Even Tomlin had some things to smile about last night. Either that or his dinner was still stuck in his teeth. Credit: Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

Steelers Preseason Opener: What’s Your Opinion?


There was some good, some bad and one big ugly to the Steelers preseason opener against the Eagles on Thursday night.  If you thought after last night’s comeback by the Eagles that the season is already at a loss – you need to get your head examined.  There was much to take away from a game like that – many things were learned and the coaches are sure to know where the focus needs to be for the next several weeks.  And let’s face it, it’s not like Todd Haley was going to show his full bag o’ tricks to a team that he will see later in the regular season.  Even Roethlisberger said that offense was a bit ‘vanilla.’

The best play of the night by far came from future rookie sensation, Chris Rainey.  His 57-yard touchdown from a swing pass was a great catch and run.  His returns were promising too.  This kid is going to go places while with the Steelers and it will be fun to watch.  The offense seemed effective but still needs to shake off the Red Zone blues – how about that 1st and Goal that resulted in 3 points? – and the defense showed some glimpses of what it might be capable of – especially Steve McLendon’s progression during the offseason.

There were some bad and ugly associated with the game to, as is to be expected in the preseason.  The Steelers’ rookie lineman had a bit of a rough night.  DeCastro was fairly quiet for most of the night, but Mike Adams got the brunt of the bad night blues.  Letting up 2.5 sacks – two of which were sack fumbles – Adams was slow to the edge and was beaten more than those two times.  He injured his right knee in the process of recovering a fumble, but reports say that it isn’t very serious.  Seems bad to me if a rookie lineman that’s expected to start can’t practice when he needs to.  The second and third team defenses allowed a comeback from a second and third team offense.  So, the older and slower and more done guys did better than the young’ins.

The ugly occurred when David Johnson suffered a major knee injury when Marcus Gilbert rolled up on his leg.  Ouch.  It looked bad and early reports are he could be done for the season.  So much for having a fullback.  Johnson looked promising as the 2011 season came to a close, and there have been bright spots early in the preseason training sessions – which is one reason why I think Tomlin may have announced that Johnson could be playing his dual role at TE/FB prior to the injury.  Alas, it wasn’t meant to be, and depending on how things shake out after Wesley Saunder’s suspension, this could be Johnson’s final game in a Steelers uniform.

Well Steeler Nation, you’ve read numerous articles.  You’ve watched the news.  You’ve gone back and perhaps looked at some replays of the game.  What are your opinions of Thursday’s game?  Is the offense starving for a Mike Wallace return?  Is Chris Rainey going to be the newest sensation on the Steelers?  What’s the over/under on Roethlisberger’s sack total for the season?  I wanna hear it from you.

Tags: Ben Roethlisberger Chris Rainey David DeCastro David Johnson Eagles Mike Adams Mike Tomlin Preseason Steelers Todd Haley Wesley Saunders

  • disqus_wdLdx4W76r

    I think teams will be comming after Ben even more with the young On-line..I say +5 more sacks then last year. Haley better come up with some extra special protection schemes..3-5 step drops or more shotguns, but Ben is still going to run around, extend plays like always..that line is built for the run, not to keep Ben upright (hopes I’m wrong)

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.hiligh Tim Romel Hiligh

    Chris Rainey looked good. He appears to be the type of player that will add some explosiveness to the Steelers offense this year.
    David DeCastro looked good to me; I recorded the game and watched his snaps. I didn’t see any negatives. The only bad play that can be remotely contributed to him was when he helped Essex and knocked Brandon Graham to the outside of Essex and that lead to a sack. If Essex would have been playing on Graham’s outside shoulder (which he should have done knowing he had inside help) instead of his inside shoulder that wouldn’t have happened…that’s on Essex. DeCastro look to be the best OL on the field for the Steelers from what I saw. It’s just one game, but if I had to make decisions off this game he’d be the clear cut starter.
    Mike Adams struggled in his limited time. He was slow moving his feet and setting up to protect the outside edge, which lead to some sacks. He appears to have all the physical tools to be a very good tackle, he just need to improve his technique. The OL as a whole was out of sync. They were slow getting to their blocks and didn’t do well when trying to double the defensive linemen. Too much penetration allowed and poor leverage and technique was on display. I think the scheme was good, the execution was bad.
    I was pleasantly surprised with the pass rush of Adrian Robinson. He showed flashes of being a very good pass rusher, but it was against backups. Chris Carter appear to be much better this year than last. He has good pass rushing skills.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QG7G7LMPNERHR7BX6RYG5WZTCA Anthony

      I noticed that DeCastro/Essex play as well (though I thought it was Gilbert initially). That one’s easily corrected. I don’t expect to see that type of thing again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bradley.sutton.9 Bradley Sutton

    Larry Foote looked so fast out there! That spot will be just fine.