Sometimes, looking at what another team has to say can give a different type of perspective to a situation. So, I decided to take a look at what Atlanta media and fans had to say about their first preseason game — particularly as it referenced to the Lions.
It wasn’t pleasant, by any means. General consensus I got was that most agreed that in a battle of #1 offense vs #1 Defense, they would have been in trouble overall had Kevin Smith stayed in the game, and even without CJ playing — with him it would have been disastrous. While Abraham is a good end, they are having trouble with their LDE (taking on the right tackle).
What did come up several times, and is summarized/focused on in thisAtlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) article is Gosder Cherilus. There were already reports coming from camp that Cherilus has been improving. The fact the he essentially “owned” Atlanta’s projected starter at DE just tells that this is translating to the field. The Lions still had better success running right while he was in, and I expect great things out of him this season — especially as his pass protection keeps getting better. With this more aggressive offensive scheme for the O-Linemen, I also expect that “mean streak” to show itself more as the season moves on.
While the first possession ended in a sack, the starters moved the ball down to the 2 yard line — and that was without ANY of the projected starting WR on the field. There could be good things in store for this offense IF players stay healthy, and IF the Oline gels together well… and how Gosder Cheriluskeeps progressing will be a huge part of that.
Also be sure to catch NetRat’s thoughts on the first preseason game as well — some great tidbits in there. I’m looking forward to the Brown’s game this weekend — I will be watching it unfold Saturday night, as well as taping it, so look for plenty on this second game. I will be especially looking to see how players like Hill have improved since the first game, and who is getting reps against the Cleveland’s starters.
One final thought: In teh AJC article, (Coach) Smith talks about how they “bent but didn’t break” in only giving up a FG to the Lions on the first posession. I am SO glad the Lions are for the first time since the Silver Rush going away from a back on your heels defensive approach and getting agressive. From what I’ve seen, I’m not sure how may games the Lions will win this year (they still have plenty of holes) — but I am pretty sure of this:
Both sides of the ball should be really fun to watch!!