Wednesday, September 2, 2009

2009 Season

The drought is about to end. Seven months and no live football. Lot of football talk but no spirals, no hard hits. The NFL season is just around the corner and I am ready with my three point stance. Bring it on!!!

No one should read too much into the preseason. Preseason is well, preseason. The worst team could look like a Superbowl contender in preseason. Most teams play vanilla offense and defense, especially good teams coz they want to save their starters for the regular season and playoffs. Preseason works so differently than regular season.

Coaches want to check some players (rookies mostly) to see how they can adjust to NFL speed and if they can handle the assignments well. A person watching the game might think that they rookie linebacker made a great play but it's only coach who would know if the linebacker stuck to the assignment or was undisciplined. One spectacular play which might be the result of the linebacker freelancing, forgetting his assignment and ended up at the right position in right time does not mean anything to the coaches. You can't freelance till you have mastered the playbook and it won't happen till 2nd or 3d year playing in the same system.

Rookie QBs have a very high learning curve especially in a west coast offense system. The QB not only needs to learn the playbook but he should be able to visualize the play when he gets on the field and this does not happen till he is in his 3rd year under the same system. Change of system means learning a new system with new coaches and it is not easy even when terminology is similar. A rookie QB might show some flashes but we all know that rookie would make major mistakes and come game time, his reads and throws would be hurried. Great QBs will continue to show improvement as the season progresses and slowly but surely the game speed would slow down.

Therefore hold on before you anoint a team with winning record in preseason the next champs. Wait for the regular season Sundays from Sept to Dec.