I know it's preseason, but I actually got to watch a game, so I thought I'd share what I saw.
First, I know it's preseason, but man I really hope this isn't the way the refs are going to call the season. 4 personal foul penalties in the 1st half, and 3 of them that I saw were complete crap. Whitehurst was running, falling forward, and Winfield jumped on him to touch him down and gets a flag ?? Also a hit on an incompletion that you could see the ref waiting to watch how far the player got bounced from the hit...then throws the flag. Not a necessary flag. SD got one where our DLman was chasing a scrambling QB and he went low to block the guy, which is legal. Also not necessary.
Guess I'll start with offense. I'm not worried about the 1st team offense stalling a lot. San Diego was blitzing a lot, and they definately weren't playing vanilla defense. Wilson was forced to scramble a lot, and it looked like his receivers had a bit of trouble ad libbing with him.
Christine Michael. He was up and down, not all that great against the 1st teamers. He missed a couple of cutbacks and bounced around instead of hitting the hole or cutting to the backside right away. It's expected and I'm not worried about it. Once he played 2nd teamers, he picked up. He had a very good blitz pickup on a CB blitz going inside; he diagnosed the play quickly and took the blitzer out. I like him analyzing the play and not reacting to it. He played as advertised: quick, good burst, and bounces off of contact.
TJACK ! TJACK ! he looked damn good. The one incompletion hit his guy right in the hands and got dropped. When he's scrambling, he actually looks like he has an idea what he wants to do now, unlike before. Much more poised...maybe not having any pressure on him actually helps him out.
OL had some trouble picking up blitzes and there were times Wilson got pressured right away. Unger was out, so this could explain a lot.
WRS. Didn't see much of Tate, Baldwin had a drop, and looked average. Kearse looked good; he had a drop on a deeper pass that he just looked like he misplayed a bit. He made it a tougher catch than he had to. This guy just always get decent separation, and he's always open. I think he makes the team.
Williams. Had a good day. He drew at least one aggregious PI call that didn't get called, and showed good speed. I'm thinking the team keeps him around this year for polish and chemistry and if Rice remains dinged all the time, they either rework his deal next year or let him go.
Willson had one drop of a WIlson pass, but looked decent in run blocking and he gets open fairly easily. With some experience he'll be good.
Ware/Coleman. Both played as advertised, I thought they looked good.
Defense......man we are deep, but we knew that.
Allen Bradford. Wow. This guy is amazing. He HITS people. He's always around the ball, diagnoses plays very well, and brings the thump when he gets there. Very sure tackler, and sheds blocks well. Not as quick sideline to sideline as Wagner, but his instincts are good and he'll usually be where he needs to be.
Lotuleilei. He looked like Polamalu running around out there, except that Polamalu actually breaks down and tackles people. When he first got in there, he flew around and went right by the ball carrier twice, once the RB went offtackle his side for 12 yards. The good thing was he adjusted and the next few times he flew into the line, plugged it up, and got the tackle. He seems a bit raw, but he's really fast and high energy and he also looks good on ST.
Maxwell had a great game. One really nice pick, and one other he almost got. I didn't see anyone get real open on him, and on his pass breakups and INT, he baited the QB into thinking the WR was open and broke on the ball, ala Sherman. I thought he made a great case for a roster spot tonight.
Thurmond. He had a great punt return, but had an average game. Gave up a few receptions; he's where he should be, but he's not overly physical, and doesn't intimidate anyone out there. Definately not blanket coverage and didn't really shut anyone down, but they were playing some zone and that will happen. If he ends up starting, we can say goodbye to the LoBoom. He's just not that thumper that the other guys are.
I really don't know how this competition for the LEO will end up. Man, these younger guys looked GOOD.
Ty Powell. I thought he pass rush was bland: no real moves, no counters that I saw, just ran upfield and bullrushed, but he was effective. If he gets some polish as a pash rusher, he could be damn good. He played insane at the los, standing up TE's, and filling gaps for 2 negative plays against the run.
Benson Mayowa. This guy wasn't as good against the run, but was much more polished rushing the passer. He always finds a way to get home, and doesn't just try to go outside. Very intriguing.
This is getting long, so my favorite thing this game was NO INJURIES. After that, I really liked watching Bradford and the young guys competing for a LEO spot.