Thursday, August 30, 2012
Previewing the preseason finales
By Paul Kuharsky
One big question: Can Trindon Holliday play mistake-free and complete a preseason resume good enough to force the team to keep him as a return specialist?
Gary Kubiak’s strategy: Play as few starters for as little as possible. Get out of Dodge, even if Dodge is Reliant Stadium.
The local take: While Kubiak would prefer to keep three quarterbacks, will questions at other positions allow for it? John McClain of the Houston Chronicle discusses it.
One big question: Can the offensive line provide better pass protection for Andrew Luck and bigger holes for the running backs?
Chuck Pagano’s strategy: After a poor showing last week, he’d really like to see his top people show the Colts can run and stop the run. He still has things he needs to gauge about his young team.
The local take: The Colts could keep four running backs and three safeties on their initial 53-man roster, says Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star in his projection.
One big question: Can Blaine Gabbert, the second-year quarterback who’s had a quality preseason, finish strong and keep the vibe upbeat as the Jaguars head toward their opener?
Mike Mularkey’s strategy: He’d like one long drive for the offense, but could send the starters out more than once if they don’t sustain much early. The starting defense will be on the field a couple times.
The local take: Five rookies on the bubble who can help themselves, from Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union. Linebacker Julian Stanford and receiver Kevin Elliott were two of the best undrafted rookies I saw during my camp tour.
One big question: Can Jake Locker show at least a little more progress, and continue to build his confidence and the team’s confidence in him?
Mike Munchak’s strategy: While the Saints will sit plenty of people, the Titans are still looking for some work for their primary people who are healthy.
The local take: Running back/returner Darius Reynaud, defensive tackle Zach Clayton, receiver Michael Preston and tight end Brandon Barden are among the players who know they can help themselves with one last good impression, says Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.