The NFL is it.
We've got between five thousand and fifteen thousand fans at training camps all over the country. Beat writers Twittering detailed play-by-plays from the practices. Those same beat writers reporting initial depth charts as if they're news worthy (and fans like me caring). The minutiae of the NFL off-season has officially usurped baseball's pennant races, golf's fourth major and NASCAR's build-up to the Chase as the preeminent sporting event of the summer. It's an NFL sandwich. Everybody else is the condiments.
Here is my reaction to the Bears' release of the initial depth chart:
1. What happened to Craig Steltz? There have been no stories in any of the dailies regarding particular struggles by the LSU safety. Steltz, only two weeks ago, was slated to start at free safety and now has fallen behind Josh Bullocks to third on the depth chart at the position.
2. The Bears kept 9 defensive linemen on the initial 53 last year. Assuming Jarron Gilbert is the ninth man, does this leave Texas' Henry Melton on the practice squad?
3. Because I'm a football nerd, I'm excited to see Richmond McGee - currently listed as both the backup placekicker and punter. I've often wondered why there aren't any successful guys doing both duties and why teams don't actively develop that kind of talent. It would immediately free up a roster space.
4. If one thing has become clear through early camp, it's that Brandon Rideau is going to be on the field this season. The team kept six receivers a year ago and Rideau is currently listed in the top four. Here's hoping he has some nice preseason performances.