Well, off to my usual start.
I wanted to make this a daily log of my interests and progress towards some form of enlightenment. That was the core concept in my mind, very late on the eve of my birth. What has occurred is, once more, proof that people do not change. Especially one’s self.
I will not beat myself up over my failings (the unexamined life is not worth living; codicil is that sometimes you shouldn’t lift those rocks because what is underneath has a stone on it for a reason. Instead, I will muse on the massive number of injuries that have befallen so many teams in this first week of training camp.
Philly, who had a disastrous season last year, looked to retool under the annointed wunderkind of the NFL, new coach Chip Kelly. Kelly’s Oregon Ducks were a marvel in the NCAA due to their speed and constant attack and no one will dispute that fact. What is going to play out is Kelly’s inexperience and adjustments to the pro game during the 2013 season. He takes the reins from a tremendous coach who was simply burned out and ready to move on (to KC as it turns out). Now coach Chip (Really? Chip? What, there wasn’t a coach Ernie or Uncle Charlie?) has a QB controversy to sort out, a new offence to install and the loss of the best receivers by far on his club, Jeremy Maclin. Poor Maclin was in a contract year and seemed poised to shine in Coach Chip’s new speedy attack, but instead he will rehab for the year and depend on the generosity of the Eagles when his contract expires. Good luck with that Jeremy. Add to that mess the injury of a starting LB with an ACL tear as well and it begins to look like Philly’s troubles are piling up as fast as last year.
Next, the Denver Broncos. A tremendous season last year with Peyton Manning at pivot leads to an improbable, but wholly understandable playoff loss to the Ravens. The Broncos add one of the best slot receivers in the game, scoop a monster pass rusher to replace a similar player and seemed poised to dominate the AFC this season. Or so said all of the pundits. In a 2 week period the Broncos had 2 front office men arrested for DUIs, lost Von Miller for 4 weeks due to a PED violation and lost their starting centre, Dan Koppen. Koppen is a major loss as the Patriots can tell you. Solid, steady and a great o-line defender, Koppen was set to keep Manning upright and dirt free this season. That job now falls to Ramirez who is not going to be able to keep the pressure of Manning. You want to beat Manning (or Brady, or Brees or insert 30 other QBs here), blow through the middle and disrupt his timing. Peyton will start to throw picks faster than Tebow says Our Fathers at that point. Good luck Broncos – a killer offence without a strong D (how old is Champ Bailey now?) is no recipe for success; just ask the 2007 Patriots.
Speaking of my beloved Pats…sigh. Lose Welker (mistake) and gain Amendola. We’ll see. Lose Gronk for the first part of the season – well, we only need him in the playoffs, so fine. Lose Hernandez to the justice system – also good; the guy was never healthy and dropped too many balls when he was in the line-up. Oh and it appears that HE’S A KILLER. It is time for Ballard and Hooman to step up. Lose Woodhead – tough guy to replace, but with Vereen and Bolden, I think we’ll be ok. Finally, lose Brandon Lloyd – no loss, seriously, just lose him. The one constant that remains is the Brady/Belichick machine, a hybrid coach QB that can overcome virtually any obstacle to succeed. This success hasn’t translated to a world championship in the past nine years, but a decade of 10 wins a season can make many people forget just how impressive a team that they have been. This year it appears that the problems in the secondary are working themselves out, the o-line looks as strong as ever and the backfield is crowded with playmakers. I like our chances, I really do,
I won’t bash on the Ravens, I will simply point out that resigning the best blocking fullback in the game is a huge blessing for them. Leach will once again bash holes for Rice to zip through. Pitta is a major loss, but is also able to be overcome. Repeat? Not a chance in hell.
And the Jets? You can insert your own punchline here.
I will be working on a list of 20 tasks that I wish to accomplish before the end of August. Each of these will be achievable and very doable. What will be required from me is will and determination. Pray for me.