Friday, August 10, 2012

A few thoughts from a meaningless game

The Pittsburgh Steelers debuted their 2012-13 version on Thursday night in a preseason game against their friends from across the state. Now I absolutely can not get into preseason football. You would think that I could blame that on how well the Pittsburgh Pirates are doing but honestly, they could not have won a game this year and I still wouldn't care too much about football until about the third preseason game. I actually ended up spending most of the night on Twitter just trolling people that were taking the game seriously. However, I did watch what I could of this thing and here are some of my thoughts.

  • I don't want to make too many statements about the new offense. We only saw the first team offense roll with it for one drive but for that one drive it did look good. Ben Roethlisberger dinked and dunked his way down the field Tom Brady style which resulted in him not missing a pass. 
  • With Rashard Mendenhall injured, the Steelers have quite a collection of running backs to share some work. Baron Batch got the load of the carries on Thursday but Jonathan Dwyer was probably the most impressive despite only having two carries. I'm really looking for a good year out of him. I loved when the Steelers drafted him out of Georgia Tech. Hopefully he has some of the immaturity issues out of his system and is ready to contribute.
  • A few players on defense stood out to me. It's starting to look like no one is going to beat out Steve McLendon to replace Casey Hampton until he's healthy. McLendon was a monster. He had three tackles, one for a loss, and one sack. Backup linebacker Brandon Johnson, previously of the Bengals, looked pretty good too. That's important because if James Harrison continues having health problems, they're going to need someone that's going to be effective. 
  • There were also a few rookies that caught my eye. Of course, everyone was watching what Mike Adams and David DeCastro would do. Adams was less than stellar. It's still early and I still think that he can improve enough to win that job but I'm starting to like the fact that they brought Max Starks back more than I already did. There were concerns about DeCastro struggling in camp. Apparently he's just a bad practice player because he looked pretty good to me. He wasn't the second coming but he was certainly solid and showed some of that pull blocking that is getting him compared to Alan Faneca. Lastly, Chris Rainey looked pretty good. He didn't do a ton carrying the ball but he's never going to. His production is going to come out of the backfield where he had a 57 yard catch for a touchdown. 
  • Lastly, I hope they got the injury bug out of their system. Willie Colon, Cameron Heyward, and Jeremy Kapinos all didn't play in this game because of various ailments. Rainey was injured but returned. Dwyer and Adams got hurt and did not return. And the biggest blow was David Johnson who is reportedly done for the year with a torn ACL. That should put the Steelers in the market for a new blocking back. There's still plenty of time to get these guys back but that many injuries is not very encouraging. 
I'm sure there are some things here and there that I'm missing but like I said, it's hard for me to keep my attention in these games. The next struggle to keep my eyes open is going to be next Sunday against the new look Indianapolis Colts with DeCastro's old quarterback, Andrew Luck.

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