BOSTON (CBS) – After a disappointing summer for the Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics, New England fans were ready for some real live, action-packed football Thursday night for the Patriots preseason opener, but what was on display was anything but.
Being nice, the game was very sloppy from the Patriots standpoint and left us all with more questions than answers, quite frankly.
It was only one game, albeit an exhibition contest with no bearing whatsoever, but there’s still three of these things left to go, which begs the question: Do we really need four preseason games?
98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show weighed in Friday morning.
“It’s ridiculous to have four preseason games,” said Fred. “The crowd wasn’t there. You didn’t see Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Logan Mankins, Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Jerod Mayo, Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Darrelle Revis or Devin McCourty.
“The only two interesting things to look at that game from a fan perspective are the play of Ryan Mallett and Jimmy Garoppolo in his first NFL contest. You have these joint practices, and you practiced for three hours the other day in the blazing sun. Why do we have these preseason games? The only thing to be gained is a loss. You’re going to lose depth to injuries in these games — maybe not starters, maybe not stars because they barely play, but you’re going to lose depth. You have to put bodies out there.”
Fred doesn’t think you need to shorten the length of the preseason or training camp, because getting proper work in before the 16-game grind is valuable, but four preseason games is a little much — especially when most coaches would agree that joint practices can be just as valuable.
“If I’m an NFL owner, seriously, how much money am I making between the two preseason (home) games? What would I rather have: the attendance of the two preseason games or a healthy team going into the season?” asked Fred.
Fred pointed to Patriots defensive tackle Chris Jones, whose knee appeared to be rolled up on Thursday night after teammate Marcus Forston was thrown right into it by the Redskins offensive line. Jones walked very gingerly to the sidelines and did not return to the game.
While Chris Jones is not expected to play as much or have the same impact as a Vince Wilfork or a Tommy Kelly this season, as a rookie he played a vital role on the defensive line in 2013. Jones contributed six sacks, started in 11 games last year and is expected to be a rotational depth player for the upcoming season.
Are four preseason games too much, not enough or just right?
Listen below for Wallach and Rich’s take: