Big Lead Sports Bar


15 Thoughts on Steelers-Broncos

That about sums it up, Potsie.

Thoughts from last night's football abomination in Colorado (brought to you by FOX!)

1. From the game's opening kickoff, a Daniel Sepulveda duck that landed out of bounds, it appeared that the Steelers did not come ready to play. Two personal fouls on a sloppy first drive confirmed that theory, and inconsistent, unfocused and uninspired play the rest of the way really drove it home. It was as bad of a preseason performance as you could've ever hoped for. The only good news is that it happened in the preseason and not spread over 162 regular season games for each of the last 18 years.

2. Worst game of the night? Many candidates are up for the honors, but Keenan Lewis went above and beyond when he shattered glass outside the Steeler locker room, which infuriated a certain Coach Tomlin:

"That's what you call young and dumb right there," Tomlin said to the players that passed him. "Watch your step. No. (23) is playing bad and doing stupid stuff as well."

Add that to two personal fouls and a second-quarter benching, and someone failed to grasp an opportunity to showcase themselves when starting in place of Bryant McFadden.

3. Not to be outdone, Dennis Dixon showed his true colors as a not-ready-for-primetime performer, with two interceptions: one in the end zone killing a scoring drive, the other getting returned for a touchdown. It was bad news for the imaginary quarterback controversy that's fueled local talk shows this summer. Edmund Nelson, the city's biggest Dixon fan, must be beside himself.

4. Byron Leftwich, who did not enter the game until the third quarter, looked like he would've rather been back with the Buccaneers. He was 0-for-4 in relief of Dixon, yet somehow had a higher QB rating. That's not a good sign. Of course, Leftwich was basically hit every time he took a snap behind a shaky offensive line, which also is not a good sign.

5. As for the team's fourth-string QB, Charlie Batch threw a touchdown and a pick six in the fourth quarter, canceling each other out, although the interception should have been credited to Emmanuel Sanders for running the wrong route.

With his 3-for-4 performance against the 2011 Pittsburgh Power secondary, the 35-year-old Batch seems to have convinced Troy Aikman that he played well enough to deserve a place in the Great Steeler QB Derby. On a totally unrelated note, Troy Aikman had a lot of head injuries in his playing days.

6. Ben Roethlisberger, who opened Fox's coverage of the game with a flashback to his mulleted press conference, was 4-of-6 for 67 yards in his unnecessary action on Sunday night, with the big play being a 47-yard pass play to Mike "Santonio Who?" Wallace. Roethlisberger will meet with Roger Goodell this week to discuss the ultimate length of his suspension, and it is expected to get shaved from six games to four. 

A funny dynamic has happened since the initial suspension was announced, though: Steeler fans, many of whom were livid at Roethlisberger's apparent lack of morals, are now more upset at Goodell for his inconsistency in delivering punishment to other players who have gone sideways since Ben (Vince Young, etc.). 

7. Antonio Brown failed to get the memo that you don't field a punt inside your own 10 yard line. So here it is again, Antonio: YOU DON'T FIELD A PUNT INSIDE YOUR OWN 10 YARD LINE.

8. Now, on to a few good points. And there were a few, despite my negativity. For one, Jonathan Dwyer finally showed a pulse, with 89 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. Could it be too little, too late? We shall see.

9. Rashard Mendenhall looked good in his limited action, and I keep saying that as long as he can hang on to the football, he is going to have a yuuuuuge season.

10. As a team, the Steelers ran the ball well statistically, with 175 yards on 30 carries (5.8 per). But can we do better than whatever that was that Dennis Dixon ran on 4th-and-one?

11. Crezdon Butler made a very nice play on a 40-yard interception return, setting up a Dwyer touchdown. Butler seems to be in bubble territory, but as I said last week, I would keep him, especially in light of Mr. Breaky-Glass's performance.

12. Tyler Grisham had one catch, and he reminded me of a combination of Wes Welker, Ed McCaffrey, and Wayne Chrebet while making it. Has anyone called Grisham 'gritty' yet? Or a good route-runner? If not, let me be the first.

13. First cuts come Tuesday, with five guys getting visits from The Turk. Is Justin Hartwig one of them, so he can have a shot to catch on elsewhere? I say no. The NFL is not about doing favors for other teams.

14. A Steeler preseason game is not a Steeler preseason game without Bob Pompeani, Edmund, and Jeff Verszyla roaming the sidelines. Someone had to say it.

15. The next Steeler preseason contest is the annual Carolina game on Thursday, which comes on the very night as the Pitt opener at Utah. It's going to be a big night for local remote controls. 

Mondesi's House: The Director's Cut (more links, commentary, etc):


HomeRunFromBehindTheMeatballs said...

Yeah, just a sloppy, terribly played game all around. (Pouncey & Mike Wallace being about the only bright spots)

4 personal foul penalties in the first quarter? what's going on out there?

2. K. Lewis has done nothing to EARN a spot on the roster & everything to lose his spot... will his 3rd round draft pick status be enough to keep him on the roster? Cut Keenan, keep Crezdon!

3. THAT friends, is why Byron is the right choice over the electrifying DD.

7. All he had to do was avoid stupid plays & he'd win the punt job on 'potential' alone! That being said, his work as a receiver is probably gonna be enough to keep him on the roster & keep him atop the PR depth chart.

8. Dwyer DID look good... against scrubs (See Dixon, Dennis)

10. I honestly think you could count 11 unblocked defenders on that 4th & 1. Awful, awful execution.

11. Gritty Grish does look good, but i can't see how he makes this roster.

I'd also like to add. As someone without a Widescreen TV, Fox cut off or stretched/distorted the television feed for all but, about 3 minutes of the entire broadcast (those minutes when i could see the whole broadcast & it wasn't distorted? you guessed it during a commercial break) WTF? Oh well, at least i didn't have to listen to Siragusa!

Steve said...

Well, I guess Hines might not be Dixon's 2nd biggest fan anymore (If I remember correctly, Chip is the biggest :)). All I can say is if last night was any example of what we're going to see for the 1st few weeks then it's gonna be ugly no matter who the QB is.

The special teams is just as bad as ever, poor tackling and piss poor returns and can't they find someone with a monster leg just to kick off? The kicker for the Broncos was putting them through the uprights and we could barely get it to the 15.

I hope Lewis is part of the first batch of cuts. What an A-hole, they can’t get this tard off the team fast enough.

After watching Hartwig's performance with the 2nd O-line, it's no wonder he's not starting anymore.

For the second game in a row, Troy looked off. He is late getting to the play and weak on the tackle when he does. I hope he finds his game sooner than later because the defense will be what gets this team through the early part of the season. That aside, one would think with a HOF CB legend and defensive coaching master mind like LeBeau running the Steelers defense --even minus Troy -- they'd have a group of cornerbacks to be feared to some degree instead of being cardboard cut-out obstacle dummies for rookie wide receivers and journeyman QB’s. When Gay is your standout player in the secondary something is off.

Brad said...

K.Lewis showed why I dont think he will be a good CB in this league last night. He has no awareness and cant make a tackle to save his soul. I have no clue why the coaches are so high on him other than his size. Loses his cool way to much as well.

Dwyer, everyone is starting to go ga ga over him. Yes be broke a couple of nice runs, but he made a lot of mistakes. Some examples are running the wrong way and wrong play, completely lost on picking up blocks.

BurressWithButterflywings said...


You hit 2 of my grievances squarely on the head. Why were the Yonkos kicking the ball into orbit and we can't get it inside the 10?

And what in the hell is with Troy overrunning every play?

Lewis looked like he was wearing the ice skates Willie Gay sported all of last season.

And those personal foul penalties are inexcusable! I am looking at the all bark, no bite, master of spewing 1,000 words and saying nothing, for that one.

Does this team have ZERO discipline or accountability or does Tomlin imply it when addressing the room, but says it in a cryptic manner that nobody understands him?

Something like: "the key to not making stupid football plays is to make sure that you're being a football player first and your main priority in the game, and as a football player, is playing football like football should be played."

Unknown said...

I agree Burress........ Tomlin should have fistfights with players on the sidelines to increase "accountability." Winning 60% of the games, a Super Bowl, and two divisions in three years is flat unacceptable. Sorry, his words are too big at press conferences. No wonder other fans think we're spoiled brats.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

I'd like to see him unleash some hell.

Rege said...

My vote was to bring in Bulger. Its going to be a rough first 4games.

Unknown said...


They're broadcasting their games in Widescreen now. If you don't have a WS TV, you're going to see the bars. You were actually seeing more of the game, not less. That's what they say at least, I don't know what sports look like in standard def anymore. It looked great in HD.

@The Game
Meh. Preseason is preseason. Steeler Nation is never, ever, happy with the Steelers in the preseason (win or lose).

HomeRunFromBehindTheMeatballs said...

@ Eric - I understand that. However, the '3 minutes' i'm refering too were the only time that i DID see the bars. The rest of the time, most of the scoreboard was cut off of the left side of my screen. Then around the 2nd quarter they fixed the width issue and fit it to my screen. They failed, however, to add the bars to the top and bottom of the screen and instead opted to stretch/distort the image vertically.

I know i'm a caveman for not having an HD TV, but this better not be a problem in the regular season.

bohica said...

That camera view sucked. My girlfriend's tv sucks even more.

AJ said...

I know it is only pre-season but I thought that the Fox broadcast team was in mid-season form when it comes to being insufferable.

Why was an AFC game broadcast on Fox anyway? Isn't that CBS' gig?

bohica said...

AJ...I wondered the same. Why not NBC or CBS?

Keenan Lewis...2 PF's in the first half? Delton Hall would be proud.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

The game must have been bad if we are talking more about the HDTV and the Fox broadcast team than whatever it was that transpired between the chalk lines last night.

getfreshdesigns said...

This is why the pre-season is for coaches and not fans.

Who and the hell cares how they play in the pre-season? Only the coaches. Besides, most teams that hit their stride in the pre-season and early in the season don't do a damn thing past October.

Koz said...

@Get Fresh Designs

But everyone in town fashions themselves as coaches...

Unknown said...


That is odd. Maybe they're just "dialing it in" and used this broadcast to test it out...(might make sense since Fox was broadcasting an all-AFC game).

Was the first I even heard that they were doing this [broadcast in widescreen].

getfreshdesigns said...

@Koz ha, pretty much.

I'm ready for the real games, and not at the expense of the pre-season.

Chip said...

Yeah, I'm Dixon's biggest fan. Hines has to settle for being #2.

Even though watching yesterday's effort from him was like telling a kid there is no Santa Claus. :(

Although, really, it's pretty clear they have zero decent options at QB. People keep going Byron this, Byron that. HE COULDN'T START FOR TAMPA BAY. There is no reason to have any faith in him.

The choice is this: Dixon’s potential for bonehead mistakes vs Leftwich’s potential for taking a 15 yard sack every time he throws. It's going to be a looong first month.