Welcome to the pivotal week 3 of the preseason. This is the game in which the starters will play more, and the overall atmosphere resembles a regular season game more than any other. If you only watch one preseason game, make it the third one. That being said, I sure hope the Steelers have worked on some things this week.
Tomlin on Preseason Game 3
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin spoke about the things the team is working on correcting before the start of the regular season. When asked if he thought the team took a step forward from the first preseason game to the second he said,
"“In some areas, but I’ve always been one to believe you can always find what you’re looking for. There were some areas where we got better, and there were areas where we didn’t. The bottom line is we need to take significant step tonight against the Kansas City Chiefs. We’re running out of time in terms of preparation for the regular season, and some of the sloppiness that has dogged us through the first two preseason games – being highly penalized, turning the ball over – have to disappear and disappear quickly.”"
The third preseason game is typically the only game in the preseason where game planning goes on. That means that the team actually goes into regular season mode and formulates their game plan based on the tendencies of the team their playing against and the things they want to accomplish offensively and defensively. The fact that they don’t do this for the previous preseason games is, in my opinion, no excuse for how poorly the offensive line has played, the turnovers that have occurred, and the sloppy penalties the team has committed. Here’s hoping that they have been whipped into shape.
Injuries force Steelers hand into trade for Eagles RB Felix Jones
With first round pick running back Le’Veon Bell on the shelf nursing a foot injury for an undetermined amount of time, as well as free agent pick up LaRod Stephens-Howling rehabbing a mild MCL sprain, the Steelers were forced to make a roster move on Friday when they picked up RB Felix Jones from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for OLB Adrian Robinson. Jones was a first round pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 2008, ironically a spot ahead of the Steelers in that draft (who picked Rashard Mendenhall). Both Mendy and Jones could be considered first round busts. Neither has performed well enough in their careers thus far to justify their first round pedigree, but here’s hoping the Steelers scouting department knows what they’re doing on this one. Mainly, Jones was brought in to be a body on the roster. Bell and Stephens-Howling are down and Redman and Batch are both nursing stinger injuries.
Steelers starters look to correct mistakes
As Alan Robinson of the Trib points out, the third preseason game is especially helpful for an 0-2 team so far in the preseason. The starters will get extended playing time, about into the 3rd quarter, to tune up the game plan and right some wrongs. Robinson spoke with Ryan Clark about what things the Steelers were looking to correct Saturday night against the Chiefs.
"“I don’t think you can read much into the wins and losses of preseason games. But I think the thing you can focus on is too many penalties. Too much Steelers beating ourselves…I think for us and the way we played, not capitalizing on the other team’s mistakes, continuing to make mistakes ourselves, it’s important that we clean it up.”"
Indeed, Ryan. There’s only one thing left to say. Here we go Steelers! Here we go!