Steelers Versus Panthers – Second Half Notes And Observations

By Matthew Marczi

  • If I am not mistaken, Brian Rolle did not play much of any special teams in the second half. My belief is that he did not have to, and that otherwise he would have.
  • Chris Carter looked his most active of the entire preseason against the weaker competition offered in the final game, but perhaps the success that he had will build his confidence. As it is, I have a hard time seeing him not making the roster. As well as Alan Baxter has played, I struggle to have him higher than the tenth linebacker in the coaches’ eyes when factoring in his practice squad eligibility.
  • It would have been a nice capper for his preseason performance if Markus Wheaton could have held on to that high third down pass. As it is, he had two nice games bookmarked by a slow start and a shaky finish.
  • My mistake. Derek Moye actually did see some time on special teams in the second half. He was a gunner opposite Ross Ventrone, and actually did not do a bad job at all. He does not have elite speed, but he is far from slow, and he has some shifty moves to help get him down the field. Despite that, I still do not see him being a significant contributor on special teams.
  • Felix Jones does a good job of making himself available as a receiver for his quarterback when he is under pressure. He also did a fine job in pass protection, bolstering his resume to remain on this team.
  • Landry Jones had an awful lot better go of it in the first half than in the second half, and it was not just the difference between a touchdown and three interceptions.
  • I do not know if Moye made an error or rounded off his route on the first interception, but his hustle to run down the pick to save a touchdown was a good thing to see. Not every offensive player possesses those instincts.
  • Heads up play by Carter on his second sack. He was not even rushing on the play before Baxter flushed the quarterback his way, and he was quick to attack, popping the ball out in the process.
  • Joe Madsen and Mike Golic, Jr. got their first playing time of the preseason at the end of the third quarter. The fact of the matter, however, is that Chris Hubbard has consistently been the second-team left guard, and if one of them is going to make it to the practice squad, it will almost assuredly be Hubbard.
  • Nevertheless, Madsen and Golic both did a nice job coming in, and it was good for them to finally get some in-game experience, and some tape for other potential teams to pick them up.
  • Landry Jones’ second interception looked bad right out of his hand and was badly overthrown. And it came soon after his first interception. Mike Tomlin will not be happy with the rookie’s ability to ‘ride the emotional rollercoaster’, which was something that he specifically mentioned wanting to see from him coming into the game.
  • In comparison to the first three games, Brian Arnfelt really seemed to have a quiet day. He made a couple of good plays (for example, his excellent leverage on the goal line stand), but he also ended up on the ground on back-to-back plays.
  • Terence Garvin once again replaced Chris Carter at right outside linebacker in the fourth quarter.
  • Vince Williams made a shoestring tackle at the goal line that almost assuredly saved a touchdown. The young man makes a lot of plays, and shows that he is a lot more than just a run and hit linebacker.
  • Guy Whimper had his worst play of the night with 11 minutes to go on the fourth quarter when he and Joe Long both allowed pressure for a shared sack. Overall, however, Whimper still had another solid half, and upon further review, I believe he outplayed Long.
  • After the opener, this was the best showing for Al Woods during the preseason, and that goes beyond the stats sheet. I do not believe that he played at nose tackle at all in this game, however.
  • I know it was a bad decision for Reggie Dunn to run laterally on the punt return in which he was tackled for a safety, but he really did not have much choice but to try to make something out of nothing in his bid to make the roster. And maybe with better blocking, he could have made something out of it. You have to feel bad for the guy when being a kick returner depends so much on opportunities. Does he deserve a roster spot? No, but maybe he deserved a better showing.
  • Terence Garvin was not fooled on a reverse, and appropriately received kudos from his teammates on the sidelines after making the tackle on third down.
  • Guy Whimper was beaten inside once late in the game and allowed pressure, but it came on a quick pass that went for a sizable gain anyway.
  • Adding insult to insult, Reggie Dunn fell down on a route, allowing the defensive back to make the easy interception, ending not only the game, but any last remote chances he had of making the team, and making Jones’ night look just a bit worse in the process.
  • Terry Hawthorne played nine snaps on defense to end the game and did not factor in on a single play. That is not surprising, however, since eight of the plays were rushes, and the one pass was short when he was in deep coverage. Really nothing to evaluate from all the cornerbacks late in the game with the Panthers running out the clock.
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