Monday, 27 August 2007


The Rams game was the first one available in its entirety in good old blighty, so our views on pre-season have remained in check until now.The game on Friday gave a glimpse of what may come this year, and so in no particular order, here are our thoughts as we watched.

Kiffin has to start wearing BLACK on the sideline.

The starting QB has still to be named, but I would be surprised if the depth chart was anything but Culpepper, McCown, Walter.C Pepp looked composed, and is looking healthy, and although McCown also had a good game, Culpepper has that arm.Walter didn't get too much of a chance to shine but I just don't see him starting.

Johnnie Lee Higgins is going to scare the shit out of opposing teams on special teams and as a contributor on Offense.A mention too for Chris Carr who returned well and a mix of Carr/Higgins will keep teams on their toes on every kick and punt return.

Great play from Josh McCown in the third quarter, backed up to our endzone, rolling out and throwing a great pass to Travis Taylor on the sideline, the fade on the pass meant that only Taylor could catch the ball.

LB Ricky Brown impressed with alot of hussle and good tackling and reading the game well.He seems to be making a real push for a backup spot at LB as well as special teams contributions, which Kiffin has maintained all along will be a consideration when handing out roster spots.

Jay Richardson looks like a steal, bouncing off blockers and making plays and getting pressure up front.Moses didn't get too much time in this game but both guys will make the D line better.Terdell Sands looked like the guy that Rob Ryan has been talking about in camp.This could well be the most disruptive line in the Conference.The Rams had to resort to quick hitch passes to avoid the pressure very early on.This bodes well for our secondary who may well have some hurried passes coming their way.

Jerry Porter.Catch the ball a bit more often.Maybe you should start playing for Al Davis after all.It doesn't seem to be doing Ron Curry any harm, that move he made on the TD catch was pure class.But then again that is the difference between Curry and Porter - CLASS.
Mike Williams started well and looks like a monster when he lines up across from those corners.But he too got a bad case of the dropsies.

The main receiving compliment to Ron Curry was from the tight end position.And not from the expected source.I was busy watching Zach Miller all night and he played well enough, but the guy who really caught my eye was John Madsen, he has great soft hands and runs well after the catch.Madsen showed some flashes last year and could well break through this year as a real threat.He and Miller have upgraded this position to a point where it could be one of our strenghts this season.

George Atkinson loved the hit by Eric Frampton in the second half, where the receiver and ball were separated from one another, and so did I.Hopefully he can make the squad and contribute on ST while developing.

The play of the Offense while not being particularly explosive, was night and day from last season.In the first half we had 16 first downs and 209 total yards.If that turns out to be a fair representation of our offensive output this year then I'll take it.Especially when you consider the way in which the Defense kept a truly horrible offense in games last year, if they keep games close again this time we may see those L's tuning into W's.And the Defense must be fired up to see that their efforts this season may actually be rewarded.

It was nice to see a Head Coach smile on the sideline, Lane Kiffin couldn't help himself following the TD throw to Ron Curry.Its a long time since we saw a HC a) Smile and b) Have a clue.

Kirk f@#*#ng Morrison.BOOOOOM.That hit on Leonard was a thing of beauty.

Lamont Jordan once again underwhelmed me.I know he has had a couple of decent-ish showings so far in the pre-season, but I still think that he hits the hole at less than full effort.Hopefully Fargas can step up and offer the change up needed in the backfield as at least he runs hard every play.The loss of Rhodes for those four games may hurt us more than I initially thought.Echemandu could be the surprise guy, again hr runs with heart and finishes off his runs.

The O-Line (except for a couple of collapsed pockets) gave the QB' s time to throw and opened up lanes for the backs.The decision on center seems to be un-resolved with Newberry and Grove sharing the load and coming in and out of the game.I believe that the QB starting position will dictate the center starting guy.Looking at Fridays game I would lean in the direction of a Culpepper/Newberry combination.

Seabass.He still remains an infuriating player.He boomed kicks through the endzone to negate the threat of Dante Hall.He nailed a fifty yard FG with some to spare.And he missed a thirty three yarder, which for him should be a chipshot.With Kiffin's perspective on accountability, this season could well be a defining one for Seabass.

All in all the future looks bright, we may not need shades just yet but the sun is definitely emerging from the stormclouds of last year.

No comments: