It was a strange yet positive start for the 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers as Tennessee kick returner Darius Reynaud stepped out and then back into the end zone for a safety. As suddenly as that happened it was like 2012 all over again.
The term déjà vu is defined as ‘a feeling of having already experienced the present situation.’
I don’t know of a more apt term to describe the opening game of 2013.
Turnovers, penalties, injuries and special teams gaffes were once again the order of a Steelers’ gameday. Isaac Redman fumbled twice and lost one which was inside the Titans’ five yard line.
All-Pro center Maurkice Pouncey is more than likely done for the season after taking friendly-fire from David DeCastro. Preliminary reports are that Pouncey has both a torn ACL and an MCL. Kelvin Beachum did a very serviceable job in reserve but will they look for more help in a trade or re-sign John Malecki?
Veteran linebacker Larry Foote looks lost for the season as well with a ruptured biceps. Former Steeler Willie Colon suffered a similar injury and missed a season. Does rookie Vince Williams get the nod or is it Kion Wilson?
Cortez Allen and LaRod Stephens-Howling also were injured during the game.
A lot of people will have questions for Mike Tomlin and Todd Haley after this 16-9 loss to Tennessee but that isn’t where they should start. Instead, start with Kevin Colbert and maybe even Art Rooney II who insisted this team go back to a run-first offense despite being built for the pass.
The offensive line is in shambles after week one. Yes, the loss of one guy on the line can have that affect. Don’t believe me? Look how they played the rest of the game.
Thankfully the defense appears to be half-way decent. I still have concerns though about stopping the run. Make no mistake, they held Chris Johnson in check for the most part but in the pivotal 49 yard drive that led to the Titans first TD they were gashed. 11 of the 12 plays were runs.
The defense also created zero turnovers and put little pressure on Jake Locker.
If you felt like you were back in 2012 today you were. Ben Roethlisberger was pressured on every throw and it appears only a matter of time before he takes yet another shot that knocks him out a few games.
It feels like a bad dream quite honestly but I know it isn’t. We saw this coming throughout the preseason and all last year.
It really is déjà vu all over again for one week at least.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 4pm ET talking Steelers.