Pardon the post game recap taking a while to get on here. After the game I went out to celebrate a little bit and watched the Packers game with the locals. Today is a travel day for me as I go to the great state of Iowa (really it’s not great at all) for some work related stuff, so this might be brief.
Overall you have to be pretty happy with how the Steelers played. The first team defense did pretty well, although they let up a touchdown drive to Rhett Bomar, but all in all I thought the defense was pretty solid. Any time you can get Aaron Smith a sack you are probably in good shape. I mean good lord, Joe Burnett even caught the football last night. Too bad he couldn’t make the catch last year, which might have got us into the playoffs, but I guess it is better late than never.
Lets go over the Steelers game last night and see what happened.
The QB’s: Ben got his first start and he was pretty good. He avoided some sacks and made some pretty nice throws. It was his first action since last season so you really can’t expect the world out of him, but from what I saw I really liked it. Ben is real good at playing football and that showed last night. Ben was 6/9 for 76 yards and a pick. The pick was meh. A deep ball that he under threw to Mike Wallace. He had him open, it happens. Whatever. Leftwhich was much better last night than he was last week. He threw a bomb to Mike Wallace for a 68 yard touchdown. Not bad. DD had another nice game. Went 7/8 for 82 yards and also ran for 27 more. I know people are moaning for him to start, but he needs some PT against first team guys, which he is probably not going to get. I have a feeling DD is going to get playing time during the first four games so I am not getting all worked up about it.
The run game: The run game was pretty good last night. The Steelers racked up 161 yards on the ground and virtually every running back had a few good runs. The offensive line did a nice job of blocking on the interior and the Steelers took advantage by running Mendenhall and Redman often right up the gut. It was good to see because with Ben out this team is going to have to run more. Very encouraged by that last night.
Rookie WR: Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders both had good nights last night. Although Brown only caught two balls for 12 yards he was very good on special teams returning kicks. Brown is really, really, fast for those of you who haven’t seen and he was hitting the holes with some speed and gained some yards that I didn’t even think he’d be able to. One time I really remember was when three NY Giants were coming down on a punt and Brown ran right through the middle of them so quickly that none of them even touched him. Stef Logan might be off this Steelers roster. Sanders made three catches for 51 yards so it was very productive for him too. These guys can both run and if they continue to make plays they are going to find roster spots.
Isaac Redman: I know we talked about the run game, but Redman is making it very hard to keep him off this team. He was very good last year in the preseason and he is picking off where he left off. Last year he was nicknamed “Redzone” Redman because he could get the tough yards down by the goal line. That is all well and good, but he is showing to be more well rounded this year. He had a 12 yard touchdown run where he was breaking some tackles and making people miss. That was very encouraging to see to know that Redman isn’t just a short yardage guy, but he can get yards in between the 20’s.
Heath Miller: Miller is a beast. He catches the ball, all the time. Not really much more to be said. He is the man.
Backs on Backers: This is a term usually reserved for a training camp drill where the backers will blitz and the back have to pass block and keep the QB untouched. Last night the Steelers backs were very good on blitz pickup and the one that sticks out the most in my mind was Ike Redman picking up a block on the Leftwhich TD pass to Wallace. Redman kinda got pushed back a little but he gave Leftwhich the extra second to get rid of the ball. That TD was just as much on Redman as anyone else.
Getting thrown out of the football game: This is to you Ike Taylor. Getting thrown out of a football game isn’t the greatest idea, every. Especially on the first couple plays. You did get the win in the fight, but still stupid. Listen, it is the preseason, not a big deal in my book. This is one of the few times that you get out against an opponent and to play against new faces. In camp you are going against your own offense all the time and it gets old. Nobody knows what happened, but I have a feeling Ike wouldn’t do that against the Bengals or Ravens. I am a big Ike fan and think he should be resigned. I am starting to put together a post about how valuable he is, but this is just another bullet for people to bash Taylor and say he shouldn’t be on the team. Get over it people. He can play. Can’t catch, but he can play.
Danny Sepulveda kicking off: People expected DS to be booming balls through the back of the end zone. Didn’t happen. He did about just as well as Jeff Reed usually does so I can’t say that this is “bad”, but with the expectations some people had of what he could do it could be considered bad from last night. Whatever, not a huge deal in my mind.
Pass blocking: While I thought the run blocking was good, the pass blocking was bad. Ben had to move around a lot and the QB’s were getting hit a lot last night. There were very few times where the QB’s had a nice pocket to throw with. Flo Adams was particularly bad last night and was often chasing pass rushers around all game. Hopefully this improves.
Well there were a few things I took from the game last night. There was probably more I wanted to talk about, but I felt those were most important. It is still the preseason for me too.