We might have known things weren’t going to end well for Kenny Bell from the moment he fumbled on the first play of the preseason for Tampa Bay. We might have, but “it was only preseason”. That’s not meant as a slight to anyone who has used that line at some point (I certainly have), but sometimes preseason is actually an indicator of what is to come in the year ahead. While results don’t mean anything, performances certainly should. It’s simply our jobs to work out what is real and what is not, and with the season about to kick off, we will know soon enough.
I’ll never forget Russell Wilson slicing defenses in 2014 before he he went on to lead the ‘Hawks to the NFC Championship. His previous years were the precursor, but the preseason showed he was coming out hot. Heck, Le’Veon Bell looked so athletic and stylish in the 2014 preseason it was clear he wasn’t going to be the same back he was in the season prior.
I’m aware I’m picking two times where I liked a player, and the preseason showed me I was right in my suspicions, so how do we know which suspicions to trust? There have been plenty of times where preseason performance didn’t translate (I’d like to have back the £10 I put on Sam Bradford as MVP after the team’s third preseason game versus Green Bay last season), so what do we do? However you slice it, all new information is helpful information, so let’s look at some things we think we learned from the preseason.
I’m a big fan of audience participation. I love gathering up opinions/thoughts/observations and compiling them into something I’d like to read. I thought about all the stories and tales we’ve come up with as a community to project the rest of the season, but asked for help to make sure I covered all the bases. Some of them will pan out, while some will fizzle out quicker than a Chip Kelly three-and-out.
I asked this question on Twitter:
I might conjure up an article looking at the dynasty narratives based on preseason play. Can people shoot some ideas?
— James Simpson (@JS_Football) August 31, 2016
I’d like to put them out here so we can look back on them in a few months to see how wise and/or silly we were. I ended up with a list of seven, and added a few extras that weren’t major stories.
James can be found on Twitter at @JS_Football