The NFL preseason kicks off tonight with many intriguing questions remaining as we approach the start of the regular season on September 8th. Several coaching changes, a shorter free agency period, and the usual quarterback controversies, have many thinking this could be one of the most interesting pro football seasons ever.
Here are the 5 most intriguing questions entering the year:
1. Will Tom Coughlin be fired before or after the season?
The New York Giants head coach has been on the hot seat for several years and only kept his job due to his improbable Super Bowl win 4 years ago. Fans make believe they are not ‘rebuilding’ but this team has virtually new starters at almost every offensive position. Losing their leading rusher, Ahmad Bradshaw, will put more of the burden on QB Eli Manning. The media is all over the G-men right now with WR Steve Smith bolting for the division rival Philadelphia Eagles. The team and city will not tolerate a team that does not make the playoffs again.
2. How bad are the Denver Broncos going to be?
The attention surrounding Tim Tebow is causing a huge distraction for starter Kyle Orton and new coach John Fox. The coach has already stated Orton will be the teams’ quarterback while Tebow is left fighting Brady Quinn for the role of back up. Fox inherits a 4-12 team after leading the Carolina Panthers to a 2-14 season as a lame duck coach. His coaching style won’t help a team struggling to get out of the cellar of the AFC West. The only positive for the Broncos will be the play of Elvis Dumervil and rookie Von Miller.
3. Who will be the Carolina Panthers starting quarterback?
After a horrible 2-14 season the Panthers selected Cam Newton with the #1 pick in this years NFL draft. He has been touted as the future and face of the franchise but a lot of skeptics are questioning his ability to play in a “pro style offense”. Jimmy Clausen did not prove anything last season but has some experience as a starter at the pro level and has performed well during training camp. Throw in newly acquired veteran QB Derek Anderson and it makes first year head coach Ron Rivera’s decision a little harder.
4. Will Randy Moss or Brett Favre stay retired?
Favre is arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks ever and even though we’re all tired of hearing about his flip flopping decisions; he could be a serviceable mentor to a rebuilding team with a young QB. When Randy Moss retired there were a few questions as to his motives. His agent reported that Moss was furiously working out during the off season and “the beast is back”. Randy still has some speed and can provide an extra option for a team contending for a playoff push.
5. Will the Miami Heat, I mean, the Philadelphia Eagles win the Super Bowl?
The Eagles have spared no expense this off-season by signing many big name free agents. They have put all of their faith in the re-emergence of star quarterback Michael Vick by trading Kevin Kolb. The team and vocal head coach, Andy Reid, believe they have the weapons needed to make a strong run to the big game. Philadelphia should have no problems winning the NFC East putting them in the position to make win their first ring. This team could be the 2011 version of the 2010 New York Jets and their motto might be ‘Super Bowl or Bust’.