LISTEN: Football-Starved Sports Fans Anxiously Await Preseason

 

By Sam McPherson

Podcast host Jason Fitz and NFL reporter Alex Marvez recently got together to discuss a variety of issues facing the NFL this offseason. Fitz insists sports fans really don’t care much about the NBA, as they simply wait for preseason football to begin. It’s hard to argue with him, as he takes listeners on a fun tour around the league’s offseason stories, from Denver to Oakland to Philadelphia and beyond.

Osweiler spurns the Broncos

The biggest NFL offseason story, as Fitz sees it, was quarterback Brock Osweiler spurning the Denver Broncos in favor of the Houston Texans.

“Even if all things were equal with the money, [Osweiler] would have left the Denver Broncos anyway,” Marvez opined. “He felt snubbed by the organization when he was benched in Week 17. He felt this was now his team. He was coming off the big win against the Cincinnati Bengals, and then boom, he gets benched. He never saw the field again.”

“Ultimately, you have to say the Broncos did what was best for their organization for the short term, which they won the Super Bowl,” he added. “But as far as the long term goes, they alienated Brock Osweiler.”

Check out other episodes of The Jason Fitz Show.

The situation in Philly

One of the Broncos’ failed offseason plans to replace Peyton Manning — after Plan A departed for Houston, of course –involved trying to acquire Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford. Now, with the Eagles choosing Carson Wentz in the NFL Draft, there has been a lot of noise about Bradford again in NFL circles. Some of it has come from the disgruntled Bradford himself.

“He’s playing for his NFL future in a lot of ways here, and if that isn’t a motivating thing, then I don’t know what is,” Marvez said. “He’s made more than $100 million, but he’s been injured, he has a losing record overall, he hasn’t made the playoffs yet… but there’s always this potential, like you’re thinking, ‘Wow, if Sam could just get it together for a season, this guy could really be a franchise-caliber quarterback.’ So, it’s an intriguing thing in Philadelphia this year.”

Marvez even went as far as to predict the Eagles could be the second-best team in the NFC East this fall, behind only the defending division-champion Washington Redskins and their rising-star QB, Kirk Cousins.

“The Washington Redskins very quietly have enjoyed a very nice offseason,” Marvez observed. “When you’re able to add Josh Norman, that was such a huge boost to their secondary. Kirk Cousins has weapons aplenty to throw to. The offensive line is much improved.”

AFC Teams

In the AFC, Marvez sees a team in Fitz’s territory making strides in 2016. With Houston, Indianapolis and Jacksonville all having their own holes to fill and questions to answer this offense, the team in Nashville could surprise fans in the AFC South this year.

“I’m really excited to see how the Tennessee Titans fare this season, because I think they’ve hit a home run with just about every move they’ve made,” Marvez noted. “I think this Titans team is really primed to make a move toward .500, of all things. I really like the way they’re going.”

The Vegas Raiders?

As for the probability of the “Las Vegas Raiders,” Fitz wanted to know if there was really any probability to that move actually happening, being a lifelong fan of the Silver & Black.

“Absolutely: I think it’s going to happen, actually,” Marvez stated emphatically. “I would more surprised if it didn’t happen at this point. Alameda County officials are nowhere to be found: They’re not bidding on the Raiders. I think Vegas makes so much sense; I believe it’s a city that can sustain and support a football team over the long haul. It makes sense for the NFL as well: You’re in the entertainment capital of the world.”

One other major issue that Fitz took on in this podcast was the NFL’s marijuana testing policies. Listen to full podcast here, or above, because you don’t want to miss his heated commentary.

Sam McPherson is a freelance writer covering baseball, football, basketball, golf, hockey and fantasy sports for CBS, AXS, and Examiner. He also is an Ironman triathlete and certified triathlon coach.

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