I had the good fortune to go to the Steelers-Lions preseason game last night. I don't know if it was televised or covered in Cincy, but I thought I'd give CincyJungle my quick assessment of the game. It was a good time and somewhat of an adventure as the stadium was struck by lightening. Immediately following all the players cleared the field faster than Andre Smith heading to the "fixin's bar" at the Golden Corral. After an 1:13 delay game play resumed.
Leftwich started for the Steelers and played a little over a half. He was workman-like as usually is. It looks like he will be the starter game one barring injury or a major run by Dennis Dixon. Overall, however, the Steelers first string offense was sluggish and their o-line was like a sieve. Leftwich had guys in his face constantly and got flushed or sacked several times.
Mendenhall looked solid but not spectacular. He got hit in the backfield a lot (see above about the Steelers line) and coughed up a fumble. The Steelers have some depth issues at WR but Wallace did get open deep once missing the ball on a questionable interference no call. Arnez Battle caught a nice pass and scampered for a 50 yard gain as did 6th round pick Antonio Brown who scored on a nice touchdown toss from Dennis Dixon.
Pittsburgh's defense looked good but suffered from the occasional breakdown. Stafford threw a really bad interception deep in Detroit territory but otherwise able to find receivers and Jahvid Best played pretty well for a rookie once he got over the first drive jitters. When the Lions first string took the bench it was 7-6 Lions.
The Steelers second stringers however looked really good. Dennis Dixon and Isaac Redmon stole the show. Dixon is mobile and has a good arm. This guy is going to be a player and extremely tough to defend. Think of Michael Vick in his prime without the dog fights. Redmon was consistently able to hit the whole quickly and break tackles. Depth at running back has always been a Steeler strong point and this year will be no different.
Although Roethlistberger was in pads, he did not play. I did see a few fans with T-shirts addressing his "antics." One was a jersey with the number of seven and across the top, in lieu of his name it said "All my bitches take my shots." I saw another with the awkwardly spelled "Rapelistberger" Creative fans are the best.
No I did not wear my Bengals gear to the game--that will come later when it counts.