Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Are You Ready For Some Football?

Well if you are, you have to wait till the regular season starts in a few weeks. Right now its just pre-season football, which isn't the most exciting thing in the world. I love that the NFL Network is airing a lot of the games this year. I've got to watch a few games so far, so here's a few notes so far.

1. Jamaal Branch, RB, New Orleans Saints. I was very very impressed with this guy. Aaron Stecker got hurt, so Branc may claim the #3 RB job after camp. He'll make the team regardless if he plays like he did against the Titans. He's a big guy (5'11" 240 lbs) for a RB, but he has very good speed as well. What impressed me even more was his field vision. He seemed to see a lot of the field and always made the right cut where a lot of RBs probably wouldn't have. And when he cut outside, he had the speed to make it out there. Its just one game of course, but he's someone to watch. Barring a spate of injuries, he won't get much of a chance during the regular season, but he seemed to have all the skills needed to make it in the NFL.

2. Vince Young, QB, Tennessee Titans. In that same game I got to see prized QB Vince Young. I was very vocal that he didn't have the skills needed to be a NFL QB. I even rated him as a WR in my draft rankings. I just didn't feel he had the throwing skills to make it in the NFL. I also felt it'd take him a long time to learn an advanced offense after the bare bones offense he ran in Texas. I got to see him in about two series. I saw some things I liked, and some things I didn't like. He seemed to be willing to stay in the pocket and go to his 2nd or 3rd or 4th read instead of just taking off soon as one wasn't open. I did not like his throwing motion at all. He just bends his elbow back and flicks his wrist. He did throw an absolutely beautiful 50 yard bomb with that motion(though it was dropped), but he seemed very inconsistant in his throws. He did have one nice scramble, in what seemed like the perfect time to run. There was no one on the left side and he was able to gain quite a few yards and momentum before anyone got near him. He didn't seem to make anyone miss or power through them, but there wasn't much to go from in the game. I still don't think he can be a NFL QB, but if he can get more consistant, he might just prove me wrong.

3. The Entire Jacksonville Jaguars team. Their game against the Dolphins is winding down as I type this and the whole team has been impressive. Byron Leftwich seemed like himself, standing in and getting clobbered by a LB and throwing a TD bomb. Matt Jones made the catch on that play, made someone miss instantly and scored. David Garrard looked pretty good, he threw a 60 yard bomb to former Hawaii star Chad Owens, then he made a fantastic scramble/throw to Maurice Drew(rookie from UCLA), who took it 55 yards for a TD. Just an amazing play all around. The defense was very aggresive. Their backup DLine seems to be learning from their probowl DTs or the Jags just have a fantastic system for their defensive line. Either way I was very impressed by just about their whole team.

4. The 49ers Defense. Sure, it was just the Bears offense, but for a team as bad as San Fran was last year, their defense seemed much improved. I loved how they attacked the ball instead of waiting back on their heels (I just hope Lloyd Carr and Ron English took note of that..). No one in particular stood out, but I could see this team improving quite a bit this year. Not only on the defensive side, either....

5. Alex Smith, QB, 49ers. Smith was absolutely awful last year. Just.. terrible. According to Pro Football Prospectus 2006, Smith's season last year was the worst of any QB since 1997. Their KUBIAK system projects an improvement for him, but not that much. However, he looked like a completely different QB against the Bears. He was composed. He stood in the pocket and threw when he needed to, and he scrambled when he needed to. He didn't seem to panic against that great Bears D and really just tore them up. Just one game, but if its any indication of the work he's done since last season, he could blow his projections away. I don't think the 49ers will have a great season, but I'd be shocked if they were picking in the top 8 next year.

6. Chad Greenway, LB, Vikings. Poor guy tore his ACL in his first preseason game, he's out for the year. I had him rated just behind A.J. Hawk and DeMeco Ryans in the draft, so I definitely think he has the talent. I just hope he's ready for next year. I hate to see Big Ten guys go down like that.

7. I don't get why people are going on and on about the new referee jerseys. I've watched probably 3 or 4 games now and haven't even noticed them at all. Whats the big deal? I don't get it.

Lions/Broncos game starting now. I may add more later. Comment away!


At 8:50 PM, Anonymous Ross said...

Yes, yes I am ready for some football


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