An absolutely gorgeous evening to watch the game with a very enthusiastic crowd at THF.
This is all in context to pre-season with mostly back-ups playing for 3 quarters.
Some thoughts about what I saw:
Kicking - punting remains a major concern. Not one punt was long or accurately placed. Not better than last year. Field goals were another story entirely. All attempts made. I would pick Seth Small #40 for place kicking. Booming leg. He hit a 60 yard FG practising at half time with lots of distance to spare. Wow!
QB's - Dane Evans - in limited play he looked sharp, mobile and effective. Addison was his favourite target and I look forward to big things from those two. Shiltz looked OK and had a couple of big hits on him including a fumble that was nullified on a penalty. When he decides to run he can be fast but he doesn't have the same pocket presence as Dane. He did look solid on short yardage plays including a TD that was all effort. Jalen Morton made very few pass attempts. Looked jittery in the pocket. Almost all of his touches were hand offs to Wes Hills.
If Dane goes down our back ups will be a big concern. The luxury of not having Masoli is going to be a factor at some point this season.
O-Line - still not able to provide much pass protection. Run production was fair to good.
Receivers - the new guys never really stood out. Going to be tough to make decisions here. Emmanuel Butler is a big target and has some speed. Burt was a non-factor but he wasn't targeted.
D-Line - starting rotation looked good. Decent pressure and speed. Lee Autry impressed. Micah Johnson is a huge and ripped dude.
DB's - got picked apart early by Trevor Harris and it continued with Dominique Davis. Back ups looked inexperienced and lost at times.
Tunde Adeleke delivered a crushing hit early in the game that brought the crowd to its feet. Beast mode!
Overall it was exactly what you would expect from the first pre-season game. Very vanilla with lots of loose play from rookies. It would have been nice to see more of the starters out there but that doesn't make sense at this point.
Sideline leaders - Simoni, Santo-Knox, Wynne. These guys were super enthusiastic and are so ready to play. Cheering on every play and helping the new guys both on and off the field.
Great to meet Egbert at the game too. Super fan and very nice guy.
Was great to meet you too Smoggy! Looking forward to teeing it up soon.
I saw much the same as you last night. A couple thoughts to add:
Starting D - got picked apart by Trevor Harris, BUT we had the same 12 guys in the same spot, every single play. No disguise, no rotation, no blitz, no drop back in coverage, just vanilla on vanilla on vanilla. I refuse to pass any kind of judgement on that.
Morton QB - ran like a majestic deer in the open field. My criticism is that he missed too many quick hitters. I don’t know if he couldn’t read the play fast enough, wasn’t decisive enough, or his release just isn’t fast enough, but he never got the ball out with any urgency. He took a couple deep shots and over threw his guy by 4-5 yards each time.
FG Kicking - great last night, but wind and weather conditions were pretty ideal. I’ll be curious to see how our chosen kicker performs once the wind at THF shows it’s teeth.
Receivers - out of Butler, Johnson, Brown I think there has to be a gem in there somewhere. It didn’t really shine last night, but i hope it will soon. The Canadian kid Kiondre Smith might be a diamond in the rough too. One very nice reception and run after catch, but it was called back after a penalty.
Forgot to mention... I believe Lawrence Woods #37 was the returner that showed real speed and agility on the first two punt returns. Hit the holes fast. He could be someone worth watching if he stays on the roster.
Agreed Egbert. The D showed nothing on formations or substitutions. Very basic.
The one who stood out for me was Darby who came over from Peg... 4 tackles 2 sacks and a force fumble... I was hoping we would get a look at Durant in the game. I think he replaces Banks..
If i had to choose... P.White, T. White, Addison, Durant, Dunbar and Unger even throw in Tyler Ternowski. Still wish he got a few looks too... Outside of that group the other rec didnt really have any jump out on the screen and say wow.