Steelers young linebackers star in 18-13 preseason loss to the Giants

Justin K. Aller

Young Steelers inside and outside linebackers put on an impressive display in a 18-13 loss to the visiting Giants Saturday in the preseason premiers for both teams.

Young Money is gone.

Younger and Broke is here.

The Steelers young linebackers - many of whom are undrafted and carrying non-tenured player contracts - announced the real position battles on this team will be at both the inside and outside linebacker positions this year.

And next year? It wouldn't be a surprise to see many of them competing for starting jobs.

The young Steelers linebackers - Marshall McFadden, Brian Rolle, Adrian Robinson and Jarvis Jones - all made impact plays at various times in the loss. Robinson scored a defensive touchdown for the Steelers, bringing them back within shoulting range at 15-13. Jones had a fumble recovery and made a nice play on a third down dump pass that would have gained a first down.

Add in Al Woods' dominant performance around the defensive line, the youthful athleticism the Steelers showed in their front seven was impressive.

The starters weren't bad, either. After a special teams gaffe early, the Steelers defense held on a first and goal in the first quarter. They allowed a field goal, going down 3-0.

They trailed 15-6 after rookie quarterback Landry Jones appeared to aim his handoff to Baron Batch at the wrong angle, recovering his fumble in the end zone for a Giants safety.

Robinson's touchdown came off a fumble that bounced to the end zone from the Giants' 16 after another botched snap. Rookie OLB Alan Baxter had a clean shot at the recovery, but didn't come up with it. Robinson fought for it and recovered.

John Parker Wilson ended the game off a pressured throw off his back foot in what couldn't even be called the worst throw from a Steelers quarterback on the night. The Giants defensive line did a great job applying pressure, and the Steelers passers were collectively 19-for-33 for 124 yards.

Offensively the game was defined by LaRod Stephens-Howlings' 40 yards on seven carries. He took to the outside zone scheme like a duck to water, clearly out-playing his contemporaries on the game.

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