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Preseason is just an exhibition

The 2009 preseason passing leader was Jacksonville's Todd Bouman with 485 yards.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Training camps and preseason games for the upcoming 2010 NFL season have finally arrived, and all those fans and fantasy owners who were starving for football will finally get their "fix."

But we must all remember how little the preseason resembles the regular season. Do not take to heart much of what you see in any preseason game, except for injuries.

Why, you might ask?

One only has to look at last year's preseason yardage leaders to get an answer.

The 2009 preseason passing leader was Jacksonville's Todd Bouman with 485 yards. The remainder of the top-five included: A.J. Feeley (350 yards), Joey Harrington (244), Tyler Palko (244) and Andre' Woodson (238). In the 2009 regular season, the combined passing totals for all five quarterbacks was zero attempts for zero yards.

The findings aren't much different for running backs and receivers, either. The five leading preseason rushers last season (Tyrell Sutton, Gartrell Johnson, Aveion Cason, Lance Ball and Dominique Dorsey) combined for 25 carries and 111 yards last season. Meanwhile, the five leading receivers (Leonard Pope, Jayson Foster, Ashlie Lelie, Charly Martin and Ronald Curry) totaled 21 receptions for 180 yards.

Looking at the leading preseason quarterbacks back to the year 2006, only one quarterback threw for as much a 3,000 yards - J.P. Losman in 2006.

Unfortunately, like most other rules in life, there are exceptions. In 2008, the top preseason rushers included 2008 TSN Fantasy Player of the Year DeAngelo Williams (1,636 yards from scrimmage, 20 TDs) and a rookie by the name of Chris Johnson in Tennessee (1,488 yards from scrimmage and 10 TDs).

All told over the past four preseasons, of the 60 players found on all the lists, only nine had any fantasy value (15%) and only two of the nine could be deemed a surprise - Shaun McDonald in 2007 (79-943-6) and Tony Romo in 2006 (220-for-337 for 2,903 yards, 19 TDs, 13 INTs).

McDonald benefited from joining a Mike Martz offense in Detroit, and Romo replaced an ineffective Drew Bledsoe at starting quarterback for the Cowboys in late October of 2006.

That's not much of a reward for scouring through four weeks of boxscores which primarily consist of players who will be released before the "real" season begins.

However, you might want to pay attention in Chicago, where Martz is beginning his first season as their offensive coordinator, if only to see which Bears' receiver among Devin Hester, Johnny Knox, Devin Aromashodu, Earl Bennett and Juaquin Iglesias emerges as the top receiving options.

2009 Preseason Yardage Leaders
Player Team Yds Pass Yds Rush Yds Rec
Quarterbacks       
Todd Bouman JAC 485  
A.J. Feeley PHI 350  
Joey Harrington NO 244    
Tyler Palko AZ 244    
Andre Woodson NYG 238    
Running Backs        
Tyrell Sutton GB   191  
Gartrell Johnson SD   184  
Aveion Cason DET   91  
Lance Ball IND   86  
Dominique Dorsey WAS   79  
Wide Receivers        
Leonard Pope ARI     100
Jayson Foster BAL     95
Ashley Lelie KC     95
Charly Martin SD     88
Ronald Curry STL     76


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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