The first preseason game is as exciting as it can be depressing and irritating. It’s just par for the course in any year and this seasons version was no different. Before we started though I gotta say it’s nice to have my Steelers timeline on twitter in midseason form again after a long offseason.
There is nothing more crazy than the Steelers timeline on Twitter during the game. If you’re a Pittsburgh fan during football season, trying to watch the #Steelers timeline during a game is an exercise in futility but still entertaining. Every positive and negative thought imaginable comes flying by at record speed, even in preseason.
Even in the exhibition season, we fans are more than happy to share our thoughts with our fellow Steeler Nation friends. So here’s a few from yours truly….
Jarvis Jones, the famed 1st round draft pick showed some flashes but also showed that he’s still a rookie. Among the fumble recovery and 1 nice open field tackle, he also spent a good portion of his playing time being run out of the play or unable to set the edge on his side. While it’s nothing to be overly concerned about yet because it was his first NFL game afterall, it’s a good reminder that one good play doesn’t anoint you the next great Steelers linebacker just yet. He’ll continue to get better but we’ve seen flashes so far of what he can become.
“LaSH”, Larod Stephens-Howling. The mighty mouse on offense who signed a 1 yr deal this offseason used his quick feet and shifty moves, along with some good vision to rush 7 times for 40 yds before his time was up.
Speaking of zone blocking, the new OL scheme being implemented this year worked pretty darn well, at least when the starters were in. Adams, Foster, Pouncey, DeCastro, and Gilbert showed that they are starting get their sea legs with the new ZB setup and it payed off with a good running game and a nice 2nd drive of the game for Ben and his team mates.
Rookie Justin Brown lead all receivers with 4 for 32 yds. It wasn’t a big night through the air for any of the Steelers QB’s but overall Brown and Markus Wheaton showed some serious flashes of good things to come.
Al Woods and Alameda Ta’amu both had a solid night overall, Woods especially. He racked up 6 tackles and 3 assists while Ta’amu had 2 tackles but started to show that he can use his mammoth size with leverage.
The not so positives:
The first drive for Ben and the starters resulted in a holding call, batted pass, and a sack. Not exactly a great start, which was then followed up by a blocked punt for the Giants and a 3-0 lead early on for NY.
Special teams was a complete disaster. Now to be fair it’s preseason and the players out there on coverage, returns, and field goals are a hodge podge of hopefuls just trying to make the team. New ST coach Danny Smith has his work cut out for him. We’ll go over this more in the The Blitz podcast coming up on Monday but for now let’s just say that Tomlin can’t be happy with the first outing in 2013, preseason or not.
Starting defense had a good series after being pinned deep against their own end zone, forcing the FG by the Giants but after that the pass defense was porous and tackling was just not good at all. The secondary was smoked several times, including Will Gay and others being owned by Victor Cruz and Eli Manning on a 57 yd TD pass.
Jonathan Dwyer had 6 carries for 15 yds; 1 of which went for 11 yds. To be fair he was mostly in with reserves for blockers but still, for a guy trying to make the team it wasn’t exactly anything to write home about.
Landry Jones’ first NFL snap resulted in points, for the Giants. A seemingly easy handoff to Baron Batch resulted in the two colliding with each other and the Giants getting 2 points after Jones fell on the ball in the end zone. He did finish the game going 5/9 for 48 yds but it was a bit of a rough outing for the rookie.
There’s a lot more to cover and SCB writer SteelDad will definitely be all over it this week on the blog and in the podcasts. Stay tuned.
Above all else, this is preseason – Remember for every good play there’s a dozen miscues to be worked on. That’s what these games are for though.