Even though Washington DC is a subBurgh; they did not show the Steelers game on television for some reason. I set the DVR set for 2AM and my wife suggested I set my alarm to watch game but after listening to the hot mess of the game decided to wait until this morning to see it with my own eyes.
Dave Bryan gave us 8 things to watch for in the Steelers preseason game against the Packers. I listened to Steelers Nation Radio and followed the Steelers Depot live blog to keep track of the action. So, just like NFL referees, my observations for this entry are not based on my sense of sight but just impressions from others:
Young guns: Mason Rudolph did start the game as Dave predicted. Both he and Josh Dobbs played a half. Both had their first pass picked for 6. Not good starts. Both faced some pressure and got tested by an aggressive Packers defense in a loud hostile stadium. Dobbs came ahead in the stat department but was playing against the reserve defenders. They did both recover enough to throw touchdown passes. Both must work on their decision making.
Some Rodgers, Roger: The first team defense got to face Aaron Rodgers for two series. He was only 2 of 4 for 35 yards but Green Bay had no problems with Pittsburgh’s defense. In six snaps he found 6’7” Jimmy Graham in the end zone who had little trouble boxing out Terrell Edmunds. Both Brett Hundley and DeShone Kizer seemed to have little trouble eluding the Steelers rush and deciphering Pittsburgh’s secondary schemes.
This Bud’s for you: Early in game, Tunch Ilkin described Bud Dupree as looking a tad slow. He did get a sack but that was against a back-up tackle and not David Bakhtiari. I’ll have to watch the game to see if Dupree had much impact on the Packers offense.
Two dogs, same early group? Wide receivers James Washington and Damoun Patterson were targeted for the most passes. If there is only one bone; it is clear who the alpha dog is. Washington is like a frog snaring a fly out of the sky. Not that Patterson was bad; just overshadowed by a superior talent.
No doubting Thomas: I don’t recall hearing a mention of Matthew Thomas during the game. Does not mean he didn’t play well just did not catch announcer’s immediate attention which is not always a bad thing.
Tackling the past: Fans are rolling their eyes and wringing their hands. I heard Tunch and Bill Hillgrove say miss tackle way too much when referring to the Steelers defense. Mike Tomlin mentioned the quarterbacks playing too tentatively. The same could be said of the defense.
Giant debut: The huge Zach Banner did enter the game in the second half. It sounded like Jake Rodgers had an abysmal game. Maybe he won’t be such a long shot. Looking forward to preseason game 3.
Some happy returns? Not fumbling fair catches is not the formula for Quadree Henderson to make the team as a return specialist. He did have a 27-yard kickoff return but that is no going to put him over the top. Cameron Sutton had one opportunity to return a punt which I think as kicked out of bounds. Was the extensive use of Fitzgerald Toussaint as a returner the signal that the coaching staff has seen enough of Quadree?
Chris Boswell was held out of the game with Matt Wile doing the kicking. Jordan Berry was very inconsistent, he had some long kicks but may not have had the hang time as the Packers returned three punts averaging over 25 yards a return. He also had some noticeably short punts. Mike Tomlin singled him out in is short post-game interview. Something to watch.
The best news is that no significant injuries were reported. Back-up center Patrick Morris did have to leave the game, but Mike Tomlin did not mention him. Chuks Okorafor was having his shoulder looked at. As always, will have to wait for next practice to see if any of the “bumps & bruises” turn into bonafide reportable injuries.
The Steelers Depot Live Update and Discussion Threads were entertaining as always. In the first half thread Mr. KnowItAll had the best rated comment with his explanation of Bud Dupree’s sack, “Bud accidentally ran into the QB.” Marcel Chris Chauvet noted, “My biggest takeaway from this game so far: Mason Rudolph is a lot tougher than I expect from a rookie playing QB.” While Gregory Jackson had his defensive takeaway, “Our ILBs cannot COVER.”
In the second half thread, Mateo k let everyone know that Alex Kozora got mentioned on the radio broadcast; “Alex Kozora shout out on the broadcast!! Good to hear Steeler Depot getting its proper recognition.” Here is Alex’s tweet that was referred to:
The 48 points allowed by the Steelers in the preseason is the most they've given up since the Chicago Bears hung 50 on them in 1987. #Steelers
— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) August 17, 2018
Unfortunately, the Packers would end up exceeding that record, but it made both Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley happy since they played in that Bears preseason game back in 1987. Though, Tunch pointed out he didn’t play defense.
Steely McBeam summed up the Steelers overall performance, “So, we’re bad in all phases apparently.” With Notrighintinhead adding, “Even bad in the mascot dept.”
Yours truly, noted that the Steelers offense may have to revise their goals, “Ben is going to have to revise that 30 point a game goal to about 65 a game if they want to go 500 with this defense.”
Many thanks to Matthew Marczi for keeping us updating and running the thread.
Well, that’s all for now. In the 2018 Memorial Day Weekend: Steelers Friday Night Five Questions, I committed to play songs that Steelers Depot respondents had suggested might be the new Steelers anthem if Renegade by Styx was ever replaced. Here is entry nine of 45 from Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt: Thug Luv by 2pac.