with all balls having a change to score. On deep balls he had too much power and they were too line drives what makes it hard for receivers.
It was really good to see Coates being able to get open deep. He was at least two times open in the end zone. Now let's hit him in the hands and start evaluating if he'll be able to hold on. Step by step with the rookies make the necessary things work. James got open but couldn't have shown worse hands after that. Hopefully he'll follow Martavis' development from last year. A lot of times the rookies don't have the patience and awareness to go through the down down read by read. Tray Waynes showed just that with the announcers being perfectly correct saying he was trying to make too many plays.
Bud Dupree got sealed in the run game a lot. On pass rush a couple of times showed that first step but other than that was "fish out of water". That's why we have coaches and they have a lot to do.
Vikings played more of their starters and were just that much better. Now let's keep the arrow up and hope to see the young guys show progression next game.
Also the INT was cover 2 as it's purest. Let em' catch it short, run & hit, make em' make that mistake with contact. It was the Tampa version, I think Zumwalt got fast very deep as MLB. To make it work against starting offenses you have to generate pressure with four men. If not you are having trouble defending three or four deep routes no matter who's at safety.
Let us keep some kind of cover 2 success rate count at least for fun. They'll run it during regular season only if it works in out favor.
Dupree looked a lot like Jarvis Jones. Not good.
Archer looked good, more confident and not hesitating. Chisholm seemed the only one of the rest who might possibly be PS material.
Team is loaded at WR and ILB.
Villaneuva played a nice game, but quality OL depth is concerning.
Jones was fine. The 2nd half was forgiveable considering his wrs looked lost and the line was porous.
If people are going to call Dupree a bust after 1 pre season game (I have already read on other site), then lets not bother not re signing Beachum at LT, because of the SOLID performance of Ali V! (Both ridiculous ONE game statements).
I didn't get a chance to see much of the game. who was the LB they put down in the 4-3? I hope they don't use that too much. it's a mismatch at the line and teams can just run at the LB who doesn't belong there.
Would continued solid play from Boykin and Villenuava provide leverage in negotiations with other players. Specifically I'm thinking about a re-structor of Cortez Allen and leverage against not only Beachum, but potentially Gilbert.
He dodged defenders.
Most notably, and regrettably, in pass pro. Except for that first sack where he was a mere bug on a windshield.
Landry looked slightly better than he has in the past, but that is damning with faint praise. It's clear at this point that he can't win in the NFL, has no business being mentioned as a potential #2, and, in my opinion, shouldn't even be kept as a #3. I'd use that roster spot at another position. If we ever get down to needing our third-string QB we are screwed anyway. Better to sign a guy off the street like Jason Campbell.
What's the latest on Suisham? That is worrisome. But heard Jeff Reed was standing by last night!
Nobody is calling Dupree a bust. As I said when they drafted him, he's a project.
David, who do you think they will bring in as a kicker with Suisham's ACL injury. Does the old name Swayze Waters ring a bell? I think he was in camp a couple of years ago and he consistently kicked the ball out of the endzone and made all of his field goals during that preseason as well, I think.
Also, do you think Shakim Phillips could beat out Darrius Heyward-Bey if he shows something on special teams? He looked big, fast and made a great one-handed catch that DHB wouldn't make in a million years. Thoughts?
Sorry, Dale. Was listening to a podcast with David Todd when I was typing your name. Again, apologize.
Swayze Waters is playing in the CFL.
Dale, during the game you tweeted that Jeff Reed was escorted out of the stadium. Was that a joke or were you being serious?
No problem, Datruth. And yes, Steve-O. He has since explained the situation. Said a fan was giving him grief. He took the high road and left with a security guard so that the people he was with wouldn't be inconvenienced.
Good for him. It looks like he finally matured into adulthood. With that said, you know I have to ask. Is he still kicking?
Aren't the refs supposed to automatically review turnovers?
On the radio last night, heard that Reed had texted Tomlin. Presumably that meant he's interested in trying out, not that he was recommending another PK.
Reportedly Hartley won the kicking tryout and will be signed to replace Suisham.
it's not been clear to me. how did suisham tear his acl?
They think now he caught his cleats in the worn turf at Fawcett Stadium going over to make a play on the KR. On the video, it looks like his knee buckles before he gives or gets hit.
"how did suisham tear his acl?"
By being a 33 year old kicker who thought it was a good idea to be a tough guy in a meaningless preseason game.
Looked like just the standard push the returner out of bounds along the sidelines play. It also appears that Suisham's leg buckled before any contact at all.
He also had his ankle stepped on, which likely contributed to the injury.
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