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Grid Iron Audible—Preseason Takeaways

Posted By Steve Massey On Aug 20 2013 @ 10:12 am In NFL | 2 Comments

I’ve been very vocal about the league rules in recent years taking some of the pop out of the game in the interest of player safety. I never liked the call of a hit on a defenseless receiver. It seemed that a good whack by the safety when you ran a route across the middle was a part of the game, but the league decided it was a part of the game that we can do without. Whether the league decision was right or wrong is subjective; you either agree with it or you don’t. But no matter which side of the fence you stand on, there is no denying that all decisions and actions have consequences.

Justin Keller’s season came to an end when Houston safety D. J. Swearinger went low with a tackle, which resulted in tearing ligaments in Keller’s knee. Some have called it a low blow and a dirty hit.

Now before we judge that young man, let’s consider this: he swears he went low in an attempt to comply with league rules. According to Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post, Swearinger said the following: “I was making a hit playing football. In this league, you’ve got to go low. If you go high, you’re going to get a fine. I’m sorry that happened. I would think you’d rather have more concussions than leg injuries. Leg injury, you can’t come back from that. A concussion, you be back in a couple of weeks.”

For those who think Swearinger isn’t sincere, he tweeted this: Everybody pray 4 justin keller….i pray you have a speedy recovery bro…and kill it when you get back…. DEFINITELY wasnt intentional..

 

It’s still a little early for most predictions, and a game by game recap of week two in the preseason sounds about as exciting as watching the Oakland Raider backups, so I’ll just hammer out a few observations that I noticed whilst perusing through the first half of several of this week’s games.

Tony Romo to Dez Bryant will be an epic connection this year. Romo has yet to shed the choker moniker worn by golfer Phil Mickelson for years, but he still has plenty of game left. Bryant has shown the skills to be mentioned when discussing the top receivers in the game.

The San Diego Chargers offensive line and special teams units are a mess. If both units don’t show vast improvement by opening day, it won’t matter much who is coaching them, or who is taking the snaps under center.

Brandon Weeden will show the most improvement of any of last season’s offensive rookies, and his Cleveland Browns could well be the most improved team.

Andy Dalton of the Bengals looks very sharp, even without A.J. Green. It is hard to imagine he won’t claim a place among the league’s elite quarterbacks with Green’s return.

Tom Brady is not God, but he may be some sort of quarterback demi-god. Danny Amendola should have a season that will drive fantasy footballers crazy.

Chris Johnson will have a huge year, and the results of the play-action that stems from this will benefit Jake Locker immensely.

Russell Wilson is the best quarterback to play for the Seahawks since…well, since ever (sorry, Jim Zorn).

3 early predictions for the Saints: Drew Brees will chase his own yardage record, the world will notice the return of Sean Payton to the sidelines, and Jimmy Graham will not be left off the Top 100 Players list next season.

As advertised, just a few takeaways from the second week of preseason action. I didn’t get the chance to watch every game yet, and even if I had, I won’t make my annual predictions until after week three, when I’ve had a better chance to assess the first team units of most teams. The NFC will be a more difficult this season than their counterparts. A week short of making the picks and I’ve only decided on one division winner. Tune in next week to find out who plays in (and wins) this season’s Super Bowl, MVP, Comeback Player, Rookie of the Year, etc.

If you have observations to add to these, or objections to those I’ve expressed, please feel free to chime in in the comments section, as your feedback is always appreciated. Thanks for reading.

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