After the first preseason game, it's time to get back to the practice reports. This issue will feature some old names and old problems. Ugh, I'm already not looking forward to some of this.
- Let's get this out of the way. Derrick Brooks has come out and said he wants to be a Saint. Give me a second to choke back the vomit that induces. I think the guy can still play, but I don't want him in the division. The only good news is if he does sign there, at least he would make a return trip to Tampa. But it just seems wrong, like Lynch in a Br.....nevermind.
- Raheem Morris called out Michael Clayton for.............dropping passes in practice. I don't care about practice, but if this becomes an issue again this year, I'll be pissed. His drop % isn't that bad, but the timing of his drops are bad. Forget this, I don't even want to have this discussion.
- Injuries: As Niko posted on the front page, Josh Bidwell is done for 2009. Now alot of you say who cares, but he was and is an above average NFL punter. If we stick wth Dirk Johnson I hope we dont see a drop off, but yards in the punting game (kicking game overall too) are hidden yards that don't get a lot of air play. Let's hope Dirka Dirka keeps up with where Mr. Incredible was. Both Morris and Dominik did say his injury is NOT career-threatening. That's good news. Get better in time for 2010 Bidwell!
- Most of the other injured players made it back today. Clayton, Crowell (making his 2009 debut), Faine were all back. But Dexter Jackson, Kelly Campbell, Antonio Bryant, Aqib Talib, Will Allen, and Luke McCown were a few of the guys dinged up and missing today's practice. Nothing serious on anyone (minus AB), but injuries are there nonetheless.
- Morris still plans to name a starter by the third preseason game. Morris did say the"loser" of the QB battle (McCown/Leftwich) was not guaranteed the backup job or a roster spot. If this was before the preseason game I wouldve said this was lip service. After seeing all four performances, I tend to believe him. It was reported that Johnson has been getting more first team reps lately, and more than Freeman. It's probably the staff trying to evaluate him with the better players to see what we have, but I can't rule anything out. McCown especially, but Leftwich also didnt separate themselves from the youngsters.
- No pads in practice today. Should get some people easing up on blaming Morris for all the injuries. Thunderstorms caused practice to start late and end early. I'm sure the players were happy.
A lot has changed after seeing the first game. I'm not sold on any QB, and as much as I had hyped McCown and written off Freeman (for starting this year) and Johnson (from making the team), I dont think anything can be ruled out yet. Doesnt mean they will start or make team, but this game helped them alot more than it helped the other guys.
Grading out the Defense will post tomorrow, as well as Special Teams, so be ready to jump on it!