What We Learned in Week 2 of the NFL Preseason:
- Johnny Manziel’s not ready for the Steelers
- Former Steelers RB Jonathan Dwyer already scoring with Bruce Arian’s Cardinals
- Penalty flags flying everywhere in preseason
- Steelers back on South Side for short week of practice
Johnny Football isn’t ready to face the Pittsburgh Steelers defense. In other shocking news, the sky is blue. So Johnny Manziel thinks that after two weeks of training camp and preseason he’s not yet ready to start in the NFL. That shouldn’t really be news but of course it is because it’s Johnny Manziel. Johnny Manziel didn’t get the start in the Browns’ second preseason game because; well, because he’s not the starter or so Coach Mike Pettine keeps insisting. I just wish they’d name him the starter and be done with it already. Just throw him out there against Ryan Shazier, Lawrence Timmons, Cameron Heyward and all the rest of the Steelers defense and see what happens. Come on, Browns, I dare you.
Over in “Steelers West”, otherwise known as Arizona, a former Steelers running back is fitting in nicely with his new team. Jonathan Dwyer is settling in as Andre Ellington’s backup, and even got a touchdown in the Cardinals Saturday night 30-28 preseason loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The Cardinals running game is hoping to carry a lot of the workload for the offense this season, mostly because they have a senior citizen for a quarterback.
It’s raining yellow flags in the preseason in the NFL so far thanks to the NFL’s crackdown on defensive holding and illegal contact. The Friday night preseason games particularly showcased a ridiculous amount of flags, 86 penalties for 702 yards in the four games played. Part of that can be attributed to the preseason, not all the players on the field are all that accustomed to the NFL rules and part of it has to do with the NFL officials instructions to flag anything and everything that even hinted of a defensive penalty. Should make for an utterly frustrating regular season.
Training camp is officially over for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The dorms of Saint Vincent College have all been cleared out to make way for the students who will soon occupy them and the Steelers will resume their practices in the South Side facilities as usual. They have a short practice week this week following their first preseason victory on Saturday night. This Thursday they’ll travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles in an interstate preseason matchup. The Steelers win against the Bills can certainly be viewed as a major step forward but definitely not a sign that all is ready for the regular season to start. Mike Tomlin admitted that the first preseason game there was a concerted effort to test the running game while this game was clearly aimed at trying out the no-huddle against an opponent. It remains to be seen just how much work the first-team offense will get in Philly.