Tandy Posted August 17, 2010 Share Posted August 17, 2010 Okay - so it's preseason and the one thing I know is true - DO NOT JUDGE YOUR PLAYERS OR TEAM SOLELY BY THE PRESEASON GAME.We all know that the coaching staff uses the preseason game to test areas which may need improvement, assess the strengths and weaknesses of the players and determine which players make the final cut. We also know there is no game planning and no study of the opposition before the game. This means you are looking at vanilla plays from both sides of the ball - and it's more for the coaches than the fans.What happens to us as fans however, is that you get a glimpse of treasures on the field or see some players missing in action or misfiring in action and your optimism shoots to the sky or plummets to the depths of ****. Keep reminding yourself, dear fans, that it is indeed preseason - that while it's ok to eat up everything you can about the team during this period, you must remember to sprinkle that plate with many grains of salt. This will help your sanity survive the preseason.Now, for the gems I noticed while at training camp last week and most specifically at the game Friday night.1. Matt Ryan He seems so much more mature this year and you can tell he has really taken the helm of this team. From everything I've seen, he just seems loaded with a new confidence and improved skillset. He's definitely been working on his game. My observations from Friday's game. First, I've seen several people state that his performance was so-so. I have to disagree. Ryan was controlling that offense out there. As we learned from Smitty, the first drive was all about studying the line blocking of the first team - so the entire drive was handoffs - and that's fine. However, during this drive, I watched Ryan mixing up those handoffs, sending a shovel pass to Turner when he had pressure on his back and even getting the defense offsides with his snap count. He was definitely working on his own skillset during this run only drive.Then came the passing drive. However, Roddy White dropped 2 passes right in his hands (covered more in the next section.). If Roddy had caught those 2 balls and not advanced one inch - it would have changed Ryan's stats a little.Ryan's actual stats for game:3 of 6 for 50% completion, 34 yards = 5.7 avg, 0 TD, 0 Int and a passer rating of 67.4.Ryan's stats if the 2 passes are not dropped:5 of 6 for 83.3% completion, 47 yards = 7.8 avg, 0 TD, 0 Int and a passer rating of 104.2. Quite a difference in passer rating and a truer picture of how he performed Friday night. Some of the things that impressed me in this drive was his command of the offense especially during the no huddle, the way he converted those 3rd downs when needed and the way the team was responding to him.Ryan's growing up my fellow fans - and I believe we will reap the benefits of this very soon. 2. Roddy White Those of you who feel Roddy is not a top 10 receiver - I am not sure what you are watching. I think Roddy will have his best season ever this year and he'll go to the pro bowl again. Yes, he dropped 2 easy passes. So what! He was excited to be back on the field and he was looking for the YAC before he caught the ball. Happens. I've been watching Ryan and White at TC,the scrimmages and even in this game. They are connecting on more than one level. I've seen them joking and laughing on the sidelines, talking about other aspects of the game, conferring during the times they are not on the field. They are building a solid QB/WR friendship, trust and understanding. This is excellent news for the Falcon nation - as we will see this translate into better communication on the field as well.Roddy has been tearing up the corners, safeties and any other unfortunate soul who has to cover him in TC and he turned around in Friday's game after the 2 drops and ran a perfect route ending in a beautiful sideline catch and a 22 yard gain. Roddy will be better than fine this year - he's going to be great.3. O LineI have long felt that the OL we have is built for the run (and it is) but struggle with pass protection. I honestly thought they would do more to get us some help in that area in the offseason, but I won't judge anything until the regular season starts. I know that last year, they rarely formed a pocket and Ryan had to get rid of the ball too fast to be as efficient as he should be many times. While I won't judge the OL on the preseason, I am going to wait with great anticipation to see how the pass protection has changed for this year once the regular season starts. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and my hopes high on this though regardless of what impressions I've come away from TC & PS with.4. DefenseI don't think I need to cover much of this - you guys have really been nailing it. I just want to say that Biermann is getting better (scary, scary thought), Lofton has become the leader of the D, Weatherspoon brings some swag to the team and I really like what I've seen of Corey Peters so far. I'm really excited to see them in regular season - I think we have a beastly crew on that side of the ball. I'm expecting great things from them this year.5. The DomeThey've made some subtle and nice changes. I love the way they've spruced up the concessions - and I, like Rev, really love the new bottomless drinks they have. The new rules voted on and passed to allow some "prompting" of the home crowd on when to cheer and when to shush is wonderful. I wrote about how excited I was over this change when they announced it after the owners meetings and Friday I was happy to see it coming to life. The crowd was actually responding to the attempts for noise during defense and they're trying to get some more interaction going. I love it.The high school girl they had sing the anthem was great. She sang at Friday Night Lights as well. I was so impressed with her there. She actually was better at FNL, but she was on her home turf and I'm sure those nerves were eatin her up at the Dome. Even so, she did a great job and I loved it. They need to get more like her during the regular season. So much talent!The one thing I hated - JEROME BOGER was the ref. I will never forgive him for Philly and I can't stand when it's his crew on the field. I hope we see little of them during the regular season.Well, that's all for now - nothing new here really - except to say that I truly enjoyed the game and I'm looking forward to Thursday. Man, I love Football Season!GO FALCONS - RISE UP!!!! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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