Some more observations from the Hall of Fame Game:
- David Arkin has been on this club for three seasons now and he has had his share of critics. I have been in the minority when it's comes to defending the player. When camp opened this year, there was even a side of me that had moved on and believed that the club should go in another direction. With all the injuries to these guards, Arkin has once again had to step in and fill in while guys try to once again get healthy.
For Arkin, this has been a much different training camp both on the physical and ability side. In these practices, he has done a much better job of keeping his pads down, playing with knee bend and not allowing the defender to get under him. In the running game, he has worked well with Travis Frederick and on second level blocks. He has taken a liking to the scheme that doesn't require him to have to power his man off the line but take more of the edge and work him down the line. He has had moments like on the goal line period where he didn't get the push one-on-one but we also haven't seen him just flat whiff and miss his man completely which he had seen before. I still believe that he will be a backup for this squad potentially over Kevin Kowalski but at least he is going in the right direction and that is a good thing.
- Was surprised that Sterling Moore didn't have the type of game that we had seen from him in camp. Through the first two weeks, he had been super productive technique wise and with his aggressive play but in this game against the Dolphins he played like he was off and I didn't expect that. He was a step off in his reactions and in coverage.
Later in the game, he took a nasty blow from his own teammate when Cameron Lawrence and him met at the ball while Moore was chasing it, which ended his night. I was asked if Scandrick went down in the nickel, who would play nickel slot?
My answer was not B.W. Webb but Sterling Moore. Will be interesting to see how he practices this week but more importantly how he lines up against the Raiders this Friday. He is better than how he played against the Dolphins.
- With Matt Johnson now out with the stress reaction in his foot, look for Jakar Hamilton to get much more work with the defense in the scheme. Hamilton is one of those players that when camp opened I believed would be a hard guy to release despite being from South Carolina State but what you have to remember about him is that he did start his career at Georgia and played a great deal while there.
Hamilton in my observation was having the type of camp where he was struggling to get noticed. It was the Blue and White scrimmage and that live look where he started to show up and in the game on Sunday night, he did the same. Where Hamilton gets this, is how physical this game is. He is not afraid to drive on the ball and stick his nose in the action and for a young player that is not always the case.
On college tape, he was a dependable, wrap up tackler and against the Dolphins, he was just that. He just might be one of those players that doesn't show up in practice but when the lights come on, he can make things happen. [embedded_ad]
- I believe this is the first time that I have mentioned rookie safety Jeff Heath but he didn't struggle at all with his first live game action. Heath doesn't get many reps during practice and when he did, it was only been during the Blue Period.
What I have noticed about Heath's work during these practices is that he doesn't make many if at any mental mistakes. In the game, he played much the same way. He took advantage of the playing time he received both on defense and with his special teams snaps.
He was physical and did mix it up when he was called into action. He showed awareness in coverage and when he had to tackle, he was there to wrap his man up. I just think, the position he plays, the numbers will most likely get him but he should be proud of the way he played Sunday night because he did stand out on the tape.