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Old 08-25-2007, 08:25 AM   #1
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Default Steelers/Eagles Checklist


The 3rd pre-season game is the one where teams tend to give the most reliable picture of what to expect for the upcoming year.

Goes without saying, the actual score isn't that significant.

So what boxes are you looking to tick Sunday night?

The 1st choice O-line should be settled for at least 2 quarters so Colon and Mahan need to show the type of dominance they'll be bringing into the regular season.

I presume Willie P will be only the field for approximately a half, that should really liven up the Steeler running game.

On D, I think pressure on the QB and the LBers ability to cover Westbrook will be key.

I don't think the Eagles WR's should pose too many problems for the Steelers DB's.
They've been great for a while now, three Super Bowls' worth of great. But only this season have the New England Patriots become The Show, the must-see team of stars, pretty boys and reformed bad boys. Suddenly, the Patriots are not simply great; they're compelling, fascinating, appearing to be almighty and a touch lawless.
The Patriots didn't bother with swagger to start this NFL season; they went straight to defiant. Either you're one of them or you're about to get crushed.
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Old 08-25-2007, 09:57 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers/Eagles Checklist

i think the performance of the o line is the #1 thing to watch, and willie p second. i couldn't agree more.

of all the questions right now, the o line is still the biggest concern in my opinion.
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Old 08-25-2007, 10:06 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers/Eagles Checklist

I agree O-line is #1 and would like to see the red zone offense put the ball in the end zone.
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Old 08-25-2007, 10:49 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers/Eagles Checklist

I'd put pressure from the front seven on that list. I was not impressed by what I saw in the first half against Washington.
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Old 08-25-2007, 11:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers/Eagles Checklist

I would love to see Gary Russell get some carries with the first team offense, as a changeup to Parker. We already know what Davenport can do. To me Davenport a good backup to Parker, a poor-man's version if you will, can spell him when he needs a break without having to really change the rhythm. But I'm looking to find out who can be the complement to that, the pounder, and right now I'm hoping to see that Russell is capable of blossoming into that role.

I also want to see some lead blocking by Davis and maybe Kuhn with the first team. . see how Davis can block for Willie against a starting defense. If he can do it, then Kreider becomes expendable.

I of course want to see the first team o-line in action together for a significant period of time. Will they be able to gel? Is Simmons really back? I think Mahan was not the problem in Tampa Bay, but that doesn't mean I think he's a star. . I think he'll do an average to above average job. I'm looking for the interior to not be nearly as bad as people are worried about, but I'm also scared to death about the Tackles, which I'll be paying extra attention to. I'm almost tempted to say, heck on it, Marvel will be a fine right tackle, get your RG from the winner of Simmons/Kemo/Colon, put Capizzi in at LT, screw the technique, he won't be overpowered, give him his assignment and let Faneca take care of the rest.

I would love to see both Timmons and Woodley get a few snaps with the first team defense. Timmons will be getting a lot of work with the second team so I'll be watching him especially. I want to see what he can do in a number of situations.

I'm extremely interested in the battle of Arnold Harrison vs. Rian Wallace. I'll be watching these two. There might be only one roster spot between them, and as much as I've liked Wallace and his potential, A-Har has been everywhere the past couple games.

Townsend probably secured his starting spot but I'm still very interested in seeing McFadden play, what he does, etc. Same thing with Anthony Smith. . Ryan Clark is probably the "safer" player and one has to wonder if Smith might have a better shot at the job if Polamalu was a "safe" player instead.

I want to get a good look at Connor Hughes. Jeff Reed must have been drinking holy water or something; he's actually looked good on kickoffs -- but historically he has not, and I'd want a real good look at Hughes before they decide to let him go. I can't imagine Reed losing the battle, though; even if all other things were equal, Reed has the experience kicking in Heinz Field.

I want to see Ryan McBean. He was a potential second rounder that we got much later, though from what I understand he hasn't been too great but he may still be worth keeping just on the premise that he's younger, and currently no worse than a few of the guys they have. Aaron Smith, Kiesel, then what, McBean, Eason, Nua, and Kirschke competing for two spots. I'd go McBean and see who wins between Kirschke and Eason -- Nua's practice squad eligible. But that's only if McBean shows me something. Hence why I want to see him.

I want to see Colclough and Gay in special teams coverage some more. I've liked Gay so far and Colclough has looked like the light is finally coming on -- but can we afford to part with Iwuoma?

The other thing I want to see is a good chunk of Dallas Baker. He's supposedly been great in camp, but I don't feel like he's gotten a fair shake thus far in the preseason. I want to see what he can do, and if it's good, I want to see if he can press for that final WR spot. I have an idea but the only two WR slots that are *really* etched in stone are Ward and Holmes. . If Ced doesn't keep it up, if Nate keeps dropping, if Reid continues to look unimpressive. . you never know. Those are also things I'm interested in looking for. I think Young is probably safe.

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Old 08-25-2007, 11:21 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers/Eagles Checklist

O line has to do well, the eagles linemen are really good. I think Jevon Kearse is going to eat up Starks a few times, although Colon think will do a better job now that he's starting
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Old 08-25-2007, 12:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers/Eagles Checklist

I would like to see:

1) What Colon is made of.
2) If Washington can be our 3rd reciever.
3) What a "healthy" Timmons can do.
4) If Russell is capable of being our short yardage back
5) If Mahan is strong enough to handle Brodrick Bunkley and agile enough to take on Omar Gaither
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Old 08-25-2007, 12:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers/Eagles Checklist

It all starts up front. Willie Colon vs. Eagles DE's is a good match-up. I'm thinking Colon handles his business as he takes over @ RT. Same w/Mahan don't know a whole lot about the guy and want to see how he handles up against interior linemen of the Eagles. After that in no particular order want to see our offense get in some kind of rhythm. Holmes making plays on Sheppard or Brown. He has got a swagger about him that I like. Holmes is a difference-maker who teams will have to learn to respect this year. Nate or Ced asserting themselves as a dependable 3rd WR option. Maybe Gary Russell getting some carries in the 1st half against the Eagles D. Russell is a keeper and he probably has took Barlow's spot on the roster. Other than that I want to see if Coclough has solidified his spot on the roster or has he become expendable as we go with young players like Gay and Madison. Rookies from this year class, Spaeth and Dalls Baker i'm talking to you, make some plays when their on the field. Timmons and Woodley the future in the Blitzburgh scheme making plays.
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Old 08-25-2007, 01:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers/Eagles Checklist

Definetely the o-line with the running game and protecting Ben. Up to this point we have given up 1 sack per 9 pass attempts, that is absolutely terrible, granted we have not played the starting five together in proper position yet.

I'm not overly concerned with red-zone offense, but I would love to see Russell and Davis perform with the 1st team offense in those situations.

Our defense must get off the field on 3rd downs and it would be nice to see a few sacks of our own.

Our now annual pre-season meeting with the Eagles (past 5 years) should be a good test and should provide Tomlin with some good info.

Key players on the bubble I'll be watching: Russell RB, Davis FB, Washington WR, Young WR, McBean DL, Wallace LB, A. Harrison LB, Colclough DB
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Old 08-25-2007, 01:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers/Eagles Checklist

the o-line spring willie for atleast a 50 yard run. i want to see visual proof that he is still the fastest guy on the field.

i wish lj smith were playing for the eagles. when troy blitzes he is out of the picture with the tight end up the middle. i wanna see tighter coverage on the the TE and 3rd wr (hank baskett). this has always been the softest spot in the 3-4 zone blitz scheme. d. townsend one on one with a A. gates type of TE isnt the answer nor is ryan clark on an a. crumpler. troy and keisel blitzing out of nowhere sounds great unless its picked up. chris cooley proved that last week end.

i need to see washington and wilson get open on every play, even if its not thrown to them. if teams are focussed on taking willie, holmes, hines, and miller out of the game, this should be a break out year for our #3 wr. if either one consistantly gets open and doesnt drop the ball they could be due for a breakout year, and make all the rest of the position players better. washington is playing for dollars and wilson too. brandon stokely was possibly the mvp of mannings td record setting season. theres a reason pats paid more (and longer commitment) for wes welker than stallworth or moss.

finally i want to see a red zone play to matt spaeth for a td, to show the nfl why he was drafted in the 3rd round and to give teams something to think about going into the season. its gonna be tough for our opponents to find a guy as big as spaeth to run on their scout team in practice. chances are he wont be a main focus, so he should see his fair share of opportunities for tds in the red zone.

oh, and ben get the ball out of his hands quickly on a few slants or crossing patterns (preferably to wilson and washington so they can prove they are a legitimate threat).

if these 5 things are naled down for the season we should be top 5 in offense and defense and have a solid shot in the playoffs. if our o-line is on the decline, a more ballanced attack like the 50-50 split shown last week should be an adequate deoderant until we can reload in that department.

(i am assuming and taking for granted we will see ike taylor shut down reggie brown)
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