Several Positives From Steelers 2013 Draft Class In Preseason Loss To Redskins

There weren\’t many positives in the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-13 loss to the Washington Redskins in their second preseason game of the year, but at least we did see some good contributions from several members of the 2013 draft class, all of whom played in the game.

Here is a recap of each players performance without going through the game a second time.

Jarvis Jones – Jarvis Jones looked not only stronger this week, but he looked confident as well. He really used his power to take on lead blockers and was fairly consistent at setting the edge against the run. The Steelers first-round draft pick only recorded two total tackles in the game, but he used his quickness to get up field and force a fumble on a pitch out to his side.

Le\’Veon Bell – It was a short night for Bell who left the game for good with a mid-foot sprain after just five plays. Bell carried the ball on the first four plays of the opening possession for just nine yards with a long of four. He hurt his foot while out on a pass route on third down and will have an MRI Tuesday to determine just how serious his injury is. Hopefully it is not a Lisfranc injury.

Marcus Wheaton – Wheaton led all Steelers receivers with three catches for 52 yards on five targets. The highlight for the Steelers third-round draft pick during the night was a 45-yard catch from quarterback Landry Jones with just over two minutes left in the third quarter. On the play, Wheaton blew past Redskins defensive back Chase Minnifield for an easy pitch and catch. Wheaton fair caught two of three punts, but did lose two yards on the one he attempted to return. He also recorded a special teams tackle on a kickoff.

Shamarko Thomas – Thomas saw his first action of the preseason at safety and seemed to always be around the football inside the box. He recorded seven total tackles with one coming on special teams and even forced a fumble when he crushed Redskins running back Chris Thompson early in the fourth quarter. Thomas also added another powerful hit after that one, but he might want to think about getting his head up more instead of leading with his helmet so often as I fear he will have several concussions if he continues hitting that way.

Landry Jones – Landry Jones was far from perfect during the game as he was 9-of-22 passing for 111 yards on the night, but he did have moments when it looked like his light flickered on and the game slowed down a tick for him. His deep pass to Wheaton and touchdown pass to Derek Moye were certainly his two best throws on the night. I consider his play against the Redskins a baby step forward.

Terry Hawthorne – Hawthorne finally saw the field and while he ultimately left the game with cramps, he did recover the fumble forced by Thomas. I haven\’t broken down his play in the secondary or on special teams just yet, but at least he found his way onto the stat sheet in a positive way.

Justin Brown – Justin Brown, like Hawthorne, didn\’t contribute much, but he did catch one of the three passes thrown his way for five yards. He was also credited for an assisted tackle on the second half kickoff.

Vince Williams – Vince Williams was credited with being in on two fourth quarter tackles.

Nick Williams – Like Hawthorne, Nick Williams finally saw his first action of the preseason and he recorded two total tackles of which one was a sack midway through the fourth quarter.

Jarvis Jones, Wheaton and Thomas were certainly the standout performers in a game that didn\’t have many of them and being as they all figure to contribute during the season, that\’s refreshing to see.

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