I went through and watched the first half from my dvr and I will say it wasnt nearly as bad as most seem to think. There were some good things to take from this game and honestly, who gives a flyin' **** about the score. Its the preseason, a chance for the players (especially the youngins) to work on some things without the team showing their full hand in the process. Some of the things I observed:
1. AJ and Jerome both look like they can be studs. Didn't get to see enough of them really but I have high hopes. They will be instrumental in the growth of Dalton as will the rest of the receiving options he has at his disposal.
2. Cedric came out with a bang. He looked a step faster than he has during his tenure here. He will have to play a major role for this team this year as it should be. Don't know why we ever thought we should lay back on him like we did last year. The mans a stud and our OL's only real strength is in the run game as of right meow.
3. I liked what I saw from Andre Smith. The man's one of the more dominant college lineman I've ever seen and if he can finally learn how to be a pro he will help solidify this line in a big way. Needs a little technique work in his pass pro but he already gets by even with that problem. Andre has the ability to be the next Willie Anderson or even better if he really puts his mind to it.
4. Dalton will be at least a solid pro if we can keep his head on straight and not get him killed. Our OL struggles in pass pro especially up the middle which was seen on his first throw. That INT probably doesnt happen if he doesn't get hit/pressured right in his face in the middle of his throwing motion. After that pick he really calmed down and looked good. He's got a lot of targets and if he can continue to be accurate we should be OK for the future.
5. Defensively we were a little roughish. I liked what I saw from Rey in the middle I think he can really be a force for this team from that position. Our new LB crew looked like they have some potential to be really good, even in the absence of Rivers. I really liked the two signings of Howard and Manny, think they were a bit overlooked by many. This DLine could be really friggin' good with the youngins in there (Geno, Carlos, and MJ). We didnt get much of a pass rush but I think that had more to do with the fact that they had more people in to protect than we did rushing than anything else. We certainly missed Dunlap in that department as well.
6. Losing JJ was the single shittiest thing that has happened to this D in the last 5 years. IMO he's one of the best cover corners in the NFL and he will most certainly be missed. Our D will suffer from that especially when it comes to blitzing because we wont be able to leave Leon on an island with every receiver, even as good as he is he's just not the best in man. Excellent tackler, above average in coverage, but certainly not on JJ's level in that respect. I do like the signing of Nate Clements given what happened, he looked decent during this game and I think he will help our team.
Again, we didn't look great but its not something to get too worked up about. This probably isn't going to be a great season for this team but if we can somehow eek out 6-7 wins I will be a somewhat happy camper.
^A Bonekrusher production^