So why not first half thoughts, you ask? Because I didn’t see it. Saturday was the Mint Festival up in St. Johns, where I grew up. It’s tradition to head back there and watch the parade, walk around, and spend time with family. It was a lot of fun and the oldest pink Lion got to ride in the parade with her great grandma on the Red Hat Society float.
I caught the second half after we got back home last night on the tape delay. I have the game taped, but haven’t watched the first half yet. There are always a few things I try to keep in mind when I am watching the first couple of preseason games.
- Don’t read into the starting lineups
- Don’t over-emphasize great performances by guys trying to make the cut against other guys trying to make the cut
- Don’t under-emphasize it either
- I always it that means to just size it, but you know — idiosyncrasies in the English language are rife.
- The points don’t matter as much as how the team as a whole handles different situations
- The play of individual players in doing what they were supposed to do in that particular play
- We have no idea what the coaches are trying to accomplish on a given play
- Overall Impressions are more important here than down dirty analysis
- This is the first full-contact players get to make, and even vets are a bit rusty
There were definitely a few impressions that came out at me as I enjoyed watching the second half — particularly Drew Stanton and the Lions backups execute a near-perfect 2 minute drill. In no specific order:
- Too many penalties. Especially off-sides on the defense.
- As I’m sure even those of you who didn’t watch game have heard,Aaron Brown looked great for the most part. He also had some royal eff-ups. In a related note, A. Cason should start brushing up his resume. He’s going to need it. Both Brown and A. Ervin looked better than him. Considering the three are likely fighting for one spot, that doesn’t bode well for him.
- Allen Ervin looked pretty decent, but I don’t think the Lions will keep 4 pure RB since Felton doubles as the 2ndFB AND a power back behind Terrelle Smith in the super-jumbo.
- The second team O-line looked pretty decent overall, and I must say that was a surprise. Ramierez at OG looked like he has made strides, and Jansen and Salaam looked like they have some left in the tank. That bodes well for depth on the oline.
- Colbert needed to take a look around his hotel room or where he was staying before the game and findhis hands, or he’ll find himself on the street. This may be silly, but by the third time he let the ball from Stafford fly off his hands I was picturing Yoda telling young Luke to “concentrate” as he screws up and drops muppet, rocks, and droids to the ground in a resounding crash.
- Speaking of out on the street, that is where Chuck Darby is going to end up. He didn’t play all that badly. He just didn’t play as well as Hill, Smith, Harris, Cohen, Fluellen and whoever else lined up at DT for the Lions if I missed anyone. He is older, more expensive, and not playing as well as the younger cheaper guys trying to make the team.
- The Lions are really going to miss Jared Devries this season.
- I think this is the first time I actually saw the Lions perfectly execute a screen pass. And they did it more than once. Scary.
- Last year the team talked about having run-pass balance, but didn’t — even in the preseason. This game they did. Very balanced. So balanced, they were successfully drawing in a safety and the LB on play action.
- Williams showed more than I thought he would.
- Other than Murtha, who may go on IR; and Follett, who has a better chance to make the team if Spencer’s injury is as serious as it appears; I would have to say the rest of Detroit’s draft will not only be on the roster opening day, but wouldn’t clear waivers if they let them go. Impressive, Martin Mayhew
- I got the feeling that Gun wasn’t blitzing to test the secondary more as that is something that needed serious evaluation, and I get the feeling they got a lot of good film on those guys competing.
- If Pearson is a starting S come game 1, Lions are in trouble.
- Schweigert made a good case to be one of the 4 Safeties to make the roster
- The Lions need to get back those 4 of their top 5 WR back. BAD case of the dropsies by the guys out there last night.
- If Standeford plays as well as he did last season, if he can get healthy he has a much better than even chance of taking the #5 WR role. The top 4 at this point are Johnson, Johnson, Northcutt & Williams
- Sounds kind of like one of those cut-throat law firms, doesn’t it?
- There was some hard hitting and good gang tackling going on by the Lions D.
- Stafford was taking on a blocker and fighting to get to the CB even as he crossed the goal line with his pick 6. That’s grit.
- The coaches looked more prepared and in control the entire game. Even the timeout on the onside kick didn’t phase them. Nor did the challenge on the Allen Ervin “fumble” that was reversed.
- I got the feeling all that situational practice was really helping keep the Lions offense and defense relaxed and taking pressure off of them, no matter what happened in the game.
- I find it interesting that Stanton’s final drive for FG range with no timeouts was exactly one of the situations the Lions had practiced, and it showed.
- Finally, I can’t express how exciting it was to see WR’s catch the ball in stride and be able to kick it into high gear without stopping when Stafford was zipping them out there. Even if he doesn’t start right away, that gives me good hope for the future.
Hope everyone had a great weekend, and was able to enjoy football and family.