Week 2 of the preseason is a good time to take a look at the teams and players around the league.
Here are a number of things that jump out as I look at the preseason games, and things I saw on my camp tour.
1. Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck is back to his old form. Last year, he was injury riddled and threw an interception once every 21 pass attempts. Against the Broncos on Saturday night, Hasselbeck looked sharp, and has now not thrown an interception in 28 preseason pass attempts.
2. The Cleveland Browns quarterback competition may be getting harder to clear up instead of easier, as Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn run neck-and-neck. What is alarming is that in a combined 48 pass attempts by Anderson, Quinn and Brett Ratliff, they have yet to throw a touchdown pass. However, they have managed to throw four picks and get sacked once every 12 pass attempts. I think Quinn will open the season as the starter, but I'm not sure how long he holds onto the starting spot.
3. I would not trade Tarvaris Jackson just because Brett Favre was signed last week. Some would think he was "showcased" in the Week 2 preseason game when he went 12 of 15 for 202 yards. Jackson's salary is on the low end. Plus, Favre is 39 years old and Jackson could learn a lot on the bench this season. I know he has the mental toughness to handle the demotion.
4. Two rookie running backs impressed me this past week as much as they did in practice when I attended their camps. Cleveland took a chance on James Davis, who had a poor senior season at Clemson after a fine junior year. He is clearly performing in Cleveland like he did two years ago at college. In two games, he has 17 touches for 138 yards and a touchdown. He should return kicks as well and be a solid backup to the aging Jamal Lewis. Glen Coffee was a third-round pick of the 49ers. I got a chance to see him in two practices against the Raiders and was impressed. He delivered again in the Week 2 preseason game against the same Raiders and now has 32 touches for 204 yards in two games. Like Davis, Coffee will get some return duties and be a valuable backup to Frank Gore. By the way, the 49ers have made a big commitment to the run this summer and are averaging 36 run plays a game this preseason at 5.3 yards per carry.
5. David Garrard had a bad 2008 season, but sure looked like the Garrard of 2007 against the Buccaneers with an efficient 10 of 16 for 216 yards and no interceptions. Garrard told me to watch out for Troy Williamson, who was having a big camp. Williamson is known for his drops in Minnesota, but delivered in preseason Week 2 with three receptions for 147 yards. Coach Jack Del Rio said that Williamson's drops were not the problem last year in Jacksonville, but staying healthy was. This year, it looks like Williamson has finally arrived as a pro, which Jacksonville needs with four of the top five receivers from 2008 no longer on the roster. The Jaguars have more completions over 20 yards (nine) than any team in the NFL this summer.
6. Tony Romo was impressive this week against the Titans in the opening of the Cowboys' new stadium. Carson Palmer once told me that the addition of Jon Kitna as the backup in Dallas would be the best thing for Romo. Kitna can still play, but he will also have a big impact on Romo's development. After two weeks, it doesn't look like the Cowboys will miss Terrell Owens.
7. Jake Delhomme recently discussed his five-interception performance in a season-ending loss to the Cardinals in the divisional playoffs. He was confident that wouldn't happen again in 2008, and so far he hasn't thrown a pick in two games with limited attempts. The big test will come against the Ravens on Saturday, when Delhomme should get close to 20 throws.
8. The Vikings defense stopped the run so well last year some teams refused to run the ball at all against them. The Vikings' pass defense was challenged, but this summer they already have nine sacks (only one by Jared Allen), one interception and have allowed only two pass plays over 20 yards.
9. I've known Todd Haley since he entered the NFL when we worked together for the Jets. He has a long history of getting the best out of receivers by challenging them to be the best they can be. You could say he has zero tolerance for guys who don't push toward greatness. He was tough on Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona, and now he is pushing Dwayne Bowe in Kansas City. Bowe had a solid game after being demoted to a backup role last week, catching three passes for 37 yards and a touchdown. That will not get him off the hook with Haley, but it's a start.
10. Chad Henne continues to intrigue me as quarterback. Chad Pennington is safe as the starter, but Henne is a star in the making. While I was at camp, Henne ran the offense like a veteran, always getting the ball out of his hand in less than three seconds. In Week 2 preseason action, Henne continued his rhythm-passing and strong-armed attack. In two games, he has completed 17 of 27 passes with a touchdown throw in each preseason game. The Dolphins use a three-second buzzer at practice to make the quarterbacks throw on time. Henne has really benefited from that drill in the games.