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Rookie Report: Steelers Vs Bengals

Throughout the season following each game I will be taking a look at the rookies and how they fared each week.  This will consist of thoughts such as the positive and negatives from that game, areas to watch or work on and clips to support what I’m sharing. Hopefully, this will shed some insight on some things you may or may not have seen.

Week 12 – Cincinnati Bengals

Active Players

Najee Harris (Round 1) – 36 offensive snaps, 8 carries, 23 yards, 2.88 YPC, 5 targets, 3 receptions, 14 yards, 4.67 YPR, 1 tackle

With the game out of hand Harris played his fewest snaps of the year along with having his fewest touches. Running the ball he couldn’t get anything going.  There were a couple plays that with one better block he would have been to the second level.  Maybe this game was a blessing for him to get him a little bit of rest.

In the passing game, the majority of his routes came again on check releases.  He has been kept in more often the past couple weeks to pass protect. His receptions came on a sneak up the middle, a flat route and swing pass and he had 18 yards total after the catch. He did have another drop on a pass into the flat. He had one really nice blitz pickup as well pancaking a defensive back. His most impressive play came on the first Bengals interception.  He was on the other side of the field outside the numbers and worked his way across the field to push a Bengal teammate into the returner to make the stop.

This is bad play for the offense but keep your eyes on Harris (22). He is on the opposite side of the field when the interception is made and makes the tackle

 

Pat Freiermuth (Round 2) – 47 offensive snaps, 2 special teams snaps, 4 targets, 4 receptions, 40 yards, 10.00 YPR, 1 touchdown

He played 76% of the snaps; his second highest percentage of the season.  His route tree continued on all three levels and he had 3 short area receptions and one deep.  The three short areas receptions came in the flat, on a curl and an in breaking route when lined up wide.  He had 13 yards after the catch. He made another fantastic reception for a touchdown which is becoming common at this point.  A fade between two defenders, making a tough catch and taking the hit that may have put him in concussion protocol.

As a blocker he had a couple solid reps inline and was asked to chip a couple times but those were a weak effort with weak effectiveness. His sustain on the run blocks were a little better this week. I would love to see him turn up the intensity in his whole game.  Add aggressiveness as a blocker and add urgency to his routes.

Kendrick Green (Round 3) – 62 offensive snaps

Green had his eight consecutive games playing every snap. I believe he is getting closer to being more consistent as a run blocker.  There were a couple plays where if he sustained his block just a second longer they could have been good runs. He needs to improve on moving his body to stay between the defender and the ball.  He had good push on double team blocks and was solid on the second level.  He just needs to lock on to defenders and sustain.

He was better in pass protection this week.  He was pretty good when he had a defender right over the top of him and in one-on-one situations. The thing that troubles me is his peripheral vision and feel for defenders coming from his sides. He gets locked on one guy with his eyes and when someone comes from the side or on stunts he gets knocked off balance.  He needs to swivel his head and be able to help blockers while looking the other way.

A couple plays from Green where he is initially in a good position but he needs to flip his hips to keep himself between the ball and the defender. These plays had promise if he executes better.

 

Dan Moore (Round 4) – 62 offensive snaps, 2 special teams snaps

There were positives in this game for Moore his tenth game playing every snap. In pass protection he was tested most of the game from Trey Hendrickson and was able to push him up the arc on the outside and showed continued improvement dropping his hips on power rushes. He did get bulled back to the QB on one play when he was late with his hands. If he could add that double chop that Big Al used to do it would help him on those bull rushes. He did give up the sack that causes a fumble but he played it pretty well.  The coverage was just good.

As a run blocker he was solid as the post blocker on combo blocks and handled his heads up blocks well.  He had a nice rep climbing to the second level to seal off the linebacker. I would like to see some improvement in his lateral movement to mirror blocks in all parts of his game.

Isaiahh Loudermilk (Round 5) – 27 defensive snaps, 6 special teams snaps, 1 tackle, 1 pass defensed

After missing the last game Loudermilk set a season high in defensive snaps. He was used from the 0 technique over the center out to the 5 technique outside the tackle. On his second snap he took a false step in wrong direction but overall he showed solid hand placement.  He showed good strength and agility to control his gap on the front side of plays. He also showed good chase on the Joe Burrow touchdown run. He displayed good effort to break through a double team block but his balance seemed to be off a bit during the game.

As a pass rusher his best rep came as a looper to his left when lined up over the center. He got the pressure on the interception by Minkah Fitzpatrick. He did get knocked to one knee on a chip by a running back and on a lot of pass rushes he allowed the offensive lineman to get hands into his chest which slowed his push. He was able to get his hands up to deflect a pass.

Lined up over the center Loudermilk (92) will loop to his left and get the pressure on the quarterback

 

Tre Norwood (Round 7) – 8 defensive snaps, 13 special team snaps, 1 tackle, 1 tackle for a loss

With the Bengals running the ball so effectively this turned in to a limited game for Norwood playing the second fewest defensive snaps for the season. Most of his plays were uneventful for him and often to the other side of the field. He did have a nice man coverage rep from the slot sticking with the receiver going across the field.  His lone tackle came late in the fourth quarter play in in the box and forcing the runner inside before making the tackle.  

Presley Harvin III (Round 7) – 7 special team snaps, 5 punts, 38.0 average

This was his second lowest punting average of the season. He had a couple opportunities to use his big leg but it just didn’t happen. He handled the snaps on the two place kicks well.

The first punt was okay. It traveled just 31 yards but was a fair catch at the 16. Punt number two was in an area where he could air it out but hit it just 37 yards.  In the second half his third punt was a 42 yarder that was caught at the sixteen but had a good return.  Punt four again could have been aired out but travelled just 35 yards. The last was a really good punt of 42 yards downed at the seven.

Daniel Archibong (UDFA) – 5 defensive snaps, 3 special teams snaps

He got a helmet for the second consecutive week but got limited reps with three of those coming on the final drive. He was used in the 1/3 technique alignments and showed solid snap quickness and lateral agility.  He needs to work on using his hands to hold off blockers and staying square to the line of scrimmage. He got turned to the side too often in the run game.

Inactive for Week 12 – Buddy Johnson (Round 4)

Practice Squad –S Donovan Stiner, WR Tyler Vaughns

Reserve/Injured – WR Rico Bussey

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