With no preseason games and no joint practices, it’s impossible to know whether a team is better or worse in any specific area. That dynamic will make the first month of games even more compelling.
Until then, coaches need to assess whether their team is better, worse, or the same in any and every given aspect of its performance.
For example, Broncos coach Vic Fangio admitted on Monday that he doesn’t know whether the Denver running game, which features the one-two punch of Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay will be better or worse based on what he has and hasn’t seen in practice.
“I’d like to think we’re doing it in the run game,” Fangio told reporters on Monday. “We didn’t run it a whole lot the other night [in the team’s scrimmage]. I like what I see in the run game, but when you’re practicing the way we’re practicing it’s always hard to totally evaluate it. Are we moving the pile? Are we getting two or are we getting four? Are we getting three or are we getting six? That will be the telling point there. I like the direction we’re headed in.”
He won’t know whether the direction is the right one until two weeks from tonight, when the Titans and Broncos get together to wrap up Week One of the regular season as the second half of the annual Monday night doubleheader.