Thoughts From The Pressbox ...

Dale Lolley on Suisham, Landry, Dupree, Archer and more from the Steelers' 14-3 loss in the Hall of Fame Game.

Everyone in the tiny locker room seemed to be really interested in was Landry Jones and Bud Dupree.

But I was more interested in the news Mike Tomlin had just dropped on us on the field at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium following the Steelers' 14-3 loss dropped kind of nonchalantly. Placekicker Shaun Suisham might have suffered a significant injury to his left knee.

Considering Suisham was seventh in the NFL in points last season with 132, was 29 of 32 on his field goal attempts and doesn't have any competition in training camp, that's kind of a big deal.

“Oh wow, that would definitely be a blow,” said fullback Will Johnson, one of the Steelers’ key special teams players. “He’s a big part of our offense. We go around him. He’s automatic. If it is (a lengthy injury), that’s definitely a huge blow to us.”

No kidding. The Steelers will likely find out the bad - or good - news on Monday following tests.

But Greg Warren, who has suffered some serious injuries himself, didn't mince words.

“I hope it’s not (season-ending),” said Warren. “I’m not even going to think about the worst-case scenario until I hear it.

“It’s scary, because this is what you do. You work so hard to get ready for this. To have that taken away would be tough.”

We'll see. And at this point, there's not a lot out there in terms of proven kickers. Jay Feely and Mike Nugent would be the top guys.

Neither is as good as Suisham.

“He has the respect of all of the players and he works at it, too,” said Johnson. “It shows in games. Once you get into the red zone and you don’t turn the ball over, it’s almost an automatic three points with Suisham. I hope it’s not anything serious.”

* Now, let's talk about Jones and Dupree.

I thought Jones got worse as the game wore on Sunday. And that's not all his fault.

The third-team offensive line was, in a word, terrible. The game situation dictated that the Vikings would pin their ears back and get after the quarterback, but Jones was getting pressured on pretty much every pass he threw in the second half.

When he had time to throw in the first half, he was pretty accurate.

He still needs to work on his game management - he took the blame for a couple of delay of game penalties, rightly or wrongly - but he's still making progress.

As for Dupree, I saw from him a lot of what I saw of him on his college tape - an athletic guy who has trouble getting off blocks and finding the football.

Joey Porter has his work cut out for him.

* Jesse James, what was that?

You have looked so good in training camp - too good to go out and have that kind of game.

* The running back situation is looking a little thin as well. Cameron Stingily also went out with what Tomlin deemed a potentially serious injury when he was run over by about seven Vikings.

But Dri Archer looked good, much better than he's looked at any time in his young career. And though Jawon Chisholm only had 14 yards on seven carries, I like him as well.

* The Steelers ran a 4-3 defense several times in this game, keeping the strong side linebacker at the line of scrimmage, moving the other outside backer off the line behind the defensive end and putting Ryan Shazier in the middle.

I don't recall seeing that wrinkle in practices. Maybe they were just taking a look at it, but we'll have to see if it becomes more of a package.

* Archer's 34-yard kick return in this game was better than any return he had last season.

The muff on a punt return at the end of the half? That wasn't so hot.

* Jordan Berry had a better day kicking the ball than Brad Wing in the punter "battle." That might take a back seat if Suisham is, indeed out, however.

Berry was the punter on the 62-yard return that went to the 1, but that wasn't necessarily his fault. Wing, on the other hand, seemed to be just trying to kick the ball as far as he could. Yes, he had had punts of 62 and 58 yards, but Berry's hang time was much more impressive. And he averaged 46.8 yards per kick.

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