Speaking of which…

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    Yeah, this again.

    We’re at the antsy stage of the NFL offseason, where typical non-football sports begin to lose their appeal in anticipation of training camps opening.  While the currently-happening NBA Finals hold some appeal in the absence of annually “anointed” teams like the Lakers, football fans know there’s little substitute for the full contact drama of an NFL game.  And training camps, mundane as they sometimes seem, offer the first seasonal glimpse of that drama.  Speaking of which…

    Front offices remain in search mode, trying to stack as much talent on their respective rosters as they can prior to then while negotiating player contracts, both new and old.  This sort of shuffling usually unearths a few “bubble” candidates – veterans who may not have played to expectations, are being replaced with new acquisitions, or are simply aging out of their positions.  Speaking of which…

    The Steelers, presumably in the final year(s) with 39-year old QB Ben Roethlisberger, will hold training camp in Pittsburgh for a second consecutive year due to COVID-19 protocols.  While the Steelers have been retooling their offensive line in the wake of C Maurkice Pouncey’s retirement, fans have been understandably wary of placing their venerable QB behind a line with almost no continuity or experience together.  Regardless, the team will be focused on improving its 2020 last-ranked rushing attack in an attempt to provide some degree of cover for Roethlisberger, who surely can’t tolerate much more contact at this stage of his career.   Speaking of which…

    One of the questions entertained in this weeks’ Hobson Choice is whether recovered QB Joe Burrow needs an adequate backup in the event of another season-ending injury, especially if the team is showing the degree of improvement in the standings that’s expected of them.  Hobson’s take is that incumbent backup QB Brandon Allen is more than adequate to fill that role, and given his results in limited appearances, I would agree.  The Bengals’ biggest issues in 2020 weren’t on the offensive side of the LOS, and it remains to be seen if their defensive additions make a substantial difference in their fortunes.  Speaking of which…

    The Ravens are expecting their defense to uphold its reputation as one of the league’s better units, and these three youngsters will have a definitive hand in determining that.  The most pressure is surely on OLB Tyus Bowser, who has failed to live up to draft-position expectations, but manages to flash his potential often enough to cause fans to wonder why he’s not more noteworthy.  For a team with supposed Super Bowl aspirations, there’s very little in the way of a safety net for players such as Bowser, and if he’s not able to consistently provide suitable coverage and pass-rushing early, he may find himself relegated to a backup role if not out of a job outright.  Speaking of which…

    Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. is predicting a “special year” for the team.  While it’s nearly impossible to quantify, many fans believed the team was more effective without Beckham’s distractions and relatively benign production.  If he’s fully healthy and able to exhibit the jaw-dropping athleticism and catching ability he once displayed weekly, Beckham could still be a key addition to one of the NFL’s emerging offenses.  Should he wind up on season-ending IR for a second consecutive year or if he fails to provide meaningful play, the team may very well decide to jettison him by season’s end, as there’s little penalty financially should they choose to do so.  Given the polarizing nature of his presence on the roster, one wonders how long this “marriage” can last regardless of statistics.

     

    Enjoy the weekend!

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    Ravenous128

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