Yeah, they lost. Yeah, the starters could have looked better. Yeah, they were playing in Heinz Field. Yep, Landry Jones threw a pick with an opportunity to win the game. So what? Was it a regular season game? Nope, it wasn’t.
I know this is the game that is supposed to be the closest thing to the regular season but in case you didn’t notice, Ben Roethlisberger only threw nine passes. He completed six of those by the way. Antonio Brown only had two receptions and Le’Veon Bell wasn’t even in the building.
I’ve read and also heard a lot of people starting to panic about this team and just how far they can really go. Are you kidding me? This is not the time for panic. It’s not week 10 of the regular season with the team on a three game losing streak! It’s the third game of the pre-season where the team ran a vanilla offense and didn’t play their super stars for very long. I. Am. Not. Worried.
I still believe this team is a Super Bowl contender. I’ve seen nothing to sway my opinion on that. Yeah, I’m down on Ross Cockrell and he certainly didn’t do anything on Saturday night to change my opinion on that front. However, I’ve been down on Cockrell for a few seasons, so his lackluster play isn’t going to change my mind on their chances.
In my podcast last week I spoke about him being the weakest link on this team. I know it. You know it and you better believe the coaching staff knows it. I don’t think for a second that coach Tomlin and his staff will leave Cockrell out there if they see a better option in Coty Sensabaugh, whom I happen to think is the better player.
So watching Cockrell get burned, or the first team struggle in a game where they dialed back the plays, sat their stars and had nothing to play for except staying healthy, doesn’t faze me. Landry Jones isn’t going to play three quarters and throw 31 passes most weeks (hopefully). Bell will be carrying the ball when the games count. The defense will run different and better schemes. The offensive line will be fully staffed when it counts too. There are far too many variables happening in the pre-season to ever worry about wins and losses, let alone think that the play in August can predict what we’ll really see in the regular season. These games are exhibitions being used to measure some key battles, not much more than that.
So when it’s time to play a meaningful game, this team will be ready to go. They are far too talented, highly motivated and have a ton of veteran leadership in guys like Ben Roethlisberger, Maurkice Pouncey, and James Harrison, not to succeed this season. Trust me, come week eight, nine, ten and beyond, you’ll be saying the same thing I’m saying right now; The Steelers lost to the Colts in the third pre-season game, So What?