Alright, alright, I know. It was just a meaningless preseason game, but either way, my Steelers looked good. Ben came out and in six plays drove down the field (flawlessly on his part) for about 80 yards and a touchdown with one 55 yard pass to Cedric Wilson. Then Ben was out. But Wilson stayed in for much of the first half, backing up his complaints of not getting thrown the ball much he played a great game with four receptions for 99 yards. He was basically catching anything thrown to him and making a strong statement to his QBs... throw to me and I will catch. Nate Washington, the WR from Tiffin U, Ohio whom everone has been talking up in training camp as going to have his break out year was disappointing. The first pass his way he let slip right out of his hands and continued to miss a couple of more passes his way, although one of them was back-up QB St. Pierre's fault, most were Washington's. He seemed to lack confidence and looked out of his element as he missed the passes thrown to him, and although he ended up catching at least one (I can't remember if he even caught more than that) he definitely hurt his position last night and disappointed the many Steelers fans (and players I'm sure) looking for that tall deep threat. However, Santonio Holmes who didn't see much action the first half of the game got some balls later including a 3 yard TD from St. Pierre. He also had an impressive diving catch on a short toss by St. Pierre. I'm looking forward to seeing Holmes come into his own and am expecting him to have a break out year, rather than Washington after watching last night's game.
Our defense looked sharp and our second round pick Woodley was impressive, matching the high praise I've been hearing about him from training camp. Timmons didn't play due to his groin injury. Rookie CB William Gay from Louisville had a sweet hit against Saints WR Meachem and later intercepted a ball... causing awe and excitement among Steelers faithful who haven't seen a CB who can actually catch a ball for years (Sorry Ikey boy).
With Willie Parker out due to swelling in his knees, we got to see a lot of our back up RBs, a couple of them unknown to me. Davenport was average at best as was Barlow. However, it was the unheard-ofs that interested me. FB Carey Davis and RB Gary Russell showed some promise and I expect we'll be seeing a lot more of them running with the 1st and 2nd strings to see how well they perform.
The major worry for me is again, our Special Teams. Even though now we have a plethora of Special Team coaches, Reed missed an easy field goal and should consider cutting back his crazy partying a bit. Actually, I'm hoping next year we draft a field goal kicker in the later rounds and give him some competition. Our return game was pretty sorry, with muffed punts, dropped balls and had little return yardage. Our hope that Willie Reid was the answer to our return woes has not come to fruition... yet. I still have hope that it will improve throughout the preseason. I can dream, right?
Final Score: Saints - 7 : 20 - Steelers
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