First Impressions – Steelers @ Redskins

| August 13, 2011

For a team that is so set, you’d be a little surprised to see the starters from Pittsburgh looking a lot rustier than those from a Washington team that made wholesale changes.
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But that’s how it felt with Pittsburgh sluggish on both sides of the balls, and a surprisingly sharp Redskins outfit doing their best to convince people they could surprise this year.
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After watching the first quarter, here are some impressions from what we saw.

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Steelers – Three Things of Note
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●  With James Harrison suffering from injury, it was interesting to see what Jason Worilds could do. In short, he won’t be eating into playing time for Harrison if this was anything to go by, with the outside linebacker struggling for the most part. He did pick up a pressure on a bull rush, but outside of that he was anonymous. While Harrison is a complete player, Worilds saw himself maneuvered by Fred Davis (10:34) as the Redskins had joy running to the left.
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●  The Steelers have got a massive upgrade to their pass protection with the return of Willie Colon. He went up against Ryan Kerrigan a number of times and had precisely no issues dealing with him. It’s been too long since we’ve said that about a Steelers tackle.
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●  Unfortunately the interior line didn’t hold up quite so well. All three guys starting struggled, with right guard Chris Scott getting overpowered on a number of occasions and getting badly beaten off the snap by Stephen Bowen.
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Redskins – Three Things of Note
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●  It would be hard to talk about the Redskins without mentioning how good Rex Grossman looked. He made a number of strong throws (particularly at 12:26 and 11:14 in the first quarter), but it was more than the throws he made. The Steelers blitzed and got pressure but Grossman looked extremely assured and found his check down guy. It’s only preseason but he’s put John Beck on notice that he’s in a competition.
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●  One of the more interesting things was the Redskins sub package defense not including Barry Cofield. The former Giant looked good for the most part, winning more battles than he lost against Pouncey.
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●  One thing that was a little disappointing was the performance of Trent Williams. He looked lost at times out there, with one play (10:34) serving to highlight this. He also blew a screen play by slowing down the pressure which was designed to come. It was interesting that tight end Fred Davis made a stronger impression on the run game with some good blocking.
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The Steelers will be better when they get James Harrison back and some urgency into their game, but the Redskins had enough impressive performances to make you a little bit more confident about them heading into this year … well, as much as any pre season game can.
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  • Misfit74

    What did you see from Tim Hightower?