Jul 26, 2007
Today’s a big day because by this afternoon more than half the team in the league will have had opened training camp. After tomorrow, there will be only a handful of teams yet to. It’sa a good time to offer up the top-10 things I’ll be watching this month. There are about 20 other things that would be tied for #11 on this list, but here’s the top-10.
- Donovan McNabb – He’s been easy to read in the preseason the last few years. Just check out his body language. If he appears comfortable in the pocket, throwing the ball, and in his own skin, and if he’s healthy, he’ll be more than fine.
- Panther RB situation – Veteran DeShaun Foster opens as the top guy again, but everyone expects promising younger DeAngelo Williams to be the main back. Williams has to show he should be.
- Cedric Benson – He has all the talent in the world and it’s a good situation for him in Chicago; Benson just has to do it. We’ll get an idea as to how prepared he is to do “it” in August.
- Packer RB Battle – I believe the Packers will give rookie Brandon Jackson every chance to win the job, but Vernand Morency is a comparable player with more experience – so it’s a tough call. And in the end, it’s probably going to be a timeshare, anyway. But just in case one back emerges, I’ll be all over this one.
- Adrian Peterson – The Vikings will likely take things slow with him early in camp, but if he’s healthy and clearly exhibiting his explosive potential, I’m going to switch over to get-him-at-all-costs mode. Fantasy is about playing to win, and Peterson is a great play-to-win pick.
- Kevin Jones’ foot – He’s opening camp on the PUP list, but he can come off any day. If he’s ready to go, he’s their guy for 2007. If not, Tatum Bell will play a lot and will have excellent upside in Mike Martz’ wide-open offense. One of these guys is going to go down as a good value in 2007.
- Jerious Norwood – With Warrick Dunn down 3-4 weeks with a herniated disc, Norwood will get a chance to work with the first-team offense for most of camp. If he distinguishes himself, his role will likely be greater this year.
- The Chief backfield – The Priest Holmes-Larry Johnson story is setting up to be a fascinating one. I do find it interesting that it’s happening now, just as Johnson is embarking on a holdout.
- The Giant offense – QB Eli Manning has been awful at times this spring, and RB Brandon Jacobs is unproven. New Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride can be the kiss of death, and he might be poised to take down the G-Men.
- Tampa Bay QB situation – The values of RB Cadillac Williams and Joey Galloway hang in the balance, so I’m going to be paying close attention to this battle.