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View Full Version : Post First Preseason Game Thoughts and Grades



DanRooney
08-09-2008, 08:10 AM
Quaterbacks
Ben Roethlisberger- A. No wrongs for Big Ben. Nice little pass to Holmes to let the receiver make a play.
Charlie Batch- C-. Only went 1 for 3 and handed the ball of most of the game. Hes been a good backup for years but I'm 100% sure his age has caught up on him. I won't be surprised if he gets released to add more room for our roster. I don't think losing him to injury will hurt us that much.
Dennis Dixon- D+. Not a good first impression. He checked off on many of his passes for short yardage. Sweed made a great catch diving backwards in one of his low thrown balls. Dixon's only saving grace and underthrown 40 yard pass to Walker that was wiped away due to a hold. Needs to step it up next week since Batch is injured.
Mike Potts- N/A. Didn't do much but hand off the ball to Russell. Went 0/2 passing.

Runningbacks
Willie Parker- A. Looked like the same Fast Willie to me. Don't think the injury slowed him down a bit.
Rashard Mendenhall- B. Was pretty impressed with the guy. Had some good hard runs and a 15 yard run on one of his plays to the outside.
Gary Russell- B-. Earned some hard fought yards despite the low YPC. Looks very powerful. Should see more carries at the goal line.

Wide Receivers
Santonio Holmes- A. Looks like he'll be a top 10 receiver in the league this year. Great TD catch and run.
Hines Ward- B+. Only caught 1 pass but it was for 20 yards
Limas Sweed- B+. He made some fantastic catches tonight despite Dixon's inaccuracy.
NateNAte- F. Where were you man??? KC? Any answers?

Offensive line- B-. first team OL looked solid. Not much to say other than Starks got beat pretty bad twice. Dixon was under pressure for a handful of snaps but we only allowed 1 sack. Not too bad.

Defense- B. Still not liking the big cushions our corners are giving. As usual, we were susceptible to those short 5 yard slants. After seeing Kolb drive down towards our side of the field on multiple occasions, however, the D seemed to tighten up and forced them to punt. Well I could probably account that to all those damn penalties the Eagles were committing as well though. Nice to see Farrior get a sack. Fox on the 2nd team played well.

Special teams- B. Wow what an improvement. Almost everyone aside from "Fair Catch" Bloom had decent returns. I liked Drummond's run down the sideline. Ernster looked pretty good aside from his last punt in the game which still had a forward bounce. Looks like he has enough leg on kickoffs to shoot it into the endzone. I was impressed with the 50 yard field goal. Defensively we didn't allow much.

AZ_Steeler
08-09-2008, 11:25 AM
A "C" for Charlie Batch??? He did end up with a broken collar bone on a busted play that he tried to turn a loss into something positive :scratch: A C might be a little harsh :bigthumb: plus if Charlie is in then you know the other backups are in as well... I think if you put Charlie with the starting squad he's right there with Ben IMO.

DanRooney
08-09-2008, 12:45 PM
A "C" for Charlie Batch??? He did end up with a broken collar bone on a busted play that he tried to turn a loss into something positive :scratch: A C might be a little harsh :bigthumb: plus if Charlie is in then you know the other backups are in as well... I think if you put Charlie with the starting squad he's right there with Ben IMO.

He also went 1 for 3 for 3 yards :nono:

I would've gave him a D had he not improvised that 6 yard run :lol:

manofsteel
08-09-2008, 12:49 PM
QBS Ben A Charlied C Dixon D+
Run game as a whole. A
Defense B+ descent pressure. Stlll lacking big punch
Special teams C. Thought the new punter did well

Black@Gold Forever32
08-09-2008, 12:54 PM
Handing grades for a pre-season game?......lol

I don't put to much stock into pre-season games....But I did like how the first string offense looked fluid and sync with each other......Some times in the pre-season the offense can look real sluggish.......Not last night on that first drive...

Stlrs4Life
08-09-2008, 01:08 PM
Overall grade from me would be a B-. Our defense needs some work, but it is pre seasson and are going to put out vanilla defenses, as we also faced in Philly.

Stlrs4Life
08-09-2008, 01:13 PM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/trib.../s_581985.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribunereview/sports/steelers/s_581985.html)

Savvy Tomlin pulling the right strings

By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Steelers scored on their opening drive of the 2008 preseason Friday night against the Philadelphia Eagles at Heinz Field, just as they did to open the 2007 preseason in the Hall of Fame Game against the New Orleans Saints.
Coach Mike Tomlin's first drive in his first NFL game a year ago set the tone for a 4-1 exhibition record and a fast start out of the gate in the regular season.

The Steelers played with a madcap regular-season intensity last preseason. Starters and substitutes all played like the meaningless games really meant something.

For example, cornerback William Gay won a job based on what he did in preseason. It seemed like Gay, a fifth-round draft pick, made a big play in every exhibition game.

Tomlin was just getting his feet wet as a head coach in 2007. A winning record in the exhibition season meant nothing in the standings, but it meant absolutely everything to Tomlin, who didn't blow his only chance to make a good first impression.
The carryover from the preseason led to a 10-6 record and a playoff berth for the Steelers, who played their best football early before fading in the stretch.

To his credit, Tomlin is approaching his second training camp differently -- pulling back more than he did a year ago. He doesn't hesitate resting his veterans, an admission that he may have pushed the team a little too hard the first time around.

Last year, Tomlin was a rookie coach learning about his players, just as they were trying to figure him out. It was important for Tomlin to establish his authority and his coaching style -- almost as important as it was for him to have a successful campaign his first year.

This year, Tomlin is displaying more give-and-take -- more or less.

He understands his players -- what buttons to push, their strengths and weaknesses, how hard to push them and when to pull back.

Tomlin's players, in turn, understand him and his system better. If you don't believe the Steelers don't know how much they can get away with, just ask nose tackle Casey Hampton.

Still on the physically-unable-to-perform list because he reported to camp in poor condition, Hampton was given a reprieve last night from working out on the sideline while his teammates played, as he is expected to do during practices. Tomlin's punishment has become a humbling experience for Hampton, a four-time Pro Bowler.

Other than the Sean Mahan-Justin Hartwig competition at center, Hampton has been the Steelers biggest on-field story.

Hampton's lofty reputation provided Tomlin with all the motivation needed to keep his veterans in line. Regardless of a player's status -- Pro Bowler or scrub -- they know not to rub Tomlin the wrong way.

The Steelers also realize that Tomlin knows his team a lot better now. That's what the regular season is for. There will be plenty of time to prove themselves later, when the games count.

No need for Tomlin to demand the same results from his veterans this preseason. Exhibition games meant a lot more to Tomlin last year than this year.

dawgs
08-09-2008, 01:32 PM
He also went 1 for 3 for 3 yards :nono:

I would've gave him a D had he not improvised that 6 yard run :lol:

speaking of runs, did you catch brady quinns. He was hit pretty good in the back field, did a spin move and ran for the first down and some.


some thoughts I have after watching reply of the steelers game.

1. of course QB problems now with batch out. This is a long season and you need to have decent backups just in case. Steelers are a top team in this leauge, and you know some young guy on another team would love to make a name for himself by laying out ben. Dixon could be a good player later on, but right now he won't cut it. So a move will need to be made and im sure steelers front office are already in talks.

2. offence line. They looked solid but were also facing starters on the eagles who don't wanna get hurt. no gravity said that the starters were solid, But not so much after that. Which means there's no depth at all. Injuries will happen to every single team, So having no depth is very scary.

You guys got the browns punter who filled in for dave Z when he went down. better look for another punter, He's not very good.

Black@Gold Forever32
08-09-2008, 01:39 PM
speaking of runs, did you catch brady quinns. He was hit pretty good in the back field, did a spin move and ran for the first down and some.


some thoughts I have after watching reply of the steelers game.

1. of course QB problems now with batch out. This is a long season and you need to have decent backups just in case. Steelers are a top team in this leauge, and you know some young guy on another team would love to make a name for himself. Dixon could be a good player later on, but right now he won't cut it. So a move will need to be made and im sure steelers front office are already in talks.

2. offence line. They looked solid but were also facing starters on the eagles who don't wanna get hurt. no gravity said that the starters were solid, But not so much after that. Which means there's no depth at all. Injuries will happen to every single team, So having no depth is very scary.

You guys got the browns punter who filled in for dave Z when he went down. better look for another punter, He's not very good.

Batch will be back......He isn't out for the season......He is a quality backup for a game or two but even if he had to start the majority of the games this team would be screwed......Really Batch going down isn't a big deal unless Ben goes down....If Ben goes down for a serious amount of time there isn't a QB on the waiver wire that would save the season anyway.....I couldn't see Batch or Byron Leftwich leading this team to the play-offs if they had to start 8 or more games.......

As for the OL....They looked solid....But its pre-season so can't put to much stock into it....But it was a nice start.....

I think the Steelers will continue to watch the cut list to keep an eye of the punting situation.....

Phenomenal TJ
08-09-2008, 02:51 PM
speaking of runs, did you catch brady quinns. He was hit pretty good in the back field, did a spin move and ran for the first down and some.

He was kinda forced to spin to keep his balance, it was nice, but not like he actually meant to do it. Braylon Edwards catch was very nice though.

I was just happy to see that Parker isn't afraid to get hit after breaking his leg.

dawgs
08-09-2008, 02:59 PM
He was kinda forced to spin to keep his balance, it was nice, but not like he actually meant to do it. Braylon Edwards catch was very nice though.

I was just happy to see that Parker isn't afraid to get hit after breaking his leg.


Isn't everyone forced to?? how many times do u see a guy running down the field with nobody near him and he is spinning??

Troyisabeast_43
08-09-2008, 03:59 PM
speaking of runs, did you catch brady quinns. He was hit pretty good in the back field, did a spin move and ran for the first down and some.


some thoughts I have after watching reply of the steelers game.

1. of course QB problems now with batch out. This is a long season and you need to have decent backups just in case. Steelers are a top team in this leauge, and you know some young guy on another team would love to make a name for himself by laying out ben. Dixon could be a good player later on, but right now he won't cut it. So a move will need to be made and im sure steelers front office are already in talks.

2. offence line. They looked solid but were also facing starters on the eagles who don't wanna get hurt. no gravity said that the starters were solid, But not so much after that. Which means there's no depth at all. Injuries will happen to every single team, So having no depth is very scary.

You guys got the browns punter who filled in for dave Z when he went down. better look for another punter, He's not very good.

Steelers will address the QB problem by bringing in Leftwich most likely which will be fine, and continue to look Im sure daily for options at punter although Ernster didnt do too bad last night I'm still not totally sold on him either. As long as Ben stays healthy on this team the backup quarterback position on the team is irrelevant. Now I know he has had trouble doing that through a 16 game schedule each year but anybody can get hurt at anytime. Look at Tom Brady and Peyton Manning people barely know who their backups are because they dont ever play. Steelers despite this injury are in a lot better shape at quarterback with a proven Playoff and Super Bowl winner in Ben then the Browns are with Derek Anderson who has only done it for one season.

ejsteeler
08-09-2008, 04:34 PM
First team o looked solid, defense gave more than I would like all game. We need to shore it up a bit and get off the field. The more the o is on the field, the better our chances this year.

SteelerFan87
08-09-2008, 04:42 PM
Is it just me, or does EVERY quick slant to Santonio Holmes result in a touchdown?

And is a short, quick passing game not also a great way to keep pressure off your QB?

Hopefully Arians will remember these 2 things next time Ben is under siege.

Phenomenal TJ
08-09-2008, 07:27 PM
Isn't everyone forced to?? how many times do u see a guy running down the field with nobody near him and he is spinning??

Not exactly what I meant. <_<

He didn't mean to spin at all, it just happened. He made something out of nothing. I give him that.

Stlrs4Life
08-09-2008, 08:43 PM
Timmons, Dixon pass tests

By Jim Wexell
SteelCityInsider.com
Posted Aug 9, 2008
http://pit.scout.com/2/777565.html


It didn't take much to see that Lawrence Timmons and Dennis Dixon can help the Pittsburgh Steelers.

PITTSBURGH – Sometimes, preseason games are worthless. But other times, it takes just one play to reveal talent.

Let’s examine two telling plays turned in by two young Steelers during the 16-10 preseason win Friday over the Philadelphia Eagles.

First was a play made by second-year linebacker Lawrence Timmons, who showed off his speed in closing on a running back who took a short pass out in the flat.

Last week, 12,000 fans at Latrobe Memorial Stadium were treated to the suddenness and explosiveness of Timmons in the backs-on-backers blitz pickup drill. Willie Parker deserved kudos for at least getting in Timmons’ way and slowing him down. The rest, including busted-up rookie tight end Dezmond Sherrod, were simply run over.

A week later, Timmons, playing inside linebacker, showed that suddenness in holding a short pass to Correll Buckhalter in the open flat to a 3-yard gain. Timmons explained the burst the same way he did Friday night at the high school stadium: with a shrug of the shoulders.

“I was basically sitting in zone and came and made the play. That was all,” he said.

Timmons made a few more plays. He made the tackle on the Steelers’ first kickoff, and he covered wide receiver Jason Avant in the back of the end zone to prevent a touchdown. Timmons also stuffed Buckhalter on a run up the middle, showing he’ll stick his head in there at the point of attack. It’s the 22-year-old’s final question mark as he tries to wrest the mack linebacker job from veteran Larry Foote. Of course, Timmons doesn’t want to talk about that right now.

“We’re a team, a band of brothers,” he said. “I’m just trying to do anything to make this defense better in any way.”

The other telling play Friday night involved rookie quarterback Dennis Dixon. Rushed into the game a quarter ahead of schedule because of an injury to Charlie Batch, Dixon looked like anything but a rookie in his preseason opener. He completed 6 of 9 passes for 30 yards and had a 49-yarder called back because someone held a defensive tackle who wouldn’t have touched the elusive Dixon anyway.

The elusive Dixon – that’s the important phrase, and the play which showed he still has all of his mobility, in spite of tearing an ACL only nine months ago, occurred in the third quarter with the Steelers facing 3rd-and-20 from their own 10.

Rookie left tackle Tony Hills was beaten badly by former Eagles first-round draft pick Jerome McDougle, and McDougle closed in on Dixon, who was looking to pass from the end zone. But Dixon spun naturally to his right and circled back to his left. He evaded McDougle like a confident pro and re-set himself. He threw back right, a bit high and incomplete, but the rookie had averted a safety and showed that his knee is fine.

“I used my God-given talent to get out of the pocket and try to make a play,” he said, much like Timmons with a what’s-the-big-deal look. And then he realized his knee, his mobility, was back.

“I was totally healthy,” he said with a big smile. “I got hit a little bit today, too. That was my true challenge and I think I passed.”

Both of the young players – Dixon and Timmons – passed their tests. It only took one play to tell.

Troyisabeast_43
08-09-2008, 08:51 PM
know it's early but the TD Ben threw has me excited. He recognized the corner blitz and so did Holmes and they did their site adjust and changed the route. But they were also on the ball enough to know that Dawkins would be setting on the slant, the normal site adjust route, and ran a stop allowing holmes to avoid Dawkins. If they can recognize blitzes and do this all year the sacks will minimize and ben will get in that brady manning category.

Just stop and think about and look at all Ben has accomplished so far in his career.
Ben has been in the elite catagory since his rookie season.

As a rookie, he went 13-0 in the regular season

Rookie of the year for a QB,first time in 34 years

Lowest seeded playoff team to ever win a SB

Youngest QB to win a SB

Highest Passer Rating, Rookie Season - 98.1 (2004)

Highest Completion %, Rookie Season - 66.4% (2004)

First QB to start two Conference Championship games in first two seasons in the NFL (2004 & 2005)

Roethlisberger became the second quarterback in NFL history, along with Peyton Manning, to register 3 perfect passing games during the regular season and only quarterback to ever register 2 perfect passing games in one regular season.

Ben currently is tied with Peyton Manning for the most fourth quarter comebacks since he entered the league in 2004, with 10.

Not to mention the Steelers records he busted.

Ben is among the elite NFL QB's already. The bottom line is we have too many weapons for teams to cover. If Ben gets time and makes the right decisions our offense will be amazing this Season.

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A few other thoughts here from last night Keyaron Fox looks like a very decent pickup. Fox was around almost every play, making a hit. He also looks as if he is a very sure tackler. Fox was around almost every play, making a hit. He also looks as if he is a very sure tackler. I temper my optimism as of now since he played against 2nd & 3rd stringers but so far so good. I really would like to see him play against the 1st string offense a few series to see how he looks then, right now though it looks like he is most definitely an upgrade over Kriewaldt, IMO.

SteelerSteve
08-09-2008, 08:54 PM
A "C" for Charlie Batch??? He did end up with a broken collar bone on a busted play that he tried to turn a loss into something positive :scratch: A C might be a little harsh :bigthumb: plus if Charlie is in then you know the other backups are in as well... I think if you put Charlie with the starting squad he's right there with Ben IMO.:lol:
Charlies nowhere near the qb that Ben is

STEEL CITY TANK
08-09-2008, 09:08 PM
Timmons showed great closing speed

blackngold29
08-09-2008, 09:16 PM
I think they had pretty good performances and they look like they'll be good to have in the future, but I don't think anything can be said too definatively after one pre season game.

K Train
08-09-2008, 09:59 PM
all im saying is tony hills was a ****ing monster and starks made mcdougal look like reggie white

MaineofSteel
08-09-2008, 11:03 PM
A few other thoughts here from last night Keyaron Fox looks like a very decent pickup. Fox was around almost every play, making a hit. He also looks as if he is a very sure tackler. Fox was around almost every play, making a hit. He also looks as if he is a very sure tackler. I temper my optimism as of now since he played against 2nd & 3rd stringers but so far so good. I really would like to see him play against the 1st string offense a few series to see how he looks then, right now though it looks like he is most definitely an upgrade over Kriewaldt, IMO.

Keyaron had 3 tackles and three assists last night. The highest total for any defender for the evening !

MoS

BlitzburghRockCity
08-09-2008, 11:43 PM
Can't say Timmons is a man of many words huh :lol:

Lawrence will get plenty of playing time this year even if he doesn't beat out Foote. Both he and Larry were playing side by side several times against the Eagles; a sign of the possible MLB duo for 2009. We sometimes forget he was our 1st round pick last year so it's good to see him starting to get it together.

HUNT4SEVEN
08-10-2008, 12:17 AM
Dixon look good seeing what he had 2 work with, Timmons is gonna be an beast, Sweed is also going 2 help this team out this year, Sweed will b the number 3 reciever by week 9,but i have 2 give props 2 the o-line they did an hell of an job (1st unit).

Koopa
08-10-2008, 03:52 AM
Can't say Timmons is a man of many words huh :lol:

Lawrence will get plenty of playing time this year even if he doesn't beat out Foote. Both he and Larry were playing side by side several times against the Eagles; a sign of the possible MLB duo for 2009. We sometimes forget he was our 1st round pick last year so it's good to see him starting to get it together.

no you can't, and i've never seen him smile, seems every picture of him is just like he's bored to death lol

i think timmons being the back up will be good, it lets foote stay fresh and gives timmons experience so when he takes over next year he'll make an even bigger impact

ItAintEasyBeingPeazy
08-10-2008, 10:14 AM
Timmons showed great closing speed

man for real, that play when he streaked across for the tackle...i was like damn who was that black and Gold blur. Made me think back to a young pre-injured Kendrell Bell.

TampaSteelGirl
08-11-2008, 08:44 AM
I don't think its really fair to grade a first pre season game. Of course Ben and Antonio looked great scoring on our first drive when it took McNabb until the second quarter to score. I think the defense looked pretty good, special teams looked pretty good, huge improvement and Charile wasn't even in enough to make an impact. Give Dixon a break! He played most of the 2nd quarter, all of the 3rd & 4th quarter by himself! He's a rookie who basically had to be thrown in to the lions when Charlie got hurt, I think he did quite well for his first NFL game, he's got alot of learn but he managed. I was pretty impressed with how we played and kept the Eagles to 10 points only. I think we are going to have a great year and looks like we have alot of talent we can depend on. I"m excited! Perhaps lets get a couple games under our belts before we acutally put a grade on it. :yellowthumb:

ItAintEasyBeingPeazy
08-11-2008, 10:13 AM
:iagree: But you know we all been chompin at the bit to get a glimpse of these guys. So of course were gonna over anaylize the hell out of them. But that's what makes pre-season fun to watch.It's always a good thing to get that Offense clicking from day one.Hopefully we'll get some better looks Thursday night.

steelcityrockers
08-11-2008, 10:52 AM
Batch will be back......He isn't out for the season......He is a quality backup for a game or two but even if he had to start the majority of the games this team would be screwed......Really Batch going down isn't a big deal unless Ben goes down....If Ben goes down for a serious amount of time there isn't a QB on the waiver wire that would save the season anyway.....I couldn't see Batch or Byron Leftwich leading this team to the play-offs if they had to start 8 or more games.......

As for the OL....They looked solid....But its pre-season so can't put to much stock into it....But it was a nice start.....

I think the Steelers will continue to watch the cut list to keep an eye of the punting situation.....

Eh, if Leftwich grasps the offense, he could very well get them to the playoffs. He has done it before. He has a live arm and has solid accuracy and decision making. His only problems are immobility and injury prone and a not so quick release.

ejsteeler
08-11-2008, 12:36 PM
His only problems are immobility and injury prone and a not so quick release.

His "only problems" are major problems in this offense. I do not like him in there. He just does not fit our scheme.

BlackGold4vr
08-11-2008, 12:41 PM
I missed most of the game as I was on vacation with my family. I did drag them to a Hooters Restaurant and managed to catch the 4th quarter. But by then all the players I was hoping to see were already done playing. Anxiously looking forward to Thursdays game!


:DANCE04: :DANCE04: :DANCE04: :DANCE04:


:tt02: :towelwave:

steelcityrockers
08-11-2008, 01:54 PM
His "only problems" are major problems in this offense. I do not like him in there. He just does not fit our scheme.



He is a guy, though, who has had some success on teams with a lot less talent than this one.

ejsteeler
08-11-2008, 02:38 PM
That is true, but it does not make me feel any better about him. Just one of those gut feelings I have. They are not always right, but I got to stay with'em. :yellowthumb: