A Look At The 2013 NFL All-Preseason Team
The Process of Picking Out An All Pre-Season Team
When devloping an All-Preseason Team for the NFL, the first thing that must be done is to knock out a few misconceptions about the preseason. These are just a couple areas where fans and the media go wrong when making general statements about preseason football and try to degrade it.
The first of these misconceptions that must be knocked out is the belief that the preseason does not matter for teams or players. This is unequivocally false, as out of the 53 roster spots on an NFL team, at least 20 are up for grabs each August on every squad. What this means is that at least 37 percent of each roster is playing each preseason game like it could be their last football game because it honestly could be. These players looking to make a roster each August are often the one's playing most of each preseason game, making it inevitable that most of each game is played at full speed and leading to the second misconception that must be addressed.
The second common misconception that is related to preseason football is that it is not even remotely entertaining, which is completely false. Sure, it would be better to pay your hard earned money to watch Peyton Manning throw a football then to see Brock Osweiler behind the gun, but once the average fan gets past that, they will see that world-class athletes are still on the field. Once you get world class athletes on the field you are bound to get a competitive round of football, as the best athletes do not like to lose in any setting.
Once both of these misconceptions are both long out of one's mind and they begin to realize what preseason football truly is about, a four-week audition, then the grading process can begin. With the grading process that I used, an emphasis was put on players who played every game of the preseason in order for them to make the All-Preseason Team. Next, was to whither down the people that made the team to one from each position on the field, meaning that one player will be on the team for quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivesr, tight ends, offensive tackles, offensive guards, centers, kicker, returners, punters, safeties, cornerbacks, inside linebackers, outside linebackers, defensive tackles and defensive ends. Both of these measures are done so that the players who made the biggest impact during the preseason are recognized for their work.
During the preseason Case Keenum put up gaudy numbers for the Houston Texans, throwing for 482 yards with an incredible 68.3 completion percentage. This incredible performance led to high praise from the media, and led to many people hoping that he becomes the Texans backup quarterback instead of T.J. Yates.
Running Back-Jordan Todman
During the preseason Jordan Todman posted a Madden-esque 7.7 yards per carry, which helped him attain 223 rushing yards and two touchdowns. This strong preseason gained him the job as Maurice-Jones Drew's backup, and will likely lead to him receiving his spell of regular carries.
Tight End-Ladarius Green
Ladarius Green came into the preseason with the possibility of not even making the San Diego Chargers' roster, but you would've never known it once the preseason was over with. The reason for that is the 13 catches, 210 receiving yards and two touchdowns that Green recorded to cement his place as the most dominant tight end of the preseason.
Wide Receiver-Stephen Williams
Stephen Williams had an incredible preseason, catching seven passes for 236 yards as he made it known that he will be a big-time threat for the Seattle Seahawks this season. Amongst the seven catches Williams made, five were for more than 20 yards and four were 40 yards or longer, showing that he knows how to make big plays.
Offensive Tackle-Jordan Mills
Right out of the gate, Jordan Mills showed no signs that he was overwhelmed by competing to be a starter for the Chicago Bears. Not only did Mills show no fear, but he was able to open holes as wide as the Grand Canyon for the Bears running game, which will help take some pressure off of quarterback Jay Cutler.
Offensive Guard-Kyle Long
Kyle Long has paired up with Mills on the line to form an incredibly talented and young right side of the offensive line for the Bears. Long was expected to contribute a bit more than Mills this season after being a first-round draft pick, but has posted an incredible preseason nevertheless to cement his position as the starting right guard.
Gino Gradkowski had the best preseason out of any center in the NFL because of his ability to establish himself as the starter for the Baltimore Ravens.
Caleb Sturgis established himself as a deadly kicker this preseason, hitting nine out of nine field goals and seven out of seven point after attempts. This 100 percent accuracy was incredible, and made him the most impressive kicker of the preseason.
Return Specialist-Tavon Austin
Tavon Austin showed the burning speed that made him the No. 8 overall pick this spring as he returned three punts for an average of 34.7 yards. This made him the returner that struck the most fear into opponents this preseason, something that the St. Louis Rams hope will continue into the regular season.
Sam Martin showed the Detroit Lions and the rest of the NFL that he knows how to boot the ball with the best of them this preseason, as his eleven punts went for a 46.5 yard net average. This was the best average for any punter that punted more than once, and proved that the rookie from Appalachian State is the real deal.
J.J. Wilcox arrived at training camp and was an instant hit for his fast pace and ability to scare opponents off the ball with his ferocious hits. His stats backed up what the eye indicated as well, as he recorded an impressive 16 preseason tackles.
Josh Norman let it be known not to throw the ball near him this preseason by picking up four interceptions, or two more than anyone else in the NFL. This impressive haul put him on a different stratosphere than any other cornerback during the preseason, and also earned him a lot more playing time for the Carolina Panthers.
Inside Linebacker-Nick Moody
Nick Moody had to prove himself worthy of a roster spot coming into the San Francisco 49ers training camp as a sixth-round draft pick. After recording 20 tackles and becoming a force to be reckoned with, it was clear that he proved himself, and the 49ers agreed when they gave him a roster spot.
Outside Linebacker-LaRoy Reynolds
LaRoy Reynolds was a machine during preseason, picking up 24 tackles during his first taste of pro football for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Near the end of preseason, Reynolds even began to take first-team reps, indicating that the Jaguars coaching staff took his preseason contributions seriously.
Defensive Tackle-Star Lotulelei
Star Lotulelei was an instant hit with the fans and media of the Carolina Panthers for his ability to wreak havoc against both running and passing sets. If Lotulelei's performances during the preseason are any indication of what is to come during the regular season, then we could be witnessing a star in the making.
Defensive End-Glenn Foster
Glenn Foster made a habit of getting to the quarterback during the preseason, and was rewarded with four sacks in four games. This contribution helped earn Foster a roster spot on the New Orleans Saints, where he will likely be coming off the bench to provide an impact.