Worthless Exhibitions: So I was thinking at halftime how worthless reading into anything in the preseason is ... as the Steelers were up 27-3, the Eagles were losing at home 17-0 to the helpless Jags, and the Bills were leading the supposedly dynamic Bears, 17-7. Within an hour and a half, I had realized not only does the preseason not matter in this league, neither apparently do performances within the regular season ... within the same game. This league is so far gone from predictable pre-free agency/innovative offenses era.
Why Visitors Should Defer: I was watching this game with an old Steelers fan buddy and a new Steelers fan buddy at the new guy's house. And I mentioned at halftime how there are two things I can't stand about Heinz Field: 1. The open end letting out the noise, and 2. The poor design at the entrances and exits and how the fans can't get back to their seats when they head to the restrooms at halftime. I mentioned how if I was the opponent, I'd defer to the second half every chance I had. So I'm not so sure the Browns go wild in the third quarter if there wasn't what seemed like a few hundred people watching the game.
There's A Pipeline: A football novice could watch that game and easily identity which side of the ball fans should be excited about and which side leaves a lot of reasons for concern. I think coverage against tight ends will improve once Ryan Shazier has a better idea of what he's doing ( I hope).
The Browns seemed to get all of their yards in the air with their tights ends, and against Ike Taylor.
Need A Real Plugger: Cam Thomas and Steve McLendon are not the answers for anything. The hybrid experiment needs to end. Someone needs to point out to Mike Tomlin that even the Seattle Seahawks with their 4-3 defense have a 6'1" 320-lb. tackle in the underrated Brandon Mebane. The 6'4" guys will never draw double teams.
Big Rook: Fans will probably start clamoring for Daniel McCullers. But does anyone expect him to be remotely successful when teams run the hurry up? Big man is going to get TIRED ... leverage guys draw double teams. Post-Week One mock draft, second round: Dan Shelton DT Washington ... and give me CB Trae Waynes in Round 1 while I'm at it.
Zero Turnovers again Sunday. I think people are starting to catch on that the the lack of turnovers are mainly due to the soft cover 3 "tackle the catch" defense ... Well that and Ike's hands ... yikes
Run Wide: Thomas and McLendon are just bodies out there, and I'm starting to become concerned about Jason Worilds' and Jarvis Jones' inability to set the edge. More so Worilds, as the Steelers seemed to get gashed most often on his side.
The Good: I thought Cortez Allen played well. I also thought he made that interception. It looked like he put his hand between the ball and the turf. Smart not to review it though. It would've been inconclusive. And that timeout became extremely important.
My new Steelers friend is one of those Will Gay haters. When I tried to tell him Gay has played really well the last couple of years, he wanted no part of it. It was then that I decided to point out every time Gay made a play, which was several times over the course of the game. Some of us love what you do, Will.
Man, do I love what I see out of this offense. They had a great balance throughout the day of run and pass. So many well-designed pass plays to the backs and plays in which Dri Archer was a decoy. Archer's presence was felt, even though he didn't put up numbers to show it. Hopefully he won't be out too long with the injury because his presence makes that offense extremely dynamic and unpredictable. His lack of size might be a reason we're frustrated with him being in the training room more often then on the field.
Lance Moore, not sure you get your job back. I really liked what I saw out of Justin Brown. Size and good hands (despite the drop in which he was late to the tuck)... but what I like most is his interior presence in the run game. His blocking is big for their spread run game.
And , other than the lethargic third quarter, I thought the offensive line was impressive, especially the interior three.
New Triplets: This offense has three super stars -- Ben, AB, and Le'Veon Bell. Man, were they impressive. I'm struggling to think of a team with a better combo of No. 1 QB, No. 1 WR, and No. 1 RB ... Unless Montee Ball becomes a stud in Denver, I don't think there is a better one.