Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Preseason Game 1: Stock Up, Stock Down


First-team offensive line: Looked pretty good in the limited action they saw. No significant pressure on Ben, and they were generating some push against the Eagles first-team defensive line. Even Sean Mahan looked pretty good… which makes me think that the rumors of him being unable to keep his weight up as last season progressed were true. He wasn’t terrible the first few weeks last season, but as the year wore on he had more and more trouble handling the big nose tackles.

Santonio Holmes: This guy is poised to break-out in a big way. Absolutely just blew by Brian Dawkins en route to the end zone. Year three is the year that wide receivers typically begin putting it all together. And this is year three for Santonio.

Dennis Dixon: Didn’t look half bad when forced into action upon Batch’s injury. By no means is he a finished product, and he does have a really short throwing motion (almost as if he's throwing a dart). But he showed very nice poise avoiding pressure multiple times (most notably in his own end zone when rookie left tackle Tony Hills was thoroughly abused by Eagles defensive end Jerome McDougle).

Rashard Mendenhall: Nice debut by the rookie. Would have liked to have seen him run with a little more authority and less hesitation, but that’s probably to be expected for a rookie playing in his first game who’s trying to feel his way out.

Lawrence Timmons: One play was all I needed to see. The speed with which he closed on a pass by McNabb to the flat was scary. Can’t wait to see this guy take over Foote’s position at some point.

LaMarr Woodley: Gave Jon Runyan fits. Drew penalties. Harrison and Woodley could have close to 25 sacks among them this season.


Charlie Batch: Nothing really his fault, but his injury severely clouds his status on this team. Coming into the game he was assured of being the #2 QB… now he’s in danger of being released. I don’t see the Steelers carrying 4 QB’s, and I don’t see the Steelers attempting to place Dixon on their practice squad because some team would assuredly claim him on waivers. It’s too much of a risk. Therefore, it’s either Leftwich or Batch. If Leftwich impresses—and taking into account Charlie is 33 years old and in the final year of his contract—Batch’s tenure with the Steelers may be coming to an end sooner than we thought.

Chris Hoke: Hoke’s a fine backup, but Saturday night proved that this team needs an in-shape Casey Hampton starting. Philly center Jamaal Jackson was able to move Hoke with ease, allowing for ample running room up the middle.

Tony Hills: Was flat out embarrassed by McDougle and generally did not look like the mid-round draft choice he is. He’s in real jeopardy of not making this team.

Max Jean-Gilles: If you don’t recognize his name, he’s the Eagle who clobbered Ryan Mundy well after the whistle while Mundy’s ankle was pinned under a pile. Mundy now has a high ankle sprain. The late hit will cost Mundy at least the next two preseason games and possibly the opportunity to make the roster.


Stanley said...

Homestead Chuck's days are numbered. I'd rather have Leftwich behind Ben. Charlie can then focus on sending wide receivers playing quarterback to schools that will never win a national championship.

I think the Timmons/Foote battle will be resolved once Foote misses some time with an injury. It could be a few plays or a few games, but once Timmons gets in there regularly, they won't go back.

Dave Wannstache said...

Charlie's days are indeed numbered, though I have concerns about Leftwich. The guy is slower than molasses and has one of the longest deliveries I've ever seen. Putting him behind our offensive line could be a disaster. We'll see how Leftwich performs during the preseason.

I agree that once Foote misses time with an injury he won't get his job back. I'd love to see Timmons as the starter but the coaching staff will probably go with the guy they feel more comfortable with, which is understandable. But once Timmons gets his shot, I don't see him relinquishing it.