Rust. That's all I'll chalk up last night's Pittsburgh Steelers' 16-7 loss to the Washington Redskins to.
Yes, all teams have been hampered by not having off-season workouts, rookie camps, mini-camps, OTAs, etc, but the Steelers also opted not to leave in their starters beyond the first quarter, if they even played them at all (e.g. Troy Polamalu).
Mike Wallace was overthrown. Tim Hightower slipped tackles and shrugged off missile-style hits like it's his job (oh...wait...). No sacks recorded on Washington quarterbacks. Special teams coverage was horrid, even when the punts were good.
Hopefully, for the black and gold faithful, preseason game number one is not a portent of the season that lies ahead, or it will be a long one, indeed.
It's still way too early, and there have only been a couple of weeks of training camp, but red flags are already all over the place. Pittsburgh still has a few weeks left to improve on everything, but this era of Steeler teams has a tendency to have a significant setback after a Super Bowl appearance.
With James Harrison distractions, Hines Ward D-U-Is, and a list of other factors, this is head coach Mike Tomlin's season to prove he can take control of this team and whip them into shape, much like he did during his first training camp as coach.
In today's show:
- Only a couple of bright spots in Steelers preseason opener.
- Who's your preferred line-up for the Pirate stretch run?
- Standout Pitt player may transfer.