Hello my friends,
Finally, the pre-season has come to an end. Not much more gets me jacked than knowing that football is starting, but by the time we get to the forth week of pre-season I am counting the minutes until Notre Dame starts its season. Nonetheless, the last game has come and gone with a few highlights. This won't be as detailed as past or future game wrap-ups, and my aim is going to be to identify standouts in the game.
As always our first team defense was great. We gave up a 16 yard pass and then Lance Briggs plastered a guy, Brian Urlacher had a great heads up play to stop Jamal Lewis, and Mike Brown came up with a great QB pressure/hit before the guy could get the pass off. The other two highlights of the first team was seeing Tommy Harris suit up and play even if it only was for 2 series, and then watching Nathan Vasher. Vash had the defensive play of the night. He perfectly covered a guy on the deep pass play, he didn't back off and he didn't hit him too soon. He ran right behind the guy and as soon as the guy got his hands on the ball he unleashed a perfect take down and forced the incompletion. This could be used to teach children how do defend the deep ball.
Our 1st team offense gave us a 3 and out. With the most exciting part of the three plays being when the announcers tell us that Ted Washington is the starting nose tackle for the Browns. Seriously, does that guy ever stop? This is like his 53rd year in the league. In any case, we only say 3 plays from the first team and then they came out. However, even though Greg Olsen is considered a first team player by many he was playing late into the game and apparently bruised/sprained his knee. We can all only hope that this doesn't become more serious. I think he will be fine as long as it is just bruised, and I hope as well because we need this guy. Some have asked while Olsen was still playing in the game. I don't know except to say that it made sense for him as a rookie to get more playing time with the second team, but you can now look back and say he shouldn't have played. Hopefully, he will be ok.
Aside form this the only ramifications for this game were guys fighting for a final roster spot. Rookies and journeymen alike were trying to put on a show to solidify their future. Kyle Orton, Brian Griese, and Adrian Peterson gave us nothing while others preformed. Let's have a look at some of these young guys.
* Jamar Williams - He is a highly touted LB on this team. We watched him fill in for Urlacher and see some time with the first team. I really like this guy, even if its just for his ST addition, and the fact that we have a guy in waiting to take over Lance Briggs spot. He put on a great showing and putting down 6.5 tackles.
- Trumaine McBride - He is our number 4 DB on this team. He has impressed all with his play in the camp and pre-season, and this game was not a let down. He lead the team with 8 solo tackles. Later in the game Da Coach was lauding McBride for his "sound technique" and then he made a textbook defensive play.
- Corey Graham - Showed us he has the talent to be on this team. He played with the 2nd team and had a heads up play on Winslow, played good in coverage and never lost his man, and also had a great play where he got up there and knocked the ball out of the receivers hand.
- Garrett Wolfe - He didn't have a spectacular rushing day going 11 for 20 with a 1.8 avg, but in short passing situations he was SICK. He caught 6 balls for 53 yards tossing up an 8.8 avg and his longest play being 14. Furthermore, he unleashed the nastiest juke moves the world has ever seen on a football field (ok maybe that's hyperbole, but they were great) and broke two guys ankles on the same drive.
- Antonio Garay - He was injured for most of last year, and still doesn't have an assurance of being needed on this team. However, he did play well and even prevented a TD on one play at the goal line.
- Rashied Davis - I know he isn't fighting for a spot, but he is fighting to show that he can still play. He also had a great heads up play with Orton who was 7/8 on that drive and was killing the D. He put it up for Davis and he got the long pass and then was absolutely JACKED UP. He never hesitated, and he caught the ball and held on despite the nasty hit.
- David Ball - He had 4 catches for 40 yards leading the receiving corp in this game. He also had the best catch. (albeit out of bounds) I have ever seen. I don't care that it wasn't for a TD and that he was barely out of bounds when he caught it. He took in the pass one handed and didn't one hand it and then bring it in to his body... no, he one handed the catch and held on to it with one hand.
- Mike Hass - I am honestly happy we got this guy. He only had one catch in this game, but as I said before he is a playmaker and I love him on the team. Even on one play he was killed and the D got Passer Interference and the revered Coach Ditka rained down his praise saying "Mike Hass catches everything." After that when Chris Leak was in he also connected with Hass for the prettiest TD reception of the preseason (fast forward to 1:05). Leak got it to him and Hass grabbed the ball and held onto it despite the defenders helmet and hands getting in the way. It was reminiscent of a guy getting dunked on in basketball. It was a dominant play.
- Chris Leak - I hope we keep this guy around, because I guarantee you that he will be better than Orton and Griese in a year. He put on a solid showing and engineered the two greatest pre-season passing plays ever.
- Dryson James - A Rookie from the fabled Boise State team that rocked the world last year. He was doing well. He didn't have any spectacular plays, but he did what he needed to do.