Breath deep everyone, back slowly away from the ledge.
There were some really positive elements to last night’s game, there really were. But, a wise person told me to always start with the criticism and then move to the positive… that way you can end on a good note.
Kenneth Moore's preseason should give him more reason to smile, moving from relative obscurity to a potential #3 Wideout.
The Offensive Line were horrible: There is no doubt they played horribly all night. Particularly on the first team. The main offender was Keydrick Vincent. He acted like he’d never seen a 3-4 before and let player run passed him unblocked. Very, very sloppy play. If we're going to advocate to our QBs to make the full progression through their reads, then the O-Line needs to back up the QB and let them trust they'll have a pocket for more than 2 seconds.
Special Teams were awful: However, Logan is a legitimate stud for Pittsburgh and looks to have a Devin Hester like return season. It’s tough to evaluate just how poor they played.
It was fumble central in Charlotte: There is a bright side however, the offenders were Munnerlyn, Goodson, McCown and Beavers. Last time I checked none were starters, only two are a lock to make the team and I could argue that McCown’s wasn’t a fumble.
Panthers need to finish their tackles: Maybe it’s the Aussie in me, but lets get a friggin’ rugby coach in there and show these boys how to complete a tackle. They hit hard at the point of contact, then disappear. The Redman TD was a joke. Chris Harris took some of the blame for the TD saying he knows he needs to work harder on finishing tackled than going for big hits.
Okay, so now for some things that I found encouraging.
Thank you for stepping up WRs: Wow, what a drastic improvement by Jarrett. I think Moore definately cemented his role as #3 with that game last night… absolutely stunning. Is it just me or is Moore looking like a younger Steve Smith and Jarrett like a younger Moose? It’s astounding how similar they all are as players. Even McMahan and Monk stepped up, bravo WRs.
Goodson, outstanding: The O-Line didn’t really help open any gaps, but he found what was there. If DeAngelo and J-Stew return to form early, expect alot of teams to be blowing up our phone to work a trade for the kid.
Nick Hayden wants a job: And he proved it last night! He had fire, intensity and got great penetration… even though he got steamrolled by Redman he did more good things than bad.
The defense looked alot better: We allowed 211 yards and 134 rushing. This was without Beason and only a few snaps with Thomas Davis. Expect those to fall. The D only gave up 1 offensive TD and got a few 3 and outs.
Quiet stats that snuck up on me: This preseason Mike Goodson was 4th in the NFL in rushing, Everette Brown was tied 2nd in sacks, James Anderson was 7th in tackles and the only player to record a safety.
Okay, so it was brief and there are a million more things I could talk about, but I’m remaining optimistic. We played an insanely difficult preseason schedule and didn’t get a chance to play alot of our starters. Yes there were some underperforming players and moments, but overall my main curiousities going into the preseason were satiated:
- Can we find a legit #3 reciever? CHECK
- Can Everette Brown contribute as a rookie? CHECK
- Will Mike Goodson be able to contribute? CHECK
I’ll leave you with this little nugget of information. Since everyone is jumping on Ron Meeks and his defense here’s something you might not have noticed:
2008 Regular Season under Mike Trgovac: 331 yds allowed per game, 18th in the NFL
2009 Pre-Season under Ron Meeks: 308 yds allowed per game, 15th in the NFL
Here's some more food for thought about our defense this preseason:
Team offensive stats, yards per game 2009 preseason.
- NY Giants: 347.8 ypg (10th in NFL)- We allowed 279 yards
- Miami Dolphins: 278.8 ypg (28th in NFL)- We allowed 244 yards
- Baltimore Ravens: 361.2 ypg (5th in NFL)- We allowed 421 yards
- Pittsburgh Steelers: 272 ypg (30th in NFL)- We allowed 211 yards
Average: 314.95 ypg
Panther's allowed: 308 ypg
We're above average, believe it or not