It wasn’t a pretty first half at all. The offense went out and struggled, and then quarterback
It was an emotional night for Reid, who received a roaring standing ovation from the Lincoln Financial Field crowd after a thank you message from the Reid family was played on the in-stadium video boards.
“We (Reid family) feel the love,” said Reid.
We’ll see what the next days bring with the Vick injury, but for now it doesn’t sound serious and, in the big picture, that’s all that matters. An offense that played without tight end
The defense, meanwhile had its share of good and bad. The good: The defensive line was overpowering with pressure and
The bad: The tackling was not good at all from start to finish and that is something that must improve right away.
Anyway, trying to take the big-picture approach, here are the notes I took during the game. Nobody rushes overboard in the first preseason game. With that, my observations …
- On the very first play of the game,
Antonio Dixonhad good backside pursuit from his defensive tackle spot on a screen pass.
- I liked what I saw from linebacker
Mychal Kendricks, first on a pitch to his side on the second play of game. Kendricks had an inside angle and then chased running back to sideline for a 2-yard gain. Later, Kendricks had a tackle for loss.
- Ben Roethlisberger’s ability to shrug off tackles and step up in the pocket allowed him to make big plays on the Steelers’ opening drive, which resulted in a field goal.
- The starting defensive line added good pass pressure.
Derek Landriand Darryl Tappwere active. Phillip Hunthad dominating game, as did Brandon Graham. Jaiquawn Jarrettmissed tackle on sideline completion to Emmanual Sanders and later missed another tackle. On a touchdown pass to Sanders, Jarrett appeared to have a miscommunication in coverage.
- Good coverage on fade to Sanders by Rodgers-Cromartie.
Curtis Marshcontained well on pass in flat to Chris Rainey to force a fourth down.
Brandon Boykinkickoff return helped by a Stanley Havililead block. Good speed to outside for a 46-yard gain.
- I liked the call on the opening offensive play quick out to Johnson. Yes, Johnson started the game. I think he has a good chance to make it, huh. Johnson had 4 catches for 85 yards and the touchdown, and he had a nice punt return nullified by a blocking penalty.
- The tackling was not good at all. Middle linebacker
DeMeco Ryanswas beaten on a running play that bounced outside and too many arm tackles throughout defense marred the effort.
- After three years on the practice squad,
Dallas Reynoldsis shining as a backup center. He has, it appears amazingly, blossomed and is competing for a roster spot big time.
- A poor play from the offense: Some pressure on
Mike Kafkaon an attempted screen pass to Brown resulted in an interception.
- I love the defensive line. Derek Landri, Brandon Graham, Phillip Hunt and
Cedric Thorntondominated. The Eagles recorded 4 sacks in first half. The back seven did not tackle well, however. Chas Henryboomed a 54-yarder on his first kick and then had a 36-yarder on his second kick. There must be more consistency. Mat McBriarhad punts of 43 and 41 yards, but didn’t get a lot of hang time on his second kick.
- Too many times Pittsburgh’s quarterbacks stepped up against pressure to create room to pass the football.
- Rookie quarterback
Nick Folesmade a couple of terrific touchdown passes. On the first one, he stepped up against outside pressure and then moved right. On the run, he threw a fine pass to Johnson for a catch-and-run touchdown. On the second one, he pump faked and then threw to wide receiver Mardy Gilyard, who reached back and made a terrific catch and then fell into the pylon for a touchdown. Foles was 6 of 10 for 144 yards, with a passer rating of 143.8. Vinny Curryjoined the parade in the second half with a dominating performance from the right defensive end spot. Bryce Brownripped off 33-yard run down the sideline, showing speed, power and moves. He had a solid first game in running the football, blocking and in the passing game. That sound you just heard was Brown separating himself from Chris Polkfor the third running back spot.
- How many times did the Steelers blitz? Every down? It doesn’t matter to them if it’s a preseason game …
- On a fine third-down throw from
Trent Edwardsto Tiger Jonesearly in the fourth quarter, Chris Polk had a terrific blitz pickup in pass protection.
- The Eagles rolled up 7 quarterback sacks, and there are plenty more to come.
- How can you not feel good for quarterback Trent Edwards, who ran a beautiful final 11-play, 51-yard drive that led to
Alex Henery’s game-winning 51-yard field goal.