Aug 19, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) is tackled by Washington Redskins inside linebacker London Fletcher (59) in the first quarter at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Prisco's "Power Rankings" Placement of the Steelers Correct, But What Game Did He Watch?



Mike Tomlin has them getting after it this preseason, which is good.  The offensive line looks much improved, which is key.

-(Pete Prisco of CBS, summary of the Pittsburgh Steelers listed at #17 overall in recent “Power Rankings”)


First of all, let me just state that last week I went into great detail as to why the Steelers project to be a “mystery yet middle-of-the-pack” team in 2013.  With that in mind, I really have no issue with Pete Prisco ranking Pittsburgh at number 17 overall.

In fact, one could make a strong case to drop the Steelers out of the “teens” and into the “twenties” when one takes into account how undisciplined their collective play has been during the preseason’s first two games.  I do however wonder what Prisco meant by “The offensive line looks much improved, which is key.”

I hate to break it to Prisco, but Pittsburgh’s offensive line has been “inconsistent at best” through their first two preseason contests.  Take for instance what transpired during last night’s 24-13 loss to Washington with their projected starting five.

On their first drive, the offensive line couldn’t open up enough holes for Le’Veon “Glass” Bell to even gain 10 yards before he exited with a foot injury.  While the run blocking improved throughout the night as Jonathan Dwyer ran for 68 yards and averaged 4.8 yards per carry, the play from the tackle positions left much to be desired.

Right tackle Marcus Gilbert gave a “half-assed-at best” effort both before and after Ryan Kerrigan made a pick-six against Ben Roethlisberger in the first quarter.  Not to be outdone, Mike Adams was called for two penalties (illegal formation and holding) on the night and struggled in pass-protection as well.

Unfortunately, the issues were not relegated to the edges last night either.  Although David DeCastro has looked much improved, his bone-headed holding penalty could have cost the team had Big Ben not found Antonio Brown for 20 yards on the very next play.  Maurkice Pouncey and Ramon Foster also had their fair share of issues too, and the center was flagged for an illegal hands to the face penalty during the second quarter.

I for one have some high hopes for Pittsburgh’s offensive line this fall, but last night’s collective effort did not inspire a large amount of faith.  The Steelers’ offense will suffer enough with Heath Miller sidelined for a good chunk of this season and Mike Wallace in Miami.  A shoddy and inconsistent offensive line is the last thing that Todd Haley and Ben Roethlisberger need to worry about this fall.

Part of me wants to say, “Don’t worry, they’re switching blocking schemes and all will be well before the regular season begins.”  I just cannot ignore how inept the starters and backups looked last night against the Redskins.



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Tags: Pittsburgh Steelers Steelers Offensive Line

  • Carl Eagan

    Can’t understand why pseudo writers keep reminding us that Wallace is in Miami? So what first of all if the line does get it’s act together which by all accounts is the same as waiting for pigs to learn to fly Wallace was useless unless Ben actually hit his hands. So all we really lost was 100+ incompletion’s to Wallace.

    • Mark Perrette

      I totally agree, I was gonna say the same thing! Thank you

    • Dom DiTolla

      I simply alluded to how the loss of Wallace, compounded with Miller being hobbled by his knee, will hurt Pittsburgh’s offense this fall.

      Despite Wallace’s negative attitude and inconsistent play in 2012, just remember that he either led the team or tied for the team lead in receiving yards and touchdown catches in each of the last three seasons.

      So in addition to those “100+ incompletion’s” (I’m curious to know where you found that specific stat), just keep in mind that Pittsburgh also lost 196 receptions, 3,286 receiving yards, and 26 touchdowns (2010-2012) the second that Wallace left for Miami.

      Make no mistake, I for one was happy to see such a negative influence like Wallace leave town. Yet one has to at least be concerned that the franchise must find a way to replace him in the statistical aggregate this fall.

      I will say that your ignorant comments (“incompletion’s” and the lack of punctuation had me rolling on the floor) here at “NPC” have provided me with many chuckles during the last year.

      So kudos to you, Carl “Mental Colossus” Eagan. :)

  • Adam Banig

    Good write up. I agree

  • chitown

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure that Kerrigan kid on the Skins disagrees with Prisco, too.