I got to watch most of the game last night and I think Cincy folks did not, so I wanted to trot out some quick observations on the game.
Jermaine Gersham--this kid is going to be good and a god send to our offense. He's lined up tight, he's in the tight slot, he's in a wide slot, he's in motion, he's split left, he's in the backfield. That's a lot of confidence in a rookie who's only been in practice a week and a half. And he looked good wherever they put him. Does he need to work on his technique? Of course. His blocking can improve and he runs straight up and down (one hit direct hit from a strong safety and that will change) but he is the 4-realz.
Geno Atkins--Perhaps the steal of the draft. Granted he's been mostly playing against other teams second string but watching him chase down Micheal Vick. Niiice! He had all kinds of penetration and should be credited with an "assist" on Dunlap's sack.
Cedric Peerman--the fight for that last RB spot just got interesting. Johnson looked servicable, but Peerman looked really good. He's quick and he can break tackles. It's only one game's performance but I liked what I saw.
Andre Smith--Just like his pulled pork sandwiches--sloppy and burnt around the edges. First game, out of shape, not up to "game speed," mental errors. He's gonna have to get better if our offense is going to improve.
Adam Jones--HUGE. Just saying that he made 22 yard punt return does not do justice to that play. He called a fair catch, was interfered with, lost the ball, got it back, reversed his field and picked up 22 yards. Super heady play. So happy this guy is on our team. Gives us depth at CB and in the return game with a veteran's sensibility.
Kickers--We need new ones. Granted Nugent didn't have a chance, but I'm scared.
Overall the offense continues to improve. Lots of guys touched the ball and looked good. At times the offense seemed out of rhythm and there were way to mental mistakes and penalties. Although there were a few misreads, one producing a really ugly interception, Palmer looked more confident in the pocket. The good news is each week they have looked better and that Palmer to Owens 43 yarder was like a refreshing breeze while sitting in the shade of '05.
The Defense looked solid as usual. I would have liked to have seen more sacks, of course, but there was pressure to be had. The run defense was stout. There didn't seem to be much fall off when the second stringers came in. All good signs. The injury to Wilson does hurt and puts us back to square one at the Safety position. We have a lot of riding on Williams' health and Ghee's ability to develop into a reliable coverage specialist.