Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What She Order? Fish Filet?

Fair enough on Green. If you're correct, he'll fit right in with the historic likes of Chad Johnson, Kelly Washington and Carl Pickens. Punk or not, I still think he can have a Larry Fitzgerald/Calvin Johnson-esque impact his rookie year. The final numbers might not look impressive because of a new offense and rookie QB, but there will be at least one "Wow!" play a game and a couple random games of "3 catches, 174 yards, 2 TDs" type numbers.

Speaking of Henne and his dropped interceptions, I'd love to see the dropped interception numbers for Carson Palmer the last two seasons. He had 20 last year and 13 the season before. If you factor in passes where a defender got at least two hands on the ball, I'd conservatively put his two year total at 45. No kidding. For that reason alone, I don't think the Bengals will be as bad this year as people think they will. Dalton's calling card is his accuracy and he has enough mobility to get himself out of bad situations instead of putting the ball up for grabs. Then again, I watched them against the Jets and they are dreadful. Just dreadful.

I thought Goodell had really outdone himself with the fan conduct policy and fines, but I was wrong. Suspending Terrelle Pryor for his actions in college takes the cake. David Stern actually followed suit and stripped Derrick Rose of his MVP award, because Rose had someone take the SAT for him in 2009.

Funny you should mention the "Can we get married at the malllllll?" line. Aziz Ansari has been releasing his own comics set to WTT lyrics and this is his latest installment. I think this one is my favorite. We're going in opposite directions on Watch The Throne, to no one's surprise. I'm listening to it more and seeming to like a different song I like with each listen.

Tim Tebow is apparently down to fourth string QB. I would love to see the practices in Denver. A couple of weeks ago they were about to trade Orton and hand Tebow the reigns, and now he's fourth string? How could one perform so poorly in such a short amount of time? Surely, someone will steal him away for a low round pick if he's in John Fox's doghouse that quickly.

I hear you on Eli, but I feel he would have been picked apart if he gave the PC answer. Admitting he has more work to do to become an elite QB, would be misconstrued as him lacking the confidence to lead a team that hasn't made the playoffs in two years. I understand why he said what he said, even if I don't agree with it. The term "Elite QB" lost all meaning to me after this article from John Clayton last year where Carson Palmer, Joe Flacco, Manning and Donovan McNabb all earned "elite"ranking.

Thanks for that Action Bronson. His vocal resemblance to Ghostface is uncanny and "Beautiful Music" has become a fast favorite of mine. Love that Kendrick Lamar as well. Those two, WTT, Wale's new mixtape and a steady dose of Winehouse have kept my iPod busy lately. Not sure what you didn't see in Frank. Love that album.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Eli the Elite

I've read a lot of things about Eli Manning's comment, in which he considers himself to be an elite quarterback.  On the way home, I was listening to Dameshek's podcast where they talk about it.
Here is the response I have heard from pretty much everywhere: "Well, I think it's good that he considers himself an elite quarterback.  It shows that he believes in himself.  I like that swagger.  What is he supposed to do?  Say he's not an elite quarterback?  What kind of message does that send to his teammates?  And what about the guy he's being compared to?  He beat Tom Brady in a Super Bowl.  In a head-to-head match-up, he beat Brady.  So he should think he's as good as Brady."

There are all sorts of things wrong with that line of thinking.  I have a couple thoughts about it.
First of all, Eli is not an elite quarterback.  If he is, then I have no idea what "elite" means anymore.  And I firmly believe that he doesn't need to say (or believe) that he's an elite quarterback.  Frankly, if Eli actually believes that he is an elite quarterback, then all Giants fans should be scared.  Because that's Eli saying, "I'm in the upper class of QBs.  I can improve a little, but I'm at the top of my game right now."  Maybe he is at the top of his game...but that doesn't make him elite.  If I were a Giants fan, this is the response I would want to see:
"No, I don't consider myself an elite QB.  I don't really see myself in Brady's class.  I threw my career high in interceptions last year (25).  Brady threw 4.  I have a lot of work left to do.  I believe that I will one day be an elite quarterback, but I don't feel I'm there just yet."
That shows that he knows he has a lot of work to do, but that he is willing to put in the time to make himself an elite QB.  To me, that would have been a better response.

Now, as to the "he beat Brady head-to-head in the Super Bowl" argument.  That is overly simplistic to the point of idiotic.  Yes, the Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl.  To credit that to Eli is overlooking a lot of things.  "But he was the MVP."  Yes he was.  But that doesn't always mean he was the main reason the team won (Peyton's MVP award could tell you that).
Eli's numbers for the game: 55.9% passing completion, 255 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, passer rating of 87.3.
Not terrible,  but not great, either.
Anyone who watched that game knows that the Giants defense was the main reason for their Super Bowl victory.  Actually, you wouldn't even really need to watch the game; just look at the numbers.
The Patriots averaged 36.8 points per game that season.  In their two playoff games before the Super Bowl, they averaged 26 points.  Going back to week 1, their lowest point total was 20 (in a 20-10 win over the Jets in week 15).  The Giants held that offense to 14 points.  Simple math says that was 26.8 points lower than their season average, 12 points lower than their playoff average, and 6 points lower than their lowest scoring game of the season.
Eli had no control over how the defense played.  That was a terrific gameplan, it was perfectly executed...and Eli still almost gave away the game in the 4th quarter (if Samuel comes down with that interception, the Patriots win).

Is Eli a good quarterback?  He's capable.  He'll put up big numbers, but he'll also make a lot of dumb decisions.  Is he an elite quarterback?  Not even close.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

More Shots at Green and Kanye

When I called AJ Green a punk, I wasn't necessarily referring to his demeanor when being overthrown.  He did a whole lot of chest-pounding/dancing/staring down defenders after catching a 15 yard pass in the second quarter.  I don't know.  He just seemed very much like a look-at-me diva receiver.  That's not a great sign when you're in college and heading to a team with a rookie quarterback.  I expect to see a blow-up by Green before week 8.

Call me crazy, but I'm still a believer in Henne.  I don't think he's great, but I think he can be a decent quarterback.  He had a bad year last year, but advanced statistics show that, when dropped interceptions are factored in, Henne actually had a better year than Sanchez & Fitzpatrick.  According to this article, Henne had a string of bad luck last year.  There's bound to be a regression to the mean this year.  At the end of the year, I bet you'll find a lot of people comparing Henne to Orton.

I can see your point on Votto.  I hope it doesn't happen, but the Reds could do a lot worse than getting Bautista playing for them at Great American Ballpark.  And, if Alonso is as good as I keep hearing, they could have a pretty fearsome line-up.

As far as Kanye...I'll hold my ground on that one.  In an effort to try to change things up a little, he has decided to draw out words in an obnoxious voice ("Can we get married in the maaaaaaaaall?"), or end his lines by saying, "Haaaa."  He started doing it a lot on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and he continued that nasty habit on Watch the Throne.  I agree that Jay was "jogging in place" in a lot of places, but that doesn't exonerate Kanye.  In fact, if it were up to me, I would lock Kanye in a room and never let him near a mic again.  He could still produce, but no more vocals.  For me, the only thing that keeps me coming back to the album are some of the guest spots (Frank Ocean, in particular), and the production.

I love Breaking Bad.  It took a couple episodes to really get into, and it's pretty intense, but once I got into it, I couldn't stop watching.  I haven't started on this new season yet...I plan on waiting a while and watching a bunch of them at once.  It's definitely not for everyone, but I love it.

I agree with your assessment on quarterbacks in the preseason...to a point.  Let's go with the Packers.  I definitely don't want Rodgers to get hurt.  And I do agree that the more snaps Flynn (or Harrell, for that matter) are a good thing.  But there's something to be said for getting used to "game speed" after the offseason (this offseason in particular).  They can get used to a certain amount in practice, but there's a different feel and look to the actual games.  I think it would be extremely hard to jump from practice to a regular season game without any time in the preseason.  I think the way most teams do it seems to work well.  Give them a little time in the first preseason game, a little more in the second, a little more in the third, and hardly any at all in the fourth.
I feel this way about receivers as well.  As long as the starting quarterback is out there, the starting receivers should be out there.  They need to get their timing and reads down.  I don't think it's nearly as important for most of the other players, but I do think it's important to get the starting quarterbacks and receivers some reps together before the regular season starts.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Defending Aj Green and more Votto

Let me defend AJ Green for a second. His three years in college, his quarterbacks were Matthew Stafford, Joe Cox and Aaron Murray. We've discussed Stafford and his college days plenty. Stafford had his best year, when AJ Green was a freshman. And he still found some time to overthrow the 6'4 Green. Joe Cox was awful. Just awful. Aaron Murray was/is talented, but was a freshman in his only year with Green. That team underachieved every year he was there, and he still shined. Now he gets to go to perennial contender in the Cincin....Damn. Well at least, he's getting the pigskin from a proven winner like Andy Dal...Shit. Well, he and Andrew Luck should make beautiful music together for the 2012-13 Bengals.

Speaking of Hasselbeck, I was listening to Dameshek's podcast (still holding up, by the way) and it was mentioned that Kyle Orton wanted 6-7 million per year for three years. Hasselbeck got 3 years/21 million from the Titans. Kyle Orton is better than Matt Hasselbeck. I don't feel like that's unreasonable money for him. Miami refused to give him the extension, so he stayed in Denver. Now everybody loses. I don't think Denver contends this year with or without Orton. They have a new coach in John Fox, so they don't have a guy coaching for his own job security. Tim Tebow needs to be starting there. At least see what you have in him. In that division, Denver is probably a 7 win team with Orton at QB and a 5 win team with Tebow. Give Tebow a shot and get a draft pick, or whatever you can for Orton. For the life of me, I can't understand why Miami wouldn't give Orton that contract. I don't think Chad Henne is the answer.

Actually, I'll let Miami slide for that one. They apparently think Reggie Bush is ready to be a feature back so their football decisions can't be trusted. I did hear a co-worker claim that Vince Young should have joined Bush in Miami. I agreed with that. However, I didn't agree with his guarantee that this would take the Dolphins to the Super Bowl.

You know, I almost went with Alex Smith again for my prediction. For some reason, I think that guy can be a decent quarterback in this league. Now they have Gore playing for a contract, Harbaugh to work with Smith, Braylon Edwards motivated after signing a one year deal and they are still in that dreadful NFC West.

The tricky thing with Votto is that there is no guarantee he stays in Cincy after his contract expires (two more seasons after this one). He refused to sign away any years of his free agency in his last deal. For this rumor to leak, it leads me to believe the Reds think there is no chance Votto re-signs. I like Votto, too and I know I'd like to see him retire in a Cincy uniform.. He's worked hard to go from an unknown prospect to league MVP, he's improved his defense a great deal and he seems like a good guy. I also know that it will take a lot of cash to keep him here. For the 2013 season, he will make $17 million. A long term deal to keep him in Cincinnati will probably start at $20 mil per season. The Reds payroll is currently at $76 million. I just can't see a team in a market this small committing over one fourth (potentially one third) of its spendings to one player. Meanwhile, Bautista is locked up for the next four seasons after signing a 5 year/64 million dollar deal earlier this year. I don't buy the man in the stands tipping pitches to Toronto. In this Youtube/Twitter world, he would have been outed by the fourth inning and TMZ would have the visual evidence by seventh inning stretch. Acquiring Bautista would also plug two holes for Cincy. Yonder Alonso takes over at first, and Bautista could either go to third base or left field. I don't like the idea of trading Votto, but I do understand that the possibility exists. I'm not sure there will be much better returns than the likely 2011 AL MVP. And if this means Votto doesn't bolt in two years to DH for the Yankees or Sawx, then I can dig it.

What do you mean as far as Kanye's " insistence on being as annoying as possible" on WTT? I thought he saved a few tracks on the album as Jay appeared to be lyrically jogging in place. This album is still growing on me. I think I already like it more than either artist's last individual efforts (Blueprint 3/My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy). "The Joy" is probably my favorite and "Welcome to the Jungle" is my least favorite by far.

Some quick hits:

I don't get Google+. I feel old.

I watched my first episode of "Breaking Bad". Well, I watched 20 minutes of it. That's as far as I could make it.

Word is that Texas A&M is about to join the SEC West. This would be followed by Florida State joining the SEC East. Good God, make it stop. Kentucky needs to get to Conference USA or the MAC before things get ugly.

Why don't second string quarterbacks play 90% of preseason games? I'll take your Packers as an example because they are on now. Aaron Rodgers is a known commodity. Matt Flynn wasn't terrible when he played last year, but don't you want him getting as many snaps as possible? In case Rodgers misses a game or two like last year, Flynn is comfortable enough getting real time work with the team. I know teams want to develop their third string project QB, but if it comes down to him in a regular season game, you're screwed anyway. The Bengals played four quarterbacks last night. Not one of em worth a damn. In this case, you know what you're getting out of Gradkowski but he is learning a new playbook. Give him a quarter, and let Andy Dalton take the other three.

Speaking of the Bengals, why is Jordan Palmer still on the team? Does anyone know?

Preseason Fever! Catch it!

Yes.  Stafford has a cannon.  As did Russell (as you pointed out).  You know who didn't have a cannon?  Joe Montana.  You can have a cannon and be successful, and you can have a noodle arm and be successful.  There's more to being a great quarterback than the strength of your arm, and Stafford hasn't shown that yet.

See, I'm a big fan of the James Jones signing in Green Bay.  Sure, there are already a lot of good receiving options on that team, and he does seem to drop a lot of passes.  But he's one of the better #3 options in the league.  At some point Driver is going to retire (I'll give him another year or two), and the Jones signing will help when that day comes.  Until then, that leaves the Packers with the same receiving corps as they had last year, and that's extremely important.  I wanted him back, but I didn't want the Packers to pay top dollar for him.

I like AJ Green as a receiver, but, from the Georgia games I watched the past couple years, he kind of seems like a punk.  I can see him blowing-up at the quarterback at some point this season.

I never said it was a bold prediction...but it is a prediction.  Everyone was salivating over the "Hasselbeck to Tennessee" move, and I just wanted to point out that I like Jackson a lot more than Hasselbeck.  Most people seem to completely forget about the terrible regular season that Hasselbeck had last year (in 14 games, he completed 59.1% of his passes for 3,001 yards, and had 12 touchdowns against 17 intereceptions.  Not exactly setting the world on fire with those numbers), and focus on his performance against the Saints in the playoffs (which, admittedly, was a good one).
You want a bold prediction?  I'll take a page from the Johnson handbook on this one, and roll with Alex Smith.  I see him having a good year (3,500 yards, 22 touchdowns, 10 interceptions) and getting a chance to start for another team next year.  I'm not predicting a Pro Bowl, but I do think he'll have a good year.  Also, when the inevitable Schaub injury occurs, I predict that Leinart will play well enough to get some serious looks around the league next year.  Also, as long as the Dolphins don't trade for Orton or anything, I believe that Henne will play better than he did last year, and he'll outperform Sanchez this year.

I've listened to Watch the Throne around 5 times now, and it's not getting any better.  I still like the songs I like ("No Church in the Wild" is, far and away, my favorite song on the album), and I still hate the songs that I hate (the aforementioned "N***as in Paris").  Kanye's insistence on being as annoying as possible on some of the tracks ruins a lot of them for me.

I just can't see the Reds trading Votto.  I mean, I guess I can see it, but he's still an on-base machine, and he's only a year removed from his MVP season.  His power numbers aren't where they were last year, but he's still a fantastic player.
My issue with Bautista is less the PED thing (like you, I believe he's clean), and more the constant reports of sign-stealing in Toronto (I'm sure you saw this article).  I'm not sure if I buy it completely, but what if there's something to it?  His splits aren't really that different between home and away for the season...a slight dip in his away stats, but that's pretty common league-wide.  So maybe there's nothing to it.  Maybe he'll come to Cincinnati and immediately start raking.
And one more thing...this one on a personal level.  I like Joey Votto.  I don't really have anything against Bautista, but I really like Votto, and I would hate to see the Reds get rid of him.

The Packers first preseason game is tonight.  Color me excited.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Watch The Throne and Joey Votto

You know what’s funny about Stafford? Every time the Lions/UGA comes up when I’m talking pigskin, someone always plays the “If Stafford could stay on the field…” card. Every time I point out the things you mentioned, and there’s never a rebuttal. I’ve yet to hear a solid case for Stafford will be a good NFL quarterback that doesn’t involve “He’s got a cannon though!” That, he does. So did Jamarcus.

I have love for Green Bay. I’ve mentioned it before but I always loved playing with them on Madden ’98, and they weren’t in the AFC so they never played Cincy. I’ll definitely have an eye on them this season to follow Randall Cobb. Speaking of GB, not a fan of the James Jones signing. They didn’t pay a lot to keep him, but it seemed like that guy dropped at least one deep ball a game and they have a ton of receiving options already.

I can’t quit the Bengals cold turkey. If for no other reason than AJ Green. I’ve got a really good feeling about him.

*Smash cut to AJ Green hitting a parking attendant with his car, holding workouts on the front yard of his home and his wife stabbing him before he’s diagnosed with borderline personality disorder*

In no way, shape or form is Cam Newton worth $50 million guaranteed, but I’d be hard pressed to name a rookie that does. I agree with the theory of less guaranteed money for unproven players, I was just pointing out Cam picked a bad year to come out. If only he had stolen less laptops at Florida, he could have possibly slipped in last year’s draft class. I actually think Cam will be solid. Mike Lombardi pointed out that he will never read defenses like Brees or bark out audibles like Manning, so playing him ASAP isn’t a bad thing. Work to his strengths and hope for the best. That division is brutal so Carolina wasn’t winning anything of substance anytime soon anyway.

Jackson over Hasselbeck? That’s your bold prediction for the year? You gotta come better than that. You’re talking to a man that predicted a Pro Bowl season for Alex Smith one season ago. This season’s outrageous prediction? Kevin Kolb: 4,000 yard season, 25 TDs, Pro Bowl.

The first time I listened to Watch The Throne, I thought it was good. Not great. Really enjoyed it on my second listen. I like “Otis”, “No Church in the Wild”, “Gotta Have It”, “Who Gon Stop Me?” “Murder to Excellence”, “The Joy” and “Illest MF Alive”. I hate “Welcome to the Jungle” with a passion. “Lift Off” is growing on me. “Niggas in Paris” is a third trimester abortion. Great production on the album, as to be expected. I was a little disappointed with Jay on the album, until I realized that maybe he’s just losing his fastball. Happens to the best of them. I like this album but I still feel a little disappointed. Two of my all time favorite artists link up, and the result was good. Not great. Then again, I may feel completely different after a third, fourth, fifth listen. Time will tell.

Glad you dug that Frank Ocean. I love him getting in on Watch The Throne. They could have easily gone with old faithful John Legend there (to the detriment of the song). He’s already wrote songs for Bayonne, and now he’s working with Jay/Ye`. I hope he blows up. Nostalgia, Ultra is outstanding. “Lovecrimes”, “Nature Feels” and “Songs for Women” get constant play from me. Not a bad song on there.

I’m going to check out that Action Bronson. Anytime you get compared to the man that gave us “Wallo's comfortable, chocolate frosting, your socks hangin out, yours is talkin”, I’m interested in hearing what you have to say.

I keep hearing rumors about how dangerously close a Joey Votto for Jose Bautista was to being completed. And how it still could be completed this offseason. I have mixed feelings. I get it for Cincy in the sense that Bautista is signed through 2015, can play a few positions, and is putting up phenomenal numbers in a stronger division/league. You let him loose in Great American Ballpark on National League pitching, and 60 homers is definitely in play. He is three years older than Votto, but age probably matters the least in terms of baseball as one can produce well into your 30s. This would also plug Yonder Alonso (hitting .471 since being called up this season) into first base for the next few years. Then again, you have to worry about whether Bautista is playing PED free. I honestly think he's clean, but the sudden jump in his numbers does pique one's interest. The Blue Jays would a get Toronto native coming off an MVP season, that might be willing to take a little hometown discount to stay long term. I don't know how I feel about this.

More Stafford Bashing


Let’s start off with a line from Peter King, who was visiting Lions camp:

Matthew Stafford looks in midseason form.

So, he was on the sideline with a headset?
Look…I know we’ve covered all of this already.  A thousand times.  But why is everyone so high on Stafford?  What has he shown in his limited action to say that he is going to be a good quarterback? 
In his career, he is 3-10.  He has completed 54.5% of his passes, 19 touchdowns, and 21 interceptions.  (Granted, in his 3 starts last year he threw 6 touchdowns against only 1 interception, but he was still completing less than 60% of his passes.)  Over his three years in college, he completed 57.1% of his passes.  That’s not good, especially considering some of the talent on those teams.
Could he be a decent quarterback?  Possibly.  Can he win a little more than he has been?  Yes…but that would be due more to the insane defense than anything he does offensively.  I still think Shaun Hill is just as good an option as Stafford, if not better. 

Now, to other, non-Stafford thoughts.

I will allow you to jump over to the Eagles.  As you know, I’ve been trying to get you to start following the Packers for a few years now, and that obviously hasn’t worked (your loss, really).  I still think you should follow the Packers over the Eagles (partly because of my love of the Packers, and partly due to my hatred of 99% of Philadelphia fans), but that’s your call.  You’ve been with the Bengals for a long time, and, aside from a couple seasons, they haven’t given you much reason for hope.  And, as long as Mike Brown is controlling that team, I’m not sure how much hope you can hold out for.  If you want to jump over to the Eagles, have at it.  You’ve served your time with the Bengals.  And it’s not like the Eagles have a long history of winning (not in the postseason, anyway).
The Packers have been pretty good for most of my lifetime.  Two Super Bowls.  A ton of playoff appearances.  Very few losing seasons.  If the tables were turned – if the Packers were losing every year with no hope of getting better in the near future – I think I’d have a hard time being a die-hard fan.  If I were you, I’d jump to the Eagles…but keep an eye on the Bengals, just in case.

Yeah…Cam got jobbed.  But do you really think he’s worth $50 million guaranteed?  Granted, Russell wasn’t worthy of that either, but still.  I kind of like the way it works.  The Panthers took a bit of a risk with him (I still don’t think he’ll be anything other than a halfway decent quarterback…and that’s the best case scenario), and I like that they’re not completely screwed for the years to come.  If he doesn’t turn out like they hope, they’re not out a ton of money.  A $50 million guarantee could crush a team like the Panthers.  Plus, I just have a hard time feeling bad for him.

Barnwell has been really good.  He occasionally writes for Football Outsiders, so I knew his name from a while ago.  He definitely does good work there.  I like him, and I usually enjoy Klosterman’s articles, too…but that’s about all the enjoyment I get out of Grantland.

I’ve actually read that comment about Jason Campbell in a handful of places.  I don’t get it.  “If Jason Campbell can be consistent, the Raiders will be good.”  What makes anyone think he’ll be anything other than a below average quarterback?  What has he shown during the course of his career?  Do you realize that he is heading into his 6th season?  He is what he is at this point.  Don’t expect any giant leaps forward for Jason Campbell.  There will be a lot of check-down passes, and a ton of pointless sacks.  Because that’s what he does.

I maintain that Jackson will be a decent quarterback.  And I will make this prediction: Jackson will have a better year in Seattle than Hasselbeck will in Tennessee.

I watched 30 Rock for a few seasons, but I gave up on it sometime during season 4.  The first two seasons were terrific, the third kind of fell off a little…and the fourth was terrible.  I think I watched 5 episodes and just couldn’t do it anymore.  Maybe I’ll check it out again, but I make no promises.

That’s one of the advantages to not having cable.  I had no idea that Reilly was an anchor.  That’s terrible, but not shocking.  For some reason he’s still popular, but I can’t imagine why.  As far as I know, the only people who could possibly enjoy his writing would be old people…but maybe frat boys do, too.  I don’t know.  But I do know that I hate that man.

What are your thoughts on Watch the Throne?  I love that first track (Frank Ocean absolutely crushes the hook), but nothing else comes close to that, and there are a handful of tracks that I actually have to skip (“N***as in Paris” is the main culprit).  It’s about what I expected I guess: a couple high points, a handful of low ones, and a bunch that settle somewhere in the middle.
However, the more I listen to that Frank Ocean album, the more I love it.  “Lovecrimes” gets stuck in my head and refuses to leave.
Something else I’ve been enjoying?  That Action Bronson album.  He has the whole Ghostface thing going on.  He’s not as good as Ghostface, but I really like his album.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I wish ill will on Rick Reilly

Wow. I like Nnamdi to the Eagles even more than him going to the Jets. I just didn't see this one coming. In Asante Samuel and Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie, Philly had two ball hawking types but no tacklers. With Nnamdi on one side, Samuel and DRC will get plenty of chances for picks. Let me ask you this: If I start following the Eagles, does that make me a bandwagon fearsan? I've been over my beef with the Bengals and down here, I'll never get to watch them play. I'll be able to watch Philly play. They have Vick, who I've been a fan of for years. I like Nnamdi. I like Vince Young. Former Wildcat Trevard Lindley is an Eagle, and they signed Derrick Locke as an undrafted college free agent. This team is a trendy pick to make the Super Bowl, but I've had my eye on them since Vick signed there. Give it to me straight: Would this make me a bandwagon fan?

In what will surely be the last time I ever complain about 22 million dollars, I have to say Cam Newton got a raw deal. 4 years/22 million (all guaranteed) seems extremely low for a #1 overall pick that happens to be a quarterback. Jamarcus Russell got $32 mil guaranteed. Matt Ryan got $35 million guaranteed. Matt Stafford for $42 million guaranteed. Sam Bradford got $50 million guaranteed. Cam got $22 million total. Man.

Can't say I blame you for giving up on Simmons. I did enjoy his last column on wrestling theme songs, but it was more so for the links to the songs than the actual writing. I have been enjoying Bill Barnwell's work on Grantland about NFL free agency. Good stuff.

Who wrote that 32 teams, 32 questions? Is he aware that its Jay Gruden and not Jon Gruden running the offense? Whats intriguing about Carolina locking up the core of a 2 win team in a brutal division? Can Jason Campbell take the Raiders BACK to the playoffs? They havent been since 2002!

The catch with Haynesworth is that apparently Belichick wants him as the end in the 3-4. His opposition in Washington wasn't to the defense as a whole, but to playing nose tackle. I'm guessing he'll be hip to playing end and having a little space to operate. I think he has a monster year.

Tavaris Jackson is bad...and not that's bad meaning bad, not bad meaning good. He won't have a decent year as a starter. He's not decent. He's bad.

You ever watch "30 Rock"? I just got into it and I'm loving it. That, and the new seasons of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Entourage" have kept me busy. Not busy enough to catch wind of a national tragedy though...

...Rick Reilly is now an anchor on SportsCenter. I wish I was kidding. It's bad enough to see his garbage in print, but to hear it live before I start my morning is just too much. His writing makes me physically ill. The best thing he ever did was inspire this.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

More Free Agency Talk

Let’s start off with some ridiculousness from articles, shall we?
This comes courtesy of Pete Schrager at Foxsports:

Call me overly positive, but with Gruden behind the wheel, the Bengals’ offense could be one of the more exciting, young units in the league this season.”
I’ll call him overly positive.  Next year?  Maybe.  This year?  Absolutely not. 
The Panthers went out and acquired reliable veterans Jeremy ShockeyGreg Olsen and Olinda Mare.”

I have never seen “reliable” and “Jeremy Shockey” in the same sentence before, and I don’t ever care to see it again.

Philadelphia Eagles: Should we even have the 2011 NFL season or should we just hand the “Dream Team” the Lombardi Trophy in August?
Sorry, Philly, but Eagles fans already talking about a Super Bowl parade down Broad Street may need to curb their enthusiasm a bit. Yes, Asomugha, Jason BabinVince Young and the rest of Philly's big-name signings were solid acquisitions. And sure, the team looks great on paper. But injuries happen, players under-perform, and there are chemistry issues at every turn. Is this the 2000 New York Yankees all over again? Perhaps. It could just as easily be the 2010-11 Miami Heat.”

The same Miami Heat that made the Finals last year?  Yeah…what a failure of a team.  I’m sure the Eagles would hate making it to the Super Bowl.  That’s much worse than getting bounced out of the first round.

Now that I’ve got the Fire Jay Marriottiness out of my system…

Regarding your Bengals:
I really don’t understand letting Joseph walk.  They had the money.  They needed to spend the money.  Why let him go?  They signed Clements…but Clements hasn’t been good in a few years.  I don’t understand it at all.
I’m with you on Ochocinco.  I think he could have a pretty big year in New England.  I’m curious to see if he can tone down his act a little (as he claims he will), but I really think he’ll be great for the Patriots.  I’m a little more dubious on Haynesworth (I may be mistaken, but haven’t the Pats run a predominantly 3-4 defense over the past few years?), but, if he plays to his ability, he could also have a huge year.

The talk I’ve heard hyping up the Seahawks goes something like this: “Tavaris Jackson and Sidney Rice worked together for a while in Minnesota.  They know how to play together.”  Really?  Is that why no one thought twice about Rice before Favre came to town?  Don’t get me wrong…I actually kind of like Tavaris Jackson, and think he could have a decent year as a starter.  But let’s not think that the Seahawks are suddenly going to become a powerhouse offense. 
Also, how many times have the Seahawks paid big money for a receiver, only to see them fail horribly?  TJ Houshmandzadeh.  Deion Branch.  Nate Burleson.  Jerry Rice (although he barely counts, because they knew he was past his prime when they got him).  Tell me how spending big money on a receiver coming off hip surgery makes any sense at all.

I’m a HUGE fan of the Packers moves.  I wish they had kept Cullen Jenkins, but, if Mike Neal stays healthy, then the loss of Jenkins won’t matter too much.  They brought back James Jones (I still haven’t seen the numbers on this deal, but, from the sounds of things, they didn’t really overspend on him) and John Kuhn.  So their receiving corps still has Driver, Jennings, Jones and Nelson, with Cobb as the #5.  That’s a really nice group of receivers.  The backfield is made up of Grant, Starks, Kuhn, and Green (who will basically replace Brandon Jackson).  Sherrod is working with the first-team offensive line.  By all accounts, the double tight end set of Finley and DJ Williams looks impressive.  Let’s start the season already.
To prepare for the season, I’m going back and re-watching all of the Packers wins from last season.  It’s been a lot of fun.  It’s also a reminder of how many things have to go right in a season.  Knowing that the Packers almost missed the playoffs, every win was crucial.  As you know, many close games hinge on a critical play or two.  It’s amazing to go back and watch these games, because I just think, “If that play went the other way, the Packers wouldn’t even have made the playoffs.”  One interception.  One fumble.  It wouldn’t take much.  Hell, if the Eagles didn’t come back against the Giants (and the Bucs lose to the Lions on the same day) in Week 15, the Packers wouldn’t have made the playoffs.

I’m with you on Winehouse.  She was a tremendous talent, and it sucks that she’s gone.  I actually didn’t care much for Frank, which is why I was surprised when I liked Back in Black so much.  I’m hoping that she did some sessions with ?uestlove and Saadiq…enough to at least put out an EP or something.  But I doubt that happened.