After years of wishing I could see the road preseason game on TV, I finally got my wish. Though it was a case of be careful what you wish for as we were treated to a game that was better suited for radio.
It was a preseason game and 8 of our starters didn’t dress so the results are about as important as the member of parliament from Nunavut (I assume they only have one but am too lazy to check… and yes I’m fully aware that in less time than it took me to type this line I could have googled it but I stand by my statement).
Here are my thoughts on the game
- Durant had a rocky start with a pick 6 and another one that should have been a pick 6 had Davis Sanchez not displayed the catching abilities of a Rider receiver. After that he seemed to shake off the rust and improve as the game went on. Unfortunately I don’t think Durant will be breaking his tendency for turnovers anytime soon but that’s just the kind of player he is. As long as he keeps finding ways to win I guess we can live with it.
- Durant received zero help from his receivers. Balls were bouncing off the ground like it was a basketball game (Matt O’Donelll would have been in heaven). Getzlaf is Getzlaf, if you’re looking for a playmaker he’s your guy. If you’re looking for reliability, you’re looking for a different numbered jersey. Nunn had an ugly drop but overall looked good enough to earn a spot. They clearly like Wheelright’s height which is lucky for him since his brains are obviously lacking. When they throw you a pass on the sidelines with time winding down in the game you should probably try to get out of bounds rather than make a futile effort to fight for 1 more yard as the clock expires.
- All 3 RBs look good. Cates and Charles aren’t going anywhere but West makes a strong case for a spot somewhere.
- Offense struggled but when you consider that it was Durant’s first live action and we were without our best 2 receivers, there’s no reason to worry. That given the catching abilities shown thusfar by our receivers, Durant’s only chance at another 5000 yard season is for Dressler and Koch to each get 2500 yards receiving... Relax, I’m kidding… mostly.
- Defense wasn’t actually that bad when you consider that 7 of our 12 starters didn’t even dress. I was particularly impressed with Graig Newman who got the start at safety by virtue of being our only healthy safety. For a guy who’s never played anything but junior ball, he didn’t look out of place with the starting unit. He’s got some room to grow but I certainly like his potential given his level of play with zero experience.
- Nick Graham will be good. Not just good compared to the useless player he is replacing but actually good.
- Seriously Mullinder?!? Another offside?!? Even if you got away with going offside, it’s not like you would make it to the QB anyway so why even bother?
- I am by no means a Montez Murphy fan but even I have to admit he has been pretty impressive so far this season. At the start of the year I assumed it was a forgone conclusion he wouldn’t make the team but now I’m thinking we’ll have to find room for him
- Etch may be gone but I still saw Mike McCullough line up at DE on at least one play.
- The only benefit of watching the game on TV was seeing the amazing hits in the game. Unfortunately they were all against the Riders. Eddie learned the hard way what happens when kickers try to pretend they are athletes. Stu Foord… well I’m not sure he knew his name by the end of the night, let alone what province he was in. The first hit from Hyland was a solid pop… the second one was epic!!! Foord’s helmet flew farther than a Luca Congi kickoff. I haven’t seen a helmet fly that far since AJ Gass hurled one across the field in 2007.
- Our kicking game scares the crap out of me! Our offense struggled a bit but we didn’t have Dressler and Koch. Our defense was so-so but 7 of our starters weren’t playing. Kicking… we have no one else to come in and save us (barring a miraculous recovery by Congi). We are stuck with that pile of garbage we saw Wednesday. Johnson’s FGs attempts will always scare me but his punts (which he usually excels at) were not good either which certainly reduces his job security. Fortunately for him (and unfortunately for us), his competition was also busy damaging their job security. Silva just doesn’t look ready for the pros and Milo is hitting FGs at the same rate that Gene Makowsky is. If this is the best we can hope for Berry better start working on an entire playbook of 3rd down gambles.
- If Milo does end up being our kicker, I envision myself exclaiming “Another miss for Milo!” in throughout the season. (Bonus points if you get that reference).
- Media Consultant is predicting Sandro DeAngelis will end up being our place kicker.
Outside of our kicking concerns, you can’t read too much into our performance on Wednesday. It was preseason, once our full starting unit is in there we will be ready to kick some ass in the 2011 season.
The easiest part of Greg Marshall new job is up next… the cuts. While some cuts will be fairly evident (e.g. Mark Jones) others may turn some heads. Players I personally think are on the bubble include Tamon George, Chris Leak and probably most surprising (at least to me) Byron Bullock.