In the postgame report card, I impulsively assign loosely-supported grades for each positional group.
For the first game of the preseason, only pass/fail grades will be given as opposed to a letter grade.
Quarterbacks - PASS
It was close, but they managed to get on the plus side. Pipken looked ok running a very conservative offense but he looks calm. Kelly was exciting because of the electric arm and his ability to get out of the pocket. If he will do the film study to be able to read deeper routes, he could be a fun prospect.
Running Backs - PASS
Not a ton of success on the ground, but Leake looks the real deal, breaking off a few decent runs and adding a touchdown. He does have a gear that will keep defenses from overplaying him. Ouellete continues to be steady and valuable, a load on short yardage converts and soft hands on outswings. Fullback as weapon is definitely the current football cheat code.
Wide Receivers - FAIL
I know, I know. Quarterback play affects this and the catch percentages were decent but make your own report card. I didn’t love the miss on the Kelly deep ball, and no one popped in terms of shiftiness or breaks. I'm going to need more from these guys fighting to be part of this talented WR room.
Offensive Line - PASS
The quarterbacks had decent time to throw the ball and running wasn’t easy but it was not an issue of the Argos being on roller skates. The line gave up three sacks, but converted short yardage and in general looked fine handling twists and stunts.
Defensive Line - PASS
This was another close one but it is preseason with hardly any practice, so I'm going to say they looked ok. Two sacks, but gave up over 120 yards in rushing. I thought Robbie Smith flashed a couple of times and the first quarter and had decent QB pressure.
Linebackers - FAIL
I didn’t see much out of this group tonight. Some runs got second level and not a lot of clean up. Some underneath routes looked open too. I'd love to see someone really be a tone setter at linebacker.
Defensive Backs - PASS
Peters looked good, although it was surprising he was out there in this game. Edwards of course looked amazing in his time and I cant wait to have him out there full time. McFadden and Carnell both are making cases for a spot in the deep secondary. They looked fast, physical, and I'm excited to see this unit at full power.
Special Teams - PASS
Sato looked good! Clean conversion, good field goal, and 60 yard kickoffs. He might have made another team if not this one tonight. John Haggerty looked the part as well, especially with a perfect corner kick at the one. He likely starts and sends Sato to the practice roster. Returning is still no bueno. Amos gave up a fumble on hard contact on a return. Still under construction.
Coaches - PASS
Not much to say here. I liked the starters resting and I thought the play calls allowed for decent evaluation. Not getting concerned about a win or loss was also encouraging. Only losers get excited about winning an exhibition game…cough…Ottawa.