Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Tuesday Morning Sentimonies: Camp So Far

We are now just 4 days away from football being played here! As camp rolls along (and make a more concerted attempt to actually get my sentimonies posted on Monday) I thought I take a position by position look at the team based on how camp has gone so far.

QB - Any doubt that Kevin Glenn is the unquestioned starter has been put to rest. All that's left to decide is who gets 2 and 3. Lots of Bryan Bennett hype following a strong showing at the mock game. Now I have already said that I am all in on Bennett as our only non-Glenn QB hope so I'm happy to see him shining... but let's temper expectations a bit until he does it in a real game. I have concerns about our secondary so it could just be him looking good against a bad secondary. I hope not but let's not appoint him the saviour of the franchise just yet.

RB - LaFrance's ongoing injury is making this position hard to get a read on. I still think he is the preferred option but Marshall has looked good and bringing in Allen is a sign that all is not settled yet. By the way, I'm happy to see Allen get another shot. I always thought he was underrated while he was here. He has some ball control issues but he's a productive runner. Certainly not a game breaker but a reliable producer (think Wes Cates closer to the end of his career).

WR - I have a feeling that we are going to love the Carter/Roosevelt combo. Holley has had a good camp as has newcomer Stroshak. We are so deep at receiver that Collins and Craig are being tried out at DB to see if we can justify keeping them around. Let's be honest its a pipe dream that either will ever be an actual DB but gotta look at options to retain everyone. This is why trading Edwards was a good move.

OL - Depth is much improved from last year. When Labatte went down we were screwed last year. This year, the luxury of having Dyakowski (and St John actually come to camp) is that we don't have to hinge all our hopes on one guy. Sounds like the young guys (Bladek, Meredith, Guy) have a ways to develop yet so we certainly have room to improve here but improvement here is key to any hope of success this season.

DL - Jefferson is good. I have high hopes for our interior guys (Steele, Minter, Milhouse) but until we see them in a game, its just that, hope. I still don't believe we have a legitimate second D-end. Praying some new guy like Tull or Poole make an impression on Saturday.

LB - A bit of early concern with both Love and Eguavoen not practicing due to injury. Love is finally back, Eguavoen is not (which is starting to get mildly concerning). Sounds like Francis and Hunter and the leading candidates on the other side. Not having an Otha Foster in that spot is a concern for me at this point.

DB - The top unit is constantly being tweaked and experimented with but one combo that seems to be recurring is Rodgers-Gainey-Edem-Bingman-Adams . Guys like Campbell, Roberts and Dennard remain among the contenders. Still have my concerns about this unit (especially given my concern over our ability to generate a pass rush unless Jefferson does it all). I guess the good news is at this point last season we had a rookie receiver as the starting safety, so by virtue of having an actual safety we are at least in a better place comparatively. 

I'll be back Friday to tee up the Preseason game


Anonymous said...

The team's definitely improved. Good sign that Glenn is doing well & I like Glenn BUT we need someone else to step up. There is a huge drop-off from Kevin & nobody is going to mistake him for Mitchell, Reilly or Jennings. DB's are a big concern. I'm a bit tired of the experiments - Craig & Collins converted to DB? What's the point of keeping a dozen receivers on the roster because we don't want to release them so try them elsewhere? Our basketball player built for the DL is gone but we still have ongoing experiments with TE Leonard, WR Francis, Bennett on special teams coverage & now this. Yes it worked with Lynch but good chance of getting your QB injured. Weird IMO. Let's not forget converted DL Steinhauer at FB. For Jefferson to succeed he'll need help with a push from the DT's - I like Minter but 3 yrs, 3 different teams, who knows. As you say, I agree that we don't have anyone resembling a good DE on the other side. Allen was a good pickup - still not sure the LaFrance thing will ever pan out. I had thought Jones would go for Bell in FA. That would have been a good pair to have but Marshall & Allen looks pretty good as well. There are those who say our defence is really good this year but I'm not one of them. DL is okay, missing our 2 best tacklers on LB & the DB's are a big ??? We'll see how they fare against other teams. Offence definitely looks better.

Rider Prophet said...

Anon - I agree. Glenn is arguably the 5th best QB in the west. He's good enough to win us games but we need to find the next "star". The experiments seem to be toned down this year but they are still there more than I'd like. Currently our D lacks a second D-end, a coverage LB to replace Foster and a HB. The rest is either good or serviceable but those are 3 massive needs. Until I see proof that those are addressed I'll be concerned.

Anonymous said...

In full agreement with those needs. But are you seeing anyone that stands out specifically in those areas from what you've seen so far? I'm not hearing a lot about DE's except Jefferson or a DB really standing out. As for SAM, Foster is a huge loss. The hope is Francis is the answer. I guess we'll wait & see how it all pans out. One thing for sure - this year, more than any year I can remember, a lot of teams are going to have close to a dozen new starters so the Riders aren't alone there. After a 2nd year of spending bags of money on mini-camps galore, the Murphy/Jones duo better live up to the hype of unearthing talent, not just packing the roster with other teams' players & hoping to pick players off practice rosters come the beginning of the season. They have to find a few "gems" of their own. Who stands out that didn't come from another team so far? Stroshak has been great, Bingham & Roberts pretty good in my view. We'll see how they fare in an actual game with opponents this weekend & maybe then someone else will pop out as well.

Rider Prophet said...

You raise an excellent point. We have given Jones and Murphy a blank cheque to do scouting (as we should) but at some point I assume Craig Reynolds will want to ensure he's actually getting a return on that investment.

In terms of actual scouting finds the list is pretty short Cox, Newsome, Holley, Eguavoen, Rodgers. And a couple of those are stretches to include.