The face mask that wasn't.
I have no problem sticking my neck out and saying I'd rather have Dominique Davis at backup QB than either Redman or JPW based on what I saw last night, not to mention the compliment that Tony Gonzalez gave to the rookie, something that was not given to either Redman or JPW in the segment.
Let's face it, if Matt Ryan goes down, we don't need an ultra-conservative game manager running the show. For one, we're not playing with a girly offense that smells of vanilla extract anymore. We're running an offense made for manly men, and the only manly men (at quarterback) I saw out there were Matt Ryan and Dominique Davis.
I said this in the game thread, but Davis looked like "a starter playing with backups". His skill was so noticeable, you had to wonder if the coaching staff asked themselves if this was the real deal. Fellow backup John Parker Wilson did little, if anything, against similar defensive players, if not the same. JPW had the same bumbling, kerfumbling, dropsy receivers, yet Davis was the only one to get anything out of them.
"But it's just one preseason game." you say? Alright, go watch this:
Sure, that's a rare example, but rare does not mean impossible, nor does Dominique Davis have to be the next Steve McNair. All I'm saying is that Davis looked almost like Matt Ryan with the way he threw the ball. Was he with the scrubs? Sure, but that should give him confidence. If he gains confidence, then maybe he'll show he can play with the big boys. He has good size at 6'3" 215-ish, so all he needs to do is play smart. He's well on his way.
The rest of the recap after the jump.
- This was the first preseason game I was able to watch, and I was really glad to see Roddy White not only get involved, but be wide the heck open. He and Julio are really something.
- Matt Ryan looked awesome. Not only did he throw some absolutely gorgeous passes, he looked calm. Credit that to Koetter and his QB Coach, for sure.
- The offensive line did not allow Matt to get hit, if I'm not mistaken. Cincy's front 7 is no joke, folks. Redman, however, was not afforded the same luxury.
- Quizz is a stick of dynamite. He runs with some kind of magical power that lets him absorb the first hit he takes and keep going.
- I liked what I saw out of Lamark Brown. He has a real chance of making the roster.
- The playcalling made my night. It's a night and day difference between Mularkey and Koetter, and the TD pass to Polite was a thing of genius, from the formation, to the quick snap, to the target of the throw. That's what a great OC does, guys. We should be psyched about what the regular season will bring.
- Antone Smith looked like a pretty good player. It's no wonder we've kept him around the past couple of years. He ran hard and fast, and even looked a little silly in open space.
- We ran screens.
- I already gushed about Dominique Davis, so I won't do that again.
- I like what the defense is doing. The usual suspects played pretty well.
- Peria Jerry and Ray Edwards stood out to me last night. Pat Schiller did as well.
- John Abraham can still play ball.
- I liked that James Rodgers got a chance at returning kicks, because I'm about to roast him and others in...
- Does anyone want the WR4/5 spots? Seriously, I could've done (okay, in my heyday I could've) what those guys were doing last night, running around like chickens with their heads cutoff in a football game. The dropsies were just terrible, and nobody did a thing to help their cause. There was one receiver who wasn't completely awful, and it was Marcus Jackson. I thought he made some pretty good catches, and I believe he had a good camp as well.
- Michael Turner. Look, I know people don't agree with what I've been saying lately. I don't like saying it much, myself. I love Turner and the contributions he's made to this team since 2008, and I will never forget any of it, but he just looks awful out there. He looks like somebody who's trying to make a comeback because he used to be good but he just can't do it like he used to anymore. If he's not running his hardest, then why is he out there? To practice play action plays with him in there? You think anyone else on the offense is taking plays off? Hell no. You'd think teams would just not bite on it considering he didn't go anywhere last night. Now, to be fair...
- Offensive line run blocking didn't do him many favors last night. Pass pro was pretty good for the starters, but the backups were pretty rough. Quizz made more of it than Turner because Quizz is a mini-deity, I think.
- Asante Samuel that one time. I love the swag that Samuel plays with, and we've even had some Eagles fans say that Asante has always been like that, which doesn't surprise me. That being said, there's only a couple AJ Greens in the NFL, so it's not a huge deal.
- Lot of sloppy play. We had some dumb penalties, but some of them were because...
- The freakin' Replacement Refs. Now, to be fair to them, they weren't bad for most of the night. Any play that needed replaying I felt like they made the correct call, however there were a couple penalties, most notably the phantom face mask on Babs, that were so bad, you had to wonder what they were looking at. I'll even take the Bengals side on one and say that Julio did totally manhandle Terrance Newman on that one play. That being said, Newman earned a DPI out of pure shame for going down like a sack of potatoes.