NFC Position Battles
Ahhh! August 1st is upon us. The days of July are behind us and the month of August brings us some football. Training camps are going along, and the preseason games will begin soon. With that being said, let’s take a look at the NFC, division by division, and let’s see what position battles will be taking place during camps and the preseason games.
Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons weakest spot on offense last year was at Right Guard. A position that is not heavily talked about, will turn out to be the main focus for ATL coaches during camp. All eyes will be on the guys who think they can improve the position. ATL switched guys several times last year. They brought in veteran Vince Manuwai, and drafted Peter Konz, to hopefully improve the RG spot. With those 2 in camp, as well as Reynolds and Hawley from last year, expect a feisty competition that will likely go down to the last preseason game. I think Konz is the future at RG in ATL, and could be starting week 1.
Carolina Panthers – The Panthers love having some good RB’s. They resigned Williams to a huge contract a few years ago, and also have Stewart, who has also shown he can handle being the starting RB. Heck, if both got hurt, they still have Mike Tolbert who can handle the duties. Williams started most of the games last year, but Stewart saw a lot more snaps. Look for more of the same this year. Williams should start, but Stewart will get more snaps.
New Orleans Saints – The Saints have had a busy offseason to say the least. One thing they can be proud about is the 3 headed monster of Sproles-Ingram-Thomas. Those 3 will all likely get many carries throughout the season. Sproles will likely handle PR duties, and 3rd down duties, and I expect Ingram to have a strong role in the running game. I think Ingram will be the starter, with Thomas getting a few carries here and there, and Sproles being the pesky little guy, he is so great at doing.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Bucs made it clear they wanted another RB, when they drafted Doug Martin. Martin enters TC as the #1 RB, but #2RB, LaGarette Blount, had some success last year as the starter of the Bucs. Martin has looked good in pass protection as well as showing some good hands out of the backfield. Expect Martin to be the starter come week 1, but Blount will probably see some carries as well.
Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals payed a steep price to find their QB, and their are still some questions. Kolb hasn’t lived up to the bill when given the opportunity. Meanwhile, Skelton showed some nice chemistry with Fitzgerald, when he started. Kolb should be able to win the job, and should start Week 1 vs. Seattle.
San Francisco 49’ers – The 9’ers have some good WR’s in camp. The additions of Moss, and Manningham, as well as draftee A.J. Jenkins, should improve their passing game. Predicting two starters from this group can be tough, but I think last year’s starter Michael Crabtree, as well as Mario Manningham, should be #1 and #2 when the season opens.
Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks made a nice grab this offseason, snagging QB Matt Flynn from the Packers. Even with the contract, Flynn will have to beat out both Tavaris Jackson, as well as rookie QB Russell Wilson. Flynn is better than them, but he will have to earn the job. Expect Flynn to be under center, come September.
St. Louis Rams – The Rams needed to find a WR for Bradford to throw too, and they did that in the April draft. They selected Brian Quick (2nd), and Chris Givens (4th) in the draft, and they get a healthy Danny Amendola back for this season. They have WR’s from last year like Greg Salas, Denario Alexander, and Brandon Gibson, who could also fight for starting jobs, if the rookies don’t play well enough. Expect Amendola and Quick to be Bradford’s main targets come week 1.
Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys have many WR threats, but they are still looking for another one. WR Kevin Ogletree currently holds the spot for the #3 WR, but the Cowboys will let Andre Holmes battle him out. Holmes could come out the victor with a strong camp, but will need to impress the staff with his abilities to earn the spot. I expect Ogletree to handle #3WR duties early in the season, but would not be shocked if Holmes took over with strong play on the field and in practice.
New York Giants – The New York Giants got what could be the steal of the draft when they selected WR Rueben Randle. Randle had a nice career at LSU, and should continue playing well if given the time. Randle will be going up against the injury prone Domenik Hixon for the 3rd WR spot during Camp. Whoever wins, will likely be getting a few catches a game, as defenses focus on Nicks and Cruz. Who wins week 1? Let’s go with Randle.
Philadelphia Eagles – The shifty Michael Vick is the starter for this NFC “Dream Team”. The thing about Vick is that he runs around a lot, which could get him hurt. If Vick falls, the Eagles need to have a QB who can still lead them to the playoffs. The battle for the #2 spot is between veteran Trent Edwards, and young QB Mike Kafka. This battle could be really close, but I expect Mike Kafka to be holding the clipboard week 1.
Washington Redskins – When Mike Shanahan is the coach, no one ever knows who will start at RB until the coin-toss. Entering TC, there are 3 running backs who could win the job. Someone between Roy Helu, Evan Royster, and Tim Hightower, should stand out in the preseason. Helu had a good year last year, but coaches seem to love Royster. As far as Shanahan and his Shanahanigans? Well reports are we could see Hightower winning the job. Who will in it in September? Ask me right before the coin-toss week 1.
Chicago Bears – Jay Cutler has seen the turf in his helmet too much. David Carr sometimes laughs when he sees Cutler go down. How do the Bears plan on solving the problem. They hope one of J’Marcus Webb or Chris Williams will step up. Webb was the starter last year, and will likely be number 1 on the depth chart come the 1st preseason game. Whoever wins, has the important job to keep Cutler healthy, and keep the only chance to make a playoff run, alive. Let’s go with Webb on this one.
Detroit Lions – The Lions have a great offense, but it’s missing an element. They need a RB to step up and keep defenses honest all game. Jahvid Best plays well when on the field, but that’s his problem. If healthy he would be #1RB, but reports say that he isn’t 100% yet. With that news, last year’s RB who was out for the year, Mikel LeShoure, could take his spot. Last year’s signee off the streets, Kevin Smith, has looked good in camp so far, and could steal the job from the other 2. Look for Best (if healthy) to be the starter week 1.
Green Bay Packers – The Packers have a high-powered offense, that produces many yards through the air, but occasionally, they will throw in the run. Last year’s starter James Starks seems to be the favorite to start week 1, but Alex Green could give him a run for his money. Look for Starks to start week 1, but if he struggles, the Packers will switch it up and go with Green.
Minnesota Vikings – Not really a TC battle here, but all eyes are on Adrian Peterson. The stud running back is coming off a Torn ACL, and reports are that he could be ready come Week 1. If not, look for Toby Gerhart to start at RB. Gerhart played well when AP went down, but will move back to his #2 role, if AP is back Week 1. My money is on AP starting week 1.
That ends the Position Battles for the NFC. Look for AFC position battles over the next day or two.
Posted on August 1, 2012, in Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, NFC East, NFC North, NFC South, NFC West, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49'ers, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Uncategorized, Washington Redskins and tagged NFC. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.