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Old 08-22-2009, 11:42 PM   #1
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Default Post-Washington thoughts

NFL from the sidelines

After hobnobbing around the NFL in the press boxes and sidelines, sports reporter Dale Lolley will let you know the insider scoop
http://nflfromthesidelines.blogspot.com/
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Post-Washington thoughts
There was plenty to like in Saturday's preseason loss to the Washington Redskins and some things that weren't so great for the Steelers.

We'll start with the good.

Return man Stefan Logan may not have done quite enough to make this team with one good outing as much as rookie Joe Burnett did help him.

Logan averaged 12 yards per punt return and nearly 40 yards on four kick returns and both of those numbers are eye openers.

But the Steelers still like rookie speedster Mike Wallace as a kick returner. Burnett, however, has fumbled punts in each of the team's two preseason games.

The trouble with Logan, however, is that he's not going to be able to cover kicks - at least he hasn't yet - and with a veteran team, who do you cut on this team to keep a guy who only returns kicks?

Then again, Logan could be special and sometimes you have to bite the bullet.

Second-year quarterback Dennis Dixon is starting to look like an NFL-caliber quarterback, at least one who can step in and make things happen in a pinch.

His back-to-back 17-yard plays in the second quarter one a pass to Limas Sweed, the other a scramble were big-time plays.

Dixon injured his AC joint in the fourth quarter - the same injury that dogged Ben Roethlisberger last season - but the severity of the injury is not yet known.

Rashard Mendenhall looked much more comfortable running the ball this week than he did last week against Arizona. He hit his holes hard and got positive yardage with each carry.

Willie Parker also looked good.

Now if this team could just get its starting offensive line on the field together, we'll finally get to see if there's an improvement.

After a slow start, the first-team offensive line got its feet under it - even with Doug Legursky at left guard in place of Chris Kemoeatu. Kemoeatu was out with a rib injury that's not serious.

The second-team line also did a pretty good job.

Remember, this was their first road game and that's always a little more difficult.

This team wasn't supposed to have any depth at inside linebacker, but Keyaron Fox and Donovan Woods are thumpers.

Fox made a big stop on third down at the Pittsburgh 2 to keep Washington out of the end zone, while Woods blew up a return man on a kickoff.

They're both solid backups.

Now for the bad:

When you have more penalties than points, it's never a good thing.

That's two weeks in a row that the Steelers were highly penalized, something that hasn't been a problem in recent years.

They have to clean that stuff up.

Burnett was this week's goat after being one of the stars of the first preseason game. In addition to his fumble, which led to one touchdown, he also got beat on a fade for another score.

But those are the things you deal with when rookies play.

The Redskins gouged the Steelers on the ground at times in this one, something that doesn't usually happen, even to the team's third-team defense.

We'll say it was a schematic problem for now - at least until we get a chance to investigate further.
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: Post-Washington thoughts

Logan can return well, but I don't know if he can do anything else to produce for the team like Cribbs in Cleveland or Hester in Chicago. If Logan can only return punts and kicks, but Wallace proves to be good too, then Logan gets cut.

Portis is a better back than any of the ones we faced in Arizona. I saw a lot of backup players playing with the first team defense from what I saw (I was at a BW3 bar & grill). When Tennessee comes and it's all first stringers in on defense, we will see the run stopping that this defense is known for.

Burnett is a rookie, it's gonna happen. Let him make those mistakes in the preseason. He won't start and probably won't even be the nickel corner so I am not that worried. When he does see the field in the regular season, it will be against the other teams fourth receiver at best.
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Old 08-23-2009, 06:19 AM   #3
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Default Re: Post-Washington thoughts

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Originally Posted by steeltreal View Post
Wat about Ratliff? Does he make the team if they keep both rookie corners? Havent seen any Deshea at all
I don't think that Ratliff will make the team. We are pretty much loaded at the corner positon if the rookies pan out like they should.
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: Post-Washington thoughts

just wanted to post that I was impressed with Mike Wallace. I was worried he was just going to be one of those fast guys that aren't too good at playing receiver but Wallace has shown he can be a good receiver. He has the size and speed of course but he is showing that he can run good routes and most importantly he catches the ball. He made a couple nice diving and sliding catches
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: Post-Washington thoughts

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Originally Posted by Steel Head View Post
just wanted to post that I was impressed with Mike Wallace. I was worried he was just going to be one of those fast guys that aren't too good at playing receiver but Wallace has shown he can be a good receiver. He has the size and speed of course but he is showing that he can run good routes and most importantly he catches the ball. He made a couple nice diving and sliding catches
Abso-freakin-lutely. I paid a lot of attention to Wallace the day I was at TC and was impressed with him then and now even more so with the way he has stepped up and played in these first 2 preseason games. He's definitely a keeper.
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Old 08-23-2009, 06:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: Post-Washington thoughts

McDonald was rescued from the Lions and pretty much catches everything thrown at him. Logan is a specialist and will make the team as long as his wheels hold up. Burnett has only himself to blame if he gets cut.
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