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» Clutch Encounters: Week 7

Saints bomb again in the final minutes. Also: Kyle Orton's rare GWD, Andy Reid's game management, the return of Colt McCoy, Jets' regression and you can't blow out Russell Wilson.

16 Aug 2006

Every Play Doesn't Count: Week 1

by Michael David Smith, with notes from the rest of the FO staff

When the regular season starts we'll return to our regular practice of focusing on one particular player or unit for Every Play Counts. But before the season starts, we'll spend a few weeks looking at the preseason, including plenty of players who won't even be on NFL rosters in a few weeks. We love football so much around here that we want to watch every play, even the ones that don't count.

If you are still looking for the open discussion thread from preseason Week 1, it is here. From now on, each week the open preseason discussion threads will be on the open discussion page, just like the regular-season game discussion threads.

AFC

Baltimore

Kyle Boller sacked himself again against the Giants, tripping over his own feet. No quarterback has as much trouble backpedaling as Boller.

Buffalo

Does J.P. Losman have any chance of taking the starting quarterback job? He had decent numbers in the preseason opener: 15-of-24, 144 yards, no interceptions. But you just get the feeling watching him that the sooner the Bills admit that the previous regime made a mistake in drafting him, the better off the franchise will be.

Cincinnati

For those seeking evidence that preseason stats don't mean anything, here's Exhibit A: Doug Johnson currently leads all quarterbacks in preseason passer rating after his 11-for-14, 128-yard performance.

Cleveland

Charlie Frye made good reads on three-step drop routes and was able to complete some passes in the flat. On longer drops, he left the pocket and made some bad decisions while throwing on the run. His thumb didn't seem to be bothering him. The Browns appear to have a lot of designed rollouts for him.

Kellen Winslow caught a few short passes in the flats but didn't do anything special. Steve Heiden, the second tight end, caught a pass on a screen and one on a delay-release play.

Denver

Jay Cutler looked very, very good, like he could step in and start immediately. Then again, he was playing against a bunch of guys who aren't good enough to make the Detroit Lions' roster.

Houston

Houston's offense showed lots of good zone blocking and bootlegs. Where did we see that before? Oh, yeah, Denver.

Indianapolis

In Pro Football Prospectus 2006, Ned Macey's article on Heartbreak Seasons asks if the Colts will be like the 1998 Vikings or the 1979 Chargers. Each of those teams was an offensive juggernaut for multiple years. In those years, the Vikings and Chargers each had one strong defensive year but couldn't get it all together to make it to the Super Bowl, and each saw the defense collapse the next year while the offense was still good. It's just a couple drives, but based on what we saw from the first team defense last weekend, this is exactly what's going to happen to the Colts.

Jacksonville

Rookie running back Maurice Jones-Drew had an outstanding 55-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown. He's buried on the Jags' stacked depth chart, but they have to find a way to get him the ball. He could be something special.

Kansas City

Trent Green turned 36 last month, and he still looks coolly efficient. Did sitting on the bench for most of his 20s keep him so fresh that he can play into his 40s?

Miami

Joey Harrington threw a beautiful strike into the end zone for a touchdown on his first drive, then spent the rest of the game reminding everyone why the Lions sent him packing. Cleo Lemon was efficient late in the game. Will Harrington be a third-stringer in Miami?

New England

Laurence Maroney looks great. He squares his shoulders when he hits the hole, has good burst, and gets yards after contact.

New York Jets

Chad Pennington played most of the first half. He was not impressive, but not terrible. Lots of short passes. The dinks and dunks didn't seem to go away under the new coaching regime. Rookie Kellen Clemens showed some potential and smarts if not incredible play.

Oakland

Robert Gallery has moved to left tackle, and that's a bad move. He gets out of his stance too slowly to take on speed rushers. Art Shell is the last person who should need to be told what to do with his offensive line, but Aaron Brooks is skittish enough in the pocket already. The last thing Brooks needs is a guy like Gallery protecting him.

Pittsburgh

Duce Staley looked out of shape as he plodded his way to 14 yards on seven carries. Does Staley think that just because Jerome Bettis was beloved as he got old and fat, he will be, too?

San Diego

Philip Rivers has been paying close attention while spending the last two years on the bench. He looked like he completely understood the Chargers' offense and knew how to lead a team. He still has to do more than throw 15 completions in an exhibition game, of course, but Chargers fans must have been breathing a sigh of relief.

Tennessee

Vince Young threw an absolutely beautiful 50-yard pass against the Saints. (Roydell Williams dropped it, but the pass was spectacular.) Even on those long passes his throwing motion looks strange, like he's just cocking his elbow and flicking his wrist, but there's really no reason for the Titans' coaching staff to change the motion if he can throw that accurately.

NFC

Arizona

John Navarre was playing an extremely cautious game and still managed to throw two interceptions. Matt Leinart needs to get up to speed in a hurry because the Cardinals can't afford to go into the regular season with Navarre behind the injury-prone Kurt Warner on the depth chart.

Atlanta

The Falcons are going to give up more yardage on draw plays this year than any team in the league. Every play is pass rush, pass rush, pass rush, and there's nobody in the middle. It's easy to run up the middle on them, but even easier if you pretend you are passing first.

Carolina

Rookie running back DeAngelo Williams is known as a boom-or-bust kind of guy, but this is ridiculous. His eight carries went like this: 3, 2, -7, -2, 2, 3, 2, 0, and 20 yards. Good thing the coaches left him in the game for that last one.

Chicago

The Bears made upgrading their secondary depth the No. 1 off-season priority, and it doesn't look like it did a bit of good. Alex Smith -- Alex Smith! -- found open receivers all night.

Dallas

Linebacker Junior Glymph is one of those players you watch in the preseason and think, "This guy's for real." He had two sacks and looks like your prototypical 6-foot-6, 275-pound pass rusher. Then you realize that he's been cut by a few teams already in his career and played only six games in two seasons. There's probably a reason for that. He's got a cool name, though.

Detroit

Charles Rogers' false start was a truly bizarre penalty; he looked like he tripped over his own feet while standing still. Some people try to excuse what a bust he's become by mentioning his broken collarbones, but he never looks like he's paying attention out there. If the Lions cut him, why would any team want him taking up a roster spot, even if he agrees to play for the veteran minimum?

Green Bay

Brett Favre walked off the field thinking, "I didn't come back to get sacked twice in a preseason game." The Packers' offense looks like it had all the same problems on the line that it had last year. And Favre is a year older.

Minnesota

At some point doesn't Mike McMahon have to show some comprehension of how to play quarterback? He's a good athlete, and all of his coaches seem to like him, but why haven't they moved him to receiver by now? He's 27, so maybe there's still time.

New Orleans

Well, we all saw the Reggie Bush highlight. He's fast, and he can improvise. His pass blocking could use a wee bit of work; on two plays, he stood there, waited for the linebacker to make a move, watched the linebacker make a move, then grabbed jersey. He wasn't called for holding, because the jersey grab really didn't stop the linebacker or anything. Bush may be in the slot on third downs.

When running inside, Bush really counts on his foot quickness, stopping and starting in the hole to change direction. Teammate Deuce McAllister does the same thing, and you can't get away with that unless you are a super athlete like them. As McAllister's stat profile suggests, that start 'n' stop can produce big runs but some stuffs too.

New York Giants

Matthias Kiwanuka looks like he's going to be an outstanding situational player against the pass. In the third quarter he had a three-play stretch that included a half-sack on first-and-10, a tackle on the running back after a four-yard screen on second-and-19, and a sack on third-and-15.

Philadelphia

William "Tra" Thomas appears to have lost some lateral quickness. He doesn't seem to be able to turn quickly and adjust in pass protection, which is trouble. Winston Justice looks like a rookie left tackle, good on straight ahead plays, not so good in space. When Justice was in the game, the Eagles had a lot of running backs chipping outside defenders.

Hank Baskett started for the second straight week and played well, with an over-the-shoulder catch near the end zone and another catch on a short hitch (he did fumble on the hitch). Big kid, good athleticism. Can play a role, but there's no way he will have this offense down pat by September.

The Eagles' defensive line is very good and very deep. They should trade some of these guys for backup running backs or receivers. LaJuan Ramsey, a sixth-round defensive tackle, is very athletic and fast, trails plays well, and has a quick release. Jerome McDougle finally had some positive plays when he beat some backup Browns tackle for a sack and a few stops. McDougle has trouble disengaging from blocks, but he gets upfield quickly and can flush the QB when he gets inside. Broderick Bunkley looked pretty good in limited action.

St. Louis

The Rams' offensive line destroyed the Colts' defensive line on runs. The Colts' defensive line destroyed the Rams' offensive line on passes. What else is new?

What kind of day job does backup kicker Remy Hamilton have that he can take a month off every year to go to some NFL camp? He's been out of college for at least 10 years.

San Francisco

The 49ers look like they're going to give converted Penn State quarterback Michael Robinson every chance to make the team as a running back, but he didn't do much in his first opportunity. Eleven carries for 31 yards won't get the job done.

Seattle

Yes, Seneca Wallace looked fine at quarterback, but what's he doing under center? He's never going to beat out Matt Hasselbeck for a starting job, but he's a great athlete who could contribute at wide receiver. Mike Holmgren ought to make the switch.

Tampa Bay

The Bucs' offense just ran over the Jets' defense -- starters and backups. Right now, two of the top three rushers in the NFL this preseason are Buccaneers, and neither one of them is Cadillac Williams or Michael Pittman.

Washington

Chris Cooley is going to look great in the Al Saunders offense. He's sort of a half-Tony Richardson, half-Tony Gonzalez.

Why did it take so long to call grounding on Todd Collins in the end zone? He practically spiked it. And why is a guy who spikes the ball when he feels pressure ahead of last year's first-round pick on the depth chart?

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 16 Aug 2006

69 comments, Last at 18 Aug 2006, 3:56pm by Andrew

Comments

1
by dryheat (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 12:41pm

Maybe Gallery was shifted to left tackle because Aaron Brooks is left-handed? Or am I wrong? Good recap.

2
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 12:43pm

Of all the choices, why do the contentlink things think I want a Kyle Boller jersey? Nice article, though.

3
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 12:48pm

Wanted to add some thoughts on Washington:
Jason Campbell was elevated to #2 on the depth chart this week.

Redskin fans are rejoicing the trade of Taylor Jacobs (WR) for Mike Rumph (CB/S) to 49ers. It is probably a trash for trash trade, but even at this point it was clear Jacobs was a goner. Another in a long line of disappointing Florida WRs... how is Chad Jackson doing?

The battle for 5th WR will likely come down to Mike Espy/James Thrash. Thrash is a special teams star... but Espy (a UDFA) looked good against the Bengals first round CB that was covering him.

David Patton looks like a lock to make the team, unless Espy is good enough to beat him.

4
by dryheat (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 12:52pm

No, to answer my own question, research shows Aaron Brooks to be right-handed, as is Andrew Walter, whom I suspect to be starting by week 4.

Moving Gallery is curious indeed. I thought he proved rather convincingly he couldn't play left tackle his rookie year.

5
by beedubyuh (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 12:59pm

The Beloved Bears looked terrible against SF. Like a Douglas Adams character with Tourette's, I kept repeating, "Don't Panic. It's only week 1 of the preseason."

Alex Smith looked good, though. Of course, so did Rashied Davis. So what does that tell ya?

I believe Griese will start more games than Rex. I imagine Ron Turner's offense is a snap to learn compared to Gruden's.

6
by James, London (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 1:00pm

Nothing to add as we don't get ant pre-season games over here. My copy of PFP 06 arrived today though, so straight home from work.

7
by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 1:25pm

Does Billy McMullen make the Vikings squad?

I'm curious, because it looks more and more like Baskett, for whom he was traded, will be the #2 or at worst the #3 guy for the Eagles.

8
by Jere (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 1:28pm

Yo #3 - I'm glad you at least called it 'trash for trash' ... Rumph is like, what, 5 foot 2. But at least he's been great - as a target for opposing QB's. I hope he is a starter so McNabb can pad his stats for 2 games. Boo yah !!!

9
by turbohappy (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 1:32pm

Just wanted to mention that 6 out of the 11 probable starters for the Colts didn't play at all in the first preseason game with various minor injuries. So the "first team" really wasn't the first team at all. Except for the linebackers - who were all there, but didn't exactly shine either.

Judging how good the defense will be this year from this game is very premature. I'm not saying they'll definitely be great, but they'll be a lot better than that.

10
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 1:35pm

Well, at the very least, you worry about the Colts depth, especially in the secondary.

11
by David (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 1:40pm

Baskett being #2 is very premature, I think. Training-camp talent notwithstanding, he's still never played a regular-season game and hasn't had much time to learn the offense. As long as Pinkston can get healthy, he'll be starting opposite Reggie Brown when the season opens. If he's still out, I'd expect a (posibly comedy-laden) battle for the spot between Greg Lewis, Jabbar Gaffney, and Baskett as a dark horse.

12
by Boston Dan (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 1:43pm

how is Chad Jackson doing?

He is day-to-day injured.

13
by Craig (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 1:45pm

Re: #4 IIRC, he's been a regular season right tackle in the pros. It was Sims that was getting abused on the left side by speed rushers.

Mind you, being drafted by the Raiders as a first round OL seems a good way to not amount to much, lately....

14
by Oswlek (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 1:47pm

Matthew:

Jackson has only practiced three times and did not dress for the PS game.

Just a few odds and ends about the Pats:

* With Banta-Cain, Mincey and Pierre Woods, it appears as if the OLB has far more youth and decent backups. I would be surprised if Vrabel is not moved into the ILB position full time at some point this season. Many fans are calling a switch to the 4-3 as a base unit, but I just don't see it. The depth a DL is not great and BB has said on numerous times that he feels keeping DLs fresh is a major component to winning games late.

* My two "will be better than people think" players, Mincey and Willie Andrews (a 7th round safety) did nothing to prove me wrong in the game. Mincey set the edge well and Andrews had a very good special teams game; very good punt returning, average KO returning and a great play to down a punt inside the 10.

* Cassell lookd awful until late in the third. I have read that he calmed down, but I think it may have to do with the fact that the #2s were gone and were replaced with camp fodder. I'm not convinced that this guy has it.

* Mills played very well for a guy who only practiced twice. He was going against scrubs, but he looked like a man amongst boys.

* The secondary played OK. They were typically in good position but still allowed a few too many completions.

* Run D was terrible. The Pats were playing with some guys that hopefully won't be on the field come the regular season, but it was bad even under those circumstances.

15
by MJK (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 2:00pm

I was watching very carefully to see WHY the Pats RunD was horrible. It wasn't the fault of the D-line (at least, not the 1st or 2nd string D-line--Sullivan was horrible). It was the ILB's fault (no surprise). Looked to me like mental or scheme problems more than physical problems, though. When Davis and Gardner were in (usually it was Gardner) he would consistently commit to the wrong hole and get trapped, leaving the lane that should have been his responsibility open. Both ILB's seemed to read the inside running plays wrong and commit to holes too early.

16
by Josh (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 2:01pm

Is there a job with a higher ratio of pay to work than "backup kicker?" If there is, I need to know about it.

17
by Aaron G. (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 2:02pm

No, Brooks is right handed. Although he might be better if he tried to play left handed.

18
by Mac (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 2:13pm

Re: #3
It's funny you call it trash for trash and mention how you feel the Skins got the better end. All the NorCal papers said the same thing, but felt the Niners got the better end. Sounds like a truly trash-for-trash trade.

19
by Sophandros (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 2:13pm

Regarding Buffalo:

A: 95/197, 1043 yds, 6 TD, 9 INT

vs.

B: 113/228, 1340 yds, 8 TD, 8 INT

Which would you take after nine starts in the NFL? A or B?

A is Eli Manning. B is J.P. Losman.

On Oakland:

Does Gallery = Mandarich?

#5: Like a Douglas Adams character with Tourette’s

You realize that some of us read this during lunch and may have a hard time explaining food spat upon our monitor...

20
by Skin Patrol (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 2:17pm

Re: #3

Gibbs said prior to preseason that Campbell and Collins would go back and forth taking reps with the 2nd team throughout playoffs. That's one of the ways you evaluate which player is deserving of 2nd string, if there is a position competition. The change you've noted is both temporary and not reflected on the Redskins official website, which still lists Campbell as the third option.

However, given what we've seen from Collins and from Campbell, it won't take long for Campbell to wrestle the 2nd position from Collins permanently. It just hasn't happened yet.

Gregg Williams is good at making mediocre players outplay their talent. Rumpf will benefit from the move. Even if he doesn't, Jacobs was going to get cut anyways so the trade really was trash for trash (but we happen to have room for trash on our CB depth chart). Hopefully Williams can coach him better than they did in San Fran, since it appears that Springs will miss some regular season.

I don't know who I want to win the starting job, Espy or Thrash. Espy is the fan favorite and a better story, although Trash is the veteran leader. I think Thrash brings more to special teams but I can't imagine him making a large impact as a 5th WR. Nor would Espy, for that matter, but as a rookie he has a much larger upside. If Espy can handle some of the special teams duties that we expect Thrash to handle, than I'd take him. Ultimately whatever the coaches think is best; they are in a much better position to evaluate his progress than the fans (like me!).

Re: #8

Donovan McNabb will be destroyed by the Redskins.

21
by ToxikFetus (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 2:26pm

Re: #16

How about backup QB for Green Bay over the past 10 years?

22
by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 2:26pm

David #11:

As long as Pinkston can get healthy, he’ll be starting opposite Reggie Brown when the season opens. If he’s still out, I’d expect a (posibly comedy-laden) battle for the spot between Greg Lewis, Jabbar Gaffney, and Baskett as a dark horse.

Pinkston is still out. And there is no way the Eagles will start Greg Lewis again.

As to Gaffney he ain't even making the team, unless he suddenly blossoms in the next two games by August 29, when the cut to 75 occurs or at the outmost by September 2 and the final cut. I'd be shocked to see him starting when the Eagles could trade for Lelie (who already knows the WCO) if they are really that desperate.

There's 6 spots for wideouts on the roster.

Brown, Baskett, McCants, Avant, Lewis, and Bloom are the six, unless Lewis suddenly implodes, or Pinkston suddenly gets healthy, or a trade is made for Lelie. As of now, Pinkston is heading towards IR or waivers. He simply is not able to play right now, and he can't even practice. The Eagles aren't going to cut Avant or Bloom, whom they just drafted, unless Bloom prooves unable to field and return kicks. Baskett is ahead of both of them on the depth chart. Brown is #1. McCants is currently the #3 or #4 and is a Special Teams standout. That leaves only Lewis as expendable, except that he plays Special Teams and Gaffney does not, and Lewis is signed long term while Gaffney is on a one year contract, and Lewis knows the offense, while Gaffney is just learning. Coach Reid likes role players like Lewis just like he likes role players like Reno Mahe. Do a little bit of everything and play Special Teams.

The Eagles have been installing first team 3 receiver sets with Brown, Baskett and McCants or Avant, and 4 receiver sets with Brown, Baskett, Avant, and Lewis or McCants. Gaffney is neither playing or practicing with these guys on the first team, although that is what he was brought in to do.

Hello! Open your eyes! You don't give first team reps in training camp to guys you plan on spending the season riding the pine, while not giving reps to the guy who is the alleged #3 wideout!

23
by solarjetman (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 2:29pm

It's not hard for Jacksonville to move a running back up the depth chart. Just throw pennies at Fred Taylor's groin for 15 minutes.

24
by Kibbles (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 2:36pm

Re #3: Another in a long line of disappointing Florida WRs… how is Chad Jackson doing?
For all the talk about the long line of disappointing Florida WRs, I would think that colleges would be hard pressed to drum up a WR corps better than Darrell Jackson, Reche Caldwell, Chad Jackson, and Ike Hilliard. That's better than what a lot of entire teams are running at WR.

25
by admin :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 2:41pm

All New England players are day-to-day at all times, according to Bill Belichick.

26
by Josh (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 2:53pm

Re:#21
True, but there's always the chance you might get traded and have to play (see Mark Brunell, Matt Hasselbeck).

27
by J (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 2:59pm

I'm going to second #9 here. when 6 of your 11 defensive starters aren't playing, it's sorta hard to judge them

But then again, this is Patriot Fans Outsiders, so I wouldn't expect anythign different.

28
by Sophandros (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 3:03pm

#20: Espy is the fan favorite

Espy's a White Wide Receiver?

29
by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 3:08pm

Sophandros, knowing what part of the coutnry you're from, I know that you're kidding.

But Espy is not a DFWR (decptively fast wide receiver). He is, however, a SFOB (Son of a Friend of Bill), which is an interesting enough story.

30
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 3:14pm

I’m going to second #9 here. when 6 of your 11 defensive starters aren’t playing, it’s sorta hard to judge them

Because we all know that no one except the starters on a team ever plays during the season, and depth is completely unimportant.

31
by Ilanin (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 3:28pm

Steelers fans seem to be going crazy over Anthony Smith as a result of his two interceptions and general on-field demeanor in the Arizona game. Does anybody with less of an interest in the issue have an opinion?

32
by CA (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 3:29pm

Re: 4

Moving Gallery is curious indeed. I thought he proved rather convincingly he couldn’t play left tackle his rookie year.

Well, he also proved rather convincingly he couldn't play right tackle his second year. Perhaps it's time for Gallery to take the traditional route of slow, failed tackles and move to guard.

Remember when Gallery was coming out of Iowa? The "experts" were talking about him as if his eventual enshrinement in Canton was a mere formality. I hadn't seen an offensive lineman get so much positive pre-draft coverage since Orlando Pace. Specifically, recall that everyone was saying that he was the safest pick in the draft, the one least likely to be a bust.

Maybe there's something about big, ugly, long-haired white guys from the Big Ten that makes everybody mistake them for can't-miss top prospects.

33
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 3:35pm

Maybe there’s something about big, ugly, long-haired white guys from the Big Ten that makes everybody mistake them for can’t-miss top prospects.

So that's why there's all the concern about Hawk not living up to expectations in Green Bay right now.

34
by Julius Jones (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 3:55pm

The Falcons are going to give up more yardage on draw plays this year than any team in the league.

I dunno who wore the crown last year, but it's still a relief to see the title not bestowed upon the Seahawks.

35
by Drew (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 3:56pm

Maybe there’s something about big, ugly, long-haired white guys from the Big Ten that makes everybody mistake them for can’t-miss top prospects.

I'm not sure how Dallas Clark is relevant here.

36
by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 4:17pm

So that’s why there’s all the concern about Hawk not living up to expectations in Green Bay right now.

Hawk is too busy shacking up with Brady Quinn's sister after their recent shotgun marriage to take ethicallly shady advantage of various NFL player funds because he is too cheap to spring some money for his girlfriend's education and health benefits, despite his massive recently signed contract.

37
by Dean (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 4:21pm

RE#'s 11, 22.

Andy Reid has never kept 6 WRs on the roster. Always 5.

As for who the 5 will be?
We know Reggie Brown is #1.
Stinkston will likely spend the year on IR. One of the few contract errors of the regime was the extension he signed. In one more year, the bonus will have amortized and we can cut him.
Baskett has a roster spot locked down, and I love what the kids shown so far, but he's been playing against preseason vanilla D's. I have no expectations of production during the regular season (this year).
Greg Lewis may be the #2 WR by default.
Avant will make the team.
Bloom will probably develop a mysteriously torn hamstring in the last week of camp and get stashed on IR for a year. Othewise, he'll be a practice squad guy.
McCants will probably make the roster, helped largely by his special teams prowess.
So that leaves Gaffney on the outside looking in. If Stinkston goes on IR, he has a shot. Actually, I think he's more likely to get passed by a training camp fodder type guy like Michael Gasperson then he is beating out McCants.

And if you can't beat out the likes of McCants, what good are you?

38
by Sophandros (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 4:25pm

Sophandros, knowing what part of the coutnry you’re from, I know that you’re kidding.

Toungue (not Reggie) was planted quite firmly in cheek.

39
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 4:49pm

Andy Reid has never kept 6 WRs on the roster. Always 5.

Bloom would be kept on as a return man in that situation, not as a real WR. Six isn't crazy then.

Othewise, he’ll be a practice squad guy.

Bloom will not be a practice squad guy, because other teams will sign him away, and they will sign him away. Signing him to the practice squad (and it'd be doubtful he'd take the offer) is as good as putting him on waivers.

As for the "mysteriously torn hamstring": has this ever really happened? I'd be a bit concerned that this might be, uh, not legal. Not in terms of the NFL, but in terms of federal labor laws.

40
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 4:51pm

Baskett has a roster spot locked down, and I love what the kids shown so far, but he’s been playing against preseason vanilla D’s. I have no expectations of production during the regular season (this year).

Also: if you're concerned about his production, be concerned about the fact that he's only showed it versus the Raiders and Browns. The coverage versus a "go" route doesn't change from the preseason versus the regular season: "Run downfield and stay with the guy."

41
by Zac (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 5:01pm

Remy Hamilton's day job is kicking in the Arena Football League. He went 27 of 36 on FG and 92 of 98 on XP.
http://www.arenafan.com/players/?page=players&player=654

You guys got to do something to make the spam filter better. Every time I get something blocked, it's because I put something in the website line.

42
by Zac (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 5:03pm

Or Brooks could try to be like Jake Plummer, being right-handed but throwing left-handed interceptions.

43
by Josh (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 5:14pm

Re:#41
There goes my early retirement plan.

44
by Insancipitory (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 5:29pm

MDS, and who would you make the 2nd QB if Wallace was converted to WR? David Greene? Gibran Hamdan? Right now the Seahawks feel Seneca Wallace can come in and win games.

Besides, at this point, D-Jack, Burleson, Engram, Warrick, DJ Hackett, Maurice Mann doesn't look like the worst WR depth chart.

Naw, let him develop as a QB behind Matt. I'm sure the waiting must kill him, but it worked out well for Steve Young.

45
by Michael (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 5:46pm

#5 hey stop dogging Alex Smith he played good against your bears and they had there first team defense out there too and you still continue to bash him. Ok let me tell you something Rex Grossman and Brian Griese are worse qb's then Alex smith. Some people are gonna read this and laugh because of there ignorance so i know im gonna get bashed for this.

46
by Skin Patrol (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 5:47pm

Re: #28

No. Why?

47
by Marko (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 6:01pm

"What kind of day job does backup kicker Remy Hamilton have that he can take a month off every year to go to some NFL camp? He’s been out of college for at least 10 years."

For what it's worth, Remy Hamilton has been a kicker in the Arena Football League for a long time.

48
by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 6:02pm

Skin Patrol, click my name.

49
by Marko (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 6:07pm

Sorry about that - Zac's post about Remy Hamilton wasn't there when I last looked at this before posting.

50
by WalterJonesMVP (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 6:22pm

Yes, Seneca Wallace looked fine at quarterback, but what’s he doing under center? He’s never going to beat out Matt Hasselbeck for a starting job, but he’s a great athlete who could contribute at wide receiver. Mike Holmgren ought to make the switch.

The QBs behind Wallace on the Seattle depth chart would struggle to start for many Division II teams. The current thinking is, unless Seattle signs a decent veteran backup, the team can't risk an injury to Wallace at WR. And the only realistic veteran backup available is Tim Rattay, so don't expect to see Wallace until the playoffs.

51
by Skin Patrol (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 6:43pm

Wanker,

That's funny as hell. Thanks for that.

52
by are-tee (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 11:49pm

"The Bucs’ offense just ran over the Jets’ defense — starters and backups."

I guess that's why Tampa Bay scored a whopping three points in the first half.

53
by michael (not verified) :: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 11:51pm

Whenever people start to wax rhapsodic about A.J. Hawk, all I can think is:

"Katzenmoyer. Shit, he's just like Katzenmoyer."

I think Gallery does have one thing in common with Mandarich. They both looked dominant playing the majority of their games against DEs who were simply overmatched on a physical level. I remember watching Mandarich play against a 220lb. DE and the announcers all but wet themselves howling about his "domination."

Still, I love the story about Mandarich's first training camp. Supposedly the offense took one snap and the OL coach turned and said, "He can't play tackle in the NFL."

54
by Josh (not verified) :: Thu, 08/17/2006 - 1:26am

#50: How about Kerry Collins as a backup QB option? Not the best QB, and probably not the best fit for Seattle's offensive style, but he is a guy who started in the league last year.

55
by Andrew (not verified) :: Thu, 08/17/2006 - 6:22am

Dean #37 and Pat #39:

Andy Reid has never kept 6 WRs on the roster. Always 5.

You have a really short memory.

2001, 2002 and 2003 saw 6 WR's on the roster. Pinkston, Thrash, Mitchell, Brown, Douglas, and Scott in 2001, Pinkston, Thrash, Freeman, Mitchell, Douglas and Milons in 2002 and Pinkston, Thrash, Mitchell, McMullen, Lewis, and Morey in 2003. The 2005 roster eventually became 6 WR's - Owens, Brown, Lewis, McMullen, McCants, and Ford. He'll keep 6 wideouts provided the last one is a relatively important special teams guy. A 5 WR roster means ripping spread offense plays out of your playbook if one or more of them gets hurt, as happened in 2004.

Reid's rosters have typically been: 3 QB, 5 RB/FB, 6 WR, 3 TE, 9 OL, 9 DL, 7 LB, 9 DB, 2 K.

56
by Dean (not verified) :: Thu, 08/17/2006 - 8:58am

Did Milons ever actually crack the roster in 2002? Or did he spend the year on the practice squad?

I know in '03, Greg Lewis didn't actually take the field until mid October. I don't remember exactly who got hurt (know it wasn't Trash or Stinkston), but I think it might have been McMullen around game 5 or so.

Last year doesn't count, as Ford didn't get signed until after Owens was no longer on the roster - he was placed on the Reserve-Suspended List.

Just because six guys were actually on the roster over the course of the year doesn't mean they were all on the roster at once.

It's always been my observation that Reid keeps 10th lineman, not a 6th WR - of course, that doesn't make it automatic that he'll do the same thing this year. Given our depth at DT, though, I think it's likely.

As for the earlier post where the guy was so concerned that someone would snap up Bloom if Philly tried to put him on the Pracice Squad, well, it's possible, sure, but why would someone waste an active roster spot on a guy who hasn't played football in 2 years, has battled hamstring problems in camp, and lasted all the way to the 5th round? If some other team liked him that much, he would have been drafted earlier. And even if they did lose him, what have they lost? A kick returner and a guy who wasn't good enough to make one of the worst WR corps in the league.

57
by Andrew (not verified) :: Thu, 08/17/2006 - 10:06am

Dean:

Milons is listed as on the roster, but deactivated, in the playbook for the first game of the season in 2002 - i.e. the roster Reid wanted to keep for the season barring injuries included Milons. He was still on the roster on 12/28 when they played the Giants in the last game of the season, and still deactivated.

Lewis not taking the field early in 2003 is irrelevant. 8 players have got to be in street clothes every game, and with 6 WR, it might as well be one of them in that mix. When he was activated on 10/19/03 against the Giants, all 6 WR suited up.

Ford was taken on waivers on 11/23/05. Owens was still on the Roster the rest of the year (he was only suspended for 4 games), but was deactivated for every game - i.e. the roster had 6 WR.

Reid has actually not typically rostered 10 OL or DL. 2003, for example, had 4 DE, 5 DT, 2 C, 3 T, 3 G, 1 G/T.

2004 was an abberration where the Eagles kept more linemen and fewer WR because they had recently drafted a lot of linemen and no wideouts, and they wanted to see what they had. So they kept 5 DE, 5 DT, 2 C, 3 G, 2 T, and 3 G/T.

More recently, they have drafted 3 WR, and turned up a UFA WR prospect in Baskett and a pretty good free agent in McCants. Therefore, they will keep more WR this year, and fewer linemen, since they've figured out what linemen they want, while they are hardly going to throw away good players at wideout or recent draft picks without giving them playing time, unless they show they are total busts in camp and the pre-season, as Gaffney has done so far.

58
by Harris (not verified) :: Thu, 08/17/2006 - 10:09am

McMahon at WR? I can see the first article written if he ever has any success:

"A throwback player who's not afraid to go over the middle, McMahon struggled mightly in the NFL until moving to WR. No one was sure he'd be able to make the transition from QB, but his coaches say this fan-favorite has great hands, runs good routes and has worked hard to get better."

59
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 08/17/2006 - 11:17am

He’ll keep 6 wideouts provided the last one is a relatively important special teams guy.

Right, and Bloom is likely to be the one "relatively important special teams guy" of them, unless he shows absolutely nothing in the next three games. I'm actually really surprised they took Bloom off of the PUP list. I was expecting them to leave him on there, and then let him get back into football shape without cramping the roster.

Also, regarding Pinkston: Pinkston can be cut easily. His salary and remaining SB are essentially equal, so nothing changes with regard to the salary cap if he's cut.

Hank Baskett started for the second straight week and played well, with an over-the-shoulder catch near the end zone and another catch on a short hitch (he did fumble on the hitch).

MDS: I think you mean "bobble" not "fumble" here, right? No Eagles players fumbled in the Cleveland game (which was a major improvement over the previous week's 4 fumbles). I don't even remember seeing a bobble, though.

60
by Peter (not verified) :: Thu, 08/17/2006 - 1:29pm

58: Harris, you forgot McMahon's deceptive speed.

I like Baskett... he was a really cool player for New Mexico, just a beast. I'm rooting for him.

61
by Bad Doctor (not verified) :: Thu, 08/17/2006 - 2:44pm

I thought Bloom had already suffered a mysterious injury a few weeks ago and was on IR for the year.

62
by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Thu, 08/17/2006 - 2:55pm

I know Bloom has been having hamstring issues, but I hadn't heard that he was done for the year. Although I could have missed it.

63
by David (not verified) :: Thu, 08/17/2006 - 3:17pm

61: To the contrary - Reid has confirmed that Bloom will get some playing time in tonight's game.

64
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 08/17/2006 - 11:45pm

Well, this was suppposed to be the open thread for this week's preseason games, but looks like I'm the first one posting something.

What I saw from the Eagles/Ravens game:

1) The Ravens offense is going to be seriously improved. They will not have a negative offensive DVOA this season if McNair stays healthy. The biggest difference between McNair and Boller? McNair has so much more pocket presence than Boller it's not even funny. It's not like the Eagles defensive line wasn't getting pressure. It's just that McNair delivered right before they got there almost every time. Derrick Mason's going to have a great year.

2) Great to see Correll Buckhalter back in a game, and what a great 48 yard screen run. Terrific blocking, but good vision as well. And Buckhalter had a nice blitz pickup before that, too. I'm not that worried about his marginal rushing (5 carries, 8 yards), as there wasn't much room for him to run on those plays.

3) Detmer has to start adapting to plays that don't work properly (because none of the plays that the second-string offense ran worked properly). While the standard thing that most people are going to say is "God, he looked horrible", the only play that he totally botched was the deep pass to Lewis. The intentional grounding penalty was due to Moats not running the right play, and Detmer just flinging the ball down in disgust. That's just not going to work. I think there's a good chance Detmer might not make the roster.

4) Philly has got to keep Bloom on their roster. He's got a ton of acceleration. He'll give Philly an extra four or five yards of field position each kickoff. If he had gotten some of the deeper kicks that Perry and Reid got, he would've just burned by defenders.

5) Philly's second-team defensive line looked fantastic. Second-team secondary? Not so fantastic.

65
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 08/17/2006 - 11:55pm

Well, this was suppposed to be the open thread for this week’s preseason games, but looks like I’m the first one posting something.

Or maybe it's not. I blame Aaron for saying Every Play Doesn't Count was going to be the open threads for the other weeks. :)

66
by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Fri, 08/18/2006 - 9:39am

Unfortunately, I missed most of the first half. But I'll say this much. If you consider two deep at each of the d-line positions, Philly may have one of the best in the league. They were getting pressure from all over the place. The addition of Darren Howard is going to be huge for Kearse. And Mahe and Moats better remember to take better care of the ball.

67
by MRH (not verified) :: Fri, 08/18/2006 - 10:18am

Re "Redskin fans are rejoicing the trade of Taylor Jacobs (WR) for Mike Rumph (CB/S) to 49ers. It is probably a trash for trash trade, but even at this point it was clear Jacobs was a goner. Another in a long line of disappointing Florida WRs… how is Chad Jackson doing? "

I think Chad Jackson is the first notable FLA wr to be drafted who was not recruited by Spurrier. So there is reason to think he'll be different from the long line of disappointments.

68
by Finnegans Wake (not verified) :: Fri, 08/18/2006 - 11:54am

Steelers fans seem to be going crazy over Anthony Smith as a result of his two interceptions and general on-field demeanor in the Arizona game. Does anybody with less of an interest in the issue have an opinion?

Caveat emptor, Steelers fan here, so.

While Smith's play is a seeming validation of drafting him, and may bode well for a Smith-Polamalu safety tandem in '07, I doubt very much he's going to crack the starting lineup as a FS. That position makes the backfield calls, and apparently despite Ryan Clark's lack of fireworks thus far, he's getting it, and has the NFL experience with the Skins, et al.

Ty Carter's a fiery player, but a centerfielder? Nah. In the box safety and very good nickel/dime guy. And frankly, if Smith does take the field, that may be how they work him in, as the extra safety on packages, and maybe some special teams work. Looks like a quality kid, though.

69
by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 08/18/2006 - 3:56pm

Anyone have any comments on this Marty Johnson kid the Eagles have picked up at running back?

So far, he's run 15 times for 71 yards.