Liking Our Chances
Last game gave me some renewed hope in this team. I like where we're sitting going into the preseason and I think we've got a legit SuperBowl contender here. Here's some of the why:
1. Ben looks great and ready to go. He's still got the magic to carry this team. If we can just keep him healthy, we're a SuperBowl favorite imho.
2. Troy's got his game back. He's got the lightning quickness back and should be able to carry this unit to being one of the best in the game. Everything else will fall naturally in place as a result of healthy Troy.
3. We got a couple of stars on D ready to emerge in Timmons, JJ, and Cortez. For the past several SuperBowl runs, we've been effectively carried by 3 guys in Ben, Troy, and James. I think this team might be on the verge of having 5 star players this season. And I also think we've got some future stars in Wheaton and Thomas.
4. Preseason game 2 to game 3 was night and day for the DLine. We got a solid performance from McClendon and Hood. Hope they can keep in up in conjunction with Keisel. Aside from the OLine, keeping Ben clean, I think the biggest concern this offseason was replacing Casey and Aaron on the DLine. Have to admit I was still concerned after the first 2 preseason games.
Overall, I expect the formula to hold true Ben + Great Defense = Championships. We just need to keep Ben alive and I think Troy frees everyone up Timmons to be more aggressive in the box which should in turn free up Woodley and JJ to make plays. It's a domino effect which will change the whole dynamic of this defense and will force mistakes/turnovers.
Sure the OLine and Haley's offense are still a concern going into the season. But I think we have the ingredients for something special.
Not sure Jarvis Jones is ready to emerge given he may not even be ready to start the season.
The key to the defense has shifted from Troy to Timmons. If Timmons is allowed to attack the QB that is the most disruptive thing we can do on defense. If he is primarily dropping into coverage then we will have real problems getting to the QB. Let Troy cover and let Timmons attack. Move Timmons all over the place to create mismatches.
You are nailing it today. Timmons is the key. And Troy is the one who frees Lebeau to use Timmons in the box to attack. If we let Timmons attack, there's no reason he can't be a strong DMVP candidate.
Originally Posted by Oviedo
I agree one hundred percent....
I would like to see the offense rely more on the current strengths available (relying less on mediocre RBs and TEs and more on our franchise QB and WR corps)...
The defense has shown the ability to create turnovers...if the offense can maintain ball security and Danny Smith can get his $h!t together on special teams, life will be good...
On Saturday, the Steelers kept the Chefs in the game....
Putting Shamarko into the mix on 3rd down with Troy and Timmons could also create some problems...
Originally Posted by flippy
Or having Worilds, Woodley and J. Jones in 3rd down packages...
I totally agree with you Flippy. I'm excited about this season. We have alot of young talent. We have some superstars healthy. I think the two things that concern me is mistakes, penalties, and injuries. Those will derail the season.
I was trying to keep the thread positive so I intentionally didn't mention the OLine and ST.
Originally Posted by Slapstick
Re: the OLine, I'm waiting to pass judgement until Heath returns. Aside from the QB, I view the TE as the key guy that brings the entire offense together (passing, running, blocking) and Heath should add some cohesion to the line and open up some running lanes taking a safety out of the box in the passing game.
Re: ST, I have no idea why we are such a mess. We can't punt. We can't kick FGs over 40 yards. We can't cover. We can't block. This unit is a cluster that seems to get bigger and bigger every year. Maybe we need a ST coach that's not so loud and always yelling. I really don't know what the problem is. Are our backups just not that talented? Do we need more starters contributing as we go into the season?
STs is a nightmare but I believe the OL (if healthy) will find it's rhythm this season. Remember it's a new blocking scheme, with new guys in new positions. The talent is there...just will take more time than many fans are willing to give.
Looks like we're gonna have to start out with Gay in the nickle to start the season even though Shark has looked dominant covering the slot in practices.
Originally Posted by Slapstick
I'd love to get our 3 pass rushers in on 3rd downs. Lebeau seems to get pressure any time he lines up Timmons and Troy outside the LBs on the edge to force a breakdown in protection. But that can expose us for big plays in coverage. Bringing in Worilds/JJ as an extra LB would free up more options for Troy/Timmons on 3rd downs.
I also hope blitzing Gay/Shark becomes a staple for us. Gay has a nack on the blitz and Shark's a missle a la Troy/Timmons.
Hope you are right. At least they've stopped moving guys around so they can settle into positions. It usually seems like it takes a team with a lot of changes a half of a season to get into a rhythm.
Originally Posted by Shawn