NFL: It’s the most wonderful time of the year

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Fantasy football is in full force, which can only mean one thing. After seven months since Super Bowl XLVI’s matchup between the New York Giants and New England Patriots, the NFL season has returned. With the first week of the season already in the books, it appears that this will be an exciting one.

In recent seasons the NFL has shifted from it’s traditional run-heavy offense to a more “air-it-out” style. Due to the change in offensive style across the NFL, quarterbacks have become more coveted along with their value. Evidence of this was on display this past weekend when five rookie quarterbacks found themselves under center in their season openers. Among these quarterbacks is former NC State, and current Seattle Seahawk, Russell Wilson. Last season’s Heisman trophy winner Robert Griffin III also got his first taste of the NFL when he helped the Redskins knock off the heavily favored New Orleans Saints.

The spread is a very exciting offense that utilizes the quarterback skills and provides him with several options. It is also a nightmare for defensive coordinators to come up with a scheme to defend. The spread is used by many college teams across the country such as Oregon, Oklahoma State, Michigan, Texas A&M and Texas Tech. Miami Dolphins rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill ran the spread offense last season at Texas A&M as well as former Oklahoma State and current Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Branden Weeden. Other big names like Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers and New York Jet Tim Tebow, also ran the spread offense during their tenure at the college level. College and NFL teams all over the country are making the transition to the spread offense, including Western Carolina.

First year Head Coach Mark Speir is in the process of installing the spread into the Catamount offensive attack.

“The spread offense allows us to get our athletes out in space and gives us better opportunities for the big play,” Speir said. “It puts pressure on the defense and forces them to defend the entire field as opposed to just defending the ball carrier,” he added.

The first week of the NFL season was full of big plays, spectacular catches and a few head-scratching upsets. The stage has been set for the second week which will begin Thursday with history’s oldest rivalry, the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers.