After months of the NFL lockout, football is officially back. And now it isn't even practice (cue up the Allen Iverson audio), it's a real game. Kevin Kolb and the Arizona Cardinals are in Oakland to face off against the Raiders in their first preseason game. No, it's not a "real" game, but after the offseason we went through, it seems everyone is chomping at the bit, including the players.
The joy of the first preseason game for the players is the fact that they get to hot someone else other than teammates. There is not red jersey for the quarterback -- those pass rushers are going to try to put him to the ground.
Naturally, winning is important to teams in the preseason, but it is not the most important objective as it is in the regular season. But no one should get all worked up if the Cardinals do not beat the Raiders.
Both teams are in transition. Oakland has a new head coach. The Cardinals have a new defensive coordinator in Ray Horton. The Cardinals have a new quarterback, but that QB has only had one week of practice with the team due to veteran restrictions on new or restructured contracts.
Both teams have new tight ends -- Arizona having picked up Todd Heap, which Oakland signed Kevin Boss after Zach Miller skipped town to head north and play for Seattle.
As all preseason games go, it will end up a game of scrubs against scrubs. Coaches need to evaluate players with actual game film. While Kolb will go a little longer than is normal, he certainly is not playing the whole game or even the whole first half.
So, while we can be excited that football is here, let us not get discouraged based on what happens in preseason week one. Over the years of terrible play, there were many 4-0 preseasons. That got them nothing. Last year, in the abysmal depths of 5-11, the team started off their year with a 3-1 preseason record.
The game starts at 7PM and will be broadcast locally on ABC-15. Radio coverage on KTAR News-Talk 92.3 at 4:30 PM.
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