Its August, which means that here at Steel Curtain Rising we begin feeling nostalgic over missing the joys of preseason football.
- You just read an honest minority opinion and not a not a misprint.
Preseason doesn’t count, and it is true that coaches play starters and other first line players less and less than they used to (starters would almost play the entire preseason 4th game as a “dress rehearsal” under Chuck Noll). But preseason is the only time that average fans get to evaluate young talent on their own, without the filter of a beat reporter and/or the Steelers PR media staff.
- And living down here on Buenos Aires prevents me from seeing preseason action (note to NFL – requiring people to pay for preseason via NFL Game Pass is simply dumb.)
So there’s no chance to do any talent evaluation here which is a shame as Lethon Flower’s story illustrates (if we may be permitted to repeat it.)
The Steelers drafted Lee Flowers in 5th round of the 1995 NFL Draft and fans neither saw or heard much about him for the next two seasons. Yet when it was clear that Donnell Woolford couldn’t cut it at cornerback in 1997, yours truly had seen enough of Lee Flowers in three preseasons to suggest to the faithful at the Purple Goose Saloon that Bill Cowher could shift Carnell Lake over to corner and start Lee Flowers.
- When the Denver Broncos came to Three Rivers Stadium in December, that’s just what Cowher did.
The Steelers went on to make it to the AFC Championship that year, and Lee Flowers went on to start at safety for the Steelers until 2002.So there’s my annual “eat your broccoli, brussels sprouts, lima beans and remember NFL preseason is good for you” speech.
The Pittsburgh Steelers played their second preseason game two days ago, and the Steelers lost to the Jaguars 23-21. Thanks to the magic of YouTube, here are some Steelers Jaguars preseason video highlights (note, Roger Goodell’s YouTube police won’t let this stay up too long, but it is available as of 8/16/15):
There you have it. Ben Roethlisberger only needed six plays to put 8 points on the board while getting Martavis Bryant, Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, and Markus Wheaton involved in the game. On defense Ryan Shazier looks good and James Harrison got a strip sack in limited work.
The video highlights confirm the narrative presented in the press coverage of the main Steelers beat writers. Dig a little deeper into their work, and you’ll see that Shamarko Thomas allowed a deep touchdown, Jarvis Jones and Bud Dupree did little, and that Michael Mitchell didn’t play much.
— Steelers France (@steelersfrance) August 15, 2015
Landry Jones remains the subject of intense debate in Steelers Nation, as Steelers France’s tweet indicates. It’s gotten to the point where Behind the Steel Curtain’s Dani Bostic questions whether Jones is a victim of cyber bullying.
Either way, Jones is getting a long look with Bruce Gradkowski still on the Steelers PUP list. And, without the benefit of seeing any of his games, Jones seems to be developing into a quality third quarterback. Which is fine, if Gradkowski returns to full health, if he doesn’t the Steelers are in trouble.
But you can’t tell that from the video highlights, nor can you gleam information on the performance of Sammie Coates, Doran Grant or any of the other Steelers draft picks or roster bubble types such as Will Johnson.
So be it. On to the Steelers preseason home opener which will see the Green Bay Packers come to Heinz Field.