The Pre-Season is Useless

The Pre-season starts tonight (well actually it started on Sunday) and while yes it’s nice to have football again, these games will not tell you anything. Every year we see guys having nice camps/pre-season games and get cut. The year the Lions went 0-16, they were 4-0 in the pre-season. Schemes are vanilla, starters play less than a half a game, almost half the rosters you see tonight will be cut by the end of camp. But don’t take my word for it. Take a NFL head coach’s.

All you need to know about the uselessness of pre-season (from a fan’s perspective) you can learn in one scene from Hard Knocks with the Cincinnati Bengals. During a game, Marvin Lewis tells his offensive co-ordinator that he wants the next three plays to be runs that have the tight end and fullback block. This will give Lewis and the Bengals useful information on how guys on the bubble performed, but fans have no idea that was happening. A fan might even be annoyed they ran it on third and long. But the down and distance didn’t matter to Lewis, he wanted certain guys to get reps doing a certain thing. And that’s why you can’t take much of anything from these games: teams aren’t playing to win, they’re playing to evaluate.

So read into pre-season performances at your own risk. Or do I need to remind you of Na Brown?


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