....thankful that the season is here, not so much in what we will see after seeing the 2018 product for the first time. I am more than aware that neither dominating or being dominated in the first practice game projects much either way but given our decades of mediocrity my immediate reaction is that nothing I saw last night relieved me of the feeling (dread) that we are headed for much of the same. Again. I am not alone in that respect as shown by the "sellout" of empty seats.
But I am thankful that Tannehill is back. Sure, he will give us moments of excitement but at the same time he will also remain the perfect source for message board material. His miss of a wide open Amendola downfield (in Tannehill's only real NFL attempt of more than 5 yards) in the first drive took away a little of the spark he created when he moved the team down the field with his usual dink and dunk passing.
Was Parker even in the game?
I liked the offensive line, especially the middle 3 guys. I also liked Tunsil changing to no. 78, a real number for an offensive tackle. Let's hope he can play up to that.
Gesicky will be the real deal. Hope our QBs and Gase don't waste his talents as a receiver (for he can't block nor appears to want to). In any case, Gase should study and copy how Andy Reid uses Kelse.
Over on defense, much of the same. Swiss cheese mostly. Xavier Howard will look all-pro in camp playing against the very problems we need replacing but against other teams he's our typical bust 2nd rounder. Or maybe average at best. The d-tackles didn't do much tackling and Charles Harris showed why the Fins went out on the limb with Quinn. And McMillan showed why he's still a rookie, technically not but he played like one.
The 3rd rounder, Baker, I liked his no. 55, reminded me of Hugh Green in that respect. He was also cat quick and very aggressive. I would vote right now for him to replace Alonso in the lineup starting yesterday. He should be on the field all the time and learn on the job what he doesn't have God-given, which is a lot.
Fitzpatrick back there showed the problem of why a team needing so much spent a no. 1 on him. He was playing for Rashad Jones but only because this wasn't a real game. In a real game Fitz will be on the bench because as a safety he can't play ahead of either McDonald or Jones. Sure, he may be able to play a multitude of positions back there but only depending on down and distance. That part time role is a luxury this moribund franchise could not afford. He did show his skills, I give you that, but our 1st rounders need to be in there all the time. See Harris.
I also liked Ballage. He's a real horse. Tough and very quick. Good pass catcher.
Our kicking will be a problem unless they find someone in the pile of cuts later this month. Not too many times we will be in a comfortable lead late in games so it will be tough to lose another one because we don't have a kicker that can come through in the clutch.
I'm on to Carolina!