Well, the preseason is behind us. Next stop? Week one in Buffalo. With a few roster spots still to be decided here’s a look at our observations from tonight’s game, a lop-sided 34-9 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
- Not a good night for Dwayne Haskins. Very erratic throws and he looked unsettled throughout against the Panthers first team defense. He looked a little better late in the game but things were not in doubt.
- Not much in the way of running room early on for Benny Snell. I think he makes the roster despite not playing much in the preseason.
- I don’t need to see any more of Chuks Okorafor at left tackle. There is no way they can go into the season with him there. I realize rookie Dan Moore has been impressive but I don’t think he’s ready either. Major area of concern right now.
- Ray Ray McCloud is a solid return man but as a receiver he’s his own worst enemy. He doesn’t catch the ball with hands. Instead he allows it to get into his body and that leads to drops or delayed catches which can cost yardage.
- Josh Dobbs took over for Haskins in the third quarter and he didn’t fare much better. You may not like Mason Rudolph as your backup but he’s your backup. Haskins would return in the fourth quarter after an injury to Dobbs. Depending on the severity that could settle the QB issue right there.
- Cassius Marsh is a veteran yes, but he does little for me. His pass rush arc often takes him right out of the play.
- Chris Wormley had a very strong evening. A big year by him would be huge for this D-Line.
- Isaiah Buggs has had a very nice preseason and it continued against the Panthers.
- Robert Spillane has never been great in coverage but I’m just stunned at how far he’s dropped off. He is really struggling.
- James Pierre deserves to be number three CB if not number two. He’s done a really nice job.
- Shakur Brown has some really good qualities but I think he’s destined for the practice squad to start.
- Did Ulysees Gilbert do enough tonight to make the roster? My gut tells me no.
- Some really poor tackling in the second half by guys in the secondary and a bad personal foul on Mark Gilbert.
On Special Teams
- Mathew Sexton was already facing long odds of making the roster but his first muffed punt likely sealed his fate. Carolina punched it in two plays later for the TD. He would muff a second but recovered it on his own.
- Jamir Jones has consistently been one of the best tacklers on STs this preseason and he was again versus the Panthers.
- Buddy Johnson had some nice plays on STs as well and may have solidified a roster spot as a result.
- The punting battle may come down to a coin-flip. Neither Pressley Harvin nor Jordan Berry did anything to clinch or lose the job. Actually if it comes down to it, it could be who Chris Boswell prefers as his holder. Boswell hooked his only PAT late in the game with Harvin holding.
The Steelers must cut down to their 53-man roster by 4pm Eastern on Tuesday August, 31st.