Earlier I posted my initial thoughts on the Pittsburgh Steelers offense in their 24-23 loss Thursday night to the Philadelphia Eagles and below are my initial notes on what I observed defensively that stuck out in the game. I plan on doing more in depth analysis on the young linebackers and cornerbacks next time through the tape and will post more observations later in the week.
Steve McLendon had a great first start. He was very much in control, maintained solid gap responsibility and stayed square for the most part. 3 tackles and 1 sack spoke volumes.
Stevenson Sylvester seemed to react quick but was not in control of his body at times. I believed he missed making 3 plays because of that. He also got caught up not shedding his man well on 2 plays that I noted.
LaMarr Woodley looked healthy for the limited amount of time he was in the game.
Chris Carter is speedy off the edge and even drew a holding call. I would still like to see him push more consistently though when bull rushing.
Brandon Johnson played well at left outside linebacker. He had one good open field tackle and defensed another pass in addition with good recognition. His pressure led to the interception by Al Woods. Although Johnson forced a hurried throw, give Woods credit for disposing of his blocker and getting in position to make the interception. That stuck out on the replay. Woods and Corbin Bryant did flip sides at times and both seem to have a grasp of assignments. Bryant was not as noticeable as Woods however.
The speed of Sean Spence is obvious sideline to sideline. He too got caught up not being able to shed his blocker a few times. Overall it was a good first showing I thought inside.
Cortez Allen had a strong game in coverage and is good at staying under control in the open field. He is physical and long. He had 1 nice pass defensed that I noted.
Curtis Brown started off good but gave up two big plays in the second half. The first one of 70 yards looked like multiple blown assignments in the secondary after the quarterback broke containment. The second one Brown had good coverage, but never got his head around to find the ball. Both of course were touchdowns.
Will Allen had an inexcusable personal foul penalty and one tackle.
Alameda Ta\'amu had penetration on what I think was his first snap, and played just OK after that. I want to iso on him more next time through the tape.
The safety play overall was lackluster with the reserves. Myron Rolle missed a few open field tackles. I noted Robert Golden as getting downfield well on special teams.
Adrian Robinson really was a star late and abused the left side of the Eagles line several times. I noted his nice spin move, speed and constant motor. It was noticeable though at the end how gassed he was, but conditioning will come. He remains the top prospect of the undrafted players and looks to be a keeper at the very least on the practice squad.
Both Marshall McFadden and Walter McFadden made plays while in the game later on and tackled well.
Josh Victorian missed an interception late.
Andre Freeman, like Rolle, missed a few tackles.