The Good/Not Bad
Since it's THE FIRST Preseason game let me be the first not to overreact to what we saw in the first live action of the year.
1. THe QB situation.
Unlike most, I like what I saw from all of our QB's. Gus Ferrotte knows the system and he looked solid. What I liked about him was his poise in the face of extreme duress. He stood in the pocket and I liked that. Also, he clearly can throw the ball. This is so much of a better sitation than last year - lest we forget when we had Jay Fiedler challenging Feeley. Ferrotte is a legitimate QB and that's exactly what AJ Feeley needs. If AJ wins the starting job (and I believe he will once he learns the offense) he will have earned it. Ferrotte is not going to give it to him.
Feeley was accurate in the seven passes he threw and he wasn't staring down the receivers which was one of his biggest problems. He's still holding on the ball way too long, but he can correct that. How refreshing is it to have two guys who can actually throw the ball. What it means is that if the line gives them e3nough time, we'll be okay.
Lots of room for improvement. Of course. The play where Ferrotte stepped up into the face of the blitz and made the completion to Chambers should tell Feeley alot. AJ needs to show the same poise. He's shown the toughness, I want to see the poise now. Don't worry about the blitz - BTW what the HELL was Lovy Smith doing BLITZING on every down in the first Preseason game??? Good job Lovy. You guys won the game...Wow.
3. PLay calling
Despite the sloppiness, it was nice to see a game plan and play calls that actually surprised the defense and adjusted during the game depending on what the defense was doing. Chicago blitzes from the start and every single play against our Oline who's playing together for the firrst time. Linehan sees this and makes some in-quarter adjustments and viola, we start to move the ball. Ladies and gentlemen, THAT is the positive you can take from this game. We finally have an innovator at the OC spot. That's going to pay big dividends down the stretch.
I feel really good about our receivers (and so should Linehan). Chambers is ready to go (damn if we can just throw the ball in his direction 15 times a game, we'll win every time). Boston is back. He's only going to get better. It was hilarious watching those Chicago db's trying to tackle big dbo. Chambers and Boston on the outside is looking like a helluva combo. Remember, this is just the first preseason game. Wait until we start installing game plans. BTW Welker is really impressing me. He reminds me of Wayne Chrebet.
I'd rank the receivers like this:
5. Play Makers - Diamond and Glenn.
These guys made plays. Can't have enough playmakers on your team. I loved the attitude Diamond played with. IMO he makes the team. Glenn was a good pickup. A solid backup LB who's played in this league before. He makes the squad also.
1. OLINE Agressiveness.
I'm going to write this off as first game sloppiness. I expected to see us blowing the Chicago DLine back off the ball. I didn't see that unfortunately. Chicago blitz often and it was obvious we haven't trained our guys on how to block the blitz - specifically the corner blitz. That will improve. What scared me was the passive attitude of our OLine. Maybe it is because it was our first time againt real competition, but dammit I want to see some fire! I'll hold judgement until the last preseason game. Frank Middleton at Rg WILL help tremendously. Is Jeno James just soft? What happened to that guy? He was supposed to be this mean, tough guy. I haven't seen it so far. Someone needs to kick him in the *** or insult his mother because he's not mauling and damn it we need maulers at the guard and center position. Hadnot should round into form and like I said, Middleton brings it, he just needs to get in shape. McDougle and Carey need lots of reps.
2. CB play.
I liked what I saw from the safeties: Bell, Jones, Tillman and Schulters. Among that four we should come up with two quality starters. Right now, based on what I've seen I would give it to Bell and Jones, but Schulters is a player and could take the job from Jones.
The CB play is another question. This looks to be a BIG problem. Right now the only CB who's playing well is Madison and even he had some trouble Monday night. We have GOT to get a solid starter opposite Madison or we're in trouble. Howard looks awful. Daniels looks like a rookie, though I like the way he hits. Richard has potential but he did get beat deep badly on that one play. Edwards was a non factor.
I hope we bring in another CB (read Terrell Buckley). We need the bodies there. I would scope out Baltimore, Seattle and Philadelphia and swoop up their last CB cuts in late August. Right now, we're extremely vulnerable here.
Those are the big points I got from the game. Let me have it...