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 Post subject: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:44 pm 
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I'll probably toss in another post later this week that breaks down the DVR more exactingly, but here's the off the cuff version:

General post-game musings:

Sometimes people talk about teams that are built for the regular season or built for the playoffs. The Seahawks are both, but more than any other team in the NFL, they are built to dominate the preseason. Very few teams have a backup QB as good as Tjack, or backup RBs like Michael and Ware. Our backup defenders would start on a lot of teams. It's not very fair. Russell Wilson played into the 2nd quarter and couldn't manage any scoring, but the Seahawks finished with 31 points anyway.

Seattle's first unit looked awful. On defense, it seemed like we were consistently giving up 5 yards a carry- right up the middle of our defense too. Our starter pass rush was just as ineffective, and our secondary looked ordinary. San Diego was a 7-9 team last season, and wasn't even good by 7-9 standards. They looked like a 5-11 team out there tonight, yet the Seahawks were so ineffective we actually made their starters look relatively non-horrible. The Chargers were on pace for just over 300 yards of offense at halftime, which is well below the NFL median, and they had twice the yardage Seattle had. It was not pretty.

The Chargers, btw, look an awful lot like the 2009 Seahawks. An aging, once proud QB in a slow decline, and a roster full of finesse players who were overdrafted. I feel sorry for their fans.

In fairness, we were missing Clemons, Irvin, AND Avril tonight, so our starting pass rush outside was basically a skeleton crew. Pete used this game as a chance to experiment with Malcolm Smith and Mike Morgan as LEO types. I'm a fan of both players as linebackers, and they have the speed to edge rush somewhat, but they just didn't look the part out there and against pre-season pass protection (which is notoriously weak) that is not a good sign. Morgan improved as the game went on, but even he looked like a poor man's Nick Reed. I wasn't expecting much, and I was still underwhelmed. Schofield was pretty quiet, but when I did notice him it was because he did something good.

Players who stood out (good and bad):

OFFENSE:

Russell Wilson didn't do much, but looked fine doing it. Wilson hates throwing borderline passes, and I think that might explain our "WRs can't get open" problem as much as anything. We saw a lot of that tonight, where Wilson would scan an area of the field for a very long time without changing reads. He was clearly waiting for a receiver to get just a little more open, and they usually didn't.

Brady Quinn manages the pocket very well, and moves with more quickness than I expected. He wasn't a bad decision-maker tonight, either. But unfortunately, he just flat out sucks at throwing a football. He had some issues throwing the football behind or over receivers, and he showed some pretty flawed mechanics too- he kind of holds the ball a little too long during his release which has a pull-down effect. It's a bit like Raul Ibanez's patented lawn dart, though not nearly as hilarious.

Even on Quinn's best throw- a TD pass to a wide open Jermaine Kearse- he kind of sling-shotted the throw and put a ton of mustard on it. Kearse was WIDE open, it was a situation that clearly called for a touch pass, yet Quinn's poor mechanics resulted in a very hot throw which would be dropped by even average WRs maybe 25% of the time. Kearse caught the pass effortlessly. Before this year, that would have been an unlikely occurrence.

Tarvaris Jackson is a streaky QB- always has been and probably always will be. He's had huge games before. But tonight might have been his best yet. He did a terrific job managing the pocket, extending plays with his feet, zipping in tight throws, and completing two gorgeous deep bombs to Stephen Williams. If this were the 2nd preseason game and not the first, I'd be tempted to declare the QB competition over. Jackson already had pole position for the #2 QB job, and he added a couple laps to his lead tonight.

Christine Michael wasn't quite the megastar I was expecting tonight, but I really liked how he maximized his meager yardage in the first half when the run blocking wasn't really there. He turned a couple of 2 yard losses into no gains, and a few no gains into 2-3 yarders. He's really good at knowing when to dive for that extra couple yards. He's obviously a very special athlete, but just as importantly he's smart and well coached. He'd eventually show us the real Christine Michael in the second half, teleporting through walls for big gains, and even after a slow start, he still finished with 5.6 yards per carry; and it wasn't like he was a change of pace guy tonight either. I continue to be geeked about Christine Michael.

Marshawn Lynch looked like he was having fun on the sidelines, but I stole a few looks of nervousness on his face. It's the ultimate compliment for Michael. Lynch probably has nothing to worry about today, but next season might be a different story. Marshawn Lynch is monitoring the situation very closely.

Spencer Ware did well too, tallying 4.6 yards per carry including an impressive red zone touchdown. I have to say though, as good as Ware was, I was expecting even more. We didn't see much "beast mode" out of him tonight, and at LSU he could rival or even exceed Marshawn Lynch's physicality. If he was breaking tackles like he did at LSU, tonight would have been a bloodbath for Seattle's running game.

Stephen Williams stepped up tonight. After failing to make a tough but manageable sideline catch in the first half, Williams rebounded in a big way by holding down two gorgeous deep throws from T-Jack. He very well might have assured himself a roster spot with tonight's performance alone (it wouldn't have taken much). I don't know if Williams will be good enough to make Sidney Rice expendable next year, but if not, so what? Just him being out there and adding the threat of a 50 yard bomb at any time will help our offense out and open up the short yardage plays we live off of.

Jermaine Kearse had the only two receptions of consequence in the first half, and nearly had a 3rd on a crazy circus catch attempt. If nothing else, it is clear that Kearse has confidence right now, and like always has a special knack for getting open.

Perez Ashford, a slot WR out of Northern Illinois, was one of my favorite pre-draft team visit players this Spring (Seattle had something like 40 "official visits" with draftable players, among those invited were DE Ty Powell, LB Craig Wilkins, LB John Lotulelei, WR Perez Ashford, and RB Christine Michael). Seattle ended up getting Ashford after the draft, and while I think he has virtually zero chance of making the 53 man this preseason, he played very well tonight (including some stand out special teams plays) and is well on his way to earning a practice squad spot. He isn't some raw "project" WR either- his college tape impresses. It looks like Kearse has gone from UDFA to #4/#5 WR already. Ashford is starting to look like a strong candidate to be the next such success story.

Per Hawkblogger, Steven Hauschka is regularly nailing 57 yarders in practices. Tonight, he came perhaps as little as two inches short of making a 61 yarder. I agree with Hawkblogger- the decisions to choose punts over 50 yard field goals last season had everything to do with Pete and nothing to do with Hauschka.

I guess we now know why Derrick Coleman was getting all the fullback reps in practice. Tonight he looked like Real Robinson reborn. Remember too that Robinson started out as a great special teams player, and Coleman added a terrific special teams tackle in addition to everything else. Already, he looks like a lock for at least the practice squad, if he's even PS safe.

Remember when Frank Omiyale had to start against Dallas (vs DeMarcus Ware) and we thought we were completely screwed? And then Omiyale shut down Ware with a shockingly strong performance? That's basically how I'd describe Alvin Bailey at left tackle tonight. I didn't watch him every snap, but it seemed like he was never giving up pressures and was consistently winning his battles, even with lateral quickness that is below average by left tackle standards. He uses his arms and hands very well, works his ass off, and anchors very well. I'll probably have a OL/DL post sometime later after I rewatch the DVR forty times to get more accurate info, but Bailey looked pretty good out there when I watched him.

Cooper Helfet had a rough night, at least one drop that I remember. Though he also had a diving catch for 23 yards, so I guess that kind of balances things out somewhat.

Luke Willson got some targets, but I wasn't that enthralled by him at Rice and he still seems like a fringe roster guy to me. That said, he has special traits and gives the best interviews on the team outside of Russell Wilson. He's not a guy the team should discard lightly. But if he ends up having a big season ever, much less soon, I'd be surprised. He had a drop tonight (IIRC) and didn't really create a ton of separation even with his size and speed. I think Willson is going to be one of those players who flips the switch on very suddenly and unexpectedly. Maybe that is next week or maybe that's in 2015 or maybe it's never.

DEFENSE:

First, let me re-iterate something that's important for context here:

Only a small handful of NFL teams can stitch together five non-sucky offensive lineman in regular season play. Good offensive lineman are not that common, and you need a lot of them. And that's during the regular season. In the preseason, you have guys that are way, way worse than even that level, who often have virtually no NFL experience, nor any kind of continuity with their teammates. Many of them are destined for the CFL if they are lucky, and during the NFL preseason games they are rotated in and out every few plays with pretty much zero potential for continuity or chemistry with their fellow sub-par teammates. Seattle's line is very deep and therefore a bit of an exception, but most preseason offensive lines have the stopping power of wet tissue paper.

Seattle's preseason pass rush last year looked surprisingly potent. Guys like Corderro Law, Korey Toomer, and Winston Guy were terrors on blitzes. But Pete's no dummy, and he isn't easily fooled. Law and Toomer didn't even make the team, and Guy only made it from a lack of competition deep on the roster at safety. Go back a few years before that and you have cautionary tales like Nick Reed. You get the idea. Those who think the preseason is meaningless are clueless (without the preseason, Matt Flynn is our starting QB right now, etc.), but in regards to pass rush, yeah, it's really really really close to meaningless.

So with that caveat in place... holy shit did Jaye Howard look good tonight. Geno Atkins-lite. I think he had five or six splash plays or earned pressures. Against both the pass AND the run(!). He was dominant in a way that I haven't seen from an interior lineman here since Brandon Mebane in 2008.

Howard was considered a disappointment at Florida before his first and only season with Dan Quinn (then the Gator's new DC fresh out of Seattle). Howard put up 5.5 sacks and looked the part as a pass rusher. He was drafted by Seattle after that season, separated from Quinn, and summarily disappointed during his rookie season. It wasn't until the final weeks that he even cracked the active portion of our roster. Now he's back with Quinn, added 15 pounds of good weight, and just like that good reviews for his play flowed out of training camp.

And now tonight, he's out there just making play after play at a position where 2 splash plays in a game is pretty good. He's handling the run a million times better than before, and hasn't lost a thing as a pass rusher. And though he was said to be moving to the 5-tech, he played tonight almost exclusively at DT, and looked amazing doing it. Again, the pre-season caveat looms large for pass rushers, but man, we need this so badly. Please keep it up, Jaye Howard.

Jordan Hill had a couple splash plays of his own. Basically, he was exactly what you'd expect if you watched him at Penn State. I am starting to view Hill as more of a pass rusher than a well rounded player though. He's got a great swim move but the interior of our line had some major issues against the run tonight while he was out there. Again, I'll have a post up sometime later this week that goes into more detail in the trenches, but my suspicion is that Hill was among the run defense minuses.

Red Bryant looked far more nimble than he did at the end of last season. He looked like the 2011 version.

Malcolm Smith is a good blitzer, but he's not a SAM/LEO. Just way too small and he has no talent for escaping pass blocks.

Mike Morgan had some very nice tackles tonight and as the game went on he seemed to get more comfortable as a LEO type pass rusher. Still, he just didn't look the part to me, and this was against preseason competition that made guys like Nick Reed and Corderro Law look like studs. If he's struggling to look just okay, then I imagine he'd get shutdown in the real games. I'm a big Mike Morgan fan as a LB. I hope he gets a chance to compete there because I doubt he makes it as just a LEO/SAM type.

Allen Bradford started in place of Bobby Wagner and looked very good doing it, filling gaps and chasing down tackles. This guy is a starting NFL linebacker, if not for us then for someone else. He was very impressive in flashes in his only preseason game last year (Oakland). Keep in mind too that Bradford has barely played linebacker since high school, and yet he looks far more natural and instinctive for the position than college starters like John Lotulelei despite Bradford having far less experience. As Pete Carroll is constantly reminding us, Bradford was an all-american recruit as a linebacker out of high school. When Pete works overtime to massage the message politician style, that's a very good sign for whichever player he's complimenting at that time. I get the sense that Pete is rooting for Bradford to make it, even if most fans won't notice him.

John Lotulelei has the same "meh" instincts and intangibles at linebacker that he had at Nevada (UNLV), and I thought the broadcast crew focused on him way too much, even crediting him for a stuff that was actually to the credit of Mike Morgan. Thing about Lotuleilei though, is that he is a downhill enforcer with nice size/speed who can burst through small spaces. He really does have the athletic talent of a pro-bowler if coached up, and in the meantime he could be a nice blitzer and a terrific special teamer. I think he ends up stealing Heath Farwell's job (even though Farwell himself had a pretty good night). If Pete is sending out pro-Bradford signals, John Schneider and the media have made it clear that Lotulelei is their man. Right now both look like pretty good bets to make it. Of course, you also have Smith, Morgan, Farwell, and Wilkins in the mix too. And these are just the backups! Seattle is going to be parting with some talent at LB.

Michael Bennett was kind of invisible tonight, though when I did notice him it was for good reasons. Maybe he was secretly awesome, but I'd need to look deeper at the DVR to know for sure.

Craig Wilkins had a nice play or two. I get the sense he's playing for the practice squad though.

Byron Maxwell outshined Walter Thurmond tonight. How about that.

Benson Mayowa, who I'd never heard of before tonight, notched 1.5 sacks and was very hard to block all night long. If this were a regular season game, I'd be beyond stoked. But something about the way he created pressure seemed "fringe" to me, athletically. He worked for pressures, but never had a moment of pure unbridled physical dominance the way that Jaye Howard kept doing over and over. He does have natural pass rush talent, though, and looked far more natural in the role than Morgan or Smith. He's probably just another Nick Reed, but he's worth keeping an eye on, just in case.

Ty Powell had a nice pressure and at times looks the part, but had a quiet night overall.

Winston Guy got beat for a long reception, though his coverage was decent (great throw by Charger QB Brad Sorensen) and he punctuated his recovery with an especially violent looking pull down tackle. Still, Guy needs to step up his game to a higher level if Seattle is going to justify a spot on him, especially now that Kam Chancellor has gotten his big contract extension.

Other notes:

I didn't know who Kyle Nelson was before tonight, but now I feel sorry for him.

Lot's of 12's showed up. Their cheers were maybe half as loud as the home crowd. Impressive.

Charlie Whitehurst is still Charlie Whitehurst.

The refs made some terrible calls against us in the first half, but hey, preseason.

As much as the Chargers first string offense gashed Seattle with the run, the 2nd team unit was so terrible that it was more than enough to swing the results. Despite a great start running the ball, San Diego finished with just 2.7 yards per carry for the game overall (Seattle had 4.4).

Brad Sorenson, a late prospect QB for a tiny school (Southern Utah) had two games up on youtube before the 2013 draft, and he was unspeakably horrible in both of them. I had no idea why he was getting draft hype. Well, tonight he was actually pretty awesome. He checked multiple reads, was elusive in the pocket, extended plays, made great decisions, and threw with incredible touch and accuracy. Seattle's 2nd string defense is no joke, either. Sorensen finished with a 70% completion rate, 8.4 yards per attempt, and 1 TD against no interceptions. Basically, Russell Wilson numbers. That's about as good a debut as you could ever hope for when you are a 6th round rookie who played his college football in the middle of nowhere.


Last edited by kearly on Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:35 am 
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God that was a great read, thanks Kearly!


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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:05 am 
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One thing to remember is the defense is vanilla at this point and so is the offense, so keep that in mind.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:26 am 
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a good read, I'd only give a few points to it.
I think the 1st team offense struggled tonight mainly in due part to the players who were unavailable, or just didn't play. U can argue Miller, and Rice are our 2 best pass catchers, neither were available tonight and neither was ungar.
The right side of the O-line looked really bad in pass protection, I think u have to take the good with the bad on Breno, he's a road grater in the run game, but struggles in protection. From what I saw sweezy did not particularly good either.
I think the pass rush struggling was because all of our pass rush wasn't available.
I agree on hill, I think he has a chance to be the inside pass rusher in our nascar package this year, he seems very disruptive.
Michael was very good tonight, the reason he didn't do better was cause the run blocking wasn't there.
I think u may be going a little far on Bradford but I agree his insticts and ability to shed blocks stood out to me tonight.
WT3 was getting worked tonight, very discouraging.
Stephen Williams looks like a guy who can play 10-15 snaps in a game and just run go routes or other deep routes. Something this team severely lacks.
All of the TE's all had nights they probably want to forget
The hawks played about as complete of special teams as a team can play


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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:36 am 
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Just drank this in from Stockholm, Sweden. Thank you sir.


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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:50 am 
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And the season has officially begun. Good job, Kip. Now I can go to sleep.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:01 am 
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Great stuff kearly. Really want to see the first team offense step up next week.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:21 am 
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Our offense looked a bit lost, but that does not worry me this time of the year. My hope for the next two preseason games is that they figure out how to stop the run!

Run defense was terrible and it should not be against vanilla offense in preseason. I am going to have to look at last years games, but I remember thinking that nobody could run on us early last season.


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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:28 am 
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Reading way too much into this defensive "lapse" Kearly.


Some questionable defensive penalties extended drives where the 1st unit Seahawks would have gotten off the field. Further, some key players were not on the field.

Wilson was throwing high, but he did that at the beginning of last year as well. His Houdini escape is at mid season form.

Seahawks need to trade a corner as opposed to handing a starting nickle to someone over the waiver wire. I don't know why they signed Winfield.

I was least impressed with the second team linebacking crew. The defensive line did well enough keeping the guards from the second level, yet the linebackers were over running plays with clear shots.

The rookie Leo from Idaho looks promising.

Zach Miller is sorely needed.


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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:52 am 
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My two takeaways immediately after the game:

1. 1st team O and D looked a bit off, and I can't help but wonder if it was because we were missing so many key pieces.

2. Our depth is absolutely ridiculous. And that may end up being the difference for us this year. All teams have to deal with injuries to some extent during the course of the season, and I think we're better positioned than most other teams to deal with the loss of starters.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:24 am 
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All I want to say is great read and thanks for putting the time and effort into such a thorough post-game analysis!

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:37 am 
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I only got to see 1/2 hour of the game so I appreciate the write up.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:40 am 
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Thanks for the input, I didn't have a chance to see the game. BUT, I do have to take up a bone of contention on something you noted: "John Lotulelei has the same "meh" instincts and intangibles at linebacker that he had at Nevada" Please do not get Nevada and the school John attended UNLV mixed up in the same sentence. Nevada actually has a decent football team. Being a Nevada supporter, this us much like saying Jake Locker went to WSU...barf.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:45 am 
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Thank you for this, kearly. All good.

I would disagree slighty on the Chargers. Their HC aint no joke and their offense held nothing back, against a very base/vanilla D. The Chargers needed to play their offense as if it was regular season game to get a grasp of it. They did.

That's a good offensive mind they were facing.


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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:46 am 
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Renohawk wrote:
Thanks for the input, I didn't have a chance to see the game. BUT, I do have to take up a bone of contention on something you noted: "John Lotulelei has the same "meh" instincts and intangibles at linebacker that he had at Nevada" Please do not get Nevada and the school John attended UNLV mixed up in the same sentence. Nevada actually has a decent football team. Being a Nevada supporter, this us much like saying Jake Locker went to WSU...barf.


That's hilarious! I was literally about to write up a post about how you were probably gonna piss off some Wolfpack or Runnin' Rebel fan by confusing the two schools and then bam!

.Net is on point! Championship season, championship fans!

And of course, good stuff as usual kearly. Thank you for the effort.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
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I am really rooting for Bailey, as he came cheap, and if Okung gets hurt we have a decent person to plug in there.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:15 am 
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I was on a date, so I only caught part of the game (women... demanding our time and stuff..).

Didn't get a chance to form an opinion on anyone. So thank you for the read sir!

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:32 am 
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GREAT writeup as always, Kip. Thanks so much!

So......not trying to Chicken Little, but should we be a little concerned about the TE position? Because I am (Miller notwithstanding). But does anyone draft high at TE?


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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:43 am 
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pehawk wrote:
Thank you for this, kearly. All good.

I would disagree slighty on the Chargers. Their HC aint no joke and their offense held nothing back, against a very base/vanilla D. The Chargers needed to play their offense as if it was regular season game to get a grasp of it. They did.

That's a good offensive mind they were facing.


Was going to write this as well. The Chargers came out as though they had something to prove, and Seattle did not.

Moreover, the Seattle offensive gameplan to me seemed to consist of: Try to maul the other team on running plays and then throw it deep. My guess is that the coaches wanted to see who could get deep separation this game and they wanted to see if they could purely outphysical the other team. Be interested to hear Pete's thoughts on that.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:56 am 
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The passing game was off the first two series that was somewhat concerning as was the defense up the middle but we had a lot of starters out.


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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
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My thoughts only as casual observer: If I were a coach, I would try to work against a teams strengths in the preseason. In the regular season is where you try to exploit a teams weaknesses. Thus my reasoning for the early struggles. But then again I could be way off...

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
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Go back and watch Bennett, Kip. Dude was spectacular early and late. Instant burst off e snap, penetration and several pressures against both Rivers and Whitehurst. He makes Jason Jones look slow. IMO he was the MVP of the defense because he was producing against an actual NFL roster.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
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First and foremost thanks for the write-up Kearly!

Standouts for me were Howard, Mayowa, Powell, Tjack, Williams, Michael and Ware. Also got to give props to Haushka for showing us he has a 60 yard leg!

Guys I was left wanting by were Perez, Thurmond, Guy, Willson and Lotuleilei.

Observations- The backup qb competition is over. We have the deepest running corps in the league! Harvin will be icing on a damn good cake if and when he returns. Our run defense is still not quite there. A lot of teams will be picking up a lot of guys we played last night just because we are so deep in so many areas.

Go Hawks!

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:34 am 
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Evil_Shenanigans wrote:
First and foremost thanks for the write-up Kearly!

Standouts for me were Howard, Mayowa, Powell, Tjack, Williams, Michael and Ware. Also got to give props to Haushka for showing us he has a 60 yard leg!

Guys I was left wanting by were Perez, Thurmond, Guy, Willson and Lotuleilei.

Observations- The backup qb competition is over. We have the deepest running corps in the league! Harvin will be icing on a damn good cake if and when he returns. Our run defense is still not quite there. A lot of teams will be picking up a lot of guys we played last night just because we are so deep in so many areas.

Go Hawks!

Haushka is better than you.

I thought both RB's showed glimpses of greatness, oh I'm not talking about Lynch he didn't even play! HA!

leilei is gonna be good for a long time, I'll make that statement now and stick with it until proven wrong.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:36 am 
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McGruff wrote:
Go back and watch Bennett, Kip. Dude was spectacular early and late. Instant burst off e snap, penetration and several pressures against both Rivers and Whitehurst. He makes Jason Jones look slow. IMO he was the MVP of the defense because he was producing against an actual NFL roster.


He impressed me too - in fact I felt we had the exact opposite problem last night from what we had last year - with none of our edge rushers available (Avril/Clemons/Irvin), the QBs were able to just escape the pocket without worry (until the backups came in anyway), I think with even 2 of the 3 mentioned above Bennett would have wreaked absolute havoc with the QB


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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:45 am 
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I actually meant the Haushka comment sincerely. Last season he got harshed for not having the distance. Last night he showed that he does.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:46 am 
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Also, Kip . . . Curious what you saw from Jesse Williams. Carroll mentioned him in theist game pressed for his standout play, but I didn't see it. Was pushed back way more than I thought he should be.

I watched the interior line almost every snap, because I really wanted to see what Hill and Williams would do. It was Ellington that they both played a lot early and not at all late. The coaches obviously like them. Hill had flashes, but was inconsistent. Like Kip, I loved him in obvious passing situation . . . He and Bennett are a lethal combo inside . . . But against the run he was just average at best.

Again, Bennett is the guy who really stood out to me inside.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:48 am 
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Some random observations from my notes. I didn't read too much into the D line play. They first unit was playing a base defense and the secondary was for much of the game playing a lot of man. Kam was out of position a lot I noticed. The linebacker play was spotty. M. smith did not look very good nor Morgan. Winfield surprised me. I can think of 3 DBs we have that looked better ( lane, WT3 Adams)


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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:49 am 
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kearly wrote:
That's about as good a debut as you could ever hope for when you are a 6th round rookie who played his college football in the middle of nowhere.


Hey now! Cedar City isn't the middle of nowhere, I live there!

Great notes, Kip.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
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nanomoz wrote:
kearly wrote:
That's about as good a debut as you could ever hope for when you are a 6th round rookie who played his college football in the middle of nowhere.


Hey now! Cedar City isn't the middle of nowhere, I live there!

Great notes, Kip.


Yeah, it's the edge of nowhere, I live in the middle :D

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
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I don't really have any concerns after last night. The team that we fielded last night will look nothing like what we field week 1. The first preseason game is just to shake the rust off and see how the depth players react in a real setting. PeeWee teams put together a more complete game plan than a week 1 preseason game. I thought a couple of guys on the dline performed well. The one end (Mofoya or whatever) showed he has quite the motor. These are the kinds of things I want to see. I know what Russell, Golden, Sidney, Earl, Sherman, and the rest of the boys can do. I'm not worried one iota more today than I was a week ago. This is just the appetizer ladies and gentlemen.


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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:52 am 
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Happypuppy wrote:
Some random observations from my notes. I didn't read too much into the D line play. They first unit was playing a base defense and the secondary was for much of the game playing a lot of man. Kam was out of position a lot I noticed. The linebacker play was spotty. M. smith did not look very good nor Morgan. Winfield surprised me. I can think of 3 DBs we have that looked better ( lane, WT3 Adams)


Interesting. I thought Smith played a great game. Slid all around and I was pleasantly surprised by how could he was blitzing.

One more note in agreement with Kearly . . . Ware may not be the FB of the future . . . But I think Derrick Coleman is. Not only good play at FB, but a coupe of really great special teams plays.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:54 am 
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This Stephen Williams kid....man... When I first heard about him I was like :roll: then after last night I was like :shock:

True story.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:57 am 
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Frankly, I was pretty discouraged by the 1st team offense, Russ and Co... Not the showing I was expecting or would have preferred by any stretch of the imagination... Here's hoping it's not any indication of an impending sophomore slump or otherwise... yikes.

EDIT: I did like what I saw from Christine Michael... very encouraging.


Last edited by 13thMan on Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:58 am 
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Good post Kearly.

On that Williams sideline play, he was clearly interfered with. Funny how the refs seemd to run around with their flags in their hands when we were on D, but had them firmly in pockets for SD. Meh, it's preseason, but I hope the silly personal foul calls go away. It reallyl looks like the NFL is trying to get away from any sort of physicality. Refs were throwing flags tonight like the NFL is afraid of being sued.

I thought Maxwell played with a ton more confidence than I've seen him play with before.

Not only is our defense deep, but it's making our ST look good. Perez Ashford impressed me from a ST standpoint. He made a contested punt catch that not many guys in the league wouldn't. In the regular season, that would be a flag.

You're right Nano, Cedar City isn't the middle of nowhere, it's on the fringe of nowhere on the way to Mesquite and Las Vegas. When your claim to fame is proximity to Mesquite and some dinosaur tracks, you're hurting. On the plus side, being that close to Bryce Canyon and Zion is a bonus, and it's great fishing there! I do like the area, but had to give you a hard time.


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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:06 am 
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One more tag . . . The most impressive thing about Michael was what he did without the ball. Dude stepped up huge as a pass protector. Several clutch blocks that most rookies misread or whiff.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
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I've been looking forward to this for 8 months. Really nice observations! I find myself falling in love with Lotulelei, but will have to view him with a more jaundiced eye next game.


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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:10 am 
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McGruff wrote:


Interesting. I thought Smith played a great game. Slid all around and I was pleasantly surprised by how could he was blitzing.[/quote]

Smith at his position has 2 roles in run D. Seal the edge and funnel,to,the center. He did ok sealing the edge but twice I saw him get blown up trying to funnel it. He did do much better rushing the QB. I don't remember seeing him do it before or at least much.

Coleman looked better than Ware, who looked average.

One more note Moffit looked weak in run blocking. Sweezy had a much better game, and looked solid.


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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:29 am 
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Lieutenant Dan wrote:
GREAT writeup as always, Kip. Thanks so much!

So......not trying to Chicken Little, but should we be a little concerned about the TE position? Because I am (Miller notwithstanding). But does anyone draft high at TE?


I would love to see us draft a great tight-end high, but we won't get the luxury of a high draft pick n the next few years. That said, here's a quick list from nfl.com that shows some first-round TE picks from the last decade. It includes our own Jerramy Stevens. Many of them were picked late in the first round:

1. Vernon Davis, 49ers (No. 6, 2006)
2. Dallas Clark, Colts (No. 24, 2003)
3. Heath Miller, Steelers (No. 30, 2005)
4. Kellen Winslow, Browns (No. 6. 2004)
5. Brandon Pettigrew, Lions (No. 20, 2009)
6. Jeremy Shockey, Giants (No. 14, 2002)
7. Dustin Keller, Jets (No. 30, 2008)
8. Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars (No. 28, 2006)
9. Jermaine Gresham, Bengals (No. 21, 2010)
10. Daniel Graham, Patriots (No. 21, 2002)
11. Greg Olsen, Bears (No. 31, 2007)
12. Ben Watson, Patriots (No. 32, 2004)
13. Jerramy Stevens, (No. 28, 2002)

An interesting point is that the bust-rate for 1st round TEs is quite low. Hmmm...

After watching the game last night, I'd give Luke Willson a chance. He should get better.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:33 am 
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Thanks Kearly! Good read.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:41 am 
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I thought Smith and Morgan showed some great pass rushing acumen, but don't look like they have the size to do it from the Leo spot. They just got enveloped by the tackles they faced and no amount of spinning or swimming was going to help them escape. They looked like little kids playing with their overweight dad. I can see them bringing the heat from the OLB positions though.

I really liked the penetration I saw from Hill. Agree with your caveat of pre-season o-lines sucking arse, but he showed great quickness and some good moves. Hopefully that will translate to "real" games against real o-linemen. I know it's only a ridiculously small sample size, but I saw Jesse Williams get bowled over a few too many times for my liking. Hopefully they'll see some things on the tape that he can work on to keep himself more upright.

I hope last night was a big ol learning experience for Luke Willson. He has some tape to look at now, and the things he was doing wrong look to be totally correctable if he puts some work into it. i hope he can correct those problems because he has the tools.

I'm prepared to be patient with Winston Guy, but wouldn't cry a river if he were to depart suddenly. He has the tools, but has a long way to go. Jeron Johnson and Chris Maragos run circles around him though and I can't see us keeping 5 safties. That secondary is so obsenely stacked it should be illegal. There's going to be some tough decisions to make. BMax and Lane both seemed to have really good games.

I didn't really notice how well he plays corner, but Will Blackmon has got some sweet moves as a returner. We have some good options there.

I like Stephen Williams because he's huge, fast AND can catch the ball. We can always use a guy like that. That and I'm totally planning on refering to him as Dr. Death.

I think I really like white jerseys and blue pants. I hope that's our official road combo going into the season. White on white just makes us look like the Michelin Man.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:42 am 
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Zowert wrote:
I was on a date, so I only caught part of the game (women... demanding our time and stuff..).

Didn't get a chance to form an opinion on anyone. So thank you for the read sir!


Did you regale her with tales from the time you spent on the Seahawks practice squad?

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:04 am 
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All this talk of the LEO has my Sagittarius a bit jealous.

Can I just call them linebackers?

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:12 am 
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HoustonHawk82 wrote:
All this talk of the LEO has my Sagittarius a bit jealous.

Can I just call them linebackers?


You could, but you'd be wrong.

SmokinHawk wrote:
Zowert wrote:
I was on a date, so I only caught part of the game (women... demanding our time and stuff..).

Didn't get a chance to form an opinion on anyone. So thank you for the read sir!


Did you regale her with tales from the time you spent on the Seahawks practice squad?


I don't know about all that, but I'm sure there was talk of moustache rides.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:23 am 
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Hawks46 wrote:
Good post Kearly.

On that Williams sideline play, he was clearly interfered with. Funny how the refs seemd to run around with their flags in their hands when we were on D, but had them firmly in pockets for SD. Meh, it's preseason, but I hope the silly personal foul calls go away. It reallyl looks like the NFL is trying to get away from any sort of physicality. Refs were throwing flags tonight like the NFL is afraid of being sued.


In fairness, while preseason should be hitting, the refs should definitely err on the side of caution to prevent players from going overboard in games that don't matter.

Yes we still want to see players hitting each other, but I was OK with the personal foul calls last night because A: the games don't matter and B: if it stops just ONE player from getting injured in preseason then it's worthwhile


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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:39 am 
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Ty Powell looked bad in coverage but decent near the LOS. He doesn't close space as well as I had hoped.

Mike Morgan got stiff armed by Eddie Royal, that was enough for me to make up my mind on him.

Malcolm Smith looked good on a stunt but had a hard time shedding blocks in other situations.

Winston guy is a dirty player.

The linebackers were the stars last night. Allen Bradford and John Lotuleilei jumped off the screen with their athleticism and speed.

Kam Chancellor was all over the place. Looks refreshed and ready to play.

Offense was way more explosive with TJack in the game vs Quinn. Quinn looked no different than Whitehurst or a Mark Sanchez.

Agree on Michael getting the extra yard. I saw him make a spin move after a hit to get a couple extra yards for the first down. He looked very explosive.

Thought Luke Willson looked pretty good except for a drop on a pass from RW. The pass was a bit high but catchable and bounced right off Willson's hands.

Ashford looked like our best KR.


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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:43 am 
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Michael had a wicked, blow your mind juke on that long run to the left. That was unreal.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
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SacHawk2.0 wrote:
Michael had a wicked, blow your mind juke on that long run to the left. That was unreal.


The man has skillz for sure. Looking forward to seeing what he can do...

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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
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SDHawk wrote:

Mike Morgan got stiff armed by Eddie Royal, that was enough for me to make up my mind on him.



Yeah that was not a stellar moment for Morgan. He got punked.


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 Post subject: Re: Random Thoughts™ on the Chargers preseason game
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:20 am 
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Great job by Kearly.

I too was very concerned after watching our defense against the run. You simply should not be giving up 5-6 gashes against an almost patchwork offensive line.

If I was a Charger fan I would be pretty happy with how my 1s played against the Seahawk 1s, but we were missing quite a few guys and trying out some new ones.

I am still nervous about how the switch in DCs is going to affect this team. But I won't have any idea what the change will be by watching the preseason since everything gets watered down.

I like how Kearse got separation, even though he dropped a ball we needed. Williams looks to be at least a solid guy to stretch the field with some size and I saw we have some depth that will allow us to rotate our defenders in and out on the lines and in the secondary. At least it appears that if we do have any injuries along the way (unless it is a major one to one of our defensive or offensive cogs) then we should at least still be solid and not lose as much.

Bradford and Maxwell stood out for me as well. Didn't see the push from our rookie DLs that I was hoping though.

Christine looks quick, almost too quick. He bursts before the play gets a chance to create a hole. I am really looking forward to watching him learn to let the play develop and pick the hole. If he can get that, he is going to be a monster.

All in all, I think we didn't look great, we didn't look terrible. And it was not only one game, but the first game.

Still, I was hoping based on everything we have all seen and heard from camp that we would have come out of the gates a little better.


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