I know that there are going to be TONS of breakdowns involving tonight's game, so I figured I'd come at it from a different perspective.
Preseason is a frustrating time. Coaches aren't necessarily going for the W, so it's hard to figure out how what you see will reflect on the regular season.
It's mostly about player evaluation, and on that note I'd like to mention a few players that I'd really like to see more of.
1. Jeremy Horne- We were talking about this guy before the game a little, and how nice it would be to see something from him. Well, he only caught one pass, but it was a crucial one and he looked like he belonged out there with the 1st teamers. It was interesting to see a guy that didn't get any real non-garbage-time snaps last week get a chance to play in the 1st quarter. He's fast and seems to have decent hands. I'd like to see more of what he's got to offer.
2. Dexter McCluster- I know, I know, we saw plenty of him against ATL. But I was still disappointed. I'd like to see more plays directed specifically his way (and not trick plays, actual plays). He's too fast and shifty to not get his number called more often. It's early, but I want to see him used more because I want to see Cassel develop a good rapport with him. I think that would be critical for us this year, especially on 3rd downs.
3. Tonight's version of Cassel- He wasn't perfect, but he was good. Didn't miss on throws the way you sometimes see with him, and seemed a little more at ease in the pocket than last week. Granted, that could be the defense he was facing, but it was good to see him in there checking down and finding the open man. 14/19 for 125 and a TD. Let's see more of that guy.
4. Tonight's version of Battle- I was really hard on Battle after last week. I felt like he wasn't running with any burst or power. Tonight was pretty much the opposite. He ran very, very hard, and shook off a lot of tackles. He also showed more speed than I saw from him last week. Could it be he was starting to sweat a roster spot?
5. Thomas Jones- This might seem odd, since he's a vet and you usually know what you're getting, but I can't figure him out. He seemed a lot better off tonight, and he powered through guys for 1st downs on a couple of short yardage plays, but I can't decide if he'll be able to play a crucial role for us this year other than short yardage back. I saw a little more speed tonight from him and a little more of an ability to cut, and I'd like to see if he can keep that up. I'm still shaking off memories of 2.7 and I'd like to see Jones show that he won't be a repeat.
6. Jamaal Charles- This is purely for selfish reasons; I just love to see the guy run. Here's where I wanted an opinion and/or some reassurance from fellow fans. The reason the Charles isn't getting more snaps is because they want to keep him healthy and they're confident in what they have in him, right? Right? Riiiiiiiiiiiight? Because I saw Jones out there twice as much as Charles and it made me want to scream just a little.
Oh, and also, I would like to spend the rest of my life watching Javier Arenas return kicks. That guy is amazing. He has incredible vision. I see him being responsible for a lot of "saves" this year. By that I mean when the other team has scored and we're feeling down, then Arenas comes in and runs it back to their 35 and completely swings momentum back in our favor. Man that guy's crazy good at returns.
What player and/or version of a player would you like to see more of next week? Let me know, opinions are always welcome unless they disagree with mine or come from upamtn, in which case I automatically file them away as crazy talk.