How many times have we as fans been fooled by preseason games played by guys in August who either won’t be playing in September or who aren’t executing the same game plan that we would see when live bullets start flying? Too often it seems. And it seems some of us (ahem… mostly myself) will never learn that we really never see anything…. “In the Preseason”.
Now I won’t go so far a to say that preseason shouldn’t give us any pause for alarm or excitement depending on the outcomes, but a massive grain of salt should accompany those feelings. After all this years exhibition contests surely left even the most hardened NFL veteran wondering how the mish-mash offensive line would leave quarterback Sam Bradford standing through the first quarter. After all it was just barely a year ago the Vikings prized free agent acquisition Alex Boone stepped to the podium and announced that he was here to the team win. Little did we know that somewhere along the preseason action the coaching staff wasn’t looking to see how the line could work with Alex, but rather how the line might work without him. Who knew? After all, we saw plenty of Alex “In the Preseason”.
And so trotting out a grouping on the line that had very little if any time together as a unit… We saw what looked like one of the best performances out of a Minnesota Vikings offensive line in quite some time. And that performance led to showing that all the Pepto Bismol Viking Fans had been drinking was all for naught. While we may have watched quarter back Sam Bradford muffing snaps, checking down and looking like just another lost piece in a dysfunctional offense, none of that was present in the Minnesota Vikings season opener. But all of that an more we saw… “In the Preseason”.
Heck many Vikings Fans seemed to be waiting for the all too predictable outcome of Adrian Peterson running loose in our backfield. Instead, we saw a wonderful performance by our new rookie running back Dalvin Cook. We saw plenty of room for him to run off to his record setting debut rookie game. But how were we to know? After all we saw none of that….. “In the preseason”.
But let’s not let the offense get all the attention here. The Vikings defensive performance in their run up to the games that actually matter had Viking fans even questioning defensive guru Mike Zimmer and his star studded cast’s ability to show that they knew how to take care of business when it was actually time to you know…. get down to business.
No every year we as fans ride a wave of emotion after watching games that we really don’t know what the game plan is. Or what the coaching staff is looking to accomplish. Maybe because as fans we are so engrained in wanting to see the team win, even if we do it by declaring strange parameters such as “Our starters beat their starters for the first opening drive because that’s all that matters”. We always fail to realize that any good coach isn’t going to show their hand. They are likely more interested in seeing how the team reacts to certain situations and often times are throwing things like down and distance out the window.
Instead we as fans tend to take everything we see at face value and we carry that over to the regular season. Before we know it we are making plans for the Super Bowl, or getting our mock drafts in order in early September…… All because of what we saw….”In the Preseason”