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A Few Thoughts About the Lions Game, in no particular order


Virgil
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© Junfu Han/Detroit Free Press

 

As it's the preseason for the refs, camera crews, networks, alongside the players; it's also the preseason for me in terms of getting myself back in that writing rhythm and mindset.  Typically, I would write these late Sunday night or Monday at work, thinking I was meeting a solid 24 hour turn around.  These Friday games just mess me up heading into the weekend because I can never find the time.  Also, I've been very in my own head around what more I can do with these recaps.  I want to change things up a bit, but also don't want to lose the core of how they read.  I'm still TBD (no pun intended) on that.  With that, these thoughts aren't going to be just around players, but where the team seems to be at while in preparation for this upcoming season.  Excuse the cobwebs and scattered nature, I'm just trying to warm up.

 

Also, I'm not going to waste much time on players who have no shot of making this team.  That goes for the horrific performance of the offensive line in the second half.  It's just not worth my or your time.

 

1 - Preseason Context - Preseason games are not real games.  I see so many fans who live and die by what they see in the preseason and it's never made much sense to me.  I'm not going to waste my time googling this, but I know there's a stat out there that shows how poorly 4-0 preseason teams perform in the regular season and to the contrary, how well 0-4 teams will do.  The Preseason is about individual match-ups in the most basic of settings.  There aren't any trick plays, stunts, disguises, audibles, pulls, or anything else.  The preseason comes down to a very simple message to all players:  Execute the fundamentals and beat the person in front of you.  That's it.  Case and point, if anyone thinks we are going to run as much as we did in the Lions game in the regular season, you are seriously crazy.  So please, take these games for what they are, practice against other teams with fans and a clock.

 

2 - Rousseau - It's incredibly natural for most fans to see what our first round pick can do during the preseason game and my eyes were locked in on the lumberjack every play he was on the field.  However, I believe there is a large amount of context to be found in what he was asked to do and the offense he was up against.  The Lions gained most of their yardage on quick curl routes and 3rd downs.  They struggled to move down the field with ease and got the ball off quickly.  Rousseau (I need a nickname for this kid quickly) was matched up against arguable the 3rd best prospect, and best overall OT in the draft, in Penei Sewell.  With no support, Rousseau was able to push Sewell back on multiple plays, one even resulting in an arm sack (which shows the strength of this kid).  While this is from just one quarter, it's easy to see the potential this kid has and I'd give him an A+ for his very first on field performance.  (Side note:  Honorable mention to Oliver who was playing out of position, got double teamed frequently, and still got some decent push up the middle)

 

3 - Running backs - We saw success early in the game with draw plays up the middle and Motor had two nice plays where he showed burst and the strength to break some arm tackles.  He also had a nice touchdown catch in the second quarter, which was overshadowed to me by the fact that he was out on the field in the first place.  Outside of that, there wasn't much to be excited about from the run game.  It didn't help that we made it obvious early that we had zero intention of passing the ball nor had any starters at pass catcher besides Knox and Gabe out there.  I was not very impressed with Breida as he didn't show that outside speed we are looking for.  Antonio Williams, who many wanted to see move up the depth chart, had a very lackluster day, but it's hard to evaluate him behind the putrid offensive line that was blocking for him.

 

4 - This is typically where I post lyrics from a song by one band for the entire season.  One year, I did movie quotes, but that was harder.  In the past, I've used the Grateful Dead (Always for you Bill), Dave Matthews, and Barenaked Ladies.  This year, I haven't decided what I'm going to do.  If you read this and have ideas, let me know.  I'll post this same message in all three game recaps and see if there's a consensus. 

 

5 - Bass - In full transparency, I've always enjoyed the jokes about kickers in the NFL.  While I understand the mental pressure of having the game on the line, I still never put much thought into kickers.  If they made the kick, they did their job.  If they missed, cut em!  Bass has slowly changed the way I pay attention to kickers.  Early last season, you could clearly see the power of his leg as he would just boom the ball off his foot.  But also, you could see the ball had a strange trajectory when he kicked it as if the ball had a mind of it's own.  There were definitely moments early one where many wondered if we kept the wrong kicker and we saw him improve as the season went on until we got to the point where you expected him to hit everything.  So far, through training camp and in this game, he truly is Bass-omatic.  His swagger and confidence each time he walks onto the field is evident and his kicks are going right down the middle with the same level of power.  It's been interesting to watch his development and hope he keeps it going.

 

6 - Haack - Of all the offseason moves I didn't understand, not resigning Bojo is one of them.  Beane made some cryptic comments that led me to believe Bojo wanted to get paid, but then he took a competition role with the Rams.  While we didn't punt a lot last season, I figured Bojo was a no-brainer to be resigned and wouldn't cost a lot (which he didn't for the Rams).  However, after just one game watching Haack, I'm good.  This guy has an absolute leg and is a pure assassin with it.  I don't understand why the Dolphins let him go.  He pinned two punts inside the 20 from the opposite side of the field and really had a good showing.  This, like so many other thing, is just proof of why I'm a fan and Beane is a Wizard.

 

7 - Refs - After one full weekend of preseason games, I'm officially on notice of the refs.  There were WAY too many flags in this game and the theme was leading with the helmet.  Like holding, I can't deny that this happens a lot in every game, but many of these looked like calls that normally don't get flagged.  I'm hoping this was an exhibition for the refs and they are leaning towards guilty until proven innocent while they practice, but if not; we are going to be in for a long season. 

 

8 - Fromm - Typically when I write these, I don't have the time to read other people's comments about the game.  However, with my aforementioned delay, I see a lot of Fromm bashing going on.  A lot of context needs to be considered here.  He was a 3rd string quarterback last season who hardly gets any reps.  There was no preseason last year and practices were limited.  This year, he's still a 3rd string QB (maybe) and this game was his very first live action against another team.  Take that, put him behind an abysmal offensive line and rookie receivers, and he still found a way to lead a game winning drive.  All I'm saying is, there's nothing to really evaluate him on from this game.  I have wondered if Mitch would became a trade candidate if other QB's keep going down around the league, but I still don't know that Fromm is our number 2 quarterback.  Webb looked very comfortable and made some good throws.  (Side note:  Allen and Webb are seen around each other a lot and I think Allen helps him out more than anyone else)

 

9 - Boogie - From the time he was drafted, all the analysts say that Boogie was the most pro ready of any of our draft picks.  With that, I was very surprised to see him still on the field well into the second half.  He was lining up more on the right side, but also lined up at DT a few times.  I can't say I saw a lot in him to give me optimism and he seemed held in check in one on one match-ups.  There's not much to say here, but I did watch him and Epenesa a bunch and don't see any threat to Addison or Hughes.  The playing time of Boogie, Epenesa, and Obada was definitely interesting.

 

10 - Progress - As we went through the drought, preseason was always a telling sign to me regarding where our team was regarding evaluations.  It wasn't about the Bills so much as the other teams.  Teams that knew their starting lineup and scheme would trot their starters out for a series, go 6-6 and score points on the first drive.  It was truly a practice for them while we are trying to figure out who will be 7 of our 11 starters.  In this game, it really felt like we were the other team.  We didn't have the majority of our starters out there and I feel comfortable saying our talent dominated theirs.  It was nice to watch the Lions rotate guys in and evaluate, with job battles on the line, while we just showed up because we have to.  This game was a prime example of why some teams don't want preseason games and others need it.  It's nice to be on the other side.

 

My grudge - I'm wrong a lot.  Like, a lot.  Guys I target in the draft typically perform to the opposite of my expectations and Beane is proven Wizard.  However, with the drafting of two DE's in this draft and Epenesa still not looking like someone ready to earn that starting spot, I'm still annoyed that we passed on Dobbins, who was taken one pick later by the Raven.  When I look at this team and see Hughes, Addison, Roussseu, Boogie, and Obada and realize we would have Dobbins in this offense, I feel like Beane missed there. 

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3 minutes ago, Virgil said:

Preseason games are not real games. 


I agree. They seem to be getting further and further from real games as the years go on, too. 

 

4 minutes ago, Virgil said:

Rousseau (I need a nickname for this kid quickly)


You don't like Groot for Rousseau? It really does seem to fit.

 

4 minutes ago, Virgil said:

4 - This is typically where I post lyrics from a song by one band for the entire season.  One year, I did movie quotes, but that was harder.  In the past, I've used the Grateful Dead (Always for you Bill), Dave Matthews, and Barenaked Ladies.  This year, I haven't decided what I'm going to do.  If you read this and have ideas, let me know.  I'll post this same message in all three game recaps and see if there's a consensus. 


Famous football quotes.


As always, an excellent write-up, @Virgil. What is your new website? 

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22 minutes ago, Ann said:

As always, an excellent write-up, @Virgil. What is your new website? 

 

I'm working on a blog page through Wix and I'm giving myself until the start of the season to get it completed.  However, that's just going to be a place to store everything I write.  Everything will be put here on the forum. 

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Good lord I love my @Virgil writeups! Great to hear from you again, good sir. Since I'm here exclusively now, it will be awesome to read your posts every week again.

 

#4, go with quotes from TV shows that reference something to do with football. 

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Thanks @Virgil.

Preseason, for me, is just a chance for my eyes to adjust to watching a football game on TV again -- and to see the new kids and free agents.  It takes me a long time to get up to speed.

 

As for #4 -- I like the song and/or movie quotes. 

 

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Good write up Virgil!

 

To address your point about Dobbins, my preferred 2020 draft would have been trading up for Jeudy. A draft like that would mean no Diggs and (presumably) no Epinesa due to trading away the 2nd round pick to move up. 
 

As a rookie Jeudy had 859 receiving yards. Diggs had 720 receiving yards his rookie year. So, there’s a chance Jeudy can become as good a receiver as Diggs. But Diggs is clearly the better player right now. 

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18 minutes ago, Arm of Harm said:

my preferred 2020 draft would have been trading up for Jeudy. A draft like that would mean no Diggs and (presumably) no Epinesa due to trading away the 2nd round pick to move up. 

No Diggs means Allen doesn't have a true #1 veteran receiver last year.
I don't believe Allen would have made that developmental jump without Diggs last year.
Plus the chemistry they have can't be overstated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Uncle Joe
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1 hour ago, Uncle Joe said:

No Diggs means Allen doesn't have a true #1 veteran receiver last year.
I don't believe Allen would have made that developmental jump without Diggs last year.
Plus the chemistry they have can't be overstated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are not wrong.

 

I agree that if the Bills had drafted Jeudy instead of trading for Diggs, they wouldn't have gotten as much production out of the #1 WR position. Even as a rookie Jeudy commanded the attention that's reserved for a #1 WR. So, he'd still be freeing up guys like Brown, Beasley, and Davis to make catches. But his production would have been less than what we saw from Diggs. The chemistry between Allen and Jeudy wouldn't have been as good as what we've seen with Diggs.

 

The beaudy of Jeudy is that he gives you a significantly younger #1 WR than Diggs. I'm not saying that what I'd wanted would have been better or worse than what the Bills actually did. It's too soon to know which path would have been better. All that's certain is that in 2020, Diggs + Epenesa produced more than Jeudy.

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13 minutes ago, Arm of Harm said:

It's too soon to know which path would have been better. All that's certain is that in 2020, Diggs + Epenesa produced more than Jeudy.

Agree that 1 year is way too early to evaluate a draft and its respective picks.
I was pleased when we drafted Davis last year and he more than exceeded expectations. Time will also tell how good Gabe will be.

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Beer__League__Hockey
18 hours ago, Virgil said:

5 - Bass - In full transparency, I've always enjoyed the jokes about kickers in the NFL.  While I understand the mental pressure of having the game on the line, I still never put much thought into kickers.  If they made the kick, they did their job.  If they missed, cut em!  Bass has slowly changed the way I pay attention to kickers.  Early last season, you could clearly see the power of his leg as he would just boom the ball off his foot.  But also, you could see the ball had a strange trajectory when he kicked it as if the ball had a mind of it's own.  There were definitely moments early one where many wondered if we kept the wrong kicker and we saw him improve as the season went on until we got to the point where you expected him to hit everything.  So far, through training camp and in this game, he truly is Bass-omatic.  His swagger and confidence each time he walks onto the field is evident and his kicks are going right down the middle with the same level of power.  It's been interesting to watch his development and hope he keeps it going.

 

6 - Haack - Of all the offseason moves I didn't understand, not resigning Bojo is one of them.  Beane made some cryptic comments that led me to believe Bojo wanted to get paid, but then he took a competition role with the Rams.  While we didn't punt a lot last season, I figured Bojo was a no-brainer to be resigned and wouldn't cost a lot (which he didn't for the Rams).  However, after just one game watching Haack, I'm good.  This guy has an absolute leg and is a pure assassin with it.  I don't understand why the Dolphins let him go.  He pinned two punts inside the 20 from the opposite side of the field and really had a good showing.  This, like so many other thing, is just proof of why I'm a fan and Beane is a Wizard.

 

 

Bojo was shitcanned because his FG holding was lackluster.  The reason Bass was shakey early last year was a direct result of Bojo and his sloppiness.  Replays were shown of the laces facing sideways & backwards.  Completely unacceptable. 

 

I believe someone on the staff was watching every hold by every available punter out there in the league, and Haack was targeted by the middle of last season as a tier 1 super important Beane signing.  Holding is actually mor eimportant than the net yards punted, in my opinion.

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CarpetCrawler
50 minutes ago, Nanker said:

Great job as usual Virg. 
#2. Groot or if you want to wax esoteric - Bastille or maybe Guillotine  

 

# 4.  Just not ABBA. 

 

Or go the complete opposite way, how about Jock, as in Jean Jacques?

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4 hours ago, Nanker said:

Great job as usual Virg. 
#2. Groot or if you want to wax esoteric - Bastille or maybe Guillotine  

 

# 4.  Just not ABBA. 

 

If he posts ABBA lyrics, will you leave? If so . . .

 

When you're gone, how can I even try to go on?

When you're gone, though I try how can I carry on?

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