Some random thoughts arising out of the NFL Network's blanket coverage of the preseason:
- The Eagles might be in trouble this year, a year when they appeared to have all the pieces in place for a push to the title. Mike Vick, the quarterback they're counting on to lead them to the promised land, looks fragile this preseason. He's been carried off the field in both preseason games, only to be cleared to play soon after. For Phillie to reach their potential and challenge the big boys in the NFC, Vick has to be able to play well and full-time. And, even though he's not been badly injured yet, he's getting hit and staying down. And that's not a good sign. Sure, Arizona rookie Nick Foles has looked pretty good stepping in for Vick in the preseason but the Eagles aren't going to beat the top teams in the NFC with Foles, Edwards or even Kafka behind centre. Isn't it time they started to look for some real insurance at qb?
- I tuned in to watch the Redskins versus the Bears the other day to get a feel for RGIII after all the hype he's been getting. Seems the hype should be focusing on the Bears' rejuventated offence behind Jay Cutler and newly acquired receiver Brandon Marshall. That was some performance the Chicago offence put in against Washington's first-team D. With Marshall in the fold, it looks like the Bears are finally going to be able to score consistently.
- I was sad to read that Shawn Merriman has been released by the Bills. I had hoped the arrival of free agent defensive end Mario Williams might help rejuvenate Merriman, a once fearsome pass rusher, making Buffalo's revamped defensive line even more explosive. I guess my hopes were in vain. I expect to see Merriman catching on somewhere soon, however. He's got too much upside for some team not to take a chance on him.
- It sounds like the Jets are having more problems protecting the quarterback. What do you think? Should Ryan start Tim Tebow at fullback and have him use his apparently impressive blocking skills to protect passer Mark Sanchez?
- I wish everybody would lay off the replacement refs. Nobody wants the pro referees back more than I do but all the criticism being tossed at these guys isn't helping things. Plus, until you've actually tried to referee a real ball game, maybe you should keep your mouth shut. I got a chance to ref an intramural basketball game at my university once and I can tell you, the experience (and my complete ineptitude) taught me to show a little more respect for the challenges faced by referees at any level. That being said, I can't quite wrap my mind around the NFL and its owners cheaping out on paying the men and women who actually control the game and protect the players when they seem to be willing to throw money around for just about any other purpose.