I really can't believe the first preseason game is here already. Its great having football back. Okay, I've always maintained that preseason football has to be taken with a grain of salt. Game planning is usually very limited and the play calling strategy is "vanilla" at best. But I also believe that the preseaon is in itself a valuable learning tool and so I thought I'd share the things I'll be looking for from the team tomorrow night.
1. Improvement on the O-line. All accounts are that the line has been shaky during camp. Granted we're missing two starters, but Kolb and our offense is in for a long season if they can't get this figured out. I'm not sure when Jackson will be healthy again, but at least Herremins is expected back soon. The backups need to step up.
2. Nate Allen, Stew Bradley, Ernie Sims and Brandon Graham. All four guys have had excellent camps and the rookies appear to be ahead of schedule as far as NFL maturity. These guys should make the defense look much different than last year. I really believe Graham will be the starter very soon at left end. Sims has been a hundred miles an hour all camp and StewB looks like he's back 100%. Looking forward to watching them.
3. Mike Vick and of course Kevin Kolb. I'm really looking to see if Vick is all the way back athletically. He spent most of last season just getting his legs back, so I didn't hold it against him. I'm looking forward to watching what he can do now that he's back in football shape and more comfortable in his role. As far as Kolb, I'm just anxious to see where he is after 3 years of grooming. Most everyone feels his time is here and he is ready to lead. Now we find out.
4. Cornelius Ingram. Even though he's not the starter, he was the rookie I was most excited about last season before his injury. If he's healthy, he will be a great complement to Celek with his speed and natural pass catching skills.
5. NO INJURIES. Self explanatory. Here's to better luck on the injury front than last year.