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Sorry for being tardy with this update but since the [intlink id=”19″ type=”category”]Pittsburgh Steelers [/intlink]mauling of the Dream Team aka Philadelphia Eagles was nationally broadcast last night, I figured it better to do a more news-specific update than a recap of the game. Speaking of Twitter, twittering during preseason games makes them much more tolerable (and if you’re not following my twitter, well, my legs aren’t as nice as Kym’s but I know a lot more about football). Especially when you’re forced to listen to the unholy combination of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. Adding the greatest Steeler QB of all-time, Terry Bradshaw, to the mix did help a little if only because it’s amusing how discombobulated TB makes Aikman.
Oh and that horrifying NFL on Fox commercial featuring all the announcers in their underwear? Had to be Joe Buck’s idea.
Anyway, let’s talk about the game. Hines Ward busted out some sweet dance moves after scoring his first touchdown of the preseason. Big Ben and the offense were clicking on all cylinders in a dominating first half. This after a team already shaky along the offensive line, lost not one but TWO left tackles on the first series. What is it with left tackles? It’s like the football version of Final Destination where the Spectre of Injury is methodically hunting down each and every person who dares play that position for the Black and Gold.
The good news is [intlink id=”85″ type=”category”]Jonathan Scott [/intlink]and Marcus Gilbert only suffered hyper-extended knees. Mike Tomlin expects both to be good to go by week one. It is interesting that rookie Gilbert is evidently the anointed back-up at LT. Not exactly a position you want to throw a noob in to. I can’t believe Flozell Adam would rather sit on his couch than play for the Steelers.
Speaking of back-ups, Dennis Dixon redeemed himself for last week’s debacle. The way the announce team was talking him up, you’d think he was the second coming of Kevin Kolb. They did raise a point that I have been thinking about lately. Big Ben and Large Byron are set as the team’s 1-2. I don’t think they’d keep four QBs on the roster which leaves[intlink id=”99″ type=”category”] Charlie Batch[/intlink] or Dennis Dixon as your emergency back-up. I really don’t think the Steelers could get anything more than a late round draft pick for Dix. Batch is the steadier of the two but DD has a higher ceiling and is only at the beginning of his career whereas Batch is nearing the end.
A couple training camp battles heated up last night. [intlink id=”81″ type=”category”]Antonio Brown[/intlink] was seen as the de facto number three receiver with Emmanuel Sanders injured. [intlink id=”81″ type=”category”]Jerricho Cotchery[/intlink] made a good accounting of himself in his first outing as a Steeler. What an embarrassment of riches this team has in the passing game. If Sanders ever gets healthy, they are literally five deep at the position with a tight end (Heath Miller) who can also catch the ball.
The Steelers intercepted four passes last night. FOUR. [intlink id=”96″ type=”category”]Kennan Lewis[/intlink], starting in place of injured [intlink id=”101″ type=”category”]Ike Taylor,[/intlink] made his first play in three years, picking off an errant throw by Vick. He’s got Taylor’s size, good to know he doesn’t have Taylor’s hands. Considering Bryant McFadden was the most picked on corner in the league last season and Will.i.am Gay is, well, William Gay, it would be nice if Lewis could make a push for playing time.
Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu also intercepted Vick. Troy went into his usual strategy of “run around like someone set your hair on fire” (which in Troy’s case would be a marketing disaster) after the pick as the collective voices of Steeler Nation screamed “GET DOWN!” Vick made sure of it when he ran clear across the field to throw a cheap shot at Troy. Classy guy.