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Mailbag: CeeDee Lamb For Rookie Of The Year?


If there are games that are played without fans, do you think there is a bigger advantage for the offense when it comes to the quarterback calling out coverages or making audibles at the line? Or do you think the defense will be able to hone in on the snap count and get a quicker step in rushing the passer? — STEPHEN LANE / HICKVILLE, NY

Nick: Obviously, it's still early to speculate on what will happen. But in that scenario, I don't see a major advantage one way or another. If you think about it, teams don't have a major edge in practice when it's rather quiet. I think more than just offense vs defense, I think the road teams will probably just have a better shot to win games than they have before. That's probably the biggest equalizer in that scenario.

David: It's funny you ask this question, because l was just thinking about it over the weekend. Traditionally, we think of home field advantage in football being worth roughly three points. And why is that? Because the home team has 70,000-90,000 fans on its side making life difficult for the visitor. How different will games be if the home team loses that advantage? Or would the league allow home teams to pipe in their own noise to make up for the lack of fans? It's hard to say, but l think it has the potential to be a huge change.

So do you think CeeDee can win Rookie of the Year with two other receivers getting the ball? Amari Cooper and Micheal Gallup will both get quite enough of the ball. Giving him No. 88, I dont think they will be holding him back. — STEPHEN GRAYSON / GREENVILLE, MS

Nick: Yeah, he's going to have a shot just because he will have a chance to do flashy things. You don't always need a ton of stats if you can make big plays with runs after catches and punt returns. Yes, the ball will he spread around but if he makes enough "wow" plays at the right time, it can happen for him.

David: Odell Beckham Jr. won NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year as recently as 2014, so there is precedent for a receiver to pull it off. That said, the other primary receivers on that New York Giants team were Rueben Randle and a Victor Cruz who was far past his prime. I think CeeDee Lamb is going to have a great rookie season, but it's hard to imagine he'll be the focal point of the offense. On top of that, he'll be going against other rookies that don't have as much competition for touches. Joe Burrow, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Jonathan Taylor and Cam Akers all strike me as guys that have a far better shot at the award. It's not a knock on CeeDee, but it'd be fairly surprising to see him pull that off.

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