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Preseason Game #1 Vs. New England Review

After seeing it live and watching the video, preseason week 1 is in the books.

Here’s what I saw:

Offense:

Running game: Our most effective weapon and continues to be. Everyone was impressive.

Breakdown of passes:

Vick: 3/4, 26 yards, 0 TD/0 INT, 1 rush for 16 yards. Honestly, you can’t ask for anything more than what Vick did. Had it not been for a Roddy White drop he’d have been perfect on his drive.

Schaub: 7/13, 102 yards, 1 TD/1 INT, 1 rush for 7 yards. 3 bad passes, 2 drops and 1 thrown away to avoid sack. Other than the INT, which should have either been a TD or sailed out of the endzone instead of being underthrown like a wounded duck, it was a solid performance.

Randall: 5/9, 82 yards, 1 TD/0 INT, 1 rush for 29 yards. 3 bad passes, 1 drop. One of the bad passes should have been a gift INT but Randall got fortunate on that one. I would say he was as effective as Schaub and grade out as solid.

Shockley: 4/10, 40 yards, 0 TD/0 INT, 2 rushes for 12 yards. Actually played better than the numbers show. Of his 6 incompletions, 2 were due to drops, 2 were due to spikes to stop the clock and 1 was thrown away to avoid a sack which leaves just 1 overthrow.

Drops (6): Roddy White (2), Jason Randall (2), Adam Jennings (1), Kevin Youngblood (1).

Sack responsibility: First sack goes to Weiner as he was beaten by Vrabel. Second one goes to McCrary as he was eaten alive by Woods on a blitz. The last sack goes on Omiyale getting beaten by Banta-Cain.

Pass blocking: For the most part was solid. Once the younger guys came in there were some breakdowns but that’s expected.

Defense:

Run defense wasn’t good at all. Looked like a combination of 3 things. First, the o-line going through our d-line and getting to the second level, the LB’s. Guards vs. LB’s is a size disadvantage that usually gets lost. Second, LB’s not hitting the gaps and getting caught in traffic. This works hand in hand with #1. Third, poor tackling. This is amazing, as I wrote the first part of this last season and didn’t have to change a word. Hope they get this issue fixed.

The pass coverage was pretty good but definitely vanilla and not scheme specific.

D-line only got 1 sack (Abraham) and got decent pressure at times but the backups couldn’t close the deal.

Special Teams:

Outside of Cobb, I didn’t see anything impressive from out returners.

Koenen and Yelk kicked off very well with the exception of one of Yelk’s kicks which only got to the 9.

Koenen connected on all 4 of his FG’s and all were from impressive distances.

Things that really need improvement:

1. Run defense.
3. WR’s catching the ball.
4. Closing the deal tackling

Offensive MVP: Jerious Norwood
Defensive MVP: John Abraham (4 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble that led to a TD)
Special Teams MVP: Michael Koenen.

Goat of the Week: Our run defense

Camp Battle progress:

3rd QB: Both were solid and I think this battle is fairly equal. If I had to go with one right now, I’d say Randall based on experience alone.

RB: Norwood ran as well as the blocking allowed but was a very effective receiver out of the backfied. Perhaps we trade Duckett for a WR and Cobb stays as #3 as a returner?

WR: Jenkins stepped up and I also thought Youngblood did a lot of good things (especially selling out over the middle to set up the game winning field goal). Roddy White MUST develop hands. I thought Bergeron ran pretty good routes as well. This unit has a lot of work to do.

TE: Daniel Fells really impressed me with his hands. It will be interesting to see how the battle between Blakley, Beverly and Fells shakes out.

DE: Savage may have taken the lead at #4 DE but needs to work on closing the deal.

DT: Only Shropshire and Jackson stood out to me. I thought Lavalais was fairly effective in pass rushing but that’s about it.

LB: Beck and Leake really peformed well, especially on special teams.

CB: I thought Williams did well for his first game and the vanilla D. Cash also did well.

S: Not much to say yet but Turnbull probably turned some heads with his ability to hit and be around the ball.

K: If his leg can handle it all year, Koenen wins and competition is over.

Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:

Looking forward to next week @Green Bay next Saturday, August 19th!

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Author: Chad Walton

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