Wagoner's Monday Observations
-With the team having a couple of days off after Saturday nightís scrimmage, now is a good time to take a little to look at what we know so far and whatís ahead.
-Punter Reggie Hodges was disappointing Saturday night. It was his first real test to kick in a simulated game situation and he struggled mightily. There are no questions about his leg strength, but his accuracy and directional kicking clearly needs work. Last year, the punt coverage unit was one of the worst in the league, but itís easy to blame those that were supposed to be tackling. Although that group clearly struggled in that job, you must remember that the inability to get the kind of hang time or directional movement on kicks often gave returners a head start on the coverage unit.
-I donít necessarily understand why some people are in a hurry to push Dane Looker out the door. Looker has been a positive influence and great teammate in his time in St. Louis and he is quietly having a good camp. Itís always nice to have a guy like Looker as your fifth receiver, ready and willing to fill in at a momentís notice and still contribute on special teams.
-Iím not sure what to make of the third quarterback spot right now. Marc Bulger and Jamie Martin are essentially set as the top two, but the battle between Jeff Smoker and Ryan Fitzpatrick is just beginning for the third slot. There is no better time to evaluate that position than in the preseason games, mainly because itís easier to evaluate a quarterback than other positions during a game. Fitzpatrick seems to retain information better, but Smoker has the better arm. We should know a lot more about this battle by the end of Friday night.
-I havenít talked much about Bulger because, well, there isnít much to report. He continues to look impressive and has never looked more comfortable in the offense. I believe Bulger made the leap into the top eight-12 quarterbacks in the league last year and has a legitimate shot to crack the top five this season.
-Much has been made about the development of Jimmy Kennedy and Anthony Hargrove and rightfully so. If those two play up to their potential, the defensive line could be one of the best in the NFC this season, but the most important result that could come from their emergence has nothing to do with their possible sack totals. If they control their blockers then end Leonard Little might have his best season. Little is still the most dominant player on this defense and if he has less double teams to deal with because of the help of his linemates, Little could easily post 15 sacks.
Re: Wagoner's Monday Observations
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