Jason’s 10 Things to Watch – Answered
By Jason Love
1. How will Gabbert look with a depleted offensive line and no MoJo or Marcedes Lewis?
Gabbert showed off his arm with some pretty impressive throws. He’d follow that up with some throws that were then too high. He also had some throws that were just plan dropped. He showed what he has in practice, that he has the ability, but still is just a rookie.
2. How will the defense look with all of the new free agents, Clint Sessions (#55), Paul Posluszny (#51) and Dawan Landry (#26) together?
The starting defense caused a turnover and made a big stop before most of the starters were pulled. There were a few missed tackles, t00. Sessions hit some people with some power, Posluszny showed awareness, but also that he probably shouldn’t be covering TEs and Landry showed good awareness and recovered the first fumble (caused by #31 David Jones). Looks good to me with only two weeks of practice.
3. How has the defensive line improved?
There wasn’t much pressure at all, which is a concern. Alualu did show some skill though and from what I caught, Lane did a pretty good job too. The rest of the guys, especially the guys fighting for roster spots, weren’t super impressive.
4. Follow up — is D’Anthony Smith recovered from his season-ending Achilles injury last year?
He played quite a bit but nothing stood out.
5. Follow up — Can the defensive line be good without Knighton or Kampman? If so, then the addition of both of the vets will make the defensive line very good.
The players who started in New England (Mincey-Alualu-Moseley-Lane) did decently, which leads me to believe that the addition of Knighton and Kampman will probably make the defensive run stopping even better. The defense needs to gel though. Give it until Week 1 and we’ll make a decision then on how good the line can be. Also, the Matt Roth signing could make a difference too.
6. Will any of the wide receivers can distinguish themselves?
They weren’t impressive last night. Dillard showed he still has good cutting skills, but only got one target. Balls were dropped, even by sure handed Mike Thomas. Underwood probably doesn’t make this team, as he showed alligator arms on a drop that he got his hands on.
7. Which undrafted free agents stand out (my list on who to look for is here)?
No one stood out me. I’ll let Jack and Gene decide this one.
8. How will Will Rackley play in his first start on the offensive line?
He was alright, showing a few times that he most definitely was a rookie, but never really got beat badly when he was actually on his block.
9. Who starts at safety and can they keep from getting burned over the top?
None of the starters got burned deep over the top due. Safety play looked improved.
10. Who will return punts this year? Because if McGee doesn’t stand out, he’ll likely be cut.
McGee did not impress. I just can’t see him earning a roster spot with his limited abilities beyond punt returns. Karim looked good on kickoffs. (On a side note, the kicks are going really deep with the new rule changes. We may see less kicks brought out this year.)
– Jason Love