Throw Short or Get Hit

Mike Prisuta filed this assortment of notes and observations from Philadelphia:

The offense, for the most part, did what it intended to do in Philadelphia.

Very little of the Todd Haley playbook was on display, but what was attempted was executed at an acceptable level for a preseason opener.

"Just keeping it simple, working on our basic stuff," wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery assessed. "We would like to put it in the end zone but I think for the most part we did a great job of what we were trying to get accomplished.

"We have all of that (down-the-field) stuff (in the playbook). We were just getting into the flow of things. We're growing, communicating. I think it was another step in the right direction."

A more significant development – potentially – was Ben Roethlisberger's reaction to all of that dink-and-dunk.

Roethlisberger even smiled and laughed when fielding a question about a very atypical Roethlisberger performance in terms of not throwing the ball down the field and instead repeatedly opting for backs and tight ends.

"They were the guys that were open most of the time, or if I had someone on me," he said. "It's either that or get hit, I guess."

* The biggest negative associated with Eagles 24, Steelers 23 was pass protection. The much anticipated debuts of David DeCastro and Mike Adams were underwhelming, particularly in Adams's case.

Speaking in general rather than specific terms, Heath Miller assessed the pass protection as follows: "I think we need to protect Ben a little more. He was scrambling a little more than we'd like to see in the first game."

* We hadn't seen a cornerback get scorched the way Curtis Brown got scorched on 70- and 44-yard touchdown passes since Ike Taylor in Denver.

Brown was at least composed enough to assess the wreckage afterward and vowed to learn from his mistakes and become better for them.

"The fade ball, I didn't take my eyes to the sky," Brown said. "I had (Damaris Johnson) covered pretty well and all I had to do was look up to make a play and I didn't do it."

On the 70-yard catch-and-run touchdown, "I was face down," Brown said. "Actually, (Mardy Gilyard) ran up the back of my leg. I'll see it on film and take it from there, see what adjustments I need to make."

At least he had a good postgame.

* Of all the guys who wore inherited numbers of significance (Sean Spence, No., 51; DeCastro, No. 66; Corbin Bryant, No. 91) no one did a better job of representing than Kelvin Beachum. Number 68 was called for two holds, one of which was declined, and a false start. It was as if Chris Kemoeatu never left.

* Baron Batch was clearly the most excited guy in the visitor's locker room, not so much over how he played but because he played.

"It was something I've thought about every day since my last college game, the time I'd be able to strap it up and play in the NFL," Batch admitted. "And then I had to wait a year. I thought about it every day after my injury.

"It's a long time. Two years is a while to have to sit back and just watch other people play and learn. It's just nice to be back out there finally."

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