One common refrain this offseason has been that it is going to be difficult for young players to impress coaches and unseat veterans from the roster without playing in preseason games or taking part in a full offseason program.
Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock seems to agree with that assessment. He told Albert Breer of SI.com that coaches “traditionally trust veterans that they’ve seen do it in the past” and that eliminating ways for others to build that trust closes down avenues to make teams.
Bears General Manager Ryan Pace that a sense of security will feel important early in the season, but balances that view with anxiety about letting a player who can play slip out of the organization.
“Your concern always, in every camp, is letting a good player walk out of here,” Pace said. “It goes back to taking every piece of information you can to complete the evaluation and leaning on your staff — and not just your coaches and your scouts but your support staff to complete the picture. Because, yeah, you are nervous a good player is going to walk out of here. You always are, but to be honest, you probably feel it more this year because we’ll have less time with these guys, and we won’t have the preseason games.”
The flip side to Pace’s fear is that other teams are going to have no chances to see young players from other teams on the field this summer. Preseason stars who get squeezed off of one roster often land on others, but teams won’t have anything other than scouting evaluations to use while weighing if they’d rather have a player who knows their system rather than one from outside just before the start of the season.