1. Last night I paid particular attention to two games, the Eagles vs Browns, and the Seahawks vs Chiefs. Obviously, I kept a keen eye on the rookies that were running with the starters.In general I think most of the rookies have done well thus far in preseason, obviously taking their bumps along the way. But I think there was and is plenty of talent from this draft class that can have an impact in their rookie campaign.
2.The stand out to me last night was Russell Wilson for the Seahawks. He absolutely laid down the gauntlet to the other quarterbacks with his claim for the starters job; going 13/19 for 185 yards and a touchdown. The best word I could use to describe him was quick. While I saw him, he was quick getting the ball out, quick to recognize the rush and step up, had the arm to get the ball to its target quickly... you get the idea. Needless to say I was impressed, and I wouldn't be surprised if he outright wins the job.
3. Brandon Weeden had a mixed night. On his opening drive he looked assured, showing good timing and accuracy on some throws in tight windows. He certainly wasn't afraid to challenge the Eagles cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominic Rodgers-Cromartie. But he had troubles securing the ball when he was hit, fumbling twice. He has to take better care of the football.
4. I had mixed thoughts on Foles performance. While his stats looked good, I wasn't sold. At times, he stood in the pocket, went through his reads, and got the ball out with nice timing. But when you look at his interception, he looked indecisive, scrambled because he missed the designed route, and then just lobbed it deep in hope. While his scrambling saw him out of trouble at times, it also disrupts the timing of all the routes. But nevertheless I'm intrigued with Foles. I wasn't high on him coming into the draft, and in a quarterback friendly system that made Kevin Kolb appear to be worth a second round pick and Rodgers-Cromartie, I'm still skeptical. But his performances have been good so far.
5. Back to the Browns and Billy Wynn made one particularly impressive play, blowing up a couple of interior lineman to make a tackle for loss on LeSean McCoy. The Browns will love the fact they are getting some production from their sixth round defensive tackle, especially against the Eagles first and second string offensive line.
6. Dontari Poe failed to make much of an impact last night. The Chiefs appear to be easing him in gently, even after their starting nose tackle went down injured, Poe didn't see the field. They mainly kept him to third down, pass rushing situations. I think this is probably the right direction for him. Poe needs to learn the nuances of playing the nose tackle, instead of just pushing the pocket every play. Things like gap responsibility will come in time for Poe.
7. One note from the Thursday night games. Justin Blackmon appears to have caught up after his bumpy start. He's running good routes, getting open and making plays, which will come as a much welcomed addition to Blaine Gabbert's targets. Blackmon caught four passes for 78 yards on Thursday, leading the Jaguars in receiving. The Jags don't have many other weapons standing out at this point, so they will need to rely on the fifth overall pick to be productive in his rookie year.