Monday, August 27, 2007

3rd Preseason Game: Steelers vs. Eagles

- Cut today were the following players: RB Kevan Barlow, WR Eric Fowler, DE Derrick Jones, LS Jared Retkofsky, RB Larry Croom, P Mike Barr, K Connor Hughes, LB Richard Koonce, C Donovan Raiola, and WR Dan Sheldon. Nothing surprising.

- The Barlow cut was long overdue. He never looked comfortable, and his signing from the beginning smelled like a camp tryout--a camp tryout he obviously failed. The RB/FB position could provide the most intrigue on final cut down day. It's gonna come down to Haynes, Russell, Kreider, and Davis. I think one gets cut, and 5 RB/FB are kept. I honestly don't have the slightest clue who it's gonna be. It's that tough to call.

- Why can't we find a competent punt returner. It's been an adventure since Randle El left. I don't think Reid's roster spot is in jeopardy, but I expected more from him in the return game. He's been disappointing, to say the least.

- Timmons saw the field quite a bit yesterday, and was pretty much invisible. It's gonna take some time for him. It's obvious he has great speed for a linebacker, but it's like he doesn't have any pass rush moves. Yesterday, he either tried the wide loop around the tackle (which never works, as we've seen with Joey Porter), or he just ran into the tackle and tried to overpower him. He's a work in progress, obviously.

- What do you want from the right tackle position: better run blocking, or better pass blocking? That's the decision the coaching staff needs to make when deciding between Max Starks or Willie Colon at the RT spot.

- The Steelers actually threw the ball to Parker out of the backfield yesterday, and they actually used the tight end as well. Miller made a nice catch over the middle, and almost scored, but the fact that these two were used in the passing game was encouraging enough. Every offseason we hear about how the runningback and tight end will be used more in the passing game, and it never materializes. Let's hope they actually follow through with it this year.

- The final preseason game is Thursday night. I don't know how soon the Steelers will make their cuts, but I might err on the side of caution and post my final depth chart after the game Thursday night, or Friday morning. Latest Friday afternoon. I'm praying Gary Russell makes this team.

As always, leave your game impressions in the comments

End of Post


Anonymous said...

What's up, Wanny.

- "Timmons saw the field quite a bit yesterday, and was pretty much invincible." - I have to assume you meant "invisible"! It would have been awesome if he was invincible.

- Concerning the RT, would it be far-fetched to start all the games with Colon, and then switch to Starks if we build a big lead and commit to running the ball to grind out the clock?

- Willie Reid has shown nothing as a punt returner. If they don't select him to be the PR, and don't consider him one of their top five WRs, could he possibly lose his roster spot to fan favorite Walter Young (aka Jerry Rice 2.0)?

- I thought the OTs looked pretty good, though there seemed to be a lot of QB pressure coming straight up the middle. Is that due to the Eagles' blitzing schemes, or is there a problem with our centers and guards?

- I thought the offense looked pretty much like it did last year - dominant at times, but too prone to shooting itself in the foot. The Ben pick and Willie fumble were just brutal, they HAVE to eliminate stuff like that. This is the exact type of game we would have lost last year - go into halftime with a 10-point lead that should have been more like a 20-point lead, and then choke away the game at the end. Our defense looks better this year, which could make all the difference.

- Should we read any into the fact that Vernon Hayes didn't play in the game at all?

- William Gay should be given the nickname "The Closer", since he basically sealed the deal at the end of all three of our preseason wins (INT vs NO, INT vs WAS, forced fumble vs PHI).

- Speaking of nicknames, Dallas Baker should change his to "Interception Maker".

- As the joke goes, Kevan Barlow getting cut was a big surprise... to Kevan Barlow, that is.

Sam said...

Great analysis from both of you.

I do agree that the first half was way too similar to last year. I love how Ben creates plays out of nothing, but he has to know when to take the sack.

That's an interesting idea about Colon and Starks. I would think it would interfere too much with the chemistry of the line, but if a platoon situation in baseball is viable, why not try football?

Dave Wannstache said...

Hey Wieters, I'll try to address your points one-by-one:

- Yes, I meant invinsible... I think I need Sam to proofread all my posts

- I wouldn't be in favor of a platoon situation. You could bring in Starks at the end if you're trying to salt away, but at some point, if you want Colon to be your future RT (and with Starks hitting free agency after this year, that might be the case) he needs to learn to run block when the chips are down and the defense knows it's coming. Only experience will help him there.

- I'm not a fan of Walter Young. Too slow for my taste, and he's always available to sign anyways. I still want to be patient with Reid, and I still hope he makes this team. Remember, it kind of still is his rookie season, since he missed most of last year.

- OT's did look pretty good. Faneca looked like dogshit in pass protection on a couple plays, hence your spot on analysis of too much pressure up the middle.

- Those were two reckless turnovers, I agree.

- I guess there could be something to Haynes not playing, but I don't know. He did get a ton of playing time the previous game, so maybe the coaching staff wanted to get a look at other backs?

- William Gay just makes plays. This guy could be our nickel corner next year, provided he keeps improving. Colclough is a free agent after this season, and while he has played pretty good this preseason, I don't think we need to re-sign him. Gay makes him expendable.

- Early part of the summer I thought Baker would be practice squad bound. Then I thought we needed some height in the WR corps, so I thought he might have a chance. He's shown nothing this preseason, so he's practice squad bound.

- Hated the Barlow signing from the beginning. It made no sense.