Thoughts on the game
Not an overwhelming amount of positives to draw from this shalacking, but as others have stated hopefully this will help to get our players' head's straight.
The offensive line gave pretty good pass protection tonight. Carr had time to do his thing and it paid dividends. They were terrible for run blocking though, I don't care how bad a back is, when they run for less than a yard a carry, alot of the fault lies with the guys in front.
Hollings had nowhere to run, but he didn't create anything by himself either. He doesn't look bad for someone so new to a position, but great running backs can create their own luck sometimes, he is obviously far away from being a great running back at this stage of his career (I know, that's obvious). I was impressed with the block he made on a blitzing linebacker, I'm sure you know the play I'm talking about. It was a savvy play from a young guy. Moran Norris was knocking heads out there, he's played lights out so far. Did you see him block two guys at once!?
The DLine looked like it got dominated by their first stringers, shouldn't alot of our run-stopping woes have gone out the window with the return of Gary Walker and the acquisition of Smith? We started getting penetration later in the game, but we didn't make plays in the backfield.
The linebacker's got man-handled as well. They made tackles....after the ball-carrier gained 4 or 5 yards. To be fair, alot of the Steeler's OLine was busting through and occupying our linebackers.
The receivers looked good, IMO. So did David Carr. He's been outstanding thus far in the pre-season. It's hard on him when 1st and 2nd down yield negative yardage from poor run blocking, and he's forced into a 3rd and long situation. That's almost always an incompletion or a shovel pass for minimal yardage it seems.
Special Teams was pretty good. Steve Cheeks can pummel that ball, is he making Stanley nervous? I'm not Moses' biggest supporter, but come on, the guy looked excellent tonight and is heads and shoulders above everyone else so far. I thought he danced too much last year, but tonight he made a move, found the seam and turned on his afterburners (ok, so he doesn't HAVE afterburners, but still).
Our secondary was 'OK'. Big Ben threw a duck to Randle El, Eric Brown had plenty of time to adjust but instead he just proved why he is more of a run-stopping safety. Glenn is exceptional and played like a pro. DRob looked pretty good, I'm glad he got to see what it's like to cover receivers who have success against him, he'll learn from it. He didn't get burned, but he didn't shut down his man.
The coaching: Two challenges, two misses. I don't blame Capers though, those were tough calls. The playcalling was pretty vanilla, but guess what, that's the norm in the pre-season. I think the coaches are doing fine so far.
The verdict: The Steelers came ready to play tonight, I don't think many of our players did. We lost in the trenches on both sides of the ball, and the trickle down effect that had on the rest of our team killed us.
P.S. The Texans accomplished the most important thing to me going into the game - they came off the field relatively healthy *here's to hoping Hollings ribs are ok*.
Last edited by blockhead83; 08-22-2004 at 01:09 AM.