Thoughts on the preseason so far.

A lot of this is covered elsewhere, but I wanted to throw together all my major thoughts and impart them on you.

QB: Nice to see our first Ben vs. Haley showdown. Ben needs to take ownership of this offense, and I think he did. Haley's ability to handle the situation will determine his success with the Steelers. Haley handled Warner fine, I don't think he'll be a problem for Ben. Leftwich looks set at #2, Batch vs. Johnson in game 4?

RB: Goodbye Baron Batch, I'm a huge fan of yours and I wish you the best, but you aren't making this team. Dwyer showed hands and blocking vs. the Bills, and I think he's won the third down back role while we wait for Mendy. Redman is the man, and Mendy will bring some explosiveness we don't have right now. Rainey makes the team, but I'm seriously unimpressed with him to this point. I know he's ripped off some good plays, but he also gets crushed pretty easily. I'll take Mendy's big play ability over Rainey all day at this point.

FB: Will Johnson, thank you. Thank you for being a FB. Redman + a real FB was fun to watch.

TE: I feel about Heath Miller the same as I feel about Dick LeBeau, I don't want to think about the day he isn't here anymore. Pope could be a new Ben favorite, and by favorite I mean he gets more targets than he deserves, which is ~0.

WR: A. Brown and Ben have such great Chemistry, so glad we locked him up. Cotchery is filling that elder Hines Ward role of getting open underneath for just the right yards. He's no Hines Ward though. Mike Wallace is going to fit beautifully in this group. My goodness, you can't cover all of Ben's targets, you just can't.

OL: We looked bad until Decastro got hurt. The young man is a rookie no matter how talented he is. I hope he is back soon and his flaws get fixed, he has such great potential. Max Starks is the man. He's that guy you don't want to be your best player at LT, but he keeps pulling it off anyway.

DL: Ziggy Hood, thank you for showing up. He's not as disruptive as the other guys, but he made a bunch of good plays out there. Hampton, come back soon big guy, no one anchors that middle in short yardage like you do. Ta'amu looks good, I think he'll be the future at NT. Heyward is just a pest, he's causing trouble all the time, I like this DE group a lot. Al Woods is a find, he's blowing up lineman and running wild in your backfield. That Carter sack was all Woods, and it was beautiful. He's the anti-Ziggy, he's not always in the right spot but he's beating people. You need both kinds. Keisel needs to be healthy, and our DE's will be awesome. NT is still the key to this line though, and McClendon is good, but not Hampton good.

LB: Carter struggles setting the edge at times, needs more work on technique there, but he's good at getting pressure, he's worth Lamarr Woodley rookie snaps. Spence I don't know about, he's always around the ball, but never making the big play. Timmons looked better next to Farrior than Foote or Spence, I think we may miss Farrior more than we know this season. He was a true leader, and I am willing to bet he made everyone around him better. Don't be surprised if Timmons doesn't get back to 2010 form. Last thought: I really hope Harrison isn't done playing at his level.

CB: Loving the young guys, and placing Taylor in the same category as Heath, I don't want to think about what it will be like without him. When was the last time you were really worried about a teams #1 receiver killing us? Since 2004 14 times a WR has gained 100 yards and scored a TD against us. That's less than twice a year. Ike Taylor may not be the ideal #1 corner, but our team pass defense relies heavily on him, and he does the job. Stats show that our pass defense is better off without Troy, than without Ike. The fifth CB spot is one to watch for game 4, the only play that stood out for those guys in game 3 was Victorian on ST.

S: Troy is still a weapon you have to account for. He just isn't what he used to be. I like Mundy, he's solid, but we need to find a big time Safety or Corner soon, because Ike and Troy are going to be really hard to replace.

ST: We need some guys blowing up blockers out there, and Rainey isn't bad, but he's no Sproles either, I don't think there's anyone better though. I really hope people stop with the Antonio Brown nonsense, he was a good but not great returner, and he's a Pro-Bowl WR. No way I want him returning kicks.

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