Sunday, August 06, 2006

Preseason Game 1 Thoughts

it's the most won-der-ful time of the year! football is back!

birds lost the game last night, but overall i was impressed with what i saw (at least at the start of the game). the first team on both sides of the ball looked terrific.

- the d-line dominated early. they were playing in the raiders backfield on both of the first two possessions. darren howard and kearse look quick, and mike patterson and darwin walker were getting good penetration. second series, d-line maintained the pressure, and trent cole sacked aaron brooks like robert gallery was not even there.

- similarly the first team o-line was pushing oakland 3 yards off line on every play. it was ridiculous. even when oakland blitzed, don got plenty of time to run through his progressions -- e.g. on the play where he hit westbrook in stride crossing left. i was focusing on herremans because he's supposed to be struggling a little with the transition to guard, but he played pretty well. he was holding his own on pass blocking and getting decent leverage on running plays.

- wow is it nice to have the real donovan mcnabb back on the field. he looked terrific. you can see that he lost 20-25 lbs from the previous two seasons. he has that cat quickness back and it shows even in his drop backs. he only threw 3 balls, but all three of them were perfect throws -- exactly on the mark with good timing. i wonder what complaints that moron cataldi has about don's performance. mcnabb looked incredibly sharp for the first preseason game.

- i must give credit where credit is due, josh parry made a good block on first offensive play, springing westbrook for a good gain.

- first team receivers looked ok, but who can tell considering they only threw the ball 3 times. baskett ran a nice slant route and got more separation than most recent birds receivers have been getting. on the field, he looks almost exactly like billy mcmullen to me. same height and build.

- reno mahe made some plays and looked pretty good early, but spent most of the game dancing and not making yards. a lot of that was due to the poor performance by the 2nd and 3rd team o-line, but he's like gizmo williams back there. dance, dance, dance, pow!

- the fat f*ck actually ran the ball!

- garcia looked awful. he got a lot of pressure and i couldn't tell whether his passes were off the mark or the receivers weren't getting open, but he looked awful. i wonder why big red didn't leave brown and baskett on the field with the second team? i know they were the "ones" last night, but they could probably use the work since they are young players.

- it was nice seeing jr reed back on the field. he looked pretty fast considering. he wasn't on screen that much so i didn't get a terrific look at him, but it seems like he's mostly back. he absolutely killed some raiders scrub wideout late in the game.

- why is stephen spach on the field? he cannot play! now they're trying him out at fullback! he cannot play! he directly caused a bruce perry fumble by making an ole block on a third quarter running play.

- speaking of perry. i know people who've watched him at training camp are impressed, but i don't think you can count on a guy who is that injury prone. he runs tough, but he's too small to take the pounding. witness the scary hit he took last night.

- i didn't see much out of scott young or max jean-gilles. i think herremans job is pretty safe.

- honeybuns is as good as gone.

- did jabar gaffney play? wow, was he invisible.



Blogger The Big Dog said...

I love the Monday morning QB....

I already had my comments on the Bunkley post. Tons of Buns is gone. Garcia did look bad, but if Don goes down, we are as good as done. If Don is out for a week, we may be okay. The thing that I never liked about Garcia is that he never gets his feet set...ever. Don drives this team and it is his team. The Eagles go as he goes.

Westbrook is a player as long as he stays healthy.

Trying not to get too excited, but I was happy with the brief showing that I saw. I just want them to stay healthy.

9:40 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was very happy with the starters-fast and angry. Great start both sides of the ball. However, my excitement quickly dwindled when I watched the 2nd and 3rd teamers. yes many of these guys won't even make the team, but some of them will be called into action and if what we saw was their A game last night, then this Birds fan is concerned. A few glaring issues stuck out to me.

1. The drafted rookie O linemen may be good down the road, but they were brutal last night. Justice was getting torched by speed rushes all night and Gilles was getting stood up in the hole and pushed backwards. That should never happen to a 350 lb man. Neither are ready to play this year.

2. No LB on this squad. Any play past the front 4 was a 10-15 yard run because their LB just had no clue where to be. They are dangerously thin to poor at that crucial position including starters and that will kill them against good running teams. Luckily there aren't any good RB in the division...aside from Tiki Barber and Clinton Portis and maybe Julius Jones.

3. No pass rush out of the backup DE-did McDougle even play? That caused lanes and 5 seconds of time to set and throw. They were lucky that the Raiders WR cannot catch because guys were open all night.

4. No backup RB. Mahe ran hard, but if Reno Mahe is your backup, then you have no backup. Dangerously thin at this position. Bruce Perry should be cut immediately due to his butter fingers and injury issues.

5. Garcia sucked, but he'll be OK. Koy is dreadful. I cannot watch him take another snap. Cut him immediately.

10:30 AM EDT  

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