I did not get too deep into observations in my game recap yesterday as I wanted to re-watch the game a few times before commenting deeper. I will keep this format all season long as I do not believe one can give good and accurate observations on just one viewing of a game. With that said, he are some things I observed from the game a few time through it.
You can no longer call Mike Wallace a one trick pony. Team\’s try to focus on taking away the deep ball away on now, only to play off and give up the underneath stuff which he gladly takes. Even when pressed he can get open. The sight adjustment corner endzone touchdown is just another weapon now in his arsenal. That was a great read, fake, throw and catch.
The Isaac Redman growth is complete. He really runs hard on every play and always seems to fall forward. Another great run on Sunday behind some great blocking of Ramon Foster. Foster pretty much took care of three Seahawks players on the play. Overall I think Foster had a strong game, but I have yet to grade him out, but I expect good grades. We shall see.
Jonathan Scott still seemed to have his hands full at times against the Seahawks and while I thought Marcus Gilbert played an overall pretty good game, he is not yet Willie Colon and he liked to have gotten Ben Roethlisberger hurt a few times. The talent is there, he just needs to better execute.
The line seems to be getting blown off the ball in short yardage and goal-line situations. Quite a bit of penetration.
Both Aaron Smith and James Harrison looked much more healthier this week and both seemed to have more strength and burst. It would be good to get Jason Worilds a few more snaps at the end of big wins like that, but I imagine I would not want to be the one to tell Harrison to get off the field. He could use a few plays off however.
That toe tap catch by Hines Ward immediately made me think about his Dancing with the Stars stuff this past offseason. DAMN THEM! Great feet and body control. I give it a 10.
Ike Taylor really is picking up where he left off last year. Great coverage and great pass breakups. I believe he has been thrown at 7 times now in 2 games and has allowed just 1 catch.
William Gay takes a lot of crap, but he played very well yesterday in addition to Taylor. Keenan Lewis played the outside spot like Dick LeBeau expects with Bryant McFadden down. That side will always give up more catches underneath, but as long as the tackling is good and no explosive plays are given up, it usually works.
Speaking of explosive plays, the Steelers had 4 of 20 yards or more and gave up none. There were no turnovers in the game so the Steelers finished with a +4 TOX stat this week and that is so much better than the league worst -9 they put up last week.
Troy Polamalu is healthy and it is obvious. The same old burst is back and he was allowed to spend quite a bit of time in the box yesterday. That has to be hell on a quarterback that knows he can not take deep shots down the field. Polamalu just missed an easy pick 6 and he did miss a tackle or two as well.
Daniel Sepulveda really has got off to a nice start this year. I wonder if the extra elasticity they gave him during this last surgery is the key. Pray he stays healthy.
All 3 running backs caught balls out of the backfield on Sunday and that really keeps the defense honest even if it is just for a handful of yards.
I certainly do not understand why the Seahawks waited so long to go to their hurry-up offense. It would not have made a difference in the game, but they might have been able to move the ball a bit better and at least avoided a shut-out. I expect more teams to try this against the Steelers as the season goes on and am sure the Patriots will.
Steve McLendon is really going to make it tough for the Steelers to ever make him inactive on Sunday going forward. He is following up a great preseason by being disruptive when he is on the field. John Mitchell has done a great job with him.
The guys in the middle had a much better game this week. Outside of a few bad angles, not too much to complain about with the linebacking unit.
Curtis Brown is showing that he can contribute on special teams, but he has to knock off the stupid stuff going forward.
Another low light was the miss by Shaun Suisham. The winds were blowing pretty good by most reports yesterday, but these misses will not be tolerated for long. He is paid to make those.