Sunday, August 17, 2008

Pre season Sea/Minn + Titans/Rams + Pitt/Philly

Seattle vs Minnesota
- Tavaras Jackson did NOT impress me. Mike Mayock was somewhat talking him up, but I saw a different game. He was completing some passes, but these were dump offs, curls, screens, and many of them off of play action. Some of the completions were behind guys and way off target, and Jackson had one real critical mistake where he threw behind the receiver with inside coverage where the ball should have been intercepted. If he keeps making critical mistakes like that, he won't last very long. If I had to compare him to a QB, think about Jake Plumber with his roll outs, dump offs, some decent plays, and then a few bone headed plays that kill his team. With all that being said, Jackson isn't even CLOSE to as good as Jake " the trash man" Plummer. Think Lipstick on a pig.

- Gus Ferrotte, the 14 year Vet might not last much longer in the NFL, but he gives Minnesota a better chance to win now. The thing about Ferotte is that he looked like he was going through his reads and progressions faster, and making quicker choices. I do know that Jackson gets hurt in the Preseason game 2 trying to pick up 6 or 7 rushing yards when he got leveled by Ray Lewis. That is a bad regular season play and a horrible preseason play. Ferotte might play.
- Maurice Hicks looked alright as the Vikings 3rd RB.
- Mike Mayock highlighted the Vikings USC rookie surfer/snow boarder Drew Radovich. I wasn't watching him too much, but he looked good when I did watch him. He is a technician with good balance, skill, and he knows how to zone block. He won't bowl you over like Bryant Mcckinnie, but he is in the mold of a Patriots, Colts, Giants, or Denver offensive lineman.

- Does Seattle have the best LB core in the NFC with Peterson, Lofa and Leroy Hill? I think so. Julian Peterson could be the best OLB in the NFC, Lofa could be the best MLB in the NFC, and Leroy Hill could be the most underrated LB in the NFC.
- The LB that caught my eye this game though was the youngster "heater" Hawthrone. He forced 2 fumbles and they were NOT flukes. The first hit was a hard hit that you could hear in the stands, and the second one is a text book helmet to ball situation. Not only did he make those 2 huge plays, but he got his teammates fired up. He looks a little thin at the LB spot, but if he is going to roam the field like a cruise missle, he can afford to be smaller. The Hawks also have former Texans 1st round draft pick Jason Babin on that LB core. I really like what the Hawks put together.
- TJ Duckett was the goat of the game with 2 fumbles ( 1 called back). Mike Holmgren will NOT let him see the field if he can't hold onto the ball. Seattle could have a decent 3 headed moster at RB with the versitile Maurice Morris, the shifty Julious Jones, and the power back Duckett, but that doesn't work if Duckett can't hold onto the ball.

- Titans rookie Chris Johnson ( 4.2 40 at the combine) looked real good and real fast. He sort of reminded me of a cross between Willie Parker and Jereous Norwood. I don't know much about ECU football, but this kid can play.
- Alge Crumpler looked pretty good and could be a real asset to Vince Young. Young likes passing to his tight ends and now he actually has a real good one. I will consider he for fantasy teams.
- Miker Hermidinger is in at OC, and Norm Chao is out. The Titans have 3 RBs, an O-line that looked impressive, and Vince at QB. Vince looked just OK throwing the ball, but he had an outstanding 35 yard run. He really looked about as fast an elusive as a 6'5 guy his size could.
- If the Titans play good defense, run the ball, play good special teams, and have a good conservative passing game, they will be tough to beat at home. They won't beat themselves, but they will make you earn a win against them.
- Kerry Collins throws such a pretty ball. If you give that guy time, he will beat you with the throw and he has been to the Super Bowl. He could probably start for at least 5 teams, but he is helping Vince along.
- The Rams could have one of the best front 4's in the game with Lenard Little, La'roi Glover, Adam Carriker and Chris Long. They have pass rush on the outside, and meat in the inside. I like them but I don't think they played very well. The titans were running the ball on them and it probably impressed me more about the Titans run game, than the Rams front 4.
- Marc Bulger didn't look good at QB. The preseason is always full of pundits talking about quarterbacks ( and especially backups) and how great they looked against those vanilla defenses, but Bulger didn't look that good. With Stephen Jackson out, Issaic Bruce gone, and what looks to beat a weak defense, the Rams could have some problems. The offense has talent and should be good, I just would have liked to see Bulger play better, and Jackson suit up.

Steelers vs Eagles
- Donovan and Big Ben both looked good and I expect both of these teams to challenge for the Super Bowl with two of the best QBs in the game.
- Kolb still looks like he is learning the WCO and was throwing mainly check downs and short stuff.
- Charlie Batch got knocked out of the game when Sean Con knocked him out. A Steelers hand off broke down and Batch took off running. He took a helmet to helmet shot from SC and came out of the game. I wonder if there is a fine coming? Batch didn't slide and it wasn't as smart play for either player.
- The Steelers now have 4 QB's: Big Ben, Batch, Byron Fathead and rookie Dennis Dixon. Who is the odd man out? Big Ben is safe, and if they signed Byron you would think they are going to keep him. So do the Steelers cut the dependable Batch for Byron, or do they cut the draft pick Dixon? I am curious to see how this all works out. Charlie Batch or Dennis Dixon are probably getting cut before the Season.
- The Steelers drafted Reshard Mendonhall and he could be a good fantasy football player. Willie Parker had 1316 yards last year, but only 2 TDs. Davenport had 5, but I could see the power back Rashard getting goalline carries. Keep an eye on him to get pick up TD's like the bus did a couple of years ago but with more rushing yards. He could rush for 500 or so yards ( like Davenport last year) but with 10 tds.
- The Steelers LB depth. They have Timmons and Woodley coming off the bench and these guys could start for many teams. They have 6 solid guys for 4 spots and maybe the best D-coordinator in the game.

I would also like to highlight the NFL rule changes.
- The winner of the coin toss can no defer to the second half.
- No "force out" on the sidelines for defenders.
- No more 5 yard face mask, as any face mask infraction results in 15 yards.

Those are 3 pretty big changes if you ask me.

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