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With only one real game left, and the offseason already under way for most teams, it is a slightly strange time of year. I have deliberately stayed away from looking at the Super Bowl matchup as there is another week to go and so there’s plenty of time to start looking at the two teams facing off for the grand prize of the season.

It feels weird to me, that with the NFL’s focus on being a year round sport they don’t hold the start of the offseason program until after the end of the playoffs. The teams are rushing to fill their coaching staffs having already hired their new head coaches, whilst the best coordinators are likely having to either juggle their prep for the most important games of the season with interviewing when they can, or don’t get a look in. It is generally expected that the San Francisco 49ers are going to hire Kyle Shanahan as their new head coach, and if they do so  he will be the only Super Bowl bound coordinator to get a job, which means the other teams are not picking from the best staffs, which in of itself is odd. It also puts him at a disadvantage when filling his own coaching staff as teams have already been scrambling to make hires, and whilst I’m sure Shanahan would deny it, the situation has to be some kind of distraction whilst preparing for games although certainly the Falcons offence doesn’t look to have missed a beat.

It is only in recent years that I do occasionally watch the Pro Bowl because I’m in the habit of catching up with the games and I am not quite ready to head into the offseason yet. The blog will be quieter over the coming months, but much like football is a year round prospect, so is my writing. I’ll be focussing on publishing a sequel to the book that was published last year and as ever I’ll be self-scouting the blog and looking to see what I can do better next year. I follow the news like everyone else in the offseason, but as I have never found a way into the college game I’m not in a position to write from strength about the draft process and whilst I’ll pick up the preseason as ever, I’ll be taking the time to learn other things. That said, I’ll try to post things around key moments like free agency and the draft, I follow all year even if I don’t always write about them.

As for the NFL, most coaches are already preparing for the draft and the offseason, and it will soon be the season of hope for all fans. However, there is the minor matter of the Super Bowl to be played next week, and whilst we are always looking for the next thing, let’s take our time and savour what remains of the current season. We are offered an intriguing matchup of offence against defence, and what is sometimes called the evil empire up against a Falcons team whose owner is sending all of the team’s employees to Houston for the Super Bowl. This is not unheard of as both the Panthers and the Broncos did this last season, but it is a nice gesture and a not inexpensive one.

Still with all the hype and stories to come, I am looking forward to the game itself, and in particular looking at the coaching tape of the Falcons offence against the Patriots defence. Let’s just hope we get as good a game as we are all hoping for. Roll on Super Bowl LI!

Do I have to watch the Pro Bowl?