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DreamKid

GDT 8/8/19 Preseason Week 1: Baltimore Ravens vs Jacksonville Jaguars

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Through the last 3 seasons, we're 13-0 in preseason games. Will we make it to 17-0 this year?

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Primary things to watch for against the Jags, and during Preseason as a whole:

1. IOL- What's the deal? Can someone with promise stake a claim at LG, or will Hurst maintain his spot? Eluemanor flashed improved ability last year. The flashes came at Tackle though, so can he show the same at guard? Ben Powers is the newbie of the group, another Oklahoma transplant. It would be amazing if he could replicate the success of his BFF Orlando..or even just show some decent potential. Rookie Patrick Mekari's name has come up as a player that could surprise, so be on the lookout. 

2. WR 6/7?- 1. Marquise Brown 2. Willie Snead 3. Miles Boykin 4. Chris Moore 5. Seth Roberts 6/7. ???(Jaleel Scott/Antoine Wesley). Scott and Wesley are flashing frequently in practice, but it looks like they could be competing for the final spot at WR. Scott grabbed headlines early last year too, only to fade/disappear as we hit the preseason games. Can he step up this year? Wesley looked like a perfect match for what we want to do offense, and luckily we nabbed him as a UDFA. Strong performances in these coming games could get him on the 53 with fellow Rookies Marquise Brown & Miles Boykin.

3. HB 1-2-3-4?- Running Backs coach Matt Weiss called Dixon the most talented pure runner on the team yesterday. Oooh boy. We have The Vet: Mark Ingram, we have The Rising Star: Gus Edwards, we have The Flashy New Rookie: Justice Hill, and then we have The ?: Kenneth Dixon. One year left on Dixon's deal, strong red flag history, but there is big time ability there. Can he force his way on to the Roster in 2019? Or will we deal him for a pick before the Regular Season starts? Also in the mix is 2018's preseason monster- De'Lance Turner, and Tyler Ervin who has grabbed the praise and attention of multiple observers throughout camp The main player of it all though might be Justice Hill. He could play his way to significant Regular Season time, or he could be in the running for a Red Shirt designation if he looks unready compared to his peers.

4. QB McSorley3?- Apparently, we drafted him to be our Taysom Hill. (If I'm being honest, the thought has occurred to me that we could have just traded for Taysom Hill. I mean, the asking price would probably have been pretty cheap...but anyway.) So will he be? Harbaugh said he expects to see Trace perform on Special Teams and Offense in this meeting with the Jags.

5. Chris Board- One of the big surprises of the year so far is Board's meteoric rise. Mike Macdonald said it's still a competition and Kenny is pushing Board, but it doesn't look that way to observers who see Board taking all the 1st Team reps. What makes the situation so interesting is that not only did Kenny outperform Board throughout camp and preseason last year, he also is considered a rising star LB in the league himself- who has proved his ability In Game. Will Board's explosion onto the starter scene translate to game day? Can't wait to see. 

6. Who has the EDGE?- It looks like once again we will see our 2017 2nd and 3rd Round OLB picks crush outmatched talent in the preseason. Judon and McPhee won't see much time I'm guessing, so that leaves the field to Bowser, Williams, Ferguson, and Ray. We know what to expect from Tyus aNd Tim, explosive plays. Ray & Ferg are new to the Purple & Black though. Will Jaylon's beyond impressive CFB pass rush prowess translate to the big league? And what will wildcard Shane Ray look like?

7. Defense's Rising Sophomore Stars?- Kenny Young shined at linebacker in 2018, but at every level on defense we had a standout Rookie last preseason. DI- Zach Sieler,  CB- Anthony Averett, and S- Deshon Elliot. All three have continued to grab attention with their performances thus far in 2019. Currently, Sieler is pushing Wormley for a starting spot. Showing out in these games could win him the 1st team nod. Averett and Elliot, while not in the running for starting positions, could be incredibly important pieces on our future defensive units. In terms of "Who to look for?", on game day, these 3 should be around the top of your list.

8. LJ8- How much will we see of our Franchise's new leading man? And how much better could he be? Reports have been encouraging, let's see what that 2nd Year Step will look like.

9. Key Rookies- We won't see Marquise just yet, but this should be Miles Boykin's debut. He's crushed camp thus far, now can he carry it over? Can our talent drought at the WR position finally end? Boykin, after Mark Andrews, has been the most hyped figure of the 2019 squad. All eyes are going to be on him. Gerald Willis III. Billed as an Early Round talent, we ended up with him as a big time UDFA. We drafted Daylon Mack in the 5th, but Willis is the one who has made waves early. He said he intends on forcing Harbaugh's hand, and wants to claim playing time as the interior pass rush fiend we desperately need. Here's hoping he does. These games will be huge for him.

10. That CB depth bruh- Somethings gotta give. We can only carry so many DBs, and we aren't going to just cut talented players at the position. It's a good problem to have, but it is something that will need to be addressed. 

11. Misc.- Can we get a pick for Kaare Vedvik? Ricard is talented, but fitting him on the 53 is almost impossible. What to do with him? What will KR/PR look like?

12. Revolutionary Offense?- Our offense thread is aptly named "Rot", as that's what we've traditionally seen our offensive units do year in and year out. Now though, it seems like we could be headed into a new era. Harbs dropped the "Revolutionary" label, and G-Ro(as the players have taken to calling him) is pounding the table for the coming impact on his side of the ball as well. Should we buy in? We were all skeptical about the hiring of Wink last year, but the skeleton of his defense we saw in the preseason started convincing us to believe. Will the offense do the same this year? Did Roman, Culley, and all the other coaches really cook up a game changer that will be fueled by and cater to Lamar Jackson's dynamic talent? Team history says we shouldn't be optimistic, but things do feel and look pretty different in 2019. 

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1 hour ago, DreamKid said:

In terms of "Who to look for?", on game day, these 3 should be around the top of your list.

Mine are Chris Board, Patrick Ricard, and Zach Sieler. 

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8 hours ago, DreamKid said:

2. WR 6/7?

Great write-up, but I'm going to contend with the inevitable storyline that there are so many promising receivers that we need to keep on the roster. We have historically been terrible at finding WR (like literally the worst in the league) and by the end of the preseason we still get all fired up about fitting the 7th best WR on our terrible group on the 53. EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR.

It's just the nature of the position that there are a ton of guys all over the league that flash there in the preseason. Same stroy with every fanbase. The fact is that no one is going to want the WRs who we end up cutting. UDFA Antoine Wesley would have to get like 100 yards a game for another team to give him a roster spot after seeing us choose to cut him. It took former first round pick Breshad Perriman months to stick to another team after he was cut. Jaleel Scott needs to ball out to take Seth Roberts roster spot; being a 4th round pick doesn't buy you more than a year. We can keep these guys floating around practice squad or pick one of them off the street. Special teams would be the route to put an extra player at the position on the roster, but we have so many bubble DBs who are probably much better there (Justin Bethel, Maurice Canady, Chuck Clark, Anthony Levine, Cyrus Jones, Iman Marshall).

TLDR: I predict only 5 WRs make the 53.

8 hours ago, DreamKid said:

3. HB 1-2-3-4?

Now THIS is going to interesting. I do believe Kenneth Dixon wouldn't make it down very far on waivers if he was cut, but the other 3 are roster locks, barring injury. Keeping 4 pure RBs on the roster doesn't happen, but we will be running a different offense so who knows. 

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I agree with Wacky on this point. I could see us fit 6-7 receivers in, if #4-7 played great special teams. BUT, with 2 tight ends who are probably better in the receiving game than our #5-7 wide receiver, the need to fit an UDFA receiver in isn't necessary despite them flashing. In our defense, we don't hear much about who is excelling on special teams in preseason, or which backup OL, DL, DB we surely don't want to miss, so various highlights of wide receivers are what we have to rely on.

Speaking of the preseason game, I am more and more in line with the coaches who say they prefer practice reps against another team in a more safe and controlled environment compared to these preseason games. I would have no issue with the league cutting preseason down to 2 games. To me, preseason is for 1-2 year players, bubble players and development players.

How many on our final roster do we actually need to see in the preseason games? 4-5? 

Of players on the bubble like Patrick Ricard, I actually don't need to see him. I know he can be a fullback, maybe a backup blocking tight end like Boyle, an emergency dline and a special teamer. I don't need to see Bethel cover or Seth Roberts catching passes, because I feel I know what they can do. Canady doesn't need to prove himself, the reason he is on the bubble is because of injuries. Dixon is on the bubble because of injuries and suspensions - do we want to lose a player like Canady because we keep Dixon and he gets another suspension 2 games into the season and Canady is already picked up by someone else?

I want to see Senat, Eluemunor, Powers, Mekari on oline, Scott, Wesley, Modster, Horn Jr. at WR, Hill and Delance turner on rb.

On defense let Gerald Willis, Zieler and Mack get some practice time, let our UDFA linebackers get some time and I want to see Shane Ray prove he belongs. If he is used in the preseason and doesn't dominate against players who can't make another teams roster, then give the OLB spot to one of our younger guys so they can develop. There isn't a single safety I need to see, and at cornerback I just want to see what Marshall can do.

Thats about 15 players I need to see, so far I don't care for anyone else

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20 hours ago, BareYourTeeth said:

Mine are Chris Board, Patrick Ricard, and Zach Sieler. 

Mine would be Deshon Elliott, Chris Board and any of our UDFA WR's or year 2 WR's like Jaleel Scott.

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Meh first drive. I don't know why we ran it on 3rd Down...

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5 minutes ago, DreamKid said:

Meh first drive. I don't know why we ran it on 3rd Down...

They aren't out there to evaluate Lamar, or show good play calls. Better to see who on the O-line is going to make/miss a block.

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The new LB crew(Bowser, Onwuasor, Williams) out there at a different speed than the rest of the field. Can't wait to see them against starters. 

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1 minute ago, wackywabbit said:

They aren't out there to evaluate Lamar, or show good play calls. Better to see who on the O-line is going to make/miss a block.

Harder to do that when the offense is off the field quicker.

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