By Christopher DiMarino
With the absolute truck load of news and stories happening around Pittsburgh Steelers camp right now, it\’s hard to even think about the preseason games. I wanted to write a quick piece about the next competitor and what they might stoke out of the Steelers in this next preseason game. For an in depth Steelers centric perspective, please reference the many articles Dave has put up leading into the game Sunday night against the Indianapolis Colts.
Who: Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers
What: Week 2 Preseason Game
Where: Heinz Field
When: 8:00 EST Sunday August 19th, 2012
Indianapolis Colts Notes:
- The Colts have had few a issues with injuries. Pat Angerer, who led the Colts in tackles last season is out for 6 weeks.
- Austin Collie is ready to take the torch from the departed Pierre Garcon and start at wide receiver opposite Reggie Wayne. While Collie was normally a slot receiver, the two young tight ends might force him to run outside routes much more often this season.
- Indianapolis will have a unique looking offense this season. The base offense has two pass receiving tight ends and Wayne will be moved around to create mismatches. While these changes can lead to prolonged success, they are likely an effort to compensate for a rookie quarterback and weak offensive line.
- All eyes will be on quarterback Andrew Luck. After an impressive game one performance against the St. Louis Rams, Luck now faces a tougher test. He has shown poise in the pocket, mobility when required and touch on his deep passes. The Steelers will look to get pressure on him and use stout a run defense to force him into 3rd down and longs early and often.
- Many speculate how much success Luck will this season have and how it might compare to Peyton Manning. Manning was asked to take risks as a rookie and threw 28 interceptions. Luck will also be asked to take chances, and the downside of having a complex offense is that it may lead to an excess of turnovers early in Lucks\’ career.
- Chuck Pagano has made it clear that Donald Brown is the #1 running back. It\’s not an exclusive role as he will share reps with Delone Carter, Mewelde Moore and rookie Vic Ballard. Brown will receive the most carries and will likely be the 3rd down back, but Ballard and Carter should split the goal line reps.
Pittsburgh Steelers Notes:
- The biggest attraction for most diehard Steelers fans in the Colts organization is the coaching staff. After an “interesting” departure from the Steelers this past offseason, Bruce Arians will look to make an impact leading the offense of the Colts. It will be interesting to see if the familiarity of Arians and Dick LeBeau shows in this game.
- The other familiar face is Moore. While he\’s not a superstar, he is competing to make the Colts roster and will likely test the Steelers defense in the 4th quarter.
- The Colts are known for their edge rushing. After a rocky game against the Eagles, it will be interesting to see how the Steelers unit rebounds against the likes of Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney. Ramon Foster makes his debut at tackle opposite Marcus Gilbert and they will have their hands full.
- Pittsburgh is looking to reinstall a dominant rushing attack in 2012. However, because of multiple injuries, Baron Batch will get the lion\’s share of reps. He had a team high 19 rushing attempts against the Eagles and will look to increase his success between the tackles. With Pat Angerer out, he will have a good chance against the 3rd worst rush defense in the NFL last season.
- Curtis Brown will be looking to have a rebound game on the outside. Speedsters like Donnie Avery and T.Y. Hilton will give him a good battle and it will be interesting to see if he steps up.
- Pittsburgh will get a nice look at the two young speedy tight ends the Colts feature. With so many teams in the NFL using athletic tight ends as part of their passing attack, the Steelers will have a good test trying to stop rookies Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen.
- The Colts rank at the bottom of the NFL In almost every offensive line ranking. For youngsters Chris Carter and Adrian Robinson there will be plenty of opportunities to shine.
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