The journey toward the 2017 season is now in full swing with the Pittsburgh Steelers having reported to Latrobe for their annual training camp at Saint Vincent College, where they have held their camps for over half a century now.
This is surely the time more than any other in which we find ourselves full of questions that we are looking to get answered, and this also tends to be the best time to get answers to those questions that have been building up over the course of time since the 2016 season ended.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the training camp and the preseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: Did you see enough of the first-team offense to be convinced of their ability to succeed in 2017?
Although it is not exactly a great shock, the Steelers full first-team offense only played two series during last night’s game against the Colts, and they only came away with three points between the two drives for their efforts, which averages out to 1.5 points per drive.
Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and Maurkice Pouncey all made their preseason debuts, and they all turned in solid to very good performances. It is no surprise that Brown in particular looked to be in form already, making two nice catches that included one thrown behind him that required him to make a mid-stride adjustment. He did so and still had time to pick up some yards after the catch.
Roethlisberger didn’t do a whole lot on the opening drive, just checking the ball down to Knile Davis a couple of times and then being hit as he threw for a strip ‘sack’ to end the possession. But he came out throwing the next drive, completing five passes in a row within a six-play span.
The drive stalled quickly, however, in the red zone. Davis was stopped for no gain on first down and then Roethlisberger fired incomplete twice in the direction of Jesse James, forcing them to settle for a 36-yard field goal.
I’m sure the starters would have liked to have seen a bit more, but scoring touchdowns in the preseason ultimately don’t count, and you don’t want to place yourself in too much of a risk. The absence of Le’Veon Bell still makes this an incomplete picture as well.
Ultimately, we probably didn’t learn a whole lot about the offense last night, which would be hard to do in two drives anyway. Perhaps the biggest piece of intel was the fact that the fullback handoff is evidently in the playbook still.