What can we take from this? Is it too early to panic? Or is this “just preseason?”
- Steel Curtain Rising’s golden rule of preseason is that the preseason is good for evaluating individual players and individual units.
Their next game was in Washington, vs. the Redskins which happened to the first pro football experience of yours truly. The Steelers offense was in total disarray. Warren Williams and Merril Hoge looked good, but Bubby Brister, when not running for his life, was throwing to Louis Lipps on the strong side when Lipps was cutting towards the weak side.
- Those two games began what was an ominous trend that lasted for two seasons, as Joe Walton's offense ultimately drove Chuck Noll into retirement.
- And then there were the injuries.
The Steelers defense put in a stronger showing, with first round Jarvis Jones forcing a fumble, LaMarr Woodley registering a sack, and Lawrence Timmons playing like he was on a tear. Shamarko Thomas also hit everything in sight.
The offense had its moments, with Emmanuel Sanders, Antonio Brown, and David Paulson catching some nice long balls along with rookie Marcus Wheaton.
But none of that will mean anything if the Steelers cannot right the ship on the offensive line – staying healthy would help too.
When Steelers Nation Should to Know to Panic
While what Steelers Nation has seen so far is hardly encouraging, it is too early to panic. The Steelers don’t game plan for preseason. A fair number of play calls are designed towards testing players rather than specific game situations.
- Still getting manhandled is getting manhandled. There's no way to sugar coat it.
Back in 1998 after the Steelers let John Jackson depart San Diego, Bill Cowher tried Jamine Stevens, Paul Wiggins, and Chris Conrad out as replacements. The Steelers had an extra preseason game then, giving Bill Cowher a four full games to see all three men go.
- The coach's most difficult challenge was figuring out which one was worse.
- That worked fairly well until Strzelczyk got hurt.
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