Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles in action during the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens during their preseason game in Philadelphia. (Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
After months of work stoppage in the NFL and weeks of build up, Thursday night we finally had football games.
The NFL preseason kicked off in earnest with five games that got us all excited about football again. No more talking about revenue sharing or rookie wage scales, it’s all about football now. The New England Patriots hosted the Jacksonville Jaguars, Baltimore traveled to Philadelphia, Seattle took on San Diego, the Dallas Cowboys hosted Denver and Arizona was at Oakland.
The official preseason kickoff was supposed to be Sunday’s Hall of Fame game between the St. Louis Rams and Chicago Bears, but the game was cancelled due to the lockout.
The games lacked the polish we have become accustomed to seeing in the NFL with players returning to work just two weeks ago following a 4 1/2 month stoppage in which they weren’t allowed to practice or train at their team facilities.
So for the first time we saw how rookies are adjusting to the NFL game without the benefits of minicamps and how free agent acquisitions are fitting in with teams they’ve practiced with for just a week.