The Sports Porch
Aug. 14, 2022

The Steelers Preseason - Game 1 Reflections

The Steelers Preseason - Game 1 Reflections

It’s only preseason so chill out. It’s impossible to know if we can learn anything from mostly non-NFL players challenging each other in a meaningless game. Since I love speculation, of course I’m going to make that attempt anyway.

1.  Steelers Fans Love Pickett

The total number of fans who not only stayed for the second half but were radically cheering in a meaningless pre-season game is unprecedented in my lifetime. Steeler Nation talk about Pickett will continue at every Sunday dinner conversation, including the fair-weather fans, who will all want to talk about Kenny. While I agree it’s exciting, I’m concerned the love affair with Kenny Pickett will bring the boo birds back for  starting QB Mitch Trubisky.

2.  It's Canada’s Offense

It’s clear that Matt Canada has the personnel to run the offense the way he wants to run it. There were more pass action plays in the first half than all last year. There was movement on nearly every play before the snap. In every full possession in the first half except one, the first play was pass-action. This offense is clearly pass-first to open the run and that’s good for the Steelers. One complaint, the Red Zone offense got a FG with first and goal at the 7.

3.  Pittsburgh's Defense is Not Elite

Only 1 splash play on Seattle’s last offensive play of the game by James Robinson (a former RB) isn’t what I consider an elite defense. I know the entire front line didn’t play and Miles Jack only played 5 downs, but Devin Bush was no where near tackles and the LB core was burnt like Lionel Ritchie in the pass (all night long). I guess I’ll wait for Watt to make an appearance.

4.  QB Battle -  Same as it Ever Was

Mitch Trubisky is the starting QB. He performed well enough to be taken out after only 2 drives including a 90-yard drive for a TD. That’s all you need to know. Mason Rudolph is the same guy we’ve always known. He can make great passes (TD to Pickens) and poorly forces the ball into tight spots (almost INT). He’s an okay back-up. Kenny Pickett showed us why he was a #1 draft pick. He managed the game well and made the plays he was given including a late winning TD drive. I’m skeptical that he can do that versus real NFL players. He’s not a bust.

5.  Ju Ju Who?

With Dionte Johnson and Chase Claypool taking a breather, George Pickens showed us his great hands and excellent footwork. He is the front runner for that WR3 maybe even push Chase for that WR2 spot. Gunner Olszewski showed excellent speed and Yards After the Catch. Miles Boykin and Steven Simms also looked good enough to make the team and Calvin Austin hasn’t even played a down.

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