Ben there, done that: The Steelers improved to 3-0 in the preseason, holding off a late surge by the Detroit Lions for a 26-20 win in their only home preseason game this year.
The offense showed early what they are capable of, with Ben Roethlisberger completing 8 of 10 passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns to rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth, with a quarterback rating of 158.3.
"I thought he did a nice job," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "I thought we got what we wanted to get accomplished. Getting familiar with administering the offense in a stadium-like circumstance. I thought he did a great job of communicating. He made good and fluid decisions and we were able to move the ball."
Right in line: The offensive line continues to gel as the preseason rolls along, from the starting unit tonight that included Chuks Okorafor, Kevin Dotson, Kendrick Green, Trai Turner and Zach Banner, as well as others who stepped in as the game developed.
"I just thought in general that they really finished," said Tomlin. "It seemed like our pile was falling in the direction that we desire for it to fall. I thought guys were finishing with great effort that were examples of that. You saw No. 79, Rashaad Coward, down the field finishing a block. You saw No. 53 (Kendrick Green) on several occasions really finishing. Hopefully that's the catalyst for us as we move forward."
Game action photos from the Week 2 preseason game vs. the Detroit Lions at Heinz Field
Making an effort: While Tomlin was pleased with the overall effort of the team, one thing he did mention was penalties. The Steelers had five penalties for 24 yards, including one at the start of the game. Cleaning that up will be a key as the preseason concludes on Friday night in Carolina, the last opportunity for some players to make a case for themselves to make the 53-man roster.
"I thought the effort was excellent," said Tomlin. "Our execution needs to be better. I thought we were penalized some tonight, things that we can control, pre-snap penalties. First drive of the game, we have a false start to start the game. That's not the type of start we're looking for. But appreciative of a lot of efforts. We'll comb through it and dissect it in an effort to get better individually and collectively and move on to the next one.
"This one's going to move fast. That's where we are in the process and we understand that. We understand this thing is coming to a head and guys getting an opportunity to make a final case for themselves. We're respectful and appreciative of the efforts.
"These are significant days that lie ahead. Not only between now and our next game, but between now and Sept. 12. We have to continue to grow. We have to continue to develop people. They have to continue to be developed. We'll roll our sleeves up and go back to work tomorrow."