- May 24, 2002
- Reaction score
- Tampa, FL
Rather than doing a top observations from the game I think I'll do this...since this was an obvious statement game where we wanted to go out there when it counted (to us) and make a statement and address certain issues. So here were my top 5 things I wanted to key in on before the game happened.
Answer: Flawless. No fumbles, no penalties, no busted coverages, no blocked kicks, good directional kicking, and AJ Johnson even showed some flashes that "make my toes tingle" (according to Mandich).1. Special Teams Everything - Lapses in concentration here can kill any team any time. I want to see a good clean solid performance. Some would say they want to see us clean up the mistakes made so far like illegal formations, punt blocks, and kickoff coverage. But I say EVERYTHING. Because if there's a lapse somewhere else tonight that is very costly, some would say "oh well we corrected the other things we can correct this too" but I say different. Its like trying to plug holes in a dike at this point...put a finger in one place spring a leak in another. Any major special teams lapse tonight whatsoever is indicative of a poorly coached special teams unit that will not do very well this year, IMO. Strong words, but thats how I feel.
Answer: I will reserve complete judgement for those who SAW the game for I will not be able to. However, from what I heard over the radio it does not SOUND good. It sounded like Gary Walker was able to get some pressure pretty regularly, and Jeff Posey got a sack. Gary Walker may or may not have been on Nails' side...but Jeff Posey was either Dixon's assignment or Nails' assignment. After the game Dixon still insisted that he made the right decision he has to check with the coaches. If he did indeed make the right decision it makes me feel better about Dixon at LT, but worst about Nails at LG. If not then perhaps Dixon will just be able to correct that (he's a great student of the game and technician) so in this case I HOPE IT WAS DIXON'S FAULT. Right now my hand is hovering over the panic button ready to start sayin the coaches need to scheme to cover up Nails' weakness as a pass protector. But I reserve judgement for those who saw the game and can isolate who was allowing the pressure...2. QB Pressure From Left Side...I will be listening on the radio cuz here in Tampa they won't be showing it on TV, DOH! I wanna pay special attention to QB pressure on Fiedler. Where's it coming from, and is it a blitz. I think Dixon's got something to prove, as does Nails who must improve his pass protection. If I hear about major pressure and/or sacks coming from the left side of the line....panic button is considered PUSHED.
Answer: Once again I'll have to leave this to the guys that tape the game and study it. I didn't see it but his name didn't get called a lot. But in general there wasn't a whole lot of effective passing goin on and the two long bombs where the WR was open appeared to be problems with the safeties not being there to help up top. Jamar did have a tipped up easy pick and nice return, and a newspaper is quoted as saying he did solid even though Spielman is shopping for other corners. In conclusion, I would not be surprised at all if Spielman attempts a trade for Tom Knight with the Patriots. He is probably available and is close to being cut even though he signed like a 2 year 1.5 mil contract with them.3. Jamar Fletcher - I don't really know if he's managed to impress anyone this training camp. He's got marvelous inconsistency. I'll be listening to hear if he's gettin a lot of balls caught on him.
Answer: He has stayed my hand for a while. I would still like to see his 3.5 ypc average increase a little in the first half of games, however a lot of his runs were 3rd-1 and goal-to-go. I believe 4 or 5 of his 15 runs were in that situation. That will seriously bring down the old average. Had a great second effort on a TD run which always gives you a plus mark. I think he'll be fine. By the way we had like 164 yards rushing total and like 200+ passing yards. Thank you Norv.4. Ricky Williams - It really should be about the right time for Williams to start looking pretty good. The last time our OL faced a 3-4 defense they pasted the patriots with like 150 yards on the ground. If Ricky averages 2 yards or under AGAIN, then I think its time to lift that little glass casing off the panic button, as we get ready to push it in week 1 against the Lions...
Answer: Oh my god I'm sooooooooo disappointed! We only got FIVE sacks instead of the EIGHT that I wanted and we let the Houston average a WHOLE 2.2 YARDS PER CARRY against us. I think I'm gonna go cry myself to sleep. Man I guess even though it wasn't that important to me the D-Line still got the pressure on just to make me happy5. DL pressure - Not all that important IMO. They've already shown me they can pressure the QB PLENTY. Would be nice if they stifled the run into nothing, and got 8 sacks on Carr...but not all that important really.