Let me preface this by saying that the preseason doesn’t mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things. Sure it is nice to see some guys who are fighting for spots, but unless teams start making the playoffs due to the preseason then I am not real worried about it. Looking at some people last night you would have thought the Steelers weren’t going to make the playoffs based on the first quarter of the first preseason game. Like this was the playoffs and we can’t play bad in that first quarter.
Being the preseason I didn’t really get into the game like I would for the first game of the season. Therefore it will be a little shorter on the recap. I will take a look at the good and the bad of last night’s 23-7 win over the Detroit Lions
1) Dennis Dixon
DD played some good football last night. He threw for 128 yards and ran for 31 more yards on six scampers. He only missed one throw and hooked up with rookie receiver Anthony Brown for a 68 yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to put the game away. I think it is going to be hard for Dixon to find first team snaps because at some point you are going to have to let Ben play some football so where do you sneak Dixon in? Granted, Dixon played really well last night, but it was against second and third team Detroit Lions players. I am sure things would have been a little different against the starters, but you never know. I mean I would love for DD to make this interesting, but we will see has time goes on.
2) Isaac Redman
You want a more impressive player than Dixon last night? Isaac Redman. He was very good last night and is making his bid to stick on this roster as the third running back. Last season Redman was on the practice squad after a productive preseason and a lot of people were actually shocked he didn’t make the team. This season Redman has already started from where he left off last season. Redman ripped off a 31 yard run early in the second quarter and did something that Steelers backs failed to do last season, which is scored on a goal to go play. It is only one preseason game, but Redman looked good and it seems as if he has the inside track on the roster spot.
3) Maurkice Pouncey
The rookie played a lot of center last night, and he looked pretty good doing it. Overall the offensive line did not do a great job (which will be highlighted later) but Pouncey showed that he is probably going to be able to come in and play right away for this team. On Redman’s one yard touchdown run Pouncey did a really nice job getting across the face of the defensive lineman and getting him out of the way, leaving a lot of room for Redman to run. He held his own and it will be interesting to see if he plays some center or if he is going to start out at guard the rest of the preseason.
4) The Defense
Not trying to get too far into this, the defense had some big take aways that led to Steelers points. Ryan Clark picked a pass and later in the game the defense forced a fumble when the Lions were in the red zone. This is very good for the defense because they didn't create a lot of turnovers last year so it was nice to see.
1) Hold on to the damned football
Is it just me or does it seem like there is a competition to see how can put the ball on the ground the most? Last night the Steelers running backs put the ball on the turf three times, although none were lost. As much fun as running for a 10 yard gain then losing eight of those yards because you put the football on the ground is, you might want to cut that shit out Rashard. Although you might get hit in the backfield on a running play, fumbling the football ten yards down the field is a you problem. Get it fixed. Unless you liked toting the football around all the time at practice, which I am sure you don’t.
2) Offensive line
The offensive line was not that good last night. You got to realized that Byron Leftwhich is kind of like Chris Pronger when it comes to movement. They are basically a road cone. They are not going to move too much and Lefty isn’t going to be in a hurry to get out of the pocket in order to elude pass rushers. Flo didn’t play that great of a game, but he is getting used to that right side tackle spot, and the rest of the line really couldn’t do much. It is going to be big for the Steelers to run the football and protect the pocket, and it has to get much better than last night.
There was a lot more going on, but like I said it is the preseason.
Here We Go.