View Full Version : What to Watch for in Preseason for your Favorite team
07-06-2010, 08:22 AM
I will start with my team the Carolina Panthers
WR. Who is going to step up and take the #2 spot vacated by Moose and who will be #3. Right now by Default D. Jarrett is the incumbent but after 3 lackluster years it is time to put up or shut up. In the end I believe it will be Jarrett opposite Smitty and Armanti Edwards in the slot. However, If I were Jarrett I wouldn't slip up because LaFell is gonna be breathing down his neck. And all you fans worried about our running game... The Panthers were toying with a 4 WR set. Jarrett and LaFell are good Blocking WRs..
IS it a run or a pass?
DT: 2009 was not a good year to be a Carolina Panther Defensive Tackle. Four went down starting on Day 1 of the preseason and progressively got worse. 3 of the 4 DT are back and hungry to prove they are the one to start. I believe Johnson and Leonard will be Starting and Irvin and Tyler in rotation.
DE: With PT JP gone look for Charles Johnson, Tyler Brayton and Everette Brown to battle it out for the 2 Starting Positions. Right now Brayton and Johnson are PENCILED in but Look for Brown to push both of them. In the end this DE combo is going to have more sacks the DE's of 2009
QB: It is Matt Moore's Job to lose. The only way he isn't #1 going into the season is he has a disasterous pre-season. Clausen has the tools and if Moore struggles like Jake did last year it won't take 11 weeks to replace him. The interesting battle will be between Rookie Tony Pike and 2nd yr QB Hunter Cantwell. Cantwell has improved enough that eyes are watching.
I believe if Cantwell has a decent preseason game he might become trade bait. Either way I don't see the Panthers holding onto him. They probably won't put Pike on the Practice Squad since he will be snatched up quickly and if Cantwell goes down don't be surprised if someone nabs him.
Either Way Spartanburg, SC is going to be a happening spot come the end of this month.
What is up with YOUR team.
07-06-2010, 10:22 AM
There are too many issues to cover them all, but I'll hit a couple real quick.
1. The QBs. Right now it's Delhomme's job to lose. Of course, he could end up losing it in spectacular fashion the way he lit the panthers on fire. However, if he can be steady with the Browns running game improvments (The addition of Hardesty and Hillis to the backfield and a stout O-Line), then he may actually help this team be better than enyone expects. Also, the Browns have some unique "wildcat" options now with Seneca Wallace in town to go with Josh Cribbs. As long as Mangini doesn't over-use it, that could really add a wrinkle that will give defenses problems (Both Wallace and Cribbs can throw and catch in addition to run). McCoy shouldn't see the field this year, and for once I think the management will stick to their guns on that.
2. Secondary. Outside of quarterback, the defensive secondary may have been the weakest part of the Browns last year. Through trades, free-agency, and the draft the Browns and Holmgren have done alot to address this issue. The addition of Sheldon Brown to play opposite Eric Wright on the corner is huge. They also drafted Joe Haden and have Brandon McDonald on roster already. The CB situation is much improved and now there is competition for the spots instead of entitlement. The Browns also drafted a couple of hard hitting safeties this spring. The hope is that Mike Adams can progress and be good in coverage so the rookies can make their impact on the run game and putting the fear of God into recievers going over the middle. If that can happen, this defense will look a whole lot different.
3. Receivers. Although there have been no major additions to the receiving corps, they are a year older now. Massaquoi has the speed and ups to potentially be a big play guy. Bian Robiski has shown so far in OTAs what the Brown drafted him from Ohio State for, precise routes and great hands. From what's being reported out of Berea, he's also starting to play with a better feel. The Browns have also added Ben Watson at TE, and while he's no Dallas Clark, it is an improvement over what they had receiving wise at the postion last year. Hopefully, Delhomme can be steady and consistent which will allow the receivers to continue to progress.
Those are the three biggest things right now but there is one other card out there. Mangini. Even though the Browns started out 1-11 last year, he was able to keep that team playing hard for him. They did finish strong, winning their last four games and keeping Mangini's job. If he can do the same this year, the Browns may suprise. When I say "suprise" I mean winning upwards of seven games, but being competitive in a tough division. Of course, I would love it if it's better than that, but I like to temper my expectations.
07-06-2010, 10:47 AM
1. Carson Palmer. He just wasn't good last year. Was he still hurt? The Bengals spent most of the off-season gathering weapons for him. With a 1st place schedule, the Bengals need Palmer to revert to form if they have any chance at all of returning to the playoffs (big if).
2. WR. The WR position is suddenly very crowded in Cincy. Chad Ochocinco (hurts every time I have to use that silly last name) isn't what he once was, but who among us is. He is still a good player. Antonio Bryant was signed to replace the ineffective Coles. Bryant has had one or two good years and a lot of injuries. Caldwell and Cosby showed promise last year. 3rd round pick Jordan Shipley is the favorite to be 3rd receiver. He's often compared to Wes Welker. He's bigger and faster, but there's only 1 Wes Welker.
3. TE. 1st round pick Jermaine Gresham could be a stud if he's healthy. 6-5, 261 and can run and catch. But can he block? Chase Coffman is even bigger than Gresham and had more catches than any TE in NCAA history, but was hurt/ineffective all of last year. Gresham and Coffman could make the Bengals' TE position a real strength for the first time in many years if they stay healthy and if they can block and if they can adjust to the NFL. That's a whole lot of ifs.
4. Antwan Odom. Had 8 sacks in 6 games (thank you Packers' offensive line) before going out for the year with an Achilles. Will he be back at full strength? He was also hurt much of his first year in Cincy and has only played 18 games in 2 years after signing a big free agent deal. The Bengals got competent, if not spectacular play from backups Jonathan Fanene and Michael Johnson and drafted underachiever Carlos Dunlap in the 2nd round, but a healthy Odom is the only real threat to get to the QB.
Misc: the physical/mental health of Rey Maualuga. Can the Bengals continue to get better than expected production from what appears to be very average players at safety and o-line?
07-06-2010, 11:16 AM
Key Training Camp Issues
1) Solidify the offensive line. Over the last few years, the OLine has struggled with injuries and guys having to play multiple spots. Hopefully after the last two drafts, this issue has been addressed. Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher will hopefully be able to last one more season as the bookend tackles, but my guess is they will play very minimally in the preseason and we will get a long look at the future with Bryan Bulaga on the left side and TJ Lang on the right. Scott Wells proved himself once again at center, and Josh Sitton is firmly entrenched at right guard, so it will be a battle between the much maligned Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitz for the left guard spot. A hungry group of linemen will be fighting for the backup roster spots as well.
2) The secondary. Al Harris' return from his ACL injury is questionable at best, and Charles Woodson isn't getting any younger, so the secondary is under a lot of pressure this preseason. Can Tramon Williams be a viable starter at cornerback? Who will settle in at the nickel and dime spots if Williams has to start? Will Atari Bigby hold out and compete with Morgan Burnett at strong safety?
3) Special teams. This has been the Achilles heel of the Packers for the last couple of years. Mason Crosby needs to have a bounceback year at placekicker, the team needs to find a reliable punter, and the team is still missing a dynamic return man.
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