DK’s Daily Shot of Steelers: When NFL depth gets dreadfully exposed

DK’s Daily Shot of Steelers: When NFL depth gets dreadfully exposed

[Music] wayne haskins is not the number two quarterback benny snell is not the number two probably not even the number three running back robert spelaine shouldn’t be even like the number eight inside linebacker good morning to you good saturday morning i’m deon kovachovich of dk pittsburgh sports and this is a special edition of daily shot of steelers i asked yesterday if you guys were interested in a little bit of an extra weekend discussion following the steelers pre-season finale which did not go well for the club last night in charlotte the panthers prevailing 34-9 and the score wasn’t even remotely indicative of how lopsided it was but then it should have been that it should have been matt rule carolina’s coach had told mike tomlin in a phone conversation earlier in the week that he needed to start the panthers main guys this was only their third preseason game it was of course the steelers fourth because they and the cowboys were in the hall of fame game so this was gonna be a tune-up for the home team and a big test for the super fringy guys on the visitors roster and guess what the super fringy guys didn’t do well at all listen to tomlin afterward you know just really disappointed um in our performance tonight i’m excited about the opportunity for the guys especially given carolina was playing a lot of regulars i thought it’d be a great platform for them to display varsity skills and just you know succinctly we didn’t we didn’t take care of the ball we didn’t win possession downs on offense i thought the defense started strong but as fatigue set in because we couldn’t maintain possession of it there were mental lapses there were physical lapses there’s fatigue set in with them we turned the ball over on special teams and so all in all it was junior varsity performance he must have referred to them as junior varsity it must have been six or seven times i know he uses the term casually and it’s extremely common but man it’s a shot and a half you know i mean that’s gotta go all the way down to the bone you know these these guys all of them at some point or other in their lives were bmoc whether it was high school or college and now they’re out there in the final preseason game with at least half of everyone participating probably thinking it’s the last time they’ll ever play football again and then afterward the coach calls them jv you know that’s that’s it’s mean i can’t think of another word for it but it’s also appropriate to borrow another tomlinism it is they were awful they were awful these guys couldn’t move the football couldn’t tackle couldn’t cover couldn’t really do anything so what is there that any of us could take away from this well i’ll start with this representing captain obvious and that’s that haskins is either three or four on this depth chart at quarterback yes i saw things that got me excited through this camp and through preseason but it was the head coach himself who repeatedly was referring to haskins derisively speaking of mean through all these practices as check down check down he kept yelling the word out check down check down because he could see that haskins didn’t want to throw down field unless his wide receivers were wide open the way they used to be at ohio state but as juju smith schuster spoke about really eloquently once a year ago there’s a difference between college open and nfl open and quarterbacks have to learn to trust that a wide receiver who has just this amount of separation is going to do the right thing to catch the football if it’s put into the proper place with the proper trajectory and what was disappointing for me in watching this performance by haskins is that he didn’t even release it he didn’t even try it looked a lot like a baseball pitcher who was afraid to throw inside and it hurt him because then he was reduced to just to the left or to the right and flicking a ball to somebody and you saw what happened when derek watt tipped it up to himself and it resulted in interception it wasn’t the haskins that we’d seen and maybe he was affected by something maybe he you know saw that there was the spotlight on him and maybe he got a little demoralized because it couldn’t be clearer and i don’t think it could have been clearer heading into this game that rudolph’s been anointed number two otherwise why hold rudolph out of the game entirely whatever it was it really didn’t click for him he did try afterward to put something of a a happy face on his performance through camp in the preseason as a whole but but listen to this even this came across sounding pretty hollow i’m never satisfied but um definitely feel like i’ve done a good job of just applying myself to the situation and doing the best i can to you know show how much i want to be on this team and how much i want to be able to help this team and have a role on it and um i feel like they’ve given me the opportunity to do that to do that so i’m thankful for that and i’m just you know looking forward to you know getting ready for the season i don’t believe that you quit on an arm like the one haskins has i don’t believe you quit on a general talent like the one haskins has and you could see some of that you could see the body movements you could see the release of the ball you can see that he’s got the build the physical tools the mechanics of a national football league quarterback what he doesn’t have yet is the ability to read the field and accompanying that the confidence and the aggressiveness he needs to attack the field once he reads it right i’m not a hundred percent sure what the steelers will do with the quarterback position i know that they do appreciate and value having josh dobbs around i also know that they’re not going to keep four quarterbacks so my supposition here is the same as it was entering camp which is that you know there’s ben and then there’s mason and then there’s haskins hanging around as the number three for another year not at all based on a single performance in charlotte that would be spectacularly unfair but when the head coach says as you heard multiple times that he’s disappointed not just in the team but disappointed in haskins here’s what he had to say about haskins like the rest of us man i didn’t think there was enough varsity work from him so it wasn’t the type of performance he wanted or we wanted but such is life that’s not nothing that’s not having zero impact or influence on your head coach that’s a situation where the head coach is using the term again disappointed he had a certain level of hope or expectation for haskins and he did put enough guys out there i know this is going to be one of the common outcries today well if he was ever given a chance with the first team hey he had plenty of guys out there he had three fifths of the offensive line he had chase claypool he had james washington and he had us starting running back from last year in snell he had players out there he wasn’t just thrown out there was people who are going to be bagging groceries next week he had guys who were first team nflers and didn’t do anything with it or didn’t do much with it in fact his stats were really kind of padded because he came in back in late when dobbs got hurt and scored some points against carolina’s who knows what those guys were fourth stringers in the waning minutes garbage time again i’m not throwing him out i’m not discounting him i’m just saying that tomlin’s assessment of this is accurate it’s fair for him to feel that way because every football team is stronger when it has more guys showing up well in a setting like this and they didn’t and they didn’t matthew sexton is a name you’ve probably heard even if you’re just you know kind of following camp in a laid-back way this is a guy who is doing really well on returns and was in the running probably still is for fifth wide receiver and he muffs a punt can’t do it can’t do it rayray mccloud seems to be the default choice for fifth wide receiver he didn’t do anything either didn’t do anything either one of the better balls that haskins put up throw down the left sideline ray ray steps out of bounds you know you just can’t do that these are the these are the opportunities that you as an athlete as a football player are training for this is the game of some of these guys dreams you know it’s pretty lousy for us but for them it’s a really big deal they didn’t do anything with it i i can’t even get into some of the defensive guys and the missed tackles and everything else probably the only player on that side of the ball that impressed me was isaiah bugs i’m a bugs guy and i’ve been telling you guys that i’ve liked what i’ve seen of bugs and to a lesser extent carlos davis as depth on the defensive line that impressed me uh isaiah loudermilk continues to make the occasional splash play so he’s going to get his name mentioned he’s got some work ahead of him but he’s got some potential you can see that he’s gonna make the team he’s gonna be a good solid special teams performer but i can dump all over that too by just bringing up the name robert spelaine what was that guy doing how did anyone associated with the pittsburgh steelers have in their heads sorry to be a broken record on this that spelaine was going to be a starting inside linebacker for this defense it’s not just that he can’t cover he can’t really do anything occasionally he’ll you know run into someone like he did with derek henry and he made one good run stop last night but otherwise this guy is just a great big no so the depth is not there that’s the bad news the good news is for the most part we’re talking about distant depth we’re not talking about immediate backups for example when you’re talking about edge rushers your backup really on either side is going to be melvin ingram on the defensive line your backup is going to be bugs to a lesser extent davis those are the backups who matter the ones that are actually going to get into the games so yeah this is one of those weird exercises it really is it really is i wouldn’t advise putting too much into it but i also wouldn’t advise just completely disregarding it when we come back just one question [Music] [Music] welcome back it’s time for just one question and today’s comes from andrew who asks the steelers offensive line is just below average let’s say like the top of the bottom third of the nfl 22nd or 23rd isn’t the steelers offense as a whole easily top 10 with all these weapons and a healthy and motivated ben i’ll tell you what andrew i like the sound of that i especially like picturing all of these guys after watching that fiasco last night it’s fun to think about the starters again isn’t it i’m not ready to to jump on fully with this concept though and i’ve thought about it i’ve thought about if the if the o-line can just be good then it should be enough for the rest of these guys to work their magic and everything else the problem with reaching that conclusion is it’s a whole lot of stuff on paper that we’ve never seen we’ve never seen other than you know camp in preseason what naji harris does with this offense how this offense works with harris we’ve never seen the matt canada offense being applied by the franchise quarterback we’ve never seen if you really want to go back before this year as well a good solid rhythm between ben and this receiver group this is something very very few people seem to touch on but when you go back to let’s say uh the ben ab days and if you really want to pick out a golden example ben and a b down in new orleans remember that game i was down there covering that in the superdome and we’ll never forget it the two of them just ate the saints alive steelers didn’t win that game but they were unbelievable offensively ben and a.b and for a big stretch of their time together not just ben and a b but the whole offense around them there was a rhythm there was a feel that okay we can do this we can run we can run it a different way we can pass it down field we can hit you over the middle we can get the tight end involved we don’t know these things with this offense we don’t know these things with this quarterback being a couple years older than he was then look i’m sharing all of this enthusiasm and optimism that i sense from the nation as a whole regarding this offense i really am i think there is potential there if you go through the individual pieces and parts and the name plates on their backs this group should put up points as i’ve been saying throughout but we don’t know it we don’t know it i appreciate the question i appreciate everybody listening to daily shot of steelers and i really really appreciate everybody hyping up in comments about wanting the extra episode i sure hope i didn’t let you down let’s do this again on monday [Music] you
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DK\'s Daily Shot of Steelers: When NFL depth gets dreadfully exposed

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