Here are my impressions -
David Carr looked like an honest to goodness pro QB. He was in full control, and seemed to make the right decisions for the most part. The mental part may finally be coming. He has had the physical part down, but the mental part of the game has been where he has struggled. That pass to gaffney would have never happened last year or 2002. GREAT JOB CARR!! I will be interested to see if that continues. If so, I may need to raise my 7-9 win predication by a game or two.
Mark Bruener showed good hands, and I loved how he dragged guys down the field. Reminded me of a certain NY Giant. Could he be our Joppru? Sure looks like it.
Pitts looked good, especially in run blocking.
Seth Wand looked like he belonged out there. A bit tentative at times, and needs to be a little more physical when run blocking, but overall, he looked good. His pass blocking was very impressive to me considering his experience. I am feeling better about Carr's blindside already!
Personally, I did not key in on Weary, but I do remember him delivering a pancake block to spring Hollings on the dump off pass that went for 30 something yards. I think he is fine as a backup and spot starter. In general, I was impressed with the offensive line.
Hollings looked like a new RB. THIS is why he was drafted in the second round. Gee, do some of you naysayers understand now why you have to enter your thoughts on a MB, while the Pro's get paid to evaulate talent?
I echo Herv's comments on Wells. While there was a clear dropoff in speed, moves, and the suddenness of Hollings, I thought he was much less hesitant, and really showed good deciveness into the hole. If he keeps it up, I think he will make a dandy big back/short yardage/spot duty back, and he is already a key ST guy.
Ragone looked the best I have seen him, and to my eye, cleary outplayed Banks. I seriouely doubt that he beats out Banks for #2, but if the trend continues, this will be Banks last year IMO.
Starling looked really good to me in limited duty. He may push for the final spot if he keeps it up. All the WR's looked good to me with the exception of Jermaine Lewis who couldn't catch a cold, and a couple of other guys with virtually no chance. I see potential with Sloan Thomas as well. I see both him and Starling on the team, either on the active roster, or the practice squad.
Duff looked good to me. He was sure handed, ran north-south, made good desicions, etc. He doesn't have the top end speed or suddeness of the top guys, but he looks to be a guy that will get you positive yardage almost every time. I see him making the roster.
For a guy with almost no chance to make the 53 man roster, Jamaal Lord made a real case for himself as a ST man. He seemed to be around the ball carrier on every return. With the number of safety's in camp, I don't how they can keep him though. He is a sure practice squad player if he doesn't make the final 53 imo.
On Defense, Robinson was everything I was hoping for, and then some. Great speed, tackling ability, suddeness, change of direction, make up speed, etc. He will be a great CB in this league for many years imo.
Babin looked great on that one play, putting a great spin move on a double team, and causing the fumble. Some of the other times I keyed on him, he looked a bit lost, but it's clear to me he has the physical talent. He just needs time.
Every time I see Faggins play, I come away impressed. Last night was no different. Secondary play in general was excellent, and our depth looks 100% better than the first two years.
On the dline, Sears stood out, along with DJ Renteria. He could make a case for the practice squad. The line play in general was very good.
Tony Banks looked like he worked at a Bank and not in the NFL. Jason Anderson didn't look that impressive to me, then he got injured making that a moot point anyway. Some of the bottom of roster WR's didn't impress, as stated earlier. The third team dline was getting blown off the line something awful. Red Zone offense was bad. Five trips inside the 20, and only 16 points? At this stage, I will say that is nitpicky, but it is something that needs to improve. That's about all the bad, which says just how good this game was!
Tony Hollings better eat, sleep with, and make love to a football between now and the opening game. The first fumble I will give some credit to the Crackboy who made a terrific play, but Tony should have protected it better, or better yet, switch arms. The last two were really what I saw as lack of concentration, combined with looking for the hole before recieving the ball. Job #1 is to get the rock and hold on for dear life. In Tony's case, I really think this is coachable, but I also think there is a decent chance he always is a higher than average fumbler. Time will tell on that one.
Final Grades -
Defense - A+
Special Teams - A-