Thoughts on Some Talking Points

Evan Neal - Unless the wheels COMPLETELY come off, which they haven't, I do not believe that they should give up on Evan Neal as a tackle until the end of this season if he does not improve. At this point, he probably won't ever be a good tackle, and that is very disappointing given his draft stock. However, we do not necessarily need him to be GOOD, but, rather, simply COMPETENT. Competent offensive line play is extremely hard to come by in the NFL, and tackles are harder to find than guards. The difference in value between bad line play and competent line play is MUCH greater than competent and good line play. If he can develop into a competent tackle, I would consider him to be a building block. He wouldn't go down as a great pick by any means, but not a bust, either. Although it was minimal, he did show some improvement against the 49ers. There is also no guarantee that he will be a good guard. If he fails at guard, then what?

Kayvon Thibodeaux - I think it is become fairly clear that KT is not thrilled with his current role in the defense, and I can't necessarily blame him. He appears to be dropping into coverage a lot, minimizing his chances to generate pressure on the QB. HOWEVER, he is going about expressing his displeasure through a lack of effort in his pass rush moves. This is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy: if he isn't generating pressure, why not just drop him into coverage? He doesn't seem like a dumb dude, but he is young, so I am hoping that he will mature and figure this out. Kayvon: show us WHY you deserve to exclusively rush the passer.

Bobby Okereke - He is the new signal caller in a new and very complex defense. I think he will eventually become more comfortable and play faster.

Trey Hawkins/Adoree Jackson/Darnay Holmes - I am an ODU grad, so I am admittedly a bit biased. I do not blame the coaching staff for trying Jackson in the slot in order to get the best three players on the field. It was a calculated risk with mixed, at best, results, so far. In a vacuum, it still holds true: Jackson, Banks, and Hawkins are still the three best corners on the roster. HOWEVER, it is becoming clear that Jackson on the outside and Jackson in the slot are not the same player. The upgrade of replacing Jackson with Hawkins on the outside may arguably outweigh the downgrade of putting Darnay Holmes on the field. I still think Hawkins can develop into a very good player, but a rookie 6th rounder needing more time to develop is not unreasonable in the least.

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