The Pittsburgh Steelers appeared to take a step back during Monday night's 24-13 preseason loss to the Washington Redskins. In particular, the starters struggled. The Redskins took a 17-6 lead into halftime, scoring touchdowns on a Ryan Kerrigan interception return for a touchdown and a Rex Grossman pass to Leonard Hankerson.
The Steelers couldn't get much of anything going on offense. The anticipated debut of rookie Le'Veon Bell didn't go as planned, with the running back leaving the game due to a foot injury after just four carries for nine yards. According to Neal Coolong of the Steelers blog Behind The Steel Curtain, the most disappointing aspect of the loss was the play of the offensive line:
Simply put, if the Redskins' defensive line is one of the greatest of all-time, and they're in regular season form, then ok. If not, the Steelers offensive line has some work to do.
The Steelers defense played well at times, at least. Coolong highlighted the play of two rookies: Safety Shamarko Thomas and outside linebacker Jarvis Jones. Thomas was arguably the Steelers' player of the game, notching six tackles including a forced fumble on a vicious hit on Redskins running back Chris Thompson. Jones also forced a fumble and quieted some of his critics in the process.