Friday night has come and gone, and the Steelers have walked away with a preseason loss to the Redskins. There are many times during the preseason that teams can feel really good when even walking away from a loss. As long as there is visible improvement from camp and the picture becomes clearer as to how the roster is shaping up, coaches and fans can feel pretty happy. Well there certainly is a mixed bag of feelings after last night’s opener that everyone is going to have to sort out.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly after the jump.
Isaac Redman. The guy has shaped up physically coming in at a beefy but very defined 245. He showed some really good runs last night. He had a 22 yard run for a TD last night and finished the evening with 42 yards on five carries. This could be a very good indicator that Redman has improved since last season and could take over the #1 spot should the ‘wheels come off’ for Mendenhall at any point during the season. When Batch sustained a sprained ACL earlier in the week, many were scratching over their heads on what the Steelers needed to do. Technically they don’t need to do anything because Redman and Moore are fine backups. Redman is showing promise at being a better back and is about the only good that really came out of last night’s game.
What’s one major goal for a team when they head out of camp and into the regular season? – have all your major players healthy and ready to play. The Steelers took a step backwards… actually make that three steps backwards last night in those regards. Ike Taylor broke his thumb in the first series on defense. Where’s that bad joojoo comin’ from? Ben Roethlisberger hurt his hand and hip, and Ryan Clark rounded things out with an undisclosed injury. It is said from ProFootballTalk that Big Ben’s and Clark’s injuries are listed as minor and should not hamper the rest of their camp. Tyalor will miss the next two weeks. There is a silver lining and every cloud, and this one means that the rookies, B-Mac Lewis and Gay will all have chances to step up and prove their worth in those two weeks or longer. Those five will take full advantage of the opportunity.
The Pittsburgh Steelers Defense, the squad that ranked #1 in numerous categories last season, looked like a bunch of guys picking up the game for the first time. Rex Grossman and the Redskins moved the ball with such ease last night. The final score could have easily been 38-7. The Skins had 104 yards by the end of the first quarter – made possible in large part by runs of over 5 yards five times in the first series alone. Rex Grossman, yes Rex, looked like he was in Week 4 or 5 of the season – hitting his targets who were open by sometimes yards. It’s hard to point out that there was a flash of light at the end of this deep dark tunnel. 1st rounder Cameron Heyward did show more promise as he sometimes moved linemen backwards and into the backfield. But that’s about it in this ugly night for the Steelers D
The Steelers have a ton of work ahead of themselves for the next 3 weeks.