1) Everette Brown makes me want to rip the 0 off my Peppers jersey and put a 1 there in sharpie. Holy cow. What a steal of a draft pick. He's going to be HUGE this year. Peppers on the other hand, I hope he's holding back for the games that count. I think he will deliver though. He and Brown are going to be really hard to stop when we pass rush.
2) Nick Hayden actually looked good. He had a belly tonight. I don't' remember that from training camp so he may be adding some weight. He had a big sack but he also stuffed the run much better than he has. Maybe he's learning quickly. We did VERY well stopping a team that likes to run. Other then the instance of poor tackling on that 1 TD, I thought our defense played very well.
3) Leonard, with limited playing time, looked good. He commanded a double team that allowed Leeman to slip behind the defense and tackle the RB for a 4yd loss. I hope he contines to learn the playbook. He could be a good part of the rotation. He literally bull rushed his man into another guard, taking 2 people out.
4) Kenny More: he is the future it looks like. I love this kid and he had a big night. He's quick and big. He will have some solid numbers. It was also nice to see Jarrett finally get involved. He's slow, but he's big and is an easy target if he will run the right route.
5) Goodson: I love him, but part of me is worried he's another Foster. Both were/are electric and couldn't hold onto the ball. My gut tells me he's not, and that he's a future stud. I hope he corrects his fumbles (3 in the pre season). I've grown accustomed to the way D-Will holds onto the ball and doesn't cost us points or give them to the other team. I think Goodson is going to get a lot of reps with Stewie's injury (weird it still hasn't healed....) so I hope he doesn't cost us any games after driving us down the field only to fumble it.
6) Special Teams: HOLY CRAP. I'm literally scared to death that for once in a long time ST's is going to loose us games. 4 games in a row that we can't even field a punt without bobbling it, or making terrible decisions. And the return by Logan where everyone was just standing there leaving a HUGE hole for him to run though. Totally unacceptable and I don't know what the problem is. Guys, we are heading into the regular season now and we can't even catch a punt. Not good. Not good at all.
7) Beason's absence is HUGE. Anderson simply doesn't understand the position well enough to play it. He fell for a reverse 2 times where Beason would have snuffed it out. The announcers were even picking on him. Let's hope Beason and Davis are ready to go so simple stuff like that will never be done more than once against us. While our defense did well in limiting their yards, I feel that once we get our starters all back, we can actually be really good.
8) Why the heck is McClown, er, McCown even on this team? He is TERRIBLE. Absolutely terrible. Why is he the number 2? I'm sorry, but if Jake goes down this year the season is probably done. He can't even hit 2 wide open TE's from 5 yards away in a PRE-SEASON game. I DO NOT want him attempting to lead a 2 minute drill or something. Delhomme is so in a class by himself with our QB's it's not even funny. Aren't we paying McClown over 1 million to? We should cut him and use the money on a good FA DT. Moore is better and is cheap. Forget experience. It doesn't matter if you played in 50 games or 5. If you are terrible you are terrible and McClown is just terrible.
9) If I'm the Steelers, I'm a little worried about my first and second string defense. Other than Vincent getting mauled, they did not look like the #1 defense in the league. Moose dropped a perfectly thrown pass by Jake so we didn't get to see our first string offense create a drive. But we put up a lot of yards on them tonight without using Steve Smith or D-Will, our 2 most explosive players.
Yes, you capitalized all 21 points off your defense, but seriously, they were our errors. Punt Return--we left a gap a 18 wheeler could drive through. McClown's fumble--he should have held onto the ball and taken the sack. He cost us a drive and put them at like the 30. Moore's INT was a bad decision. He too should have taken the sack and not tried to throw while getting hit. So 21 points were due to our stupidity.
Now, we should have scored at LEAST 7 more points. McClown misses 2 wide open tight ends on a brilliantly drawn up play. Goodson fumbles shortly after. Again, we shot ourselves in the foot. If I had a DVR I could give other examples too I'm sure, this is just off the top of my head.
10) Season outlook: Depends on our health. If Jake, Smith, D-Will, most of our O-Line and D-Line, and Beason/Davis stay healthy, I think we can do at LEAST 10-6 and win the Division. If Jake goes down, we will be dependent on our run game b/c all 3 backups couldn't lead a drive without error if their life depended on it. I love Moore, he's a nice guy, but even he makes poor decisions. The others are all about equally important, but if the Jake haters haven't seen enough over the past 6 years + the preseason to realize we have a top 15 and possibly around the 10th best QB in the league then they need to quit fantasizing about having Peyton Manning and realize that we have the weapons to win a Super Bowl now.
Look at Big Ben. He has 2 Super Bowls and he had worse stats last year than Jake Delhomme and that's playing behind the Steelers defense where he has an insurance card on mistakes. All a Super Bowl takes is really solid defense and not making mistakes with a QB and offense that can work together to score and manage the game. We have that here, now. We just need to stop turning the ball over and continue to improve on defense and we can do it.