In With The Old - Out With The New
Tampa Bay Buccaneers ~ Is Derrick wards status as the team's #1 running back already in jeopardy? The team has announced that former featured back, and current third stringer, Carnell 'Cadillac' Williams will get to play ahead of Ward and Earnest Graham in this Thursday's preseason game against Miami. Williams missed most of 2007 and 2008 due to to what was initially feared to be a career ending knee injury. If this is any indication of coach Raheem Morris' vision for the regular season, and an indication he plans to rotate all three backs, it will significantly diminish the value of Ward and Graham, making this a mess similar to Denver and New England's RB situations. While both Ward and Graham seemed like solid mid-to-late round picks, if Cadillac is driving down the field as well, we have yet another team you may want to avoid altogether in the running game. It's only preseason so it's hard to tell what coach Morris is ultimately thinking, but preseason is when we draft, so keep an eye on this situation, and check the score-sheet after Thursday night's game with the Philadelphia Eagles to see how the old Cadillac ran.
Chicago Bears ~ The team has a new QB with a rocket arm, and a rag-tag team of undeveloped wide receivers. Devin Hester is still feeling things out, and Earl Bennett is still trying to reconnect with his old college QB. The team has great rookie depth and promise at WR with Johnny Knox and Juaquin Iglesias. What they lack is veteran presence. Enter Marvin Harrison? The rumor mill is churning with news that former coach Tony Dungy may have inspired Bear's coach Lovie Smith to offer Harrison a deal. On a local Chicago radio show, Dungy made an impromptu recommendation to Smith, and show of support for Harrison. Dungy stated the Bears should consider signing his former WR if the team had a spot open. Such a signing would be a brilliant move for the Bears, giving younger receivers a chance to learn and grow from a legend. Harrison would also give QB Jay Cutler a reliable weapon who can help spread the field. This would be a good move for Harrison and Da Bears. One other possibility if Harrison does not become a Bear would be the Detroit Lions who are in desperate need of WR depth and veteran leadership.
From a fantasy perspective Harrison should be slightly more viable than he was last season in Indianapolis. Starvin' Marvin is hungry to show he's not finished yet. His presence would also boost TE Greg Olsen's value.
Philadelphia Eagles ~ Well it's finally here. Coach Andy Reid has announced that Michael Vick will take the field Thursday night against the Jacksonville Jags. He will be playing during the first three quarters, but exactly how he will be used is hard to say. He will most likely play in set packages. He hasn't worked on any wild cat plays in practice, but this is not to say that we won't see it. The fourth quarter will be back-up QB Kevin Kolb under center and Reid has said Vick will not be on the field for that.
How rusty will Vick be? His last NFL game was December 2006. "I can only go off what I've seen in practice, and it looks like he's moving around pretty good," said coach Reid. "Realistically, it's been two years (since Vick's last NFL game). We'll see how it works out. We'll give him a couple shots in there and see what he can do."
So will he be used sparingly or frequently? Will we see him at quarterback, tight end , wide receiver? All three? One can't help but think Vick's presence is less useful to the team and more of a distraction on their ability to focus on the season ahead.