1) Brandon Banks was as advertised. He is fast, tough, and a threat to take it to the house whenever he touches the ball. He is the kind of player that makes a coach stay awake at night trying to figure out how to keep an undrafted free agent over draft picks and higher profile players. It seemed to me that he is capable of playing with the starters on Monday Night Football against Dallas. He still has to prove some polish in the passing game, but his abilities are hard to ignore.
2) Trent Williams made us all feel warm and fuzzy on Friday night against the Bills. After going so long without bringing in a top draft pick on the offensive line (despite our very loud suggestions to Vinny over the years), Trent played solidly at the most important spot on the line. It goes without saying that one preseason game is nowhere near enough to judge a player on, but in his first chance to show us all something, he did just that.
3) Sexy Rexy looked very strong. To be fair, in my humble and meaningless opinion, his numbers were a little better than his performance, but he exhibited why he is here--his familiarity with this offense is obvious. I was sitting directly behind the ball on that deep touchdown pass to Devin. On that drive, I had decided to watch Devin exclusively. St. Megan was sitting next to me and I was explaining to her who Devin Thomas was and why it was so important for him to do well this preseason. Thankfully, Kevin was mingling in the section next to us, so she did not have to hear about all his magazine covers and photo shoots. As he broke the line of scrimmage, I watched him push up, a little out and then up again. As Rex dropped his arm back to throw it, I knew he was the target though I was uncertain how wide open he was because of my angle. A quick glance up to the HD video boards and the answer--as well as the picture--was crystal clear. Those boards are awesome by the way. I felt like Tobey Maguire in Pleasantville when he finally switched to color. Welcome to the 21st Century, FedEx.
4) DeAngelo Hall had a chance to level Trent Edwards on his INT return and possibly take it in the for the score. I think my opinion on that right now is that he would have tried to score in the regular season. Wasn't he the one talking about wanting to hit some people before the game though? I think what he did was smart, and absolutely the right thing to do in what is essentially a practice. My initial reaction was markedly different.
5) My first thoughts on seeing Mike Shanahan in Redskins gear on our sidelines were similar to my thoughts when I first saw Michael Jordan in a Wizards jersey. We have all talked about the legitimacy Shanahan gives this squad, but his presence on "game day" (quotation marks will be removed when the season starts) felt even better than I thought it would. Sure, Jordan's best days were behind him by the time he took the court for us in D.C., but his presence on the floor made us all think that we had an actual chance to compete in the NBA. He knew how to work the floor, knew how to run plays (for him) and knew how to get the most out of marginal teammates. If you turned off the scoreboard at FedEx on Friday night, you would have still been able to tell which team was feeling better about its preseason so far. The first preseason game is about as pointless as it gets from a scoreboard standpoint. On the sidelines though, aside from the jovial veterans happy to watch most of the game, you saw coaches doing some honest-to-God coaching. Whatever mid-season form is for coaches, Shanahan seemed pretty close to that.
6) Tailgating crew at F21 seems ready to go. We did our preseason tailgate and I am proud to say we won't be making any cuts before the opener. Beirut games were a bit rusty (mine chief among them), but we were in mid-season form in our pregame discussions and Keys to Victory exercises. I always hate to single out folks because there are too many to individually mention, but one tailgater deserves it. Lance--you seem to finally have made it back from your 2002 wrist injury. It only took 8 years, but your Beirut shot has regained the respectability it earned during those years at Richmond.
Just One More And Then I'm Outta Here: Nicely done smutsboy...Kevin and I appreciate your watchful eye on the Fanposts this weekend. We simply can't emphasize enough how much we enjoy seeing people treat this site like it is their own. Way to regulate on the Greene Turtle barrage of ads. It is one thing to treat fans of other teams with respectful irreverence, but if you feel like some entity out there is abusing the ability to post ads and/or spam, let your feelings be known. We do have a few sponsorship partners on Hogs Haven, but Kevin and I do our best to be very upfront about them. We take the right-hand column of Fanposts and Fanshots VERY seriously. That is not the place for companies to beat us over the head with advertisements.