What We Learned This Weekend in the NFL Preseason:
- Shockingly Tebow was awful in preseason debut for New England Patriots
- Mark Sanchez with predictable first outing for 2013
- Rams Jeff Fisher not a big Bernie Kosar fan
- Steelers looked challenged in preseason debut
Welcome to the first over-reaction Monday of the 2013 NFL season. The weekend had a full slate of preseason games to feast on and overreact to how awesome or doomed your team will be for the regular season. First and foremost, for those that may not know the preseason games do not count. What that means is they basically don’t have to keep score. The stats are not counted towards the players’ careers and the wins/losses do not take any kind of effect towards the regular season. Now that’s not just because the Steelers lost on Saturday night, those are facts. What preseason games are for is to help the teams establish their systems for the season and evaluate the players on the roster in attempt to trim them down to the required 53 for the regular season. Because fan is short for “fanatic” it’s hard to explain that to some people that only want to see their teams win and nothing less.
On the topic of overreacting, the internet pretty much exploded Friday night when Patriots back-up quarterback Ryan Mallet took a brutal hit right before the end of the first night and that meant only one thing. It was Tebow Time. As to be expected, Tebow’s first series went something like this; incomplete pass, incomplete pass, sack for 10 yard loss, and punt. Tebow ended up going 4 of 12 with 55 passing yards. Tebow rushed for 31 yards on 4 carries. This is probably the one millionth review of Tebow’s performance on Friday night. I know right? I can’t wait for the season to start either; it’s going to get worse before it gets better for sure.
The hapless Jets took their preseason debut to Detroit to face the Lions. Mark Sanchez, who has been booed in training camp for throwing interceptions with CB Antonio Cromartie coming to his defense saying that, was “bull crap” threw a pick six for his very first pass of the Jets preseason. Perfect. Way to shut those haters up, Mark. Sanchez actually redeemed himself with a touchdown drive on the next possession and then Geno Smith entered the game only to underwhelm and leave early with an ankle injury. So about status quo for the Jets.
If anyone was wondering what former Cleveland Browns QB Bernie Kosar was up to these days, your questions were answered this weekend when he surfaced as the color commentator for the Browns’ preseason gave against the St. Louis Rams. Kosar had some colorful comments indeed. Kosar had some digs at the wide receivers and backup quarterback Kellen Clemens. In commenting about the wide receivers Kosar not only said they were “horrible” but their parents “would be embarrassed” to watch them. When a story came up about Kellen Clemens signing an autograph for Pope Benedict XVI Kosar responded,
“Bless me father for I have sinned. I have to watch him the whole fourth quarter.”
Yikes. Tell us how you really feel Bernie. In response, Rams HC Jeff Fisher said he was surprised at the comments and had, “lost a lot of respect” for Kosar. Well that’s good because he’s clearly not a fan of your team either Jeff.
So it’s the first overreaction Monday for Steeler Nation and we had a whole extra day to overreact as well. The Steelers took on the New York Giants at Heinz Field Friday night and came away with an 18-15 loss. There were some highlights like seeing Troy Polamalu return to his healthy and play-making self and rookie LB Jarvis Jones make an athletic move to jump on a loose ball and recover a fumble but there were definitely some lowlights as well. A blocked punt in the first half set off what was a horrible night for Special Teams outside of Shaun Suisham going 2-2 on FG’s. Fourth round pick QB Landry Jones had a very Mark Sanchezy start to his career for the Steelers when he and RB Baron Batch collided in the end zone following a handoff and caused a fumble which resulted in a safety for the Giants. That play didn’t bother me nearly as much as on the following possession for the Steelers Landry had a 3rd and 1 and went no-huddle in an attempt to get the quick first down. The play resulted in Baron Batch being bounced off of a wall of defenders for probably a loss of a yard. Awesome. The best part of all this is that none of it counts except to give the Steelers an idea of what needs more work for their last week of training camp. The special teams is my biggest worry.
What are your thoughts of the first weekend of preseason games?