Preseason Game 1: What To Watch For

By Ernie Padaon

Can it be tomorrow yet? Game day is tomorrow! Of course I want to see Takeo Spikes and Bob Sanders running around on defense and Philip tossing bombs to VJ and M80, but the preseason is for the guys on the end of the bench to prove that they belong on the roster. So here is what I will be keeping my eyes on for the game tomorrow:

Wide Receiver battleThere is a tight battle at the bottom of the wide receiver depth chart. Seyi Ajirotutu, Kelley Washington and Laurent Robinson are all fighting for one spot and the competition is so close that they might make room for an extra wide receiver.

Rookie Middle LinebackersDonald Butler may be the starting middle linebacker that lines up next to Takeo Spikes, but he has to prove that he can get it done during games. Jonas Mouton also needs to prove that he can handle the game situations as well. Both should get a heavy dose of action in the middle of the defense and their production could determine what veteran linebacker the Bolts choose to pursue. They will either look for a veteran starter or a veteran backup.

Special TeamsLeon Washington torched us the last time we faced this team and we all know how bad our special teams were last year. Any time we go to send a punt away OR kick the ball off we will just hold our breath till we know that it is safe again. We also need to see who the kick returners and punt returners are going to be. Rookie Marcus Gilchrist should get a good look at the kickoff return duties.

Rookie Running BacksJordan Todman and Issac Odim are both young electric running backs and they both should be out to prove that they can be explosive on the professional stage.

Corey LiugetWe all want to see how this year’s number 1 draft pick fairs against the competition. We are tired of the disappointments of the past and are ready to see if AJ made the right pick this year.