After watching the Steelers/Redskins preseason game on DVR, here are some observations …
We all heard of Camp Cupcake, right?
Well, try Camp Cupcake times 10 and that properly describes the training camp that Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has put his veteran players through over the past two weeks at St. Vincent College.
It has been limited reps and even fewer live reps (we’re talking about one or two live plays per practice) for the old guys, and you wonder why the Redskins went up and down the field on the Steelers’ defense during the first two series of Friday’s first preseason game?
The Redskins racked up 119 yards on 21 plays in two series against the majority of the first team defense and the reason is quite simple — they weren’t ready to play tackle football.
Tomlin said afterwards that the Redskins were better prepared to play the game.
When have you ever been around a Dick LeBeau defense that missed three tackles in a game, let alone one play.
On a screen pass late during the first drive, Darrel Young made Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Mundy and Brett Keisel miss tackles. Mind you, Young is a converted linebacker, not Reggie Bush.
The good thing for the defense is that their problem isn’t something that needs corrected. It is something that will be fixed by getting more live reps.
Unfortunately, that won’t come during training camp.
That will come against Philadelphia and Atlanta over the next two preseason games.
* Brett Keisel looked bad, maybe the worst of the entire first-team defense. On the opening drive, Keisel got pushed down the field 10 yards by Trent Williams on one play and pancaked by Kory Lichtensteiger on another. He got thrown to the ground again, this time by Williams, later in the opening drive and missed yet another tackle. The one tackle he made was 10 yards down the field.
* I find it quite ironic that the guy who is said to need training camp the most because he is out of shape played the best for the defense — Casey Hampton.
* I know there is a popular notion that Chris Kemoeatu will find himself on the bench to start the season in favor of Doug Legursky. On the first play of the game, the Steelers called “22 Double” where Legursky pulled from right to left. He made a clean hit on Ryan Kerrigan, but he didn’t clear him out like ‘Juicy’ can. Just sayin’…
* Thanks to our friend Dave Bryan at SteelersDepot.com, the play breakdown along the offensive line went like this: Chris Scott 29, Kyle Jolly 26, Tony Hills 26, John Malecki 23, Keith Williams 23, Ramon Foster 21, Marcus Gilbert 20, Doug Legursky 19, Maurkice Pouncey 12, Willie Colon 12, Jonathan Scott 12, Trevis Turner 11, Nevin McCaskill 11.
*Let’s just stop this kickoff charade and put the ball at the 20-yard line from this point forward. Moving the ball up 5 yards to the 35-yard line has essentially eliminated the kickoff. There were seven kickoffs in the game. All seven went into the end zone and six were touchbacks. The only one that wasn’t a touchback was taken out from eight yards deep.
* Chris Scott looked overwhelmed at times, but I might just have to give him a pass. Remember, Scott had no rookie year because of a foot injury and had no off-season because of the lockout. But saying that, he needs to get a lot better before he can be considered a potential starter.
* Isaac Redman ran with speed, ran with power and ran with desire. He looks a lot better since last year and very well could spell Rashard Mendenhall pretty nicely during the season.
* William Gay is not a cornerback. When he plays the outside, he gets exposed. If the Steelers have to rely on him on the outside, they could be in big trouble. Gay is a nickel guy. Period. And that was evident once again against the Redskins.
* Ryan Mundy looked sharp in the first half, but seemed to get tired in the second half. It appears that the Mundy has stepped up to be a legitimate backup for Troy Polamalu and/or Ryan Clark at either safey spot.
* After watching TE David Johnson try to block at the end of the line leads me to believe that Reggie Kelly might be getting a call very soon.
* On Redman’s touchdown, give credit to LT Tony Hills and WR Antonio Brown with a big assist to Doug Legursky.
Now for some quick word association hits with some key players as it is related to the Redskins game.
WR Antonio Brown — Expected
LB Jason Worilds — Underwhelming
LB Chris Carter — Inconsistent
DE Cameron Heyward — Powerful
NT Anthony Gray — Quicks
CB Keenan Lewis — Not bad, not good
OL Tony Hills — Shockingly good
P Daniel Sepulveda — 100 percent healthy
LB Stevenson Sylvester — Disappointing
PK Swayze Waters — Potential weapon
LB Mortty Ivy — Wants a roster spot
WR Arnaz Battle — Soon to be unemployed?
— Mark Kaboly