Monthly Archives: September 2013

Lions: Heart Wrong, Head Right.

Perhaps it’s my charm or just a cunning persuasiveness, but I have confidence I can talk my way out of anything. 

In language, more accurarely, in dialogue, I give myself timely escape routes.

Watch this. 

My prediction on Friday’s show was Bears 27 Lions 17. Got that wrong.

Howwwwwwwwever, prior to the show, while working out at the gym – where most bright ideas have their genesis for me – this dawned on me and hit me with as much strength as a barball landing on my chest that I decided it made enough sense to have conviction about. 

For the Lions to win Sunday (yesterday, duh), the 2012 Bears were going to have to show up and the 2013 Lions, with a modicum of more discipline and a healthy Reggie Bush, were going to have to be present. 

Well guess what? The less responsible Jay Cutler (the one somewhere in btw his 26 INTs of ’09 and 14 of ’12) was on the field for the Bears yesterday. Three INTs yesterday, to double his total for the season so far. One was a brilliant, veteran read by Louis Delmas (Kreger has never been more right about his impact, it’s Polamalu-ian) to rip a ball away from a receiver, and two more poor throws. One that again found Delmas, and another just hopeless toss up that Glover Quin hauled in. 

More on those 2012 Bears? Lovie Smith lost his job because he could never get that offensive line secured. So annually Jay Cutler, which contributes to turnovers, would get beaten around dozens and dozens of times on drop backs. The Bears offensive line, and you’d think that rookie Kyle Long was some type of demigod through the early weeks, wasn’t awful yesterday. But they weren’t good enough either. Once the Lions started to build their lead the assault was on. Which let me tweet this…

I know, I know, the Bears, last year and many prior to that, are notorious for swipes and scores on defense as well. But as poorly as I think Matthew Stafford played (my expectations are lofty for him), there were no Lion turnovers that shifted momentum enough to where the Lions were going to bury themselves with some string of events equaling, turnover, first down, first down + 15 yard penalty, first down, DPI in the end zone, 1 yard TD score. 

Never happened. 

I’m not as jagged as most Lions fans (deserve to be) but when your QB, who’s having a mediocre day, essentially catches his own fumble in a 3000lb + mass of humanity, you know the football Gods are smiling upon you. 

Cleaning up the tweets (as opposed to cleaning out the notebook)…

– Brandon Pettigrew, 7 targets, 7 receptions, 0 drops, 0 turnovers, lots of good blocks as the man often in motion or offset behind the offensive line.

– Oh my that offensive line of the Lions. Bush’s moves are electricfying, but he’s getting holes that even the turtle paced Tony Scheffler could crawl through. This has to go in bold, but THE BEARS MISSED HENRY MELTON. I would argue, with Melton, the Lions don’t cruise to such an easy victory. They may not win at all. If Melton is in the middle of the Bear defensive live, then Bush would’ve needed to be much more skeletal looking to pick out, then narrowly squeeze through holes. 

– Just three Lion penalties. If Bush remains healthy and the Lions behavior and focus can hover below the 5 penalty mark on a weekly basis, then only other devastating injuries or MASSIVE QB regression would keep this team from the playoffs. 

– About that QB yesterday, and last week too. Games that had be dismayed. Just 6.9 a pass yesterday, and if you noticed the Bears defense did an effective job shutting off Stafford’s first read most of the afternoon. Now it’s positive that Stafford’s scanning the field – not as if he’s going to jet out of the pocket – but he also missed too many passes a 5th year franchise QB should be making. 

Final whistle…

‘Adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals it.’ I like that apocryphal statement. 

I like this one too, from an Irish supporter of the American colonies, Edmund Burke, It is, generally, in the season of prosperity that men discover their real temper, principles, and designs.’

In more contemporary terms, and I know they haven’t been, but the Lions must now act like they’ve been here before. No arrests, no DUIs, no TMZish crap to distract, no expecting calls like they’re Tom Brady next week against the Packers. 

Reggie Bush is a winner. It’s his time now. His leadership and play on the field has been all the Lions had hoped. Now that presence and guidance must be an off field education as well.

Same Ole Rams.

I was a believer. I made a minor investment in the hype of the Rams offense.

Shiny new skill position weapons, upgrades on the offensive line, a healthy Sam Bradford coached by the same OC for two(!) years in a row, and a 1-0-1 record to boast about against the rugged NFC Champion 49ers in 2012.

This was to be the ascension of the St. Louis Rams. 

Or not.

Same Ole Lions Rams. 

Like I said, I made a minor investment in all of this. I recall my late summer, preseason statement was this ‘ehhhh, I think the Rams are a tad overrated and the Cardinals are being underrated.’ I made no proclamation that either team was going to poach the division away from the 49ers and the Seahawks, nor would I even commit to a playoff declaration for either. But still, improvement. A no longer laughable NFC West may post four .500 teams and be widely declared the best division in the game.

Or not.

My venture into the Rams came in the form of Sam Bradford, Jared Cook and Tavon Austin. Yep, three of my fantasy draft selections. The answer to (when he’s healthy) does Sam Bradford stink – which even I’ve asked – had always been: He’s got no weapons, sooooooooooo we’re not sure. That was no longer a suitable retort to the annual Bradford bewilderment with the Rams additions. 

Wait, they lost Steven Jackson. Who caressssssss, he wanted out and was D-O-N-E. 

Oh. 

The running game is an atrocity. I say this in no joking manner, the fiercest Rams running back threat in the building last night was Marshall Faulk. He had just 22 yards less than the Rams running game did, so it’s hard to say I’m wrong. How ever the Redskins unearthed Alfred Morris, well the Rams did the exact opposite in constructing their backfield. I’m a huge proponent of ‘ehhhhhhh, build your line and you can plug anyone in. I mean, you have to TRY, HARD, not to accidently stumble onto a viable running back.’ Isaiah Pead, Daryl Richardson and Zac Stacy have proven me foolish. 

141

10

44

45

The yardage totals of Jared Cook, who clearly brought his inconsistencies with him from Tennessee to St.Louis. It’s not all Cook’s fault as he’s been targeted 32 times, and come away from those intentions with just 17 receptions. That’s a lot of misfires by Sam Bradford considering Cook has just a single drop. No need to censure me for my harsh criticism. I respect that targets, catches, drops aren’t so black and white. 

Do the Rams remember they skated all the way up to the 8th pick in April’s draft to select what many said was the single biggest playmaker in the entire draft? After the West Virginia season, Tavon Austin was a 2nd or 3rd round pick, but after evaluations he becamse a suspected target for any team that was desperate for a plug and play instant playmaker.  Forget the chorus, here’s what last night’s analyst said to recap the Rams pick. “Now Sam Bradford has a weapon on the edge, and most importantly in the return game. This is the most explosive player in the draft.” — Mike Mayock

Intro-ing the game last night, Mayock reiterated his enthusiasm over Austin’s abilities in saying the Rams have to get him 20-25 touches a game. I agree. Maybe that not many in one game, but to dodge the guillotine of 1-3, that many touches in the hands of again THE MOST EXPLOSIVE PLAYER IN THE DRAFT, was necessary. 

Austin has four drops through four games, so again, I get that the Rams might be skittish to force feed their rookie, but must I repeated the names of the running backs again? Is there another skill position player on the Rams offense that has the potential to do more than Austin? No. 

Austin had 6 punt returns and did little with them. He was the center of 8 targets and marked the stat sheet with 2 catches. Zero carries. In some complex irony, Jets fans wanted Brian Schottenheimer GONE as their OC for his lack of imagination and his ruination of Mark Sanchez. The Rams leaped the Jets in the draft so they could get Austin before New York did. Forget about Sam Bradford; he may be a guaranteed $50 million dollar lost cause. Schottenheimer is going to jeopardize this job, and the ability to get future ones in the NFL by muting, again, THE MOST EXPLOSIVE PLAYER IN THE DRAFT.

Austin’s long touch, even on PRs, is a paltry 14 yards. 

Yep, the NFL defenders are faster, quicker, and more intelligent when it comes to angles than those in the Big 12, BUT HE HAS TO GET THE BALL MORE. 

In the same breath that I can pin Austin’s lack of early explosiveness on his adjustment to the NFL environment, Sam Bradford’s wayward ‘accuracy’ (58% for the season and his career) and Schottenheimer’s lack of play design and imagination are arguably more of a hindrance to Austin’s playmaking.

Simplify it. Make it even easier for Bradford by drawing up ways to get Austin the ball without needing to throw it more than 10 yards in the air. Hell, less. Four yards, create some rubs, and see if Austin can dart through a secondary. 

Even without even a whimper of a running game, the Rams, after having made sacrifices to take the offensive gem of the draft, and in trying to salvage Bradford from being a sunk cost, this should be a more productive offense.

Instead, I just have a trio of Rams on my fantasy bench, who’ll be nailed to it for quite a while it appears. 

4.5 yard per play. Third worst in the NFL. It’s Baltimorian and Jacksonvillian.

It’s bad enough zone-reading optionated QBs are off to a slow start, so that’s got me down. But I’m flat out irate that the Rams offense stinks and they’re totally underusing THE MOST EXPLOSIVE PLAYER IN THE DRAFT.

Will The Jaguars Go Winless?

It’s only been 3 games, but I’d be lying if I hadn’t said after each Jaguar loss, ‘they’re not going to win this year, and they’re going to replace the Lions in infamy. Err, join them.’

While it’s hard to the deny the NFL’s almost annual mantra of ANY GIVEN SUNDAY, the Jags push that maxim to its limits. Let’s be bullish on the Jags and rate their chances for victory during their final 13 games.

Colts – Could the Jags get a victory over an overconfindent Indy team that spent the week hearing how good it is (I was part of that chorus) after Andrew Luck’s signature win? Let down, yes…loss to the Jags, doubtful. If there’s a coach that can and will always motivate his team, I’ll take the courageous Chuck Pagano. Plus, I’ve heard that Indy has placed a sign in their locker room as motivation. It’s a picture of Roger Goodell stating that Cleveland Browns are on the clock with the final pick in the first round of the NFL draft. Chance of winning on a 1-10 scale. 3.

@ Rams – Whether the Rams win or lose against the 49ers Thursday night, they’ll have had over 9 days to prepare for the worst team in football. 5, Same Ole St. Louis. Demarco Murray owns the Rams, but last week was beyond pathetic.

@ Broncos- 1. Why 1? Peyton Manning could abruptly be forced to retire for being too good. Sports Authority Field for some reason could be deemed unplayable and the game is moved to Jacksonville. The Broncos are overlooking the Jaguars so much, they forget to show up to the game.

Chargers – Short week for San Diego after MNF vs. the suddenly physical Colts. Long trip across the country…7.

49ers – 2nd game of a road trip with a bye on the horizon that a beat up Niners team may be yearning for. San Fran MIGHT have lost that battle in Tennessee and be VERY angry. 3

BYE

@ Titans – The offseason offensive line additions seem to have worked. Chris Johnson has only a 3.7 yards per carry average, but he’s at 85 yards a game grinding clock. By early November we’ll have figured out whether Jake Locker has broken out, or if the Titans will be seeking a new QB for 2014. Or, Option C, maybe Locker has morphed into Alex Smith. He may win be able to win a game occasionally with his Jake Football skillset, but in reality, Mike Munchak now fully entrusts Locker not to lose games. 2

Cardinals – Every linebacker the Cardinals have rostered has now been placed on IR, BUT Carson Palmer and Rashard Mendenhall have shockingly remained medically cleared and appear alive and well, and that’s all Bruce Arians needs to beat a team his is clearly better than. 3.

@ Texans – I should’ve initially stated that I don’t believe the Jaguars are winning ANY road games in 2013. 2.

@ Browns- If the Browns lose this game, the #badforbridgewater or #collapseforclowney will be blatantly obvious, and Cleveland (sketchy owner activity for $500, Alex) can’t risk drawing the NFL’s attention to that. Win 2 for the Browns. 3

Texans – Hmmmm. Is this the maddening upset that makes the Texans’ minds up on Matt Schaub? If the NFL had a median delineation at QB, Schaub is it. This is CLOSE, especially on a short week, and the Jags knowing this is may be their final legitimate shot for a win in 2013. I’m going 7.

Bills – Or maybe the Jags get blown away by a Houston team who can’t topple a quality team in December, but they’ll be damned if they can’t knock the gradient off the Jags helmets. Jags square up the Bills on a steamy NoFla day…8!

Titans – Chasing playoffs and Coach of the Year votes, Mike Munchak’s Titans take apart a Jaguar team riding momentum, and thinking THREE GAME WIN STREAK TO END 2013. Thus planting doubt with SOME in the organization that Blad Hennert MAY be a viable QB option. 4.

@ Colts – This gets spooky. Having wrapped up the AFC South and their playoff position, Jim Irsay tweets that he had a frightening premonition that Andrew Luck’s left knee is plowed into while clipboarding it on the sideline after coming out of the game after just one series. He forces Pagano to play Luck all game. The Colts win 38-0, with Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw combining for 60 carries, limiting Luck’s drop backs and potential for injury. So, -1. Jaguars begin selling Bridgewater jerseys at halftime, and Rod Marinelli is the first to purchase.

Burle’d Right Into That Median. Now What?

Don’t text and drive, don’t reach down and grab anything while you’re driving either. You could die. Nate Burleson is lucky to walk away from last night’s collision with the median with just a busted arm.

If I were the Browns, and I know most of those players might as well be wearing Marlins jerseys, Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron are untouchable – barring some team being REALLY desperate and stupid. 

Cameron and Gordon were two of the stars of the Browns win against Minnesota. Gordon’s got so many flags denoted caution he looks like the UN.

First he’s coming off 2 game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

Next, he’s got quite the checkered college past that forced the Browns to do a ton of research before offering a 2nd round 2013 draft selection for Gordon in the 2012 supplemental draft.

Lastly, and this is redundant, coming off that Sunday performance, I think the price for Gordon will be sky high. I’m betting the Browns will want to recoup that lofty pick they gave up for Gordon, if they want to deal him at all.  

Do the Lions want give up another pick from the 2014 draft, where they’re already down one for the Mike Thomas calamity? Maybe, because Martin Mayhew might be trading away his successor’s assets anyway. 

Let’s says the Lions are willing to deal that pick, or a combination of, or a high pick in 2015. They’re potentially reviving the locker room and behavioral problems they just rid themselves of when they parted ways with Titus Young. Gordon probably isn’t THAT much of an issue, but the Lions need NONE at this time. 

The Lions lone player asset is Mikel Leshoure. Does Cleveland covet him? The Browns just moved on from a much, much better version of what Leshoure is – a punishing, between the tackles back. I’ll bet my ridiculous radio salary the Browns don’t want Leshoure. I’ll make a more responsible wager that they seek a more dynamic Lesean McCoy type back. 

Long story, short. Gordon is too pricey…for many teams for that matter.

After thinking a few more minutes, I came up with Kenny Britt. Yes, troublemaker, who thinks he’s gone after ’13 anyway.

He’s an impending free agent.

Perhaps with large money potentially looming Britt can stay on track for 13 games and go earn himself a wealthy, long term deal elsewhere. Justin Hunter may be taking Britt’s job anyway. If that’s the case, why would the Titans want to keep around a malcontent, who’ll be even more of one due to reduced playing time.

If the Titans are willing to give away Britt, and they may, the Lions should seriously inquire. 

Other options than that: futilely scour NFL practice squads, cumulatively replace Burleson with what’s already on the roster, ie, and I’m serious, Bush at WR, Bell as the RB, and other combinations tapping into the youth of Durham, Broyles (assuming anything ending in CL remains untorn), Fauria, and Riddick. There’s also prayers for Patrick Edwards to 1. come back healthy 2. be something viable as a 2 WR. 

This is a total conjecture, and likely the longest of long shots, but if the Saints ditch Mark Ingram, MAYBE they’d be interested in Leshoure…for one of what always seems to be a glut of receivers for them. 

Steven Jackson is out a while, but I’m not sure they have the reserve to be handing out wide receivers, because Harry Douglas might fit.

The Giants? Rueben Randle or the injury prone Hakeem Nicks? Now I’m just brainstorming and rambling to myself and you. If Le’veon Bell can’t get back, I bet the Steelers would send off Jerricho Cotchery. 

That’s it.

The reality lies with the Eagles’ depth chart. Just below Desean Jackson is Riley Cooper. Yea, they couldn’t find anyone, anywhere to replace Jeremy Maclin. 

The Lions might be just as stuck. 

Did You Order Aldon To Play!? You’re Damn Right I Did!

I believe in ethics and having a steady moral compass. I also believe in reality, and the win-at-all-costs zeal of NFL fans. 

There’s some evasive rhetoric from Niners CEO, Jed York, after the game yesterday. I get it though, he’s got to be the diplomat. Even if it’s a poor one. As much as we’d like it, he’s not going to say ‘you’re damn right I ordered Aldon Smith to play!’

The 49ers needed Aldon Smith and his sack machine talents yesterday to avoid falling at home, to the Colts, to tumble to 1-2. 

I guess karma happened. But so did an angry Ahmad Bradshaw, an as always cool Andrew Luck and a defense that hit as hard as San Fran usually does. The Colts were impressive, and I don’t think I overstated myself when I said the Brown’s second first round pick could be the final pick of the first round in May. 

The 49ers receiving corp is essentially depleted, AND totally ineffective without Vernon Davis. I bet they’re also physically recovering from their bludgeoning last week at Seattle.

Ok, ok, enough excuses.

Morally speaking, Aldon Smith’s rehab stint should’ve begun roughly around 10am Friday morning after he sobered up. 

If that were the case, I’m sure more than enough Niner fans would be irate that they lost because of Smith’s absence. Though he and his behavior alone are to be blamed. 

With all my lofty ethics, I can defend the 49ers playing Smith. They needed him. He’s one of the league’s most fearsome defenders. 

By allowing Smith to play the 49ers are essentially stating, ‘it’s ok to continually be a danger to society, as long as you kick ass when the ball’s kicked off.’

That’s accurate right?

Well, look at the 49ers roster. Look at who they just gave the green light to act a fool to.

Frank Gore.

Vernon Davis.

Patrick Willis.

Anquan Boldin.

Colin Kaepernick. Go Dolphins

Justin Smith.

Nnamdi Asomugha. 

Kendall Hunter.

Navorro Bowman. 

Ahmad Brooks.

Donte Whitner.

Stop me when I mention the next wayward soul.

There’s forty some other guys on this football team. None of whom are going to read into the 49ers actions regarding Aldon Smith, and think they can escape punishment for their own reckless doings. Smith is an isolated incident, and we’ll see if rehab can help what up until this point appears to be a very lost young man.

This is as veteran a team as any in the NFL. In fact, the only place a temper and behavior could get out of hand – at least on the field – is from the volatile and fiery head coach. 

I’m alright with the Niners playing Smith. 

I’m even more alright that I didn’t pick them to go back to the Super Bowl. TOO much has to align for one trip to the NFL’s premiere game, let alone for it to happen in back to back seasons. The problems are piling up just three weeks into the season for the Niners. 

Lions Streak Out Of DC.

A sub rosa drama between the star quarterback and the head coach, and maybe the franchise.

Five penalties isn’t exactly a clean game, epsecially when one is a blow to the QB’s head.

A secondary that’s abiding by Roger Goodell’s player safety crusade, by not tackling a single soul.

And even a process a of the Calvin catch play!

And none is that is to describe the Lion’s yesterday.

Detroit was not without its own problems – 8 more penalties, a QB that should’ve been more like 32 for 42, rather than just 25 – but for the most part the Lions stayed out of their own way and now own a winning streak in Washington for the first time since the last great dire financial times. 

It wasn’t Bush or Bust as I wrote last week.

There was obviously no Bush, but I would be foolish to believe the Lions hadn’t been preparing for such a scenario since their Washington prep began last Sunday night.

Did they do anything special to counter the absence of Bush (and overhead video/pics, First Down from McCosky)? The Lions gave themselves options, and those options gave Washington something extra to consider at the LOS. Ryan Broyles (17 plays) adeptly manned the slot role the Lions brought him for, for the first time since December. Speaking of the slot, it was Calvin’s home away from home many plays throughout of the game. When Bush is out, that’s the one mismatch the Lions SHOULD be able to create with ease. Remember, Patrick Edwards was inactive due to injury as well, so the sizable and sometimes-reliable-Kris Durham played in half the offensive snaps. Tony Scheffler’s decaying body was exhumed for offensive purposes, if for no other reason than his cold, cryptic body is more optimal than Brandon Pettigrew’s handsless body.

It was just 15 plays, and he only gained 6 yards of total offense, but I like that the Lions employed 6th round pick Theo Riddick at various spots in formations. Often unabashedly split wide or in a slot. Riddick, who (I just noticed this here) is actually listed as a WR from Notre Dame, caught 84 passes through his junior year, then switched to running back full time as a senior, and still brought in another 36 receptions. I’m betting that Riddick makes some very positive contributions before the season ends because of his versatility. Perhaps in a very, very, very light Bush/Broyles combo-role. Oh, and Joseph Fauria is in line for one of those statistically anomalous 21 catch, 9 TD (9 bad dances) years.

None of this is reinventing offense, but the Lions deserve credit for sagaciously making use of available personnel against Washington. Then again, when you have a week to gameplan, it SHOULD be that prepared. No one should be surprised Bush didn’t play yesterday. 

Oh, and if all that fails, at least Washington’s defensive strategy of ‘don’t tackle anyone’ was successful, for the Lions. Washington is 36 yards from allowing 500 per game. And even though the Lions didn’t crack 30, Washington is still allowing 32.7 per game. Jim Haslett spent too much time studying Oregon’s offense in the offseason. 

It wasn’t quite Bush and Bell and lots of confusing motion (for the defense) as I’ll expect upon Bush’s recovery, but it worked out for a win yesterday. 

The rest…

Calvin is always open. The end.

Another wise personnel move I didn’t mention above. Mikel Leshoure was active, but didn’t play. In fact, the Colts wanted him before Richardson. Unless Indy was trying to buy extremely low (ehhhhh 5th round in 2015!?), it seems the Lions are trying to make an NFL man out of Leshoure. Even after rupturing his achilles, then a pot arrest and suspension, he fell into the starting role last year, two games. The lesson here seems to be, everything in the NFL must be earned. If this is indeed the Lion’s stratagem, then well done (h/t to Kreger on this).

RG3, as in 3 mph compared to last year’s frenzied success. Those looney fans clamoring for Kirk Cousins after Week 2 aren’t so looney now that I’ve seen Griffin twice. That team doesn’t have scary enough playmakers to win games while Griffin slowly continues his recovery. My buddy’s got it right.

To repeat Trent Richardson 3rd overall pick, Alfred Morris 173rd. 

Michael Leshoure and Robert Griffin Junior (twice), thanks Dick Stockton. 

I wrote last December how the Lions, unlike seemingly every other franchise, lack a late(r) round or undrafted gem playing a key role for the team. Detroit FINALLY has that, in Joique Bell. 

We really can’t appreciate the emerging impact of Joique Bell without John Madden offering his thoughts on the Wayne State product. Boom, he’s on his back? Rumbling, stumbling?! Bell is 15 years too late to have been analyzed properly.

TNF Thoughts – BET THE UNDER.

If you’re looking to retire early, and buy a Carribbean island, bet in grandiose ways and without fear on Thursday nights on the UNDER. The games are so awfully sloppy last night’s 50.5 was never in doubt, unless some wackiness happened in the game’s final seconds.
The appalling numbers to support your eyes last night. KC + Phi…

10 sacks

15 penalties

5 turnovers

9 for 28 on third downs

1 for 7 in the red zone

There’ll be weeks you lose, but bet the under without hesistation and prepare a quirky name for your island paradise. Teams are just so barely ready to play on Thursday nights. Also take into account who they’ve played the previous Sunday. For instance, if a team is brutishly bashed around by a physical 49er or Seahawks team, there’s no doubt that team won’t be able to be where it needs to be physically just a few days later.

Last year’s 2-14 Chiefs team is quite a marvel. It’s the most talented 2 win team I’ve ever seen, and it’ll likely maintain that distinction, or ‘honor’, a long, long time. Yes, Romeo Crennel and Matt Cassel were that porous a duo to lead a team that had…

Dwayne Bowe. Brandon Albert. Jamaal Charles.

Eric Berry. Justin Houston (he wasn’t just good last night, 10 sacks in ’12), Derrick Johnson, Brandon Flowers, Tamba Hali.

And even though he was neutralized (statistically) last night, Dontari Poe is blossoming into an Atkins, Suh froce. Read here for that.

The Chiefs at 3-0 is not surprising. Though after watching Wilson, RG3, Kap, Vick, and even luck, witnessing Alex Smith’s departures from the pocket is like slowing your TV down to 39,000 frames per second – and he’s a worthy athlete at QB. He’s just not the others, or who else is coming into the league. Andy and Smith’s 7 yard passing attack won’t do much come playoff time.

Lastly, Shady McCoy is not on this preseason NFL odds list. His 2011 was special, but Chip Kelly has made him nearly unstoppable. I remain with my thought from 2011, he’s as shifty as Barry Sanders was.

Now, Kelly has to realize he needs to get other players involved. I thought Kelly would make up for a lack of talent (missing Maclin is turning out to be as problematic as we thought, maybe worse) by incessantly incorporating unique personnel and formations. Haven’t seen it since Washington.

Rookie TE Zach Ertz played just 23% of the plays, and the exciting young Bryce Brown just 21%. The thought-to-be versatile James Casey has been largely invisible as an Eagle.
3 tight end sets. Brown and McCoy together. Kelly is supposed to have more imagination than roster talent at this point. He needs to utilize it until the personnel is further upgraded.

If Michael Vick isn’t more accurate (he’s at 56% now), the Eagles will never achieve the tempo that can punish and drain opposing defenses.

We all remember this…

That’s why it’s causing mild cerebral confusion (a huh, what!?) to see Vick get run down by defenders in the open field. He’s 33, so it’s not unexpected, but when you’re watching Vick knife through a defense, get a lead, you just expect overdrive. Yet he’s caught.

The Browns Finally Win.

I want to let you know something that you’re probably going to become wiser to over the coming college football months.

The upcoming NFL draft could be the most quarterback rich draft in a long time, or maybe even ever. I know, lofty words just 3 games in the college season. That’s why I delicately included the word COULD.

The Browns have become the Clippers (pre-Griffin) of the NFL. Since their resurrection they’ve been annual bottom dwellers in the league. What’s worse is, as a fan who can find a reason to watch ANY game, it’s a struggle to convince myself of a reason to stay tuned into a Browns game. They’re unwatchable. Sunday’s matchup against a wounded Ravens team was the NFL at it’s worst. At least with Jacksonville, there’s what’s left of Maurice Jones Drew.

It was fun to watch Josh Cribbs return kicks, but unless I go on a wide sweeping Google hunt, I can’t think of any dynamic must-see offensive players the Browns have employed since their NFL return. Peyton Hillis? That didn’t last long. Braylon Edwards? One phenomenal year and then his production plummeted. 

Drafting Trent Richardson where they did in 2012 was misguided. I think we all recognized that then and now. Richardson is a fine back, and I’m cognizant of all the factors that go into any successful situation on an NFL team (lines gotta protect, pass helps the run, vice versa & etc…), but to provide some context, Richardson was drafted 3rd overall last year, and Alfred Morris was drafted 173rd. 

The new Browns management did well to recoup a first round pick, though it COULD be the very last pick in the round (yes, the Colts can win the Super Bowl) for a position that should not be a challenge to fill. Long term that is. 

As we started with though, it was going to be nearly impossible for the Browns to not have a vast array of options to choose from to take another bite at the sometimes fruitful, sometimes bitter franchise QB apple. 

You know of Teddy Bridgewater, and probably Tajh Boyd, and of course Johnny Manziel. You know the juggernaut Oregon offense but do you know Marcus Mariota engineering it should be a very viable NFL option for teams. 

More names you know: Bama’s AJ McCarron, and a guy who’s been on (and off too, admittedly) NFL radars for years, UGA’s Aaron Murray. Also in the SEC, LSU’s Zach Mettenberger is playing like a genuine NFL prospect now, starting off with 9 TDs and no INTs. 

You’re less familiar with UCLA’s Brett Hundley, Stanford’s Kevin Hogan, Fresno State’s Derek Carr, San Jose State’s David Fales.

Walter Football projects all these names, and others, going in the third round or higher. I didn’t even mention Braxton Miller, or Devin Gardner, though that may be reaching.

I’m aware that some of these prospects will falter in the coming months, or they’ll be revealed as unworthy NFL signal callers. We laugh for having even included them in this post. Conversely though, there will be no-names that rise to the liking of NFL executives. 

Could there be ten or twelve QBs taken in a record amount of time in May’s draft? Yes. Franchises without one, are in complete desperation for talented QBs. Yes, I know Geno Smith had an anvil attached to him in the draft, but my preferred QB of the draft was EJ Manuel anyway. I expected him to be scooped up maybe the Eagles trading back into the late first round. But we know Buffalo kicked the NFL world off its axis by taking him 15th. Why? He faced defenses that could actually stop offenses, unlike Smith in the Big 12 (not as in how many teams, as in how many players those teams need on D to oppose offenses ably), he was big, strong armed, and mobile but didn’t run any gimmicky offense that wouldn’t let his skills translate to the NFL. 

The point is, whether the Browns traded Richardson or not, their season was targeted at a top ten pick with plentiful options to finally cure their prolonged QB ills. 

My suggestion to the Browns, and I’m CERTAIN they know this already, goes like this: take your QB, then it should look like a Matt Millen draft. My tweet from last night. 

As for the Colts, having already lost their unflashy top back, Vick Ballard, and now versatile TE Dwayne Allen, and with the Patriots offense in turmoil at this point, and Peyton Manning just lost his best offensive lineman, Ryan Clady, fcuk yeah Indy should head to the roulette table. The AFC is once again much weaker and more uncertain than the NFC, so acquiring Richardson could turn out to be a championship move. 

BTW, I’m confident this deal was erected from Ryan Grigson and Joe Banner’s previous relationship as members of the Eagles front office.

When you need a deal, call a buddy. 

When you think you need a running back, don’t take one in the top of the first round. 

***Amid the shock, calm and mature words from Trent Richardson. I’m a fan. 

Is Suh A Football Psychopath?

Ndamukong Suh plays football in a rage. 

It evoked the thought of Bruce Banner to me! Banner is brilliant and dashing, yet occasionally meek to rein in the monster, but when stressed, well…we don’t like him when he’s angry.

Once Suh he hits the field, and yes, sometimes in his personal life there are questionable judgments, he wreaks havoc. Often uncontrollably. 

There’s been many interpretations of comic history’s greatest, greenest destructive menace, but I think the one Hulk we’re most familiar with is the one of few words, mindless rage, reckless carnage and little remorse (unless Betty Ross is around).  

Hmmmm, could I use some of those descriptions of the Green Goliath and apply them to Suh? I think so. I’ve said things on the radio before along the lines that Suh seems to ‘lose his mind’ at times on the field. It was not hyperbole. I haven’t received much disagreement. How else can one explain the many acts that negatively showcase his career thus far?

Gamma rays certainly aren’t the cause behind Suh’s rage, so then what could it be? 

Maybe learning under Bo Pelini was Suh’s gamma radiation accident. Watch below and read this. That’s some fire. (I can offer Pelini SOME latitude because when he said fans, maybe he these abhorrent types that Ray Rice tweeted about Sunday.)

So few know Suh all that well. We can only form our opinions by what’s reported. The latest report comes from Fox’s Jay Glazer that Suh has been kind of a bully, to his own teammates, in practice. 

Schwartz denied the report, though a team source does corroborate Glazer’s assertion. 

Suh has also had some traffic incidents that can be attributed to aggression. Herehere, and here – though he was exonerated because the police couldn’t determine who was at fault. But, still, this is A LOT of vehicle woes. 

And just last week, Suh confronted a Comcast repairman, in his yard working on the neighbor’s cable, with a pellet gun. I can assure you Mr. Suh, if there are criminals in the affluent city of Birmingham, they are not on a pole, and likely not dressed in Comcast threads. Is this paranoia? I say that in jest, but maybe…

And of course, his on field punishments and fines

Conversely, Suh, with an engineering degree from Nebraska, is bright, charming, and community minded as well. Here and here. Remember those adjectives defining Suh as we move on. 

We obviously can’t do this exercise face to face, but the PCL-R HAS been conducted via file information in the past. We shall do that with what I’ve listed above. 

Oh, what is the PCL-R? It’s the Psychopathy Checklist, Revised. Yes, we’re going to try to determine is Suh is any degree of psychopath, even if it’s just on the field. 0 is ‘does not apply’ 1 is ‘applies somewhat’ 2 is ‘fully applies.’

Remember, we are filtering most of this as Suh the football player, but it’s hard to totally disregard some of his off field doings. (Thanks to John Kreger for his experience to aid the grading.)

Factor 1: Interpersonal/Affective

Factor 2: Lifestyle/Antisocial

  • Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom 0
  • Parasitic lifestyle 0
  • Poor behavioral control 2
  • Lack of realistic long-term goals 0
  • Impulsiveness 2
  • Irresponsibility 2
  • Juvenile delinquency N/A
  • Early behavior problems N/A
  • Revocation of conditional release N/A
  • Criminal versatility N/A

Traits not correlated with either factor

  • Promiscuous sexual behavior 0
  • Many short-term (marital) relationships 0
  • Acquired behavioral sociopathy/sociological conditioning (Item 21: a newly identified trait i.e., a person relying on sociological strategies and tricks to deceive)
What conclusions can we draw from the PCL-R? I don’t think Suh’s going to commit any heinous crimes against society, but on the football field, hasn’t he already? Yes. And my behavioral analysis is supported by more than enough 2’s above to convince me that Suh has some psychopathic tendencies on the field. The Lions don’t seem to be discouraging it, so perhaps at some point Suh will wind up inflicting this kind of irreparable damage to the Lions season.
 

Chip Kelly Is Like Me.

Chip Kelly had his first ‘hey, buddy-you-don’t-belong-in-the-NFL’ gaffe.

Late in the game as the Eagles were driving, Kelly missed the chance to use a timeout when Michael Vick was banged up so that he could get Vick back in the game. Instead, Vick came out, Foles went in. Essentially the Eagles wasted a down as Foles came in, threw an incompletion, Vick came back threw an incompletion on third down and the Eagles were forced to settle for a field goal to tie the game, which San Diego then came back and won on the ensuing drive with just seconds left go to.

As he has the freedom to do, if Kelly calls timeout, he can keep Vick in the game for each down and perhaps with that the Eagles get more than just a field goal on that drive.

How. Can. You. Not. Know. A. Simple. Rule. Like. That. Especially when you’re so meticulous that you recognize such extraneous minutiae as getting the ball back to the officials in hastier fashion.

I think I’ve solved this quandary of details, and yes, sit down for more Chip Kelly-apologyism.

Not to sound too conceited here, but Chip Kelly reminds me of me. His tenet of thinking is to ask ‘why’ about everything. I like to ask ‘why not’. I think we mean the same thing, we’re just expressing it differently. Basically, we both like to question the establishment. Nothing wrong with that, unless your goal is to stay stagnant. I don’t think both Kelly and I want to stay in contentment when innovation is within the grasp of our minds.

There’s a personality test that I took last year when exploring possible new career options. It’s called the Briggs Myers Type Indicator. The evaluation is based off the studies of Freud disciple Carl Jung. Without getting too clinical, and so I don’t misuse terms or language, the test helps you figure out what you like. It’s more than just ‘I like pizza, girls, and sports.’ The MBTI delves deep into your psyche to answer WHY you prefer what you do.

Last summer the test defined me as an ENTP. Though I do have some ‘I’ in me as well.

I know you don’t know me, but here are some of the traits of an ENTP, and you’ll just have to trust that this accurately represents me.

E – ENTPs enjoy interacting with a wide variety of people. They are great conversationalists and love to engage other people in debates.

I – ENTPs are more focused on the future rather than on immediate details. They may start projects and never finish them because they are so focused on the big picture rather than the present needs.

T – ENTPs are logical and objective. When making decisions, they place a greater weight on rational evidence instead of subjective, emotional information.

P – ENTPs tend to reserve judgment. Instead of making a decision or committing to a course of action, they would prefer to wait and see what happens.

That’s a thorough enough snapshot of Chip and I, but I still highly suggest you read the rest of the defining characteristics in that link above. Open a new tab in your browser and hop back and forth between there and there. Go here as well.

Welcome back.

It was explicitly spelled out in my results, but it’s less clear in the links above unless you really decode things. Us ENTPs get bored very, very easily, it can be a crippling weakness of ours. Another downfall is that while we have grandiose visions that your average thinkers can’t or won’t comprehend, those visions often go unfulfilled because the blandness of necessary, but mundane details (that many WON’T overlook) can swiftly derail us. One instance is currently I have an idea that will without a doubt fill a void in the neighborhood I live in. I’m certain it would be a success. But while I can imaginatively envision the finished product, with zero business acumen, I couldn’t buy supplies, materials, draw up contracts, do the legal work to hire people, get insurance, etc…Could I teach myself those along the process? Absolutely. I’d be bored to death though and would not be functioning at peak capacity.

I like to think I create rather intelligent, provocative and clever posts. I hope you leave my posts either thinking 1. Hmmmmmmmm, I never thought of that or 2. That’s absurd (at least I evoked an emotion). There’s one routine detail that is my bane. My brain works so fast on the broader idea of things I write that I regularly have careless typos. I’m an exceptional speller, so the typos – spelling, punctuation, forgotten words – are merely because of the hyper pace that my mind works.

Back to Kelly.

Hmmmmmm. It’s atypical, yet astutely incisive to contemplate just how vital it is for a player in a warp drive offense to get the ball back to an official after a play in speedier fashion. I’ve never heard ANYONE talk about that EVER.

All that intuitiveness, and yet a minute, common detail such as a better knowledge of timeouts and basic rules escaped Chip Kelly.

Details, schmetails!

My suggestion to Chip Kelly as he continues to make a path in the NFL, is to recognize your weaknesses. When you do that, I’ve found that it becomes a strength! I develop the keen idea, and others can work to create its backbone. Kelly must delegate his weaknesses to people who thrive in them. He can continue to mastermind cutting edge ways of creating offensive mismatches in the NFL, and let the more detail oriented members of the staff handle what they’re best at.

Vapid things like the rules.