News, Analysis & UpdatesAugust 13, 2004

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Football’s Back!

By Arlo Vander

Football’s back! And it’s about time, isn’t it? Admittedly, all we’ve seen so far are three relatively meaningless preseason matchups, but there’s just something wonderful about seeing the players take the field again after a long, long offseason.

Keeping in mind that analyzing exhibition matchups too deeply is a fool’s errand, here are a few quick notes from the first games of 2004:

Washington 20 – Denver 17

Twenty-two penalties? You can be sure both coaching staffs will have a few choice words to say about that…

Speaking of coaches, isn’t it strange seeing Joe Gibbs on the sideline again? Just like old times.

First-round pick Sean Taylor looked very, very good. If he shows the same anticipation when the games count, he could be something special.

Is anybody else worried that no matter how clear things may seem, Mike Shanahan will find a way not to announce a starting RB until, oh, say, November?

Nobody ever talks about tackles, but losing Jon Jansen for the season is a tremendous blow to the Redskins’ offense.

Baltimore 24 – Atlanta 0

Michael Vick didn’t throw a pass, but unlike last year’s preseason matchup against the Ravens, he made it through the game in one piece.


Kyle Boller’s elbow bruise is apparently not serious.

If Ravens QBs rely on their tight ends like this during the season, too, Todd Heap owners will be jumping for joy.

So if these guys are the Ravens’ last-string defenders, how good are the starters?

Chicago 13 – St. Louis 10 (OT)

Needless to say, Marshall Faulk didn’t show up. Steven Jackson gained 73 yards in extensive action.

Neither of the Rams’ starting tackles played, either. Orlando Pace is still holding out, and Kyle Turley was on the sidelines.

Thomas Jones is going to enjoy playing for Chicago.

Remember what your coach told you about spreading the ball around? Twelve Bears caught passes in this contest.

And you thought there were lots of penalties in the Redskins-Broncos game…

Yes, it’s only the preseason, and all these thoughts and impressions don’t mean much, but man, it’s good to have football back!

Arlo Vander has been obsessively watching the Cafe’s countdown to the 2004 season. Less than a month to go…

Football’s back! Sound off on a brand new season!!

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