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After further review …


After watching the Steelers/Eagles preseason game on DVR, here are some observations …

* Let’s get this out of the way early: Joe Buck sounded like he would rather be in a million different places than Heinz Field; Terry Bradshaw added about as much analysis as the guy who plays the sax outside PNC Park; and Pam Oliver asks just as good questions as Jeff Verszyla. Thank God for Troy Aikman.

* Ramon Foster’s hit on Eagles linebacker Jamar Chaney was one of the dirtiest hits I’ve ever seen. And no flag was thrown? Wow. Foster wasn’t doing anything but trying to cut a guy down the field from behind. Dirty, dirty, dirty.

* It was kind of refreshing seeing Bruce Arians use a fullback again. No, not refreshing in the way that they need a blocker leading the way. It is a nice twist to have somebody like Jon Dwyer, who played that position in college at Georgia Tech, run some quick hitters. There is a reason why there are very few offenses around the league who use prototypical fullbacks — that’s because they are useless, unless they use them like Arians used them against the Eagles.

* We all know Antonio Brown is having one heck of a camp. Saying that, I wasn’t really convinced that he could have the same kind of effect once the season came around because the type of defensive backs he has been going up against in practice and in the preseason. However, that all changed when he made one of the best corners in the league look foolish in Asante Samuel. This Brown kid is for real.

* If you are worried about the offensive line, you probably should be. They haven’t looked good at all, especially in pass pro. However, the return of Willie Colon should ease your mind. Colon had another tremendous preseason game and very well could be the most DOMINANT lineman the Steelers have. Maybe not the best, but the most dominant.

* I think we can officially eliminate Keith Williams and Chris Scott from any conversation about possibly contributing to that line. Both have been overwhelmed once the lights came on.

* I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen enough of Troy Polamalu. He is 100 percent. Period. See you Sept. 11. Same goes for Rashard Mendenhall.

* Hines Ward’s touchdown catch was a perfect snapshot of what he can provide for this team. The days of 100 catches, 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns are long gone. But weaving his way through a zone to find a soft spot especially when Ben Roethlisberger is scrambling is when he is at his best. Now, lock up man-to-man coverage on him and you won’t hear a peep out of him.

* Two times the Steelers gave up big runs to the right and on both instances the reason why was the same — guessing. Brett Keisel guessed inside and Corbin Bryant did the same with both resulting in sizeable gains. You can accept that from the rookie out of Northwestern, but not your veteran. Keisel knows better than that.

* The Steelers really want to run left more this year. Saying that, Tony Hills just might end up being your right guard because he is way more athletic that Ramon Foster and Doug Legursky. The Steelers love to pull Chris Kemoeatu from left to right and have had great success. They would love to be able to pull their right guard to the left and that’s where Hills comes in. He did well at guard against the Eagles, just not too well when he pulled.

* Nobody pulls quite like Chris K. Even though some people are down on him, when he is good, he is good. Problem is, when he is bad, he is awful.

* Has Mike Wallace played yet? Just saying. It would be nice to throw a ball or two his way in one of these preseason games.

* Give Keenan Lewis credit for not being overwhelmed against the Eagles. Now, he had just as many bad plays as good ones, but he never gave up the big play and seemingly was in the right spot the majority of the time. That’s a positive sign for this kid.

* I really liked what I saw out of Byron Leftwich. He makes the right reads (most of the time) and delivers the ball on time and with zip.

* Speaking of QBs, the better Dennis Dixon plays, and he played well, the better chance he won’t be on the team in a couple of weeks.

Now for some quick word association hits with some key players as it is related to the Eagles game.
OL – Ramon Foster — Not a good day
CB – Donovan Warren — Making a push
WR – Jerricho Cotchery — Gonna make plays
WR – Arnaz Battle — Nice rebound game
DL – Ziggy Hood — Disappointing … so far
LB – Jason Worilds — You can show up any time now
DE – Corbin Bryant — Interesting
CB – Curtis Brown — Can see he has skills
S – Ryan Mundy — Keeps making plays
LB – Larry Foote — Solid
RB – Jon Dwyer — Looked motivated

– Mark Kaboly


Author: Mark Kaboly

Mark Kaboly is the Pittburgh Steelers beat writer for the Tribune-Review. Mark has covered more than 300 NFL football games in all 32 NFL cities as well as three Super Bowls -- XL in Detroit, XLIII in Tampa and XLV in Dallas. A Belle Vernon Area graduate, Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a specialization in journalism from California University of Pennsylvania. Mark lives in Port Vue with his wife, Jennifer; daughter Briella; and boys Rocco and Bugsley Pug


  1. Paul Raspa says:

    Good Day Mark,
    I agree with you on some points :
    Donovan Warren looks good and he played throughout the game. Un-drafted JR. out of Michigan and has a Chip because of Both… I will take that!

    Chris K– Like the Guy — WOULD YOU AGREE THAT ALL OF THE O/LINEMEN ARE BLOCKING WAY TOO HIGH ON THEIR GUY??!! They need to stay Lower and Stick with their Blocks!!!
    Legursky is Stocky & Shorter and as a Guard this is the Mold… Hills is 6’6 — he will get KILLED because d/lineman will get underneath his pads!!!
    Speaking of the o-line– on plays we looked slow out of stances.. Eagle D/L were in a backfield before we got up!! The cadence needs to be changed !!!
    Foote Dwyer MUNDY Brown cotchery battlewill all be good for us but the thing you left out is:::


  2. rich says:

    Thanks Mark I enjoy reading after the further review.and your other articles accross the web.

    I like many others worry about the Steelers guard positions. The Steelers seem to be looking a rarefied guard type. They look for guards who can pull and hold the line in pass blocking. That takes a total package type. I hope the line jells soon.I hate to say it if Kemo gets hurt during the season. The Steelers don’t seem to have a decent back up for the left guard spot. Legurskey / Foster for all their weight lifting strength are and have been unable to anchor against the bigger 4/3 linemen whether he was on the right or left side.

    A lot of fans complain about the CBs being weak against teams with good quarterbacks like Green Bay. But I think the two things that cost the Steelers the Super bowl. Was the Steelers favorite play tendencies and the weaknesses of the offensive line.

    The Steelers need to score more points aginst the better QB teams and thats hard to do when the Ben is getting pressure on every passing play and favorite receivers and play tendencies clue where the pass or running back is headed with the ball.

  3. reedboat says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Keisel and Smith were less than half-time players by year end. To me Keisel looked overpowered a few times, which hasn’t happened in the past. I see lots of upside in playing Keenan Lewis at CB.

  4. Oscar says:

    When did Foster went dirty on Chaney?

  5. Jopa-n says:

    I know this for sure, the Eagle pass rusher that flat out took a shot at Ben’s knees needs to get fined. Ball is clearly out, defender clearly sees it and continues to goes low with no arms extended right at the middle of his legs. Defender makes contact but Ben gets his leg just off the ground enough to keep from getting seriously injured.

    Not only the defender needs to get fined, but the ref needs to get reprimanded. If nothing happens, this is exactly the inconsistency that makes the way the NFL haphazardly chooses to enforce rules such a problem.

  6. David says:

    after further review, Michael Vick was distracted, by the Steelers pass rush, and the lightening the Steelers were displaying on offense,,,, so to say he wasn’t distracted was a mis-statement. uh-huh! oh yeah, Go Steelers -

  7. Jopa-n says:

    Quote from Sheil Kapadia writer for :

    + “How did Jason Babin not draw a penalty for hitting Ben Roethlisberger late? He hit him low too.”

    Sheil, I’m asking the same thing. I’m also gonna be asking how a blatant illegal hit like that goes without fine, if it goes unpunished, considering those that have been fined.

    Even the philly writers know this thing looks weird.

  8. David says:

    hey Jopa-n, also what about the hit to the knees to Polumalu by Vick, who by the way launched himself while Troy was not looking, no flag on Vick, and no fine by the league….. looking back on that, Vick did indeed LAUNCH into Troy……and at his knees…

  9. Jopa-n says:

    David, I watched the hit on Polamalu (first instinct being the same as yours). Go to and look at it again. Vick threw his upper body into Troy. It appears that he hit Troy in the midsection to waste area. I did wonder about it though at first.

  10. David says:

    I agree. New rule tho. A player can not launch himself , Vick did Launch , unless the league has separate rules for every team not named Pittsburgh Steelers

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