Steelers 5 ups and downs
September 2nd, 2010 10:45pm | Spanky | Category: Steelers

With the Show otherwise indisposed tonight, everyone is now blessed with my insight on the action of the Steelers final preseason game. As expected, most of the starters saw limited action, but here is what could be gleaned from everyone else.

Being the preseason, I like to think we are looking for positives heading into the regular season, so Iíll start it off with the ups.

5 ups

1. Lawrence Timmons Ė When he is in the game, he is everywhere. He was making plays all over the field in the first quarter. The big difference I have noticed from last year to this year is that he is moving more instinctively. Heís no longer thinking. Instead, he is reacting to what he sees and is flying to the ball. I really have high hopes for him this season.

2. Emmanuel Sanders Ė He just has the feel of the kind of player that we have grown to appreciate in Pittsburgh. Heís not too flashy, but he showed solid hands and ran crisp routes. It looks like he really wants to see the field this season.

3. Overall, the defense looked really solid. Carolina had something near 40 yards of total offense in the first half. There werenít a lot of turnovers, but the front seven played their gaps well and didnít break. Plus, we have LBís coming out of our ears.

4. Both Reed and Sepulveda looked solid as usual tonight. The coverage teams also looked good early. A lot of players were flying around the ball. Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come this season.

5. Iím not entirely sure if this is an up or a down, but I figure it is a good problem to have so Iím going to use it as an up. Unfortunately, the Steelers are going to have to make some terribly difficult cuts this season, because the depth at a few positions is just down right impressive. Most notably, the log jams are at linebacker and wide receiver. Iím a little curious who ends up cut, but regardless of who they are, it will be tough to see them go.

5 downs

1. Well, I donít know if you all have heard this, but we have a quarterback controversy. Everyone seemed pretty sure that Leftwich was going to get the nod in the opening game, but he suffered a knee injury in the second quarter. It seems like we are back to square one. This is certainly a story to keep an eye on this week, so check back in with us and weíll be sure to update you on any new info.

2. Our offensive tackles are sooooooo slllooooooow. Speed rushers are going to be a major concern all season. At least they are solid run blockers.

3. Rashard Mendenhall Ė I feel as if he isnít showing me anything more than Mewelde Moore. He doesnít look dangerous enough to break the big one, and he has pretty poor hands out of the backfield. My gut tells me that weíll see a lot of substituting in the backfield this year.

4. A bit of a slow start to the game on both sides. The offense was mostly embarrassing on their 3 and out to start the game, and the defense didnít wake up until the Panthers threatened to reach field goal range. After Kasay hit the crossbar though, the team settled in and played well.

5. Not really a down since itís the preseason, but it is still a little concerning to me that I didnít see Polamalu a whole lot even when he was on the field. He needs to be the impact player he was a couple years ago if the Steelers are going to have success this season.

All things considered, I feel good about the team going into the regular season except for that whole we donít have a quarterback thing. If Roethlisbergerís suspension is reduced to 4 (or 3!) games and the Steelers can salvage a 2-2 start, then I think the playoffs could still be in the realm of possibility for the team this season.