October 7, 2022

La Ronge Northerner

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Labriola to beat Seattle

Labriola to beat Seattle

Well, that didn’t settle at all.

After three weeks of training at St. Vincent’s College, coach Mike Tomlin was eager to get his team onto the field, take out the practice wheels, and throw players into an unwritten practice against an opponent who surely has a grudge in his heart. This was necessary, everyone understood, because despite facing the usual summer task of shrinking a roster of 90 players to 53 for the start of the NFL regular season, Tomlin and his staff faced the added task of identifying the starting quarterback.

For the first time in Tomlin’s career as a head coach in the NFL, there was no Ben Roethlisberger on the payroll to tackle the sport’s toughest and most important job, and while he believed there were three respectable candidates from whom a successor could be chosen, time began to be a factor.

There was Saturday’s opening game against Seattle at Acrisure Stadium and then two more pre-season games after that, and although three weeks at Latrobe didn’t really do much to realign an order that was put in place in May based on something more than years of NFL service. , the expectation was that the challenge presented by the Seahawks and then the subsequent tests by Jacksonville on August 20 and then Detroit on August 28 would shed additional light on what the 9/11 depth chart should look like in Cincinnati.

“This guy wasn’t in the live pocket yet,” Tomlin said when asked specifically what rookie Kenny Pickett might learn from Saturday Night vs. Seahawks. “There are none of the midfielders, and that component is important in terms of their playing, their ability to act and make decisions at the right time, their ability to absorb the penalty that comes with the game and position. There is a lot involved in live play, and their ability to protect football. It’s a huge opportunity. him and others.”

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Tomlin will only be patient and faithful to the process. No favouritism, no agenda, no ulterior motives.

Tomlin said about 48 hours ago: “You know, it’s not a decision that I or the others make. It’s a decision that has to be made by them and by their play. All we have to do is decide what we see.” The ball was on the tee on Saturday evening. “This is the mentality I bring to him, and this is the mentality I want them to have. I want them to know that these are not mystical decisions. These are tangible, tangible decisions that come from performance and the quality of those performances. And so I don’t want them to rub a lucky rabbit’s foot and things like that.” I just want them to play well, and the quality of this play will determine what happens in the future.”

Tomlin got what he wanted, even if he did nothing to advance the decision process, because against the Seahawks, Mitch Trubisky, Mason Rudolph and Kenny Pickett all played well. Not perfect, but there were no spins, no delays in game penalties, and no timeouts. Each threw at least one touch pass, each ended up rating a pass in the three numbers, and both Rudolph and Beckett directed more than one scoring drive. And of course, Beckett, the fan base’s first and beloved choice, put the cherry on top by leading the five-game, 43-yard race that capped a 24-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Foggs with three seconds left to deliver the decisive points.

“I can say the same about all three (quarterback), to be honest with you. They moved their units. They did the unofficial things associated with the position from a leadership and communication standpoint. They were involved. It was a good first timeout for all three. Obviously we’ll comb it tomorrow and evaluated in this way.

Tomlin and his staff’s assessment will ultimately focus on a defense that allowed 159 yards to dash through an average of 6.1 per carry, as well as collect two quarterbacks Geno Smith and Drew Lock to complete 70 percent of their passes to a group of 13 different people. receivers, six of them got at least 15 yards or more. The Steelers were leading 14-0 and 17-3 in the first half only to find themselves in a 25-25 tie with 13:32 remaining in the fourth quarter.

The fact that Minka Fitzpatrick, Alex Highsmith, Larry Ogunjobi, TJ Watt, Tyson Alwalu and Cam Hayward have been left out of the game doesn’t matter to Tomlin, but it is still important to put defensive performance in perspective. Sure, more of that group can be expected once these former players get their hands on that pile.

But what Trubisky, Rudolph and Pickett did was unusual in that there are not often three quarterbacks on one team who post all of the passer-by-100 ratings, while each man also did something special in terms of playing the position at the NFL level.

Trubisky led his group down the field on opening possession of the game – 75 yards in seven games – and the ball ended up in the end zone based on a 13-yard pass to Gunner Olszewski. Rudolph also directed a touchdown drive in his first series, this game covering 23 yards in three plays and ending with a 26-yard pass to George Pickens, and the next time offense took over the field, he ran 83 yards in 17 plays to tackle the field goal. Then Beckett lived the fantasy.

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This was made possible by a tape/sack by new inside linebacker Mark Robinson on Drew Lock, and when Tozar Skipper came in with the loose ball at the Seattle 43-yard line, the Steelers attack got a chance to win the game.

Beckett scrambled for 4 yards on the first descent. Matthew Durant ran for 5 to finish third and third. Beckett then completed a pass to Cody White for 2 yards and a new set of touchdowns with 33 seconds left. Beckett defended again, this time for 8 yards, then on the next play he got the ball in the right flat to Foggs, who broke a tackle from Josh Valentine-Turner and sprinted toward the end zone and smashed across the goal line. decisive landing.

“I loved the match, I loved the look we got, just the free access,” Beckett said of the final, and then got roughed up by defensive line Miles Adams. “I was just thinking, get [Tyler Vaughns] The ball, we’ll get out of the bounds and leave it [Nick Sciba] Put it up to win. But Tyler is a great player. I gave him a chance, he made a move and he scored.”

And now she’s back at St. Vincent’s College, back to the drawing board. It’s time to try something else, because the pre-season opener didn’t do much of anything to separate these brokers.