Steelers’ preseason record: 1-1
One year ago: 0-2
Preseason series record: Steelers lead, 8-2
Coach Mike Tomlin’s expectation for this second of four preseason games was simply more of what he wanted to see from his team last weekend against the New York Giants. “I just want to see the guys take a step. A step in terms of intensity, a step in terms of quality execution, a step in terms of game speed, a step in terms of cohesion. And then ultimately, all of that has to lead to victory.”
THE INJURY STORYLINE
Not so for
The players not in uniform for the Steelers included Jarvis Jones,
“Bryant Browning is the only injury of any significance at this point, and it’s a shoulder dislocation. I don’t have any details other than some bumps and bruises, but those are normal things. I don’t anticipate anybody else having any type of injury that will prevent them from playing in Philadelphia, but again we’ll wait to see what tomorrow morning’s training room looks like.”
It was looking like the game was going to go into overtime, and nobody wants to see that in the preseason. But then a couple of undrafted rookies came to everyone’s rescue. It was a third-and-4 from the Buffalo 35-yard line with 31 seconds left. OLB Vic So’oto beat OT Cyrus Kouandjio with an outside rush and got to quarterback Jeff Tuel in plenty of time to strip the ball loose.
STAT THAT STANDS OUT
In barely more than one quarter, the first-team offense rolled up 139 yards of offense, converted 3-of-4 third downs, was 1-for-1 in the red zone, and scored two touchdowns. In the next two-plus quarters, the offense managed 115 yards, was 1-for-8 on third downs, and turned the ball over three times.
FILLING IN FOR WARREN
With Greg Warren expected to miss about a month after needing to have his meniscus surgically repaired, Round 1 of competition to replace him during his convalescence matched
Davis, signed to a futures contract in January, first tried to make it in the NFL in 2012 when he signed as an undrafted rookie with the Cincinnati Bengals. After spending some time on the Bengals’ practice squad, Davis was again released by the team in August 2013. He was out of football until signing with the Steelers.
Added to the competition late on Thursday was Luke Ingram, who played his college football at Hawaii and had gone to Saint Vincent College with the Steelers as an undrafted rookie. Not long into camp, the Steelers found themselves short of healthy tight ends and cornerbacks, and so having two long-snappers in camp was judged a luxury.
Ingram was claimed by the Jacksonville Jaguars the day after the Steelers waived him, but he then was cut by the Jaguars at the end of the month. He had been out of football before signing with the Steelers.
Davis handled all of the snapping chores against the Bills, and there seemed to be no issues.
FLAGS CONTINUING TO FLY
During the first 17 preseason games of 2014, officials called 53 defensive holding penalties, 27 for illegal contact, and 15 more for pass interference. In the four preseason games played on Friday, Aug. 15, there were 86 penalties accepted, a number that doesn’t include the ones that were declined.
In their preseason opener, the Steelers were penalized only five times for 34 yards, and that was one of the things Coach Mike Tomlin highlighted as a positive to take from what ended as a 20-16 loss.
Against the Bills, the Steelers were penalized eight times for 74 yards. The Bills were flagged 10 times for 67 yards.