Steelers Win Out In The Big Easy
Steelers 27 – Saints 14
Certainly not the win itself that matters, it’s the fashion by which they handled their business in Game 3 of the exhibition season. All the starters on Offense took the field, which has become a rarity in recent years, and executed a fourteen play first possession drive that was as convincing as it was exciting to watch
Running a no huddle offense after starting on their own 26 yard line, Big Ben distributed the rock like he was handing out candy on Halloween. Running back Le’Veon Bell looked crisp with a dump off pass then a run off of right guard for 12 yards shortly thereafter.
Tight end Jesse James got involved early on with some nifty run after catch on a 12 yard gainer, followed by a 9 yard hitch before astutely snaring the go to TD after a Big Ben scramble on third and goal. Ben also made a point to get young Eli Rogers into the mix on a couple of simple crossers, he still needs to improve his blocking ability and though he is a bit undersized, that is something he is going to need to employ when they run bubble screens and off tackle runs.
The offensive line asserted itself quite nicely against the New Orleans starting defense, everyone was in sync and special note to the oft injured center Maurkice Pouncey, who looks as spry as ever and we’ll certainly keep our collective fingers crossed that he can stay healthy throughout the entire season and playoffs.
With linebacker Ryan Shazier leading the way, the starting defense looked pretty sound, we note that the tackling has been good throughout the preseason and the cohesion as a unit seems to be taking shape. Linebacker Jarvis Jones made his first appearance this years and looks like a man who wants to get paid after the season ends, which is fine by us as long as he continues to stay healthy and assert himself in the grand style of what a Steelers linebacker should play like.
Some rookies of note included nose guard Javon Hargrave, who is looking not only to be a rightful successor to former pro bowler Casey Hampton, but an emerging star in his own right. He’s quick off the ball and has technique advanced of his years, we fully expect every Yinzer worthy of his Terrible Towel to be pulling for this upstart defensive tackle.
Also impressive was Tyler Matakevich, dubbed ‘dirty red’ by linebacker coach Joey Porter, Matakevich looks to be a lock to make the team and a sound addition to our special teams unit. Newly minted linebacker Vinnie Williams lead the team with 8 tackles, 5 solo. A totally reassuring performance by a unit that has no where to go but up, we like what we saw.
We love using famous Tomlinisms, and ‘the arrows pointed up’ seems to fit appropriately after last nights performance. Steeltown was rocking and it’s time to get ready for better days ahead, as well as what looks to be another humdinger of a season.