Its never too early as a fan to look ahead to the next game, or 3 games down the line. Its the players job to do the opposite and only look at what is in front of them. I think its safe to say some positions that were question marks of who was starting have already been answered and others like at Safety are so unclear its like pinning the tail on the donkey. Who are staff goes with as the 2nd and 3rd stringers will play a huge role on this team down the stretch whether it be helping the 1st team practice throughout the week or if the injury bug hits.
My first lock that was a question at the beggining of the season is at weak side linebacker. With Leber gone the position was up for grabs and there wasn't a clear cut starter going into training camp. Now there is, thanks to the great improvement of Erin Henderson who has shown he has a knack for attacking the ball carrier. I know the talk was Leber did a great job of just simply doing his job. I think Erin will be able to do better then that and make some huge plays whether it be forced fumbles, a ship load of tackles or a few sacks.
My second lock is Rudolph contributing to the air attack more then what is typically expected out of a rookie. He looks like a mouse out there playing with ants. He is a huge target and has tremendous hands with very long arms. It was nice seeing him grab the ball Saturday night that was down near his chins and still maintain balance and continue forward up the field. I have every confidence McNabb will come to love this piece to our offense. Especially if Shiancoe continues to be hampered by this hammy injury.
My third lock is Griffen to have significant playing time this year. There wasn't one play where he was bugged down by a linemen and his motor seemed to be extremely high. Robison will certainly be sharing downs with him and if he doesn't improve his run support then he'll likely lose it to him.
4th Lock is the depth at D-Line. Its still not certain if Kevin will be suspended but if he is we have some young mixed in with experienced Vets that will get the job done if his absence does indeed happen. When he does come back, we can keep a solid rotation going throughout the game to keep the pressure on the opposition from up the gut.
1st Question is at Safety. It appears the front office has an idea of who they want to start, but the competition whether it be in practice or in pre-season games have made it a tougher decision then they thought. The only thing in my opinion that is holding Burton back from taking over the starting job is the lack of experience. I like his physical nature and his speed and can certainly be more encouraging then any others.
2nd Question is also in the secondary but with the Corners. Its safe to say the #1 and #2 are Winfield and Griffin. Cook has had his bad so far in this early season but he's also rebounded last week in a respectful showing. Sherels looks like lightning and although not as tall he surely makes up with it with his speed and quickness. The Nickel back is going to be interesting and the winner will get alot of playing time this year because we will be attacked through the air.
3rd Question is at WR. Wow, I mean i'm seeing good things from all recievers. Its pre-season so they're getting opportunities to do it against weaker corners but with the exception of berrian the recievers are doing a good job of going after the ball. The speed is there as well but I can't say one has out-shined another. Armashodu has impressed me with his size and some respectful tough catches. Iglesias as well. Jenkins hasn't had much time on the field or many targets so its hard to compare all these without seeing practices and such.
4th Question is how much Peterson will come off on third downs. Its my impression that he will be more utilized in screens and dump offs to allow him to use his beautiful ablities to fight for first downs in the open field. His ability to pick up blitzers will certainly play a role in how much his role truly expands and I'm a high believer in him being able to do this. I'm not indicating he should never come out because he's going to need plenty of rests, and we have an able back in Booker and Gerhart but noone grabs as much attention as Peterson and that helps out our recievers the most.
O-line is such a tough position to observe and place weakness and strength at. Unless its a tackle getting burnt or bull rushed over its typically a blown assignment or simple footwork not executed correctly. Such a small detail that its hard to focus on during live action through a camera. I want to say they improved from the prior week in Tennessee, but really only McNabb and the running backs can truly tell what improvement they've made.
I love our coaches so far and although they are all new and doing it on the run I think they will play the biggest dividends in the success we can have this year. Cheers to these guys and the hope of turning our team back into a contender