The Pittsburgh Steelers lost their preseason opener Saturday night to the New York Giants and after one pass back through the game replay, here is just a small sampling of some winners and losers for you to chew on.
Fell free to add your own in the comments below.
Sean Spence – There’s no way that you can leave Spence off of the winners list. He’s made it back to the field following an injury two years ago that has ended the career of other players in the past and he chipped in three total tackles.
Howard Jones – Jones’ path to the 53 man roster will more than likely include him being a primary special teams player and he certainly took that first step Saturday night. Jones was not only in on the opening kickoff tackle, he also recovered a muffed punt midway through the third quarter that led to a field goal. Jones also scored the Steelers only touchdown in the game after he alertly picked up a pass that was ruled as being backwards fumble that outside linebacker Vic So’oto had a hand in knocking down.
Shamarko Thomas – Mr. Headache came ready to hit Saturday night. He had four tackles against the Giants with all four coming four yards or less from the line of scrimmage. One of his tackles resulted in a loss and it looked like a play that fellow safety Troy Polamalu would make.
Josh Mauro – The undrafted defensive end saw the field before Brian Arnfelt did, so that in itself is pretty interesting. Mauro did not look robotic at all and on two plays that I saw, he used his arms well to get separation and off of blocks. He had two tackles and one hurry, so overall I thought it was a good showing.
Dri Archer – Two rushes for nine yards and two catches for another 50 is a great start for the rookie. He has some development to do as a punt returner and it’s too bad we didn’t get to see him return any kickoffs.
Martavis Bryant – First game jitters? Perhaps, but Bryant certainly didn’t have a good first showing. While the Clemson product did draw two penalties in the game, his two bobbled punts and fumble on the final drive following his lone catch can’t be ignored.
Cameron Heyward – Heyward allowed himself to be swallowed up and washed out completely on the long touchdown run by Giants running back Rashad Jennings.
Bruce Gradkowski – Gradkowski did complete eight of his 12 passes, but had two really bad throws in the game. The most noticeable one was on a seam route to tight end Matt Spaeth that would have easily been a touchdown. The Steelers came away with no points on that drive.
Shaun Suisham – Suisham missed a 38-yard field goal following the bad pass from Gradkowski to Spaeth and that won’t sit well with the fan base after he just signed that big contract extension.
Will Allen – Zero tackles and a poor, poor angle on the run by Jennings.