Preseason game 3 is in the books and we're looking forward to an exciting season. Obviously we have some issues to address and I've got some definite statements to make about roster decisions that I'm darned set about.
Overall game thoughts: To start it off let me say this...our Broncos looked like the more physical team tonight. That is a very surprising statement coming from me. I truly believe the Steelers are one of the most physical teams in the NFL and they play that way year in and year out. There were flaws in our game, but some guys were out there laying down the wood and I LOVE to see that this time of year.
Pittsburgh definitely showed some very serious flaws in our defense. My number one concern is our back-side contain in the running game. We got scorched repeatedly in this game by guys missing their assignment on the back-side. In the first half game thread I wasn't alone in seeing this. The D needs to work on this VERY VERY hard the next two weeks because Jacksonville will eat our lunch if we play that way against them.
1st Team Offense
We didn't see fireworks from these guys, but it was a solid outing. I am still very encouraged by our play and am super excited to see some semblance of a running game with Lendale White running the ball.
- Orton made a bone-headed INT, but this is the time of year to have that kind of mistake. I love that he got in there on the fumble return and got the tackle...it was scary, but I want my QBs getting after it period.
- White looked superb. I am very hopeful that this kid keeps his head on straight and stays with us. He has an opportunity to be a part of our Broncos team, and he looked like a part of the family with the Mile-High Salute
- The O-line showed some really superb flashes in the pass protection for us. I mean the kind of spectacular play that you show in the film room to teach others.
- Lloyd looked really good this game...nothing new here...it is game 3 of the preseason. My biggest beef with this guy is that he ALWAYS does this...looks great in the preseason. Well, if you just saved your job and are staying with us, you BETTER show this kind of play in the regular season.
1st Team Defense
As mentioned earlier, run contain needs some serious work. I do like that we tighten up properly in the red zone. We saw a couple great turnovers, which is very encouraging.
- Ayers looked very good tonight. I think he's making the right steps to be a factor in this defense. He isn't going to make us forget Doom, but the kid is showing some moves along with some better football smarts.
- Cox is playing like he's been here before. Great job getting his feet inbounds on an otherwise easy pick. Dixon had no business throwing that ball with Cox in position and Cox made him pay.
- I commented on this in the thread too...Goodman showed the perfect example of forgetting poor plays and getting back out there to get the job done. Early in the game he blew coverage and cost us big (yards-wise), but he comes back at the end of the first half and gets a pick six. Glad he's playing for us for sure.
These guys had a great overall game. Coverage teams did superb. Return units showed some great flashes. FGs good (not that big of a stretch to make the two short ones, but a FG is 3 pts on the scoreboard last I checked). Kickoffs were solid. There's a lot to like for what we saw.
- Tebow is my backup as of now. Yeah, he has some stuff to learn, but at least he isn't afraid to play QB. His TD pass was very very slick...NFL QB reading the defense and putting the ball right where it needs to go.
- Quinn may not be a lost cause yet, but they need to get a psych counselor for him to get him to grow a pair. It is cliche to say, but he just always seems to have that "deer in the headlights" look.
- Willis is my favorite unlikely hero on the team this year. He's the 2010 equivalent of the 2008 Hillis to me. I really like this guy.
- Woodyard looked great again. I'm very glad this guy is on the team. He plays with ferocity and I love to watch him hit.
- Mays looked surprising a bit...it will be interesting to see if he makes the team. He definitely made some good plays.
- Thompson showed some great potential. I like the kid's upside if we have the room to keep him or can get him on the PS (unlikely).
Wrapping it up with some calls on who makes the team from my perspective
- I've seen enough from our young CBs to say Alphonso Smith can go. He is getting out played by two rookies. If the coaches see more than I am (entirely possible), keep him if we can...but I don't think you keep him and dump Thompson (it goes without saying Cox is a keeper)
- Willis stays. Time for Stoke to hang them up or go play elsewhere. I'd love to see Stoke stay and coach with us, but I don't think this WR corp has room for him at this point.
- White is a keeper even with his 4 game suspension.