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Old 08-29-2009, 11:13 PM   #1
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Default Harris: Steelers flex muscles in victory

Harris: Steelers flex muscles in victory
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_640733.html
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Steelers officially put the rest of the NFL on notice Saturday night.


Sure, it was only a preseason game that will be long forgotten once the regular season begins Sept. 10.

Yeah, and the Steelers weren't trying to show the Buffalo Bills a thing or two at Heinz Field.

Along with the Tennessee Titans.

And the Chicago Bears.

And the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Steelers' first three regular-season opponents will catch an eyeful when they study the tape from last night's first half.

It was 2008 all over again.

When the starters from both teams were on the field, the reigning Super Bowl champions dominated the Bills thoroughly and completely.

In the third preseason game — the only one that's supposed to mean anything because the starters play longer than normal — the Steelers were so efficient it was scary.

The Steelers led, 17-0, at halftime.

They had 12 first downs to Buffalo's three, and amassed 209 total yards to 50 for the Bills. The Steelers ran off 38 plays to Buffalo's 19.

Receiver Terrell Owens didn't play for Buffalo last night because of injury. Lucky for him.

Bills quarterback Trent Edwards was limited to 27 passing yards in the first half. Edwards was sacked once, hurried on several other throws and tossed an interception that inside linebacker James Farrior returned 22 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.

Farrior also had four tackles, one tackle for a loss and a forced fumble — all before intermission. At 34, the Steelers' oldest starter isn't getting older, he's getting better.

As for that Steelers run defense that was giving up more than 100 yards through the first two preseason games? Never been better.

Buffalo rushed for 28 yards in the first half. That isn't very good, until you realize the Bills had only 22 net yards passing in the opening 30 minutes.

The Steelers' defense opened the game with nose tackle Casey Hampton on the sideline and only two defensive linemen — Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel — on the field.

The surprise formation worked. Buffalo passed for a 4-yard gain on first down. A running play gained a yard on second down. On third down, cornerback Deshea Townsend broke up a pass.

That pretty much sums up how the Steelers' defense played all night.

Not to be outdone, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger shredded Buffalo's defense.

In one half of work, Roethlisberger completed 15 of 19 passes for 168 yards. He had a passer rating of 103.5.

Hines Ward had five receptions for 74 yards, and Limas Sweed had four receptions for 34 yards. Heath Miller, Mewelde Moore and Rashard Mendenhall had two catches each.

Mendenhall, starting for the injured Willie Parker (hamstring), carried the ball 16 times for 48 yards in the first half. More than once, he displayed a nice burst to get to the second level of defenders.

Mendenhall, running strong and hard between the tackles, finished off a 13-play drive near the end of the first half with a 4-yard touchdown run for a 17-0 lead.

It was a performance that was more than coach Mike Tomlin could have wished for.

His Steelers showed the rest of the league they remain a force to be reckoned with.

John Harris can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: Harris: Steelers flex muscles in victory

Good read. We did look impressive in every aspect of the game tonight. I can't wait to see what we can do in the regular season.
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Harris: Steelers flex muscles in victory

Oh my, what will the O-line haters say now?
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Harris: Steelers flex muscles in victory

they'll say the OL could/should be better!
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: Harris: Steelers flex muscles in victory

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Oh my, what will the O-line haters say now?
"It was only the Bills."
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: Harris: Steelers flex muscles in victory

while it was great seeing ben make good decisions with the ball, i think he still needs some adjustment to the speed of the game. he threw a bunch of balls behind the receivers instead of leading them. hopefully these next few weeks will fix that.
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:27 AM   #7
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Default Re: Harris: Steelers flex muscles in victory

It WAS only the Bills. They pretty much suck. But I liked what I saw any way. The Steelers looked sharp in the first half.
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Old 08-30-2009, 01:01 AM   #8
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Default Re: Harris: Steelers flex muscles in victory

Last year...there was MUCH justification to rail against hte O line.

However, I have been saying since the first game... This O line looks different. THey are getting things done real well in the pass game. In teh run game, they were average so far... some push at times, not so at others.

I can't WAIT to break down this game. SOunds like there is going to be a LOT of material this time!

And it was done WITHOUT Legursky!!! Imagine that!
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Old 08-30-2009, 01:08 AM   #9
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Default Re: Harris: Steelers flex muscles in victory

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Originally Posted by Preacher View Post
Last year...there was MUCH justification to rail against hte O line.

However, I have been saying since the first game... This O line looks different. THey are getting things done real well in the pass game. In teh run game, they were average so far... some push at times, not so at others.

I can't WAIT to break down this game. SOunds like there is going to be a LOT of material this time!

And it was done WITHOUT Legursky!!! Imagine that!
you ain't done yet ? geesh...the game was over hours ago...
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Old 08-30-2009, 01:15 AM   #10
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Default Re: Harris: Steelers flex muscles in victory

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Originally Posted by MasterOfPuppets View Post
you ain't done yet ? geesh...the game was over hours ago...


Gotta wait for it to be shown on the NFL channel so I can record it!!

Not much you can do with the JustinTV thing!!!!
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