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Old 08-13-2012, 07:53 PM   #41
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Default Re: Winners and Losers of game 1?

1. Mike Adams is not ready for primetime. Adams got the start at LT with Max Starks still on the PUP list while recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in the playoff loss to Denver. To say things didn’t go well for Adams would be very, very generous. In 9 passing plays with Adams in the game, he allowed 2.5 sacks, then left with a minor knee injury. Adams only expected to miss a week or two, but he can’t afford to miss the reps at this stage if he hopes to get meaningful playing time in 2012. Trai Essex didn’t fare much better, although that’s far from unexpected, and Marcus Gilbert also struggled on the other side. The Steelers figure to have a very good interior offensive line in 2012, but the tackle position remains far from solid, something that will be closely watched the remaining 3 preseason games.

2. No bubble screens! While the offense was obviously vanilla, it had a very different look under Todd Haley than it had under Bruce Arians. The Steelers threw no WR screens, had few (if any) empty sets, and most passing plays were of the short and intermediate variety. The Steelers opened the game with a 9:00 minute drive, looking comfortable and in command of the “new” offense. The Steelers’ offense under Arians frequently appeared disjointed and messy, with little rhythm and consistency, but under Haley it appeared fluid and purposeful. It’s difficult to read much into one preseason game, but the Haley offense can be described as “so far, so good.

3. Chris Rainey is going to be an impact player. Rainey, the Steelers 5th round pick out of the Florida, was on the field early and often, and his 53-yard TD run was the highlight of the game. Rainey is something that the other Steelers RB’s are not, namely elusive, fast, and dynamic in the open field, and with Rashard Mendenhall certain to miss at least the first 6 games while recovering from his torn ACL, Rainey should get a lot of time spelling Isaac Redman and being used in the passing game. Jonathan Dwyer was also impressive in his limited action, appearing slimmer and faster than he had in his first two seasons with the Steelers.

4. Curtis Brown did himself no favors. With the departure of Willie Gay to Pittsburgh West Arizona, the Steelers have an opening at corner opposite Ike Taylor. Keenan Lewis and Cortez Allen are the favorites for the position, but last year’s 3rd round pick out of Texas also figured to be in the mix. If he was, he probably isn’t anymore. Brown was burned for two long TD’s in the second half and was decisively outplayed by both Allen and Lewis. The Steelers will need Brown in 2012, but he’s quickly playing himself into being the 4th CB.

5. Steve McLendon is ready to be a starter. With Casey Hampton also out for at least the first six weeks while recovering from a torn ACL, Steve McLendon got the start at NT. McLendon was disruptive and effective, getting a sack and making 2 or 3 other tackles. Perhaps even more importantly, McLendon was effective at the point of attack, holding up well against double teams and engaging blockers to free up the Steelers LB’s to make plays. I was somewhat surprised when the Steelers held onto Hampton this offseason, and if McLendon and rookie Alameda Ta’amu continue to impress, 2012 will be Big Snack’s last season in Pittsburgh

6. Brandon Johnson and Chris Carter impressed at OLB. The Steelers have been grooming Jason Worilds to be the eventual replacement for James Harrison at ROLB, but his play on the field has never lived up to his 2nd round draft choice status. With Worilds sidelined on Thursday with an injury, Chris Carter looked dynamic rushing the passer off of the edge, getting into the backfield regularly. Offseason free agent signing Brandon Johnson was also effective, with a pressure that forced an interception and effective pass coverage. With Worilds entering his 3rd season, it’s beyond time for him to live up to his potential. If he doesn’t, however, the Steelers still have good depth at the position with Johnson and Carter.

7. Can Will Johnson be the FB? The Steelers had shifted David Johnson from TE to FB in camp, as Haley actually uses a FB at times in his offense unlike Bruce Arians. David, however, had his season come to an end in the first quarter with a torn ACL and MCL when Marcus Gilbert fell into him at the end of a play. Enter Will Johnson, who was out of football in 2011 after graduating from WVU that spring. Johnson is the only FB on the roster and looked solid in his play on Thursday. The FB job is his to lose at this point, and his performance will dictate whether the organization looks to bring in another body to play the position.
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:00 PM   #42
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Default Re: Winners and Losers of game 1?

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Foote didn't suck.
How did this conversation get to be about Rex Ryan. Oops, sorry that would be sucking foot. Never mind.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:03 PM   #43
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Default Re: Winners and Losers of game 1?

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1. Mike Adams is not ready for primetime. Adams got the start at LT with Max Starks still on the PUP list while recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in the playoff loss to Denver. To say things didn’t go well for Adams would be very, very generous. In 9 passing plays with Adams in the game, he allowed 2.5 sacks, then left with a minor knee injury. Adams only expected to miss a week or two, but he can’t afford to miss the reps at this stage if he hopes to get meaningful playing time in 2012. Trai Essex didn’t fare much better, although that’s far from unexpected, and Marcus Gilbert also struggled on the other side. The Steelers figure to have a very good interior offensive line in 2012, but the tackle position remains far from solid, something that will be closely watched the remaining 3 preseason games.
I watched all the offensive plays in slow-motion, repeatedly, so as to know what every lineman did on each play. It was eye-opening. I came away with a somewhat different take, so I'm still very optimistic about Adams.

It appeared to me that Gilbert was beaten just as badly as Adams, and just as often. Those beats caused great disruption (and the Johnson injury), but they didn't turn out to be sacks because Ben had visibility and escape possibilities. I noted that Gilbert tended to give up early after being beaten, but Adams kept working. Adams showed superior athleticism. I've got to believe that Gilbert was just taking it easy, for whatever reason. Also, Gilbert had the advantage of being next to DeCastro, who greatly outperformed Foster. One of the sacks attributed to Adams was clearly Foster's error.

Essex was at the very bottom; he was beaten on almost every play. Although I've never been happy with Essex, I had no idea that he could be this bad. I was astonished by what I saw after watching his entire body of work in slow-mo.

I ranked the starting five this way: Pouncey, DeCastro, Adams, Foster, Gilbert. DeCastro played a very solid game; he's already way above Foster's level. I ranked Adams above Foster because Adams made a few mistakes on the edge rush, but Foster simply appeared to be outclassed. Having Gilbert at the bottom was a surprise, based on his steady improvement from last year. So I attribute that to a lack of serious effort vs. a lack of talent, although that's not comforting.
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:12 PM   #44
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Default Re: Winners and Losers of game 1?

I also just rewatched the entire game, rewinding to watch just about every man on just about every play, and it turned up some interesting observations.

1. First of all, it's pretty clear that this game was not played at regular season speed. The game would have been pretty different if everybody was giving full effort.

2. A lot of the plays that didn't work offensively were definitely physical errors, and not scheme issues. I am thinking in particular about the two redzone possessions. I originally assumed that DeCastro contributed to the lack of push, but he actually did well here. The weaknesses were mostly failures to catch up to one's own assignments.On the first play of the second possession, for example, Saunders and Essex, on opposite sides, both fail to lock up their men and they converge on the tackle. On the second play, Foster pulls, but fails to engage his assignment, and he makes the tackle. On the first play (the one to Rainey), Legursky allows the lineman to shoot the gap, although Foster could have offered more help as the line ran left. Cotchery also missed a block that, if the other block was made, could have prevented what would otherwise have been a touchdown.

3. Will Johnson really did have a good game. I honestly didn't see him make a mistake. On one play, John Clay did not follow Johnson's block and instead ended up with 1 yard or something, but the right side was open. He never even looked right, so I'm not sure if that was his assignment or he simply lacked vision on that play.

4. On the other hand, Clay impressed in pass protection and on a block downfield.

Leonard Pope was very solid in his blocking assignments. I'd expected much worse based on what Dave Bryan had written about his blocking credentials being overblown, but I came away from this viewing confident in his abilities.

5. In addition, and this was one of the two biggest surprises for me, David Paulson was also very solid in his blocking assignments. He was rarely asked to do anything overly demanding, but I didn't see him make any errors. On only one play did his man escape after a second, but he had no chance to make the play anyway. Granted, he was blocking against inferior competition, but this was a strong first showing for him, for which I'm slightly relieved.

6. The other major surprise was that Chris Scott, outside of one sack that he allowed on which he should have gotten help from Kyle Jolly, had a pretty damn good game. He was probably their best lineman of the second half. They even had him pull left multiple times when he played right guard and he was hitting his man. Again, a strong first showing for him. Perhaps if Trai Essex continues to struggle, he could sneak on to the 53 man roster. He will need to face stiffer competition and continue to do well for that to be up for debate though. But for what he was asked to do on Thursday, he met just about every challenge.

7. This is more kind of funny than anything, but on the play that Trai Essex allowed a sack of Byron Leftwich, David DeCastro tried to help out, but he actually made it worse and possibly was responsible for the sack. Essex had interior leverage while Brandon Graham was attempting to work on the outside, and when DeCastro came over to help, he just helped push Graham out to the edge, allowing him to get the leverage to separate and get to the quarterback. This is probably the worst thing that DeCastro did all night though. I came away just more impressed with him.

8. Maurkice Pouncey is just about ready for the regular season already.

9. Marcus Gilbert attempted an exorbitant number of cut blocks. I don't know if they were asking him to do this or if he was using it as an out when he thought he was already beat, but it's not working.

10. This is not the Ramon Foster from the regular season. As I previously mentioned, Foster really struggled in the preseason last year too, but played much better in the games that mattered, and even gradually became more skilled when asked to pull. He failed to pull successfully even once in this game, however, despite getting multiple shots at it.

11. Stevenson Sylvester had a mixed bag of a game. After rewatching every one of his snaps, I have no problem with anything that he did from an assignment perspective, and was always on his man when asked to cover. He just made some physical errors, however, missing a couple of tackles and, worst of all, leaving his feet on the breakout 70+ yard touchdown. That was the difference between a throw away and a deep pass downfield.

12. Speaking of that long touchdown pass, after rewatching the replay several times, I'm a little more forgiving of Brown.The receiver attempted actually a triple move, where he cut inside, then outside, then back inside, and on the third cut, he actually caught Brown's foot, and that's why Brown fell. If you get your feet tangled up in the receiver, there's really not much you can do.

13. Brandon Johnson is really making a strong case for his inclusion on the roster. He played well inside in the 3rd quarter, but not many plays went his way. The main thing that I took away from his play inside was that he was very conscious of his responsibilities within the scheme, despite not being the one to make the play. Outside, however, he obviously did very well, especially in pass defense.

14. Chris Carter is showing a willingness to fully acclimate to his responsibilities at an outside linebacker, including setting the edge in the running game and covering receivers. He was held multiple times as well due to his pass rush, although only one was called.

15. Cortez Allen did not actually have a perfect game. There was one play on a deep reception in which he covered the wrong man in zone. He seemed to know it after the play as well. He also blitzed a couple of times as well to no avail.

16. I like Sean Spence's performance in this game even more after watching it again. He looks like he's not thinking as much as you'd expect a rookie to. He had a real nice smack in the run game in the third quarter I believe as well.

17. Alameda Ta'amu did not receive a lot of double teams, especially on his early snaps, and his effort was not always 100%, but I thought that he got some good pressure often even though he didn't make any plays. Several time he drove his man 5-7 yards off the line of scrimmage. He even shot a gap once, which I found interesting.

18. Although he allowed the last 4th down conversion at the end of the game, and did miss one open field tackle (that didn't really hurt anything), I thought Terrence Frederick had a pretty good game. He's got some good coverage skills.

19. Myron Rolle is pretty mediocre in terms of getting in position to make a play. I believe he may also have been responsible for assisting Curtis Brown on the second touchdown that he allowed, but it's impossible to know without knowing the scheme. He started a linebacker depth and then dropped, and then just didn't seem to know where he should be.

20. Adrian Robinson did get some good pressure. That's really just about all you can say about his performance though. He didn't play as much as I thought he did. Brandon Hicks also had an okay game.

21. Al Woods was the best defensive end for the Steelers on the night, even taking into consideration the level of competition, He didn't get a lot of pressure, but he was always in his gap.

22. On the one notable big run for the Eagles in the second half, Corbin Bryant and Mortty Ivy attempted to run a cross, but ended up taking each other out of the play. However, Damon Cromartie-Smith missed a tackle that would have kept it to a short gain, and then Rolle missed another tackle further downfield. Curtis Brown was also getting mugged by Marvin McNutt down the left sideline; a penalty could have easily been called.

23. Although Kelvin Beachum got off to a terrible start, he settled down at the end and had a pretty good 4th quarter as the left guard. John Malecki had some good plays and some bad plays.

24. Marshall McFadden and Robert Golden both had good days.

25. Being a long snapper is terrifying.
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:40 PM   #45
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Default Re: Winners and Losers of game 1?

Winners: everyone that stayed healthy.

Losers: everyone that got hurt.
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:38 AM   #46
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Default Re: Winners and Losers of game 1?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodens Grav View Post
I also just rewatched the entire game, rewinding to watch just about every man on just about every play, and it turned up some interesting observations.

1. First of all, it's pretty clear that this game was not played at regular season speed. The game would have been pretty different if everybody was giving full effort.

2. A lot of the plays that didn't work offensively were definitely physical errors, and not scheme issues. I am thinking in particular about the two redzone possessions. I originally assumed that DeCastro contributed to the lack of push, but he actually did well here. The weaknesses were mostly failures to catch up to one's own assignments.On the first play of the second possession, for example, Saunders and Essex, on opposite sides, both fail to lock up their men and they converge on the tackle. On the second play, Foster pulls, but fails to engage his assignment, and he makes the tackle. On the first play (the one to Rainey), Legursky allows the lineman to shoot the gap, although Foster could have offered more help as the line ran left. Cotchery also missed a block that, if the other block was made, could have prevented what would otherwise have been a touchdown.

3. Will Johnson really did have a good game. I honestly didn't see him make a mistake. On one play, John Clay did not follow Johnson's block and instead ended up with 1 yard or something, but the right side was open. He never even looked right, so I'm not sure if that was his assignment or he simply lacked vision on that play.

4. On the other hand, Clay impressed in pass protection and on a block downfield.

Leonard Pope was very solid in his blocking assignments. I'd expected much worse based on what Dave Bryan had written about his blocking credentials being overblown, but I came away from this viewing confident in his abilities.

5. In addition, and this was one of the two biggest surprises for me, David Paulson was also very solid in his blocking assignments. He was rarely asked to do anything overly demanding, but I didn't see him make any errors. On only one play did his man escape after a second, but he had no chance to make the play anyway. Granted, he was blocking against inferior competition, but this was a strong first showing for him, for which I'm slightly relieved.

6. The other major surprise was that Chris Scott, outside of one sack that he allowed on which he should have gotten help from Kyle Jolly, had a pretty damn good game. He was probably their best lineman of the second half. They even had him pull left multiple times when he played right guard and he was hitting his man. Again, a strong first showing for him. Perhaps if Trai Essex continues to struggle, he could sneak on to the 53 man roster. He will need to face stiffer competition and continue to do well for that to be up for debate though. But for what he was asked to do on Thursday, he met just about every challenge.

7. This is more kind of funny than anything, but on the play that Trai Essex allowed a sack of Byron Leftwich, David DeCastro tried to help out, but he actually made it worse and possibly was responsible for the sack. Essex had interior leverage while Brandon Graham was attempting to work on the outside, and when DeCastro came over to help, he just helped push Graham out to the edge, allowing him to get the leverage to separate and get to the quarterback. This is probably the worst thing that DeCastro did all night though. I came away just more impressed with him.

8. Maurkice Pouncey is just about ready for the regular season already.

9. Marcus Gilbert attempted an exorbitant number of cut blocks. I don't know if they were asking him to do this or if he was using it as an out when he thought he was already beat, but it's not working.

10. This is not the Ramon Foster from the regular season. As I previously mentioned, Foster really struggled in the preseason last year too, but played much better in the games that mattered, and even gradually became more skilled when asked to pull. He failed to pull successfully even once in this game, however, despite getting multiple shots at it.

11. Stevenson Sylvester had a mixed bag of a game. After rewatching every one of his snaps, I have no problem with anything that he did from an assignment perspective, and was always on his man when asked to cover. He just made some physical errors, however, missing a couple of tackles and, worst of all, leaving his feet on the breakout 70+ yard touchdown. That was the difference between a throw away and a deep pass downfield.

12. Speaking of that long touchdown pass, after rewatching the replay several times, I'm a little more forgiving of Brown.The receiver attempted actually a triple move, where he cut inside, then outside, then back inside, and on the third cut, he actually caught Brown's foot, and that's why Brown fell. If you get your feet tangled up in the receiver, there's really not much you can do.

13. Brandon Johnson is really making a strong case for his inclusion on the roster. He played well inside in the 3rd quarter, but not many plays went his way. The main thing that I took away from his play inside was that he was very conscious of his responsibilities within the scheme, despite not being the one to make the play. Outside, however, he obviously did very well, especially in pass defense.

14. Chris Carter is showing a willingness to fully acclimate to his responsibilities at an outside linebacker, including setting the edge in the running game and covering receivers. He was held multiple times as well due to his pass rush, although only one was called.

15. Cortez Allen did not actually have a perfect game. There was one play on a deep reception in which he covered the wrong man in zone. He seemed to know it after the play as well. He also blitzed a couple of times as well to no avail.

16. I like Sean Spence's performance in this game even more after watching it again. He looks like he's not thinking as much as you'd expect a rookie to. He had a real nice smack in the run game in the third quarter I believe as well.

17. Alameda Ta'amu did not receive a lot of double teams, especially on his early snaps, and his effort was not always 100%, but I thought that he got some good pressure often even though he didn't make any plays. Several time he drove his man 5-7 yards off the line of scrimmage. He even shot a gap once, which I found interesting.

18. Although he allowed the last 4th down conversion at the end of the game, and did miss one open field tackle (that didn't really hurt anything), I thought Terrence Frederick had a pretty good game. He's got some good coverage skills.

19. Myron Rolle is pretty mediocre in terms of getting in position to make a play. I believe he may also have been responsible for assisting Curtis Brown on the second touchdown that he allowed, but it's impossible to know without knowing the scheme. He started a linebacker depth and then dropped, and then just didn't seem to know where he should be.

20. Adrian Robinson did get some good pressure. That's really just about all you can say about his performance though. He didn't play as much as I thought he did. Brandon Hicks also had an okay game.

21. Al Woods was the best defensive end for the Steelers on the night, even taking into consideration the level of competition, He didn't get a lot of pressure, but he was always in his gap.

22. On the one notable big run for the Eagles in the second half, Corbin Bryant and Mortty Ivy attempted to run a cross, but ended up taking each other out of the play. However, Damon Cromartie-Smith missed a tackle that would have kept it to a short gain, and then Rolle missed another tackle further downfield. Curtis Brown was also getting mugged by Marvin McNutt down the left sideline; a penalty could have easily been called.

23. Although Kelvin Beachum got off to a terrible start, he settled down at the end and had a pretty good 4th quarter as the left guard. John Malecki had some good plays and some bad plays.

24. Marshall McFadden and Robert Golden both had good days.

25. Being a long snapper is terrifying.
really good read. i like how you were honest about how each player played. alot of fans try to leave out the negatives about some players
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:11 AM   #47
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Default Re: Winners and Losers of game 1?


A big shout out to all of you who recapped and analyzed the game in detail.
I didn't see or hear the game but due to all of your diligence and hard work I feel like I did and have a realistic vision of how everybody performed.
Thank You!
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Old 08-14-2012, 01:08 PM   #48
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Default Re: Winners and Losers of game 1?

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25. Being a long snapper is terrifying.
No way!! Its the slackest job in the NFL next to being the #3 QB. Greg Warren makes $825,000 to snap a football. I am jealous of him.
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:11 PM   #49
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Default Re: Winners and Losers of game 1?

Yeah, but you play bent over with your head down and bodies shuffling all around you, just hoping nobody kicks your leg in half. They showed a view of the first Suisham field goal that really illustrated this. In hindsight, I'm not surprised Warren's gotten injured a few times. Not saying his doesn't make a nice living for like 5 plays a game, but still.

Anyway, I should add that I meant Walter McFadden (CB, Bryant McFadden's brother), not Marshall McFadden (linebacker, unrelated).

Also, in hindsight, Ramon Foster and Marcus Gilbert didn't play all that terribly, especially on that first drive. And to be fair to Foster, I was wrong, he did pull successfully twice, although he's still not particularly...gallant.

I'd also like to reiterate again that Stevenson Sylvester, from an assignment standpoint, actually did have a great game, keeping in mind that everything in this game was vanilla. His problem was a couple of physical errors. He missed a handful of tackles, maybe three or four. However, he also made some good, solid plays too, including a tackle for a loss. What was particularly impressive was that he seemed to have a real nose for the gaps in getting through the line and into the backfield. He continues to play with his pad level too high, however, which I suspect is a factor in some of his missed opportunities.
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:14 PM   #50
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Default Re: Winners and Losers of game 1?

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Yeah, but you play bent over with your head down and bodies shuffling all around you, just hoping nobody kicks your leg in half. They showed a view of the first Suisham field goal that really illustrated this. In hindsight, I'm not surprised Warren's gotten injured a few times. Not saying his doesn't make a nice living for like 5 plays a game, but still.
I understand your point...
...but, David Binn played five snaps per game, for sixteen years, earning nearly $16 million... and, he dated Pamela Anderson.  

I'd take that "risk" for those assets.  
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