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Old 08-09-2019, 08:15 AM
GoBigBlue88 GoBigBlue88 is offline
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Default Preseason Week One quick thoughts

1. I don't take much of anything from preseason week 1. Week 3, maybe you take something. But all I care about preseason week 1 is the one-on-one matchups. Can players win those? In other words: it doesn't matter to me that Rock Ya-Sin honors a soft zone drop call and plays 10 yards off on 3rd-and-4 in a vanilla preseason defense. I don't count that as a knock on Ya-Sin.

But when an OL can't win a block, or a DL can't beat a block, or a CB loses in man coverage, I do take some note of that.

2. This isn't a new opinion for me for those who know me, but: Jacoby Brissett isn't very good. That is not basing off one preseason game. That's basing off a world in which people insist he has 2nd round trade value. He doesn't. He's slow to get the ball out and not accurate enough to be a full-time starting QB. Great guy, great arm and one of the better QB2s in the league. BUT that reinforces the gap between QB1s and QB2s, let alone between Luck and Brissett.

3. I think the Colts keep Phillip Walker around to simulate guys like Watson and Mariota in practice. That's the only reason I can figure out, because I've now seen this guy for 3 preseasons where he can't hit the broad side of a barn.

4. Chad Kelly won't make this roster, or probably a roster in general. But a QB like that at least lets you evaluate other players. Unlike Walker.

5. OL will be fine in regular season. As long as Castonzo doesn't get hurt. Woof, Le'Raven Clark is gonna make the roster as his backup and is a huge step down.

6. Kinda a weird night for Quenton Nelson and Braden Smith. Neither played long enough to make much of it, but both seemed uneven. Regardless, I know in an offseason where Reich has been all about architecting a better run game, he cannot be happy with his OL in the first week of preseason.

7. Hard to evaluate the RBs last night given how little they had to work with. You know Mack and Hines are stone-cold roster locks. The battle between Wilkins, Williams and I'm guessing Foreman enters the mix next week will be interesting, in the wake of Ware's injury. I like Wilkins; still not sure why Colts always seem so cold on him. But Williams made a good case last night.

8. WRs showed well overall last night. Funchess is going to be a solid, if unspectacular, addition. Again, mostly just interested in WR5 or WR6 if they carry that many. Obviously Hilton, Funchess, Campbell are locks. You have to figure between his reliable play, blocking and special teams contributions, Rogers is WR4.

Big thing last night was Cain vs Fountain at that WR5 spot. That battle should go down to the wire. It's pointless to call it now, but Fountain had the edge last night.

And of course can't write off Pascal or Marcus Johnson. So much comes down to upside and special teams role.

9. TEs didn't really play in the order I thought they would. Thought we'd see more of Hentges. Travis needs to get back on the field ASAP if he wants a shot.

10. Again, based on the larger trend, not just last night: I'm concerned about the pass-rush. Yes, I get that Houston is a solve. To what extent, we don't yet know. But you would expect Lewis and Turay in particular to make big Year 2 leaps. Lewis was anonymous last night, and Turay maybe won one battle after 5 seconds against a third-string OL, which Barkley evaded anyway.

I don't judge off this one game, but I do think it's problematic Turay doesn't look better than he does at this point.

11. I was thrilled with all of the linebackers who will be remotely relevant to the final roster. Think this corps checks all of the boxes and these guys won their battles tonight. Walker, Speed, Okereke. All looked good. Walker and Okereke is a fascinating battle.

12. I can't wait until Eberflus can take off the gloves and have some fun with this defense. While I have pass rush concerns, I still love the overall athleticism of the front seven. So many guys who can cover so much ground and have great wingspan. Think the pressure package potential of this group is through the roof. Firmly believe, in my heart of hearts, this is going to be a fun defense to watch. Maybe not a top-10 overall defense, but a good defense that plays a fun brand of football.

13. Similar to LB, no real concerns at CB for the guys who will actually play. Wilson looked good -- no clue whose fault the coverage bust was, but he won his 1-on-1s all night. Ya-Sin is going to be good. Encouraged by his play in man coverage, and not making much of soft zone asks. Not a perfect night for the rookie, but you can easily see where this group is a solid 4-strong at the top.

14. I'm similarly confident at safety. I don't make much of a Derrick Kindred taking an awful fourth quarter angle and cutting himself, basically. That's preseason for you. I do just look at the play and skillsets of Hooker, Geathers, Willis and Farley and think: yeah, they're good there.

The George Odum thing is still so weird to me. We always hear about how much Ballard loves him. I personally have never been remotely impressed by him, and seeing him draw another flag last night was an "of course" moment.

15. I want Hines to stay healthy because I think he factors into the offense, but I wish he'd have taken a chance and tried to return the really returnable punt. I think Rogers ends up as the guy, but I'd like to at least see what guys not named Pascal or Rogers can do on kickoffs.
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