The NFL just announced that weeks 1 and 4 of the preseason are canceled. This announcement came after the NFL canceled the hall of fame game. While every team is dealing with the effects of the pandemic, some are going to be hit worse because of personnel issues. These are the situations that teams don’t want to be in right now.
When a team gets a new quarterback there is always some adjustment. With the diluted offseason teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals, will have to cope with a quarterback who doesn’t have chemistry with their new teammates. Most of the quarterbacks won’t have a good grip on the system, and aside from Tom Brady with the Buccaneers whose football knowledge is second to none, they will likely struggle at the start of the season.
Position Player Battles
Position battles are won and lost in the preseason. There are some high profile jobs that are still undecided around the league. Both the Patriots and the Bears have a quarterback competition, the Ravens have a standoff at mike linebacker, and the starting running back for the Chiefs is undecided. Coaches will have a tougher time making decisions, and because they will have a familiarity with the old player, the veteran will likely win, whether deserved or not.
New Head Coach
A new head coach always foreshadows change. Change to the game plan, changes to practices, change in personnel. This year there really isn’t time for a change. The Browns, Panthers, Redskins, Cowboys, and Giants are going to have a tougher time, adjusting to their new head coach. Interestingly, three of those teams are in the NFC East which could foretell a playoff run for the Eagles.
Depending on a Rookie
Generally, teams don’t want to have their season be dependent on a rookie playing well. This is especially true this year. A lot of practice time has already been canceled, and rookies this year will fair worse than ever before. Not having rookie minicamp, minicamp, and at least two preseason games, means that fewer rookies will make rosters, and those rookies that do make the cut, will need more time to adjust to the speed of the NFL.