Without much optimism coming for the Steelers in their 31-21 preseason loss to Philadelphia, it was pretty obvious where the deficiencies were in a brutal loss.
Antonio Brown - In a horrifyingly bad offensive game from the Steelers' starters, Antonio Brown stood out. He showed he's poised for a big year. He was the fastest receiver in the league in and out of his breaks last season and he looks even faster this year. He led the Steelers with 59 yards on three catches.
Heath Miller - A nice route on a 27-yard touchdown catch was basically the only highlight from the first team offense. Miller showed a little bit of burst, right in time to deflect growing criticism he no longer has that mid-distance speed he once had. He had five catches on the night.
Ike Taylor and Cortez Allen - We don't typically group them together, but the combined performance of the Steelers starting cornerbacks was so noticeably bad - and the level of poor performances across the board in this game - makes us need to save some space. Five penalties between the two - complain all you want about the heightened amount of penalties, most of these were no-brainers. Soft coverage from Taylor and Allen, and poor tackling from Allen, any concerns about the Steelers' corners this season are well-founded.
Le'Veon Bell - While it's worth pointing out the escapades of Bell and his buddy, LeGarrette Blount, Bell had some nice runs. He also dropped a catchable ball after feeling DeMeco Ryans coming at him (Ryans justified that fear by dropping him and picking up a 15-yard penalty...which the Steelers didn't convert). His line of nine carries for 23 yards is too reminiscent of a rookie season that saw Bell miss a lot of holes and run without clear vision.
Ryan Shazier - A liability in coverage and a few missed spots against the run, Shazier was a rookie's nightmare in this game. The Eagles' offense is going to make a lot of players look bad this season, and tonight was Shazier's turn.
Isaiah Green - In the span of just a few plays, Green got beat for a touchdown and took a penalty deep into the game. He got beat for a touchdown against Buffalo as well, and really looks incapable of defending a fade route.
More from sbnation.com:
- The NFL's Substance Abuse policy, league precedent, and the likely fate of LeGarrette Blount and Le'Veon Bell
- It may be time to go to the red phone for Isaac Redman
- LeBackfield LeBusted: Everything we know about DUI and possession charges against Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount
- Steelers RBs Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount expected to face marijuana possession charges
- Report: LeGarrette Blount was not charged in incident Wednesday
- LeGarrette Blount and Le'Veon Bell arrest bottoms out Steelers thinnest position
- American Football
- Sports & Recreation
- Antonio Brown