Thursday, September 03, 2015
Thank God that ugly, ridiculous preseason is over.
In their final two preseason games, the Steelers gave up more than 1,000 yards of offense in losses to Buffalo and Carolina, as their backups proved that many of them don't belong in the NFL.
That's not to say there aren't some guy who can play on those units, but the Steelers don't have much of a JV squad this season.
That might not bode well over the course of a 16-game season. Some of the backups will be pressed into action at some point. And unless it's at the right position - inside linebacker, perhaps CB - they will be in deep trouble defensively.
I've been saying all along the Steelers only have four NFL-caliber defensive linemen. But after watching Daniel McCullers get moved around by the Panthers reserves Thursday night, they might not even have that.
The Steelers had better scour the waiver list Friday and Saturday and come up with one or even two defensive linemen and another offensive linemen.
* Shamarko Thomas, one of just two defensive starters to play in this game along with linebacker Arthur Moats, was getting killed on social media for taking a bad angle on Jordan Todman's 49-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Thomas did take a bad angle, but part of the problem was that Todman came through completely untouched through the line. Gotta at least get one hand on him up there, don't you?
* Mike Tomlin singled out Roosevelt Nix as a guy who stood out to him in this game thanks to a blocked punt. That's the kind of thing that will win you a roster spot, regardless of position.
And the fact that fullback Will Johnson got four carries late in the game tells me the Steelers might be leaning toward keeping Nix over Josh Harris.
Harris was hurt a lot this preseason and didn't do much against Carolina or Buffalo.
Could they go with DeAngelo Williams, Johnson, Nix and Dri Archer to open the season until Le'Veon Bell gets back in Week 3?
Why not? Unless there's another back cut loose that can really help them - in which case, he'll be in demand - that's still better than what they went into the playoff game against Baltimore with last season.
* Tomlin also said the picking a punter will be difficult not because both guys stunk, but because both guys really kicked well.
It's a good problem to have. I'd keep Jordan Berry. I saw how Brad Wing's kicks got shorter and shorter as the weather got colder last season.
Wing has kicked well in this preseason, but Berry has better hang time and, as we saw Thursday night, he can kick a knuckleball that is difficult to catch,
* I expect the Steelers to cut down Friday. They will then scan the waiver wire after putting Maurkice Pouncey on short-term IR and see what's available.
There could also be more cuts Sunday after guys clear waivers. It's going to be an interesting process.