Thanks to a woman I work with, I was able to catch the Steelers' first preseason game against the Lions Saturday night at Heinz field.
It was your typical preseason game. The starting offense didn't look really good, but when was the last time the offense performed fluidly in the preseason? I don't worry about stuff like that because there is no game planning at all in the very first preseason game especially and those guys are just out there trying to get their reps in and call it a night.
I am a little concerned about their offensive line, but when haven't we been a little put off by those guys? Flozell Adams didn't look very good, and all of them had trouble with blitz pick-ups. From what I could see of Maurkice Pouncey, he seemed to perform well, and he split his time between center and right guard.
As for the number one defensive unit, same story. They weren't in there long enough to get a true evaluation, but they did cause a turnover and didn't seem to give up too much yardage.
I'm excited for the new season. I've been waiting since January for the Steelers to get back in action.
I need to see my guys back into the swing of things and make the playoffs again. There is nothing quite like the excitement surrounding an NFL playoff game. Best of 7series are nice and they have their supporters, but for my money, I'll take the build-up and anticipation of postseason football any day.
Anyway, it was nice being at the game. It's a rare treat for me since I don't have season tickets and only get to go to a game once every other year or so. My unbelievable girlfriend bought me tickets to the regular season opener last year and that was awesome.
And it was a far different atmosphere than Saturday night's preseason crowd. Saturday's fans were much more laid back and really just happy to be there. I hadn't been to a preseason game in about fifteen years and didn't realize that, like me, most people at preseason games rarely get to go. I invited my uncle to go with me and he was pretty excited, too. It was really cool and the best seats I ever had for a Steeler game. Even the rain delay didn't hinder our enthusiasm too much.
The more I think about it, preseason fans and guys that are on the bubble to make the team have a lot in common.
Season ticket holders usually just give up their preseason tickets because it's not as important to them. They probably don't want to fight the traffic and pay $8 for a beer. But their friends that they give their tickets to think it's the greatest treat ever. They'll go online and map out their route, and they don't care about paying $3.25 for a big pretzel. They're just happy to be going and they know it might be their only chance to see a game for a while.
And NFL veterans don't care that much about preseason games. Guys like Big Hamp and Hines just want to make a token appearance and get out of there because an injury during the preseason is just devastating. But guys who are trying to make the team out of training camp consider it the greatest opportunity in the world and know it might be their only chance to shine and show the coaches what they can do.
Who knows, maybe one of those young players did something Saturday night to impress the coaches. And maybe they'll continue to impress so much that they make the team and help lead them to some POSTSEASON games at Heinz field.
And maybe I'll see one of those games in person.
That would be a REAL treat.