I learned a lot more this game than any previous contest this preseason...
What did I learn?
Glad you asked
Lets start with the basics, a lot of the players we saw play will not be with the team this time come Saturday. So its always important as a fan and a critic not to become too attached to any player *cough*Helmick*cough*
Regardless, lets take a hit at the defense.
Who stood out to me?
Matt Daniels (Very solid play/hustle, with the exception of not wrapping up 34 in our redzone. Anyone see that hit on the punt return? His spot on the team is guaranteed)
Gerald Rivers (Everyone looks at DE and they immediately want production with getting to the Quarterback, and while Rivers had his fair shots at the QB what stood out too me was his ability to stop the run, dude was very fluent getting off a block, reading the play, and responding. He too will make the team and have a key role on this team)
Ray Ray Armstrong (His stats from this game won't stand out, but what stood out to me was his closing speed and ability to make a hit. Also his aggressive persona fits perfectly for a Jeff Fisher defense.)
Drew Thomas (Never want to be harsh on a new guy, but to me it just doesn't seem Thomas has the hustle to play with this defense. Regardless of the lucky interception i saw many plays near the end of the game in which Thomas should have been involved in but instead he'd just let the others finish off the ball carrier. He'll be cut.)
Jo Lonn Dunbar (Is it just me or does Dunbar look a little smaller than last year?)
Darren Woodard (Very raw talent. Very raw.)
What about the offense?
Tavon Austin (Stood out to me on one play in particular, if i remember correct it was a simple out route, and the seperation he created.. My goodness, Rex Ryan has to be drooling over Tavon's feet.)
Austin Pettis (This guys confuses me as much as my girlfriend.. Consistently hearing good things about him out of training camp, yet on the game film the guy doesn't seem to try. If he makes the team this year, he'll really have to step up to stick around next year)
Brian Quick (I may get some heat for this, but Quick is gonna be good, believe me guys he will be... Next year.. Although he is still learning to play his size, it gets me absolutely pumped to see him pull down some of the catches he grabbed today.)
Isiah Pead ( Does he wash his hands in butter during pregame? HOLD ON TO THE DAMN BALL. Pead had a few good runs including a thirty yard run that was called back for holding, but im just not seeing it with the guy. He should be cut, but Fisher is obsessed with finding a Chris Johnson Doppelganger so he'll stick around this season)
Benny Cunningham (Maybe im being biased because the kid reminds me of MJD and I love MJD, but damn this kid can do it all. I seen him catch the ball, cut across field after the designated hole filled up, seen him lay the Frank Thomas big hurt on a linebacker, return kicks, and make nasty blocks. He will make the team, and eventually pass both Stacy and pead for the #2 later on in the season)
My final thoughts from this game...
Our defense will be top 5.
Ogletree bites hard on play action and gets trapped often on run plays, but thats okay.. No really it's okay. I feel one of the reason that Gerald rivers will make this team is for this outstanding run defense. Sorta balance it out, ya feel me?
Overall its hard to say how far along the offense is, with no game planning, no Bradford today, and no Cook, I will say though, Rams have a chance to make something Special of this season and it is on Bradford's shoulders...
Keep the change