First Team Highlights vs. LionsI'm going to focus primarily on the first half and the starting units. The game revealed several positives:
- Marvel Smith held his own on the right side. Smith was more active and aggressive playing the right side and the results reflected this change. He wasn't flawless, giving up a sack, but he certainly rebounded from the putrid performance last week.
- Kordell Stewart showed poise in the pocket. While Stewart didn't make any spectacular completions, he was steady and spread the ball around a bit. Most notable was the fact that he stood in and completed a couple passes when a hit was imminent. He finished 12 of 15 for 135 yards.
- Zeroueue had a solid game. Whether it was nifty footwork on screen passes or determined efforts to squeeze out extra yards and/or find his way to first downs, Amos did it all. If this guy collects dust during the regular season, I'm going to lead a lynch mob against the front office and coaching staff!
- Bettis, as expected, was THE BUS. He rolled and rumbled all over the Lions defense, plowing his way to 24 yards and a TD on 7 carries.
- Troy Edwards was active in the first half collecting a 38 yard punt return and 23 yard catch on a well run pattern. Edwards finished the day with 6 grabs for 45 yards.
- The defensive front was active and disruptive despite the Lions looking a bit sedated. Smith and Clancy both applied pressure and were good in pursuit.
- Kendrell Bell, in his first start, collected a sack (despite being held) and applied pressure early in the game. This guy has a nose for the ball and is going to be a playmaker.
- With Washington out do to his concussion and Chad Scott out early with a sprained knee, the secondary still held its own in the game. It should be noted though, that the Lion's QBs never looked in sync and were missing targets Herman Moore and Germane Crowell to injury.
- Brown showed a solid leg on kickoffs, finding the endzone a couple times. He did though miss a chipshot FG in the second half.
- Edwards had a solid 38 yard PR.
- Justin Kurpeikis was solid in coverage. He made a strong bid to make the team with his solid work ethic and his desire and effectiveness on special teams.
All in all, this was an improved effort by the Black n' Gold, albeit a preseason game. Several players bounced back from poor performances including Stewart (steady, spread the ball around), Maddox (solid, unspectacular, possibly good enough to stride toward a roster spot), Marvel Smith (more active and aggressive) and the WR corps (few drops, better routes).