-Good to get a W in the first preseason game. Not really, but there was A LOT to like about it. The obvious place to start is Charlie Whitehurst who could be our next Matt Hasselbeck in terms of a late bloomer. He has an above-average NFL arm and if he can improve his decision-making and ability to diagnose coverages, he could turn into a very good player. The trade was all about potential, and the naysayers will still point to it being a good showing in just a preseason game, but regardless, it's good to see some promise from Clipboard Jesus.
-I wouldn't get too excited about Big Mike Williams just yet because he had only one catch which would have gone for about 10 yards instead of 51 if CB Ryan Mouton made even an attempt to touch him, let alone tackle him. He does look slimmer and faster obviously, so he's someone to track here in the upcoming games, but the 1-51-1 box score looks a lot better than it really was.
-Russell Okung looked great. His elite footwork and hands translated seamlessly in his first career NFL action. He'll be a stalwart at LT for years to come and we should all thank the Redskins for somehow letting the best LT in the draft fall to us at #6.
-Deion Branch and Julius Jones MUST be cut. It's an injustice to the fans that these two are still on the team taking reps and roster spots away from promising young talent. Branch may be able to still play a little, but to say he's worn out his welcome is an understatement. Julius Jones, besides being a veteran unlikely to make mental mistakes, is probably worse than about 100 backs in, or trying to get in the NFL. I don't even think that's an exaggeration and to think that Leon Washington or Justin Forsett will lose carries to this guy is just gut-wrenching. Someone needs to step up and do what must be done.
-Someone wrote a thread about it already, but I have to mention Kam Chancellor. He looks leaner and faster than he did at Virginia Tech and was flying around the field making big hits. The pick was a joke, but his tackling was superb. He could be starting over Lawyer Milloy by midseason if he's mentally prepared. Another youngster that looked great was Dexter Davis. I loved the pick when we made it and feel he can be a solid rotational pass rusher as early as this season. The guy was always able to wreak havoc with his athleticism and size at ASU, and he continued to show his ability to get after the QB in game one. Watch out for Davis.
-With the awkward intra-division acquisition of Kentwan Balmer, it has become absolutely clear that Coach Carroll will transition this defense to a 3-4. All the signs are there including moving Red Bryant to DE, drafting hybrid OLB Dexter Davis, all the "Elephant" talk, the aforementioned Balmer, etc. While I do acknowledge that it may be the better defense, especially in the long term, I just don't think the personnel we have now fits well at all. Our best defensive player, Brandon Mebane, has played his best football as a one-gap penetrator. He can't do what he's best at in a 3-4. I fear he'd be moved to nose tackle where the repercussions would be twofold: 1- We'd essentially lose our best player because he'd no longer be the pass-rushing 3-tech we love. 2- We'd have a somewhat undersized NT who has shown he's not the greatest at taking up blockers and stuffing the run. Mix that in with Lofa and Curry being better fits for the 4-3 and I think we have plenty of reasons to stay away from a 3-4 switch. Maybe it won't be that bad, but on paper I don't like to move to a 3-4 unless you have a big NT, and some long, athletic guys to play the 5 and rush the passer standing up.