Football, just like life, is all about learning from mistakes. The fact of the matter is that all rookies will make mistakes when they first arrive in the NFL. They need to learn from them, adjust, and then execute. I compared the rookies’ performances in the Eagles game to Chiefs game, and here is what I saw out of them.
Jimmy Smith saw limited action in the Philadelphia game, which made his performance against the Chiefs even more impressive. Smith had the task of covering Matt Cassel’s favorite target Dwayne Bowe and was immediately tested. Jimmy gave up a few catches, but was in good position to make plays. I’m really looking for him to make big strides against the Redskins Thursday.
Torrey Smith is still learning and getting adjusted to the NFL game. He has yet to show any production and must learn to separate more. He was running with the first team in 3 WR packages. I really feel like they need to find a way to get this guy the ball so he can get a few catches and get some game confidence.
Jah Reid really made good strides from his performance in the Eagles game. I liked how he came off the ball in the run game. He showed the fundamentals you like to see when a guy drive blocks, Came off the ball flat back, shot his hands into the defender and tried to keep his feet moving. He is showing improvement in pass blocking as well, but still needs to improve his initial punch. His biggest struggles came when facing a pure speed rush from the Outside Linebacker, which he will see a lot of against the Steelers. He was much more successful against the bigger D-Lineman. The improvement is promising though, and if he can keep progressing I’ll look for him to start.
Pernell McPhee continues to impress with his high motor and hand use. This guy shows up to play, which is what you really like to see in that position. I think he could turn into a good rotation guy for the Ravens, but, just like with all of these guys, we will have to see what adjustments they can make in week 3. There is still a lot of football to be played.