5. No. 2 Receiver, Brandon “Tater-Bug” Tate
The third to last thing to watch for is how Tate is going to do. I know it is only preseason, but you can really get a feel for how a player is going to preform. This off-season the coaches during interviews have really made us believe that Tate has blossomed into a true No. 2 receiver to line-up across from Green. For the first quarter or so Tate will be able to show us what he has.
Is anyone else completely surprised by this man? Remember, this is a man who played for arguably one of the best Quarterbacks of all time in Tom Brady, and could never, “Learn the Playbook”. Now he comes to Cincinnati, “still can’t learn the playbook”, and suddenly becomes this receiver we have been looking for since T.J. Houshmandzadeh left us.
-Tate had 2 receptions for 24 yards in his first game.
6. 3rd and 4th Running Back positions
Yet another position battle. Now obviously since it is the 3rd and 4th spot on the roster it is not going to be as important as that No. 1 or No. 2 spot, but it still is going to have some baring on the upcoming season.
-Side Note; Green-Ellis is not a serious injury. He is out of the line-up for precautionary reason.
Leonard, who has never been a serious run threat, has been very dependable in past years for getting a clutch first down in a game whether he wants to or not.
-Leonard had 6 carries for 12 yards.
Peerman, who is almost a lock to make this team because of his special teams abilities, had the most carries of any back-up in the last game.
-Peerman had 7 carries for 30 yards.
Brown, who played for Detriot in the past, is trying to resurrect an early career. he has not been around long, but has not amounted to much in his career and is already on the short list in Cincinnati.
-Brown had 6 carries for 11 yards, and 1 rec. for -5 yards.
The last man in that mix is Daniel “Boom” Herron. If this man can catch out of the backfield, he may give Brian Leonard some issues in the job security department. Pete Johnson, former Cincinnati Running Back, stated earlier this season that he believed that Herron would be the starting back by the end of the season.
– Herron had 4 carries for 8 yards.
7. Defensive Line Play
With Robert Geathers and Carlos Dunalp both out for a significant amount of time, the defensive line will have to step it up at the Left End position. We all know that the Atlanta Falcons love to run the ball with Michael Turner. If the front four can stay strong with help of the Linebackers, this could be an interesting season when Dunlap and Geathers get back, or if they struggle, it could be horrid on that side of the line.
It will be interesting to see how Defensive Coordinator, Mike Zimmer, approaches this.