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Opening day is done and gone, what about next week?

Opening day, as ugly and disappointing as it was, is history. Nothing can be done to bring it back, or change the result.


So... what can we hope for next week?

 

Here is my list, with possible solutions.

1) I will say that I believe that Barnes has been miscast from Day 1, not being used or tried at LT. He was not playing as well as he had before, which is why he became a FA, but he did show a lot in his first year. Could he get any of that back by being given a shot at LT again? I think so, that it's more likely that he will do better there than at G, but that's just my guess. Still, if that lights a fire under Henderson, or at least gives us something new at a problem spot, then I'm for it.

 

2) That said, I am not for changing QB right now; Campbell did well enough, although too sporadically for my taste, to deserve being shuffled so quickly, in light of the OL play. If he can play consistently, then I believe that he showed enough to continue. That isn't locking him in for the year, but QB is one of those positions that the vast majority of coaches, at most levels, are loath to meddle too much with the psyche of a player. I think he can be put on notice that his play is being watched, not to hook him at a moment's notice, but that he has to be consistent, and improve in certain areas.

 

3) I'd really like to see a more creative offense. I had hoped that Jackson would be an improvement on Cable, which I really didn't think would be hard. From Sunday's game, I wonder how much will really change. Campbell is a relatively mobile QB, with poor OL play in front of him, and under heavy pressure quickly, yet there didn't seem to be any adjustment to that by using rollouts, screens to backs or WR's, no quick slants... I don't understand, honestly. In the first half, they did use a couple of quick throws to McFadden, but they were to the sideline, which limited what he could do after the catch. Maybe he was just as nervous as the players reportedly were, but that has to end; the defense is improved, IMO, but not to where it can carry the team, like Baltimore's did on Monday.

 

4) Speaking of defense, I don't think that I am alone in hoping that Marshall uncorks some blitzes, or at least some way to bring pressure that wasn't done against Tennessee. The run defense was fairly good, but with one caveat: without much penetration, they held the point of attack, but didn't really blow up plays very much. Without much of a pass rush, or penetration on the run, it is hard to create turnovers. That's something that I'd really like to see change this year. The tackling was better than last year, even though it was a little inconsistent.

 

I won't go on too much; even seeing some improvement in these areas should be enough to win this weekend, I think. But, it will have to be an ongoing improvement, because there is a saying that I remember hearing all the way back to my first time buckling up (bad English and all): it isn't how good you think you are, it's how good you play.

 

I think we can play much better.

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