Here are 5 Observations about the Broncos-Texans Game last night:
1. Javon Walker Is Healthy and Ready To Go - He didn't catch a pass the first 2 weeks of the preseason, but rebounded nicely last night with 3 catches for 41 yards. He was hit hard and also made some nice cuts on the knee. One thing I observed is Walker is not wearing a brace of any kind on the knee, and that makes me a little nervous. It would have been nice for Plummer and Walker to hook up on the 3rd down play at the goal line, but that will come in time. It was nice to see production from the #2 receiver.
2. Consistent Pass Rush From the D-Line is Still A Concern - A goal of the Broncos defense this season is to get more consistent pass rush from the front 4, and not blitz as much. So far this preseason there have been mixed results. There are some nice players, but most are journeymen and are consistently inconsistent. There are 2 starters that haven't played yet, so there is a chance at improvement, but because they are undersized they can wear down as the game goes on. It has happened each game so far and with Larry Johnson, Shaun Alexander, L.T., etc on the schedule the front 4 is going to be a key to the Broncos success.
3. It's Official, Jay Cutler Is Going To Be A Star - I know it's the pre-season, and I know he has been playing against 2nd string competition, but there are things I have seen with this guy that you can't teach, that can't be learned. He has the intangibles that great players have. The moment is not too big for him, the stage not too bright. He can feel the pressure coming, slide to the side, and fire a dart right into the chest of a receiver. Jake Plummer is the quarterback of the Broncos and will be as long as he is playing at a high level, but Cutler is the future and the future looks bright!
4. Ron Dayne Might Be The Odd-Man Out - Cedric Cobbs has looked solid during the pre-season, and Ron Dayne has Turf-Toe. I have never been a big Dayne fan, back to his days at Wisconsin, but I thought he could be a good fit with the Broncos. A big misconception about Dayne is that he is a power runner. He is not. He is a big guy, no doubt, but he is not a big, bruising back that will get the tough yards. With Mike and Tatum Bell being used for the speed and flash, it's Cobbs that is the power back, in the mold of Mike Anderson or Reuben Dorughns. If today were cut day I would be surprised if Dayne made the team. If he does make it, don't be surprised if you see Dayne on some sort of PUP list soon.
5. Gary Kubiak Has the Texans Headed In The Right Direction - A quick note about old friend Gary Kubiak. I was very surprised with how hard the Texans played last night. True, both team were vanillia in alot that they did, but the Texan defense was flying around and laying the wood on people. The Broncos had a short field and were held to a field goal and scored their only 1st team TD after a penalty. Kubiak did a great job surrounding himself with solid coaches, namely former Packer coach Mike Sherman, who will bring a different look to the offense than simply a Bronco look. It was a long time coming for Gary, but I think he is a good fit in his hometown and will prove to be a great choice.
That's my take. After 3 weeks the Broncos sit at 2-1. They head to Arizona for the 4th and final pre-season game. Most key starters won't play, so I am looking forward to Jay Cutler getting significant action against Matt Leinart.