The Pittsburgh Steelers ended their preseason with their second straight win, this time with the younger players trying to make the team beating up on Carolina 21-10. Several of these young players did themselves good, especially Stefan Logan, seen above high fiving the crowd after his 80 yard punt return, which apparently sealed the deal: he's made the team, and may give the Steelers a weapon they didn't have last year. Another offensive standout was running back Isaac Redman, who punched in another goal line touchdown. The Steelers are so deep at running back however that the local experts are saying Redman is not likely to make the team, which I find hard to believe. He's a fan favorite already. I'm betting they find room for him.
Well, the Steelers are reigning Super Bowl champs but one thing hasn't changed: they get no respect from ESPN. This year just like last year their games are hardly covered, usually last if they make Sportscenter at all. The yak is all about Brett Fauvre, Michael Vick, ad nauseam, and the favorite going into the season is Hollywood Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Regardless of picks, let's remember accomplishment, and the Steelers have only strengthened themselves since January. It's disgusting how little attention or respect ESPN pays the Steelers.
As for the upcoming season, the only thing that would surprise me from the Steelers is cold efficiency. It would be a relief, though. The NFL is looking more like baseball year by year, divided between the elite teams and the bad teams. It's still true that on any given Sunday any team can win, but for a bunch of teams that's going to be a stretch. The Steelers are among the elite teams this season. They've added some potentially exciting players on both sides of the ball, and addressed several weaknesses, although the o line (especially in terms of depth) remains the biggest question mark. Which means Big Ben will probably be improvising a lot again this year, so anxiety awaits again. They start the season next Thursday against the Tennessee Titans.
Update: Redman was cut, but he was signed to the practice squad so he's still a Steeler. Apparently the Steelers are still looking for an experienced O line sub, but didn't sign anybody off waivers. It looks like all the key players are healthy for the opener. Should be quite a show, against a tough team.