Ok, I'll do another one of these, even though I'm having trouble justifying the effort. I guess a lot of these kids who have worked their butts off over the last 6 weeks deserve a comment thread even if this will be "it" for them. They all played very hard, and some of them played very well.
1. Who were those guys on defense and where were they last season on that last drive.
The Giants put out their #1 offense for 4 or 5 series, while we were going with our 2nd team DL, our 3rd team LB's and refugee's from rugby teams, the University of Illinois , and the Lincoln Ne county jail made up the backfield, and pretty much stoned them. Hell Sergio freakin Brown got secondary snaps and didn't embarrass himself Quite frankly it was impressive
2. The 2nd DL was very solid the entire first half. But once again Ron Brace stood out against the Giants first OL. His play is going to be a huge boost for the Pats, not only adding quality depth for Wilfolk, but in various sub packages. Its like digging down into an old Christmas sock and finding a present you forgot to take out a few years ago.
3. The same can be said for Jermaine Cunningham. That first sack was an impressive piece of work by anyone's standards. Again made more exciting by the fact it was against the Giants first OL. But almost impressive as his consistent pass rush was his strong work against the run. I especially liked when he dropped down to DT in certain sub packages. He seemed very hard for them to control down there. I think its safe to say that Cunningham was better than we realized his rookie year, and allowed the lockout to derail his last season by being unprofessional. Something he wasn't this off season.
4. Trevor Scott did enough I think to keep his roster spot. Set the edge well and did enough rushing to stay ahead of the game....until at least Andre Carter is ready to come back.
5. Koutavidis and Tarpanian both played well enough to cost Tracy White his roster spot. Both are just as good on ST's and both are better LB's. Again it was pretty impressive against the Giant first O
6. It was Nate Ebner who blew the coverage on Victor Cruz on the TD pass that wasn't, not Stirling Moore. That being said, Ebner should be made to teach tackling to the rest of the team, he's THAT good. And the blown coverage granted, he around the ball enough of the time to make one ask the question, "if Ebner could only get 3 snaps at S during his career at Ohio State, why weren't we drafting their starters.
Those guys had to be all world.
I've always liked him as a special teamer, but felt that he would have been served better on the PS for a year to "learn to play safety". Well I'm very late to the "Nate Ebner makes the final roster" parade. I can't be more impressed with how quickly he's progressed (and what a long way he has to go). Still hard to believe OSU staff couldn't get him on the field more.
7. Is there another rookie S outside of Marc Barron who looks better than Tavan Wilson. At this point he might not be a HR pick, but a good solid Double for starters. Always around the ball and like Ebner and Dowling, excellent tacklers
8. The OL - The closest thing we had to starters out there came in the first quarter of the game and it seems to me that the protection was better, a bit more in sync. It got ugly at times as it can when you give up 5 sacks, but when you look at who was out there, it really won't matter past Friday.
9. I just don't get Boldin. PS is fine with me, but unless Vareen is going to be out a few games, I'd rather have a FB or 4th TE. Demps impressed me in that he so willingly carried the ball right up the middle. You can tell that he's going to make a lot of teams very skittish when he's in the backfield down the road. (IBTW did he sign a 4 year rookie deal, or is he on a one year deal)
10. I will remind you that however bad you think Hoyer or Mallett is doing, Matt Cassell was much worse back in the preseason of 2008. IIRC, zero scores and about 5 1st downs. And that's all I have to say about 2 guys we will see no more of for the next 5 months.
11. Alex Silvestro is better than anyone has the right to expect of him and I hope his reward for taking one for the team this training game is a spot on the PS... and I will be very surprised if he doesn't get one.
12. Special teams - This has been a very unreported on area of the team, and as you can tell from high number I put it at, I'm not that much better. However I think we have improved our team in this area, by a lot. Good special teams players are going to be cut for better ones. I'm very happy that BB pays more attention of this area of the team's game than we fans do.
13 - General comments - On the surface we really should be concerned about the state of our offense off of this preseason. This was a team that averaged close to 30 ppg last season, and yet the first team offense hasn't topped 14 and needed to go into the 3rd quarter to manage that measly number. We all know that its "only" preseason, but its still disappointing nonetheless.
14. I will take one inference as very encouraging. Last season when BB was very unhappy with the Pats offensive unit, he made them play in the 4th game for most of the first half. Evidently for some reason that is not apparent to the rest of us, he clearly didn't feel that way last night. Well if BB is satisfied with the progress to date (though I doubt that "satisfied" is the right word), who am I to disagree. Evidently he sees the pieces coming together even if we do not.
15. We all love how this defense is looking, but am I alone in feeling like the punch drunk fighter who has been hit with the left so often that I'm praying for the right. Have we been lulled into a false sense of accomplishment? (not seen since the first TB preseason game) Are we being set up for another disappointment. Can we really turn this defense around so dramatically as Houston did last season?
I just don't know.....but so far so good.
Well good night. The next time its for REAL!!!!