(Tuesday August 16th)
Preseason Wagering Notes: A lot happened
in the first week of preseason. New coaches, of
which there are ten this August, did very well
in their debuts, especially at home. There weren't
a lot of key injuries, with the exception of Washington
RB Clinton Portis. If you look carefully, you
can find a lot of tidbits that can be revealing
For instance, the Eagles and longtime defensive
coordinator Jim Johnson have put in a lot of new
wrinkles, including some new nickel packages.
Johnson has said this defense has more speed than
any he's had since coming here with head coach
Andy Reid in 1999. His intent has been to create
more confusion for opposing offenses.
Among the most noticeable changes have been six
defensive backs and only three down linemen and
one true linebacker. The formations are designed
to set up more effective zone blitzes and better
attack angles to the quarterback. Philly is 2-0
under the total thus far in preseason, so the
defense is deep and improved. They were 23rd in
total defense in 2005, quite a drop for a Super
Bowl team in 2004-05. Also, notice what LB Jeremiah
Trotter said this week: "We're hungry. Everybody
is hungry. Obviously we're embarrassed by last
season and sometimes it takes a butt-kicking to
get you back and going again. A lot of guys worked
hard this off-season, and I think it's showing."
If they keep going under the total, you will know
Speaking of quotes, here was one this week from
NY Giants coach Tom Coughlin: He called his defense
"soft" after the preseason opener, and
refused to take it back a day later after watching
film! Pay careful attention to the performance
of the Giants defense this weekend (at home against
KC) to see if they are angry, too.
The Browns have two huge weaknesses on offense.
One is that there is almost no QB experience,
with Charlie Frye, Ken Dorsey, and Derek Anderson.
the offensive line has been decimated this preseason,
with the loss of center LeCharles Bentley, their
star free agent signing, and several other linemen.
They were shut down in Philly over the weekend
and could struggle the rest of the preseason.
Another team with a preseason QB concern is the
Patriots. They did not bring a veteran backup
into camp this season, for the first time in a
long while, because they feel young Matt Cassel
can be the No. 2 QB. Don't be fooled by Cassel's
13-for-26 for 229 yards and as TD against the
Falcons. All that came late. Against the second
and third stringers, Cassell struggled badly.
A team that appears to have a very deep QB rotation
is Atlanta. Michael Vick, Matt Schaub, Bryan Randall
and D.J. Shockley played well in the opener and
the quartet gives defenses very different looks
and problems. Vick, Randall and Shockley are great
runners, while Schaub is a fine passer. Throw
in rambunctious rookie tailback Jerious Norwood,
who was impressive, and Atlanta seems to have
a lot of preseason tools on offense. Their first
game went over the total.
More NFL Preseason Wagering
NFL Preseason Betting By Steve Merril
George Preseason Notes
Atkinson - How to Make $ On NFL Preseason
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