Well, that was fun! I never would have thought the Steelers would look so polished in their debut, but then again, should I expect anything less? Ben looked great, one incompletion due to Nate Washington dropping the ball. Nate needs to be cut because he has a dropping problem. It was bad last year and he has started right where he left off. The offense looked good and you could see that Ben is making reads under pressure quicker when the pressure is on - finding that receiver that is open and getting the ball there before the pressure swallows him up. The deep pass was a great example of this - on the plays after that he had more pressure and got rid of the ball - but when given a bit of time he lets the play develop and delivers a great pass.
Najeh did nothing for me - he's not a good runner and honestly is not worth a roster spot except that he brings experience. Cedrick Wilson looked great - I have always liked him - but I admit that he's been inconsistent in the past. No TE made a catch - so hard to see how they did. I did watch for Spaeth, but didn't see him. While looking for him I did see #88 (Dekker) and he was horrible. He barely made contact and he was hesitant to push a defender back. He should be cut (and he eventually will be.) Hines Ward made a good block on Will Smith (a DE) on a running play that made me love him more. Hines is always getting in peoples faces and doing what is best for the team.
2nd stringer RBs Carey Davis and Gary Russell did very well. Davis had a great run and a great catch and run on a screen. Russell looked like more of a runner - his legs were always moving after contact and he pushed a lot of defenders around. I hope he sticks around. Davis seemed more like a Bus type - which I think Davenport fills on this team. Walter Young made two great catches, and Santonio Holmes looked awesome as well - great concentration on the short pass from BSP and the TD catch. BSP looked nervous at first, and he was keying on his WR too much. He couldn't check off and get rid of the ball timely. Batch was a joke too - his two sacks were because he can't dump off the ball. Randall has a CANNON, but he's more of a running QB, and his throws were off the mark.
The defense was stellar - especially in the first half. Although they did not get much pressure on the QB as I think we need to help out our secondary. The LBs were fun to watch. Woodley is an animal - I saw him flying around every where - good to see him getting a chance to prove himself. He'll start over Timmons who was sidelined with a groin injury. Foote, Farrior and Haggans all looked the same - steady as they go. Kirschke seemed to be in on a lot of plays.
The secondary was impressive - although I don't give them enough credit. William Gay put 2 or 3 big hits on guys. Anthony Madison was flying around too. Holding Brees to a short completion, shutting down Martin all together was good. Fife had a lot of success, but mainly due to Wallace not taking his man, falling for the fake and then Dudley scoring an easy TD.
Sepulveda the punter will be a fan favorite - I think he was 2 ofr 2 pinning it inside the 20 yard line. The cameraman showed his first punt in the air - the damn ball was knuckling all over the place. I guarantee we get at least 2 or 3 more fumbles on punts because of this. His hang time is sick. Jeff Reed was Jeff Reed - not spectacular - missed a 43 yarder - but he'll be ok.
The Saints looked aweful - which is not good after I predicted them to be close to a SB team. Sean Payton will kick their asses into shape.
Hats off to Mike Tomlin who has this team in mid-season form. I was very impressed - only one mental error by McFadden, but nothing serious. One false start by Essex that hurt, but other than that nothing.
It's going to be a great season - I can feel it.