Around the NFL – Week 2

by Tommy Lawlor   –

* One reason the Detroit Lions struggled so much in recent years is the failure to hit on their high picks.  That changed with WR Calvin Johnson.  He turned out to be the stud WR they hoped.  It looks like QB Matt Stafford is the real deal.  So what about the newest high pick, Ndamukong Suh?  He is already on the way to being a special player.  I was blown away by how good he was in the Lions loss to the Eagles.  Suh was double-teamed most of the Bears game.  That limited his ability to make plays.  The Eagles used RG Nick Cole on him most of the game.  Suh had 6 solo tackles and a sack.  He had some problems, as all rookies do, but was a disruptive force.  The sack was impressive.  He just overpowered Cole and then forcefully put Michael Vick on the ground.  There was another play where he chased Vick out of bounds on a scramble.  Suh’s speed and motor were very impressive on that play.  DE Kyle Vanden Bosch is exactly what the Lions hoped for and Suh is going to develop into a dominant player, maybe sooner than expected.  Now, about that secondary…    

* Chargers CB Antoine Cason played the best game of his young career.  He had 6 solo tackles, 2 INTs, broke up 4 passes, and forced a fumble.  Cason isn’t s shut down type of corner, but I loved him coming out of Arizona because he was a ballhawk and playmaker.  He’s been limited in the NFL, picking off just 2 passes in each of his first 2 years.  Maybe 2010 will be the season when he finally emerges.

* The Jaguars shocked us all by taking DT Tyson Alualu #10 overall.  I watched him against San Diego and came away with mixed feelings.  You can see he’s athletic and talented, but he’s got a long way to go.  He didn’t look like anything close to an impact player.  Alualu did have a sack in the opener.  LT Eugene Monroe was the high pick for Jacksonville last year.  I am very impressed by him.  He looks like a natural LT and outstanding young player.

* A couple of quick comments about Michael Vick.  This is not the guy who played for the Falcons.  I studied tape of Vick back then and he never impressed me as a QB.  I loved him as an athlete and playmaker, but he was painful to watch as a passer.  Terrible mechanics.  Poor decision-maker.  He was just awkward.  Vick was lucky to step into an organization that had a good passing offense and veteran coaching staff.  To his credit, Vick has taken advantage of the situation.  He’s worked hard in practice.  He’s listened to his coaches.  In Atlanta, Vick was hard to coach.  Why worry about doing things the right way when you could just run around and make plays?  Vick now has embraced being a quarterback.  He stays in the pocket as long as possible.  When he has to scramble, he will keep his eyes downfield and still look to throw instead of just taking off.  His mechanics are much, much better.  He now shows the ability to be a good pocket passer.  I’m interested to see how Vick progresses from here.

* SF rookie Anthony Davis is starting at RT.  The thing that caught my eye in watching him on Monday night was the way he always found someone to block.  There was no standing and watching.  Davis pounded on a Saint every play.  He was pretty good out in space.  You can see he’s raw, but Anthony is off to a good start.

* Washington Safety LaRon Landry drives me nuts.  He’s big, strong, athletic, physical, and very, very talented.  I love watching good Safeties, especially guys that love to hit.  Landry is too aggressive.  He goes for the killshot on every play.  That makes him a sloppy tackler.  It leads to some mistakes on the part of Landry.  I really wish some coach could get him to settle down.  Landry could be right there with Reed and Polamalu if he ever put everything together and played smart, disciplined football.  I just don’t know if that’s ever going to happen.

* Who is the lowest rated QB in NFL?  Believe it or not, Joe Flacco.  This was supposed to be the year that he and the Ravens offense emerged.  Hasn’t happened so far.  Flacco has had to face the Jets and Bengals defenses, two of the best units in the NFL last year.  Still, this start is very disappointing.  Flacco is only completing 48.1 percent of his passes and has thrown 5 INTs.  Those numbers have to get better.  This week Flacco faces Cleveland.  A poor game against the Browns better get him right because the Steelers are up next.

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