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The pre-season has been it's typical ho-hum thus far, but, I always like the 3rd pre-season game, as it is a true dress rehearsal, with both teams usually playing their starters for the first half. Of course, it is still just pre-season and you have to temper your expectations, as teams still keep their playbook pretty vanilla. The things I've loved tonight.


1.) The offensive line has actually played very well. Other than a couple of passes, Ben had a very strong pocket to throw from. Don't get me wrong, this is still going to be this team's weakness, but, I like the improvement that I am seeing from this young group. Also, I like the group we have in there tonight. I think Stapleton needs to stay on the bench and be the first back-up. I liked that group tonight.


2.) Roethlisberger looked as sharp as I've seen him. He was throwing some darts into tight coverage. I really think he is continuing to improve, which could be scary. I don't know if he'll ever be a great fantasy QB, but, he is a great "real" QB.


3.) The defense has a chance to be better than last year, which could be scary for opponents. Their linebackers are just sick. Foote was solid, but, Timmons gives them another freak athlete/playmaker. I can't imagine a better linebacking corps in the league. The defensive line is aging, but, under-rated. The big question will be whether William Gay can replace McFadden. He has looked pretty good in the pre-season, but, that is still a question mark. The defense looked awesome tonight.


4.) Limas Sweed looked fantastic tonight, making some great catches in traffic, and did a great job filling in for Santonio Holmes. Sweed's size could pay big dividends. Hines Ward doesn't appear to have lost anything yet. I like this receiving corps.



The only negative I saw in the first half:


1.) Rashard Mendenhall shows his skill when there is room to run. When he has a hole, you can see the speed and power he possesses. However, the guy just hasn't figured out how to handle things when there isn't a gap for him to run to. He needs to learn to just take 1 or 2 yards, if that is all that is there. When he doesn't see a hole, he dances around and ends up losing yards. The potential is there, and he actually had a decent half, but, the Steelers aren't going to transition to him until he learns to grind out the tough yards. Also, he needs to learn to hold onto the ball.



I know it is only pre-season, but, I liked what I saw tonight. They still aren't my pick to repeat from the AFC, but, I'm confident that they will be in the mix again, after what I saw tonight. I don't see an 8-8 Super Bowl follow-up like we saw 3 years ago.

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You forgot the ridiculous... :D LET'S GO STEELERS, LET'S GO!!!!


It's :D "HERE WE GO STEELERS, HERE WE GO !!!!!".........and it works. :wacko:

Edited by Menudo
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I appreciate the insight, Menudo. I was unable to watch the game here other than a couple NFL network flashes in which I saw a pass to Ward that was perfect. I think we'll be fighting with Baltimore for the division again this year, but I wouldn't exactly count out the Bengals yet. I'm sure OchoidiotO will change my mind.

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