Steelers Get First Preseason Win Of 2014

The Pittsburgh Steelers won their first preseason game of 2014 Saturday night against the Buffalo Bills as kicker Shaun Suisham kicked a 20-yard-field goal as time expired.

Suisham’s game winner was set up by a fumble recovery made by rookie undrafted linebacker Howard Jones following a sack of Bills quarterback Jeff Tuel by outside linebacker Vic So’oto. Jones returned the ball 19 yards to Bills one-yard line and Suisham kicked home the game-winner one play later.

The Steelers win was highlighted by the debut of rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier, who registered nine defensive tackles and two special teams tackles in the game to go along with an interception.

Shazier, the Steelers first-round draft pick out of Ohio State, missed the preseason opener last Saturday night with a bruised knee, but looked no worse for wear against the Bills.

The Steelers first-team offense looked sharp against the Bills as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was 8-of-11 passing for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Antonio Brown caught one of those two touchdown passes on a 76-yard score while second year wide receiver Markus Wheaton caught the other one from 16 yards out on a great throw by Roethlisberger.

Rookie running back Dri Archer registered another explosive play as he took a short pass from backup quarterback Landry Jones down the right side for 40 yards.

It wasn’t a great night for Jones, however, as he was 2-of-5 passing for 53 yards with an interception and a fumble.

The Steelers got out of the game without many injuries. Head coach Mike Tomlin said after the game that guard Bryant Browning did suffer a dislocated shoulder, however.

The Steelers now have a short week following the win as they will next play the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday night on the road.

  • Love the win, but lets not get too hung up on winning in the preseaon. Remember some years back, the Lions went 4-0 in preseaon and followed that up that with a winless regular season. As long as the starters look sharp (which they did tonight) and the young guys make as many good plays as they do mistakes (which they also did), what more can you ask for?

  • Josh Knepshield

    Got Shazier? We do.

  • Alex B

    We haven’t had a preseason win in over a year. It’s still something you should strive for.

  • IndianaSteelerfan

    The first team did not do well running the ball tonight. Under 2 yards a carry is not going to help win many games this year even with a good passing game you become too much a one dimensional offense. Thus allowing other teams especially the better ones to defend against the pass.

  • chris ward

    Nice Win, First team looked good, Shazier had a great debut in the preseason.

  • These games don’t matter. They don’t crown a champion before September. They are for player evaluations, nothing more.

  • Alex B

    We went winless in the preseason last year and started out the season 0-4. Meaningless or not, it’s still a building block. Dropping four games in a row is going to hurt morale, no matter how much or how little the games mean.

  • It had nothing to do with last years preseason and everything to do with the shell shock that followed Pouncey and Foote being lost for the year and Adams not being able to block.

  • Here is why winning in the preseason means nothing. The majority of the guys on the field in the final quarter of the game won’t even make the team. You are asking a lot out of the scrubs, nobodies, and rookies. Maybe a few of them make a play and shine, but the reality is their regular season impact is still very minimal.

  • Steve

    Shazier’s Bo-Bo must be better.

  • Steve

    Who cares? like said it is preseason.

  • Alex B

    I imagine the players and coaches who put effort into winning the games care that they win them.

  • Steve

    The effort is done with player evaluation. 90 players are on the team right now, 53 will make regular season. Am done with this – nite!

  • They don’t game plan or do the weekly prep like they would the regular season. The only week of the preseason they do all that stuff is week 3.

  • Alex B

    so all of these joint practices and scrimmages with the Bills are not worthwhile preparation? You’re taking this stance a little too far, dude. The players and coaches practice and play to win. When they accomplish that goal, it’s a plus. No matter how insignificant it may be in the long run.

  • “so all of these joint practices and scrimmages with the Bills are not worthwhile preparation?”

    They absolutely are. Its a great change from steeler vs. steeler. It provides a scripted scenario for specific situational evaluations, that might not happen in a game otherwise.

    Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the win, as it was the first thing I said. But as long as the starters show well and key sub-packages guys show well, that’s all I care about. I’m not drinking champagne after this win, because after all, it is only preseason.

  • Big White

    The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The Good. Antonio Brown is the best receiver in the game, no disrespect to Megatron. Mauro will not only make the team but will be a starter by week 10. Our depth at Linebacker is as good as it has ever been and that includes the LLoyd/Greene/Kirkland/C Brown era. The Bad. Martavius Bryant may be the next Limas Sweed. I see eyes wide open which should be expected, but unpolished would be generous. Mike Adams is still a bum and the Steelers are one injury away from being the worst offensive line in the league again. The Ugly. Suisam gets a new contract and has missed a field goal and an extra point since. Our punter(s) make opposing coaches salivate. Landry Jones is the poster child for indecision. Gradkowski knows the game but doesn’t have the physical tools to be a pro quarterback. McClendon is still and always has been a tweener DT/NT and just does not fit this type of defense.

  • walter mason

    I think everyone realizes this was a pre-season game. Talk about evaluation, can you imagine the score if Landry played the entire game? Martavius Bryant does not seem to be able to get open and the ball often slips through his hands and he cannot seem to muscle or out jump his opponent for the ball. Not impressed. I sure hope Mauro makes the team. Im still concerned about our OLB depth.

  • Matt Manzo

    Some questions answered?!:

    AB will perform just as well this year.

    Wheaton will be the #2

    None of the RBs on the bubble showed anything.

    OL depth is scary still.

    MBryant needs a lot of work but should be worth it.

    Mauro is the new Arnfelt.

    HoJo belongs on this team

    McCullers is awesome. (I’ll be the first to say I told you so!)

    Golden might solidify the back up S spot.

    And Shazier is the Truth!

    Only ?s still for me are:
    Is Carter making this team?
    And what’s going on with CB after IKE, Allen, and Gay?

  • Mauro won’t start over Heyward and Tuitt who also had a good showing tonight from what I saw. Lets not forget, Mauro who had a great game (congratulations are in order), but It was also late in the game when the Bills had their scrubs on the field too. The question would be; can Mauro have that kinda of performance against the starters? For him and the depth of this team, I hope so.

  • Toddy Bravo

    Shazier went beast mode in his first professional game. Let that sink in.

  • Steve

    Can’t talk to someone who knows it all.

  • Steve

    Preseason, wait for regular season before adulates. Would like to know how Shazier knee is?

  • Aric Brown

    wait for the regular season before congratulating him on a 11 tackle 1 interception 1ST HALF!! Against another teams starters?

  • Big White

    I like Tuitt, particularly getting him at the 40 something pick, but Mauro’s ceiling is way higher. He takes these short choppy steps and has a bounce to his forward progress. As where most DE’s take these long strides and it’s a matter of winning the extension wars with the arms and leverage. Plus Stanford players should be coveted like diamonds.

  • Ryan

    Lol Mauros ceiling is way higher than a 2nd rounder who most expected to go in the 1st? Its preseason against 3rd and 4th teamers……cool your jets

  • Ryan

    At this point over the next 2 weeks id swap Jones and Carter places and see how they perform. Jones has shown more than Carter in my book but not sure if level of competition has been equal.

  • Matt Manzo

    I’d love to see that! I fear that Carter’s speed around the edge still wows the coaches.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I don’t think they will be as impressed with this game. If you’ll recall his near sack, I just reviewed the footage, and he was able to generate pressure because the tight end got in the right tackle’s way.

  • mlc43

    Wow HardPunk and Steve. You guys are getting way too negative about his comment of it being nice to win a preseason game. I will admit that, objectively, the preseason is about evaluation. However, there isn’t a person on the field that doesn’t want to win. Not ONE!! Alex stated that they strive for a win and I’ll guaranDANGtee that everyone one on that team, players and coaches, are striving to win the game, preseason or not. If they aren’t then they don’t belong on this team…maybe they can go join the Cowboys.

  • Bvrsty

    preseason game 2 is about newbies getting it and moving to the next level. it’s what we needed to see, and the results are positive for many, which is encouraging. your points are are valid, but we aren’t the lions. we showed promise on many levels, including bending vs breaking, and punching vs cowering. kudos to the team.

  • Jonas

    Okay, let me be that guy – CORRECTION:

    The field goal of Suisham was 2 plays after the fumble return.

  • Jonas

    The starters had a nice running game last week, not as good this week – although Blount and Bell took what was there! So after 2 games.. keep calm.
    Do you really think having success against our run game gives them advantages in defending the pass? I do not! With LeBackfield and the willingness to pound it north, a successfull run stopping team still has to continue their effort against the run and have to respect our run game. If they give Bell/Blount a small seam or if they give Ben 6 or even 5 in the box (which we WILL be able to use for us in the no-huddle, especially with Bells catching capabilities), there would be no success against the run anymore – at least I’m confident in it and the DefCos really shouldn’t risk it.

    With all these potential threats on our offense [ Bell, Heath, Archer, Brown, Blount, perhaps Wheaton and of course our QB Ben with the ability to make things happen ], Haley really should be able to stretch things up horizontally and vertically and also has a lot of mismatches he can create!

  • Jonas

    Do not want to sound harsh, but let LeBeau decide if he fits his defense – LeBeau sounds pretty excited to have him and says McLendon is running parallel to the evolution of run game. If he changes his mind, we at least can be sure that LeBeau will get a player for the cornerstone postion of his run defense by the front office in the next draft. I’m still optimistic though as it was his FIRST game this year – but okay I’m a bit biased talking about him… I hope Alex or Dave analyse some of the runs to see, whether McLendon could hold his point.
    Nevertheless, in Mitchell and LeBeau we trust. I don’t know where LeBeau plans to head with this defense.. more of a one-gap 3-4 perhaps? If he turns back to CamThomas or so as an NT, I can agree that BigMac doesn’t fit the type of defense CoachDad has in mind for this season!

  • Jonas

    I’d like to see some pass-rush and edge setting analysis of HoJo first.. I think with Garvin as the 5th ILB (a lock for me) the last LB spot is for OLB back up.
    Perhaps, this off-season has playmaker all over it and this spot is still for ST also, but Tomlin might want some OLB value for that spot and as a back-up that begins in being trustworthy against the run.

    P.S.: Weren’t there even some concerns about HoJo missing zone alignments in Kickoff and punt coverage?

  • Jonas

    Agree. Just to see how Jones and So’oto perform against 2nd stringer.

  • joed32

    That 1.9 yards per carry was augmented by Gradowski scrambling, 3 for 17. Blount had 0 for 3 and Bell had 4 for 11. Combined that’s 14 carries for 11 yards and that’s really bad.

  • Jonas

    Yes, it was. I don’t deny it..
    The Bills usually had at least 7 in the box to stop these two guys, so all I’m saying is that their talent alone (the potential threat) keeps those defenders in the box.

  • Toddy Bravo

    Clearly, the preseason games mean nothing relative to the record at the end of the year, but they are far from meaningless. When a rookie has the best preseason performance that I can recall, I don’t think it’s premature to heap a little praise on him.

  • John DeSantis

    I just hope there are some season ending injuries to most of the starters. Would love to see another 8 and 8 season… Or even worse. Go any other team!