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What to watch: First night of preseason

Blaine Gabbert AP

Yeah, the preseason is usually a disappointment.

We’re still excited for some football, any football, after what we went through this offseason. Here’s what we’ll be watching Thursday night:

Jaguars-Patriots

We get our first look at No. 10 overall pick, Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert. The Missouri product gets a shot to put some heat on starter David Garrard with a good performance. Garrard will miss the game with a back injury. . . . Jaguars No. 2 receiver Jason Hill will try to solidify his role. He’s had a quiet camp, according to ESPN.com. . . . Roles still have to be sorted out in the Jaguars secondary.

New England’s running back group remains jumbled as ever. This is a chance for rookie Stevan Ridley to make an impression with injuries elsewhere. . . . With 21 defensive linemen on the roster, newcomers like Mark Anderson and Andre Carter may have to make a quick impression to make the team. The roles for incumbents Eric Moore and Jermaine Cunningham remain uncertain.

Ravens-Eagles

Eagles backup quarterback Vince Young should get extended playing time for Philadelphia. . . .  Rookie running back Dion Lewis makes his case for being in the backfield mix. . . . Wideout Riley Cooper can try to earn Michael Vick’s trust. Cooper could be a starter in Week One if Jeremy Maclin isn’t ready.

Ravens second year player Sergio Kindle should see his first game action for Baltimore after missing all of last year with a scary head injury. . . . Baltimore’s receiver spots after Anquan Boldin are still up for grabs. If rookie Torrey Smith doesn’t impress, the team may still have to look for a veteran.

Seahawks-Chargers

As Florio mentioned earlier, it’s our first chance to watch the Tarvaris Jackson and Sidney Rice show in Seattle. Just as important: the team’s reconfigured offensive line gets some action. . . .  Second year receiver Golden Tate will try to show he can handle the team’s slot receiver role.

New Chargers defensive coordinator Greg Manusky debuts in San Diego with a new inside linebacker group led by Takeo Spikes. . . . Keep an eye on whether Chargers running back Ryan Mathews suits up after an up-and-down camp.

Broncos-Cowboys

Orton. Tebow. Quinn. What more is there to say? As official Orton-Tebow beat writer for PFT, I will be watching this game closely. . . . Running back Knowshon Moreno can validate the positive articles about him from camp. . . . Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller debut as a formidable pass-rush tandem.

Dallas’ younger, leaner offensive line says hello. . . . Wideout Kevin Ogletree will try to show he’s worthy of significant playing time. . . . Tony Romo plays for the first time since breaking his collarbone last year. . . .  New defensive coordinator Rob Ryan tries to improve the Cowboys defense without any new talent.

Cardinals-Raiders

Kevin Kolb has only practiced with his new team for a week, so expectations for this game should be kept to a minimum. . . . . Pass rusher O’Brien Schofield could put some heat on Joey Porter’s roster spot with a big preseason. . . .  No. 5 overall pick Patrick Peterson hasn’t earned his way into the starting lineup. Yet. . . .  Rookie running back Ryan Williams is expected to back up Beanie Wells, but could make that decision tough on coach Ken Whisenhunt. . . . Early Doucet and Andre Roberts battle for the No. 2 receiver job.

Oakland’s shaky-looking Nnamdi-less secondary gets its first test. . . . The dramatically re-modeled offensive line lines up. . . . Raiders receiver Jacoby Ford will miss the game. Snaps are available for Chaz Schilens and Darrius Heyward-Bey to make an impression. . . . Tight end Kevin Boss makes his Raiders debut. He could have a bigger offensive role in Oakland than he did in New York.

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19 Responses to “What to watch: First night of preseason”
  1. TheDPR says: Aug 11, 2011 5:45 PM

    Beanie Wells better hope he doesn’t get so much as a hangnail this season because Williams is primed to steal that job.

  2. eaglesnoles05 says: Aug 11, 2011 6:13 PM

    What to watch… THE EAGLES!!!!

  3. achap39 says: Aug 11, 2011 6:20 PM

    Watch to watch for: Seattle v San Diego- 3+ hours of ESPN going “next level” of their new QB rating system and why it’s better than Jesus.

  4. ticalcaldwell says: Aug 11, 2011 6:23 PM

    As a Bengals fan I am curious to Ocho with one the greatest QBs of all time throwing to him, really curious how this is going to be…This could be great….mark my words

  5. ticalcaldwell says: Aug 11, 2011 6:23 PM

    curious to watch Ocho…sorry

  6. foreverblake says: Aug 11, 2011 6:27 PM

    Does anyone know if the Seattle and San Diego game the only one thats on National TV?

  7. otistaylor89 says: Aug 11, 2011 6:30 PM

    What to watch for?

    It’s Football season, bitches!!!!

    (who cares that they don’t count).

  8. melonnhead says: Aug 11, 2011 6:39 PM

    Ohh, I forgot the “DeMarco Murray could never stay healthy in college, who knows why the Cowboys thought that would change in the pros” thing.

  9. GhostoftheBay says: Aug 11, 2011 6:44 PM

    Jason Hill a no.2 WR, you gotta be joking!

  10. melonnhead says: Aug 11, 2011 6:48 PM

    Abe Elam, Kenyon Coleman, Bruce Carter and Josh Thomas, but whatev.

  11. joecaboose says: Aug 11, 2011 6:49 PM

    With all the buzz about Tebow and Denver vs the Cowboys why are we stuck watching the Seahawks and Chargers…other than it’s football, who cares!
    HELLO ESPN…

  12. cardsfann1 says: Aug 11, 2011 7:12 PM

    It’s only pre-season but I am ready to do my evaluating and start setting goals for my Cards not to achieve. Hopefully I am wrong though and Kolb can lead em like ole Kurt did. Staying healthy through the pre season is the key.

  13. nowathand twitter.com/Chris_M_Bach says: Aug 11, 2011 7:12 PM

    Rex Hadnot and Daryn Colledge will be the keys for Big Red. The rest of the offense has too many playmakers for even Ken Whisenhunt and Mike Miller to mess up.

    I said when the Jaguars drafted Blaine Gabbert that he is already a consistently superior decision-maker to David Garrard.

  14. madamschefter says: Aug 11, 2011 7:17 PM

    ♪ ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL ♪

  15. goldrush36 says: Aug 11, 2011 7:22 PM

    Jason Hill was the #4/#5 guy on a less than stellar 49ers receiving corps. Now he is a #2? I really feel for Jacksonville.

  16. h8trsgonnah8 says: Aug 11, 2011 7:35 PM

    brocos v boys on nbc.

  17. plundergrunge says: Aug 11, 2011 7:42 PM

    This will be the third year for Kevin Ogletree to try and prove himself. He better get it right or he’s going the way of Isaiah Stanback.

    Manny Johnson, Jesse Holley and even Titus Ryan have shown more than Ogletree has. Now you have guys like Dwayne Harris and Teddy Williams hungry for a spot, it’s now or never.

  18. ninjapleazee says: Aug 11, 2011 8:03 PM

    more interesting story would be.. how many players land on IR before preseason ends

  19. jcg23 says: Aug 12, 2011 1:22 AM

    @pluder and he can take AOA with him. Radway and Harris were steals…. Titus is hurt I think KO has hit his ceiling and Jesse Holley just needs to go away. We needed the defensive guy Mike!! Loved the show anyway though!

    And man did Miller look bad…

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