No doubt everyone is making their first off observations. However this is the only preseason game aired in my country of the Steelers, so this is the only time I can make proper critcisms and evaluations of what I saw, so please bear with me.
Put simply, congratulations to the Steelers on a preseason win, and also congratulations on the rookie class of players. They all looked hungry, they all looked prepared, and each of them gave it their all. There were some mistakes of course, and at times their competition wasnt at NFL starting calibre, but they all did themselves proud.
Anyways, below i'll list my top 5 players who really impressed me, as well as 5 others, who need to up their game to earn a spot on my roster, and I encourage you all to place your own opinions in the comments section.
Probably the most impressive player out there for me, he really exceeded my expectations. He looked very fluid as a route runner, showed hands of glue, and also looked dangerous once he had ball in hand. I liked the way he caught one over the middle, and almost wrestled his way out of the tackle. If he can keep working at it, the Steelers may have found a gem here. Next step, is taking on the big boys of starting defenses.
He was really booming some of his punts out there, with great hang time and distance. A little slow on the release at times, but i think that was due to him really driving his leg into the punts. Hopefully he can make us all forget how terrible our punt game was last year, by continuing this form into the regular season, but that was a very solid punting performance.
Sure, he fumbled the punt return where he ran into the back of his own team mates, but it wasnt a bad return before that, and he made up for it with a couple very solid returns. This guy was tagged as a real ball hawk in college, and he showed that skill with his interception of St. Pierre. He read the play, timed the jump and made the play brilliantly, and he also made a couple solid tackles. All he needs is better competition to up his experience.
We all know how poor our offenses execution was in the redzone last season, so when we had goal to go, no doubt many Steeler fans thoughts were "Please God let our redzone attack improve". We may have found a diamond in the rough with Redman. He ran hard, low and fought for every yard. He showed good burst, and never showed any reluctance to hammer it into the line. He has made the Running Back situation very intriguing, but he really stood out to me.
Lost in the talk of the offseason, did anyone else see that this guy had a really solid game? Albeit against the 3rd stringers, but he showed a good motor, power and burst off the line. This guy could be a good project for DE, similar to how Keisel was, as a player who can inherit a starting job in a few years time. Pressured the QB well, and i believe he had a split sack as well. Was a nice little surprise from a player I didnt think Id be hearing much of
Essentially having a second rookie season, Mendenhall had an up and down game from my eyes. At times he ran too high, and when hitting the pile, did not square his shoulders or lower his pads to grind out extra yardage. He showed great burst at times, but other times seemed rather lethargic and lacking effort. I want to see more out of him in the next game.
Maybe a surprise to some, but this guy was outplayed by our two rookie Defensive Ends, and after coming off a pretty solid season as our backup DE, I was hoping to see a bit more go out of him, rather than being mediocre against the second stringers. Another couple strong preseason showings from Harris, Kirschke and Hood, and this guy could be finding himself buried on the depth chart.
After watching McDonald, Wallace and Sweed all have very very solid games, this guy is now officially on the outside looking in. Failed to get open, made 1 catch for 1 yard, and when I could see, he failed to run routes with authority. Guy needs to step up, because his time on the Practice Squad has run out, its all or nothing now.
Looked slow, has poor footwork, and was lethargic looking in body movements. Still doesnt run with pads low, or with much purpose. With the emergence of Redman, I think Davis has to be the odd man out.
May i make mention to Frank Summers, who played well on Special teams and blocking from the Fullback slot, as he had a big part in both the Redman scores. Didnt have it easy in the running game, but he outplayed Davis.
Also Limas Sweed looked electrifying at times, notably on the 45 yard reception from Batch, where he made a great adjustment coming back for the ball, and making the catch. He did drop that one thrid down, but if you noticed he didnt have his helmet on properly, and was probably stuck in a moment of not concentrating. However, good receivers make that catch. He ran great routes and looked sharp and confident.
My final though is DAYAM do Woodley and Harrison look ready for a monster season.....