Offseason narratives we don't trust

The NFL Draft was not even a month ago, and we're already sick of the offseason. Every player is in the best shape of his life, and every team weakness from 2014 has been magically solved.

We've still got a few months to go before training camp, but here's a look at six offseason storylines we are already tired of. These are tropes we aren't buying:

Johnny Manziel looks 'awesome'

"Johnny's been great. He's been fantastic. What he wants to talk about, before he stepped foot back in this building, is his business. All I know is Johnny the football player, and he's been awesome." - New Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo

By all accounts, Johnny Manziel has returned from his offseason stint in rehab with renewed focus. I'm rooting for him, but I need to see it on the field before falling for the springtime rush of glowing reports.

My biggest concern for Cleveland's second-year quarterback? His frame. Watching him during Tuesday's OTA session, he still looks too slight to impose his will on an NFL defense. Last year's film proved that Johnny's size was a liability. We also saw him chased down by defensive linemen more than once, leaving his speed in question, too.

Browns coach Mike Pettine said Tuesday that his decision to play Manziel over Connor Shaw and Thad Lewis in practice was based on Johnny's progress in Phase 2 of the offseason. He's obviously working hard to win back his teammates and make good on his first-round pedigree, but I'm not buying the hype until September bears fruit. -- Marc Sessler

Gregg Rosenthal will tell you the Adrian Peterson offseason saga is driven purely by money. Most contract squabbles are. This situation feels different, though. Peterson himself has stated that he no longer trusts some members of the Vikings organization and is uneasy about the way he was portrayed in Minnesota last year. Yahoo!'s Charles Robinson reported over the weekend that Peterson has not wavered in his desire for a trade and insists this has "never been about the money." Agent Ben Dogra told Bleacher Report's Jason Cole that Peterson wants to play for a team that will not only pay him guaranteed money beyond 2015, but also will stand by him and defend him. Most importantly, Dogra told Cole, Peterson wants to play for a contender -- specifically the Cowboys. -- Chris Wesseling

Colts closing gap on Pats

The Colts added shiny new offensive weapons for Andrew Luck to play with. Andre Johnson, Frank Gore and Phillip Dorsett will make Indy one of the most exciting teams to watch. In January, however, blocking and defense win championships. It's troubling the Colts didn't upgrade Luck's blockers after the quarterback was pressured on 36.2 percent of his dropbacks last season, per Pro Football Focus. As a defensive coach, Chuck Pagano's side of the ball has been a big disappointment. Outside of Trent Cole, little reinforcements were added up front. If the Colts are to make up the 38-point difference in the AFC Championship Game, the defense will have to show vast improvement or Luck and Co. will end up on the losing side once again, even if they can make it a shootout. -- Kevin Patra

Two-point revolution

The NFL has finally done something about its "extra point problem", pushing the spot of the snap from the 2- to the 15-yard line. The result is a PAT attempt of 32 or 33 yards, a tougher kick that -- in theory -- could lead to more coaches opting to go for two. In theory. In practice, coaches will probably keep sending their kickers on the field. The NFL is a copycat league, and it's hard to imagine many coaches immediately shifting strategy because they don't trust their kicker to convert what remains a chipshot. Broncos coach Gary Kubiak told reporters last week the PAT change "will change a great deal" in terms of team strategy. My prediction is that the only thing it does -- at least in Year 1 -- is cost a few kickers their jobs. -- Dan Hanzus

Redskins need a new QB

Imagine if the current incarnation of Robert Griffin III was available in this year's draft. Is there any doubt that he'd still go ahead of Jameis Winston, or at least Marcus Mariota, and receive a similar level of hype? Sure, the knee injuries are concerning for a player who relies so much on mobility, but with today's medical advancements, he shouldn't be too far off from getting some of that back. It seems like people are hoping that Kirk Cousins or Colt McCoy can be some kind of savior. Why don't we hope -- and bet -- on Griffin III figuring it out? That rookie season was far too good to be an aberration. -- Conor Orr

Broncos window closed with Peyton Manning in decline

This storyline is less about the Broncos, and more about what we've heard and read from other national analysts. There is a lot of chatter that Denver is no longer an AFC favorite because Manning is past his prime, but that ignores a few key factors. 1. The Broncos have one of the most talented rosters in the league. And Manning was playing like a top-three quarterback for the majority of last season. We don't need to see peak Manning for Denver to make it back to the Super Bowl. He just needs to play like a late-era Chad Pennington, while Gary Kubiak's offense and Wade Phillips' defense supports the passing game. The Broncos upgraded by getting rid of John Fox and Jack Del Rio, who are not known for their schematic adjustments. This Denver team is slipping under the radar, but they should absolutely remain a favorite to earn another playoff bye. -- Gregg Rosenthal

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content