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posted on 9-10-2018 at 06:35 AM
I still have a vivid recollection of an August night in the mid-70s Randy Johnson Jersey , seeing a closeup Sonny
Jurgensen in his burgundy helmet and single-bar facemask during one of what then was six preseason games per team and asking myself, “Why am I
The answer matched the one that George Costanza gave to Russell Dalrymple when pitching a show about nothing. (Not to mention there were only three
channels at the time, and summertime meant reruns only on the other two.) Today, there are too many other options to justify watching football that
doesn’t count, especially when more and more coaches are using their best players less and less.
Not long ago, it was a given that starters would play at least half of the third preseason game. Now, that’s hardly a sure thing. Making Week Three
of the preseason necessarily less interesting than it previously was.
Even with starters playing, how interesting is it? When starters are on the field, part of the reason to watch is to fight through the temptation to
not watch as key players subject themselves to potential injury in meaningless games.
With players in shape 12 months of the year and with plenty of ways to prepare players without putting them in harm’s way, more and more coaches
aren’t. Which keeps making Commissioner Roger Goodell’s argument for a shorter preseason stronger and stronger.
Last year, Goodell said publicly on at least three occasions that the preseason could be shortened. This year, Goodell hasn’t said it once —
possibly because he’s been nowhere to be seen since Hall of Fame weekend. Goodell surely believes even more strongly that the preseason should
shrink, if it’s no longer being used by many teams to get starters ready and has become a tool for separating the bottom-of-NFL-roster slappies from
the headed-for-the-AAF-or-XFL slappies.
But the NFL still won’t reduce the preseason until it can expand the regular season. And even though the NFL no longer talks about expanding the
regular season Bears Anthony Miller Jersey , the
desire to do so remains. If you watched/listened to Friday’s PFT Live, you saw/heard a discussion with Peter King regarding what could happen,
Regardless, it’s starting to feel like the preseason will shrink, inevitably. Maybe as soon as the next labor deal is done.
One thing that Peyton Manning, Brock Osweiler, Trevor Siemian, Mark Sanchez and Paxton Lynch all quickly learned in Denver was that nothing comes easy
against the Broncos‘ ”No Fly Zone” secondary at practice.
It’s something opposing quarterbacks discover on game day.
Aqib Talib and T.J. Ward are no longer here, but Chris Harris Jr., Darian Stewart, Justin Simmons and Bradley Roby remain.
On Tuesday, Case Keenum got his first taste of that stellar defensive backfield that still uses the moniker following Ward’s dismissal last year and
Talib’s trade to the Rams this offseason.
When asked what it was like facing the merry band of pass snatchers in his first 11-on-11 drills since signing with Denver two months ago, Keenum
feigned ignorance of the stellar secondary’s sobriquet.
”Is that their nickname? Is that what they’re called?” Keenum asked. ”Is it? OK. Well Authentic Rashaan Gaulden Jersey , it’s good to
know. Yeah, they’re talented. They’re a talented squad. And I think … going against good, it makes you better.”
When the full pads come out and summer comes around, Keenum will get a pass from the Broncos’ bevy of pass rushers, donning a different color jersey
to signal he’s off-limits to the likes of Von Miller, Shane Ray, Bradley Chubb and Shaq Barrett.
He won’t get any favors, though, from the No Fly Zone, which has both perturbed and polished Broncos QBs and offensive coordinators since the group
formed during Manning’s tenure and helped them win a Super Bowl.
Facing these defensive backs will surely chagrin and sharpen Keenum, too.
”I think competition not only within positions and yourself, but against the defense, coming out here and competing here every day against the No
… Fly … Zone … it’s going to be really good Tony Dorsett Jersey ,” Keenum said, slowing down to pronounce the nickname right.
”I’m excited. It’s fun competition. Those guys are really good.”
Keenum signed a two-year, $36 million free agent deal in Denver after leading the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC championship game.
The Broncos, who held QB competitions each of the first two seasons following Manning’s retirement, quickly declared Keenum their starter and said
Lynch and Chad Kelly would vie for the backup job. This week they added former Colorado State QB Nick Stevens to the mix.
This marks the first time Keenum has entered an offseason program as the established starter since joining the league as an undrafted free agent out
of the University of Houston in 2012.
”It’s been fun to watch,” coach Vance Joseph said. ”It’s good for our football team. It’s good for our coaches.”
”Yeah, it feels different,” Keenum said. ”It feels good. I like it. I like competing and I like knowing my place and knowing my role. There’s
some comfort to that and I think that puts different things at ease and lets you go out there and play, lets you cut it loose. It’s nice.”
Keenum is 20-18 in six seasons with the Vikings, Rams and Texans and is coming off his best season yet, one in which he went 11-3 as Minnesota’s
starter after a knee injury sent Sam Bradford to the sideline.
He checked in Monday night at No. 51 in the NFL’s Top 100 – 43 spots better than Kirk Cousins, his successor in Minneapolis who signed a
groundbreaking, fully guaranteed Authentic Carlton
Davis Jersey , three-year, $84 million deal this spring.
”Yeah, that was cool,” Keenum said of his ranking. ”It’s something that’s voted on by our peers, so it definitely means a lot to me. I’m
looking to build on that and move forward with these guys here.”
Notes: Five players were sidelined at the start of OTAs: T Jared Veldheer (foot), G Ron Leary (knee), TE Troy Fumagalli (sports hernia), WR Jordan
Taylor (hips) and DT Clinton McDonald (shoulder). … With Veldheer out, Billy Turner lined up at right tackle. T Menelik Watson moved inside to RG,
sharing snaps with Connor McGovern. … RB De’Angelo Henderson practiced a week after he was hit by a drunken driver.
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