Quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger is being professional about football after him and the Steelers' failed to finalize a contract. Roethlisberger seems mentally focused. When asked about Johnny Manziel, he replied, "He's got to do what he needs to do, and we're gonna do what we're going to do." What Ben is trying to say is, how the Steelers' offense operats is more important than Johnny Manziel or anything associated within the Cleveland Browns.
Roethlisberger is prepared for another NFL season in Pittsburgh. He's more in tune with his passing game than usual focusing on his footwork and variety of throws. You see a guy that will fire a deep ball past the secondary. Ben is showing natural ability firing simple drag routes and slants.
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Roethlisberger enters his third season operating Todd Haley's offense. Despite previous tension, QB/WR coach Randy Fitchner coaches Roethlisberger and the wide receivrs. Whenever a conflict may potentially arise, it is Fitchner who helps the two resolve issues. Roethlisberger is throwing like a Pro Bowl signal-caller in mid-season form.
Roethlisberger isn't the only quarterback making things happen. 2013 fifth-round pick Landry Jones, the former Oklahoma Sooner is finally throwing like the guy that some labeled a potential 2012 first-round pick back in 2011.
Jones is making regular throws out of the west coast offense. You knew Jones could run a shotgun spread or a vertical offense back at Oklahoma under Bob Stoops. Prior to being drafed by the Steelers, Jones had trouble adapting to a west coast offense. After a rocky rookie season as a third string quarterback, Jones looks sharp throwing passes in a west coast offense firing short to medium passes to his receivers, while maintaining proper footwork. Jones is making a very strong case as to why he should be Ben Roethlisberger's backup in 2014. Whether Landry becomes Ben's successor after Roethlisberger retires remains to be seen.
Running Back Starter Le'Veon Bell sufferd a hamstring injury. RB coach James Saxson needs to make sure somebody emerges in the running game. Bell is the heart of the backfield. Saxson needs to stay overtime at training camp until someone else in the backfield emerges. If the Steelers' struggle to win early in the regular season it will be due to Bell not receiving any reps.
Wide Receivers Pittsburgh's wide receivers have been solid. Antonio Brown looked sluggish when he faced off against Ike Taylor. Brown destroyed Gay and the rest of the Steelers' secondary in coverage. The biggest surprise has been the play of Lance Moore at wide receiver. Moore was a slot receiver in New Orleans, yet his experience with the Saints' allows him to transition to being a #2 receiver for the short-term in Pittsburgh.
Tight Ends Heath Miller has been lights out. Matt Speath has been phenomenal against the first team as well. Pittsburgh may use two tight end sets this season just like the New England Patriots.
Offensive Line Mike Munchak is emphasizing the importance of pass protection after his previous gig as HC of the Tennessee Titans. The offensive line looks outstanding in pass protection. Roethlisberger had a lot of time to fire the ball downfield in the pocket today. This is great news for Steelers' fans since Ramon Foster and Maurkice Pouncey have been dealing with off-the-field distractions. Pittsburgh is primed for a big season in 2014.
Front 7 (3-4 DL and 3-4 LB's) This defensive line looks raw so far. Maybe that is due to the pass protection, by this offensive line. The front seven will get better with more game experience. Pittsburgh will have a chance to win every Sunday as long as Roethlisberger plays turnover-free football. These front seven players are more focused on stopping the run than rushing the quarterback by blitzing opposing quarterbacks. Protecting Roethlisberger in training camp and the pre-season is your top priority, so it's understandable why the Steelers' are more focused on run-stuffing than pass-rushing.
Secondary Only one player on secondary has showed up so far. That is field cornerback Ike Taylor. Troy Polamalu will be at 100% come week 1 because he's Troy Polamalu, the best strong safety in the NFL. I'm not too concerned about Polamalu looking shaky against Heath Miller in coverage to start training camp.