As we roll into another NFL season, we here at the ATrain Sports Corporation have gotten together to discuss the upcoming NFL Storylines. What we are excited about, what to watch for, and what unknown players could be household names by the end of the year.
Hard Knocks Effect and the Cleveland Browns:
The Browns would be a major storyline even if they were not the subject of HBO’s Hard Knocks. Which is somehow in its 13th season? I’ll admit I haven’t watched Hard Knocks in a long time. It’s the same thing every year. Not this season, this season the Browns have me enthralled.
This Brown’s team is unique/exciting to me for several reasons.
- The improvement at QB. When a team makes a huge leap from one season to the next, it’s almost always because of elevated play at the QB position. Tyrod Taylor and Baker Mayfield are both capable NFL QB’s and they unlike most other NFL teams could lose the starting QB to injury and not fall off at all production wise. I think this factor alone makes them a candidate for the over. Six wins seem not at all out of the question for this team.
- Gregg Williams and Todd Haley coordinating under Hue Jackson. This is the most hilarious three’s company of Head Coach and Coordinators of ALL TIME. It’s not even up for debate. If the Browns totally implode and go under their win total it will be because these three could not co-exist. Just the fact that a team that went 0-16 is returning the head coach is bananas, Hue is still in Cleveland by some great miracle and for the first time has a team with the talent to go on a run.
- New WR Core: There are so many questions revolving around Josh Gordon, Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway…on paper this group has the talent to be top tier but we haven’t seen Josh Gordon in YEARS and Callaway is almost as big of a concern. Tight End David Njoku is solid. The Rumor is Clevland is also a potential landing spot for Dez Bryant. Honestly if the sign Dez, it worries me for Josh Gordon. You only need Dez if you are very worried that Gordon won’t be able to play.
I kinda wish this team wasn’t on Hard Knocks because now they won’t be flying under the radar. All the focus and attention worries me but Tyrod and Baker are such professional’s that the spotlight might not matter.
Rookie QBs/QBs in new situations.
The QB turnover in the offseason was tumultuous as the position becomes even more important.
Alex Smith in Washington: Fan’s of middling QB’s will finally get to answer the age-old question of who is better Kirk Cousins or Alex Smith? If you listen to the whispers out of Redskins training camp the answer is Alex Smith. Take that info with a grain of salt, but I do think I agree.
Case Keenum in Denver: Denver is another team that should go from trash Quarterback play to halfway decent with the addition of Case Keenum. Keenum is still limited in his ability to go deep, that’s not gonna change but with a good defense and decent weapons, he’s shown he can win. He should have that in Denver.
Teddy Bridgewater/Sam Darnold in New York: ATrain predicts: Darnold is the best player and he should win the job, if he doesn’t, he will by the end of the season. The Jets like the Browns have multiple QB’s and should one guy get hurt, they can survive it. I like the Jets over this year. #WettheBeak
Tyrod Taylor/Baker Mayfield in Cleveland: Already talked about these guys, Tyrod is the present, Mayfield the future.
Jimmy Garopolo in San Fransisco: He did play 6 games in San Fran already but he’s on this list because there was no pressure in those games. Now he’s the guy, the pressure is on and the expectations are real, how will Jimmy perform.
Pat Mahomes in Kansas City: Andy Reid QB Guru says Mahomes is his guy, who am I to doubt the Red Walrus?
Josh Rosen in Arizona: Sam Bradford is made of paper, the odds he plays more than 4 games are less than 1% in my mind. This was a guy who couldn’t handle a pass rush at all last season. I expect Rosen to play and play a lot, I have not seen any Arizona preseason so I have no gauge on Rosen yet at all.
Josh Allen in Buffalo: Huge Hands, Big Arm must fight off the AJ McCarrion Crows for the starting job first.
Kirk Cousins in Minnesota: He’s got a team full of weapons, a great defense, fully guaranteed contract, and no excuses. It’s Super Bowl or bust for this Vikings team.
Second Year QB’s: Watson and Trubisky:
It’s no secret I was mad when the Bears took Trubisky over Watson, I’ve since changed my tune and I believe in Trubisky…but I still worry sometimes we took the wrong guy. Both these guys come into 2018 with a lot to prove. For Watson, he wants to prove his one abbreviated season was just a flash of things to come. For Trubisky he needs to show that his pedestrian Rookie season was due to a lack of weapons and coaching…and not because he lacks the ability.