´ Steel Curtain Rising: Redman, Brown, Dixon Shine as Steelers Defeat Lions in Preseason

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Redman, Brown, Dixon Shine as Steelers Defeat Lions in Preseason

A year ago when Isaac Redman grabbed headlines for his ability to score in the Redzone during the Steelers first preseason game Steelers Nation’s response was a collective “Who?”

The question was short lived as Isaac Redman Steelers fans quickly dubbed him “RedZone Redman.” The fact that Redman failed to make the 53 man roster did nothing to slow his cult hero status.

The coaches have been talking up Redman in the off season, and Redman delivered in the Steelers 27 to 7 victory over the Detroit Lions. Redman ripped off a 31 yard gain where he broke several tackles, gained 13 yards on a screen, and scored on the goal line from a yard out.

Running Game in Focus

The Steelers coaches signaled their commitment to the running game last night, calling 16 running plays to 11 pass plays during the first half.

Whether the team’s personnel has the ability to back that quantity with quality remains an open question. Rashard Mendenhall’s five carries netted all of two yards, including a failed scoring attempt at the goal line. More worrisome, Mendenhall lost a fumble.

Mewelde Moore carried once for 3 yards, but coughed up the ball, although the fumble was overturned. And Jonathan Dwyer carried six times for 8 yards.

Brown, Dixon to Force Tough Decisions?

Antonio Brown made a strong case for himself, scoring on a beautiful 68 yard pass and catching two other balls to bring his total to 84 yards on the night. Brown also gained six yards rushing.

Emmanuel Sanders, who has also looked good in camp, caught one ball for 5 yards in contrast. As a third round pick Sanders is a lock to make the team. When the Steelers selected Brown in the sixth round many assumed he was a slated for the practice squad. It is unlikely the Steelers will be able to move him there now.

The night’s other star was Dennis Dixon, who relieved Bryon Leftwich and played until late in the 4th quarter. Dixon was outstanding, going six for seven in passing, and rushing for 31 yards.

Dixon’s smart play already has started a quarterback controversy in both the press in within Steelers Nation.

Bob Smizik suggested that Dixon should get a look at as the starter. Ed Bouchette opined that Tomlin should not commit to a single starter in Roethlisberger’s absence, suggesting (first in PG Plus and then two days later in the regular Post-Gazette) that Tomlin rotate both men based on situation.

The Tribune-Review’s John Harris, never one above stoking up the fire, went as far as to argue that the Steelers are intentionally denying Dixon time with the first team for fear of creating genuine quarterback controversy upon Tomlin’s return.

What Do You Think

To no great surprise, the Steelers-Lions preseason game was not broadcast down here in Buenos Aires, so I cannot offer my own analysis.

Based on reports of the game, the real culprit appears to be the offensive line, which left Leftwich running for his life. The protection wasn’t much better for Dixon, but Dixon is more mobile which of course does nothing to weaken the case the Dixon get a look as starter….

This is where readers like you come in.

You’ve seen the game, let us know what you think.
  • Did Leftwich really look so bad?
  • Did Dixon look better or was he just going up against Detroit’s second string? Was the offensive line really that bad?
  • Did any second stringers show they merited a shot at starting up front?

    And what of the defense? We’ve heard very little about their performance Saturday night, did anyone standout?

Please take a moment to leave a comment, and share you thoughts.

2 comments:

Tim said...

I didn't get to watch most of the game, but I watched Adams' plays (posted on postgameheros) and he looked really bad in pass blocking and good in run blocking. Any time the end wanted to blitz, adams could do nothing to stop him because he was too slow. You can see Arians began to notice and the rest of the plays there was always a TE or RB there to chip's adams player. I hope this changes in up coming games.

I think the next few preseason games will really help to tell between Dixon & Leftwich. Although he may have outperformed Leftwich this past game, i'm not sure i'd prefer him back there needing a score as the 2 minute drill is run. a lot of preseason is left though.

KT said...

Thanks Tim. The news about Adams is not encouraging, but I agree, let's give it another couple of games.

I also remember people saying he would be a better pass blocker than run blocker, but I could be in err.