We had some questions answered in our first preseason game; and had a hundred more asked in their place. DJ is already done for the year. Our O-line looked atrocious, at times. Guys who needed to step up, floundered; while guys who were supposed to flounder, stepped up. Not much has changed since my projection from last week, so I'll keep my thoughts brief.
Key - ACTIVE (INACTIVE) [PracticeSquad]
Ben and the first stringers were great for it being their first game out. Byron, when the O-line would let him stay upright, also played well enough. Johnson has a ways to go, securing my thoughts he lands on the PS, instead of at 3rd string. Batch stays on as insurance, though we only keep 2 QB's active on gameday.
I think our running game will be a complete 180, from previous years attempts; and this is without a healthy Mendenhall. Dwyer is doing what he needs to, to survive on the roster; hated the fact that he went out with an injury after only 2 carries; however his injury is not severe, and he will be back. Batch played well at the end of the game, but suffered at the hands of his o-linemen, evidenced by his 19 carries for only 40+yards. Eliminate his early game carries, and he played well enough to keep considering for 3rd down back. Dwyer will be the most expendable when Rashard returns mid-season; although injuries can change everything.
FB - Will Johnson = 7(2)
Johnson was not as impressive as some of us may have hoped; but DJ's injury, almost, makes Will a lock for this roster, if Haley really, really wants a FB. Regardless, if he is the FB of the future, he should make the roster, and grow with the rest of the offense. He wasn't great last night, sometimes lining up wrong, or taking the wrong blocking assignment; but this can get better over the course of the preseason.
Haley evidently likes the 2 TE sets, however I didn't see much of 3 TE sets. I think DJ's injury, and McCoy's penalties, gave Pope a leg up, without doing anything explosive himself. Saunders becomes the number 2 when he returns, leaving Pope inactive,IMO. See you next year, DJ.
Wallace blah-blah-blah. Sanders and Brown are good blah-blah-blah. Cotchery isn't going anywhere. I had placed D. Williams on the roster, though inactive; however, I don't think he will be needed, as some of the younger guys showed me they are capable of playing on ST's, or at least backing up the ST units. I'm still only using 4 actives on gameday because of Rainey, who showed us just how "up-to-the-task" he is, last night. Many people want Maze to make the roster, but we have too many returners. If he hits the PS, he could make a career here, but I don't think he makes the roster in 2012.
LG - Willie Colon
I'll save any harsh criticism I have for our O-line, until I've seen another game or two. They looked bad at times, and others, even worse. Starters showed some promise, though without Colon, and with Adams still being a rookie, we still aren't getting a clear picture of what we really have. I do know Kelvin Beachum is not a LT. Ramon Foster had a sub-par game, also; leaving me confident in my original projection.
Al Woods had a nice heads up play, taking an interception 50 yards, setting up a score. He's making his case to make the roster; he's also making a case for the lack of need for Casey Hampton. It still wouldn't surprise me to see Hampton IR'ed, to preserve the roster spot. If he comes back, he will take Woods' gamehat, though I wouldn't cut Woods, much like J. Dwyer. If we're making a playoff push, we want all the quality depth we can carry.
LOLB - LaMarr Woodley, Jason Worilds
Worilds better come back, and on fire. Johnson, who I had writtten off in last week's projection, stepped up and played great. Robinson and Carter played really great. The biggest problem, is we're running short on roster spots and game hats. I think Johnson will end up cut, though he played well; I think he gets cut simply for not being a homegrown talent. Worilds gets cut because of Carter and Robinson, unless he can somehow take Sylvester or Foote's roster spot; but I'll leave it like this until we have more game footage to go by.
Our DB's played well, though some young guys like Andre Freeman, didn't. Frederick showed he's capable of covering kicks on ST, meaning he'll probably make the roster, though inactive beacause he is a rookie, and there are others in front of him, that will handle ST's. McFadden was actually quite impressive, against the Eagles reserves. If he continues to show up this way, he could make the PS.
Myron Rolle let me down last night. He may be as smart as I am (lol), but you need more than brains to play well. Robert Golden could become a good edition to the PS, showing he can contribute at S, extra DB, and even some ST's coverage. I still believe D. C-S makes the active roster. Thank you, ST's.
K - Shaun Suisham
P - Drew Butler
LS - Greg Warren = 46(7)
It's still too early to guess who will be our kicker. Suisham didn't miss any, yet. Tomlin referred to Kapinos as, "going to be out for some time", says Butler should end up with the job. He didn't shank any, so. . .
Greg Warren. That's all I have to say about that.