While I would certainly embrace a chance for Desmond Bishop to see more playing time somehow, I definitely didn’t want it to be because of an injury to Brandon Chillar. Read here for some concerning speculation that he may be out for the year.
Again, this will bring up the now tiresome debate about Hawk vs Bishop etc etc. After yesterday, people may mistakenly look at the interception Hawk made (or at some of the tackles he made) as evidence that he’s back and ready to live up to being the #5 overall pick. He did make some nice plays (which he tends to do early in games – then he disappears), but he missed out on a bunch of other plays that were maybe less noticeable. His pass coverage still seems like a huge liability. The two TEs for Detroit, Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler, finished with 14 catches and 154 yards mostly over the middle of our defense. No, not all these passes were Hawk’s fault, but I do think that Detroit was clearly attacking with their TEs because they knew we had a weakness there – and they were right.
And while I’m at it – I think it’s important that I don’t aim all LB criticism at Hawk. I have growing concern lately over the play of Nick Barnett. I used to give more credit to Barnett in coverage (and overall) in part because I think he used to be really good. But lately I’m worried that he may be a part of the defensive problem – the coverage problem in particular. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that when Chillar is in there, he’s so good in coverage that Barnett’s weaknesses in coverage become less obvious. I do wonder if Barnett’s knee injury negatively affected his speed.
Bottom line is, we all need to hope pretty hard that Brandon Chillar is OK.