Is it all systems go? Who knows? Usually that answer is not known until the end of the season. The Giants were 9-7 in 2011 and 2012. How they look at those seasons is vastly different. All you can hope is that seeds planted in the preseason can sprout into a very productive post season.
Tonight there are just three areas I am looking for planting for growth into a very productive post season:
- Play like professionals - This is football. There will be negative plays. The fewer negative plays because of blown assignments and undisciplined actions the better. The fewer timeouts because you cannot get the play off the better.
- Be Special and Inconspicuous - The vast majority of Defensive and Offensive starters will not be playing tonight. Most of the players on special teams in the first half may very well be on the squad in the regular season. I do want to know who they are for the most part. Most of the time when you hear a name on special teams it is not a good thing. It is great to have a big return or huge block. All I want is solid play from a no name unit. The coaches will know who they and that is all that matters.
- Bruce does not have to be Almighty - In the first two preseason games Ben was all about short to mid range passes. They need to put Bruce on that diet. Bruce has an almighty arm, but I would feel more comfortable with him if I saw him throw more consistent on the short to mid range passes needed for the Haley offense. Wasn't he brought in to do that?
After week seventeen, with the awesome power of hindsight, we will have a better idea of what was done and not done this preseason. The way I look at how the 8-8 season ended to put the Steelers where they are at now, I do not care if the team is ready to go or not. They just can't stay here. (Thankfully, I think the team feels the same way too.)