Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/14/12
The NFL pre-season is at least two weeks too long and only made longer by the constant rehashing of the agreed upon storylines of the preseason.  Here’s what we know so far:

  • Peyton Manning is a Denver Bronco and NFL experts everywhere will be required by law to state a percentage value for his current level of quarterbacking.  He’s at 85% Chuck!
  • Tim Tebow is a New York Jet and Mark Sanchez is the starter and they both star in Desperate Quarterbacks.
  • Some team won the Super Bowl last year.
  • The Saints are being punished and will be barred from participating in any BCS bowl games.
  • Roger Goodell is the Godfather!  Players should wait to appeal until either of his daughter’s weddings.
  • Rookie QBs are more interesting than Kim Kardashian and The Jersey Shore pushed together in one giant push up bra!
  • Ok I admit not quite as interesting as the push up bra thing.

The lack of new storylines is solved once the real season starts but for now we are stuck in the endless cycle of As the Tebow Turns.  To battle this steady stream of training camp gossip here are several preseason points to ponder while gearing up for your fantasy football draft and game day tailgate.

NFL Referees are locked out.  This strikes me as overkill.  The NFL asks more from its referees now than ever before and with continually bigger, stronger, and faster players.  These employees are held to an incredibly high standard and are repeatedly asked to add to their duties while adjusting to yearly rule changes.  The NFL is a money machine that should reward these officials for a job well done.  This story isn’t sexy, but game officials are a valuable component of the game day experience.

Team depth, which teams have it and which don’t? The Chicago Bears appeared to direct their offseason efforts towards shoring up back up positions and situational depth.  The Green Bay Packers spent the first six rounds of the draft addressing their defense after it was regularly exposed last year.  The Houston Texans survived injuries last year due to their depth while the Indianapolis Colts were decimated.

Those surprise playoff teams that occur every year are usually the teams that have survived the season of attrition with greater team depth or by being the beneficiary of another team’s lack thereof.  Yes I’ve always wanted to say lack thereof.

The role of the running back in today’s NFL.  This offseason several teams answered whether or not it was worth paying big money to proven running backs with a resounding yes. 

The Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, and Seattle Seahawks all recently signed their running backs to long term deals with guaranteed money.

Many teams added veteran running back talent for greater depth such as the Bears signing of Michael Bush, the Kansas City Chiefs landing Peyton Hillis and the San Francisco 49er's deal with Brandon Jacobs.

Teams are utilizing running backs in a variety of different ways in today’s NFL yet very few teams are identified as a ground and pound offense.

Los Angeles California.  Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Angels of California just recently signed a 20-year THREE BILLION dollar television contract. Take that A-Rod!

You think the NFL didn’t hear that thunder? The question isn’t if a team is coming to Los Angeles, the question is how many teams are coming to Los Angeles and when?

If the rumors are true and the Chargers move out of San Diego, the NFL should designate San Diego Super Bowl City and have the big game there every year.  That would certainly please the media who love going to San Diego and help offset the loss of a franchise to a loyal NFL city.  This would also serve to simplify preparations for everyone involved. 

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