Fourth & Goal:

Mike Prisuta has some thoughts after the Steelers defeated the Lions in the preseason opener.

They got it wrong for starters by not starting Ben Roethlisberger.

Not that the decision to bypass Big Ben in favor of Byron Leftwich on Saturday night in the preseason opener against the Detroit Lions has a chance to reverse the two-thumbs-up karma the Steelers have been enjoying at the quarterback position throughout training camp.

It didn't matter, really, except to Roethlisberger, who wanted to play.

Even though he can get that first-time-back-at-Heinz-Field thing hurdled at a later date, it would've been another bold statement on the Steelers' part as they attempt to re-establish Roethlisberger in the good graces of the team, the league and Steelers faithful.

Roethlisberger took the first snap of 11-on-11 drills at St. Vincent College. When asked why that had been the case, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians responded, "He's our quarterback."

That's a declaration that deserved to be repeated on Saturday night.

* The Steelers made another bad decision when they won the coin toss and elected to receive. They should have kicked off right away just to let everyone know that this year they intend to cover kickoffs.

* It's still pregame of preseason Game No. 1 and already I'm nervous about the decision-making.

* It's two series into preseason game No. 1 and already Larry Foote has appeared on the kickoff return, punt and punt return teams. Welcome back, Larry.

I'm starting to feel better about the special teams.

* Other three-phase guys in the special teams early on included Patrick Bailey, Ryan Mundy, Keyaron Fox and Will Allen.

* Allen, Mundy and Bailey became four-phase guys (punt, punt return, kickoff, kickoff return) after Jeff Reed's 35-yard field goal necessitated the first kickoff of the evening.

* Just in case the TV coverage didn't give you a real clear picture, the first kickoff team lined up as follows (from left to right): Stefan Logan, Anthony Madison, Thaddeus Gibson, Allen, Renauld Williams, Reed, Arnaz Battle, Mundy, Bailey, Joe Burnett and William Gay.

* Renauld Williams? He's a sixth-year linebacker who also got some early work on the kickoff return and punt return teams. He has seven career NFL games on his resume with the Dolphins and 49ers, but none since 2006 in San Francisco. He spent the last three years in Canada. Word on the street is he's on the training camp roster because Mike Tomlin likes him.

Williams was last noticed combining with Stevenson Sylvester to deny Dwayne Wright at the pylon in last Sunday's goal line drill at St. Vincent.

When he appeared at inside linebacker in the second half, Williams was getting the calls from the sideline via the green-dot helmet and running the defensive huddle.

As the little guy in the radio booth used to say, "Hmmm-Ha!"

* A press box observation from an NFL scout on Isaac Redman during the rain delay: "He runs hard but he runs slow; probably isn't any more than a No. 3."

* The fullback looked pretty effective when Doug Legursky led Redman into the end zone from a half-yard away.

* I've seen a lot of pregame ceremonies in 25 seasons of covering the Steelers. None was ever more appreciated or more appropriate than the sight of Dick LeBeau walking to the center of the field for the coin toss with both teams lined up on either side applauding.

* I've almost never saved the program in 25 seasons, but I'm saving the one from Saturday night with LeBeau in his Hall-of-Fame blazer standing next to his Hall-of-Fame bust pictured in living color on the cover.

* More proof that the Steelers get it: The password for wireless internet in the press box on Saturday night was "detroit44."


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