Thursday, August 7, 2008

1st Quarter Thoughts

Welcome all! Typing this as I watch the game, so there might not be as much polish as usual. I'm just going to type obesrvations on the game as they come to me. Pregame should be starting here in a few moments. Here ins Lansing, I've had to wiat interminably for the finale of "So You think You can Dance" to end before the game will be shown on Tape delay. Just got me thinking about how many guys who look good in camp, are going to find themselves not looking so good in a game situation, and conversely, some guys who don't look great in practice, really hit it when the lights are on. So you think you can play?

As I wait for the coverage to start, a couple of players come to mind:

Anthony Cannon -- so far in camp, it looks as though Garnder has been leading the race to backup Sims at WLB. However, Cannon seems to be one of those players who really turns it on come game time, and finds a way to make plays. If he does that in these preseason games, he just may manage to hold onto his roster spot.

Another is Shaun Cody. He looks great in practice at times, but he seems to disappear come game time. Should he continue that into the preseason, he will also find himself disappearing from teh roster, replaced by a dlinemean like Langston Moore who manages to make plays come game time.

Pregame is on right now. Nothing really new or niteresting there.

CAson on teh first return. Unit didn't look too bad - 23 yard gain. Ouch. Line didn't look too bad, but Bell ran right into the pile. There was a hole to the right, but he totally missed it. Nice short slant for Kitna's first pass. With the playcalling last year, that would have been a sack. Getting the ball out quicker allready. #rd & 3. Wow! Nice roll-out - Kitna dodged the first tackler and nice long bomb to CJ. Bell nothign again.

LOL -- Announcers just said "Kitna is dnagerous with his mobility" Seriously. Once again, Kitna is looking better throwing on teh run than he has from the pocket.

Bell picks up the first, but he needs to slip that first tackler -- I think there coudl have been more there. I'll look at it on the tape later.

Nice -- finally a play action pass on an underneath route. Lions Starters looked great against the Giants starters for that first TD drive. Mixxed run/pass nicely, setting up the play action. After the second half of last seaosn, it was easy to forget how well Kitna can pick apart a defense wehn they have to respect the run, and he has more than a second and a half. Also, getting him out of the confines of the pocket seems to be comfortable for him as well.

What else I like about the drive is it took, I think about 5 minutes off the clock.

Lets see how the starting D does against the Giants starting O. Funny how they mention Eli as SB MVP -- personally, I thought the Giants Dline were the MVP of the Superbowl, but that's just me.

Nothign standing out on Special Teams so far. Tackling looked a bit better, but it's hard to tell on the first view.

On D, Lewis is looking good. Devries made a nice play on the ball - almost intercepted. And Dwayne white dellects and get off the field. Cody is totally irrelevant. I'm guessing he'll get an assist or two, but he was really coming in on the end of the play. Not really a factor so far - once again, as I indicated earlier, he is disappearing in game situation. Devries adn White looking good at end. Nice to see the first team D and O do so well against the Giants starters.

Second offensive series -- Bell once again piled up in the swarm. Gaines' hands looked good. Like how the first run set up the pass -- once again slid teh defenders to one side, and wide open in the flat. CJ is looking as good as his hype this ifseason has been. He looks like he is out-running, out-jumping, and out-fighting the CB's. Ouch -- bad pass by Kitna on the that roll -- though he had a defender attempting to block in front of him. Holding -- that explains why his linemen wasn't there. Bell -- again nothing. When will we see Smith? Granted, I think Davis screwed up that one, but Bell doesn't appear to be seeing the field real well. Finally -- a good run out of Bell. Even for vanilla O and D. Close on the crossing pattern -- give it t a little time into the season, and that play is a TD.

Lions first team D on the field still -- Giants first team O as well. And Cody finally shows up -- with an offsides. Not good when your only great play is a penalty. Couple of nice tackles by Lenon and Cannon. Completion, but Bodden nearly had it knowcked away -- lucky catch. Nice pressure by Dline -- and nice coverage in the secondary. Giants finally seem to be moving a little bit as the first quarter ends. I'm guessing the starters come out for the most part for both sides. Now we can see hwo the second team units will do.

Overall, the first quarter of preseaon showed the O-Line still needs to work on a few things, but they were successfully mixing up the run and pass. I'm curious to see hwo well Smith does once he gets soem carries.

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