Categorized | Article, Rankings

Steelers Gradkowski, Blake, Polamalu Receive Top PFF Marks For Play Against Eagles


Its hard to find a lot of good individual performances in the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-21 loss Thursday night to the Philadelphia Eagles, but Pro Football Focus thinks that they have identified a few.

According to their first glance at the tape, quarterback Bruce Gradkowski (2.4), wide receiver Antonio Brown (2.4) and center Maurkice Pouncey (2.2) received the highest ratings of all Steelers players on offense. Gradkowski was 8-of-11 passing for 105 yards and two touchdowns in his 19 snaps played while Brown caught three passes for 59 yards in his extended work.

Bringing up the rear in PFF’s offensive grades this week are running back Le’Veon Bell (-2.1) and wide receiver Justin Brown (-2.3). Brown did not register a catch in the game while Bell rushed for 23 yards on nine carries.

On the defensive side of the football, PFF has cornerback Antwon Blake (1.3) and safety Troy Polamalu (1.3) as their two highest graded players. Blake, however, did allow both passes thrown his way to be completed for 20 yards. Polamalu had one of the few defensive highlights during the game thanks to his interception of an ill-advised pass by Eagles quarterback Nick Foles.

As far as Steelers defensive players in the red go, PFF has a ton of them with cornerback Cortez Allen (-4.2), defensive end Cameron Heyward (-4.1) and linebacker Jarvis Jones (-3.0) all grading out as the three worst.

PFF usually updates their grades later in the week, so several players are likely to have their ratings changed. As usual, we will have several individual player break downs for you over the course of the next week to analyze.

Here is a link to PFF’s refocused article following the game.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • steeltown

    I keep thinking about the plays that were negated by penalties.. namely Worilds sack, the Blake INT and a couple 3rd down stops…. pretty frustrating

  • Steelers12328882

    I’m a bit surprised at Heyward’s rating. I think Cam Thomas was the worst DLineman, and I thought Heyward and Tuitt played well. Jarvis didn’t do much rushing the QB, made some mistakes and was pretty bad when they lined him up at MLB. The biggest surprise to me reviewing the tape is the play of Timmons. I actually thought he was a winner, but other than the TFL he looked really bad to me. Shazier didn’t play great either. I’d love to see Kozora or Marczi review some tape of Timmons’ game.

  • JohnB

    sucks that our “future” is in the red.

  • Vic

    The biggest problem with this team is the head coach has no philosophy, therefore is not building a team with an identity. Take a look at other successful coaches; for example, Pete Carroll. His team philosophy is to play aggressive defense with emphasis to the secondary unit. He has made lower Draft picks into pro bowl players because he know what skills to look for and can coach/ teach his players. Mike Tomlin is a motivational speaker like Mike Singletary was with the niners. Jim harbaugh another coach who brought in and implemented his football philosophy. I can go on and on; the bottom line is, Mike Tomlin needs to go.

  • Jason

    I would say the same thing about Lebeau. Regardless of what he’s done in this league his blitzes are no longer “exotic” and his scheme is not confusing anyone anymore.

  • cencalsteeler

    It could easily go the other way, too. The Eagles probably could’ve put up a 50 burger on us if it wasn’t for their fair share of meaningless penalties.

  • Luis Garcia

    PFF is not the last word. Measures stats in a very robotic way…

  • cencalsteeler

    Timmons and Shazier had trouble shedding blocks all night. And after last night, I question the signing of Cam Thomas. Mediocre at best. We need playmakers, not mediocrity.

  • steeltown

    Indeed

  • steeltown

    …Keisel

  • steeltown

    He’s not showing his hand in preseason

  • bustedknuckles

    Loved Blake’s tenacity. 5 looked sharp. I pray that 43 is still working his way into football shape. I noticed good and bad with him.

  • bustedknuckles

    Sadly I agree. Been that way for a few years now as the talent has slowly gone from above average to well below.

  • SteveM2

    ….I hope.

  • cencalsteeler

    Jason. Last nights debacle reminds me of an old Muhammad Ali going up against a young Mike Tyson. It pains me to type this but, is LeBeau’s schemes similar to the Steelers holding onto the old SuperBowl team for too long? I know it’s early, but these thoughts admitingly, surface in my head as I look for answers.

  • cencalsteeler

    Serviceable, but not a playmaker. His value, at this point is at mentoring these young guys and rotating in to keep it fresh. He might have a flash play once in a while, but I think his game changing days are over.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Gradkowski’s showing makes me feel better about our backup QB situation. There’s no need to keep Landry on the 53 at this point.

  • cencalsteeler

    Where are you hiding the Kool Aid they’re giving you? LeBeau has been around the league for how long now and you think he’s still saving his tricks for the season? I’m sure there are a few, but your being a little too optimistic for me here. We got manhandled, out played, and out coached last night. Fact is, two coaches Pete Carroll and Chip Kelly have brought a new generation of football to the NFL and I’m afraid we are outdated. Last night was very reminiscent of what we experienced last year in NE. If we are going to get any better we have to be able to get over those hurdles. If not, we’re destined for average at best.

  • steeltown

    He plays the run well… we need that

  • steeltown

    I wont argue we got manhandled, but every year is different with different ‘exotic’ blitzes and packages with different personnel, especially this year with Shazier and Mitchell in the starting lineup as well as Timmons moving to BUCK and Tuitt in the mix. He no doubt has blitzes and plays that he is saving for the regular season. It’s always been that way.

  • cencalsteeler

    OK, I’ll give him that. But, let’s look at the big picture, here. Two team leaders were very, very frustrated last night. One being AB and the other being Troy. When they show that much evident frustration, something is broke and needs to be fixed, ASAP. I’m trying not to be a yinzer and start calling for peoples heads, but we have to turn this around quickly, because it’s apparent there’s no fluidity and confidence with this team as we sit today. The coaches job is to teach, motivate and put W’s in the win column. So far, I’m not seeing a lot of that.

  • cencalsteeler

    I think LeBeau’s blitzers have more important things on their plate now, and that’s being able to shed blocks. And I agree with you, there’s some stuff in the back pocket. But, it’s like a kid crawling before walking. At this point, it looks like we need a lot more practice crawling, because were no where close to walking. In other words, in this simplified version of LeBeau’s system (preseason), we should look like a well oiled machine, ready for the next level of blitz packages, but were not even close.

  • Douglas Andrews

    All of this emphasis on defensive holding seems to be over the top. Defensive holding is something that was called alot last year for ticky tack plays but now seems like you can’t even sniff in the receivers direction without a flag being thrown seemed to be a little excessive last.

  • Douglas Andrews

    I’m surprised they didn’t give Brad Wing a good grade (Sarcasm).

  • Matt Manzo

    I really don’t wanna hear Sapps take on this game! Maybe they won’t notice it?!

  • steeltown

    Agreed. I was surprised by the overall play along the DL last night, they seemed to take a huge step backwards, maybe two steps.

  • cencalsteeler

    In their defense, it was the Eagles and not the Bills. But, if you want to win, that’s the bar they must reach in order to compete against playoff caliber teams.

  • Pete Johnson

    According to PFF Kiesel was the 4th worst run defender as a 3-4 end last year. He can’t play the run anymore. 36th out of 45 overall (31st out of 34 in 2012), actually had a positive grade in pass rush (13th out of 45) last year. Honestly I don’t know what role he could play looking at those grades. Usually you would put an old guy like that out there on 1st/2nd down as run stuffer, rotate someone else light and fast in nickel to rush the passer on 3rd. I don’t think he fits either role at this point of his career.

  • Steve

    Steelers played a lot of PV (Plain Vanilla) D last night and will wait for the Reg season for the stunts and blitz packages.

  • Jason

    Be honest his blitz schemes are no more innovative than any other d coordinator. At one time they were but no longer

  • Jason

    Yep

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/JohnnyLoose Johnny Loose

    Surprised Ike didn’t grade out as one of the worst. Seems like the refs really had his number last night. Kept getting calls against him left and right.

  • rayster

    Maybe time to get the BIG broom out…Tomlin, Haley, LeBeau?
    Hard to overcome years of lousy drafts so quickly…oh…Colbert too.

  • http://batman-news.com MC

    it sucks but if they’re gonna win they have to adjust to it just like every other team.

  • http://batman-news.com MC

    i watched Shazier struggle shedding blocks.. It made me wonder why he kept taking on the guard instead of evading him. If you keep getting pushed back its better to just step them like Lavonte David sometimes does.

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