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Thursday, September 03, 2015

Post-Carolina thoughts

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.


Anonymous said...

Yes yes yes, I love hearing that. Give carrier to WJ, he's shown he can take it. Nix has had an unbelievable transition from DE to FB. I mean other than his mother who gave him a chance to be even in the discussion?

Josh harris has shown nothing. Chrisholm, I cant understand why he isn't been given carries but that doesn't bode well for him. 1.DeAngelo 2.WJ 3.Nix. Harris or Chrisholm are safe in the PS. When Bell returns a decision must be made, but Nix getting a 2 game shot and then back to the PS sounds good to me. He's certainly earned it

adamg said...

The DL problem last night was mostly created by Walton. Car ran at him the whole night. It's hard to judge DL on TV, esp preseason TV, but from what I was able to catch, McCullers, Thomas and Thornton did ok at NT. Chickillo was bad. H Jones showed good hop. Nix won himself a job with the punt block. Wells made the most of his chances and should have had a TD but for tripping on the grass.

Anonymous Brian said...

It is unfathomable to me how Dri Archer is a lock to make this team.

Marc said...

not good to hear McCullers was getting pushed around.

I am real interested to see how the steelers come out defensively against the pats. how are they going to try and pressure brady? how often will they go with 4 down linemen? will they come out with 3-4 personnel and play 4-3 defense?

ultimately, I don't see how the defense will be able to slow down the pats. I hope the steelers try to play ball control on offense and keep the pats off the field as long as possible. the most important defensive player in this game might be heyward. if he can wreak havoc in the backfield, we all know brady gets rattled.

Easley said...

I'm with Anon Brian. I've yet to see anything from Archer. Looks tentative on kickoff returns to me.

adamg said...

Well, I saw McCullers push the center 5 yds backwards when Car was down in scoring territory. Carolina was just killing Walton and Chickillo. I think about every running play went right at those two early on.

Anonymous said...

could darnell dockett be an option / fit?

datruth4life said...

Dale, here's my final roster: (still hoping for pick up upgrades at RB, DL, OL)

3 QBs - Ben, Vick, Jones
3 RBs - D. Williams, W. Johnson , Archer (Bell doesn't count because of 2 game suspension)
1 FB – R. Nix
3 TEs - Miller, Spaeth, J. James
5 WRs - AB, Wheaton, Coates, DHB (Martavis Bryant doesn’t count due to 4 game suspension)
9 OL - Beachum, Foster, C. Wallace, DeCastro, Gilbert, Legursky, Big Al, Vet G/OT picked at final cut, Pouncey (to IR/designated to return list after 53 is set, Mike Adams put on active PUP)
6 DL - Heyward, McClendon, Tuitt, E. Hemer, McCullers, vet DE after final cutdown (J. Mauro, Alex Carrington, R. Bryant?)
5 OLBs - Deebo, JJ, Moats, Bud, Chickillo
5 ILBs - Timmons, Shazier, Willaims, Spence, T. Garvin
6 CBs - Allen, Gay, Boykins, Blake, Grant, Webb
4 Ss- Mitchell, Thomas, W. Allen, Darby, Ventrone
3 Specialists - Berry, J. Scobee, Warren

When Pouncey is moved over to the reserve/designated to return list, then I add Tyler Murphy or Shaqim Phillips as the final spot on my 53. By cutting Thomas and Golden, Steelers save another $3.3M.

Practice Squad:

WRs – T. Murphy or S. Phillips
DB- K. Fogg
OL – ? (Finney if healthy, another pick up)
RB – J. Harris
TE – C. Clear
S – G. Holliman
DL – N. Williams, L.T. Walton
OLB – HoJo

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