Players To Watch
Mike Hart, Preseason Stats-4 carries, 53 yards, 3 receptions, 28 yards: Hart was amazing in his first game. He touched the ball eight times. He averaged 10.1 yards per touch. Hart almost scored a touchdown on the last play of the game, where he went out at the one yard line. Hart will be used as a short yardage back, but the way he played, ten yards was short for him. He di not go down after the first hit. He may not look great in training camp, but he plays great in games. We knew that coming in. I don’t know why people thought he may only make the practice squad.
Pierre Garcon, 4 receptions, 33 yards, 1 kick return, 51 yards: At the beginning of OTAs, the team said Pierre Garcon would not be a returner. Well, they changed their mind, and Garcon proved that he can return. His return late in the fourth quarter was great, but he should have tried to score instead of stepping out of bounds. Garcon made some athletic catches and ran great routes. He looked like a future star. If he can continue to play well, he could be the fourth receiver.
Quinn Gray, 19 passing attempts, 10 completions, 160 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs, 2 carries, 11 yards: The recently signed QB outplayed Jim Sorgi and Jared Lorenzen by far, and he caught everyone’s eye. Gray did not let pressure get to him, and he was able to throw accurate passes on the run. For a backup QB, I’m not looking for who has the best arm or the most time in the system. I’m looking for someone who could come in if Peyton got hurt, the backup can come in and lead the team to victory. Gray’s drive that resulted in a touchdown showed his ability to improvise when the pocket breaks down and lead a team down the field. If Gray can have a QB rating over 90, he will make the roster. Sorgi or Lorenzen would have to play like Marino, Manning, and Montana combined to make the roster.
Marvin Harrison, Did Not Play: Marvin has been cleared to play. Now we can see all of our wide receivers play. Harrison will be the number 2 receiver, and nothing will change that. However, he played poorly in the playoff game last year. I want to see if he is still a little rusty or if he is back to normal. By September 7th, it won’t matter. He will be back to normal no matter how he plays in this game. I just want to see how well his knee has healed.
Marcus Howard: In the last game, Marcus Howard had 1.5 sacks. The half sack resulted in a fumble, and the full sack was made while he was being held. Howard looked very fast in the first game, but he also showed some strength. On third downs, Howard could make a lot of appearances. If he can continue to show a mix of speed and strength, he will get a lot of sacks on those third downs.