The Steelers’ No. 1 pick made nine solo tackles and two more on special teams and also had an interception in the first half of Saturday night’s 19-16 preseason victory over the Buffalo Bills.
Shazier got tight end Scott Chandler on the ground after a catch, but not before Chandler had pushed through far enough to move the chains on a third-and-7 from the Bills’ 29.
And Shazier was left in Chandler’s wake on what became a catch-and-run, 24-yard gain on third-and-27 from the Bills’ 41-yard line, a chunk play that set up a 53-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter.
“I ran over the top,” Shazier explained. “I have to be underneath him. I was standing up. I have to be lower, break down and make the tackle. I over-ran the guy, just poor technique.”
That aside, Shazier emerged appreciative of the experience.
“It was great,” Shazier said. “I thought I was going to get a touchdown (on his interception return). I’ll have to get it next time I touch the ball.”
“The communication was what I wanted to work on,” Roethlisberger said, “and we didn’t have mental errors, of what I saw. It was a good start to the no-huddle.”
“We were able to move down the field with it with no mental errors,” Brown said. “Ben had to be fluent in regards to knowing our assignments and playing fast.”
“It was nice to get my first live action, for sure,” Polamalu said. “We’re very grateful for the victory, of course. But there were a lot of mistakes made which, if we want to be the dominant defense we aspire to be we shouldn’t make those mistakes.”
REPEAT PERFORMANCES: Rookie running back
But the top reprise of the night was linebacker Victor So’oto’s second forced fumble in as many preseason games and linebacker
Jones rumbled 28 yards for a touchdown with a fumble forced by So’oto in the Giants game. This time Jones scooped and scooted 19 yards to the Buffalo 1-yard line after So’oto’s sack/strip on Bills quarterback Jeff Tuel, the play that set up
RIGHT TO WORK: Newcomer
Tight end/long snapper
PLAYING TO WIN: The Steelers had lost five consecutive preseason games since their last triumph under such circumstances, a 26-24 victory over Indianapolis in August 2012.
So while the result against Buffalo may not have counted, it mattered.
“It’s nice to get the ‘W,’ the first ‘W’ in a long time in the preseason,” defensive end Cam Heyward said. “It’s something we can grow on.”