By BBD Writer: Eric Samulski
For every week of the 2012 season I’ll be coming to you on Monday with my thoughts on the game we all just got finished watching. I’m not going to go through a play-by-play of the game, but rather discuss what I think some of the important things are to take away from the day’s events. Who’s performance bodes well, or poorly, for the future? What situation might be a reflection of a larger strength or problem? It will be as much analysis as review. So, what better way to introduce the concept than by simply diving into it?
Preseason Week 2
8/14 for 123 yards- Those are the numbers of the Bills likely number two quarterback Vince Young. After struggling to pick up the offense early in the preseason, and looking very mediocre in the Redskins game, Young showed some promise against the Vikings 2nd teamers. He threw the ball well, with decent accuracy, and showed touch on a great deep ball to TJ Graham. If Young can continue to grow in the offense he’s athleticism makes him a more than capable back-up should anything happen to Fitz.
10/13 for 136 yards and 1 TD- Those are the numbers the Bills first string defense allowed to Christian Ponder. Now, the defensive line was in his face a number of times, which was encouraging, but those are some pretty impressive numbers for a second-year guy. The Bills secondary took a number of poor routes to ball carriers, particularly on the dump off to Percy Harvin in the first quarter. The defensive line was meant to make things easier on the back seven, but they really need to do a better job of wrapping up.
64 yards- That’s how long the hook-up was between Young and Graham. It was an impressive reminder of the speed that Graham possesses. He’s done a very nice job of acclimating himself to the NFL game during training camp and has proven capable of lining up in a number of different spots. He might hit some rough patches early on, but he could really emerge late in the season.
-8 yards- That’s the total number of yards gained by CJ Spiller in the entire game. We all saw what he could do when Fred was hurt last season, so the talent is absolutely there. We trust that Gailey can get them both going, but he wasn’t able to do it early last season, and he hasn’t been able to do it so far this preseason. I’d like to see some sign that they can be effective at the same time.
NUMBERS DON’T TELL THE STORY
Kyle Williams is back- The All-Pro is looking like he’s fully recovered from last year’s injuries. He was able to notch one sack, and also helped to create another when he flushed Ponder from the pocket into the arms of Dareus. If Williams is back to his penetrating ways, it’s only going to make that front four even more disruptive and intimidating.
Delano Howell is going to make this team- The stat sheet may only show four tackles, but there is no way to indicate just how solid this kid is. He seems to always be in the right place and his tackling abilities are superb. In today’s NFL when everybody seems content to play for the big hit, having a guy that can wrap-up consistently is a big asset. He’s the darling of camp right now and it’s no surprise why.
Ron Brooks might supplant Aaron Williams in 2013- Brooks is a real player. He’s repeatedly shown his playmaking ability in training camp, but is another guy that always seems to be around the ball during the games. Meanwhile, Williams was called for a personal foul on the first possession and has had a real up and down camp. They’re both solid players, but Brooks has really been flashing for me.
Lovable sleeper Marcus Easley is not waking up- Easley’s bid to make this team is as good as done. He’s shown next to nothing in the receiving game, and the Bills even tried him out on kick returns, but he showed no real escapability and averaged only 17 yards on three attempts. Meanwhile, Roosevelt again proved that he always gets open, rattling off 6 catches for 60 yards.
QUESTIONS FOR NEXT WEEK
1-Can Vince Young put the nail in Tyler Thigpen’s coffin?
2-Who will emerge between Moats and Morrison?
3-Who wants the 4th DE spot: Moore or Gilbert?
4-Can Spiller and Jackson actually be effective together?
5-Can Scott McKillop make enough plays to force his way onto the team?