Well, that was a much better outing. I’m still concerned about the Fitzpatrick choice. When Fitz is on, he is very one but when he’s not, well, that was the first pre-season game. I do have some hope about O’Brien’s reputation for making QBs better. If OB can get Fitzpatrick to be consistently on track for each game, our Texans should do very well.
With Andre and Arian out for this game, our QB group as limited to less experienced, though seemingly affective, targets. I must say I am glad to see Grimes getting the attention he deserves. He has been getting the number 1 spot in Foster’s absence in the pre-season and doing very well. After him is Blue and I don’t see much chance for a more than 3 guy depth in the RB position when the regular season starts so, I think we might have our full RB group on display, right now.
Brian Cushing was also out but we showed better promise with those behind him than in the last couple years. It’s never good to rely on one person to make all the plays at any given position and I think this new coaching staff is showing an understanding of that mindset that the previous group did not. Cush will probably still shows us the best replays but at least the opposing teams won’t be able to focus on one person to avoid. That’s the key to a successful, well rounded team.
Aside from the obvious DB starters Hal, Victorian and Lewis showed a lot of good stuff on the field. This group produced some nice break ups and Hals pick 6 in the 4th capped off a wonderful defensive day. Swearinger was his normal aggressive self but I have to disagree with the penalty for unsportsman like conduct in the 2nd quarter. The NFL needs to lighten up and let these guys have a little fun out there.
If this is only a warmup time of year, Clowney is going to wreck the o-line of every team we come across in 2014. He seems to be living up to the number selection hype. The scary thing is, he is still not considered 100% since if sports hernia surgery. Imagine how well he’ll move once he is 100%. At least we know Watt have to exhaust all his energy too early in the game ‘cause he finally has a production partner in the backfield. Couple these two with Cushing coming up the middle and this years overall pass rush and run stopping capacity will be second to none.
Keenum was able to put up some numbers and showed really nice ball placement. The one interception was so close that it had to be reviewed by the officials but it was still well placed, the receiver just couldn’t quite close his hands on it quick enough and the defender got the ball in the end. Savage still showed me that he has potential as long as he can overcome his fear of the pass rush. I saw a lot of premature running from the pocket in his college footage and that will be my concern for him in the NFL.
From what I have seen in pre-season, so far, from the kicking team, Bullock looks to have the upper hand. He had a rough return after being out for an entire season the year before but I think he may have found his footing and is looking solid coming into this year. Though he was given blame for a few losses last season he did do much better in the latter half but fans were too upset with his early season performance to allow late season performance to be recognized. Bullock will more than likely keep his starting job and redeem himself this season.
To wrap this up, I feel everything on the defensive side will gel very well this year and will probably produce far more sacks and interceptions than last year. The offense has potential to dominate so long as consistent QB play is maintained. Even special teams are beginning to look really good. Let’s see how things go running the base schemes and how well we do the rest of the pre-season but things are looking good with only a few areas that could go either way on the offensive side.