Get Ready for Football!
by Amy Lignor
There is a time every year where suddenly the sports news gets far more interesting. No. I’m not talking about the Olympics. Thus far the only thing anyone wants to hear about where Rio is concerned is a virus. What I speak of is that familiar smell of pigskin wafting in the air. The time when the (no offense) more boring sports exit the headlines to make way for the one sport that boasts more avid, loud, and loyal fans.
There are teams that ended in controversy last year, so the training camps are abuzz with that old news as well as brand new issues, like teams having to bet on a QB that’s unknown to one that is well-known and may have just had the wrong coach leading him last season. Which is where we begin…
In San Francisco, the 49ers have Chip Kelly as their coach this time out. Leaving Philadelphia where people disliked his “ownership” ways, the only thing Kelly is speaking about in San Fran is the issue of his QB’s. The highly paid, much-maligned QB who actually took the 49ers to two Super Bowls, Colin Kaepernick, should be the starting QB and given another chance. But the coach has him going up against Blaine Gabbert, splitting snaps at practice and choosing to not announce the starter until after preseason.
Gabbert came into camp after working all offseason. Kaepernick healed from surgery during the offseason and actually lobbied for a trade out of the 49ers realm. Teammates rave over Gabbert’s leadership, not saying much about Kap, perhaps upset that he did not show loyalty. But, after all, Kap was treated like a 50-year-old wannabe instead of the two-time NFC Championship winner he was. Their first game is slated for August 14th where they will take on the Texans, before heading to a team with its own QB issue, the defending Super Bowl champs, Denver Broncos.
Ah…the Patriots. People are mostly sick and tired of hearing about QB Tom Brady, but it was fun to hear about beloved TE Rob Gronkowski getting a chance to play QB at practice. Gronk lined up behind center and…was not as good a QB as he is in his own position. He was picked off. Brady did speak to the media for the first time since dropping the appeal of his four-game suspension. He wants the team to move forward and just play the game. In other words, media? STOP TALKING ABOUT IT.
What should be talked about is whether they can win without Brady. If judging now, it doesn’t look too good. Brady’s replacement is Jimmy Garoppolo. Brady (of course) threw a perfect 25 of 25 and buried Garoppolo’s squad at practice. Let’s just say Brady may be looking at a severe uphill battle if the Patriots don’t win at least a couple of the games that he’s suspended from.
Denver has an issue with QB, seeing as that their beloved Peyton Manning won the Super Bowl and retired. But the controversy they’re speaking about up in Denver has to do with their…air. In 2012, David Akers hit a 63-yard field goal, with Matt Prater coming along a year later and drilling a 64-yarder. These kicks both came in the Mile High City, where the air is a whole lot thinner. The kicker in Baltimore, Justin Tucker, says that the altitude influences kickers and he “can make an 84-yard field goal in Mile High Stadium.”
Brandon McManus, currently the Broncos kicker, said: “I will give him an all-expense paid trip if he can do it.” That’s right…this is one bluff that has been called and will be talked about (incessantly by the media) until Tucker heads to Denver and proves his leg is as strong as his mouth.
Much like Kap in San Francisco, Robert Griffin III was maligned by the Washington Redskins. He is now the QB of the Cleveland Browns and almost everyone wants him to be the star he once was and make the Redskins coach have to eat his words. RGIII can earn up to $22 million with his new contract, and for the first time in a long time he was spotted smiling at training camp.
So what are the Redskins doing? Well…not as much as they thought they would be after getting rid of RGIII. In fact, they tried out tight end Jordan Reed as QB. Although having been a QB when he was a high school senior in Connecticut, Reed has never attempted any pass for the Redskins since he was drafted by them in 2013. Will Reed bring back his old skills or will he prove that he is far more skilled on the field when playing as a tight end? Either way, it will be interesting to see RGIII try to bring Cleveland out of the dumps and prove to his old team that they made a huge mistake.
See that? Not one preseason game as of yet and already the NFL is far more interesting than any of the sports we’ve had to bear watching since the Super Bowl came to a close. So there’s only once question left to ask…
Are you ready for some football?
Source: Baret News