Preseason Game 1: Dolphins
August 15, 2010 at 03:29pm by Scott • 8 Comments »
Thanks to everyone who hung out in the chat for the game last night We probably had about 20 different people in and out for the duration. It was a good time and think we can all agree on one thing: Derrick Ward should be waiting tables. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Quarterback play was exactly where you might expect it to be. Josh Freeman looked pretty awesome. He was 4 for 4 on the first drive and had that sweet pass to Mike Williams on the second, a spectacular play by both guys. Josh Johnson looked like dog shit. He threw high and behind all night, fumbled, and caught his own batted pass which almost never works. The only thing he does well is runs. Rudy Carpenter looked like slightly less dog shit, but with a much weaker arm. Even when he makes the right decision, the ball takes so long to get to the receiver that the defender has time to close. We had a discussion about depth on the chat toward the end of the game and quarterback is undeniably in a terrible depth position.
Cadillac Williams looked strong and had no problem cutting on those knees. Derrick Ward was fucking awful and no one would miss him if he was abducted by aliens. Kareem Huggins has all the speed that has been advertised and, based on this preseason game, needs to be the #2 running back. Somehow, holes that Ward just couldn’t find were right there for Huggins.
Earnest Graham looked great as a lead blocker.
Mike Williams is as advertised. Fast, good feet, good hands. I didn’t see that elusiveness that Arrelious Benn is supposed to have, at least not on the end-around. I’m guessing Mike Nolan is a regular reader of this site and knew that the Bucs were going to use Benn in that way. Micheal Spurlock is likely in the lead for the first non-lock receiver position, ahead of Terrence Nunn or Chris Brooks or any of those other guys. Preston Parker showed up okay, but the best he can hope for is the practice squad.
Jeremy Zuttah looked outmatched on all but a couple plays he was in. When he was in at center, he never looked comfortable after the snap and Keydrick Vincent was better than him at left guard. Jonathan Compas looked like hell at guard, but all right at center. Maybe the o-line backups aren’t as versatile as we think. Everyone else on the starting offensive line looked pretty good after the first series. The third-string offensive line looked better than the second-stringers, especially in the running game. It could be that Huggins was making them look better than they were, but there were definitely holes being opened. Lots of penalties: holding, false start… that shit has to stop. James Lee was good as Donald Penn‘s backup. Xavier Fulton better watch out.
Meet the new defensive line — same as the old defensive line. It was only the first preseason game, but the starters were having trouble stopping the runs up the middle and were doing fine shutting them down to the outside. I remember one good play by Gerald McCoy, but otherwise I wasn’t impressed. To be fair, he was being double-teamed a good deal. Michael Bennett looked very good as a backup — constantly in the backfield. Tim Crowder also had a good game. As the game went on, the defensive line got pushed back pretty bad. There was one series in particular where it looked like Tyler Thigpen was moving the offense at will against them.
Barrett Ruud was in on some stops, but also missed a tackle or two. If the defensive line is the same as they were last year, Ruud isn’t going to look much better than he did, either. Geno Hayes showed up big in the first quarter and looks like he has great instincts. And I really like Dekoda Watson. These FSU linebackers might amount to something.
I had all but written off E.J. Biggers, but he was the star of the secondary last night and made a hell of a case to be considered for the nickel spot last night. He had some key tackles on Ricky Williams and a fumble recovery. He held up in coverage last night against Brandon Marshall, but it’s hard to tell if that was because of Biggers or Marshall. But compared to Elbert Mack last night, Biggers is in the prime spot for the nickel job.
Cody Grimm has been the star at camp, but Corey Lynch did his thing in special teams again last night. He also had some nice stops in the secondary. I just don’t know how you keep this kid off your team, even if it’s just on special teams. Sabby Piscitelli was, again hot and cold. Great stops on a couple plays and also a HUGE personal foul at a critical time. Sean Jones was more consistent. Solid but nothing spectacular last night.
Great punting from Brent Bowden (hears “Crazy Train” in the background) and a good kickoff from Connor Barth. Hunter Lawrence missed his only field goal, but that couldn’t possibly matter any less.
Okay, anyone who watched the game last night, let’s hear what you think.