Four More Under the Microscope

The New York Giants are the kind of team you want to play in the preseason.  They have the best defensive line and one of the best offensive lines in the sport.  If you've been going easy on tackling this summer, Brandon Jacobs will change that in a hurry.  They'll test your corners with short routes to speedy receivers and they don't make an awful lot of mistakes.  You wanna gauge your progress?  Play the New York Giants. 

Last week I put Caleb Hanie, Nathan Vasher and Chris Williams under the microscope.  Hanie was terrific.  Vasher was atrocious.  Williams finished the game healthy - a bonus in my opinion.  This week the focus shifts...slightly.  Four to watch:

Orlando Pace / Chris Williams

Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck.  Block those two guys consistently and you're a great player.  Don't block them and you're just like everybody else.  Williams should have success against a half-speed Tuck but are Orlando Pace's aging legs capable of containing the hungrier-than-hell Osi?  The season may rely heavily on the answer.

Jay Cutler
Would a poor performance from Cutler lead to boo birds?  No.  It's the preseason.  But Jay is making his debut in front of a fan base that has clamored for a quarterback with his ability for half a century.  Cutler needs to feed off the Soldier Field energy, complete something like 10 of 15 passes and put some points on the board.  Nothing flashy is necessary.  Just precision.

Earl Bennett
Eventually the Duke of Earl needs to be more than hypothetical potential.  He's got zero regular season catches and has been gifted a starting position because he did beer funnels in college with the current quarterback.  How about something real?  Beat a corner to the sticks?  A big third down catch over the middle?  Drag those feet in the corner of the endzone?  Just something...anything. 

Who did I forget?

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  • Those 4 strike me as a formula looks like A + B = C x D.

    If Pace + Williams are not EQUAL to the task of protecting C, (Cutler) then D (Bennett) won't have much chance to show his stuff.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Thanks, Professor.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    I haven't heard if he's playing, but if he suits up and hits the field, I'd say Tommie Harris is the fifth guy under the microscope. I doubt he'll use all of his explosiveness in preseason, but if he goes in, I'd like to see him make a ruckus and have fun down in the trenches, like he did a couple years ago.

    I agree that Earl Bennett needs to prove something, but, for whatever reason, I'm not worried. Yeah, he was gifted the number 2 spot, but who else on this team would you have? Barring a serious injury, the Duke is going to catch his first regular season NFL ball this year and it's going to come from Cutler, a guy he knows and trusts. In my mind, he's out from under the microscope.

    I think Hester, as the No. 1, is under much more pressure to prove he's got what it takes. His becoming anything less than a superstar this season or the next will be a disappointment to not only fans and media, but to himself.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Tommie is supposed to play. I'd argue Hester just needs to stay healthy.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    You're right about Hester, Jeff. I was getting ahead of myself and thinking regular season. Still, making somebody miss for a big gain on Saturday would be reassuring.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Ok i'll bite. I might be bias, cause he is becoming my new favorite player, but Al Afalava has a chance to earn a spot in the starting lineup tomorrow. At SS if he can stuff some holes against the giants running game i'd feel much more comfortable with him at SS against, say, the real AP. Payne is a hard hitter, but missed alot of tackles too. A sound tackling, hard hitting, intense player at SS would go a long way to making our D look better... especially in the winter, in chicago, where we can start stacking the box.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Saftey. The current situation makes you long for the days when some like a Todd Bell would sit out a year and the Bears just plugged in a Dave Duerson without missing a beat.

    The next athlete who's contemplating letting their agent have them sit out an entire season should have a chat with Todd Bell and Al Harris who chose to sit the 1985 season. Can you say "D'OH!"

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Damn, Murph! How dare you be right! That IS a better formula!
    Oh well, I never got past advanced algebra and when my daughter started bringing home trigonometry homework I immediately told her "You're your own with THAT stuff, dear!

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    I want to see something out of Dusty D, Mark Anderson, Rideau, and Aromashadu.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Frankly, I have seen quite enough of Mr. Anderson.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    You're going to see more, Alberto. I have argued for a year or so now that there's a battle in this organization at defensive end. Jerry Angelo (correctly) believes that Alex Brown should be a three-down player on the outside and Lovie (in typically incorrect fashion) insists on playing Anderson outside in pass rush situations. I formulated this theory after AB was benched half a season, played great the second half and got a lucrative extension.

    I think Lovie will continue putting our most consistent defensive lineman on the sidelines in pass rush situations until he's fired.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    I hadn't been visiting Da Blog that far back (I know, I knmow. SHAME ON ME!) but ever since I have been visiting I have stated on more than one occassion my very low regard for Mr. Smith's personnel and staffing decisions.

    In this case, Lovie's apparently still mesmerized by those 12 sacks in Mark's rookie year. I 'll wager Jerry Angelo picked up the nearest loose item and chucked it across whatever room he was in when he saw that 4th down, 14-yard, no-wonder-the-defense-can't-get-off-the-field-on-3rd-down, bootleg last Saturday.

    You'd think Anderson had been a 1st or 2nd round pick the way they keep him around after 2 piss-poor seasons but he was only a 5th rounder.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    kinda of the same way he loves D. Manning... like when he hands him the FS job.

  • In reply to JimmyNewport:

    not that i'm bitter and don't agree that he should be playing 1 position on D, much less all 3 DB spots... despite his "physical attributes." While we are at it, lets sign Usain Bolt to play WR, he has physical attributes. No biggie, he only cost us a easy TD in the super bowl.

    PS. I do actually like him as a kick returner... so thats something.

  • In reply to JimmyNewport:

    Well done, Sal!

    Rothlisberger will be re-examined but will travel with the team so it appears that Steeler fans can breathe again.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Thanks Albert!
    Just something quick!
    Oh...and by the way even though they were only in Shells&Shorts, Basanez still looked HORRIFIC!!
    He shouldnt make any roster like Jeff said!!!

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/9950260/Who-will-be-the-sleeper-team-of-2009?

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Apparenty, "Basenez" is French for "Bad News".

    Speaking of bad news, here is 4-Letter Network "Journalist" (?!?!?!)
    advising Packer Fans to give Brett Favre "the Duracell Treatment" (throw batteries) when he returns to Lambeau field:

    http://www.sportressofblogitude.com/2009/08/21/whipping-up-a-fury-dominating-flurry-jemele-hill-creates-the-battery/

    I am as tired of Narcissus Favre as anybody but, get a clue, Woman! More than 1 CHEESEHEAD is going to take that advice LITERALLY, you irresponsible little girl! I do not know what langauge "Jemele" is derived from, but apparently it translates into English as "Incompetent".

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    That 4-Letter Journalist is one Jemele Hill, who's reputation for ignorant remarks precedes her.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    WOW. What love letter THAT is!

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    FYI, Pete Schrager's 2008 Sleeper pick was HOUSTON.They only went 8-8 BUT...they likely lost at least 2 or even 3 games last year because their starting QB, Matt Schaub, missed 5 games! He was, you may recall, replaced by Sage Rosenfels, who did HIS best impression of "the human turnover machine" and personally accounted for 2 losses that I can recall. We can only hope good 'ol Sage's services will soon be required with his new team.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Oh what a joy....watching Favre get drilled into the Turf at the Astrodome for the first time. Thanks, NFL Network!!!!

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    That's what I said the other day. Some 280lb DB will demonstrate the "Pyle Driver" technique on him, on the ever soooo forgiving "Asto Turf". Them old bones will be a chrunchin'.

  • In reply to RogerMinton:

    one of the young defensive linemen for the Chiefs landed him straight on his back in the first quarter tonight. It was epic.

  • In reply to RogerMinton:

    Tonight's recap. Vince Young still stinks. Brett Favre better get younger, fast. He looked ancient tonight.

  • In reply to RogerMinton:

    Brett Favre 1/4 for 4 yards.

    Tavaris Jackson 12/15, 202 yards, 2TD

    John David Booty 6/8, 61 yards

    God damn. Is he really the best option? Hey, I ain't complaining. I've said it before...Brett Favre is a franchise wrecking-ball.

  • In reply to RogerMinton:

    Oh, and last week the brain trust on NFLN had a debate over who would become more useful to their team: Vince Young or Matt Leinhart. They concluded Leinhart. I have no idea. Neither seem appealing to me.

    I'm watching the Cheifs @ Vikings replay. "Narcissus" (thank you for letting me borrow that, Albert) looks confused. He took a hit and looked stunned. Lost.

  • In reply to RogerMinton:

    Narcissus has been officially "borrowed" by the site as well, Albert.

    ProFootballTalk has been saying for a week that they think he'll struggle and then blame the rotator cuff and bail.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    It is hilarious that he left that gigantic gaping "out" on the season.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Watched everything.

    Atlanta is going to better than I thought. Dallas too. The NFC is stacked.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Too much, Ghost!

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    who is going to tell me how I can internet link the bears/giants game

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    One could easily replace JETS with CUBS int hat line, eh Ghost.
    Artie Lang. May be time to address sobriety after his appearance with Joe Buck recently.

    I am honored that "Narcissus" has been adopted but be advised, I saw it somewhere else first and did not originate it. It may have been Steve Rosenbloom. Wherever it was, it was toooo perfect not to pass along. Kind of like that SMACKDOWN that was delivered to Favre last night. NFLN used the Viking TV feed to start the game so their analyst had a plausible excuse for everything Narcissus was UNable to do. Never DID hear them say anything like "If'd he'd been here at the start of camp, he wouldn't be having these problems".

    Damn. I'll have to just settle for highlights tonight until the Bears-Giants are replayed Sunday at 4p here in Tucson. Save your breath, my home computer is in for a minor repair and only have dial-up at home so the Net is not an option. I hold all you live viewers responsible: Make sure I have something worth watching, please!

  • In reply to RogerMinton:

    in my opinion the jets are a chad pennington away from being a playoff team. with any luck the queens release jackson and he ends up being a starter on some other team

  • In reply to RogerMinton:

    I'm quite fond of the Jets. But that division is tough. Buffalo will win 9 games this year. New England 12-14. Where are the the Jets going to end up?

  • In reply to RogerMinton:

    Ever hear what Artie Lange said about the Jets?

    "When I was a kid I was into the Jets. Then I got into women. As I got older I got back into the Jets, because women won't always fuck you, but the Jets will always fuck you."

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    hey guys check out this quick video I whipped up
    its highlights from thursday's practice
    let me know what you guys think!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJRRTqQmWyo

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