Offense excites in New Orleans

Game action from the Pittsburgh Steelers' third preseason game against the New Orleans Saints.

NEW ORLEANS - QB Ben Roethlisberger, RB Le'Veon Bell and WR Antonio Brown hadn't yet played in the preseason and might not next week, either.

So when the Steelers threw all three at the Saints at the outset on Friday night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the idea was not to waste an opportunity.

"What we didn't want to have happen was to have those guys and not execute," guard Ramon Foster said. "We came out and did what we thought we could. I think we picked up from where we were last year.

"It was exciting to see us do that with everybody out there."

The Steelers started fast and won handily, 27-14, and Roethlisberger, Bell and Brown were heard from early and often.

The first drive of the night covered 74 yards in 15 plays and ended with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to TE Jesse James.

The second required four plays to traverse 79 yards, the last 57 of which were covered on a catch-and-run touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to Brown.

The Steelers reached the New Orleans 22-yard line on their third possession, but Bell lost a fumble after catching a short pass from QB Landry Jones on third-and-18 from the Saints' 30.

"Trying to do too much," Bell explained.

The Steelers leaned heavily on the no-huddle attack during their first three possessions.

Bell, who played longer than the two series Roethlisberger and Brown participated in, carried three times for 21 yards and caught a team-leading five passes for 37.

Brown had four catches for 87 yards and a TD.

Roethlisberger was 12-for-17 passing for 148 yards and two touchdowns and finished with a passer rating of 136.4.

"We aired it out a little bit more than I thought we would but it was effective," Foster said. "We gotta be that team that can score at will. We gotta be that team that just executes whatever's called."

Bell expects nothing less.

"The sky's the limit for the offense," he said. "We have play-makers everywhere. We can go out there and make plays."

DIFFERENCE OF OPINION: LB Vince Williams thought he had forced a fumble with a clean hit on Saints RB Daniel Lasco two plays into the fourth quarter.

The officiating crew thought otherwise and penalized Williams for a hit with the crown of the helmet.
"I hit him with my shoulder," Williams insisted. "It shouldn't have been a flag. I'm not a dirty player, don't play dirty, never have played dirty in my life. I hit him with my shoulder.

"I think if he gets up (immediately) or doesn't fumble nobody even says anything. People get hit every day, it's football. We're not out there playing flag football, that's why we wear pads.

"I'm a linebacker, I get paid to tackle people. I made a nice, open-field tackle. I definitely hit him with my shoulder."


STILL NOT SATISFIED:** WR Sammie Coates fumbled twice on Aug. 12 against the Lions and claimed responsibility for two interceptions thrown by Jones on Aug. 18 against the Eagles.

It was a different story against the Saints.

Coates contributed an 8-yard TD reception, had a game-long, 58-yard catch and also drew a 19-yard penalty for pass interference.

But Coates wasn't happy about "a few missed blocks.

"Making plays is what they expect me to do," he said. "I have to continue to grow all around, blocking and doing the little things right."

HE SAID IT: "You'll see me Week One." _ DE Cameron Heyward, who sustained an ankle injury and had a walking boot on his right foot after the game, looking ahead to the regular-season opener on Sept. 12 at Washington.

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