Pittsburgh Steelers: 5 Things We Learned in Second Preseason Game
5 Things We Learned in Second Preseason Game
For the second consecutive week, the Pittsburgh Steelers left many of their fans disappointed. Their 24-13 loss to the Washington Redskins dropped their preseason record to 0-2, and left more unanswered questions regarding some aspects of the team.
Some of the frustration that Steeler Nation experienced was due to lack of execution on both sides of the ball. Offensively, the front line seemed porous at times and undisciplined. Defensively, they made Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman look like he could be a starter in the league again.
Then there was things that were beyond the team’s control, such as injuries. Three of Pittsburgh’s backs were knocked out of the game, including rookie Le’Veon Bell, who left the game early with a foot injury and ended the night with nine yards on only four carries.
Unfortunately, Bell’s foot injury turned out to be a Lisfranc injury, and the second-round draft pick is expected to be out for six weeks.
However, there were some bright spots. It still looks as if the Steelers made the right choice in the first round of this year’s draft, and could be on the verge of breaking their tradition of not starting rookies on defense. It also seems that the organization made good decisions regarding the receiving corps.
Overall, Pittsburgh is nowhere near ready for the start of the regular season and need to address every nook and cranny of their team before the all-important third preseason game.
Here are the five things that stood out after observing the Steelers in the second week of the preseason.
5. Offensive line needs more work
The first-team offensive front might have a new look from last season, but the play seemed to be the same. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was on the run as usual, and couple of penalties from the O-linemen stalled Pittsburgh’s progress on offense.
4. Jarvis Jones might be one step closer to becoming a starter
For the second week in a row, rookie outside linebacker Jarvis Jones made his presence felt. Jones forced a fumble in the backfield on a toss which resulted in a recovery for the Steelers. The first-round draft pick’s ability to cause takeaways will add a dimension that was missing from Pittsburgh’s defense last year.
3. William Gay proved that he shouldn’t be a starter
Once again, cornerback William Gay found himself on the wrong end of a touchdown pass. It’s obvious that Gay is just keeping the starting spot opposite Ike Taylor warm for the return of Cortez Allen.
2. Jonathan Dwyer just might be Week 1 starter
It looks like running back Jonathan Dwyer will win the starting job in the backfield for Week 1 by default. However, his performance against the Redskins shouldn’t put any doubt into the minds of anyone in Steeler Nation. Let’s just hope Dwyer continues to play at that level for the remainder of the preseason and into the regular season.
1. Steelers will be alright in post-Mike Wallace era
Wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and rookie Markus Wheaton were the game's leading receivers. Sanders finished with two receptions for 39 yards in limited time, while Wheaton’s three catches for 52 yards were both game-highs. Wheaton even showed his ability to stretch the field with a gain of 45 yards down the sideline.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google+