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NFL: Wishful Thinking or Speaking The Truth?

During the off-season a lot of NFL players make a lot of bold claims.  Whether or not they live up to those claims is a different story.  You can call it posturing, bragging, wishful thinking or perhaps they are speaking the truth.  Let’s take a look at some of the things said recently by NFL players and whether it is simply wishful thinking or if they are speaking the truth.

Mark Sanchez:

SanchezI’m planning on playing, I’m planning on starting.




When the New York Jets drafted quarterback Geno Smith in the draft it was clear that they were exploring option outside of Mark Sanchez.  Sanchez had an embarrassing year capped off with the notorious butt fumble that still gets aired on ESPN’s Worst of the Worst every week.

However, after both quarterbacks had poor to an average performance during the early practices who is starting for the other team in New York is still undetermined.  Sanchez says that he plans on starting and it may be right as it simply makes sense on a financial level and a strategic level.  If there is anything the Sanchez has it is experience and Smith could benefit from being mentored by Sanchez for a year.  Also, it only makes sense that you start the quarterback that you are paying eight figures a year to.

However, Jets coach Rex Ryan will not survive another terrible year of football after the Tebow debacle and the poor play of Sanchez.  His job literally depends upon this season.  However, starting Smith is even more of a risk than starting Sanchez.

Verdict:  Sanchez Speaks the Truth

Chris Johnson:

JohnsonI know I have another 2,000 yard season in me.





Tennessee Titans fans and sports analysts in general have been unnecessarily hard on Chris Johnson.  Johnson burst onto the NFL scene in 2008 where he impressed everyone with his incredible speed.  Then in his second year in the pros he rushed for over 2,000.  His longest run was a whopping 91 yard run, causing one announcer to exclaim that he “looks like a video game.”

Johnson has not yet put up another 2,000 yard season, but every year he says he knows he can still do it.  Titans fans do not want hear him talk about doing it they want him to do it.  If he does anything less he is criticized for being disappointing.  However, Johnson stats show that he is above all else a consistent running back.  In his five years has rushed for over 1,200 yard with the exception of 2011 when he ran just over 2,000.  He has averaged over four yards a carry all five years. Yet Tennesseans demand more.

It is also important to remember that the Titans are a very different team today than they were in 2009 when he ran for over 2,000 yards.  Jeff Fisher’s old ground and pound style of football was in full effect at this point.   It was after 2009 that the team began to fall apart and by 2011 Fisher was gone.  The Titans O-line has been atrocious since not even being able to protect the quarterback, let alone open up any gaps for Jonson to run through and yet he is still putting up solid yardage.  So, can Johnson have another 2,000 yard year?

Verdict:  He is speaking the truth.  The question is will the Titans have the squad that allows him to do so.

Robert Griffin III:

RGIIII’ll be better.





Robert Griffin III quickly became everyone’s favorite quarterback last season.  He was explosive and exciting to watch.  Every game he was in he made you drop your jaw at least once.  Thus the media has since jumped all over him to the point to where it is almost obnoxious.  From Bed Bath and Beyond-Gate to camera capturing his every move, he is beginning to seem more like Kim Kardashian than a top tier NFL football player.  It is not his fault.  It is our fault.  We demanded to see more of him and the media delivered now we are on overload.

Griffin, meanwhile, has been giving perfect interviews with all the right sound bytes, with the exception of the infamous Bed Bath and Beyond Tweet anyway.  When asked about his leg he says the typical “It’s day to day,” “I’m planning on starting Week 1” and “I’ll be more careful.”  However, when TMZ caught up with RGIII he quipped that no only will he be as good, but he’ll be “better.”

RGIII will likely be better, depending on your definition.  He will likely throw a lot more passes and will not rush for as many as yards this season, which may technically make him a better football player.  However, he will be less fun to watch.  Instead of taking hits like this:

He will be doing his best impression of a baseball player.  He will be healthier, though, and have a much longer career in the NFL.

Verdict:  He speaks the truth.   RGIII will be a smarter football player, which will technically make him better.

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