The Steelers should look at this preseason as a success. When the first units were on the field, the Steelers were the better team in three out of four games, losing only to the Jets. The same could not be said in previous seasons.
Everyone was ready to cut Hank Poteat in favor of LaVar Glover before this training camp began. Poteat has proven that, at the very least, he belongs in the NFL with a team-high three interceptions this preseason. All Glover proved was that he belonged in Cincinnati University or with the Bengals, you decide which is worse.
Todd Peterson knocked his third kickoff of the preseason out of bounds against the Vikings. Yet, when I asked head coach Bill Cowher about it after the game, I got a look worse than the one he gave Peterson. Memo to Todd, if you miss a kick or knock a kickoff out of bounds when the games start to count, don't run past the coach.
Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala looked as sharp as he has in a while, gaining 36 yards on six carries. But Fu got his bell rung so hard by cornerback Corey Chavous in the second quarter that he was looking for his snowboarding friends.
Chavous got the worst of the collision, but that run just goes to show why Fu isn't an every-down back. Instead of avoiding the collision by making a cut or just taking it outside and scoring the TD, Fu took the blow. At the very least, he should have put the 205-pound Chavous on his back in the end zone.
Jerome Bettis would have put Chavous on his back in the end zone.
Bettis also had 36 yards on six carries but wasn't as effective overall as Fu. At the same time, Bettis' 27-yard run in the first quarter was definitely a step in the right direction.
Cowher said he expects to start cutting Friday and continue with cuts into the weekend. Why the wait?
He wants to see how some injuries hash out at certain positions. Fu suffered a stinger, Chris Hoke injured his ribs, Antwaan Randle El was taken for X-rays on his hand (negative), and Matt Cushing also hurt his hand. Amazingly enough, Cowher acted as if he knew nothing about Randle El's injury when asked about it after the game.
Oliver Ross played better at right guard against the Vikings, but still
isn't a long-term answer there. Kendall Simmons needs to get well soon.