Preseason: It's Not About Winning

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Rated the Number One Touchdown celebration by ESPN, the End Zone Militia fires their muskets following every New England Patriots touchdown at home.  I'm chomping at the bit to get to regular season football.  Once we start hitting August and buying school supplies for my kids' impending 9 1/2 month imprisonment, I get itchy.  Like a bear waking up after hibernation, I'm hungry.  Hungry for some football.  Hungry for the End Zone Militia to fire their muskets.  Patience is a virtue, but I'm hanging by a thread.

The preseason is like interviewing for a job.  Bear with me a sec while I make a comparison.  In my day job as IT manager at a high tech firm, I often do interviews.  I review resumes, do phone screens, have a first round face-to-face interview and then a second round face-to-face with the most promising prospects.  Mini camps or OTAs (Organized Team Activities) are like phone screens.  Does the person even have some basic skills?  You might even ask a few questions to see if they can pick stuff up quickly.  The first few weeks of TC and the first 2 preseason games are like the first round of face-to-face interviews.  How does the person handle themselves with you and your staff when you run them through the gauntlet?  You might even give them a test pertaining to their technical knowledge.

The last 2 games are the second and final round of face-to-face interviews.  This is where things get serious.  You're looking for the person that can perform for the entire season.  Sometimes he's a star and sometimes he's just a great all around player who can add depth.  But, most of all, you need smart, physical players who can a) adapt to the system, b) be physical and c) play at an NFL level.

Preseason games are more a tool for the coaches and players to evaluate themselves, especially the coaches.  It's through observation and film that they develop an opinion of a player's onfield performance and whether or not he will fit the system and help win games.  Some will stay and some will go.  Hopefully, the final 53 man roster encompasses the next Super Bowl champions.

So stop chomping at the bit and use this as a stress-free opportunity to evaluate the old guard and, most importantly, the new kids on the block.  Keep your eyes on Jerod, Shawn, Terrence, Jonathan, Kevin, Bo, and Matthew, not to mention Lamont and Chad.  Don't stress about beating the Ravens this Thursday night.  Think about choosing a team that will repeat that historic season.  The pieces are all there, don't you think?

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