The Steelers have broken camp at Latrobe and finished half of their preseason games with Saturday’s victory over the Giants. Conclusions would be fool hardy at this point, but it is not too early note some positive and negative trends, as well as issues that remain, decidedly undecided.
Gaining Latitude Coming Out of Latrobe
- The Quarterbacks are Alright
Roethlisberger looks sharp and in shape. Leftwich and Dixon look strong. Perhaps it is a testament that, were it not for questions about his durability, Charlie Batch could beat out a dozen or so back ups on other teams and yet Batch might not make the final cut.
- Redman Looks Like the Real Deal
Isaac Redman gained the nick name “Redzone Redman” and cult-hero status during the Steelers 2009 preseason. The Steelers cut and resigned Redman to the practice squad and no other NFL team took a shot at him.
A world of difference exists between doing it in preseason and doing it when its real. Redman has given himself a shot at making those other 31 team rue their decision.
- The Joy of Debating Difficult Decisions
Many sites, including Steel Curtain Rising, questioned the Steelers decision to take 3 linebackers and 2 wide receivers in the 2010 NFL draft.
Jason Worilds will make the team by virtue of his second round status. No one is cutting Pro Bowl berths yet, but Emmanuel Sanders, Antonio Brown, Thaddeus Gibson, and Stevenson Sylvester figure to provoke furious debates among Steeler coaches as cut down day approaches.
This is a good problem to have.
Invoking St. Vincent’s Intercession
The Steelers went into training camp hoping to solidify their offensive line but, put charitably, a lot of work remains.
- Motel Six
The decision to sign Flozell Adams was hailed here and parts elsewhere. But either Adams is having difficultly making the transition from left to right tackle, and/or he has nothing left in the tank, and/or he’s mailing because its “just training camp” it in thinking he’s made the team.
None of it bodes well for the Steelers.
- Kraig Who?
As a third round draft pick in 2009, Kraig Urbik was one player the Steelers entered training camp needing to see progress from for the long-term health of their offensive line. Going into the Steelers first preseason game, Urbik, who was drafted as a guard, was buried on the Steelers depth chart – at center.
That should tell you what you need to know.
- Dwyer the Dud
When the Steelers OTAs ended Ed Bouchette mentioned that Jonathan Dwyer looked poised to contend for the number two spot at RB. This week Bouchette suggests that Dwyer might not survive the first round of cuts. Not good.
Still Up in the Air
- No Corner on This Market…
Just a short time ago, Steel Curtain Rising postulated that it would be a very good thing were Bryant McFadden to put a vice-grip lock on the starting corner slot.
Keenan Lewis is apparently giving him a run for his money. Lewis is another player that the Steelers needed develop during training camp. The pros say he’s been so-so, fans rate his performance higher. Regardless, Lewis’ challenge is real, but it remains to be determined whether that is a good thing or a bad thing.
- What Me Worry?
Rashard Mendenhall tripled his rushing average between the first and second preseason game. The problem is he went from 0.4 yards per carry to 1.4 yards per carry.
OK, it is only preseason. OK, those averages are skewed by tackles for losses. He didn’t look good in preseason but then went gang busters as soon as he started. Still, one would expect and there is the issue of fumbles…
- An Upside to Tony Hills?
A complete after thought when Willie Colon tore his Achilles, Tony Hills summarily written off early in camp. However, word is he “flashed” in two preseason games. Might the Steelers salvage something out of 2008’s fourth round draft pick….?
There is more to mention in each category. For the sake of brevity, always in short supply here, Pouncey’s development Sepulvedas’ kickoffs got their own post.
That’s where you come in. Steel Curtain Rising is written out of Buenos Aires, Argentina, where the sun does not shine on preseason games. So we draw on your analysis and ask you share your opinions.
So please, take a moment to leave a comment, share you thoughts, and join the debate.