Football is back baby !
sure it is preseason and many hate the concept but I on the other hand LOVE preseason football !!
why do I love it you may be thinking well its for several reasons per example
1) its football
2) to see the rookies
3) new acquisitions from free agency
4) how the depth has grown from the prior year
5) potential new starters how do they stack up vs the men they are replacing
there are just a few of the reasons I love the preseason tonight we get a first hand look in game action of what pieces we have to fill out the final 53 with , we will get to watch them grow over the next several weeks into the finished ( or semi finished) product we will enter into the quest for our 7th Lombardi ...
here are some things to look for in no specific order ..
our safety group
outside of the starters the group is thin can one of these young men step up and fortify the back end of the depth chart on the 53 ?
Jacob Hagen is a guy I would keep a close eye on he has a chance to unseat a guy like Dangerfield . I first noticed Jacob when scouting then CB Walt Aiken at Liberty Hagen flashed and I never forgot it .I think this young man has a chance , he knows the system after sticking on the practice squad nearly the entire 2016 season
Linebacker inside specifically ....
with the departure of Timmons that is a big hole to fill everyone thinks Vince Williams is the guy and he very well may be however I have heard rumblings from many who have been at camp in Latrobe that " Dirty Red" has been making his presence felt, Matakevich has always been known for a lunch pail mentality and great instincts , he is a tackling machine and always seems to be around the football , can those instincts offset his lack of true speed ? perhaps .... one team mate gave him Luke Kuechly like accolades ...those are big words/shoes for a 2nd year player but we will get a look tonight !
a few years ago we drafted a corner in the 2nd round named Golson who has never played a down due to injury in each camp we have had since being drafted , Golsons small stature made many take pause , he is injured yet again but tonight we may be watching the guy who will take his roster spot away for good in Tiny Mike Hilton a 5'8" slot cover corner who has been all the rage of training camp ...word is Hilton is like glue you can not shake him off in coverage and he will not hesitate to stick you with solid tackling ... this may be one of the biggest matchups to watch Mike Hilton vs whoever gets in his way
Rookie Josh Dobbs the rocket scientist ... ( no really ) probably the smartest man in the entire organization ( so he will know the playbook ) the question is will Dobbs have the accuracy one wants to see as the potential heir apparent to Big Ben , we know Dobbs can get air under the ball and get it down field its the short to intermediate targets that we have questions about , its a big stage and a big test even in vanilla preseason football nothing would please me more than Dobbs having a good night and stealing the #2 job away in the coming weeks from perennial under achiever Landry Jones
several other guys I will have my eye on but these are just a few of the matchups that excite me the most ... enjoy the game and hopefully we see some good things and come away healthy