The casual fan may find preseason games too slow, or too boring. But if you're a true fan of the league, you would be willing to stick around for a full game of preseason football just to get a look at the league's future.
Rookies are the main event of every team's set of four games, but as we near the regular season, the superstars will start to see more playing time. Tomorrow night will feature five games, giving us a first look at rookies and long-time journeymen of 10 different teams. Here are six guys (or overall story-lines) that you should keep an eye on while watching the action unfold.
Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars
Blaine, Jacksonville's first round pick in this year's April draft, will get the nod under center for the team's game in New England. The veteran David Garrard left practice yesterday due to an apparent back injury.
Head coach Jack Del Rio and the Jags' front office have made it clear that they are preparing for life after Garrard, who turned 33 in February, after spending the 10th overall pick on Gabbert.
I would expect Garrard to recover and make the start come week one of the regular season, but don't be surprised if Gabbert overtakes the starting role once again.
Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth, New England Patriots
Come on, whether you're a Patriots lover or a Patriots hater, who isn't excited to see these two newcomers suit up for Belichick's squad?
Tom Brady will likely play a quarter or less of the game, but those first two series with Brady and Ochocinco lining up together will grab the attention of everyone in the stadium. Not to mention ESPN will cover every angle of the story.
So whether or not you decide you're excited to see these two in action for the first time this year, you will see the highlights over and over again. Oh joy, we just can't wait..
Seattle's revamped offense––Good? Bad?
No more Matt Hasselbeck under center for Seattle. Instead we will see former Vikings Tarvaris Jackson and wideout Sidney Rice lining up together. When you throw in the Pro Bowl tight end Zach Miller, another recent signing, you have an extreme makeover on the offensive side of the ball for the 'Hawks.
If you ask me, I think Pete Carroll has the recipe for disaster out west. Get ready to see Sam Bradford and his Rams take over division dominance in 2011.
Kevin Kolb to Larry Fitzgerald connection
One of my favorite storylines for tomorrow night, personally.
Larry Fitzgerald finally has an established quarterback since the departure of Kurt Warner two seasons ago. Arizona had a rocky campaign in 2010, with plenty of underachieving at the quarterback position. With a happy Fitzgerald catching passes, I think Arizona's passing offense has a lot to look forward to this year. Especially with the addition of Pro Bowl tight end Todd Heap, too.
St. Louis is still the team to beat, but Kolb has finally found his home with the Cardinals.
Quarterback Position Battle in Denver
We already know the winner of this so-called quarterback battle in the Rocky's. With the Kyle Orton trade rumors finally settling down, all signs point toward Orton being the guy for the Broncos.
All that has done is spark a little bit of motivation out of the second-year quarterback Tim Tebow. I would expect him to get a substantial amount of playing time against Dallas tomorrow night, so prepare for a great game out of Tebow.
Baltimore receivers vs. Philadelphia secondary
Baltimore attempted to save some money and get under the salary cap by releasing veterans Derrick Mason and Todd Heap. Philadelphia, on the other hand, landed the coveted cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha via free agency and Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie in the Kevin Kolb trade.
Joe Flacco will be looking to create some chemistry with young guns Torrey Smith (rookie WR) and second-year tight end Ed Dickson, while Philly DBs Asomugha and DRC attempt to impress Eagles fans in their team debuts.
Should be a great match-up to watch whether or not you're a fan of either team.
Romo's return for Dallas
Ricky Williams makes B-more debut
When will Steve Smith hit the field for Philly?