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A View from the End Zone - Unanswered Questions


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We're another week closer to training camp and things are finally starting to return to normal. Marcus Vick is somehow remaining relevant by posting tweets comparing his brother’s past legal woes to the trial of George Zimmerman. It was revealed that two prominent Denver Broncos executives were arrested for driving under the influence. People are flipping out over Colin Kaepernick wearing a Miami Dolphins hat, but curiously there is nary a whisper of him being nude on the cover of ESPN’s body issue. Robert Kraft, a self-made billionaire, claims he was duped by Aaron Hernandez. So, like I said, everything is back to normal. As normal as the NFL can be these days.

This is the time of year for the pre-camp camps. The ones that get publicized by beat writers as confirmation of a player’s dedication to the team. Getting an invite to Larry Fitzgerald’s Minnesota campout is a great way to get ready for the upcoming season. Working with Fitzgerald has a track record of producing improved seasons for a large range of players. Fitzgerald always has a group of his teammates show up, naturally, but this year there are reports of a record high turnout of Arizona Cardinals. Fitzgerald’s camp is so widely respected, it attracts players from other teams with this year’s attendees being a few Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots. Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, we breathlessly wait to see if Geno Smith shows up for the pancake social at Mark Sanchez’s “Jets West” pre-camp.

While the players get ready for the season, we get ready to proudly call their names in a crowded room filled with sweaty men who treat a random Saturday like it’s the tailgate of the Super Bowl. Dreams are made by making the correct selection. The fragility of your decision-making skills will produce tiny ulcers that fill the pit of your stomach and produce little beads of sweat on your forehead as you call out a name that you hope isn’t chanted down in a chorus of laughter. We can only hope to be on the right side of the jeering and the only way to do that is by being prepared. Everything up to this point has been just talk and educated guessing. Once training camp kicks in, we get to see if what we have been reading and what we have been thinking is close to even being remotely true.

Here are my top unanswered questions heading into training camp -

Will Arian Foster emerge from his hyperbaric chamber as the fantasy stud we all know and love, or is this the beginning of the end?

Man, I wish I knew the answer. Foster has had one of the more impressive fantasy runs since LaDainian Tomlinson, but we all know good things must come to an end. For those picking at the top of the draft order, we wonder if he can squeeze out one more dominant year.

Will Trent Richardson stay healthy long enough for Norv Turner to work his magic?

I love Richardson, I’m not afraid to admit it. And I love what a Turner offense does for running backs. What I don’t love is a snake bitten team that is in the midst of an ownership scandal, and, oh by the way, a team that will be without its top receiving option to start the season.

Will Andy Reid petition the NFL to wear a Hawaiian shirt on the sidelines of Kansas City Chiefs' games?

Yes he will, but I’m hoping commissioner Roger Goodell will at least compromise and make him an assistant for the Pro Bowl.

Is Chip Kelly’s offense filled with a plethora of fantasy gold? Do you know what a plethora is? 

The skill players are in position, all besides that pesky quarterback. Will Nick Foles turn into ‘Nick the Quick’ or will we be stuck with Michael Vick?  Rhyming is fun and hopefully this offense will be as well. I can’t wait to see it in action.

Will Sean Payton go into “Screw All of You Mode” circa Bill Belichick 2007 to avenge his suspension last year?

Prospective Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston and Lance Moore owners sure hope so. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and I may reach to grab Brees, even in a heavy fantasy quarterback group this year just in case.

Will the Seattle Seahawks continue to find ways to incorporate the ‘Fail Mary’ referee into their offseason?

We get it. You were gifted a win and you don’t care. It’s not funny and it’s not cute. Let it go.

And finally, will Tim Tebow be the saving grace for the trouble that has befell Foxboro?

Nah.