Nicole Chatham (@Browns_Babe) and I start out this week's episode of For Pete's Sake talking about the Hall of Fame game and our impressions of the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers before turning to the Cleveland Browns, their approach to the preseason as well as some other topics within the team including players opening up about mental health struggles.
Neither of us were terribly impressed with the Cowboys or the Steelers. Yes, it's only the Hall of Fame game, but Dak Prescott's injury situation hangs a cloud over everything. Nicole was particularly impressed with Cowboys rookie linebacker Micah Parsons, who flew around all over the place just as he did while at Penn State.
For the Steelers, second year edge rusher Alex Highsmith stood out to both of us, making it seem like they will transition just fine to a world post Bud Dupree. They struggled on offense both in the running game as well as throwing the ball. Their offensive line is nothing but question marks and Najee Harris had nowhere to go.
Ben Roethlisberger wasn't playing, so Mason Rudolph continued to look questionable at best. Dwayne Haskins and Josh Dobbs fared far better.
Between Harris and players like Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool, the Steelers had far more starters in the game than I would be comfortable with the Browns. Outside of maybe Jedrick Wills, none of their starters should play in any preseason game.
Nicole and I largely agree on which players should see action on defense, but it was I, not Nicole, who stressed how important the preseason was for the special teams.
Mack Wilson and Jarvis Landry both opened up about mental health struggles they had last year during the pandemic while injured. Along with Greedy Williams, that's three players that were battling issues like depression during the 2020 season.
We discussed all the reasons why that would happen and how an injury that requires them to rest would go against basically everything they've been brought up to believe throughout their lives when it comes to sports.