2nd Preseason Game:Unit Breakdowns
Quaterbacks - Besides a fumble, later ruled a non-fumble because of forward progress, Vinny Testeverde looked very solid. He hit multiple receivers and just managed the game very well. Drew Henson showed me alot this game. He made some very good throws to outside and showed an ability to find his best matchups, by finding Dedric Ward on a couple of passes. This guy is definately alot further along than I thought and further than Romo at this point. I observed his mechanics and they were a breathe of fresh air. Henson was 7-9 and had a 90+ quarterback rating, not too shabby. Tony Romo didnt play too much in this game but had a rough outing at first. He constantly showed poor mechanics by throwing off of his back foot and throwing into double coverage. At one point, he threw a pass off of his back foot and was picked off. Eventually the Raiders were called for holding, the interceptions was negated and Romo was bailed out. But obviously the reason I like him and defended his play last week is because the fight he seems to have in him and he just reminds me of a poor man's Brett Favre for some odd reason. He eventually made a clutch pass to Sean Ryan (even after Ryan had just dropped a pass the play before) to put the boys on the goal line. At the goalline, Romo would dive in on a quarterback sneak to win the game.
HB - Eddie George had some nice gains on the left and up the middle. He even had a 23 yard gash up the middle. Julius Jones bumbled a handoff and all around was just not that productive going up against 1st string talent. I would have liked to have seen a little more from Jones against top competition. A different story in the 2nd half. He showed the ability to run inside and outside. He was defininately Henson's safety net in the 2nd half. He scored on a short run to the outside. In that same series, he seemed to carry about 2-3 defenders while getting extra yards on one play. This guy may be the steal of the draft!!! Overall I liked what he brought to the table, but I would like to see more at the onset of the 1st quarter.
FB - Jamar Martin provided some good runs and some nice blocks on the inside. The announcer even mentioned a couple of them during the course of the first half. Ritchie Anderson looked solid as usual. Looked very fluid and made nice runs. Spagnola even made a comment about his nice runs.
OL - This unit was pretty solid for the most part in the 1st half. They played the blitz fairly well and on the empty backfield sets, I observed Vinny was not under much duress as he marched the team all the way inside the 20 of the Raiders for an eventual field goal at the end of the first half. Gurode and Rogers name was not called much, so that was a good thing. Al Johnson did struggle against Big Ted Washington. Several times Washington pushed Johnson back into the running back. Washington tends to do this to seasoned vets, so I dont think this is a huge deal, even though Johnson will have to improve.
TE - Witten was solid as usual. He committed the first penalty by holding in the 2nd half. He demonstrated great hands and a safety valve when things got a little hot and heavy under center for Vinny. Didnt see Sean Ryan play too much at first. The series where Henson was sacked for the first time, the camera showed Ryan being chewed out by Parcells on the sideline, so he may have made a mental mistake that led to the sack. In the 2nd half, Ryan, on one play actually ran a nice drag route, caught the ball and bailed Henson out on a possible sack. In the 4th quarter, Ryan would make a clutch grab to put the boys on the 1 yard line, that would eventually help the boys steal a win from the Raiders.
WR - All of the Wideouts played big in this game. If Keyshawn wasnt leaping for 1st downs on out routes, Bryant and Glenn were picking up good yards up the middle and deep. This group had the strongest showing this outing. Randall Williams caught a nice slant pass from Henson, but late in the game, Williams didnt do anything to breakout, like Parcells has been hoping he finally would. Time is running out for Williams. Dedric Ward had a nice outing. He seemed to be Henson's favorite target and made every opportunity when he was given it. He had a nice catch from Tony Romo late in the 4th quarter to help the Boys get into a managable 2nd and short conversion to try and steal a win from Oakland.
DL - This unit played pretty well dispite giving up some big runs. They put pressure on Gannon the whole day, espcially Glover, Ellis and Coleman. The run defense will have to get better if they want to retain the title of #1 defense at the end of the season. Delroy Stewart's name was called a couple of times in the 2nd half for good run stuffing skills on the inside. The unit in the 2nd half got good pressure on the quarterback, but similar to the first half, couldnt get the quarterback on the ground.
LBs - Didnt hear too much about any of these guys. Bradie James played solid besides being late on an assignment in the 1st half on one or 2 plays. This should all digress as he gets experience. I did observe that the Offensive Guards for the Raiders were in the linebacking core several times, and when that happens, not even a 245 linebacker has a chance. Keith O' Neil continued to be a pain. He made a nice hit to stop a screen pass from developing. He also stripped the ball from the Quarterback and fell on it, but it was challenged and eventually overturned.
Corners - Terence Newman was solid as usually and like Parcells says, he never gets distracted, not even when he was guarding the best receiver ever. He even dropped a sure interception when Gannon threw an out to Rice. Roy Williams was very solid even stopping a touchdown by Wheatly as he blew by the guys up front. Jemeel Powell had a good first half but it seemed to all fall apart in the 2nd half, even giving up a 89 yard touchdown to Doug Gabriel. Jaques Reeves also had a rough outing, even giving up 2 big plays on back to back plays. Giving up a big 3rd down conversion and then giving up a deep sideline bomb.
Safeties - Tony Dixon played decent and his name was not called too much. On one play, Dixon was called for pass interference when the line had forced Gannon to throw the ball away. Lynn Scott made some decent plays but failed to haul in an easy interception. On one play, a blitzing Scott stopped a play in the backfield to stop a Raider attempt to convert on 3rd down.
KR/PR - Zuriel Smith had a good return to put the boys in Oakland territory but besides that, not much else.
Kicking - Matt Bryant was pretty solid and didnt miss any field goal attempts, even making a 27 yarder although Henson had trouble holding the snap.
Punting - Matt McBriar continued to impress. He pinned the Raiders inside the 20 once and even kicked a 52 yard punt. Flynn had one punt that I saw that wasnt very good even though it did get a modest bounce to get inside the Oakland 20.
Notes:Troy Hambrick played like dog crap like usual.
"My words should not inspire you. Looking at your hands with no rings should inspire you". - Michael Irvin