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Old 08-31-2006, 11:15 PM   #1
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Default Steelers' preseason gone without a win

Steelers' preseason gone without a win
Steelers sign off on preseason without getting a victory as Carolina wins, 15-13, on last-play field goal

Friday, September 01, 2006

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Many starters did not play, and the action on the field reflected it. There was no Ben Roethlisberger, Willie Parker, Heath Miller nor Cedrick Wilson for the Steelers' offense. The first-teamers who did take the field played only one series. The Steelers' entire starting defense did not play at all.

They did keep score, however, in the fourth and mercifully last exhibition game. Carolina won, 15-13, on Jon Kasay's 29-yard field goal, his fifth of the game, as time expired.

Cedric Humes' 4-yard run for the game's only touchdown had given the Steelers the lead with 3:41 left.

Thus, the Steelers experienced only their second winless preseason in 41 years (their 1987 team went 0-4). They kick off the entire NFL regular season when they open defense of their Super Bowl championship Thursday night against the Miami Dolphins in what should be a much different atmosphere at Heinz Field.

Last night was not exactly a tuneup for the season opener, not for either team, which set back the game 19 years to 1987 when strike teams competed in the NFL. Better football will take place tonight when the high schools kick off their season. Steelers fans, sensing a stinker early, stayed away as plenty of empty yellow seats stuck out.

To show how seriously coach Bill Cowher did not take the game last night, he sent in his fourth quarterback with 10:33 left in the first half. Omar Jacobs replaced Shane Boyd, who replaced Charlie Batch. The comedic topper came when, with 2:30 left, Ricardo Colclough returned a punt, had only the Carolina punter to beat for a touchdown, slipped and fell down, got up without being touched and spiked the ball ala Plaxico Burress. The officials, with a straight face, ruled Colclough threw an illegal forward pass.

Veteran halfback Duce Staley, their starter two years ago and now seemingly fighting for a roster spot, got plenty of work last night. He ran 19 times for 46 yards and looked better -- while running behind backup offensive linemen -- than he has all summer.

Jacobs played nearly three quarters and looked good doing so, perhaps even enough to win the No. 3 job, although that might still land him only on the practice team. His 46-yard pass to Walter Young preceded Humes' short touchdown run. Jacobs completed 13 of 18 for 179 yards and a 103.7 passer rating.

The Steelers' touchdown came after Kasay kicked four field goals for Carolina and Jeff Reed two for the Steelers.

Reed made sure the game would not end in a scoreless tie when he kicked a 40-yard field goal late in the first quarter.

The Steelers' offense, or whatever it was that was out there at the time, "moved" 12 yards on seven plays to put Reed in position for his kick. It came after Colclough recovered his second Stefan LeFors fumble of the first quarter to go along with a sack. Colclough gave the Steelers a shot at taking an earlier lead when he recovered an errant sideways pass ruled a lateral when receiver Karl Hankton could not handle the toss from LeFors.

Colclough recovered and scampered 24 yards with the ball to the Carolina 7, where the Steelers offense set up shop. But, on second down, Batch underthrew rookie Santonio Holmes on the right side of the end zone, and it was intercepted by cornerback Richard Marshall.

"Santonio ran a good route, but I pushed it too far inside and it needed to be way outside for him to make the play," Batch said.

The game deteriorated quickly. On one Carolina punt early in the second quarter, Panthers' rookie Jovon Bouknight was penalized 10 yards for grabbing and pulling the Steelers' Sean Morey down. With the Panthers punting again after the penalty from the 10, Bouknight pulled Morey down again and again was caught by the officials. For good measure, the Panthers also were penalized on the play for ineligible receiver downfield.

Thus, the Steelers took over at Carolina's 39 and, with Staley doing most of the running, made it to the nine but no farther. Reed came on and kicked a 27-yard field goal this time for a 6-0 lead.

Kasay struck from 54 yards for Carolina 1:48 before the half, the longest field goal kicked in Heinz Field, although it won't go in the books. He tied the game, 6-6, when he kicked a 40-yard field goal with nine minutes left in the third quarter.

John Kuhn, trying to pull an upset and knock Staley out of a job, did not help himself when he lost a fumble after an 18-yard pass reception in the third quarter.

The Panthers turned that miscue into their first lead, 9-6, when Kasay knocked home No. 3, this one from 38 yards with 3:09 left in the third quarter. The vaudeville routine continued. Carolina's Nate Salley was penalized 44 yards for pass interference against Willie Reid. That gave the Steelers a first down at the Panthers' 22. On their first play, Jacobs completed a short pass to rookie tight end Charles Davis. He ran to the 12 and fumbled when hit. Carolina safety Jermaine Hardy picked up the ball and ran 56 yards to the Steelers' 34.

Naturally, the Panthers could not score a touchdown, and Kasay kicked his fourth field goal, from 35 yards.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06244/718233-66.stm
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Old 09-01-2006, 12:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers' preseason gone without a win

I'll start worrying when we start losing in the regular season.
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Old 09-01-2006, 03:00 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers' preseason gone without a win

There better be a different story a week from now.
Should the Steelers come out looking slow, sluggish and out of whack against the Dolphins the speculation will begin about a weak training camp and the lousy preseason that followed.
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Old 09-01-2006, 06:57 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers' preseason gone without a win

That game was the biggest joke in the world. I'm glad colcough slammed delhomme. That is a win.That roughing the passer bs wont happen in the regular season.
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Old 09-01-2006, 09:23 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers' preseason gone without a win

No wins doesn't really bother me - now. It was more of the individual performances that concerned me. Some guys stood out, some stunk up the joint, and others were status quo. The stinkers make it easy to trim the roster. The stand out guys make it difficult. The status quo most likely already have the job.
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Old 09-01-2006, 09:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers' preseason gone without a win

I was at the game and I really wasn't shocked or disappointed with the outcome. It was the last preseason game and I didn't have high expectations going in, as I knew most of the starters weren't going to play. The only bright side here is that the Steelers scrubs didn't allow the Panthers scrubs to get into the end zone and they had to rely on Kasay's foot to win the game. Cowher, Wiz and Lebeau will have our guys ready to do battle next Thursday, I don't doubt that for a minute.
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Old 09-01-2006, 09:59 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers' preseason gone without a win

I don't care that we had a winless preseason...preseason games win-loss records are meaningless.The preseason games are nothing but a chance to get used to game speed and build some game speed rapport with your team.It's a time to figure out who will get cut and who will make a roster spot.There is no gameplan when going into a preseaon game...the starters rarley play more than a half in any game...many less than a half...some less than a quarter (Big Ben).

Many teams that have gone undefeated in the preseason have had horrible seasons...and many teams that win just none or one game in the preseason have gone on to have very good to great seasons.

Our backups and scrubs played the game against basicly the Panthers backups and scrubs.Jake Dellhome played in the game and couldn't move the team against our backup defenive players...and he's thier star starting QB.

I'll start worrying when we are losing games in the regular season,and I don't think we're gonna lose many.
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Old 09-01-2006, 10:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers' preseason gone without a win

Preseason is for going through the motions and the preparing for the upcoming season. It's not to collect "W's"
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