I did some research into just how meaningful preseason results are. I went back to 2006 (yes I am somewhat ashamed of how much effort I put in researching the preseason) and the results were telling. No team has lost both preseason games and gone onto win the Cup. So if you believe that correlation is causality then Thursday is a big game.
Sounds like Collaros will play the first half... which means that on every single offensive play (and any defensive plays that head towards our sideline) fans will be anxiously holding their breath hoping he doesn't get hurt. I don't want to see him in the game unless the starting 5 OL is in front of him and a veteran RB and WRs are available to block. I get that he needs to get some real game action in to prep for the season but if we are being honest, given our offensive strategy (i.e. do the absolute least possible) I'm not sure you'd notice a rusty Zach Collaros over a finely tuned one. I'd like to see him make quick decisions, get the ball out quickly (and to the correct jersey).
As for what else to watch I'll be watching...
- I'll be watching the line and how they perform without Labatte (who is being rested). Be interesting to see how Clark does so quickly after his car accident.
- Hopefully the WRs step up. Kyran Moore was not great in the first game and it will be Shaq Evans' first game. They will probably only get 5 yard passes on 2nd and 9 but hopefully they make the best of the cards they are dealt.
- In the second half we should see the back-ups so I'll be watching Justin McInnis in particular in his first action.
- Defensively Micah Johnson is sitting which gives guys like Jeremy Faulk, Charbel Dabire and Tresor Mafuta and opportunity for some valuable reps at DT.
- The linebacking core will be an area of interest for me. Each passing day makes Elimimian's likelihood to play week 1 less and less which means someone needs to be ready to step up. Looks like Plan A is Cam Judge at MLB and Dyshawn Davis outside. We will likely see a lot of Deon King in the middle as well. Hope they can instill some confidence.
- In the secondary we will get to see what we have at safety outside of Edem as he is being rested as well. Looks like Crezdon Butler gets first crack at the spot with Bouka on CB. BE interesting to see if Butler can translate his veteran savvy and sure tackling to success in the middle. It would also be nice to see at least one new DB show some promise. I love our starters but I'm not sure what we have backing them up... plus no Duron to bail us out there this year :)
- Lastly I will be watching the crowd give a standing ovation for every Jon Ryan punt regardless of length. Look he's a great guy on and off the field but a punter should not be the most hyped guy on the team... even one like ours who make frequent use of our punter.
I'll just be happy to be back in the stands watching football. Normally this is the game were we would play the Official Rider Prophet Preseason Drinking Game but when you factor in the Thursday night game and the price of alcohol... I can't see that being good for your employment/wallet/health/relationship status etc... But hey... if you're still hardcore like that, the rules are below (participate at your own risk).
1. Every dropped pass of fumble you drink
2. Every time the announcer screws up, drink
3. Drink 2 if a flag bearer is out of formation during pre-game
4. Every time count, illegal formation, no yards or offside penalty you drink. Two if it’s on the Riders. Four if it’s Too Many Men
5. Every TV timeout you drink
6. If someone calls for a fair catch you shot-gun a beer
7. If a player who is not dressed gets credit for a stat or penalty, you drink
8. If a cheerleader falls, you drink
9. If a Mexican player scores a TD, down a bottle of tequila while wearing a sombrero (Traditionally this was the Jordan Sisco, it just gets modified each year).