The Steelers want to shrug off the season-opening 28-point loss to the Ravens as an aberration. Warren Sapp of Showtime’s Inside the NFL doesn’t.
On the episode debuting Wednesday night, Sapp said of the Steelers, via Michael McCarthy of USA Today: “I have three things: Old, slow, and it’s over.”
“James Harrison told us that he was 70-to-75 percent,” Sapp said. “It looked more like 40 percent to me if you are looking at the ballgame I was looking at. And Hines Ward, Mercedes Sapp can cover Hines Ward right now. You have to be kidding me. . . . Mercedes is my 13-year-old daughter. She will cover Hines Ward in a heartbeat. And Troy Polamalu, Ed Dickson runs this crossing route. Troy Polamalu is trying to grab him to have a pass interference and he can’t even get close enough to grab him. [It] looked like he was dragging a wagon behind him. Touchdown Baltimore. Pittsburgh Steelers done.”
Not everyone agrees. Phil Simms of Inside the NFL said Sapp was overreacting. Rodney Harrison of NBC said on Sunday night that the Steelers will shake this one off.
If Sapp is right, it won’t be easy to shake off old and slow on defense. On offense, the challenge will be for the offensive line to buy enough time for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to take advantage of his trio of young and fast receivers: Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, and Emmanuel Sanders.
Time will tell whether the Steelers can get it together. Anything other than a blowout of the Seahawks on Sunday will keep the questions around for at least another week or two.