Broncofan Posted August 18, 2019 Share Posted August 18, 2019 (edited) Things to watch for: 1. First team O likely gets more reps - how do they fare against a starting D? SEA played their 2nd team D vs our starters, so this week provides a better glimpse (but just that) as to how the new O is adjusting. The other reason why it matters a little more - SF had scrimmages against our O, so they are more familiar with our personnel. 2. Lock (duh) - no doubt he's going to get a ton of game time this week, to see where he's at. SEA's game showed 4-5 throws / plays where you see the tools & ceiling - the lack of pocket awareness and read progression with pressure and subsequent footwork still is his biggest adjustment required. Now, he likely won't face the starting D, so it's a test that's only about 70-80 percent game speed at best (and why preseason success isn't nearly as much to predict immediate impact, while struggling in preseason shows guys aren't ready for reg. season major roles). Elway has talked up his progress this week...but we've been down this alley before, so seeing progress on a consistent basis, and not just flashes, goes a long way in believing he's on the right track. Clear progress the next 2-3 weeks would already put Lock well ahead of Lynch's awful development curve. 3. 4th RB / 5th WR / backup OL battles on O - pretty much set on our top 3 RB's / top 4 WR's / starting 5 OL plus Wilkinson at swing T - but the battles for the last positions here now start to take shape. I'm still on record as preferring a guy like Muhammad or Jackson staying on and getting reps over Theo Riddick, but the best way to ensure this happens if Riddick goes to IR-return is to flash hard the next 3 games. At the WR position, no one has separated themselves from the Winfree/McKnight/Brown trio, those 3 have been the best of a pretty motley crew on GD so far, with Langley/Cracraft adding in ST return versatility (but both showing little so far vs. the others at the actual WR position). OL has been a mess to watch once the starters and Wilkinson are out, and with the added element that the SF D has had 2 very spirited scrimmages with our O, should be good to see how the backups fare against a pretty meh SF DL (they aren't going to be playing their 2 best DE's in Nick Bosa & Dee Ford, both dinged up). 4. 4th EDGE / 3rd - 4th ILB / 4th-5th CB / last S battle - with Jeff Holland cut, Malik Reed seems like our 3rd EDGE, although Aaron Wallace apparently is ahead of him on the depth chart - really have to see more of what Wallace brings this week. Hollins looks to be our 3rd ILB right now (I'll believe Joe Jones is OK and able to play there when he actually gets on the field and doesn't experience setbacks, triceps tears at a trench position is usually a season-killer and attempts to go conservative route don't usually end well for that season) , and Jamal Carter has now moved to ILB, supposedly as a temp measure, but in reality, it shows how meh our ILB play has been. Outside of our starters Davis (who we all recognize his limitations in pass coverage) & Jewell (who won't ever be a star in the pass coverage game, but whose ceiling as "OK" still surpasses Davis), it's really a wake up call to Alexander Johnson, Keishawn Bierra & Dekoda Watson. On the CB side, Yiadom's consistently flashed and his draft capital has him locked in as 3rd CB (if Kareem Jackson is the S, 4th if he goes outside). Bausby's progress has him on the inside track for the 4th/5th CB spot, but Horace Richardson is coming on. On the S front, Dymonte Thomas vs. Sua Cravens seems to be the big battle - with Jackson as a hybrid player, it creates a roster crunch at either spot, so 1 or more of the guys at the CB/S spot is likely getting cut and attempted to be stashed for the PS (my hunch would be Richardson at CB, not as clear with backup S what happens there). 5. ST contributions - whoever flashes here likely helps their case a ton in the above battles. The next couple of weeks are crucial for Langley - he's got to show great gunner / return chops IMO to ensure he gets a roster spot, because he's behind in the WR battle right now. The guy who should feel a lot of pressure is Wadman, as his position is the most replaceable, and he's been downright brutal so far (and if we are looking for a replacement, making that call sooner, so the new P can get in sync as a holder, is actually more important, that isn't as straightforward as finding guys to punt). It's a day away, but figure we might as well get this started....still nowhere near reg. season speed, but we should get a lot more clarity on the back-end roster battles, before the typical reg. season audition game next week. Edited August 18, 2019 by Broncofan 2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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