Training camp for the 2021 NFL season is underway, and coaches are reintroducing their system to their players.
New head coaches will have more adjustments to make since they are trying to implement a new scheme.
The same learning curve goes for players who are joining new squads.
After countless repetitions in practice, the preseason then becomes an examination of whether the players retained the lessons.
But despite the differences in each team’s journey, they all agree that the top quarterbacks can take it easy during these games.
The rewards outweigh the risks in upholding this principle, and here’s why.
Most Important Piece Of The Puzzle
Say what you want but the quarterback is the most important player on any team.
Having a great play-caller masks the weaknesses in other parts of the field.
Essentially, losing a top quarterback places the squad’s foundation on shaky ground.
They’re lucky if the back-up is as good, if not better than the first in the depth chart.
However, that is often not the case and that’s where things go down south in a blink of an eye.
Breaking: Carson Wentz will undergo foot surgery, Colts head coach Frank Reich announced.
Wentz will miss 5-12 weeks. pic.twitter.com/saU02byev8
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 2, 2021
Even if the coaches can come up with the best game plan, the best quarterbacks can execute the plays with surgical precision.
No matter who their receivers and running backs are, they can drive the offense to more completions.
That’s why there’s no sense playing top quarterbacks heavily during the preseason.
These stars come prepared any given Sunday, and they continue the tough grind from Monday to Saturday.
One sequence or one quarter of a preseason game is enough for them to get their bearings back.
Anything more than that puts them at risks of getting an injury.
It’s like sucking the air out of the building when that happens.
Seeing What’s In The Cupboard
Since the NFL does not have extensive summer leagues, coaches use the preseason to take another look at their reserves.
Depth charts are often finalized during the training camp.
But coaches would like to see how their players fare during competitive matches.
Sure, preseason games are nothing like the real ones.
But it’s of higher intensity than training camp.
In some ways, these games serve as an audition for positions with no definite starters yet.
They would give the players equal time to show their talent, and base their judgment from there.
However, there’s no need to assess between a starting quarterback and his backup, especially if the skill level is non-comparable.
— NFL (@NFL) August 9, 2021
Instead, the team has the backup taking most of the reps in preseason because they might not get that opportunity during the regular season itself.
With the NFL reducing the number of preseason games, teams would rather have a well-rested starting quarterback than a banged up one.
After all, the defensive players on the other side are having their audition too.
They want to perform well in hopes of getting more playing time, and nothing gets more attention than sacking the quarterback.
There’s no preseason or regular season once they get their hands on the quarterback.
They will hit hard to pass the test with flying colors.
Who knows how hard the hit will be?
But if it turned out to be a season-ending one, coaches will wish to have that one back.
Their hopes of a great campaign are gone with an inadvertent hit in an inconsequential game.