Not really about the score folks, relax
We went into this game with three core questions to answer:
- Will Luke or Byron stand out against live fire?
- Will the OLine open some lanes for our RB committee
- What the hell will our defense look like?
Will Luke or Byron stand out against live fire?
This game gave us some pretty clear answers. Luke was beyond timid. Though it will not show in his numbers, Luke did not look in control and benefited from a face mask on a play that was PATENTED old Luke where he loses his mind and does something very stupid. He has created a big hole that he will need to dig out of. Though I thought he looked to be the best QB through camp, he did nothing to prove that in the game. Furthermore, Byron came in and was efficient, poised and ran the offense, leading them to points while only committing one stupid move as he backpedalled and turned a 5 yd loss on a sack into a 14 yd loss.
Will the OLine open some lanes for our RB committee
Not the first stringers. The 1’s on the offensive line were flat out uninspired in this game. There were no lanes to speak off with Graham finding no room early. Ward was able to make some advances, but most of the rushing yards came later in the game from Clifton Smith and Kareem Huggins behind the 2’s and 3’s (and going against the 2’s and 3’s of the Titans.) An area we felt would be a strong suit showed tonight that they have a lot more work to do before they can be talked about as an elite group. They may have elite individual talent, but they have no meshed in this new system. And I know this will hurt, but the worst performer on the starting line tonight was young sensation Jeremy Zuttah who got tossed around constantly by the Titans defensive line.
What the hell will our defense look like?
This is a group that we were very concerned with coming into the game. The big questions were around the ability to generate a pass rush with our front four (though they will be assisted by a more complete and regular blitz package), how the new linebacking core would handle their role (especially Flip in his move to LB from S) and the defensive backs ability to handle the level of bump and run coverage. I am happy to report that either the Titans 1’s on offense suck or our defense played fairly well. The defensive line got good and consistent pressure. Stylez G. White had a big game with an INT and a sack along with multiple pressures. The entire defense played the run very well early, giving up yards late once the reserves were in the lineup.
The biggest surprise for me was how well the defensive backs played. Sabby had a great game both in pass defense and in run fills. The CB’s (all of them) did a great job crashing the edge while the line and linebackers stretched runs out wide and allowed the backs to clean up in the open field. This was a far better performance than I expected.
Topics for Monday’s Show
Monday night at 7:00 PM Eastern we will be reviewing this week’s loss to the Titan’s and what the performance means to individual players fighting for a roster spot. We will also review our predictive MVP’s and score prediction while welcoming a special guest in the studio. I have spoken of him many times, but finally, my man Ronnie Ghent most recently of the New York Sentinels will be in Studio 76 to join us of the show. He will undoubtedly make fun of the Bucs as he still harbors immense ill will from them passing him over in the draft and choosing Nate Lawrie.