Speaking of which…

    560 310 Ravenous128

    The Groundhog Day analogies are everywhere these days.

    Every morning, you wake up in the same bed at roughly the same time.  You’re probably sporting a mild hangover.  You try to remember what you watched on TV last night, or the night before, but even two cups of coffee isn’t enough to jog your memory.  You eventually stumble into your office space.  You go online and quietly log into your place of business.  Seeing little activity, you reflexively surf to your favorite sports websites, and…

    Nothing.

    At least nothing of note relating to the games themselves.  The sports world remains mostly paralyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic, so paralyzed that ESPN garnered marquee ratings for their recent documentary/fluff piece recounting/idolizing the 1998 Chicago Bulls, which has revived the “greatest ever” debates, which should, in turn, keep slavering sports fans at bay for a week or two.  Chyrons on various sites are currently reporting the dismissal of hundreds of minor league baseball players, with the cancellation of the minor league season all but certain for cy2020.  The continent’s major sports leagues are all in talks internally and with each other in hopes of reviving their brands and offsetting sure, crippling losses, but one feels it’s akin to the old “deck chairs on the Titanic” analogy – that cancellation of professional sports for the foreseeable future is an inevitability.  Still, can’t fault ’em for trying.  Speaking of which…

    Despite rejection from free agent DE Jadeveon Clowney, the Browns and new DC Joe Woods remain confident in their current roster and EDGE rusher Myles Garrett, and why not?  Garrett was on the fringes of Defensive Player of the Year discussions before his unfortunate blowup with Steelers QB Mason Rudolph in Week 11 and subsequent suspension, and I would expect him to elevate his play and leadership abilities in an effort to offset the self-inflicted damage levied against his reputation.  If Garrett is focused and in shape, he could well grade out among the best at his position.  I would guess the Browns are counting on it.  Speaking of which…

    The Steelers are clearly counting on a successful return to health and the field from 38-year-old QB Ben Roethlisberger, but perhaps as importantly, they’re trying to increase his comfort level with what’s suddenly an unfamiliar receiving corps.  Second-year WR Diontae Johnson is looking to improve on his solid rookie campaign by spending more time with Roethlisberger, as the two had no on-field contact after Roethlisberger’s season-ending surgery after Week 2.  Reports have indicated Roethlisberger is on track for a 2020 Week 1 start and has begun throwing at full strength; if “Big” Ben has adequate on-field protection and a newfound confidence in his receivers, the passing game could be the least of Pittsburgh’s worries.  Speaking of which…

    Ravens head coach John Harbaugh believes QB Lamar Jackson’s next developmental step is improving his deep passing, and his reasoning appears sound:  Most teams will play only single coverage against Jackson in an attempt to free more personnel to counter the Ravens’ multi-tiered running attack.  To improve overall, Jackson needs to be able to take advantage of it.  Jackson settled several debates about his field vision and decision-making during his MVP season, but adding this feature to his game, if consistent, would be devastating to opponents.  Over-the-top optimism usually heralds these sorts of changes, so fans should keep their expectations in check until on-field results are evident, but good for Jackson and the Ravens for identifying a weakness and attempting to mitigate it.  Speaking of which…

    The Bengals’ 2019 roster was considered among the thinnest in the NFL, and while they haven’t undergone a complete roster makeover, there’s little question the 2020 version supplies much more quality depth than its predecessor.  The team quietly put together a solid offseason that actually addressed needs (most notably depth) and laid a workable foundation for the future.  The Bengals simply had to get younger and less injury-prone, and they appear to have succeeded thus far.  As the linked article notes, the Bengals also hold the first waiver wire position this year, so any releases by other teams are subject to the Bengals’ claims first, giving them further chances to beef up the roster.

     

    Enjoy the week!

    AUTHOR

    Ravenous128

    All stories by: Ravenous128
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