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Ten Thoughts on the NFL

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NFL: Preseason-Miami Dolphins at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

1) Shining in one preseason game could just be just considered beginners luck, but looking sharp in two straight is something real right?

Dallas Cowboys’ rookie Dak Prescott continues his push to make the Preseason All-Pro-First-Team at quarterback, after following up his stellar debut of 10 for 12 passing with 139 yards and 2 TDs (154.5 passer rating), with an even better 12 for 15, 199 yards passing with 2 TDs (158.3) and two rushing TDs.

I wonder how quickly Cowboy fans will be begging for Prescott to replace Tony Romo?

2) Cleveland Browns’ wide out Josh Gordon hasn’t played since 2014 and he still has a 4 game suspension he has to serve this year, but he’s been working with the ones at Browns practice.

If he can put his troubles behind him, his dynamic play making ability is exactly what quarterback Robert Griffin III needs to help get him back playing quality football. Don’t forget that Gordon was named to the 2013 Pro Bowl with a league leading 1,646 yards in only 14 games and RGIII was named to the 2012 Pro Bowl with a league leading 8.1 yards per attempt and a league low 1.3 interception percentage.

And oh yeah, RGIII did this again...

3) Since being the top overall pick in the 2014 draft by the Houston Texans, Jadeveon Clowney hasn’t done much. Injuries kept him from all but 4 games as a rookie and last year he only started 9 of the 13 games he played in, racking up a mere 4.5 sacks.

But now he may be finally rounding into the player the Texans expected him to be.

EDIT: This clip is a tighter shot, but has no commercial.

EDIT: This NFL tweet has a lengthy commercial, but you can see the sack from a widr angle.

Yeah, it’s just a clip from a preseason game, but Texans beat writers are saying he looks really good in practice.

4) The Texans could really use Clowney playing up to his potential, because it’s still doubtful that J.J. Watt will be ready for week 1 after having back surgery. His stitches are removed and he’s doing some light workouts, but he’s in danger of missing the first game of his professional career after playing in 8- straight.

Is Watt the best defender playing in the NFL today?

5) Speaking of “doubtful,” the NFL made a change to how teams report injuries. The only three injury designations we’ll see on an injury report are questionable, doubtful and out. Gone is the probable category that used to mean a player has a 75% chance to play.

Questionable now means that the player has a greater than 50% chance to play, doubtful means that a player has a less than a 50% chance of playing, and out still means he’s out.

I’m guessing we’ll have teams litter their weekly reports with questionables upon questionables.

6) The best quarterback in the San Francisco 49ers vs the Denver Broncos game was the newly signed Christian Ponder. The ‘Niners inked Ponder on Tuesday the 16th, he then went out four days later and completed 7 of 8 passes for 86 yards and a TD.

Preseason fever, catch it!

7) Sticking with that game, if the Broncos are going to get crappy QB play this year they may as well roll with rookie Paxton Lynch. Sure he looks like a rookie, but he is the most talented signal caller on their roster and he’s clearly the QB of the future, so they may as well throw him out there to manage the offense while that fantastic D wins them games.

The Broncos won’t start Lynch, as they’ll most likely go with 2015, 7th round draft pick Trevor Siemian, but I just don’t see a point in not giving the rookie a shot.

I don’t buy the cockamamie theory that you might ruin the psyche of a young player by throwing him into the fire. If you, as a franchise, are concerned that a young player is too fragile to overcome adversity, then you drafted the wrong player.

Unless Sieman has clearly outplayed Lynch, then you go with the rook.

8) If you draft a quarterback in the 2nd round, but you never bother to play him in the first two preseason games, does that tell your fanbase that he’s a bust waiting to happen?

The New York Jets picked Christain Hackenberg with the 51st pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Some NFL analysts believed that Hackenberg shouldn’t even be drafted, including Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson and the National Football Post’s Greg Gabriel.

Jets’ offensive coordinator Chan Gailey has the rep as a QB whisperer, so maybe he can transform the raw Hackenberg into a player.

He surely won’t play in the 3rd preseason contest (the dress rehearsal game), but if he can’t even manage any time in the 4th preseason game (the back up bowl), Jets fans will start to throw around the bust label even more.

9) The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded back two spots in the 2016 NFL Draft, allowing the Chicago Bears to come up and get athletic edge rusher Leonard Floyd. The Bucs ended up taking Florida corner Vernon Hargreaves at 11. Hargreaves is a player that was mocked to the Bears by a lot of publications, so it’ll be interesting to watch his and Floyd’s careers.

Floyd notched a half a sack in the 2nd preseason game, while Hargreaves picked off two passes against Jaguars’ back up quarterback Chad Henne.

10) I liked what I saw from Bears rookie running back Jordan Howard against the New England Patriots. He not only finished runs, but he had good vision and was decisive on his cuts. I would like to see him running with the ones, but last week the Bears were sticking with Jeremy Langford, almost like they had no intention on having a backfield by committee.

What if head coach John Fox is planning on Langford being “The Man” at tailback?