Steelers Vs. Panthers: Winners And Losers

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost their third preseason game of the 2014 season Thursday night to the Carolina Panthers and after one quick pass back through the game replay, here is just a small sampling of some winners and losers for you to discuss.

Fell free to add your own in the comments below that you think I missed.


Jarvis Jones – Jones looked like a first-round draft pick Thursday night and especially against the run. The Georgia product registered three tackles against the Panthers and also recovered a fumble after a bad snap. He also worked well on stunts with veteran defensive end Brett Keisel.

Darrius Heyward-Bey – It’s hard to deny that Heyward-Bey has made one hell of a charge during the last two games. He caught six more passes Thursday night and also showed what a good run blocker he is. It’s hard seeing him being cut on Saturday.

Dan Molls – While Molls didn’t enter the game on defense until late in the third quarter, he was hard not to notice him. He registered five tackles on defense and one on special teams in his limited playing time. He is a tackling machine and it would be great if he makes it to the practice squad.

Arthur Moats – Moats has turned out to be a nice signing. I thought he was very consistent Thursday night on defense and he has shown he can get some push against right tackles and pressure opposing quarterbacks.

Ross Ventrone – Ventrone plays every play like it’s his last. He had two special teams tackles Thursday night to boot.


Mike Adams – This team better hope that Kelvin Beachum and Marcus Gilbert both stay healthy. Adams is still having problems with backups on other teams.

Graham┬áPocic – Two fourth quarter holding calls in a matter of just a few plays resulted in Pocic being pulled from the game just as quickly as he entered it.

Antwon Blake – Blake led the team in tackles because he allowed so many catches. He also gave up a 53 yard completion after he was beaten badly down the right side. The Panthers scored their only touchdown of the game one play later.

Howard Jones – Jones looked like a fish out of water on the left side and caught hell from Joey Porter several times for being out of position and getting himself turned.

Landry Jones – Even though he completed 77.8% of his passes Thursday night, Jones still looked lost at times.

  • Jason White

    I still cannot help but be intrigued by Big Dan. I made sure to pay a lot of attention to him and noticed quite a few times how easily he walked the center backwards. Not to mention his ability to turn and run down the ball carrier. I can definitely see his upside. He has definitely been a big surprise (no pun intended).

  • cp72

    He’s so damn country strong you can’t deny his upside. Coach Mitchell is the best developer of talent on the coaching staff. He can get this kid where needs to be hopefully sooner than later. McClendon is a DE trying to play nose. I actually think we’d be better off with Cam Thomas starting.

  • Jeff Anoble

    I’ve been a supporter of Landry Jones, but the guy just doesn’t get it.. In a crucial 3rd and 9 he throws the checkdown instead of making something happen. And looking at his two years, that most often is the case. You need to make a play and take the risk instead of playing it safe. Throw in zero mobility in the pocket and he in no way earned a roster spot. But who else is there? And that includes all positions. I remember recent years where cutting to 53 seemed a hard task. This team can barely field 53 deserving of being in the NFL.

  • steeltown

    Yea seem to always notice him, not just because of his size but because he’s pushing someone back or holding the point or running to the ball. Very nice 6th Rd pick.

  • 2443scott

    i am with out words for landry when he first got drafted i thought he turn out to be a good pick to be a young back up to ben …i never thought he be a starter but maybe a good back up ….he has shown hardly anything since he was drafted ..his time to shine was last night ..but once again he showed little he couldnt move the ball or excite the off to do anything ….kay who came into the end of the game showed a spark by moving around in pocket even running some he has a way better arm then landry does …if was up to me i keep kay and sent landry packing ..who thinks if he had to come in to the qb job this year he could win a game if he had too…..he be a waste on the 53 left ..adams is adams he wont be much more then he is the games to fast for him …i let him go too he is not a tackle in the nfl maybe some where else on the line but not a tackle….hes just another pick that didnt transfer to the nfl speed in a game .

  • srdan

    Please cut Adams. I’m tired of defending this guy. Move on.

    Jarvis, nice of you to show up.

  • srdan

    Yup, that boy looks like he ate a lot of potatoes growing up. I wouldn’t want to be on teh other side of hte line from him. And the guy hustles.

  • srdan

    Agreed. Do you think theyre holding him back from playing with the ones to keep his confidence? I think his play demands some burn with the ones.

  • steeltown

    I assume so, not trying to rush him I guess. The future looks bright for him though.

  • PA2AK

    I agree with the first half. However, if the Steelers are willing to go with 2 QB’s on the 53…there are plenty of hard choices. Lots of young talent at WR, DL, LB….yes, there is some raw talent, but that’s why they are going to be limited to ST’s. You’d be hard pressed to find any team in the NFL with their 3rd/4th man up being able to start anywhere in the league.

  • PA2AK

    yup…i kept defending him with the obstacles put in his way (by himself or others)….but man he is disappointing.

  • srdan

    consistancy. I mean even after the eagles game i was praising him. And then he plays like he did. WTF

  • Brian Miller

    I agree, and cut LJ as well. The longer we keep them, the less inclined the FO will be to draft good top talent at the QB and OL positions in later drafts.

  • srdan

    This is a solid point. I was thinking more in the Ta’amu example. If we were still toying with him as the 53rd guy on our roster, getting in and out of Carson St., we wouldn’t have taken a chance on a 6th round mammoth this past draft. So far, this is looking good.

  • srdan

    I am trying to temper my expectations, because I do see his future being extremely bright. But then I go back to thnking that there is a reason he was a 6th round pick. I wanted to see him against the ones to help me lower my expectations. That’s why I asked you that question.

  • steeltown

    True enough.. but there were ‘reasons’ Antonio Brown and Tom Brady were 6th Rd picks as well, haha ok so that’s a bad comparison, but you get my drift

  • Steel PAul

    I read somewhere recently that a player cannot be a bust if he was drafted later than the first round. This was only one persons opinion. So whatever the term is for a bust in rounds 2 and 4, that’s Mike Adams and Landry Jones.

    Jones gets cut but Adams, because of supreme lack of depth, makes the team.

  • Michael Stover

    I think you’re wrong about Antwon Blake. Yeah, he gave up a big pass, but he was step for step on several others. He played some soft coverage, and by doing so helped the Steelers get off the field a couple times. Given how much he was targeted, I think it was a pretty successful evening for him.

  • Michael Stover

    Yeah, I’d put Kay on the practice squad and ditch Jones altogether.

  • steeltown


  • steeltown

    I think 1st, 2nd and 3rd Rds are extremely important Rds and should bear fruit, after that its a crapshoot for the most part.. Adams, Curtis Brown and Limas Sweed are recent busts in my opinion

  • steeltown

    He was out of position a few times or sure, but he showed he can run stride for stride and get good position on bigger WRs

  • Weiss Chad

    The only problem who do you move on with?whimper???

  • cencalsteeler

    Should the coaching staff be considered on the losers list? The Associated Press called the Steelers performance last night “listless”.
    For the last several seasons, I see absolutely no passion on this team. It is more evident when you see them in person as opposed to the television. A team is a direct reflection of their coaches. Maybe Tomlins weakness is his cool cat approach on the sidelines. Maybe players shouldn’t like him as much as they do. A lot of teams take on the persona of their respected coaches. I see the tough business approach taken by Fox, Kelly, and Belicheck. I look at the Harbaugh bros. and Carroll marching up and down, spitting and complaining about calls all afternoon. And then theres cool cat Tomlin, chillin on the sidelines, giving butt pats, and little boost of confidence chats as players come off of the field. I have always been pro Tomlin, but when your team is called listless, you have to start questioning if the field general is preparing his team correctly for battle, preseason or not.

  • CW

    Maybe not.

    McCullers is still a bit raw and needs to develop some better techniques, like keeping his pad level down, not getting overextended, and hand placement. His weak points allow more veteran players to get the upper hand from time to time now removing him from a few plays.

    But McCullers is also improving and showing some serious football ability.

    He’s an unfinished product right now and when he gets everything together he could easily end up being an elite Pro Bowl level football player at nose tackle.

  • Zachary Smith

    I’m not so worried. The defense was fine.

    The offense was led by Landry Jones.

  • Verksus

    Keep in mind though that he was a projected 2nd or 3rd rounder. Just people didn’t think he could get low enough for a nose.

  • Michael Pennant

    Any QB in this offense does look good when they have to huddle before a play and Landry looks even worse. We probably need to address a high draft pick in next years draft (after cb of course) on a qb with some mobility and some actual qb throwing skills. It seem that all of Landry’s passes come out with the same trajectory, he can’t seem to be able to throw over someone to complete a pass.

  • Michael Pennant

    I was thinking the same thing at first, but then remembering what Tomlin said before the game. It’s mainly for evaluation. Now the evaluation period is over I expect us to unleash once the season starts. Not enough formations on offense and not enough aggressiveness on defense for the preseason. We should see a notable diffrerence when the season actually starts.

  • WilliamSekinger

    I have never seen ‘passion’ in any preseason game…ever. Maybe we should wait for the regular season eh?

  • cencalsteeler

    You practice like you play. I’m one who is not buying into all this it’s only preseason garbage. I know there are evaluations going on and such, but, you don’t just turn on a passion switch. It should be engrained in you as soon as you button on your chin strap. Why were there scuffles during practice against the Bills, eh?

  • Still_JPDQ

    I think there’s some truth to this. In particular, I think it’s appropriate when considered in context of the tired “Tomlin won with Cowher’s players” argument. I’ve never really bought into the idea that a professional NFL coach inherits a team and then just coasts to Super Bowls with them. However, I DO think that a team begins to take on the attitude and personality of the people that coach them. (Also known as, uh, “the standard is the standard”).

    I’d say it’s reasonable to believe that Cowher brought a unique fire and passion to his teams, and since he’s left, that fire has dimmed somewhat, perhaps considerably. Guys that could and did carry that torch for a while after BC was gone eventually leave, too. And I see that happening here.

    Part of coaching is recognizing individual player’s strengths and personality traits, and knowing how to “coach em up” to get the most out of them. And I’m not sure MT is very good at that. He’s “obviously” an intelligent man, but so much of it is just rhetoric. It’s nauseating to listen to, for me. Talking the talk is one thing… unleashing hell is quite another.

  • sean mcmartin

    I think Ike Taylor should be added to the Losers. he gets beat on just about every play does not tackle as good as used too. I said it ,Ike Taylor is going to allow so many completions he will need to be replaced before the season ends. so many catches on our CB’s ,How hard can it be to watch the top tier teams film and see they dont play 10 yards in front of the receiver. sucks.

  • steelster

    The winners are the fans. The preseason is finally over.

  • sean mcmartin

    I knew Tomlin was not the right coach the first time they showed up to a MNF game unmotivated. Bill Cowher used to make sure his guys were fired up to play MNF, his intensity carried through to the players.
    so the intensity level of tomlin seems to transfer to his team. none at all.

  • sean mcmartin

    I have to disagree with one point . george sieffert took over a loaded 49er team and rode them to victory. I think bad coaching can be hidden by great talent. Tomlin rode a team with pro bowl players to a SB win. .
    No more excuses.

  • CrazyTerry

    Just amazing how Colbert saw fit to pay him 2.7M while he is tight with forking over for good free agents.

  • CrazyTerry

    As much as I bash Tomlin lately, players like Ben were not Cowher’s players. The Steelers took Ben only because they overrode Cowher. Without Ben, no SBs. James Harrison flourished under Tomlin’s regime. With Cowher, maybe Porter overstays another year.

  • Xclewsive

    Just like Cowher rode Chuck Nolls pro bowl players his first few years in the league. Difference between Tomlin and Cowher in that regard is that Tomlin’s team closed the deal in 2008 while Cowhers teams in 1995 faultered

  • Michael Pennant

    All we need is a nose tackle to replace “Big Snack” to control the run game and the defense will be much better. The offense is good enough to hang 30 if need be. IF we stay in the no huddle.

  • Luis Garcia

    I’m glad McCullers is making a stronger case for himself! And I am with Jarvis Jones, folks he has shown some strides and yes he is only on his second year… I really liked what the Steelers did this year, but yes, that CB position is a big gamble out of those choices.

  • Brendon Glad

    U gotta love it when a player lays it all on the line for the sake of his career. I mean 14-18 for 97 yards and zero team points shows a guy who WANTS IT! smh…my gosh that is embarrassing. I think I’d be more impressed if it was 3-18 for 97 yards. At least I’d think maybe he tried to make a play.

  • pat

    Well to be fair we do play the Panthers in 3 wks and they did say we would run a very vanilla scheme because of that

  • pat

    Gruden won with Dungy’s team as well

  • Louis Goetz

    I agree. It wasn’t a bad comparison. I’m not knocking McCullers, but his history is what it is. He came from a very troubled family background (both parents in jail), he didn’t have the grades to get into a Div. I school. When he transferred to Tennessee they ran a 3-4 his junior season and then went to a 4-3 his senior year. So, there wasn’t a whole lot of tape on him doing any one thing great (NT vs. DT). Then, add the fact that he scored only a 17 on the Wonderlick and I can understand teams questioning whether this kid has the ability to learn how to play at the NFL level. Fortunately for him and the Steelers, he’s showing that he can and he’s thriving. He’s bigger, stronger and faster than Big Snack; so he definitely has a chance at developing into a player that’s as good if not better than Hampton. By no means, however, was he guaranteed to make it.

  • Lil Smitty

    Gruden won because Callahan ran the offense he installed against him in the Super Bowl. The Bucs defense was given a complete list plays and audibles that Oakland was going to run.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Add Keisel…he blew up the OL almost every play…