NFL Training Camps Getting the Show on the Road
NFL training camps open this week and with them come many questions, along with the hope of a 2013 season.
The Baltimore Ravens, fresh off their second Super Bowl victory, have the most issues, as they will not field the same team to defend their title. Ray Lewis retired with a Super Bowl ring, as did Matt Birk. The Ravens also lost Ed Reed, Anquan Boldin, Beranrd Pollard, and Paul Kruger. However, they hope to get contributions from newcomers Chris Canty and Elvis Dumervil.
The Ravens will have competition from the usual suspects in their quest for another championship, but each of those teams also have puzzle pieces to put in place. For example:
- New England has Tom Brady but he has lost receivers Wes Welker (Denver), Rob Gronkowski (Injury), and Aaron Hernandez (jail). Danny Amendola will help some but Tim Tebow, another free agent signing, will not.
- Cincinnati and Pittsburgh (if Ben Roethlisberger stays healthy) will challenge Baltimore in the Central Division, while
- Houston, Indianapolis, and Denver are all favorites to make the post season. The Broncos feel like thy let one slip away last season and Peyton Manning does not want it to happen again.
The NFC West looks to have the top two teams this season as San Francisco and Seattle go into the season just about even. Colin Kaepernick came out of nowhere to lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl while Russell Wilson did the same to lead the Seahawks to the playoffs. Other NFC teams in the mix are Washington, depending on Robert Griffin's health, the New York Giants, Atlanta, and maybe the Dallas Cowboys, if they can overcome the turmoil that affects them every year.
So keep and eye on training camp, pre-season games, and injuries, because anything can change and teams can rise from the bottom of the standings to become playoff contenders.
Who will that be this season?
It's why we stay tuned.