Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Points of Interest in the NFL
Here are some of the things I find most interesting about the upcoming NFL season.
Best Conference Drama - NFC North
I am eager to see how the QB shake-up plays out. You've got Cutler starting for the Bears and Favre for the Vikings, either of whom could challenge the reigning conference champs (GB) for the top spot. You also have Stafford, the #1 overall pick in the draft, looking like the starter for the Lions who are coming off a perfect 0-16 disaster of a season.
Most Question Marks - The West (mostly NFC)
Let's see, the coaches on Al Davis' Raiders are under investigation for assaulting one another but have a roster that includes the top overall picks from 2007 and 2008 plus the 2009 pick that generated the most snickering around the league. Questions abound.
Seattle is back from a year when virtually their entire team was injured but now they have changed coaches and added one of the most prolific receivers in the league (TJH). What to expect?
San Francisco looks to be going with a musical chair approach at the QB position and head coach Singletary's unorthodox approach to player interaction should continue to feed the Sports Center highlight reel. Will the wheels fall off or will that machine roll?
Throw in the Rams who are great on paper but can't win and you've got a whole lotta question marks in that division. If the Raiders could move from the AFC to the NFC it would make for the most mysterious division possible.
Intriguing Comebacks to Watch
Brady is back after missing an entire season with a torn up knee. He'll have a new offensive co-ordinator, new backfield, and a #1 receiver who is now pretty old.
Vick is back but we don' really know in what capacity. He's been in the can for two years so who knows how he will play. For that matter, who knows how he will conduct himself in society -- watching him will be watching two comebacks.
Favre, three retirements, yadda yadda. We know Tarketon will be watching.
Finally, Cadillac Williams is back from a second straight major knee surgery. No one has returned productively from such extensive damage on both sides but he seems optimistic and has looked real in pre-season.
Former NE Coaches Worth Watching
Josh McDaniels left NE for the top job in Denver and accidentally confused himself with Bill Belichick along the way. He is off to a rocky start with the franchise QB demanding a trade after LMD botched the relationship.
Mangini got canned in NY but resurfaced in Cleveland to replace former NE coach Romeo Crennel. As Mangini was the instigator of spy-gate, I find the specter of his ongoing failure enticing.
Jim Mora has no ties to NE but he is a new coach in an interesting role and I know his uncle so he gets mentioned here (send your imaginary complaints to thehand.com).