Having had a chance to sit down and re-watch Saturday's preseason game, I felt that I would join the club and give own views on what I saw from our team. Now some of this will have probably already been covered by Hoops and Hayden, but I'm still going to give this review the old college try.
Ryan Tannehill showed fairly well. He finally connected with Mike Wallace during the game and had a few other nice reads and throws that were dropped. There were a couple plays that he did hold on to the ball a little too long. Whether it was waiting for the play to develop, or just not having anybody open I don't know. That's really my only complaint from him.
Lamar Miller showed some good burst, but that drop he had irritated me. He catches that he has a fairly big gain and a chance at even more with his speed in open space. I also was a bit annoyed by a shovel pass he caught early in the game that again, could have gone for more yards than it did, but he bounced around from side-to-side a bit too much. It may not seem like a huge deal, but when Daniel Thomas has quietly improved throughout the preseason and is being decisive, it's little things like that that can cost you the starting nod.
Speaking of Thomas, he showed fairly well in different areas. I still want to see him run tougher a bit more consistently, but give credit where credit is do, he's making progress.
Top 3 WRs look solid, and while I have a pretty good idea who is going to fill out the rest of the spots, I'd love to see one guy get up and grab the spot for his own. A similar thing happened last year where way too many guys failed to impress during preseason. I currently think we keep 5 WRs with Rishard Matthews and Chad Bumphis as the 4 and 5 guys. While they didn't really use Bumphis as much on the offense this past game, I do feel he could have a good impact on our offense similar to what Davone Bess had his first 2-3 years with us.
If we can get the RG spot sorted out the starting offensive line should be fairly decent. Richie Incognito actually doesn't look that bad when he gets out into space compared to last year (when he looked awful). While Samuda looked terrible again, there is talent there. I have no problem keeping him to develop. The big issue is at backup OT. Dallas Thomas is basically going to get a redshirt year, and he's a guard more than anything anyways. Right now our best option at LT if Martin goes down might be a healthy John Jerry, which isn't exactly a thrilling choice. I fully expect us to look to the waiver wire for a backup OT.
The Dustin Keller injury sucks. I'm not going to say it was a dirty play, but DJ Swearinger was a bit of a reckless player in college, and IMO that was a hit that was easily avoidable and a dumb tackle to try to make. We've heard how the other TEs have had solid camps, well the next preseason game will be their chance to show it. While none of the guys will be able to replicate what Keller would have done for the offense, I don't really think they need to be. Either way the next game will determine IMO if we go out and try to pick up a new TE.
Speaking of TEs, while Michael Egnew did get called for a holding, he didn't look bad as a blocker. Even on that call, it wasn't a hold until the very end. I also think that Evan Rodriguez will get the chance to show whether or not we need to pick up a new tight end. Not calling him a world beater or anything, but there is some talent there. I do feel confident in saying that he has a better chance of making the team this year than Javorskie Lane.
Safety depth is a bit concerning. Kelcie McCray has been getting beat a bit too much this preseason, as has Don Jones. While I love Jordan Kovac's story, and think he could become something down the road, he isn't ready to be anything more than a ST player at best. While Jimmy Wilson should make the team for his ST and blitzing ability, the best option for 4th safety might be Keelan Johnson.
Jamar Taylor looked decent in his first extended action. Very good tackler.
Will Davis on the other hand showed some of the bad that some (myself included) pointed out will happen. He can make plays, but he's going to gamble a lot and when that happens he's going to get burned.
I think Dimitri Patterson should be locked in as a starting corner for now, though I thought this from the Jags game where I saw him make a nicely timed break up on a pass while Richard Marshall got lucky not to get a PI call. Whether you like Patterson or not, you have to give the guy credit; many pegged him as an easy cut due to his salary and he's played his ass off this preseason and camp and I think he's a good placeholder until Taylor/Davis are ready for heavier loads.
The starting LBs should be very good and the speed difference between this unit and last year's is night and day. Will they be perfect? No, but they seem much quicker to diagnose plays out of the backfield (like screens) than in past years.
Koa Misi looks quicker as well. He even looked good in coverage against Owen Daniels. I don't know if Misi will ever develop into a pro bowler, but I could see him being a long time glue guy for the team (which is perfectly fine).
As much as I like our starters, if we have any injuries we'll be in trouble. Cross your fingers boys and girls
Oliver Vernon gave Duane Brown fits. I know Hoops mentioned the holding play, but that's not the only time I saw Brown struggle a bit.
2nd week in a row I've watched Cam Wake absolutely abuse a starting RT. Hopefully the good camp from the other DEs results in production so Wake can see less double teams.
I really hope we resign Big Paul after the season. Not much of a pass rusher, but he's so important to our defense.
Hopefully Jared Odrick's preseason translates to the regular season. He continues to play like he has, and Randy Starks isn't coming back (though I'll be sad to see him go)
AJ Francis and Tristan Okpalaugo (maybe even Emeka Onyenekwu) could make things a little tough on the coaching staff. They've shown good flashes the last 2 games. I think we keep 9 DL, and I think it's a tight race between them Derrick Shelby and Vaughn Martin. It may be hard to get them to the practice squad.
In conclusion: What is fairly evident is depth is an issue at some key places but I think we already knew that. A lot of good things to take from the game against a good team. The next preseason game is the dress rehearsal so we'll likely be seeing starters into the 3rd quarter. We also should have a much better idea of the final 53 man roster. Not celebrating wins or worrying about losses in the preseason and in my opinion there have been more positive things than negative so far. After the next preseason game I'll probably make my predictions for the season.
Now back to your regularly scheduled Finheaven rants