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Steelers Vs. Eagles: Seven Points Of Interest


By Alex Kozora

A couple of points of interest for tonight’s game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles.

Running Back Opportunities

LeGarrette Blount traveling with the team is a sign he will play but it is not a guarantee. If he doesn’t suit up, how will the workload be split up? And who will play on obvious passing situations? Le’Veon Bell is the only blocker and receiver out of the backfield. With Tauren Poole and Will Johnson questionable, this could be a major opportunity for someone like Josh Harris to get some quality playing time with the first team offense, working only behind Dri Archer.

Needless to say, it’ll be extremely disappointing if the Steelers are without their top two backs in the traditional “tune up” game of the preseason.

Depth Chart Clarity

As much as we do talk about it, it’s sometimes difficult to get a solid read into the pecking order based on the first two games. Sometimes, coaches will rotate guys and see how they respond with different groups. By the third game, the dust begins to settle.

That goes for special teams too. Whoever runs with the first team this week are players the Steelers want to see Week One. Pay attention to those units, too.

Speed Versus Speed

The Steelers’ defense has been lauded for how fast it is. Its first true test of that will come tonight against the Eagles’ offense. One that will spread you out and put you in some uncomfortable matchups. And uses enough misdirection that will probably get the Steelers out of position once or twice, testing their recovery speed. Let’s watch Mike Mitchell take the correct angle to track down Lesean McCoy to prevent a big run. Let’s watch Ryan Shazier run down the seam with Zach Ertz. That’s a lot different than Scott Chandler.

Jason Peters

The first starting left tackle the Steelers have faced this year. And Peters is one of the better ones. It’s great news that Jarvis Jones is expected to play. Now let’s see if he can excel in a difficult matchup. A nice litmus test to see what kind of progress Jones really has made from year one to year two.

Impact Plays Wanted

Specifically, from Justin Brown and Cortez Allen. Obviously, both of their roster spots are safe and neither have had bad training camps. But a splash play tomorrow would calm any nerves some Steelers’ fans may harbor.

No Huddle on the Road

I wouldn’t expect to see it as much as we did Saturday but I’d hope to see Ben Roethlisberger get the chance to run no huddle on at least one series. It’s much more difficult to use on the road and is consequently run less, but isn’t something that should completely be taken off the table. Tomorrow is the first opportunity to take it for a spin on the road and learn from any mistakes that occur.

On the Bubble

This is the final showcase before the first round of fifteen cuts will have to be made. Players sitting on that bubble – Jordan Hall, Kashif Moore, and Ethan Hemer are just a few that come to mind – can attempt to keep their NFL careers alive. They may still wind up getting cut in the end, but staving off that pink slip one more game will allow them to add a little more to their reel. Chances will be plenty for the backups in the final preseason game.

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  • John

    They aren’t “without” any of their backs!

  • Eric MacLaurin

    I hope they rotate linemen just fast enough to keep the line functional. I don’t think we learn enough or even get true reads when the line is just for show because you have 5 backups out there playing matador.

    We should play the whole game as though the line is critical to MAINTAIN in regular season form every snap. If that means the starters play all game with 1 back up at a time that’s just fine.

  • Alex Kozora

    Written last night before the news just broke,

  • Matt Manzo

    I’m calmed down now after yesterday’s events. Back to football!!!!
    Do we think it’s decided yet, whether or not Carter stays?
    And will Nunley play? Is that the new CBs name?
    Excited to see Shazier play his 2nd game!
    Splash plays from Allen and JBrown would be nice but I’m looking for plays from Blake and McCain, too.
    Wesley Johnson’s gotta a lot to prove!
    Moye and DHB should be scratching their way out!
    Will Golden stay golden or turn invisible again?

    Good fights:
    Carter vs SoOto vs HoJo
    WAllen vs Golden vs Dangerfield
    Mauro vs Hemer vs Arnfelt (not really good)
    KR and PR battles!!

  • Craig M

    RB tandem- Dumb n Dumber!

  • steeltown

    Yes I agree 1st units on special teams will be very telling in regards to the ‘roster bubble’ players

  • SteveM2

    Incidentally, the ‘Iggles just acquired their version of Dri Archer, the 5′-9″ 185lb. Oregon U. burner named Kenjon Barner.

  • SteveM2

    I doubt if most of those Steelers who somehow find themselves “on the bubble” will see much playing time this evening. Coach has already stated that his primary goal for this game is a tune-up for the starters and prime reserves.

  • James Kling

    They may have done something stupid, but I’m still high on them both. If you’re going to throw stones at everyone who’s sinned, then everybody must get stoned.

  • bustedknuckles

    Anxious to see how many times they mention yesterdays developments and whether they are painting those comments in shades of negativity, positivity,or neutrality. Otherwise I wanna see the offense humming and a few splash plays and turnovers. Roster seems to be nearly set.

  • bustedknuckles

    Good one.

  • Craig M

    I’m also real high on them both but I bet not as high as they are. :) The thing I’m always concerned about is the picture the athletes present of themselves to the little guys in youth sports, who end up emulating them.

  • bustedknuckles

    The picture is athletes are human beings that make mistakes. Marijuana is harmless. It will be a part of the younger generations lives. Any enlightened adult can use this as a lesson in responsibility. Imho

  • bustedknuckles

    True responsibility would be to teach the children that athletes are scrutinized and advertised because of their physical abilities on the playing field only. They are not and should not be looked at as perfect citizens or moral superiors.

  • steeltown

    Coach Butler on HoJo- “He doesn’t know anything about playing LB, he has progressed a little bit… not as fast as we’d like…”

    Barring a defensive outbreak tonight, I think HoJo is headed for the PS

    I’m still hoping So’oto makes this Team

  • walter mason

    And pot or any mind altering drug should not be looked at as harmless.

  • steeltown

    It’s still an illegal substance (as much as it pains me) and it will remain a banned substance in the NFL for quite some time, so I highly doubt it will be painted as positive or in a neutral light

  • walter mason

    Of course not. The game will not be used as a legalizing marijuana platform.

  • bustedknuckles

    The pressure to get these guys off of the prescription pain pills is fairly high right now. I really don’t think the league wants to be suspending guys like Josh Gordon. That loses them cash. These men should have the right to alleviate pain naturally if they choose. Nobody would bat an eye if these two were driving around hopped up on 100 Percocet, which probably happens after every single nfl game. Those things really mess you up and definitely impair you. Just saying.

  • bustedknuckles

    Sounds like he is but him not knowing anything about being a l.b.

  • bustedknuckles

    It is harmless when used responsibly. As harmless as driving a vehicle. I probably should’ve said relatively harmless. Forgive me. Research has been done. Hence the legalization. They don’t legalize dangerous stuff, do they. Oh wait, is alcohol still legal? Ok. Marijuana is much less harmful than alcohol. Fact.

  • Matt Manzo

    Are the second teamers penciled in like the firsts?
    If Carter walks out with the 2s I’m gonna be sad.

  • Alex Kozora

    It wouldn’t surprise me. We tend to get too high on raw pass rushers. Guys that haven’t played it are lost for a year. Especially with the positioning of it all. How to line up against different looks.

    Jarvis playing OLB at Georgia was really the only reason why he was able to play the snaps he did last year, even if it wasn’t always effective.

  • Alex Kozora

    Second half, later in the game. Limited chances but chances nonetheless. Can still make an impression.

  • bustedknuckles

    But it will be used as an advertising campaign for alcohol. If you are so morally superior, how about you and I join forces and fight against all alcohol sales and advertising in the nfl. I guarantee you that some members of Steeler Nation fall victim to the intense peer pressure from the nfl to consume too much alcohol tonight and may happen to have to drive home tonight. I think that’s bad. What says you,?

  • bustedknuckles

    I get high on guys with high motors and a nose for the ball. Lesser teams would salivate over those highlights. I agree that he is SUPER raw but would hate to see him go.

  • bustedknuckles

    Huh? I didn’t receive your response. Think about the children watching those Coors light ads. You know the one with the rapper and the choo choo.

  • bustedknuckles

    Huh? I didn’t receive your response. Think about the children watching those Coors light ads. You know the one with the rapper and the choose choo.

  • steeltown

    Also watch the 1st Team kick coverage units, is Carter out there, is So’oto there, is HoJo out there…

  • steeltown

    Ok, how about we keep So’oto AND HoJo and cut Carter… then we’ll both be happy

  • bustedknuckles

    I believe that’s the way it should go down. Carter has had a long time to prove his worth and has not. Imho

  • bustedknuckles

    Choo choo. You know like Thomas?

  • bustedknuckles

    C’mon Walter. Let’s do some good pal. You can respond at your leisure. I’ll be here.

  • AndyR34

    Problem is…there are not too many enlightened adults in this country.

  • bustedknuckles

    Agreed

  • walter mason

    Alcohol has ruined many lives its true. Pick your poison.

  • bustedknuckles

    Alcohol kills which makes it poison. Marijuana heals which makes it medicine.

  • walter mason

    LOL I know many people that think that whiskey heals them. Its your decision to smoke or not to smoke. Keep in mind that smoking pot is worse that cigarettes and can cause cancer. Those that claim its a pain killer bull.. It doesnt kill pain it only gets you high. Just dont make getting high an important part of your life, Been there done that.,

  • bustedknuckles

    Where I’m from marijuana is decriminalized. Millions of people worldwide utilize it for multiple afflictions. Why would I or any athletes need to apologize for adult actions. Kids need to look to positive adults if they are in need of role models, not athletes.i Just like alcohol, marijuana should be used responsibly. If kids had a chance to hear the benefits of marijuana, they would be better off. There are no benefits from alcohol. It must be confusing for children to hear so much about marijuana and realize that many adults are using it . It’s legal here, it’s medicine here, and it’s poisons here. Marijuana will be a part of the younger generations health and wellness. Might as well use some common sense and teach them early that any medicine, if used irresponsibly, is extremely dangerous. The athletes don’t need to apologize to anyone. They made a mistake that got them in trouble with the law and their employer. That is enough. If you disagree with marijuana use, don’t let your children idolize these men. If you are level headed and the children can comprehend, teach them that these guys are just fast guys who get paid money to play a childrens game. They are not role models.

  • walter mason

    Sorry I was watching the game. Im sure the arrests were a huge distraction.

    Im an old man knuckles. I grew up in the 60s/70s. We all thought doing drugs and getting high was cool. We were wrong. Thats about all I have to say.

  • bustedknuckles

    All of your information is incorrect sir. And you sound like someone who has people around him that think whiskey is medicine.

  • walter mason

    Myself I dont have a drinking problem and Im sorry if I act superior. But yes alcohol has killed many of my good friends. If I was to compare the 2, alcohol may be worse but that doesnt make it right to get high while driving and break the law and get arrested the day before the most important pre-season game. I have no problem if you want to protest alcohol commercials.

  • walter mason

    What parts? The statement that pot smoking can cause cancer or the statement that getting high may be an important part of your life? Or are you claiming marijuana kills pain? Or do you think the arrests were not a distraction?

  • bustedknuckles

    I didn’t accuse you of having a drinking problem and I do not have a problem with drinking. But I’m 1000% sure that alcohol is 1000% worse on the human body than marijuana is. Also the point about protesting the NFL about alcohol promotion is simple. The nfl portrays itself as this holier than thou entity that is against anything that is harmful to children. It suspends it players for alcohol related mistakes. Yet they play 45 ads per game promoting alcohol and serve them at every stadium in excess while many of those fans drove there. I enjoy alcohol but I’m not holier than anything or anyone. The furor Roger Goodell is. So he should explain to us how alcohol promotion is positive for children. I’ll hang up and listen.

  • walter mason

    Some people can smoke and drink in moderation at home and others cannot sustain from smoking in their car the day before a game.
    I can see you are passionate on the subject but dont see how comparing the evils of drinking and habitual drug use has any relevance.

  • bustedknuckles

    1) marijuana can be ingested without smoking. No smoke, no cancer.
    2) marijuana is absolutely a pain reliever.
    3) It doesn’t just get you high.
    4)many smoke to alleviate a number of ailments, not to forget problems
    5) marijuana does not make you forget problems
    6) the scoreboard was not a result of marijuana use. It was the result of poor preparations against a team that seemed to be concerned with scoring points quickly and a defense that couldn’t tackle you.

  • bustedknuckles

    It’s pretty simple. Marijuana has been and will be used to cure forever. Yet people like you are quick to chastise these young men for making a mistake. Being irresponsible with anything that relaxes you is stupid. But alcohol is consumed without regard at every stadium every Sunday. Someone, quite possibly was killed or seriously injured on the way home from that game tonight. Marijuana didn’t do it. I beg you to do some research on the matter…I’m not smart or patient enough to teach you much longer.

  • Craig M

    Alcohol is basically a social lubricant, and can be viewed as a food substitute in moderation. Marijuana has many beneficial medical effects. But using either in excess when operating a vehicle is just plain stupid, and to convey this to the younger generation is just plain foolish.

  • bustedknuckles

    I agree with everything word you said wholeheartedly. Please let me know if I have not conveyed those points clearly anywhere. I will edit the post immediately. It’s late and I’m intoxicated by fury and anger and disappointment. Children should definitely understand responsibility in use of anything that they ingest. And if the only benefit to alcohol is social lubrication then we should teach them to have personalities unreliant on alcohol. I am 100% for responsibility on all levels at all times.

  • Craig M

    children have about as much comprehension of football being a kids game played by adults as children starting out w/ Golden Gloves as a game of sports. They don’t get to see the Darryl Stingleys, Muhammid Ali or the old broken football players when they’re using canes or wheelchairs. They’re simply their idols. Back in the day when TV first came out I was raised on the same values as the generation before me who were exposed to the movie characters that I saw on the TV. We weren’t privy to the sexual goings on of the president, Rock Hudson’s private life, Cary Grant dressing up like a girl, because we didn’t have the internet. We had car clubs, then come along drugs, w/ the drugs money, w/ the money guns (to protect the money) and gangs and then no respect for life. What do you think would happen now if Jane Fonda went over to the Middle East and dressed up like ISIS and posed w/ a surface to air rocket launcher using her public position to promote her ideals? So much is out there now for the young ones to see that maybe we should at least try and protect them a little from the sad side of life. Laws give us security to protect us from the harshness of life and to help us protect our freedom, is it too much to ask someone whose in the public eye to show a little respect to others? I’m sorry sometimes I run on and on- just my two cents.

  • bustedknuckles

    Not sure if you agree,disagree, or just want to spar but I’ll engage anyhow. Children are more sophisticated than you give them credit for. If Jane Fonda went to the middle east and did anything, that would be her right and it wouldn’t affect me. I believe she is American and that, in my eyes , means that she is free to do whatever she wants. Trying to protect children from the sad side of life, as you say, is dumb. It leads to weak, ignorant lemmings. Children should be educated early and often about anything that they may encounter in the real world, not sheltered. Education protects our freedom. Everyone is in the public eye and if we are not allowed to make mistakes in public, how free are we?

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