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Steelers Vs Jaguars Second Half Notes And Observations

Author’s Note: I’ve spent the better part of the past week nursing a pair of severe ear infections, a sore throat, and as I’ve deduced yesterday, a spider bite. As such it’s been difficult for me to get too in-depth on game tape during that time, hence why my work breaking down the film from the previous preseason game has come so late in the process.

The Pittsburgh Steelers played their second preseason game a week ago today, falling 23-21 to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Below are my notes and observations of the second half after having reviewed the game tape.

  • The second half opened with a special teams tackle by Gerod Holliman, but even here, he has the form of a wide receiver in his technique.
  • Third-team personnel in the second half. Shayon Green shed a blocker to make the tackle after a short run on the first play from scrimmage.
  • Reserve Joe Kruger was in on a couple of tackles on that opening drive, quietly doing well. He is certainly a candidate to find the practice squad again, especially if the Steelers wish to keep two linemen there.
  • Safety Ian Wild influenced a deep incompletion with his presence and clean contact to force the receiver to fear hauling in the pass.
  • On third and eight, the Steelers show nine at the line, but drop five of them. Ryan Shazier, who asked for more playing time, made the tackle after five yards on a short pass.
  • On the Steelers’ first offensive play of the half, Chris Hubbard ended up tackling Jawon Chisholm on a screen pass.
  • The first punt from Jordan Berry was pinned down by Jesse James at the 16-yard line, but it only traveled 33 yards. A 40-yard punt would have pinned the Jaguars inside the 10.
  • On I believe his first snap of the preseason on defense, Doran Grant missed a tackle.
  • Later on the drive, Kevin Fogg shed a wide receiver block to come up for a tackle in the running game.
  • On third down, pressure off the left edge from Anthony Chickillo flushed the quarterback up the pocket, resulting in a sack for Matt Conrath.
  • Also on that play, Terence Garvin came off his blitz to cover the safety valve route, showing good recognition.
  • Holliman served as a vice jammer on the ensuing punt and was flagged for holding.
  • Hubbard was flagged for holding on a six-yard loss. Impressive.
  • Rookie Bud Dupree was still getting reps at this point, toward the end of the third quarter. On the first play of a Jaguars drive, he was boxed out of a run to his side, unable to shed the block, but as the run was bottled up at the line, he eventually took the circuitous route and blew up the back from behind.
  • Garvin finished up the quarter by eluding a second-level block to make the stop on the ball carrier after a gain of one.
  • To start the fourth quarter, Chickillo moved to the right side. I do not take it lightly that the Steelers are working him on both sides.
  • On that first play of the quarter, Dupree got to the edge in time on the pass rush, but as has been his tendency, froze up at the top of the arc, unable to bend the corner, resulting in a clean pocket. But the running back dropped the ball.
  • The rookie tight end James is not a finished product as a blocker, but he has a lot to work with. He needs to finish blocks better, but that will come with experience and confidence. It seems he will see work both in pass protection and in the running game. He held off a defensive end on the Steelers’ second play of the quarter for a deep toss.
  • On the Jaguars’ next drive, Howard Jones dipped under a tight end to drop the running back for a loss. He makes a few of these plays, but they don’t counterbalance his overall inconsistency.
  • The wide receivers were plagued with the drops in this quarter. First it was Shakim Phillips, then Sammie Coates on back-to-back plays. The tight end James got open for a 22-yard tough catch on third and 10 to save the rookie wide receivers.
  • First-year receiver C.J. Goodwin shook his first-game fumble by hauling in two passes and hanging on through big hits, with the second coming in the end zone.
  • A special teams forced fumble by Green set that up. Coates recovered.
  • Dupree still getting reps deep into the fourth quarter.
  • A number of defensive penalties allowed the Jaguars to march down the field and score. Kevin Fogg had one nice deflection at the goal line. The defense stopped a two-point conversion to keep it a two-point differential.
  • But the offense burned almost half of the three minutes remaining with a turnover on downs, with an overthrow to a camp body tight end.
  • The defense did get the ball back, however. Chickillo showed good awareness on one occasion to take away the quarterback’s outlet rather than coming in to pressure a throw.
  • Chickillo came back a couple plays later to make a nice run stop as well.
  • Jones made an excellent throw, and Coates an excellent catch, to convert a third down on the final drive. However, that was followed by three straight incompletions and then a sack to end the game.
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