By Stefan Anderson
As the summer begins to wind down and the fall is set to begin shortly, in comes a lot of excitement. Especially with the upcoming NFL season beginning on September 7th.
Hardcore fans, “Hardcore” in my best Steve Ballmer fans are ready to see their favorite teams line, casual fans are happy to see their sport return for wings and celebration and fantasy lovers are doing their pre-drafts in preparation for the upcoming fantasy draft season.
But fans are not the only one making the adjustments for the opening weekend, teams are also. With the half of the preseason played for most team, many are still having their position battles weekly through practice and the live action of the games. Questions are being answered about personnel and position are being filled but there a few teams that are still asking a major question; Who is our starting QB ?
The Jets, Browns and Vikings are some teams will that are searching for that answer for that question for the following weeks.
New York Jets: Drafting Geno Smith and losing Mark Sanchez to injury it appeared that the franchise would be heading in a forward direction with Smith at the helm. But during his rookie season, Smith often struggled as most rookies do with recognizing the defense and all with a lack of a receiving core to catch passes that project failed.
Gang Green, who is speculated to be under its last year(s) with the charismatic Rex Ryan, looks to put together a contending team bringing some offense weapons that include Michael Vick, who was brought in to give Geno Smith the blueprint to run Marty Mornhinweg’s offense, after Vick flourished in the past years. With one quarterback trying to write the last pages in his book and another looking to make his first page, Smith and Vick are in a quarterback duel to see who will win New York’s starting position.
Throughout the preseason, Smith has seen more action as the starter with the first offense and has more stats but both him and Vick have looked equally successful in their limited time.
Who Starts Week 1: Vick will be the starter based on experience, but look of Geno to earn back his starting spot mid-season because of Vick inability to stay healthy.
Cleveland Browns: A franchise that quarterback situation is a prime example of what direction they are heading. Cleveland has been in a tough division, AFC North, but the brass of the team has not made the right steps for their franchise to receive the success they need. Coach after coach, losing season after losing and not to mention quarterback after quarterback, Cleveland continues to search for their answers.
The Browns under Mike Pettine now look to go forward with their first round draft choice Johnny Manziel and last year starter Brian Hoyer. During the preseason both QB’s look inconsistent with their check downs and reads with the first offense. Hoyer who has only seen 18 starts in five season including the three starts with the Browns last season, doesn’t have much more experience than Manziel and one of the reasons this quarterback competition will continue until the end of preseason.
Who Starts Week 1: Hoyer wins the job based on his reps with first team, Cleveland who hold some of the roughest fans will dethrone Hoyer out of the job and Manziel will be praised whether he wins or ultimately loses as they do often in Cleveland.
Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings are amongst new stadium relocating from their dome, and now will face the exterior facts that reside in Minneapolis. Adrian Peterson continues to be a reliable source of offense but cannot continue to be the only offense provided for the Vikings this season. Defense begin to lock in more and more on Peterson to shut down their run offense and with the inconsistent quarterback play it makes it easier for defenses.
The Vikings seen over three quarterbacks behind the center last season, and attempt to fix that dilemma. With newest draftee Teddy Bridgewater and former starter Christian Ponder sparring each other for the starting position in Minnesota.
Who Starts Week 1: Bridgewater becomes the starters and withholds the job based on the mobility and the added dimension he can bring possibly running an read option offense and bring a sense of youth to the outdated offense in Minnesota.
The quarterback controversies are just some of the story lines to look forward to for the upcoming 2014-2015 season. These teams are in search of postseason luck and the ability to contend once again. Should be interesting to see how everything pans out.