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News Rodeo 8/23

Training camp ends today. Otherwise, it's a slow news day. Game 3 is always the most important of the preseason, the closest to a regular season contest and Holmgren has stated that we will see the starters throughout the first half. Mercifully, that does not include Walter Jones, but expect...

Marcus Tubbs to Play on Saturday

It doesn't matter much if Tubbs records a sack or a forced double team, it really just matters how he feels on Sunday and thenceforth. The worst case scenario is that post-contact Tubbs' knee will tighten up and he will miss much of the rest of the season ala Amare Stoudemire. If he looks sluggish or is subbed out after a play or two, expect the worst. It will make the news on Sunday easier to swallow.

Tapp's Sacks Nabs Top Props from Slime Times

Clare Farnsworth already claimed the obvious pun, so I thought I would try my hand at some rhyme. Awful? Yes. Intended to make fun of headline writers everywhere. You-betcha.

Anyway, here's the thing with Tapp's three sacks: (a) They were recorded against inferior competition (two against Cory Lekkerkerkerkerkerkerke...), but (b) that doesn't make them meaningless, just inconclusive. The best way to evaluate Tapp's recent surge is holistically. Tapp recorded 8.5 and 10 sacks respectively his junior and senior season at Virginia Tech. Tech played in the prospect thick ACC where he faced the best line talent the NCAA has to offer. He slipped to the second round because of his size. Tapp is almost the identical size as Dwight Freeney, but both are the exception in the modern NFL where ends are regularly 6-3+. Tapp excels at the pass rush, is sound in coverage and is an able run-stopper.

Bryce Fisher is entering his decline phase, but Tapp may still be best utilized as a situational player. The 2005 Hawks were able to dominate opposing offenses not on the strength of any one superstar, but through depth, versatility and creative packages. Despite Tapp's preseason accomplishments, I think he's still a better substitute than starter. Fisher is a superior run stopper and better at occupying blockers on a team that desperately needs some big bodies in the front seven. Unlike Tapp, if Fisher were benched, he'd have little utility as a situational player. In other words this isn't Tapp or Fisher, but Tapp starting + Fisher subbing or Fisher starting + Tapp subbing. I think the latter is more cognizant of each player's individual strengths and a better use of available resources.

That's all I've got today. For me, today is makeup for the all the canceled plans of yesterday. Tomorrow, I'll preview Saturday's contest and catch up with the rest of the NFC West. Saturday, podcast, whatever else that needs to be discussed, Game Thread, destiny.