Several Positives From Steelers 2013 Draft Class In Preseason Loss To Redskins

There weren\’t many positives in the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-13 loss to the Washington Redskins in their second preseason game of the year, but at least we did see some good contributions from several members of the 2013 draft class, all of whom played in the game.

Here is a recap of each players performance without going through the game a second time.

Jarvis Jones – Jarvis Jones looked not only stronger this week, but he looked confident as well. He really used his power to take on lead blockers and was fairly consistent at setting the edge against the run. The Steelers first-round draft pick only recorded two total tackles in the game, but he used his quickness to get up field and force a fumble on a pitch out to his side.

Le\’Veon Bell – It was a short night for Bell who left the game for good with a mid-foot sprain after just five plays. Bell carried the ball on the first four plays of the opening possession for just nine yards with a long of four. He hurt his foot while out on a pass route on third down and will have an MRI Tuesday to determine just how serious his injury is. Hopefully it is not a Lisfranc injury.

Marcus Wheaton – Wheaton led all Steelers receivers with three catches for 52 yards on five targets. The highlight for the Steelers third-round draft pick during the night was a 45-yard catch from quarterback Landry Jones with just over two minutes left in the third quarter. On the play, Wheaton blew past Redskins defensive back Chase Minnifield for an easy pitch and catch. Wheaton fair caught two of three punts, but did lose two yards on the one he attempted to return. He also recorded a special teams tackle on a kickoff.

Shamarko Thomas – Thomas saw his first action of the preseason at safety and seemed to always be around the football inside the box. He recorded seven total tackles with one coming on special teams and even forced a fumble when he crushed Redskins running back Chris Thompson early in the fourth quarter. Thomas also added another powerful hit after that one, but he might want to think about getting his head up more instead of leading with his helmet so often as I fear he will have several concussions if he continues hitting that way.

Landry Jones – Landry Jones was far from perfect during the game as he was 9-of-22 passing for 111 yards on the night, but he did have moments when it looked like his light flickered on and the game slowed down a tick for him. His deep pass to Wheaton and touchdown pass to Derek Moye were certainly his two best throws on the night. I consider his play against the Redskins a baby step forward.

Terry Hawthorne – Hawthorne finally saw the field and while he ultimately left the game with cramps, he did recover the fumble forced by Thomas. I haven\’t broken down his play in the secondary or on special teams just yet, but at least he found his way onto the stat sheet in a positive way.

Justin Brown – Justin Brown, like Hawthorne, didn\’t contribute much, but he did catch one of the three passes thrown his way for five yards. He was also credited for an assisted tackle on the second half kickoff.

Vince Williams – Vince Williams was credited with being in on two fourth quarter tackles.

Nick Williams – Like Hawthorne, Nick Williams finally saw his first action of the preseason and he recorded two total tackles of which one was a sack midway through the fourth quarter.

Jarvis Jones, Wheaton and Thomas were certainly the standout performers in a game that didn\’t have many of them and being as they all figure to contribute during the season, that\’s refreshing to see.

  • Dwayne Ferguson

    I really felt Jones was a bad pick in the draft. Everything I see now tells me I am wrong. Through training camp, and now two preseason games, I have seen absolutely no signs of him being lazy as some reported of his college days.

    I am very happy to be wrong about this.

    I think Wheaton looks like another home run of a wide receiver draft pick by the organization. It is starting to seem that the Steelers pick WRs as good as they do LBs.

    Other than the Offensive line I felt I saw a lot of positive things.
    I just hope and pray all these injuries with Bell are just bad luck and not a sign of things to come.

    One thing is clear- Guy Whimper must go! Long as well. As bad as theOline starters played I have hope they will synch up by the regular season- the back ups were pure garbage.

    They need to hit the wavier wire, and they need to look to free agency to address offensive line depth because most of the backups look like they cannot play in the NFL.

    This was the first preseason game I got to watch the Steelers in this year and I am hopeful for most of our new young guys. Also our defense looks to pick up where they left off last year.

  • bgsteelfan

    Jarvis Jones and Wheaton looked good. Wheaton has the tools to be VERY good. Bell needs to get healthy. Landry Jones made some nice passes, but needs a TON of work on his reads. Thomas was a beast all night. Nick Williams looked good. I didn’t really notice Brown, V. Williams or Hawthorne much. I will say though, with how bad the CBs looked overall, the door is wide open for Hawthorne. I also though Amfelt looked really good.

  • bgsteelfan

    At least the starters on the OL have the talent to get things straightened out. I think it is largely growing pains from the new system. Whimper must go and the other backups weren’t very good either.

  • RedCarpetDefense

    I agree with your Guy Whimper critique but I’m still on the fence with Long. He certainly looks the part physique-wise and he seems strong enough maybe its his footwork that needs improvement as he got beat a couple times coming out of his stance. Shamarko reminds me of Bob Sanders (ex Colt safety). JJ is def turning out to be a good pick as I was happy he slid to us. I’m very curious to see which DL-men the Steelers keep on 53 roster, we got some exciting potential in the young players.

  • Patrick

    Wimper outplayed Pouncey

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Wouldn’t say that at all, yes Pouncey played pretty bad in this game but Whimper played a game where coaches go “okay this make the next 4 cuts much easier”.

  • treeher

    Long has slow feet. That can’t be fixed.

  • treeher

    I know that’s a joke, but the funniest jokes always have a grain of truth. First rounders Pouncey and DeCastro and second rounders Gilbert and Adams better get their collective butts in gear.

  • AndyR34

    I was encouraged by Landry’s performance. Think what he might be like behind a decent O-Line…oh, wait…we don’t have one.

  • cencalsteeler

    The one positive to take after last nights game was the rookie class. They all performed very well.

  • Dan

    Yes, Wheaton certainly gives us reason for optimism. He made a nice adjustment on the long bomb and could have been off to the endzone had Jones hit him in stride.

  • Dan

    A couple really nice moments for Jones. As for Thomas, he is going to be fun to watch this year. I’m seeing some fines from commissioner in his near future, but also some very sore players on the opposite sidelines.

  • bgsteelfan

    He still needs to work on his reads a lot. He makes one read and never looks to the other side of the field.