Pre-season is well underway, just a few weeks until NFL Kick-off and there are still bugs to be worked out of the Steelers game - too sloppy, too many penalties, too many turnovers (or not enough on defense). It's a process.
But here are my thoughts after watching (most of) the game against the Redskins.
Five things I like:
- Ben being Ben. He looks healthy, he looks strong. Key is for that O-line to keep him upright and give him time. But even scrambling, Ben looks like Ben.
- E88. Emmanuel looking like he deserves that jersey number. Third year on the Steelers and a player I have wanted to see more of for some time. Injuries kept him from showing us his true value. This is his year.
- Paulson. Proving he can hold his own until Heath is healthy.
- Jonathan Dwyer. He was listed behind Bell and Redman on the depth chart before the game, but he played like a man who wants to win that starting job. I love iRed, but I really love anyone who can get yards and move chains.
- Landry Jones. Guaranteed a family member of mine just rolled his eyes. I saw you. But seriously, he's a solid backup. Solid. And I could see him as "The Replacement" a la Aaron Rodgers. Think about it. Over time, of course, over time.
Five things I don't like:
- O-line woes. I'm not sure how many penalties there were, but that needs to be worked out before a real down of football is played. Hope they get it out of their systems now....false starts, holding, c'mon, you have been doing this far too long to make those mistakes that many times.
- Turnovers. Unless its the Steelers forcing one. I see you Shamarko Thomas.
- Third Team. They moved the ball better than the first team. That should not happen. Should it?
- Le'Veon Bell's foot.
- Redskins fans. I'm already tired of hearing about RGIII, his knee, his rehab, his wedding, what fan bought what off his registry, when he'll come back, what Shanahan said, the hat he was wearing, blah blah and blah blah. And I used to be a fan (of his, not the Redskins).
It's pre-season. I expect sloppiness. But I hope to see less of that from the first team in the coming weeks. By the time the first week of real football, I hope to see none of that nonsense.
In other news, ESPN's Jeffri Chadiha must be hiding under a rock somewhere.
The offense has quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and a ton of questions. The defense is old and missing key performers from a unit that led the league in total yards allowed in 2012.
Old? So, ok, Brett Keisel, Troy, Ryan. But there's Jarvis Jones, Ziggy Hood, Cam Heyward, and Shamarko Thomas.
And offense? Ben and that's it? So Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Jon Dwyer, Isaac Redman or Le'Veon Bell don't count. Oh, okay. *blank stare*
I'm not saying the Steelers are Super Bowl bound, but ESPN's writers have to do better than quote Warren Sapp who for years has been saying the defense is old. Those same years, that same old defense has ranked top in the league. I'll let the numbers do the talking.
If you want to read this article, but I warn you, it is annoying, click here.