What a time to talk football. The draft hasn't happened yet. Kickoff for the season is 5 months away. So what are we going to do? Talk football, of course.
It's a quarterback's league, or so we're told. Probably has been for years anyway. So why not check what's going on at each team's premier position? There are things happening already. Here and there.
Where Nothing Much Changes
The majority of teams have nothing monstrous to report, at least pre-draft, and from what we hear probably won't after the draft either. Manziel has gotten more negative press, perhaps deserved, perhaps not, over the past months than he did in his entire college career. Same for Bridgewater. Bortles has been mentioned lately as the top pick. Anybody know what's going on? I don't. How'd you like your franchise QB to be named 'Bortles'?
So, dissing the draft for the time being, we see nothing earthshaking in the places where we'd expect nothing much.
New England: Tom Brady is back. What, you hadn't heard? What you might have missed is the Pats dangling sub Mallett for a while as trade bait. Either there were no takers or something they wanted dried up, but he's back too it seems.
Denver: Peyton Manning will have to retire before the Broncos replace him.
Seattle: Rumor has it that Russell Wilson has kept his job.
Green Bay: Word is Aaron Rodgers has the inside track.
San Diego: Phil Rivers was just short of magnificent last year, and it's his team again.
Miami: Ryan Tannehill may not have set the world on fire but Miami really has no options right now. Plus, he's got upside. We think. Anyway, Matt Moore is an insurance policy more than a threat.
Baltimore: With Nick Stephens and Tyrod Taylor for competition, Jump Ball Joe will have to pull off a real stinker this year to see bench time.
Pittsburgh: Ben is Pittsburgh. Nuff said.
Cincinnati: It's Dalton's job to lose. He may some day, but not this time around.
Indianapolis: The Colts didn't tank a season to land a throwaway.
Kansas City: Alex Smith may not be Johnny Unitas, but he's pretty good and he's the best the Chiefs have had in a while.
NY Giants: Eli Manning may go from bum to hero to bum over and over, but while he sells seats he stays in New York. His political capital is on a par with Coughlin's. Beating New England twice does that for you.
Philadelphia: Mark Sanchez may be in the house but Nick Foles will be on the field unless Chip blows a main seal.
Chicago: Jay Cutler may be just what Da Bears don't need, at least when he's not healthy (which is often), but he's da man.
Detroit: The Lions stunk last year and so did Stafford, but with just Kellen Moore as a serious alternative the Lions are banking that new coaching gets the talented screwball's head on straight. He's not their only such project.
Atlanta: Matt Ryan has to be thanking the football gods that he didn't play for Houston last year.
Carolina: After a fine season of team play, Cam reverted to Cam late and down went the Panthers. Same ordeal for Rivera again this year.
New Orleans: Drew Brees owns the team as long as he's upright. Of course, there's always Ryan Griffin or Luke McCown. Like I said...
Arizona: Carson Palmer found a home in the sun, and it's not going to dry up before this season starts.
Now the Interesting Stuff:
Not everybody's got a boring situation. Even some teams with the position cast in stone are having the odd issue here and there. Some have no situation to speak of at all.
Cleveland: Brian Hoyer had the Browns looking like a contender in the subpar AFCN last year... for about two games. That was how long it took for him to get crunched. He's back, but is he such a lock based on two games that the Browns would dump Weeden? It's hard to predict what a team that plays musical administrations will do. Make that futile.
Oakland: Terrelle Pryor has been proving just another athletic QB flop. Matt McGloin is ok but isn't exactly turning heads sideways. Enter Matt Schaub. Just two years ago he was the leader of the best team in football. For a while. What a bringdown. He's got to be wondering how Matt Ryan skates and he gets pitched into the express chute. He didn't even get a stop at purgatory.
Dallas: Why are they here? Well, not long ago folks were pitching the idea that Romo might be headed to Houston for their top pick. Apparently those folks were in Dallas. He'll be back, but it's not like the Boys are stone deaf to alternatives anymore.
San Francisco: So why put the Niners here? They were one pass from a Super Bowl that they almost surely would have won over the Floppos. Well, recent stories give the suggestion that all those concerns about Kappy's stature as a solid citizen may have had some merit. If he's not in jail, he'll start.
Washington: And why these guys? Well, in case you didn't notice, RG3's comeback wasn't exactly a glittering success. And after sitting all year, Kirk Cousins gave a less-than-inspired mop-up performance. It's doubtful they're looking, and it's doubtful Griffin doesn't start. What's doubtful is how rosy the Redskins' situation really is.
Minnesota: Christian Ponder's star may have flamed out. Then again the alternative is Matt Cassel. Judging from Minny's offseason activity, Matt's the guy. Is that good? Is that permanent? Check with me around November.
Tampa Bay: Amid rumors of this and that, Mike Glennon remains a decent bet to at least show whether or not he's developing at a fast enough pace, but that could change if Josh McCown shows the same stuff he did for the Bears. Either way things are a bit iffy.
St. Louis: The team with never-ending promise --- because they never attain it. Sam Bradford heads the short list of suspects. It seems the job is his to lose, and this year he just might succeed --- at losing it, that is.
New York Jets: This is a goody. Mark Sanchez is gone to Philly. Mike Vick is come from Philly. If you ever thought that putting your hopes on Vick is a bad idea, feel free to feel justified. The Jets signed him. What more do you need?
Houston Texans: Here is the mystery that keeps the draft interesting. With a perceived need to replace Matt Schaub, the Texans pulled off step 1 --- they dumped Schaub. May have been a little premature. Well, they did bring in Ryan Fitzpatrick. They still have Case Keenum and T.J. Yates. That's good depth. Which will be where they're headed (again) unless something else happens.
Jacksonville: Gone is Blaine Gabbert. Another whiz kid goes bust. In all truth, Henne has been a good quarterback whose foibles can be excused by looking at whom he's played for. But calling him a lock is a little iffy. They must have plans. He's the insurance policy.
Buffalo: Musical Quarterbacks won't get it done for the late Ralph Wilson's team. At this point you're either wondering whether EJ Manuel is a lock or one of several mediocre contenders. It would be hard to believe they're not planning something, but how many years in a row can you expend a high pick on a quarterback, and where does it get you? Seen the Browns?
Tennessee: Jake Locker is joining Christian Ponder and Blaine Gabbert (and maybe RG3) on the flash in the pan list it seems. Which leaves them with nobody, basically. Maybe they're going to take the NFL by storm with a wing-T?