The preseason is overrated. What happens on the practice field in training camp is arguably just as important as, if not more important than, what takes place during the four exhibition games each team plays every August. That said, we don’t have the luxury of watching practices, and it’s still important to see how certain players perform in game situations. Here’s a look at what happened last night in NFL preseason action:
The Ravens looked bad. Michael Oher was beat a few times and took an early penalty and rookie Torrey Smith struggled. That has me wondering if Baltimore will make a strong push for trade block hero Lee Evans. Smith doesn’t look as though he’s ready to be the team’s No. 2 receiver.
The Seahawks looked awful and lost their left tackle: It was a double whammy for Seattle. No one expected them to look fantastic in their first preseason game with brand-new quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, but the injury to Russell Okung is a killer. It’s believed to be yet another high ankle sprain (the third of Okung’s career) and could keep him out into the regular season. You have to wonder if the No. 6 overall pick is going to be an injury mess his whole career.
Good start for the Kevin Kolb-Larry Fitzgerald connection: Kolb threw four passes Fitzgerald’s way, completing two for 60 yards (43 and 17). Promising start considering that Kolb was only able to start practicing a week ago.
Tim Tebow outplayed Brady Quinn: That isn’t saying a lot, but there was a belief that Quinn was challenging Tebow for the backup quarterback job. His solid performance has bolstered the belief that Tebow is simply much better in games than he is in practices.
The Patriots can breathe easy with Mallett and Hoyer: This team sure does know how to find quarterbacks. Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer looked great for the Pats against Jacksonville. Mallett was particularly impressive in his first game action. If an aging Tom Brady is forced to miss a few games at some point, this team will survive.
Philly’s first stringers were impressive: I’d say the jury’s still out on the linebackers, but the defensive starters were stellar as a whole and the offense was awesome with Michael Vick. Vince Young was also solid in limited action.
It’s too early to draw conclusions on Blaine Gabbert: Especially considering the lack of support he received.
Philip Rivers is ready to go: 87 passing yards in one series. Not bad.