A knee jerk reaction is defined by Webster's as an immediate, unthinking, emotional reaction. I have those often, especially after watching the Steelers.
I know you in Steelers Nation are prone to them too.
While watching the very first game of the 2017 season, I recorded my initial thoughts with no time to reconsider them. I'm thrilled that the Steelers defeated the Browns, but 21-18 was too close for comfort and I worry that there are more warts and moles on this team than originally expected.
Take these in. As always, I welcome you to weigh in...
- The offense lacked continuity and cohesion. I understand and supported the philosophy behind stars in street clothes for preseason games; however, the lack of playing together was evident for most of the game.
- To further that point, Le'Veon Bell was rusty. He came in shape, but not in contact shape. But no need to worry about Bell. By Q4, he was looking like the "Juice" that wants $17M.
- The play-calling early on was ho hum. I've seen more action watching a Judy Dench movie.
- I wonder if limiting Bell early on was some sort of consequence for his holdout.
- The defense was pressuring and hitting. But lack of discipline continues to surface with all of the roughness/unsportsmanlike penalties.
- Antonio Brown is the most dynamic player in the game at this particular juncture. If he and Ben play 16 games, records will fall.
- Ben is comfortable with Jesse James. I'd give James a varsity letter for that performance.
- Stephon Tuitt is a dominant presence. I'm sweating this injury report.
- T.J. Watt's full preseason of play has him game-ready. In fact, he was game-ready on draft day. If the season ended today, he's the Defensive Rookie of the Year. But it's a long season.
- Dirty Red is a special teams demon.
- I'm hoping and confident that the late additions (McDonald, Haden and Wilcox) merely need adjustment time. They were just okay on Sunday.
- JuJu Smith-Schuster's only screen time was due to penalties. That needs to tighten up in a hurry.
- Anthony Chickillo is no Bud Dupree. But he looked pretty darn close on Sunday.
- The Browns are improving too rapidly for my liking.
As I replay the game more and more in my head, my perceptions will alter. But for now, you just got a glimpse of the first thoughts that popped into my mind.