Coming in to camp, I thought Marc Mariani was a long-shot to make this roster. He has been a subject of much debate here over the years, and my position on him is clear- I think he is an average to above average return man but not good enough to earn a spot on the team as a receiver. His play early in training camp made me re-think my stance.
Mariani had two passes go off his hands last night. Now, to be fair, both were really tough catches. They were by no means balls that he absolutely should have caught, especially given the conditions, but that is why he really needed to come down with them. When you are a guy that is hanging on to the end of the roster, you need to make the special plays to stand out.
So did Mariani hurt his chances to make the team? I doubt it. Like I said, those were both really tough catches, but he missed a golden opportunity to really stand out to the coaches.
Mariani also got all of the chances in the return game, but you can't take anything from that last night because of the conditions. I am assuming that Leon Washington will get all of the chances at some point. Hopefully Mariani will get another game as well so we can really compare apples to apples.