The biggest question right now is will the 2020 season ever really start, and if it does, how much traction will it gain before some covid-related calamity gums up the works? Already the NFL has cancelled all preseason games, over 100 players and staffers around the league have tested positive for the virus, and some veterans are vocally concerned about the advisability of sitting out the season to protect the health of their families.
Then there is the social unrest factor causing anxiety among players, league officials and fans alike. Knee-jerk reactions to historically uninformed tweets by players are just the tip of the glacier of confusion. Kneeling for the anthem? Which one, the BLM hymn or the national anthem, or both? Someone’s going to get their nose out of joint no matter who kneels or why.
The organized demonstrators will surely target the stadium areas surrounding the games if they are played. That means increased police and security presence, a chance for more rioting and looting, and no doubt displays of violence which make the game itself seem superfluous.
Black Lives Matter. Has there ever been a more redundant slogan?
Tell you what my slogan is: Thug Lives Don’t Matter.
You want to pillage and destroy while hanging your hat on BLM? Sorry, you’re a Thug, not an activist. Thugs come in all colors and races. Thugs must be stopped, not enabled.
I don’t think the NFL should be clowned by Thugs. I yearn for the brave Eagles player or executive who will step up with an anti-Thug message.
As for the team itself, it will be difficult to prepare for this mystery season just on the basis of logistics.
The lack of on-field training this offseason because of the coronavirus pandemic will likely limit their draft picks, at least early. Veterans who actually show up for camp are not going to get all the reps they really need to achieve any kind of game-ready consistency or confidence in their position groups.
On paper, it looked like the cornerback position had been upgraded. But as Tim McManus of ESPN points out, there’s no guarantee this group can actually coordinate a plan amid all the covid disarray:
“Cornerback was the biggest issue last season along with wide receiver. The Eagles are much better off there now with the acquisitions of Darius Slay and Nickell Robey-Coleman. The shift in resource allocation, however, meant saying goodbye to team leader and do-it-all defensive back Malcolm Jenkins, who played 100% of the defensive snaps in five of his six seasons with the Eagles. Jalen Mills will be asked to make the transition from corner to safety with little on-field training and step into Jenkins’ post opposite Rodney McLeod. That’s a tall order.”
This entire prospect of a coherent 2020 season is a tall order.