Sunday, July 29, 2012

Training Camp: Things to Watch

     Training Camp is the official start to the new NFL Season. Forget about Kyle Williams' inability to return punts in the NFC Championship, Wes Welkers' "Super Blunder", and Lee Evans' catch that wasn't in the AFC Championship. Each team will start this season with a record of 0-0. However, although this season will be very different from last year's, there will be many similarities as well.

     While the players and coaches were able to get full offseasons, there is still a lockout issue, this time with the referees. There is a young, rising star at quarterback in the NFC South, but it is no longer Josh Freeman of the Buccaneers, it is Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers. Tim Tebow still comes into the season as the backup QB, but he is playing for the Jets instead of the Broncos.

     Nowadays when people say that Drew Brees runs the Saints' offense they are almost speaking literally, as their head coach is suspended for the entire 2012-13 season, and their offensive coordinator is suspended for half of the season. Peyton Manning is back in the NFL, but he is no longer an Indianapolis Colt.

New Head Coaches
     New Orleans Saints: Joe Vitt
     Oakland Raiders: Dennis Allen
     Jacksonville Jaguars: Mike Mularkey
     Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Greg Schiano
     St. Louis Rams: Jeff Fisher
     Kansas City Chiefs: Romeo Crennel
     Miami Dolphins: Joe Philbin
     Indianapolis Colts: Chuck Pagano

1st Round Picks at QB
     Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck
     Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III
     Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill
     Cleveland Browns: Brandon Weeden

The biggest thing about training camp, however, is the position battles. Competition is the best way to force your players to improve. NFL Head Coaches know this, and therefore do not declare starters for many of their positions until the preseason is over.
Top Position Battles
     Seattle Seahawks Starting QB: Tavaris Jackson vs. Matt Flynn vs. Russell Wilson
            Projected Starter: Matt Flynn, he started one game last year and threw for more TD's than any other QB in Packer history for a single game.
     Tampa Bay Buccaneers Starting RB: LeGarrette Blount vs. Doug Martin
          Projected Starter: Doug Martin, Blount fumbles too much for Coach Schiano's liking, and Martin is reminiscent of Schiano's former player Ray Rice.
    New York Jets Starting QB: Mark Sanchez vs. Tim Tebow
          Projected Starter: Mark Sanchez, this is not much of a battle, but the fans will play it up to be one. In the first couple days of training camp, Tebow has been an embarassment as fans have reportedly been heckling him during practice.
     Cleveland Browns Starting QB: Brandon Weeden vs. Colt Mccoy
         Projected Starter: Brandon Weeden, The Cleveland Browns' organization essentially gave up on McCoy after his father complained about a concussion his son received against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
     Arizona Cardinals Starting QB: John Skelton vs. Kevin Kolb
          Projected Starter: John Skelton, Cardinals' coach Ken Whisenhunt does not have times to play mind games with his team. Kolb might be making alot of money, but Skelton has proven to work better in this offensive system, and this coach needs to win games.

 Taking into account all of these changes around the league this season, my real question is: Who is going to make the biggest splash this season?

1 comment:

  1. This is a really good post! I like how you have broken things down for us especially those of us who really need these updates. And thanks for giving props to my boy Cam!

    I am especially interested in these upcoming rookie quarterbacks. Who will rise? Who will be mediocre? And who will make their teams wish they had/hadn't traded picks?