It was great to see some football again. Strike that, it was great to see Steelers football again. Even if it was just practice.
I don’t want to sound negative; too many fans are and it’s really discouraging. I know that it’s great that we won and showed that we can do it without Ben—we’ll have to in order to achieve our goal this season—but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
We scored more points than the Detroit Lions’ backups did. Points don’t matter in the pre-season, here’s a few (positive) things that do:
It was great to welcome back Larry Foote, Bryant McFadden, and Antwaan Randle El.
If Dennis Dixon continues to improve, putting him and Randle El in the backfield could lead to some interesting things—both can run and both can throw.
Aaron Smith and Troy Polamalu were an awesome site to see back on the field together. The early interception was the product of LeBeau’s defense utilizing its capabilities perfectly. The pre-snap shifts and unorthodox coverage—it was Smith dropping back on this particular play—confused the heck out of Stafford. Likely the play of the game.
Tomlin was quick to bring up the fumbles rather than blaming the offensive line for the early offensive struggles. The fumbles obviously didn’t help, but plays like the one where Flozell Adams looked like a traffic cone can’t continue.
To take it another step, Mendenhall actually looked really good on the play he fumbled on—at least up to the point where he dropped the ball.
Issac Redman should be backing up Mendenhall along with Moore during the regular season. If Redman plays as well in the regular season as he has in the pre-season action that he’s gotten the load could be divided between him and Mendenhall like it should’ve been with two capable backs like Mendenhall and Willie Parker.
Speaking of struggling offensive lines, if James Harrison keeps running over guys like that he’s going to remain on my list of favorite players for a very long time.
Hopefully the rookies got the butterflies out of their stomachs, I don’t think camp is going to get any easier.