Ahh, it’s that time of the year again.
The 2013 NFL season is set to begin on Sept. 5, with the defending champion Ravens traveling to Mile High to take on Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Most teams have been conducting OTA‘s, or organized team activities, for about a month now, and big things have been happening…
Speaking of Peyton and the Broncos, they’ll be looking to utilize the offseason acquisition of Wes Welker, presumably out of the slot. Manning surpassed his career QB rating of 95 by over ten points, averaging 105 last year, his first with the team. With a weapon as deadly as Welker, along with fellow receivers Decker and Thomas–not to mention the addition of pass-catching back Montee Ball–Manning could likely be set to have the season of his career this year. Reports are that Manning is slowly becoming the head and heart of the franchise, much like he did at Indy, running basically every offensive scheme to his liking. The guy’s proven to be a football genius, so expect big, huge, gigantic things from him this season. He may even end up in the same fantasy class as Brees and Rodgers.
The Gronk continues to be a source of frustration and concern for many a Patriots fan. He’s set to go under the knife yet again for a back injury that sidelined him for a year while he was in college. After a surgery to fix a broken arm and subsequent operations to remove infections, The Gronk is questionable again. This guy either has the worst injury luck, or dances so furiously that he slips disks in his back…hard to tell.
In other injury news, RGIII is making great progress on the road to recovery. So far in OTA’s, though, he hasn’t really showed off much. Griffin, Helu, Fred Davis, and Garcon have been running mini drills together in what Griffin calls “an all-world uncleared [to practice] team.” He’s been cleared medically and is expected to be at the helm on opening day, but there is still that nagging question of how much Shanahan will let him run this year. They’ve said that they have looked at adjusting their schemes, but as usual, Shanahan ain’t sayin’ nothin’. In the meantime, feel free to buy RGIII and his fiance a wedding present through their Bed Bath and Beyond registry.
The saints are trying desperately to recover from being the worst team defense last year. Personally, I’m not sure Rob Ryan can fix this, but hey, it’s worth a shot! From reports, Ryan has the incredibly bumbling defenders chasing at literally every loose ball. Yes, even incomplete passes are being hunted down and recovered. Which begs the question, are the offensive players going after dropped passes? If not, the exercise seems a bit pointless, unless you punish the defenders who don’t recover looseys. Also of note, is the fact that head coach Sean Payton is back, and he apparently wants to pound the run game more. The saints have been practicing with Ingram as a power back. For more info, check out the transcript from the media sesh following their open practice, at the bottom of the previous Rick Gaille link.
- Broncos, with overflowing riches at WR, plan to pressure opposing D’s (denverpost.com)
- Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis Talk About First Day of OTA’s (whodatwarriors.com)
- Redskins’ RG3 throws at OTAs, continues rehab (kansascity.com)
- Report: Gronk needs fourth surgery, maybe fifth (cbssports.com)