Good news, on the defensive side of the ball: Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Shazier, Stephon Tuitt, and Sean Spence all looked very good. Arthur Moats struggled a bit, but noted after the game that this is the preseason, a time to learn from mistakes.
Most players who struggled weren't in contention to start, but there were some new, lower-profile players who could have more hope for a slot on the team.
Let's take a look at a few new players from Sunday's game:
L.T. Walton, DE, #78
Originally, this paragraph was going to be about #40 LB Anthony Chickillo. Though he apparently has had a good training camp to this point, he failed to make a huge impact during Sunday's preseason game. In fact, on one play at the beginning of the second quarter, the svelt Chickillo failed to stop the Vikings WR Stephon Diggs after the catch, appearing a bit lost and disoriented. On this play, I realized #78, L.T. Walton, was the one to be watching.
So, what happened? 319-pound L.T. Walton flew in from the opposite side of the field, chasing down Diggs to make the play. In fact, on play after play, Walton ran down the line at impressive speed (especially for a man of his size) to go after his opponents. His demonstrated not only preternatural speed (again, for someone who weighs nearly 320), but also fantastic awareness and vision. Why he was faster and in the right spot quicker than smaller guys such as Chickillo and Gerod Holliman, I do not know. Hustle, maybe?
Alden Darby, S, #33
Darby is in his second NFL season out of Arizona State, where scouts considered him to be a ballhawk and powerful hitter. He went undrafted last year and was picked up by San Diego Chargers. Despite some promising preseason play, he was released before the regular season. and then signed to a reserve/future contract with the Black & Gold in January.
Judging by the way he played yesterday, he could be a serious contender at safety, a position of weakness for the Steelers. Quick and aggressive, Darby tallied four tackles and appeared competent in coverage. For the most part, he was where he needed be on the field. He was, however, a part of the disastrous return coverage unit that resulted in a 1-yard-touchdown one play later. His part in the disaster? He let the field tackle him.
Kevin Fogg, CB, #30
Fogg is a graduate of Liberty University and signed with the Steelers in December 2014. Fogg had an interception in Sunday's game (off of a big hit by B.W. Webb, who had a very good game as well), and was also a playmaker in other regards. While Jesse James, Shayon Green, and Jordan Zumwalt were all busy wiping out or appearing slow and confused, Fogg was in position to tackle Vikings return guy Diggs before he made it into the end zone. He had other effective plays as well throughout the game.