Josh Kirkendall's article on the main board does a wonderful job of expressing the common fan's sentiment about last night's game. We were disappointed with the first team but saw great things from Roy Williams, Jordan Shipley, Adam "back, man" Jones, Chase Coffman, and especially Michael Johnson and Geno Atkins. So without delay, here are some other things I noticed...
-Number Nine looked good. His passes were all on target with some zip and he was getting rid of the ball quickly. One thing I didn't like, however, was the batted down pass which is squarely on his shoulders. If your going to call a quick read (in this case a slant) you can't stare the receiver down from the second you snap the ball, that defense is forcing the read and will surely have their lineman flailing their arms, which they did.
-It no longer seems unreasonable that T.O. closes in on the 100+ catch incentive in his contract. Judging only by those two drives alone, defenses will choose to single cover T.O. rather than Chad (duh). Thing is... Ocho doesn't handle a good double team very well, so until T.O. is really lighting them up there won't be any coverage drawn off Chad.
-Odom was getting pushed around. Since it is his first game back from a ruptured achilles, this doesn't necessarily worry me. I mention it, though, because he looked slim. When he started the season last year he looked massive at around 285, I believe. He's nowhere near that by the looks of him, perhaps 265-270.
-Receiving Tight Ends continue to haunt this defense. Whenever a big game outside the division comes along such as the Texans, Vikings, and Chargers games in '09, we seem to be able to compete on their level except when covering the tight end. If we are going to be ready to compete this year, we need to stop Kellen Winslow, Tony Gonzalez, Dallas Clark, Jeremy Shockey, and Antonio Gates.
-J.T. looked pitiful. He badly missed Andre Caldwell two times, when Bubba was open, and threw the ugliest deep ball I have ever seen. He also looks like an idiot when the pass-rush was bearing down.
-Gresham was worried about the hit. On the single pass that was thrown his way on a fly route in the slot, Gresham completely copped out on a very catchable ball. He clearly didn't attempt to jump, put only one hand up, and his eyes were in the secondary before the ball got there. He was being hung out a little by the QB, but I was disappointed.
-Surprisingly, Orien Harris looked great. That was the giant number 95 you saw squashing the interior of the offensive line almost the entire game. He even had some good snaps out of what looked to be a 3-4 alignment at nosetackle. For the rest of the preseason I'm going to be paying closer attention to the fat-man, he wants to make this squad.
-Pat Sims came off the edge and destroyed somebody in the backfield. This was actually later in the game and came out of the same formation that I believe was a 3-4 with Orien Harris at nosetackle, and Sims and Clinton McDonald at end. Big Patty played really well in the base formation too pushing a lot of runs to the outside and making a few plays.
-Who is that chopping down the outside linebacker? Chase Coffman? Yep. I seen it folks 'n then I seen it again, twice I seen it. Chase Coffman (riduculously awesome catch too, by the way) was doing a very good job in pass protection. On one play which was a sack (so they replayed it in slow-mo) Chase was the only one on that side of the line to do his job, hacking the lower thighs out from under his assigned rusher.
-Geno Atkins Looked Dominant, it must be said again. You know you saw that double team he ripped in half to get the sack, have mercy on your soul, .Flacco, Taz is going to eat you.
-Jordan Palmer is a better passer than J.T.. If Jordan can learn to just see defenders over the next few games, he'll be our backup. O'Sullivan may know where to put the ball, but he can't get it there. His passes are way off, they are late, and he has no power in his arm. Jordan's throws, while consistently a little high, were mostly accurate, had great speed and control, and came out quickly. Lil' Palmer needs to work on his underneath routes clearly, the secondary is not the only part of the pass-coverage, dummy... for your health.
-Matt Jones, while still a sloth off the line, may have more than we think. Not too many corners want to play bump-n-run against a guy his size so that first step came with a little more room on Sunday. His hands were sticky and he is perhaps the best option to out-muscle the secondary behind T.O.. His major problem seemed to be a serious lack of receiver's feet. He just could not put his toes down. He was stepping out of bounds on catches that Chad could get down 5 yards further towards the bench.