Thursday, September 2, 2010

Steelers Preseason Game Day 4 - vs. Carolina

This is the final preseason game for the Pittsburgh Steelers. You want to know how important this game is in the grand scheme of things? Take what the first preseason game is worth and cut that in half and that is what you get. Sure this will be good to get some of the young kids to fight for a roster spot, but other than that this is pretty much a game of trying not to get anyone on the first team offense or defense hurt. Plain and simple. The game doesn’t mean much, so neither will this pregame post. True game day is just around the corner. Can you feel it? I can. Wooooooooooooooooo

Continuing with the trend here are some things to look for:

1. Quarterback? Who is actually going to have the leg up to start week one when the Steelers take on the Atlanta Falcons? I guess the more appropriate question would be is Ben Roethlisberger is going to play this week? The starters might only play 10-15 snaps so there isn’t really much room for three QB’s to take snaps, let alone figuring out who is going to start with only so few snaps. For the record, I don’t think Ben should play at all. I did like him playing in the third preseason game (although most didn’t) but I think he should sit down and let DD and Lefty play a little bit more this game. Only HCMT knows who is going to start week one and he might not even know 100% yet. I have been pretty vocal that both will get some PT during the first four weeks of the season so I think it is a moot point, but still kinda fun to watch regardless.

2. Who is going to step up? There are a few names I have in mind. Namely Jon Dwyer, Ziggy Hood, Joe Burnett and Kennan Lewis. Some of the aforementioned players have played some decent football and some have not. There have been the same number of mental lapses and great plays and the same number of missed games as games played. To say that this game might be the last in a Steelers uniform for some players is not a stretch, it is reality. The players I mentioned above are safe for the most part, but if they want to play in meaningful games they better step up. Lewis was benched last preseason game because he was being a knucklehead and taking cheap penalties after he would get burnt. Not a good way to get on HCMT’s good side. I think there might actually be an Amber Alert out for Hood who we haven’t heard anything from this preseason. Burnett actually caught a football last week and has looked pretty good, but there is still a lot to do after he couldn’t crack the lineup last year on a poor secondary team. Then there is Dwyer who hasn’t play in all too many games, but finally showed a flash. He could be a practice squad guy but if he plays well he might be a guy who can help on Sundays. I could go on and on but like I said this is the preseason and I actually have real work to do.

3. Offensive Line Play. No kidding. Who didn’t see this one coming. The offensive line has been pretty off and on during the entire preseason. It would be nice to see them come out and have a good showing for the first 10-15 plays. The running game has been pretty good, actually, but the pass blocking has been suspect and there have been some holding penalties. Flo has had his share of holding penalties (shocker) and if Byron is going to be back there this could be a huge issue. But like I said before we have no idea who is going to be taking the snaps from Markice Pouncey. If Dixon is back there it will give the line a little more leeway, but both should find some PT so the line better start to get it together with their pass blocking.

4. Special Teams. Sure the ST unit hasn’t giving up a kick for six yet, but some aspects of the kick coverage game still haven’t been “up to snuff” for Pittsburgh. Hopefully these rookie guys can step it up this year and make it better. Preseason is a learning process for a lot of them and most of them need to make a name on ST. Hopefully they are learning. I have seen some good things from them so far this preseason so I think the youngsters might be catching on. I think Jeff Reed should probably kick off for the season. Danny S. had a couple good kicks but I don’t think he has been far and above Jeff Reed to where he will be taking over half of his duties. It is what it is. The kick returners are also a point of evidence. Basically there are three guys for one return spot. I still think Stef Logan is off this team but you never know. All it takes is a few good kick returns to be back on this team in his duty from last year. Should be interesting.

Should be awesome. I am sure to have shoddy internet tomorrow night so hopefully I can find the game.

Hit it.

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