NFL Watch: First Week of Preseason Wraps Up

Cam Newton looked sharp in his NFL debut.

words // Brandon Richard

The first week of the 2011 NFL preseason football is in the books. We’ve all now had the chance to get an initial glimpse of our favorite teams on the field after an offseason lockout threatened to eliminate some games from the schedule, or even worse, the entire season. With the additional time off, veteran players stepped aside even more than usual during the first week of preseason games, giving young players and rookies the opportunity to show their respective teams what they bring to the table.

One of the star rookies we saw for the first time was number 1 overall pick Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers. Though his mechanics and pocket presence have been under scrutiny throughout the offseason, the rookie quarterback looked poised in his debut against the New York Giants, completing 8 passes for 134 yards and two field goal drives. While there’s a great amount of room for improvement, last year’s worst offensive team has to be excited about what they’ve seen from Newton.

Another surprisingly good performance from a young quarterback came from the Cleveland Browns’ Colt McCoy. McCoy started off his second campaign by completing 9 of 10 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown in three series of action against the defending champion Green Bay Packers. Elsewhere, Sam Bradford and the upstart St. Louis Rams kicked off the new season with an absolute thrashing of the Peyton Manning-less Indianapolis Colts 33-10. Bradford completed 7 of his 12 passes for 45 yards and a score, while backup AJ Feely supplemented him with a 10-of-14, 100-yard performance.

Though it’s extremely early to make any lasting conclusions, several young stars of the league looked sharp in their season debuts last week. Which young player do you think has the potential to have a breakout season in 2011?

While you’re thinking of an answer, check out some of the cleats that were worn during Week 1 in today’s NFL Watch.

NFL Watch: First Week of Preseason Wraps Up

CJ Spiller wearing the adidas X Sorch X Superfly Low; DJ Moore wearing adias adiZero 5-Star

D.J. Moore tackles Bills running back C.J. Spiller, wearing the adidas adiZero 5-Star and adidas Scorch X Superfly Low respectively.

Jay Cutler wearing Nike Air Zoom Super Bad 3

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler scrambles for a first down in a PE colorway of the Nike Air Zoom Super Bad 3.

Aaron Rodgers wearing the Nike Zoom Alpha Talon

Super Bowl XLV MVP Aaron Rodgers returns to work in the Nike Zoom Alpha Talon.

Joshua Cribbs wearing the Nike Vapor Jet 4.2

Joshua Cribbs makes a leaping catch in Vapor Jet 4.2 Nike football cleats.

Julio Jones wearing Under Armour Football Cleats

Rookie wide receiver Julio Jones debuts in Under Armour football cleats.

Reggie Bush wearing adidas Scorch X Superfly Mid

Reggie Bush warms up in the adidas Scorch X Superfly Mid.

Donovan McNabb wearing Nike Air Zoom Super Bad 3

Donovan McNabb tries to avoid a tackle by Jason Jones, wearing the Nike Air Zoom Super Bad 3 and Nike Zoom Alpha Talon respectively.

Javon Ringer wearing the Nike Zoom Vapor Carbon Fly

Javon Ringer breaks away from the defense in the Nike Zoom Vapor Carbon Fly.

Nate Davis wearing Reebok Football Cleats

Nate Davis breaks away in U-Form 4Speed Mid M4 Reebok Football Cleats.

Cam Newton wearing Under Armour Nitro III Blur Low

Panthers rookie quarterback Cam Newton celebrates the first win of his young career in a PE colorway of the Under Armour Nitro III Low.

Ndamukong Suh wearing Nike Zoom Alpha Talon

Ndamukong Suh fights for position in a PE colorway of the Nike Zoom Alpha Talon.

Rex Grossman wearing Nike Super Speed

Rex Grossman passes in the Nike Super Speed.

Ben Roethlisberger wearing the Nike Zoom Alpha Talon

Ben Roethlisberger drops back in his Nike Zoom Alpha Talon PE.

Jackie Battle wearing Nike Zoom Flyposite

Jackie Battle runs in Zoom Flyposite Nike football cleats.

images via ESPN