Notes From The Titans/Bills Hall of Fame Game
Well, football fans, it's time for the first preseason game of the year, better known as The Hall of Fame game. Even more meaningless than a regular preseason game.
For most people, everything after the first two series or so is a complete waste. But for a select few hardcore Bills' and Titans' fans, we are watching closely to see those guys we have kept up with who are looking to make the final roster. Here is a brief recap:
This is the most important part of the game. Luckily, no one seemed to be injured. I think both teams may have walked away unscathed. There were no injury timeouts, and the game passed by in a smooth manner.
Kerry Collins was 7 of 10 for 82 yards, 0 TD and 0 INT. Every pass was fairly easy and under 20 yards. His incompletions were generally bad, one being a dropped INT.
Vince Young is amazingly on the verge of becoming the third string QB. He really needs to have a strong preseason to solidify himself as a backup. Backing up a 36 year old QB would be ideal for Young as he could be thrust back into the starting role in the near future. His second throw was way off and a wound up an interception.
Couldn't tell if the receiver ran the wrong route or Young threw it in the wrong spot. Either way, it didn't look good at all. Young was in no way impressive.
Chris Johnson: Trotted around early for short or negative gains, even though his "trot" could be the average player's 90% full speed. Johnson had a 16-yard gain that was reminiscent of many of his 2008 runs. That's about all.
Lendale White transformed from LenWhale to ThinDale and scored an early touchdown. He really didn't play any different than he has in previous seasons. White is still more of a downhill guy who can get you those four yards if he has a little space. He doesn't seem to have lost any of his goal-line toughness, though I will continue to watch that aspect of him.
Patrick Ramsey, the third first-round draft pick quarterback on the Titans' roster, delivered a decent game. He made some solid plays, and finished with the highest completion rate for the Titans at 80% (8/10).
Ramsey looked slightly better than Young, but nothing that would guarantee him the backup job. I think he will have to play much better to actually steal the backup spot. While 8/10 is solid, the throws were not very difficult.
Chris Henry: It baffles me how a highly praised college RB can amount to nothing in the NFL. I mean, if you can run through holes in college, you can run through holes in the NFL. I guess it's his personality and drive that have held him back thus far.
He did manage a 16-yard rush against backups. With the addition of Javon Ringer, Henry needs to get his act together or he may find himself without a team.
Jared Cook: Caught everything that came his way. Nothing overly impressive, but ended up without around 30 yards. I will definitely continue to watch him closely.
Senderrick Marks penetrated a few holes against Bills backups. Not exactly dominant, but for a work-in-progress player, it looked pretty promising.
Javon Ringer: Had one good play, with a big 15-20 yard rush on the edge that was called back for holding. Ringer showed impressive speed, though it was against backups.
Paul Williams caught a TD. Williams, who will probably have to fight hard to make the team (unless Tennessee plans on carrying 6 WRs), caught an impressive eight-yard loft from Young, reaching out as the ball passed over his head. A former third-round pick in 2007, Williams needs to start performing.
Backup Punter A.J. Trapasso ran a 40-yard fake punt to the house. Does anyone care? Why am I typing this meaningless update right now? For a punter, the guy had some jaw-dropping moves. Most punters will trip when running full speed, but I think I actually saw this guy make a cut move.
The Bills no-huddle offense was in full effect and it saw some success early. I wonder how much they will use it throughout entire regular season games. Judging by the offseason reports and tonight, they will be in no huddle for the majority of their games.
Trent Edwards: Was off to a hot start but overthrew his target while under pressure for a pick. Only threw four passes, with the one incompletion being the aforementioned INT. I can't really give him any type of grade.
Terrell Owens: Owens was wide open early on two medium passes for 27 yards. He didn't stay in the game long, but it looks like the Bills will work on getting TO the ball often.
Marshawn Lynch: I expect the Bills to run Lynch often in the preseason, as he is scheduled to miss the first three regular season games due to suspension. However, it did not happen tonight.
Lynch ran three times for seven yards. I'm sorry I can't say how he looked, I really can't gather much out of three rushes.
Fred Jackson: I am a big supporter of Jackson this year. Today he basically did nothing. He ran into a wall of Titans three times for three yards. Nothing impressive at all, though he didn't get much of a chance. Much like Lynch, it was impossible to judge his play today.
Ryan Fitzpatrick: Looks much like he did in Cincy last year. An average backup who at best can come in and win you a couple games if the team plays well around him. Completed under 50 percent of his passes on the day. No QB on either team really made a tough throw.
Gibran Hamdan was impressive. I would say he actually outperformed Ryan Fitzpatrick. If both men continue down this route, Hamdan could end up as the backup. He went 11-for-13 racking up 89 yards. All of his passes were easy, but he showed that he has a knack for finding open receivers. Reminded me of Jason Campbell in terms of height and arm strength.
Roscoe Parrish made a great catch adjusting to a hard ball thrown behind him from Fitzpatrick and followed up the tough catch with a quick juke to lose his cover man. It's no secret that Parrish has jaw-dropping moves, but I don't know if he will ever become a credible receiver. Atleast on this one play he looked like one.
Xavier Omon: Looked very solid when there was room to run. He also Displayed good hands. Omon had 61 total yards and if he keeps it up will likely earn the third running back position.
Overall, it was by no means an amazing game. But that is what to be expected in what is basically a pre-preseason game. At least no one was seriously hurt.
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