It may be NFL Preseason football, but it’s freakin’ NFL football, baby!
Pete Carroll and Norv Turner will be blasted all night for their offseason and in-game personnel decision by ESPN’s premier familiar football voices Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden.
If you can’t be there live in front of the television to watch the action unfold, you’ll at least be able to listen to the roaring Chargers crowd and hard hits on ESPN Radio, 97.3 KIRO FM in Seattle and Rock 105.3 FM in San Diego.
Everyone is anxious to see each team’s draft picks and highly touted free agent additions after a lengthy and tumultuous offseason.
|Seahawks Top 5 Additions|
|Sidney Rice, WR|
|Zach Miller, TE|
|Tarvaris Jackson, QB|
|Robert Gallery, OG|
|James Carpenter, OT (Rookie)|
|*Bonus* John Moffitt, OG (Rookie)|
Following Philadelphia and New England, Seattle was the bigger winners in free agency as Carroll was able to revamp his offense. They landed former Oakland Raiders head coach Tom Cable to instruct the new-look offensive line, which will emerge as one of the best in the league.
Following Marshawn Lynch's heroic Wild Card run against the New Orleans Saints, Carroll and Cable will lean heavily on Lynch this season as he enters "Boast Mode" once again.
For all of you fantasy players out there, Lynch should be on your radar as the Seahawks look to play winning, smash-mouth football.
All eyes will be on the three new offensive starters Tarvaris Jackson, Sidney Rice and Zach Miller, but I'm excited to see which play is called first, since it won't be called by Carroll or anybody else within the organization.
"Carroll is currently taking suggestions from fans through Twitter on what the Seahawks first play should be against the Chargers next week–as long as fans use the hashtag #Seatweetplaycall when posting their suggestions.
With key additions like Tarvaris Jackson and Sidney Rice, there are high expectations for Seattle’s offense this upcoming season, and Carroll is allowing fans with a rare opportunity to be part of the action in the team’s first preseason game," according to Dan Parzych of RantSports.com.
With "Big" Mike Williams sidelined for preseason action, whichever lucky fan has the opportunity to call better let Lynch unleash "Beast Mode." Either that or a Jackson to Rice Hail Mary. Anything else will be a waste.
|Chargers Top 5 Additions|
|Takeo Spikes, LB|
|Bob Sanders, SS|
|Corey Liuget, DT (Rookie)|
|Marcus Gilchrist, CB (Rookie)|
|Jonas Mouton, OLB (Rookie)|
Chargers fans will finally enjoy a Super Bowl caliber offense with the additions of elite veterans Takeo Spikes and Bob Sanders. These two men can still play with the very best of their positions and will improve San Diego's rush defense.
If there's one matchup I'd love to see Thursday, it's Spikes against Lynch head-to-head.
Fantasy football fans will be disappointed to see Ryan Mathews on the sidelines, though his 2010 owners are already used to that.
Mathews continues to disappoint as San Deigo Union Tribune’s Kevin Acee reports that he will not play due to a slightly strained muscle in his upper leg. At least that’s not as pathetic as the Rotoworld.com Staff reporting that he has been dealing with soreness and a lingering toe injury.
It doesn't matter if Mathews is on the sidelines Thursday or for the entire season. They have their own "beast" in converted fullback Mike Tolbert. Tolbert rushed for a touchdown in nearly every single game last year.
Of course, everybody will be looking at Philip Rivers.
He was phenomenal last season and will be an MVP candidate if he can lead his team back to the playoffs. Very few men can rival his combination of arm strength, accuracy and gridiron toughness.
ESPN’s phenomenal Monday Night Football Countdown crew of Chris Berman, Mike Ditka, Keyshawn Johnson, Chris Carter, Tom Jackson, Steve Young, Matt Millen and Stuart Scott will guide us into the action.
I’m hoping for some picks to be made with Berman on an island all to himself like Darrelle Revis as he picks the Seahawks to win some bone-crunching preseason action.
With so many new faces and enticing storylines, I've never been this excited for preseason action. Thank you, NFL lockout.
For more exhilarating NFL analysis, check out Bleacher Report’s dedicated NFL page!
For more on the Seahawks, dive into Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Charlie Todaro's article looking into the team's position battles this preseason.
For more Ryan Mathews analysis, take a look at Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Ryan Lester's article questioning the second-year running back's toughness.
For further analysis of the excited Seahawks vs. Chargers Preseason Kickoff, click to Bleacher Report Feature Columnist Patrick Clarke's preview.
|2011 NFL Preseason Week 1 Schedule|
|Thursday, August 11||Time (EST), TV|
|Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots||7:30 PM|
|Baltimore Ravens at Philadelphia Eagles||7:30 PM|
|Seattle Seahawks at San Diego Chargers||8:00 PM, ESPN|
|Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys||8:30 PM|
|Arizona Cardinals at Oakland Raiders||10:00 PM|
|Friday, August 12||Time (EST), TV|
|Pittsburgh Steelers at Washington Redskins||7:30 PM|
|Miami Dolphins at Atlanta Falcons||7:30 PM|
|Cincinnati Bengals at Detroit Lions||7:30 PM|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Kansas City Chiefs||8:00 PM, FOX|
|San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints||8:00 PM|
|Saturday, August 13||Time (EST), TV|
|Green Bay Packers at Cleveland Browns||7:30 PM, NFL|
|Minnesota Vikings at Tennessee Titans||8:00 PM|
|Indianapolis Colts at St. Louis Rams||8:00 PM|
|New York Giants at Carolina Panthers||8:00 PM|
|Buffalo Bills at Chicago Bears||8:00 PM|