I didn’t get a chance to watch this weekend’s preaseason game until Sunday afternoon as it wasn’t nationally televised. Here are a few quick thoughts and observations I had after watching the game a day later:
1. Lawrence Timmons might be the best player on the Steelers defense.
From what Timmons has shown in training camp and preseason, I don’t think you can overrate him at this point. He should be one of the best linebackers in the league in 2011. On one particular series in the 1st quarter, Timmons took over the game a la Troy Polamalu. He drilled Michael Turner in the backfield on 1st down and then intercepted Matt Ryan 2 plays later. Timmons was also great in coverage Saturday night, which is par for the course for him. He’ll be one of the most enjoyable players to watch for me league-wide this season.
2. Antonio Brown = young Santonio Holmes?
That is who he reminds me of at least. He’s doing it all this preseason — catching long passes, catching short passes and returning kicks. Brown also has some serious chemistry with Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben is making Brown his first read on a lot of plays, which is something given that Mike Wallace and Hines Ward are both out there too. The Steelers also have Emmanuel Sanders on the mend who was more impressive than Brown in their rookie years. Roethlhisberger has a ton of weapons around him this year. The Steelers should have one of the league’s better offenses and one of the best passing attacks.
3. Depth is strong at Steelers’ two weakest positions
Like most fans, I’m still concerned about the Steelers’ offensive line and secondary. Both positions were concerns going in to the offseason and the Steelers have suffered a number of injuries at those positions now as well. However, none of the injuries have been too serious and could be a blessing in disguise. Players like Marcus Gilbert, Tony Hills, Doug Legursky, Keenan Lewis, William Gay, Donovan Warren, Crezdon Butler and others have gotten to play a ton of snaps with the first teams and haven’t looked too awful doing it. Matt Ryan was only 22 out of 42 passing attempts and the Steelers were without both of their top cornerbacks. One of the depth guys listed earlier are going to make a big play or two this season and these extra preseason reps will have a lot to do with it.