I have to admit, I've never been more excited for a pre-season opener than I was last night. Maybe because just a month ago, we had no idea if this game would even be played.
Then the game started and reality sunk in. This is the first game of the pre-season and it doesn't matter much. Brady didn't play a snap, neither did Welker, Branch, Ochocinco, Wilfork, McCourty, Mayo. This was a game to evaluate other players. As Belichick said after "We didn’t rest anybody. There were players that we wanted to see play, and we looked at them and we let them play."
Some did well, some didn't. Taylor Price caught 5 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. He's been having a very good training camp and looks to have the inside track for the 4th spot on the WR depth chart.
Andover, MA native and utility man Buddy Farnham made an interception. He's listed as a receiver, but he's one of those guys that can do multiple things. Will he make the team? That might be tough, but he's definitely in that Belichick mold.
Darius Butler and Jonathan Wilhite were both heavily evaluated last night, playing deep into the 4th quarter. That's not a good sign for either guy. Neither played well, neither has played well in their tenure in Foxborough, and I wouldn't be shocked if one of these guys gets cut before the regular season started.
Aaron Hernandez caught 6 passes but wound up fumbling twice. That's not a good way for him to get playing time in the future, considering he has Gronkowski to compete with.
Overall, it was the Jaguars, it was pre-season. We already know the Patriots have a pretty good team. Some of the details have to be figured out by the coaches, such as the #4 WR spot, such as what to do with Butler and Wilhite.
But wasn't it nice to see some football, after an off-season that was more about legal proceedings than the game?
Pre-season game #2 is next Thursday night at Tampa Bay.