For the better part of Danny Snyder's tenure as owner of the Skins, the team has ridden their status as Offseason Champions into the pre-season. That's come with some pretty high expectations, and plenty of Skins fans and analysts have had their eyes focused on shiny silver trophies.
But this season seems to be a little bit different, as Hogs Haven notes.
The experts pretty much universally aren't picking the Skins. And Skins fans (at least the ones that trend more toward realist than homer) aren't really counting on a deep January run.
Is that a good thing? Hogs Haven thinks so:
"This is where Joe Gibbshistorically succeeded. He relished the underdog role. He loved to be able to make it plain to his players that they were not expected to win, ever. His job was made difficult when the cacophony of high expectations drowned out reality--even more so when that din emanated from within his own roster.
"The question will be, can Zorn find a motivational tool here? Because it is there. And a good coach never lets a useful instrument like that go to waste...This team should welcome this new hype-less era, and prove it on the field."
There are plenty of reasons for why expectations are lower this season than previous ones. Questions surround Jason Campbell and nobody's quite sure what to expect with the Zorn Star are a good starting point.
The Skins certainly start with an easy schedule with should-be creampuffs against Detroit and the Rams. If they're able to build some momentum and cohesion in the easy part of their schedule, who knows what will happen in the second half, when things really get tough.
If Zorn plays it right, there's no reason their confidence can't be zooming by the time November rolls around -- from low to high.
So welcome the lowered expectations and the lack of hype. If they play the first half like they should, there will be plenty of hype and high expectations later.
Chris Needham used to write Capitol Punishment. He wonders if this'll be the last season of Zorn and Campbell.