Alright so last week I made a fanpost about what I was going to look for out of the Steelers-Eagles match-up. I enjoyed writing it so I figured I should do it again, maybe you will like it and I'll show you some things to watch for you wouldn't have thought of? And I'd love to hear what you guys are looking for specifically out of this game. So let's jump right into this...
Last week the offensive line outside of Peters, Herremans and Watkins looked horrid, the 2nd OL was actually decent, I felt Mathis did well and Kelce looked really good. With the addition of Reggie Wells is there going to be a shake up along the offensive line? I am about 50-50 on this, and I have a few theories I'm going to go over later, but first lets look at the specific players I'm going to be watching this week:
- Danny Watkins- He did pretty well last week, I like his effort and I like the tenacity. He was good in the run (actually really good) and he was good in the pass, I don't think he gave up any ground to the Steelers out side of 1 block I saw him miss completely, but that time he took the wrong step and tried to come back and save it. 1 mistake in half isn't that bad for a preseason game. He's looking good.
- Harris- I think he'll be back this week, if not then scratch him from my list. I'm looking for Harris to separate himself from the pack at RT, he's very talented and I think he can make a bookend OT for us and protect Vick for years to come, he just needs to get healthy and prove wild_eagle right.
- Evan Mathis- This guy is looking great, sure he's barely getting any reps with the 1's and sure he's mostly going against 2's but the guy can block and he can block well. I think having him gives us flexibility on some changes I'm going to go over later.
- King Dunlap- I seem to think he did poorly against the Steelers, some of you (actually most) disagree, for that reason I'm going to list him again this week, I'm going to watch him with a clear mind and then make another judgement.
- Jason Kelce- I'm looking for him to snatch that starting center job, right now I think he's even with Jamaal. This could be an exciting game, if Jamaal even slumps a little bit Kelce could take over. Size aside, Kelce is a prototypical Center.
The defensive line hitting home:
One issue I had with the Steelers game wasn't that the DL wasn't getting pressure it's just that they weren't getting Ben down. The talent is there, the pressure is there but they need to contain a little bit more. Washburn yes gives his DE's the sole responsibility to get the QB but with the wide 9 and the DE's coming off the edge they need to stay as deep as the QB while attacking. Now our DL would've had a good 2-3 more sacks if players wouldn't have been taking cheap shots (Heinz) and holding, but the fact they were so worried about us they had to literally tackle our DLmen at times makes me happy. So here's who I'm watching this week:
- Trent Cole- I'm looking for Cole to make some good plays against one of the NFL's best OT's. I think Cole could be good for 2-3 sacks against McCoy.
- Cullen Jenkins- He had that facemask on Big Ben, but other than that he was blowing up the interior of the Steelers OL and he was doing damage, he's going to be a force for us this year. And for some reason the guy looks great in an Eagles uniform, he's just one of those that fit.
- Te'o- I'm looking to see how Te'o does against the Browns 2nd LT, I think he looked decent last week and he got some pressure, it looks as if he's Cole's primary backup at this point.
- Darryl Tapp- I was a little disappointed he didn't explode last night, he had a few offsides and jumped early once, but Tapp is great for this system, I think he'll have a big game against the Browns because McCoy likes to run to his right and that's where Tapp will be waiting.
Linebackers vs Run:
I'm one of the few happy with the pass coverage of our LB's, Fokou was good, I thought Casey did well against the pass and Chaney looks like he's going to emerge our best LB in recent memory very soon. But the run game killed us, mostly Casey, actually it was just Casey that fucked himself in the run. There were a few plays where he should've made the tackle but for some reason just didn't, or got blocked in the back on a cheap shot (Heinz). So here's who I'm watching and why:
- Jamar Chaney- I'm pretty much sold on him starting, I don't think we have to worry about the SAM LB position as long as he's the one starting there. He looks very good, but he makes my list for 1 more week because I'd love to see him play as well as he has been for one more game. At this point it's mostly if he does something that stands out to me.
- Moise Fokou- Pretty much the same with Chaney. I think Fokou's a fun guy to watch he's actually a pretty good player, I want to see us bring him on some blitz's though.
- Casey Matthews- I want to see him improve against the run. I think if he falters this week against the run we're going to have to shake up our LB core and I don't think anybody is an upgrade over Matthews right now, and by that I mean if they move Chaney inside then I think Matthews still has a starting position on the outside.
- Akeem Jordan- I think he did very well last week, may have played himself into the main-backup type of role.
- Brian Rolle- I didn't get to see much of him. I'm going to key on him this week.
Running backs to do some more damage:
McCoy is the guy I'm not worried about he's poised for another 1,000 yard season. Brown looked pretty good last week and Lewis has moved himself into that 3rd RB spot with his performance. But I'm still looking for our RB's to do more. Mostly because of the probability that Vick will miss a game or two and we'll have to rely on the running game, I'd like for us to have McCoy and 2 guys who can split time should Lesean miss a little time (god forbid please).. So here's what I'm looking for:
- McCoy- I am happy with his running so far, but I'd love to see him in the screen game a little bit before the season starts, I think that'd be a great way to get some pressure off Vick and give our offensive lineman some confidence, also the screen game really did wonders for us last year and could potentially be our biggest weapon in 2011.
- Ronnie Brown- I think he's looking good, definitely better than he did last season and now that he's not the primary back and won't get as many carries I'm looking to see him run hard and continue to improve, I think he played a lot better against the Steelers than the Ravens. The Browns defense isn't bad so it's a good gauge for Brown.
- Lewis- I want another outing like he had against the Steelers, he needs to keep his foot on the gas pedal in order to earn a roster spot.
- Buckley/Locke/Cooper- I'd love to see one of these three do something to make Roseman's and Andy's lives difficult. The better the depth the better the team.
Defensive Backs vs Browns WR's/Colt McCoy:
I am not happy with how our DB's looked against the Steelers. Nate looked horrid, Asante looked lost on that TD he gave up. However Coleman, DRC and Nnamdi actually looked pretty good, I was impressed with Coleman's tackling and his angles to get into good position on plays, Nnamdi didn't get thrown at which makes me happy and DRC almost got home on a few blitz's and I felt he did good in coverage. Here's who I'm watching against the Browns:
- Asante Samuel- Asante's a great CB, I don't know what happened on that play, he was just completely lost and to me the lack of effort to chase the guy down was the worst part, it was like once he "jumped" that route and figured out he was duped he just stood there, and he knew he had 0 help over the top. I'm looking for him to come out with a vengeance against the Browns.
- Jarrett- I want see him play some more, I didn't see much of him but that's because I haven't had the opportunity to watch him specifically yet.
- Coleman- I'm looking for another strong showing, he looks very good out there, I even think that as of now he looks like the best Safety on our roster. I hope he can prove me right. I'd also like to see him in run support and up in the box more, I'd love to see him blitz once or twice.
I'm not knocking Vick, but he did have a pretty bad game. I know the OL had something to do with it but that pick to Ryan Clark was just a poor decision, the Palamalu pick he should've ran or thrown that ball into the stands. It's just what needed to happen. Here's what I'd like to see out of each QB:
- Vick- Better decisions, he's normally great at this, but last game when he was under pressure he just didn't make the decisions that help a football team, sometimes and incomplete pass is the best play. I'd also like to see him run when under a lot of pressure, when he's moving defenses tend to make big mistakes and we score points.
- Vince Young- I don't think he's looking to good right now, he's slow with his reads but that comes with being new to the system. That'll improve with time, I just want to see him complete some passes and make some plays, right now I think Kafka should be ahead of him.
- Mike Kafka- I liked what I saw against the Steelers, I'd love a repeat against the Browns. He had good command and made great decisions (aside from that gift he sent to that butterfingered DB). I'm looking for him to dominate again.
He was experimenting quite a bit with the DB blitz's and stuff, I hope he keeps working on it and figures things out. He's pulling out some JJ stuff and I like it. Let's just keep letting him work thought things and it seemed like he was calling blitz's at the right time.
As promised the OL conspiracy:
Mudd has always found a way to get the 5 best OLmen on the field, right now our best 5 OLmen are Peters, Herremans, Mathis, Watkins and Kelce/Jamaal (the centers are tied in my eyes). Now how can we get the 5 of them on the field together?... Simple, we got Peters-Mathis-Kelce/Jamaal-Watkins-Herremans, or we can even go Peters-Herremans-Kelce/Jamaal-Mathis-Watkins.
- My first OL makes sense because Mathis has been playing well at OG and could move in where Herremans was with little drop off, Todd would then slide over to RT and protect Vick's blindside. I do think Herremans would do well in this role but I hesitate to separate him and Peters due to their ability to dominate together.
- My second OL makes sense because Mathis could slide in at RG with pretty much 0 drop off, then we can move Watkins out to RT to protect Vick's blindside. Now this is a risky move but remember Watkins played LT in College, he's athletic and he has been pretty good at RG so far. Moving him out could be a good thing.