It is finally that time of year again! Time for sweet sweet previews full of juicy football juice. Bite from this preview like a ripe mango! Man, did I miss football. The lack of hitting has really lead to a weird intro.
The Bengals got into town this week before Thursdays game and promptly started injuring our players.
Cincinnati is not only an awful city but the home of a very good team that made the playoffs last year. We should see a great matchup throughout the game and really find out where our depth measures up.
But what should we be looking for this Thursday at 8 PM, easily viewable on ESPN?
How will these rookie defensive ends look? In order to fix our weak pass rush Atlanta cut their best pass rusher. While Osi Umenyiora should be able to replace that production, all eyes should be focused on Malliciah Goodman and Stansly Maponga. The Bengals have a strong offensive line, with their tackles being particularly impressive. If we again lack pass rush on Thursday, we might have another long year on the defense, unless…
Show me the new and improved secondary! Reports so far have been that Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford need some work, as expected from the rookies. But at least one of these players will start, perhaps with another pushing for the starting nickel spot. Sports Illustrated even suggests Alford, our second round pick, could start in front of Trufant. It will not be too difficult to outdo Dunta Robinson, but covering the quality Bengals depth, even though short AJ Green, could let us know if our defense is finally ready to not give up huge leads late in games.
Can Atlanta get a #3 wide receiver who can both catch a football and not fall to the ground? It seems like every year Harry Douglas should have a great year. Every year he looks lost out there. He shows great speed, nice hands and route-running prowess. Just never at the same time, and occasionally he lacks all three in long stretches. This would be a great year for Drew Davis to push Douglas for the #3 wide receiver spot, where no one is ever covering.
Will Brian Banks get a shot at making the roster? Our feel good story of the offseason is currently listed as 3rd string MLB. He will get his shot in preseason but needs to really show up to guarantee a roster spot. I wondered how a guy who didn't play college ball would fare in the NFL. Right now his best shot would be as a special teams ace because he won't get away with being a third string MLB and be on the 53.
Show me Steven Jackson! But only for like two plays. Then sit him until the regular season.