After nearly two months of full-contact two-a-days and 65 exhibition games (the equivalent of a quarter of a season), the NFL preseason is finally over. Was it worth it? Well, we did learn the answers to a few questions:
How do the Rams look? Awful. While the Giants' new uniforms are the coolest '60s revivals this side of Austin Powers, St. Louis's new getup looks like the bastard love child of the Notre Dame and Purdue outfits.
Why is Andre Rison still in the league? True, his legs are aging, his stats are declining, and he often runs afoul of the law. (Just last week he was charged with four counts of check kiting.) Still, Rison, 33, is a dynamic locker room presence, capable of making a good team think it's great Rison has already brought attitude to the Raiders, his sixth team in seven years, just what a team full of potential needs going into the season.
What coaches are in trouble already? After seeing running back Fred Taylor and two fifths of his offensive line go down with preseason injuries, the Jaguars' Tom Coughlin can't feel too confident, but no coach is on shakier ground than the Bengals' Bruce Coslet. Cincinnati lost wideout Darnay Scott, its only veteran offensive talent other than uninterested running back Corey Dillon, to a broken left leg suffered in a contact drill a month before the Bengals' first regular-season game. He'll be out for the year.
Isn't the preseason a valuable learning experience for rookies? There may be some truth to that. Consider the case of Cowboys offensive tackle Erik Williams, a nine-year veteran who spent the first four weeks of the preseason "contemplating retirement" His contemplative mood was no doubt aided by the 100�-plus temperatures at the team's Wichita Falls, Texas, training camp and the trans-Pacific road trip for an Aug. 5 matchup against the Falcons in Tokyo. Williams finally reported on Aug. 15 and wasn't fined for his absence. New players would be wise to note: You can always learn something from the veterans.