LOS ANGELES, CA — The first pre-season game has yet to be played, and many teams are already behind the eight-ball at certain positions from a player personnel standpoint. Injuries and sadly suspensions are part of the deal, and both have already come into play for several teams. There have been several players at impact positions switching teams, and so pre-season games will take on a different meaning for those players in new systems. Finally, there are several players who are coming off injuries from last season, and one would assume that seeing action in the first pre-season game of the season is a good sign. So what conclusions need to be drawn based on what our eyeballs tell us? There’s a lot of objectivity in this part of the season, but there are some games, teams and players worth keeping an eye on.
All eyes will be on Jimmy Garoppolo as the Patriots face off against the Saints. How many snaps will he take, and how much should the free world read into his actual performance. What is the goal for the coaching staff with their QB2? A lot of questions here and Garoppolo has looked great this spring. Equally interesting for Patriot nation will be the performance of Jacoby Brissett, who is 2nd on the depth chart for the first four games of the regular season, and is sure to get a bunch of volume.
Will Robert Griffin III experience a renaissance in Cleveland? Typically this is a place where athletes go to die, but there’s optimism in the Browns camp this summer. A new coaching staff, a new offense, Josh Gordon coming back and no Johnny Manziel. The Browns will battle the Packers, and Terelle Pryor should get plenty of time to adjust as a WR against the Green Bay secondary. This should be an interesting start to the season, and all eyes will be on RGIII.
Jared Goff against the Dallas Cowboys is newsworthy. He’s number two on the depth chart, but the first overall draft pick’s ability to handle NFL pressure and make reads in real time will be a good indicator if he’s capable of dethroning Case Keenum.
How much run will Andrew Luck get? There are a lot of doubters on this Colts team this season, and with good reason, but will the process for Luck and the Colts start in their first pre-season game against the Bills.
Don’t be surprised if the Kanas City Chiefs are cautious with both Alex Smith and Nick Foles. Foles who is arguably the best backup QB in the NFL was quickly scooped up by the coaching staff that drafted him in Philly when he joined the Kansas City Chiefs. Some players are better coming from behind, and Foles could very well be one of those players
Will players like Jordy Nelson, Jimmy Graham and Dion Lewis get reps in Week 1 of the Preseason? What about Dante Fowler, and Kevin White. All of these players were out last season, and will be difference makers this season. The Pre-Season is important to find your feet, but so is staying healthy. Let’s hope all of them get on the field so we can see what they’re capable of.
The list of pre-season week one storylines is too plentiful to list, so check out each game and identify the story lines you want to follow. There isn’t a team in the league that doesn’t have a significant position battle, top rated draft picks, players coming off injuries or newly acquired free agents, so buckle down, and enjoy the season the before the season, as your team has a lot of work to do.