Well, the 2013 preseason is officially behind us as all 32 teams played their final games on Thursday night. Oh, what a ride it was. Stars were born, hearts were broken, fans were … fandangled, I don’t know.
But, what always burns me is that we’re all so quick to just write off the preseason with typical quotes like “oh, it sucks,” and “oh, it doesn’t count,” and “oh, Matt Leinart can’t get a job,” and blah, blah, blah. Well, I say enough is enough. I want to commemorate the four weeks of action-packed action we just got done with.
So, without further ado, we presents the First Annual Laces Out NFL preseason awards.
2013 NFL Preseason Champions: Washington Redskins
Let’s all hail to the Redskins because old D.C. takes home the crown for finishing with a perfect 4-0 record. Yes, I know … the Seahawks also went unbeaten, but I don’t give out shared awards. And as a voting body of one, I find Washington’s preseason to have been more impressive.
After all, Seattle was able to trot out Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and the like for every game. The Redskins had to live on a steady diet of Sexy Rexy Grossman:
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Josh Norman, CB, Panthers
Never heard of him? Well, hear Josh’s Panther roar, because he lit it up on the field. The second-year defensive back picked off four passes during the four games, turning heads and impressing coaches with his cat-like speed and reflexes.
Norman started 16 games with only one interception as a rookie in 2012. Based on what we’ve seen out of him, will we see a breakout this season?
Honorable mention: Caesar Rayford, LB, Colts. He amassed five sacks, but that didn’t match up to Norman’s stats, because according to the Laces Out Table of Worth, one interception is worth three sacks. So Norman’s four interceptions were the equivalent to 12 sacks. Therefore, Norman takes the title.
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Stephen Williams, WR, Seahawks
Who is he? Only a wide receiver with the speed of a hawk, heart of a honey badger and hands like Lord Shiva (look him up). Anyway, since coming into the league as an undrafted free agent out of Toledo, he’s bounced around. But this year, with his 9 career receptions fueling him, Williams went above and beyond.
He led the league in receiving yards (236) and tied for second in touchdowns (3). That’s a pretty impressive month’s worth of work, wouldn’t you say?
Honorable Mention: Khiry Robinson, RB, Saints. He ran for 228 yards, which was highest in the league. I’ve got nothing else to say about him. But good job!
Pat McAfee Memorial Preseason Punting Title: Brandon Fields, Dolphins
Field admittedly had a larger sample size, having played in five preseason games instead of the usual four. He’s also hampered by the fact that he’ll never be as awesome as Pat McAfee (who the award is named after), but he did show some strong leg action this preseason.
He punted 29 times for 1,539 yards (have you ever seen a punting total before?) and a 43.6 net average. He also had a long of 66 yards. That’s some good kickin’ right there. Kudos to you, Mr. Fields.
Tony Zendejas Memorial Kicking Title: Ryan Succop, Chiefs
Admittedly, Ryan wins this award mainly because we like saying “Succop.” Try it for yourself and really accentuate the “p” sound. Fun, right?
Anyway, Mr. Succop went a perfect 9 for 9 on field goals this preseason. True, Miami’s Caleb Sturgis went 9 for 9 as well. And what’s more, Sturgis’ long was 58 yards, compared to Succop’s long of just 48. But I already gave the punting title to Brandon Fields and I have a “no multiple Dolphins” rule for these awards.
I will say this, though: “Sturgis” is almost as fun to say as “Succop.” Sturgis, Succop, Sturgis, Succop.
Preseason Coach of the Year: Rex Ryan
Why? With all the things that have gone wrong with Gang Green this preseason (hurt Sanchez, bad Geno, etc.), a man with lesser intestinal fortitude might have thrown himself off a bridge. Not this guy.
Rex isn’t backing down and if this is last season with the Jets, he’s going down swinging. He’s jawing at reporters, belittling his quarterback and just being … well, Rex. Gotta love him.
Oh, and for all the fun we’ve been making of Ryan’s team, they still went 3-1 during the preseason. So, he must be doing SOMETHING right.
Clay Matthews Memorial Inappropriate Celebration Award: Kirk Cousins, Redskins
Do you remember when Matthews did a lascivious dance after getting a sack in the 2012? Let me refresh your memory:
I didn’t think we’d have someone challenge him for the title so soon. So, congratulations to you, Mr. Cousins. Your celebration after a Week 1 touchdown pass was … well, I’m not gonna sugarcoat it. That was disgusting.