Dale Lolley's Notebook P-IV

Dale Lolley wonders about the quarterback situation, an offensive reporter, and if the clock operator enjoyed his nap during the Steelers' 10-0 loss.

PITTSBURGH -- It was a rough night for the Steelers in their 10-0 loss to the Carolina Panthers, mostly because of the play of Nos. 3 and 4 quarterbacks Landry Jones and Brendon Kay.

The two combined to complete 19 of 28 for a whopping 129 yards that was all but negated by the six sacks they took that accounted for 50 yards in losses.

On the positive side, neither was intercepted. But neither came close to leading anything close to a sustained drive either.

"There was not enough cohesion to sustain drives and put points on the board," said Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. "When you lack that kind of cohesion you can't get splash plays or flip the field or light the scoreboard up."

It's going to lead to the most-talked-about roster position over the next couple of days within the organization. General manager Kevin Colbert said last year he's a three-quarterback guy.

Is that still the case after watching Jones in his second preseason?

Even in last year's finale, when Jones played the entire game, he led the team on a couple of scoring drives.

In leading the Steelers in their first preseason shutout since 1992, Jones played it safe. It led to a good completion percentage (14-18) but not a lot of yards (97).

"I feel like I came a long way from last year," said Jones.

OK. Perhaps. But this was his big chance and he played it Kent Graham-like safe. He rarely let the ball fly.

Kay, getting his first playing time of the preseason, wasn't any better, completing 5 of 10 for 32 yards.

@ The guess here is that the Steelers, who had injuries to a couple of guys slated for the 53-man roster - wide receiver Martavis Bryant (shoulder) and corner Brice McCain (groin) - will now need to free up a roster spot for at least one of those guys moving forward.

That means the Steelers could open the season with just Ben Roethlisberger and Bruce Gradkowski on the active roster and Jones on the practice squad.

@ As bad a night as the quarterbacks had, at least they had a better night than the reporter who tried to make light of Jarvis Jones being tackled by his hair by Fernando Velasco following a fumble recovery. The reporter asked Ryan Shazier if that's why he wears his hair the way he does.

Shazier has Alopecia, which does not allow him to grow any hair. The rookie linebacker was gracious in telling the reporter of his affliction.

@ Jarvis Jones had a strong game, particularly stopping the run. The Steelers had to be very pleased with that because that was not always the case in 2013.

@ Guys who helped themselves in this one in my eyes included defensive tackle Daniel McCullers, wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, tight end Michael Palmer, running back Josh Harris, linebacker Dan Molls and punter Brad Wing.

@ Wing said he's going to turn his cell phone off for the next two days as he awaits the news about whether he's going to be the Steelers' punter or if the team will look elsewhere.

But even though his average was just 40.1 yards on his nine punts and he did hit one "JV" kick, his net average of 39.6 in this game is something the Steelers can live with.

@ Long snapper Greg Warren said following the game that he's been cleared to play after undergoing a surgical procedure a couple of weeks ago for a meniscus injury.

That's good news for some of the guys fighting for a roster spot. If Warren hadn't been ready, the Steelers would have been forced to carry Bryce Davis for a week or two until he was ready.

@ The Steelers lined up early with fullback Will Johnson at tailback and let him carry the ball. That tells me the team will keep just four running backs - Le'Veon Bell, LeGarrette Blount, Dri Archer and Johnson.

Johnson, by the way, gained six yards on his lone carry.

@ If the young quarterbacks and the reporter who asked Shazier the flippant question didn't have the worst days Thursday, perhaps it was the clock operator, who was called out by the game officials in the second quarter.

"Would the clock operator please pay attention and start the clock on the signal?" asked referee Tony Corrente.

Hey, who could blame the guy for napping through this one?


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