Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Steelers-Redskins Postscript: "We Need To Get Better In A Hurry."

"We Need To Get Better In A Hurry."

That's what coach Tomlin said after the Steelers second loss in the preseason. And that's not an understatement. In fact, OT Mike Adams added, "I would say we've done a good job of messing it up on our own."

It's been no secret that the Steelers O line has been conspicuous by its absence in the last several seasons.  The offensive line allowed Roethlisberger to be sacked 198 times in the last 71 regular season games. The team's offensive line performance last night did not allay any of the anxiety we've all endured during those previous seasons. If I were in Ben's shoes, I'd be opening up a can of whoop ass on these guys today.

How bad was the performance? This bad: eight turnovers, starters failing to reach the end zone and three turnovers. This was the performance from the likes of number one picks in DeCastro and Pouncey including veterans like Foster and Mike Adams. Not good.

Then there's the problem with back-up quarterbacks. At first glance (during this pre-season),  if the Steelers lose Roethlisberger like they did last year, the depth in quarterbacks is lacking. Landry Jones completed only 9 of 22 passes he threw and Gradkowski was 5 of 9. It's clear Roethlisberger needs to be in the best shape of his career if this O line fails to protect him yet again. Add to this scenario, the Steelers appear to be running out of backs. Bell, Johnson and Batch all sustained injuries. Redman was already on the sidelines with a stinger sustained in practice. The Steelers need those guys on the field not in the trainer's room.

Defense doesn't get off the hook either. They gave up 146 yards in the game. In fact, not having to face RG III, they even had some trouble stopping third string Washington QB Rex Grossman. He completed 10 or 16 passes for 133 yards including a touchdown.

If there was any up-side to last night's game, it was in rushing even with poor pass protection.

The fact is the performance of the offensive line needs a lot of work. "It's poor execution," reiterated Tomlin. And that's not an understatement.

Steelers.com, Yardbarker, Fox Sports