As we’ll do for every game this year, our notes following each one. Breakdown of what I saw in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ preseason win over the New York Giants.
– Kick return unit. Front dive: Jordan Dangerfield-Matt Galambos-Brandon Dixon-TJ Watt-L.J. Fort. Robert Golden behind with Chris Hubbard/Roosevelt Nix/David Johnson being part of the “wedge” (Johnson peeled off from the group since you can’t have a three man wedge anymore). Knile Davis/Marcus Tucker the return men.
– Starting OL, just for bookkeeping purposes. Hubbard-Foster-Finney-DeCastro-Gilbert. Other starters: DHB/Cobi, JuJu Smith-Schuster in the slot. Fitzgerald Toussaint at RB.
– Smith-Schuster being used as a wing. Playaction, hits the rookie in the flat.
– 3rd and 7. Josh Dobbs has to hit Heyward-Bey on a dig sooner. Had a chance, waited, hitched, ball sailed.
– Punt coverage team: On the line. Watt-Johnson-Holba-Matakevich-Fort. Grimble and Hagen the wings, Davis the upback. Hamilton/Mike Hilton the gunners.
– Steelers ran Cover 2 on the first third down the defense faced.
– Punt return team: Eli Rogers the PR. JuJu/Greg Ducre one set of jammers, Hilton/Cobi the other pair. Others: Davis-M. Golden-Hagen-Moats-and I think Watt.
– Big part of Steelers’ screen game. Two options, the screen to the back and a drag to the other side of the field.
– Good stack and shed by Stephon Tuitt and Vince Williams.
– Offensive line miscommunication on Dobbs’ first interception. Marcus Gilbert may have thought the tight end was staying in, blocking/releasing. Doubled the tackle until see the LDE free. Too late.
– Vince Williams appears to have vacated his zone here and left a big window for QB Josh Johnson to hit the dig.
– Nice job by Toussaint to stay square in pass pro. Face in the fan.
– Great effort by T.J. Watt. See the punch/swim too to beat the tackle.
– Field goal block unit: Hilton-Galambos-Philon-C. Brown-Huguenin-McCullers-Keith Kelsey-Moats-Watson-Brian Allen-Hagen.
– 2nd team offensive line: Hubbard-Milton-Finney-Feiler-Hawkins
– Jesse James has to be more physical, forceful here. Y sets the mesh. Can’t get run under.
– Keavon Milton tries to pass set here on this draw. But gets run back. He had a rough game.
– Johnson and Grimble served as wings on the field goal unit.
– Hilton sack. Good play, scheme, but also like the backside contain by L.T. Walton. Critical to fire zones working.
– Best part of Hilton’s fumble recovery on that punt? Splitting the jammers without wasted movement/time.
– Tyson Alualu showed a good dip/rip move. And CB Brandon Dixon a good jame in Cover 2.
– Steven Johnson the Buck linebacker, L.J. Fort the Mack.
– Good first step and penetration by L.T. Walton to force the running back wide.
– Farrington Huguenin showing correct technique. Force defender, keep your outside arm free, make the running back cut inside.
– 2nd team KR unit. Front five: Hagen-Huguenin-Kelsey-Kallon-Watson. Brian Allen behind. Grimble/Hooks the wedge alongside Roy Philon. Hamilton/Toussaint the return men.
– Looks like Davis missed his gap here. Can’t take this power run up the middle. Has to bounce it. David Johnson is correctly washing his man inside, who winds up making the tackle.
– Dobbs’ sack. Jerald Hawkins thought he had help? Another protection breakdown.
– Punt coverage: Dixon/Tucker gunners. On the line, couldn’t see where everyone was lined up, don’t have two names. Here’s who I have: Severin-Brown-Dukes-Huguenin-Allen-Johnson.
– Johnny Maxey getting penetration to blow this run up.
– Bad read by Dobbs. Curl/flat combination. Both defenders drifting to the flat. Should’ve thrown the curl. Plus, the throw was wide and incomplete.
– Milton again getting killed at the point of attack.
– 2nd team kick coverage: M. Golden-Severin-Dixon-Fort-Kelsey-Boswell-McGee-Kallon-Hamilton-Brown-Dukes-Hilton.
– Keith Kelsey showed good tackling technique. Near leg/near shoulder principles.
– Some positive news for Hawkins. Able to set his hips and seal the end on this run.
– Really off target throw by Bart Houston on this flag route. Incomplete.
– No leverage/ability to drive through contact for Phazahn Odom. Gets run back.
– Nice crack by Tucker on the safety, pull by McGee to spring Watson for the score.
– Center Kyle Friend bullrushed into Houston’s lap.
– 4th and 9, the Giants final play. Defensive miscommunication, three defensive backs blitz.