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Good Night / Bad Night - Pre-season game 1


GunnerBill
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37 minutes ago, TBBills said:

Zack Moss getting carries first means nothing. Those same question marks are still there. The overreaction to the first preseason game is amazing.

 

From all reports the questions are not there and the ankle was still bothering him last year

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15 minutes ago, LeGOATski said:

Good write-up. I'm surprised by Crowder. When they signed him, he seemed like a bonafide slot guy who could easily find a role in Beasley's absence.

Yeah, seemed like a great signing.  I think he’ll be fine (with or without the Bills), but I think McKenzies hard work and dedication is the reason he’s on the outside looking in at snaps and targets.

13 minutes ago, GunnerBill said:

 

It does because I referred to "question marks over his roster status" and you said "those same question marks are still there." That goes directly to will he make the team. 

Don’t do it.  You too will feel bad.  

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@GunnerBill I don't totally absolve Keenum on the first INT. 

 

This is an example of poor ball placement that needlessly ended up as an INT. 

Crowder was wide open over the middle on a short throw, Keenum threw high and the ball bounced off Crowder's hands for the INT.

 

Should he have caught it? Sure.

 

Was it a good throw? No...the ball should have been in his bread basket right out in front of him which would have resulted in a catch or him dropping the ball harmlessly to the ground.

 

This is an example where good ball placement results in a different outcome on the play and the INT never needed to happen.

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2 minutes ago, SectionC3 said:

Moss should be in.  He had a little bit of burst both last night and at the open practice.  I think Crowder is a trade candidate, as is Haack.  I have to say I’d like to see araiza hold at a location other than a hash to see if he can hit his spot without a guide.  

Yeah, I really think this is what will happen, especially if Hodgins continues to impress.    

1 minute ago, Big Turk said:

@GunnerBill I don't totally absolve Keenum on the first INT. 

 

This is an example of poor ball placement that needlessly ended up as an INT. 

Crowder was wide open over the middle on a short throw, Keenum threw high and the ball bounced off Crowder's hands for the INT.

 

Should he have caught it? Sure.

 

Was it a good throw? No...the ball should have been in his bread basket right out in front of him which would have resulted in a catch or him dropping the ball harmlessly to the ground.

 

This is an example where good ball placement results in a different outcome on the play and the INT never needed to happen.

Agreed.  Bad pass.  Poor play on the ball by crowder.  Both players failed.

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No mention of Ken Dorsey.  He's a rookie too. I thought the play selection for the first two-point conversion was abysmal.

 

And as for Steve Tasker, I realize that I've liked him on TV all these years because of how much I loved watching him play.  Actually, he's really terrible on TV.

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31 minutes ago, GunnerBill said:

Back, by absolutely no popular acclaim, it is my good night / bad night pre-season breakdowns as I try and work out who hurt themselves and who helped themselves in the exhibition season. So as the Bills extend the pre-season winning run to 9, it's time to do that vs the Colts. I should say this is the first pre-season game I have missed watching live for 9 years, and sometimes I feel you get a different perspective watching later knowing the outcome, but here goes. 

 

Good Night for...

 

Zack Moss - the fact that Moss got all three of his carries in the first series tells you all you need to know. The Bills brass had seen what they needed to see from him. After a promising rookie season, followed by a sophomore slump Moss came into this offseason with a slight question mark over his roster status. Those questions had been all but erased after a strong camp but any lingering doubt was extinguished last night particularly with the burst he showed to get to the edge on his longest run. He is on this roster and how the Bills balance him vs Singletary and Cook promises to be intriguing. 

 

The 'starting' secondary - the secondary that started this game was essentially the Bills second string as things stand and they played very well. Jaquan Johnson continues to demonstrate the sort of instincts and smarts for which the Bills starting safeties are renowned and got himself an interception to boot; rookie corners Kaiir Elam and Christian Benford both had nice 3rd down stops; and second year safety Damar Hamlin was active around the football. Compared to a year ago I feel much better about the depth of this unit with a mix of development from the safties and the additions at corner. 

 

Matt Araiza - his holding seemed to be on point, and the one punt he hit he absolutely creamed EIGHTY TWO yards. There are still questions for him to answer on the hang time and directional punts when the Bills are closer in, but as a field flipper when your offense stalls deep in your own territory he is a weapon. It was an important night for him and he came up trumps. Matt Haack had one nicely placed shorter punt for a fair catch, but one feels that this competition has decisively turned in the rookie's favour. 

 

Boogie Basham and AJ Epenesa - I thought AJ had two nice pressures early on (though he should definitely have converted one of them into a sack and seemed to lose his footing a touch having turned the corner) and Basham made the big strip sack that allowed Bernard the scoop and score chance in the first half. The Bills are going to need contributions from these two guys this year as the second line guys behind Von and Greg. This was a promising start, though greater tests undoubtedly lie ahead. 

 

Isaiah Hodgins - Khalil Shakir also had a really nice night, but he was all but a lock for the roster anyway and while he had a catch from out wide early most of his best routes were still run from the slot. Hodgins played mostly wide where there is a potential spot to shoot for on this roster (much discussed on these boards in the last week) as depth behind Diggs and Davis. Hodgins did some "big slot" stuff too and he kind of has to make contested catches because he lacks the burst to separate organically but he came up clutch last night in the second half albeit against the Colts 2nd and 3rd stringers. Is he legitimately in with a shot at the roster? Who knows, but Jake Kumerow's fumble may have left the door ajar. Let's see whether the Bills give him more snaps against the Broncos starters next week. If they do, then Hodgins has a chance. 

 

 

Bad Night for...

 

Case Keenum - Yea, that was concerning. Case Keenum can play Quarterback in this league, but he admitted in his presser this week that he is still learning this offense and reports from camp have not been stellar. The first interception last night was not really on him, but the second was a telegraphed throw that lacked heat and he just generally looked indecisive and tentative. He completed 11 of 18 but for a paltry 4.8 YPA. Matt Barkley demonstrated his own limitations at times as well with a pick and an intercepted 2pointer but his greater experience in the scheme showed and he was able to at least move the offence. 

 

Jamison Crowder - If the red alert signals are not flashing in Crowder's head right now, they should be. His roster spot is not safe. The fact that Isaiah McKenzie didn't even suit up is a sure sign that he has all but won the starting slot job. Crowder got snaps early, struggled to find space in the defense and on his one target spooned a catch up into the air for an interception. When you add that to Shakir's performance the Bills must ask themselves the question "what is this guy doing except preventing an exciting rookie from getting on the field?" 

 

Matt Smiley - What we have learned about the Bills' new Special Teams Coordinator this summer is that he is a bouncy, high energy personality. But this was a rough first outing for his unit. Special teams penalties galore and this generally looked like a sloppy effort. Yes, it is hard to run efficient STs in pre-season when guys are shuffling in and out, plus as far as I could see his starting gunners Taiwan Jones and Siran Neal did not play (think Cam Lewis and Nick McCloud were on gunner duties), but this was a concerning start. 

 

OJ Howard - He wasn't out there a lot but he just made no impact. He doesn't seem to be moving that quickly and he struggled to get separation. He has been arguably the biggest disappointment of the entire offseason so far. For all the talk about two and even three tight end sets it is going to be difficult for the Bills to add that wrinkle without an effective running mate for Dawson Knox. Of the tight ends that played only Quinton Morris flashed at all for me, with one long catch and a couple of nice blocks to set up screens. 

 

The run blocking - I have put this 5th of the five concerns because I should start with the cavet - this wasn't even the second team offensive line. Not only did the five supposed starters all sit, but Quessenberry and Mancz sat too and Cody Ford only played the first series or two. So there is an argument to say this was a line shorn of what the Bills consider their top 8 guys. But they struggled, especially at the point of attack in the run game. Even the big Zack Moss run I alluded to earlier was more about him creating than the line blowing people off the ball. But if improving their run game was a genuine focus in the offseason this wasn't the most impressive of starts. 

 

 

That is week 1 of the pre-season in the books and the first Bills football since they walked off the field devastated in Arrowhead. Two more to go before the real stuff starts. Those final few roster battles are definitely hotting up. 

Great summary.

 

1. Secondary: easiest roster decision, IMO, very impressive the quality starters and depth...our backups would start on many teams.  Tre, Dane, Elam, Taron, Neal, Benford, Lewis, Hyde, Poyer, Johnson, and Hamlin should be the group making the 53.  To me, this is likely the group we go "heavy" (roster spots) compared to prior years.  Lewis and Benford would be snatched up immediately if they are cut, which I don't think they will be.  I think Cam offers some nice ST versatility as well.

 

2. RB room: I'm really looking forward to seeing how Dorsey deploys our "skill" guys, especially at RB.  Loads of versatility snd they complement each other well.  Blackshear showed some nice ability, certainly a good P/S type.

 

Overall, I'm very impressed with the young/rookie guys.  With a loaded roster, it's great to see so many young players make an impact and I can easily see 6-7 rookies making the final 53.  And a few to the P/S.

 

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7 minutes ago, MasterStrategist said:

Great summary.

 

1. Secondary: easiest roster decision, IMO, very impressive the quality starters and depth...our backups would start on many teams.  Tre, Dane, Elam, Taron, Neal, Benford, Lewis, Hyde, Poyer, Johnson, and Hamlin should be the group making the 53.  To me, this is likely the group we go "heavy" (roster spots) compared to prior years.  Lewis and Benford would be snatched up immediately if they are cut, which I don't think they will be.  I think Cam offers some nice ST versatility as well.

 

2. RB room: I'm really looking forward to seeing how Dorsey deploys our "skill" guys, especially at RB.  Loads of versatility snd they complement each other well.  Blackshear showed some nice ability, certainly a good P/S type.

 

Overall, I'm very impressed with the young/rookie guys.  With a loaded roster, it's great to see so many young players make an impact and I can easily see 6-7 rookies making the final 53.  And a few to the P/S.

 

 

Apparently Frelund said 3 frontoffice people texted her to inquire about the chances of Benford making the roster.

 

She then failed to mention that all three then proceeded to ask her out on a date right after.

 

NFL version of "sliding into the DMs"

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54 minutes ago, NewEra said:

Your overreaction to this post is amazing. 
 

Moss will get carries this season and isn’t competing for a roster spot.  He has one.  
 

 

Don’t bother with this guy, it would appear nothing anyone posts has anything to do with anything he posts, he’ll tell you so himself, every time…, 😁

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37 minutes ago, TBBills said:

Well just next time don't make stuff up for the sake of arguments. It's OK, I forgive you.

Your dizzying intellect reminds us all, to “ Never go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line”. 
 

 

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23 minutes ago, Big Turk said:

@GunnerBill I don't totally absolve Keenum on the first INT. 

 

This is an example of poor ball placement that needlessly ended up as an INT. 

Crowder was wide open over the middle on a short throw, Keenum threw high and the ball bounced off Crowder's hands for the INT.

 

Should he have caught it? Sure.

 

Was it a good throw? No...the ball should have been in his bread basket right out in front of him which would have resulted in a catch or him dropping the ball harmlessly to the ground.

 

This is an example where good ball placement results in a different outcome on the play and the INT never needed to happen.


For preseason purposes, in Crowder’s situation, he needs to catch that. 
 

It wasn’t a great throw, but Crowder can’t be missing that tough catch when he’s already lost the starting role to McKenzie and is fighting off Shakir and Hodgins coming for his snaps - Shakir especially. 
 

 

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IMO, our best returns were had by Blackshear, which was a bit of a surprise.  Decisive, make a cut and go.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of him in that role next week.

Could be his way onto the roster, especially if he can handle KR and PR.

 

Just looks like a good ball player.

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2 minutes ago, hemma said:

IMO, our best returns were had by Blackshear, which was a bit of a surprise.  Decisive, make a cut and go.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of him in that role next week.

Could be his way onto the roster, especially if he can handle KR and PR.

 

Just looks like a good ball player.

Agree. Blackshear was a kid who looks like he gets it. He knows that he has a very limited chance to be an NFL football player and NOTHING was going to keep him from getting back on the field. You have to love that sort of situational awareness 

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32 minutes ago, Big Turk said:

@GunnerBill I don't totally absolve Keenum on the first INT. 

 

This is an example of poor ball placement that needlessly ended up as an INT. 

Crowder was wide open over the middle on a short throw, Keenum threw high and the ball bounced off Crowder's hands for the INT.

 

Should he have caught it? Sure.

 

Was it a good throw? No...the ball should have been in his bread basket right out in front of him which would have resulted in a catch or him dropping the ball harmlessly to the ground.

 

This is an example where good ball placement results in a different outcome on the play and the INT never needed to happen.

 

It was a high ball, I agree. But it is a ball the receiver has to catch 99 times out of 100. 

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1 thing that was a bummer to me, we have no developmental QB on the roster, watching 2 guys we know are mediocre makes it a lot less fun.  Also, after watching that mess, I’d have a real competition for the back up spot.  Keenum SUCKED, he was the reason they didn’t score on the first drive, that telegraphed pick in the RZ was pathetic.  I don’t know if lost some zip on his passes or what, but he was throwing everything with a horrible arm angle and making everything go high, not to mention hanging guys out to dry.   I would rather see Barkley.   Yeah he’s limited and we know it, BUT he made some great plays throwing to spots and trusting his guys to get there.   I still say, we should have been swinging for Bortles, he’s so similar to JA (the really bad version of JA), at least it wouldn’t be a huge scheme shift and the guy has an arm.  He’s ACTUALLY won as a starter, with a decent team around him, for the Pennie’s he’s gone for, I don’t get it.

17 minutes ago, hemma said:

IMO, our best returns were had by Blackshear, which was a bit of a surprise.  Decisive, make a cut and go.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of him in that role next week.

Could be his way onto the roster, especially if he can handle KR and PR.

 

Just looks like a good ball player.

I don’t expect him to make the roster, there’s really no room for him.  I liked what I saw and I hope he catches on somewhere OR he makes the practice squad.  For his sake I hope he catches in another team and makes some more bank.  Selfishly, I’d like to see him on the PS to see if he can come take a spot mid-season or next year.   I’m pretty sure he sealed Duke Johnson’s fate though, no reason to keep an 8 year guy over the rookie.

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38 minutes ago, Dan Darragh said:

No mention of Ken Dorsey.  He's a rookie too. I thought the play selection for the first two-point conversion was abysmal.

 

And as for Steve Tasker, I realize that I've liked him on TV all these years because of how much I loved watching him play.  Actually, he's really terrible on TV.

Remember, play selection in preseason is more about seeing what you’ve got and if it works. Don’t mistake play selection with regular season. That fade from the shotgun at the 2 was more about seeing if the guys on the field could execute it. They didn’t and now it’s on film.

 

yes, Tasker can’t even get names right. Someone said last night that they thought he doesn’t put in the work. I imagine that is correct.

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14 minutes ago, GunnerBill said:

 

It was a high ball, I agree. But it is a ball the receiver has to catch 99 times out of 100. 

 

Yeah that's true, but again, throw a better ball and the worst that happens is an incomplete pass.

6 minutes ago, DCofNC said:

1 thing that was a bummer to me, we have no developmental QB on the roster, watching 2 guys we know are mediocre makes it a lot less fun.  Also, after watching that mess, I’d have a real competition for the back up spot.  Keenum SUCKED, he was the reason they didn’t score on the first drive, that telegraphed pick in the RZ was pathetic.  I don’t know if lost some zip on his passes or what, but he was throwing everything with a horrible arm angle and making everything go high, not to mention hanging guys out to dry.   I would rather see Barkley.   Yeah he’s limited and we know it, BUT he made some great plays throwing to spots and trusting his guys to get there.   I still say, we should have been swinging for Bortles, he’s so similar to JA (the really bad version of JA), at least it wouldn’t be a huge scheme shift and the guy has an arm.  He’s ACTUALLY won as a starter, with a decent team around him, for the Pennie’s he’s gone for, I don’t get it.

I don’t expect him to make the roster, there’s really no room for him.  I liked what I saw and I hope he catches on somewhere OR he makes the practice squad.  For his sake I hope he catches in another team and makes some more bank.  Selfishly, I’d like to see him on the PS to see if he can come take a spot mid-season or next year.   I’m pretty sure he sealed Duke Johnson’s fate though, no reason to keep an 8 year guy over the rookie.

 

Who cares about a developmental QB? 

 

We are not in the drought era where we thought every developmental QB we got was going to be the next franchise QB anymore.

 

I mean let's be real...of Allen goes down it doesn't matter who the backup is, we are screwed. A developmental QB is not doing anything for us. Don't understand the love for them are around the league..when was the last one that had any real success?

 

I wouldn't be surprised to only keep 2 and try to sneak Barkley onto the PS

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