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Insider Only Steelers – Jaguars Post Game Buzz: Shamarko Thomas playing cover-2 was a frightening sight

Roethlisberger22_835441gm-aJaguars 23 – Steelers 21
Tonight’s preseason game vs the Jacksonville Jaguars looked like a script out of a training camp practice this summer.
The first team offense was unstoppable moving the ball at ease on one series.
All Ben Roethlisberger and the first team offense needed was 6 plays to put a touchdown on the board.
The Steelers went 80 yards on the opening drive, capped off by a 44 yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Martavis Bryant, something we’ll be seeing a ton of this season.
Roethlisberger was 3-for-3 on the drive for 59 yards, touchdown.
First-Team Offense
1. Ben Roethlisberger pass short left to Antonio Brown to PIT 26 for 6 yards
2. Ben Roethlisberger pass short left to Levon Bell to PIT 35 for 9 yards
3. Levon Bell rushed 16 yards right end to JAX 49 yard line.
4. Le’veon Bell up the middle to JAX 47 for 2 yards
5. DeAngelo Williams up the middle to JAX 44 for 3 yards
6. Ben Roethlisberger pass deep right to Martavis Bryant for 44 yards, touchdown.

OTA’s and training camp have made it no secret that Mike Tomlin plans to be aggressive with the new rules change in going-for-2.
There was little surprise to see Tomlin go for it after the Bryant touchdown and Ben Roethlisberger would improvise and convert the two-point conversion with a pass to Markus Wheaton.

Shamarko Thomas/STEELERS D
The good for the Steelers first team defense was getting a three and out on the Jaguars opening drive but other than that it was a poor night overall for the first/second team combo.
After the three and out, the Jaguars would score on their next three drives (1 field goal, 2 TD’s).
The Jaguars cut the Steelers lead to 8-3 with a 13-play 45 yard scoring drive that resulted in a Josh Scobee 36 year field goal. On 3rd and 11 at the Steelers 18, tight end Clay Harbor failed to finish off a passing play from Bortles that should have been a touchdown.
The Jaguars came back on their next drive with a sustained 12 play, 83 yard scoring drive as Blake Bortles capped off the drive with a four-yard TD scramble as Jarvis Jones over-committed from the edge and Bortles got to the outside.
With the likes of Stephon Tuitt, Ryan Shazier and other starters still in the game, the Jaguars would strike again with back up QB Chad Henne torching the Steelers secondary with a 31-yard touchdown pass to Cole Harbor.
The frightening sight for any Steelers fan was watching Shamarko Thomas in coverage on the Henne touchdown pass.
Yes, that’s your starting safety.
Thomas’ inability to effectively read and react to the quarterback has been an area that often shows up in practices and certainly showed tonight while in the cover-2.

Harrison Makes Impact
James Harrison will be the Steelers starting right outside linebacker in the season opener vs New England. Harrison with two full practices under his belt, had 3 tackles (2 solo), 1 sack and 1 tackle for loss in limited snaps.

— 2015 first round pick Bud Dupree was a complete non-factor again and continues to look lost at times with his recognition. Dupree is one of those young guys right now who only stands out when it’s practice in shorts. Long way to go and we’re only through two preseason games, but if Dupree’s going to make any impact this season, it might only be when the Steelers go into a 4-3 scheme and put him at end where there’s less thinking and the mindset to just go after it is there.
Garrett Hartley was 2-for-2 on field goals. Hartley hit from 48 yards and 29 yards.
Brad Wing had four punts for 184 yards, averaging 43 yards per punt. Wing had two punts inside the 20, including a long punt of 53 yards. Jordan Berry punted two times for 84 yards, averaging 42 yards per punt. Berry had a long punt of 51 and got a chest bump from Mike Tomlin after punting 51 yards from the Steelers 10-yard line early in the 4th quarter.
Kevin Fogg continues to flash showing versatility playing in the slot and on the outside. What stood out again for Fogg is the anticipation and ability to read the quarterback. Steelers might have something there.

— Rookie Sammie Coates led the Steelers with 5 receptions and had 52 receiving yards.
C.J. Goodwin had a tough 21 yard catch and had 2 receptions for 25 yards and a 1 touchdown on the night. Nice response game after the fumble on Sunday.
Landry Jones was 24/46 for 200 yards and 1 touchdown.
— Lawrence Timmons sat out due to a toe injury…..Josh Harris suffered a foot injury…..

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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