Saturday, March 31, 2007

Tavaris Jackson, STL @ Minny week 17

Thanks to the wonderful NFL ticket and DVR I had a chance to go back and break down the week 17 STL @ Minny contest.

In Tavaris Jacksons first start he was 10/20, 50 yards passing, 1 INT. His was responsible for only 3 first downs, and his offense didn't score a single point. I decided to look at the tape and break down his performance in his 2nd start. Here are some observations I noticed on his pass plays.

- Vikings open the game off with a designed dump off to the RB for about a 5 yard gain. Very safe play to call as the Rams were focused on the trips bunch formation to that side, nobody had the RB. It looked like a designed play, and that Jackson knew he'd throw to the RB before the play.
- 3rd and 3, Jackson throws an interception for a touchdown to go down 7-0. Tony Boselli the announcer said that it seemed like Jackson " knew where he'd throw before the play". Jackson dropped back and only looked to his left, locking onto the WR and throwing the INT.
- During the timeout there is Jackson on the sidelines smiling with one of his teammates and talking. That's NOT what I want to see after throwing a pick for a touchdown.
- 3rd and 9 on the next series, Jackson vastly overthrows Travis Taylor. He looks flustered and very uncomfortable in the pocket.
- 5:50 in the first half the Vikings get their first 1st down ( 3rd series). Jackson throws about a 5 yard stop to Bethel Johnson and the Ram corner falls down and Johnson gets a good gain. It was a bad play by the corner to slip and fall.
- Rams blitz and Jackson completes the hot route to his receiver Nance who fumbles ( recovered by the Vikings).
- Pass play where Jackson scrambles, looks very indecisive and then runs for about a 5 yard gain. It seems like the Rams are blitzing a lot on 1st downs and challenging Jacksons arm.
- 3rd and 7, Jackson completes a pass to Travis Taylor, best play of the day thus far.
- next pass Jackson almost throws a pick in the end zone
- designed pass play, Jackson runs it in for a 1 yard touchdown run.
- 1st down, play action, dump off
-tried to dump it off to Jermain Wiggins for about 1 yard, dropped pass
- 1st down, Jackson runs for about 6/7 yards and is then nailed by Dexter Coakley. I don't want my QB getting hit like that to gain a mere 6/7 yards. That's very risky.
- 1st down, play action fake, dump off throw to Wiggins for a short gain
- 1st down, roll out, very indecisive, looks very uncomfortable in pocket and finally throws ball away.
- completes 5 yard stop route to Billy Mcmullen
- 3rd down, Jackson is pressured and tried to make a play by lofting a ball at the last second to his hot route, the ball is picked off by the ram defender. Terrible interception.

- So far Jackson has looked very uncomfortable in the pocket, and he's been mainly throwing very short stuff. If I were Jim Haslett the Rams defensive coordinator I'd be dialing up that blitz and challenging Jackson deep. I'd cover up the hot routes very well, and bring the pressure on the young guy.

- 1st down, Jackson hits 8 yard stop route
- ( 2 minute drill) Jackson throws a 2 yard dump off
- The announcer comments about how Jacksons lineman says that he's " quiet in the huddle" and how he needs to shout the play and have more command of the offense.
- incomplete on a screen pass attempt
- Jackson scrambles on the pass play and picks up about 5 yards
- 3rd and 5 Jackson throws about a 20 yards pass down field as the half ends ( garbage yards?)
Jackson has 87 passing yards, 1 TD run, 2 picks and one for a touchdown.

2nd half
- Play action, Jackson has lots of time and then runs for about 7 yards
- incomplete, throws a pass behind the WR
- dump off attempt to Chester Taylor dropped ( wouldn't be a first down anyway)
- Jackson sacked by Jimmy Kennedy who recorded his first sack of the year
- Jackson throws a 5 yard dump off to Travis Taylor
- Jackson scrambles, then has a nice throw to Travis Taylor for about a 10 yard gain and first down. His team is losing 34-7, but that was one of his best plays of the day ( for only 10 yards). Looked like the kind of play you'd get from a mobile quarterback.
- blitzed, dropped pass by receiver
- play action, Jackson throws deep but overthrows receiver ( maybe his first long pass attempt)
- Jackson almost sacked, holds onto the ball forever and tries to dump it off ( incomplete)
- play action, Jackson runs, no gain but he is pounded on the play, and slow to get up.

- Brad Johnson comes into the game and the pretty quiet stadium gets loud and cheers for BJ. Johnson throws 1 pass as a completion and then the quarter ends.

- 4th Q begins and Jackson comes back into the game. He fumbles on his first play back in but the Vikings recovered.
- blitzed, throws the ball to the sidelines for an incomplete pass.

- down 41-7, throws a WR screen for 2 yards
- dump off completion to the fullback for no gain
- Jackson throws into the endzone, but pass interference called on Dexter coakley on Billy Mcmullen. It didn't look like he'd catch it, and it looked like he ran into Dexter looking for a call.
- shotgun, 15 yard pass
- almost sacked, incomplete
- blitzed, throws a 3 yard screen pass to the RB for about a 50 yard gain.
- roll out, pass complete to HB for no gain
- roll out to his right and throws a high ball in traffic that is caught for T.Taylor in the end zone for a TD. Down 41-14.

Jackson finished the game 20/34, 213 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, and 1 fumble.

He looked very uncomfortable in the pocket and was throwing mainly dump offs. He didn't give the plays enough time to develop, but he seemed quick to scramble and run. He had a 50 yard completion to M. Moore his running back ( a 3 yard screen that went 50 yards) but a lot of the rest of his stuff was just short dump offs. He threw a TD pass on the final series but his team was losing 41-7 and facing a weak rams defense. Jackson added 34 yards on the ground but was it really worth your quarterback getting hit for 6 yard gains? The Vikings invested a 2nd round pick and money into Jackson and he had to come out of the game on one of the two vicious hits he took for minimal yardage. Some people value mobility but Jackson isn't THAT mobile and I don't want my quarterback getting smashed for 6 yard gains.

Jackson obviously wasn't ready to start this year and I would highly doubt he would be ready next year. The player he reminded me of the most is David Garrard and is that really your quarterback of the future you want running your west coast offense? They talk a lot about his strong arm, but he spent the whole game throwing dump offs. He might have had two throws in the 10-20 yard range but nothing further than that. In fact, I can only think of one deep ball he even attempted. The most common routes he completed where stops and dump offs to the TE/RB but he was a little too slow in his reads. One the other side of the field you have Bulger throwing the balls BEFORE his receivers would even break, and then there is Jackson there who would wait so long just to throw a 7 yard curl.

Other notes:
- The announcing crew also pointed out that Jackson originally went to Arkansas but left the school where Matt Jones ( Jags WR) was the starting QB.
- The Rams dropped balls too. Torry Holt had a drop, his TE dropped a pass the very next play, and Bruce dropped a pass on a key 3rd down. So those people that argue that Jackson has no receivers, even Holt, Bruce, and the rams drop passes too. I seem to remember Reche Caldwell dropping balls for Tom Brady as well.
- Stephen Jackson ran wild for 142 yards and 4 touchdowns on Mike Tomlins defense.
- I realized that Laurence Maroney reminds me a lot of Stephen Jackson in their size and rushing styles. Jackson is a few inches taller and 11 pounds heavier but their style really is similar. Big, fast, and a very functional agility for their size. I do believe the hype that Stephen Davis helped Jackson along in the way Bettis helped Willie Parker in Pittsburgh.
- Minnesota did try running the ball a lot to the left behind Mckinnie, Hutchinson and Birk. I'd say at least 75% of their run plays went left.
- Mark Bulger played a very efficient game ( no picks) and he was throwing the ball to his receivers before they broke so that the ball was there when it needed to be there. I was very impressed and he also played very well with the lead. He could have had more passing yards, but his Rams had a comfortable lead.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Off season update

Those NFL futures are looking real solid by now.
NE Pats ( 12/1 & 10/1)
Philly Eagles ( 35/1)

Right now I checked two sources and saw the Eagles at 12/1 and 18/1
The Pats are at an amazing 3/1 and 5.5/1. I also saw them at 1/1 to win the AFC !

So basically if you wanted to bet on the Pats or Eagles you would have to basically have to put up 2 or 3 times as much money to win the same payout. The "paper gains" are looking mighty solid and the season hasn't even kicked off yet.

One of the main things I wanted out of Philly was to get that big play LB ( Briggs or Thomas). They ended up getting Takeo Spikes instead. Buffalo basically dumped Spikes's fat salary. What are the Bills trying to do? They got rid of probably their two best defenders in Spikes and Clements. Philly had to part ways with a cost effective Darwin Walker at DT and a draft pick. Philly gets rid of a DT who played in a rotation ( with two high draft picks), but picks up a big play LB. If Spikes can be anywhere near his old self, Philly makes out well and should be on a title run. They had to part with a player, but it's not like you can hope to get something for nothing. Philly will now have a chance to play youngsters Bunkley and Patterson that they already invested in.

- The Redskins were reportedly interested in Jemarcus Russell. I thought that rumor had to be bogus, but now it appears the Skins are in trade talks with the Bears.

Briggs and the 31st pick for Washington's #6 pick.
- I wonder who the Bears would take at #6? Maybe Alan Branch so that they could keep that D-Line young and rich, and they could also have a nasty pair at DT with Branch and Harris ( watch out Henderson and Stroud). By beefing up that line, they might be able to get by without Briggs ( key word is MIGHT).
- Somebody needs to tell Washington that it doesn't matter how good your back 7 is, if you can't get pressure on the quarterback. That team needs a pass rush more than life itself. Andre Carter can be a decent player, but you can't expect him to be an instant pass rush. Carter won't command a double team like a Michael Strahan, Julious Peppers, Jason Taylor etc. If you don't double down on those guys, your playing with fire. Carter can still be handled by above average left tackles in single coverage.

- Matt Schaub was traded to Houston. The Falcons moved up a couple picks in the first round, and traded 2 second rounders. The trade package is supposed to equal about the 20th pick of the first round.

The thing that Schaub can provide that a QB selected 20th is that he has been in the league a few years, adjusted to the speed of the game, and has at least practiced with the pros and their protection schemes. I'm a big fan of letting the QB sit a couple years before he gets to play. I know that isn't always an option in today's NFL, but sometimes those QB's that get thrown to the wolves turn into tampered goods.

I like how Schaub personally called all 50 of his new teammates. I think a lot of those pros will respect that, and it shows initiative from Schaub. That seems like something a leader would do, or somebody who is TRYING to become a leader. It also helps that he has one of the very best quarterback coaches in Gary Kubiak to mentor him. Kubiak didn't kiss David Carrs ass like a lot of people would have. He told Carr that it wasn't just the line that was the problem, but his holding onto the ball forever and poor reads that got him sacked at an alarming rate throughout his career.

A lot of people are looking at Schaub as a risk, and they don't like that he has very few starts. I think that can be a good thing. I mean, isn't every first round draft pick a risk? This guy was in NFL purgatory for a few years ( the bench), and now he's hungry. His lack of starts could have shielded him from the embarrassment and criticism that many young quarterbacks face. I don't see paying the inexperienced Schaub any different than paying any other rookie 1st round pick that hasn't played.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

My first Mock draft

1. JeMarcus Russell, Oakland.
Why: The standout LSU quarterback is a big guy who is known for throwing a pretty deep ball. Owner Al Davis would love for Russell to command a Raiders vertical passing threat for the next 10 years. Russell outplayed Brady Quinn head to head ( not that it mattered), and the bigger Russell is seen as a better option for a weaker offensive line. I find it interesting how there is a consensus of Russell being the better option with that line because of his size, while Quinn is a lot more mobile. I'm not very big on mobility, but I find it interested how mobility is completely left out of the debate between this years top 2 QB's. Last year all we heard about was how Vince Young added mobility over Leinart. Now Quinn isn't as mobile as VY, but nobody even mentions mobility this year for Quinn's sake.

Russell can also be the top QB selected after a big Junior year. Remember when Leinart and Quinn were both top notch Junior quarterbacks? They both went back for a senior season and had fans and scouts picking apart their game for one more year under the spotlight. After their senior seasons, they both seemed to have LOST draft stock. Russell hasn't had that "spotlight senior season" with everybody dissecting every single throw.

The other concern about Russell is that he showed up 20 pounds overweight to the combine, and numerous people have questioned his work ethic. Sure, he seems to have all the physical tools, but what's on the inside? Will he spend those extra hours watching film? Will he be the first guy to practice throwing with his receivers? If the guy was 20 pounds out of shape for the combine, it leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Another interesting point about Russell I saw is that the Washington Redskins were rumored to be interested in him. Errr, Mr. Snyder, didn't you guys trade away a first round pick for Jason Campbell? What's the big idea here?

2. Brady Quinn, Cleveland Browns ( trade).
Why: There are rumors that the Browns owner told his management that he wants his " Franchise Quarterback". Although that is a rumor, it is very believable. Charlie Frye has played 'ok" as a youngster, but the Browns haven't had a big time quarterback in a long time. It also seems that the Lions are showing more and more interest in Quinn ( to bully a trade). If Matt Millen were to play his cards right ( for once), he might be able to force a trade with the Lions to bring in extra draft choices. The Lions hurt everywhere, and those extra picks could help build that team up. If Quinn goes to Cleveland, he could be the poster child and Ohio grown quarterback of the Browns. We would also see Charlie Weiss ( former Pats OC) pass on Brady Quinn to Romeo Crennell ( former Pats DC).

Some people had Brady Quinn as the #1 quarterback LAST year but he came back for a senior season. Mel Kiper Jr. had him the #1 quarterback going into this year, but it seems that many people have Russell catapulting Quinn as the first quarterback selected. The knock on Brady is that he can't "win the big game". That reminds me of the Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning who also couldn't win the big one.

The interesting thing about Quinn in a recent interview was his confidence. They asked him about playing in Cleveland and he said that he would like to, and he also thinks at #3 they have the resources to be able to trade up to that top spot and draft him. Brady Quinn must not listen to the media very much, because MOST people think that Russell will be the first player selected ( then again, the media can often be out of touch with reality). I mean all of these mock drafts are just mock drafts anyway. It's not like a team is going to leak who they are really thinking about drafting.

Quinn just strikes me as a perfectionist. He looked dead serious when he was talking about being the first player picked. He has the talent, the look, and that attitude of a franchise quarterback. His interviews usually sound pretty generic and almost practiced. He sometimes gives these perfect answers that almost seem rehearsed or robotic, and then he will throw out a tiny bone of information that makes the media talk and talk and talk ( like me going on about him thinking he's the #1 player). It almost is staring to annoy me how he talks in his interviews with he boring and generic answers.

I think Quinn will be a better pro quarterback than Jemarcus Russell. Quinn seems like that perfectionist that wants to MAKE it work, while Russell is the guy that had a good junior year and shows up to the combine 20 pounds overweight. A lot of the most important aspects of a quarterback you can't see, and you can't measure. Who knows how much a guy will study that playbook when he signs a 30 million dollar contract. Who knows how seriously a guy will take his job. It's an adverse selection problem. I'd also wonder where Jemarcus Russell would be drafted NEXT year if he came back for an encore senior season and got picked apart for a year.

3. Jamaal Anderson, Detroit ( trade).
Why: I am speculating that the Browns want Brady Quinn, and that the Lions are trying to make the Browns think that they too want Quinn, or a Miami, Minnesota, or Houston can trade up. I love watching this market. Of course, I am giving Matt Millen and the Lions credit with for being able to at least somewhat manipulate the Browns. I think that the trade they pulled off for tackle George Foster and Tatum Bell will at least help rationalize that they don't HAVE to draft Joe Thomas or Adrian Peterson. They can at least plea that they are THINKING about taking Quinn. I think they already have the cards in place to force the Browns to trade up if they want him.

I have Anderson going to Detroit because Matt Millen will be crucified of he selects another receiver, and I believe head coach Rod Marrinelli ( the former D-Line coach) will want a big stud to work with on that line. Anderson is more of a Michael Strahan type that can put pressure on opposing quarterbacks AND play the run. If the Lions want to run the cover 2, they HAVE to be able to get pressure from their front 4 to be effective. Last year they had only 30 sacks and that won't cut it. The Lions go out and pick up Anderson and additional draft picks from their trade with Cleveland. Give Matt Millen some credit.

4. Calvin Johnson, Tampa Bay
Why: Because Gruden will send in the Johnson - Tampa card as soon as the Lions draft Anderson. We won't have to wait 15 minutes for the Bucs to draft the best receiver in the draft, and the player that many consider the best overall player in the draft. He gives the Bucs that dominant, big wide out who can be a standout player in that West coast offense.

The Johnson tale is growing. He ran a 4.3 in somebody else's shoes ( actually a quarterback). He's big, fast, has excellent hands and put up good numbers at GT with Reggie freaking Ball as his quarterback. He sort of reminds you of T.O with that blend of size,speed, hands, only Calvin Johnson is a great guy. He didn't even have to work out at his Georgia Tech pro day but he wanted to work out so that scouts would come and see some of his teammates (to noticed.)

5. Joe Thomas, Arizona
Why: Remember when people said the Colts would be screwed when Edge took his 2,000 yards of offense to the desert? People said that Edge was the MVP of the Colts, and not Peyton Manning? Edge goes from a top notch RB in Indy, to a forgotten man in Arizona. I think people are beginning to realize that the offensive line might have something to do with the running backs performance. Not only did Edge not really have any holes to run through, but Warner started out the year as a sack dummy for opposing teams. Now maybe people will realize that the Quarterback can also help the offensive line ( by getting rid of the ball quicker, and good pocket awareness). The threat of the pass ( Leinart) also helped the run some. Tony Romo and Matt Leinart made their whole offenses better because they got rid of the ball quicker, which gave the threat of the pass, and even helped out the run game. All in all, offensive players actually feed off each other, but it all starts up front with the line. If the Cards brought in an offensive head coach, and Russ Grimm, I would expect them to diagnose the problem of that offense as the line, and address it.

I have to laugh because I saw a guy on the NFL network saying the Cards should draft Adrian Peterson because Edge is getting old and he wasn't as productive? Do you understand WHY he wasn't productive ( the line dummy). Do you understand that he just signed a fat contract and that they don't want to invest even MORE money into that "fungible" position? I almost threw the remote at the TV. With the loss of Lenard Davis, I can see the Cards drafting Thomas and trying to improve that line. Thomas is more athletic than the mauler Davis who might be better suited as a run blocking guard.

6. Gaines Adams, Washington Redskins
Why: The Redskins had the worst pass rush in the league last year, and they are missing that edge rush. Even two years ago they got away with creative blitzes, but that can only be so effective. Andre Carter isn't a bad player, but he isn't that answer by himself. The Skins need a pass rush more than life itself. The lack of pass rush has exposed their corners and linebackers ( which they addressed). The Redskins HAVE to bring in a pass rusher. They can't flirt with trading up for Calving Johnson to an already overpaid WR Core, or talk about trading up to get Jemarcus Russell ( with what draft picks?). A good defensive end wouldn't just help their pass rush, but help their line against the run as well. Even if Adams is just a situational pass rusher as a rookie, the Skins have to address the impact DE position that is a gaping hole on their roster.

7. Adrian Peterson, Buffalo ( trade with Minnesota)
Why: The Bills need a running back and Peterson has fallen far enough. This would be the second trade of my first round, which is unlikely but not impossible. The Vikings needs are a QB, WR, or DE, but with Russell, Quinn, Johnson, Adams, Anderson gone I think they move down to get extra picks. Buffalo has some extra ammo from their Mcgahee trade and I think this trade could help both parties. I don't think Buffalo would trade up into the top 5 picks for Peterson, but if he starts to fall to 7, 8 or 9, they won't have to give up as much in a trade. The player Peterson reminds you of is Eric Dickerson with that up right running style.

8. Alan Branch, Houston
Why: To Improve that defense. Last year Houston bypassed Reggie Bush to bring in a stud end to help improve their defense. They felt that to win their division, they have to face the Colts and their not going to outscore them. They bring in a man child defensive end and now they have the opportunity to pair him with the top Defensive Tackle in the draft. The key to building a defense, is up front, and the Texans have the opportunity to have two stud defensive lineman along side each other. If the Texans didn't take Bush last year, I think that they would have the will power to select the top defensive player on the board THIS year that would improve that defense. If Williams, Branch and Ryans develop some, the Texans can have 3 very nice and young players in their front 7.

9. Amboi Okoye, Miami
Why: Sometimes teams draft based on need, but sometimes they draft to protect their strengths. Miami NEEDS better quarterback play and offensive line play, but their defense is their strength. With Keith Traylor, Vonnie Holliday, and Jeff Zgonina aging, you could argue that they will NEED another Defensive tackle too. Miami's defense was their strength and they could intend to keep it that way. There are also rumors that they are very impressed with Okoye. Instead of trying to improve a weaker offense, the Fins could try and solidify their strength and add a character player to the mix.

10. Leron Laundry, Atlanta
Why: Laywer Milloy is 33 years old and the Falcons could add a Sean Taylor-like play maker to the secondary. Laundry has cornerback speed, Linebacker hits, and plays safety. He reminds you of a Sean Taylor type play maker. I really feel that he will be an NFL super star.


No, I'm not talking about touchdown scoring play makers, I'm talking about the bust ESPN TV show play makers.

Right after the Super Bowl Dominic Rhodes gets arrested for driving 80 in a 65 while driving drunk. I wonder how much money cost the free agent Rhodes? Well, he signed a 4 year deal with the Raiders which should be more than enough punishment.

Adam "Pac Man" Jones. The guys off field habits were questioned even before he was drafted by the Titans. We've all heard this story so many times, but what seems to come up every time is that he was throwing a trash bag full of money on stage and then trying to take the money back after the strippers were collecting. He apparently assaulted a woman on tape, and the club owner says he ordered the shootings. Now who knows what happened ( it is still being investigated), but the bottom line is that people were shot and seriously injured. It's not like this is the first time the guy got into trouble, he was suspended from his own TEAM already this year. He's had about 10 incidents, and been involved in other violent crime ( shooting and beating a guy with a pool stick in a bar fight). One of his "friends" is a big time drug dealer and it is said that Pacman bets on college football. When the smoke clears from the investigation, I don't know how the NFL will continue to let this guy play.

Jeremy Stevens is the newest character to the NFL reality show play makers. Here we have another free agent who was pulled over for a DUI and weed. Now that isn't exactly good behavior, but we all know people who have been arrested for those crimes. What got me was his previous rap sheet of beating a guy with a baseball bat, accused drugging and raping of a girl, a hit and run, and DUI. Then there is an article from the Seattle Times talking about how he neighbors of his wealthy neighborhood want to have a meeting to possibly evict Stevens ( but he had to miss it because of this arrest). I'm guessing he lives in some sort of an apartment complex because his neighbors say that they have found vomit and used condoms on their back decks. They frequently hear loud fights, illegal fireworks, he parks where ever he wants and gives the building code to his friends. If he does every play professional football again, he certainly won't be signed at what he would have gotten as a "model citizen". The irony of the situation is that the cop that recently arrested him had to point out how Stevens "dropped his wallet and keys". Now that normally might not be a big deal, but it adds insult to arrest for a guy know for key drops in the Super Bowl.

Maybe the strangest incident would be with Jaguars Wideout Charles Sharon. He gets in his parked car with another man when a cop smells weed coming from the car. The cop searches the car and finds a Glock model 27 handgun under the seat that was stolen from a federal ATF

Not only do these incidents hurt the reputation of a team, but they hurt the reputation of the game of football. You also have to wonder how much money these incidents cost the players? These untimely arrests could end up costing guys millions of dollars. For some players, they might even lose their job over bad behavior. The better the player is though, the more it seems to get swept under the rug. Then there are certain teams that have habitual offenders. You used to think of the Raiders as not necessarily criminals, but "bad boys". Now you have the Bengals are running away with the crown when something like 1/7th of their roster was arrested last year. The NFLPA is already talking about legislation such as a "three strikes and your out" policy. I don't know how to stop it, but I don't like to open up the newspaper and see the reputation of my favorite league tarnished every so often.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Free Agents 3/7/07

Jamal Lewis to Cleveland. So does that mean no Adrian Peterson? Wasn't Jamal Lewis the Browns killer, and now he gets to face his old team twice a year? Maybe now Cleveland wants to trade Down in the draft and pick up additional picks. Does Minnesota, Miami, Washington or Atlanta want to move up?

Patrick Kerney to the Seahawks. He actually reminds me of the high motor Grant Wistrom already in Seattle. I can't wait to see the guy ROID OUT on 3rd downs in front of that loud Seattle crowd. I'd think those loud fans could appreciate high energy players.

Eric Johnson to New Orleans. Johnson is known to be a smart player and now he is in a good passing offense, seems like a good fit for fantasy football owners as well.

Daniel Grahmn to the Broncos. Seems like he's overpaid some. Especially since I was very impressed with Tony Scheffler at the end of last year. Grahmn is known as more of a blocking tight end, but he could catch as well. Looks like New England would rather have a cheaper alternative in Kyle Brady for a couple years.

Looks like the Dre Bly trade was almost going to happen with Washington for some deal involving Ladell Betts and/or Shawn Springs. It is also reported that Washington still might be trying to get Bly and that Bly wants to be in Washington so that he gets a contract NOW instead of having to play out the final year of his current deal. Teams understand that players play harder in the final year of the deal to EARN that deal. Did I mention that Washington wants to sign him anyway? Suprise suprise. There were also rumors that Washington couldn't reach a deal for Bly because they pissed away all their draft picks and Detroit wanted some.

Patrick Ramsey to the Broncos. Ramsey is a big tall quarterback from the south with a very strong arm. Sort of sounds like Jay Cutler.

Looks like the Falcons might be bringing in Joe Horn. So does this mean when Mike Vick still isn't a good quarterback next year, we'll have to hear the excuse that Joe Horn is old and done and Vick had no receivers?

I was watching the Brady Quinn interview on NFL Network. The thing that surprised me was that Quinn seems to still think he's going to be the first player selected in the draft. He was asked about Cleveland and Minnesota ( who had their head coaches watch his pro day) and he said that he would like playing in Ohio and the Cleveland could possibly trade up to that #1 spot. I don't know if Brady really "thinks" he will be the top pick or if he is saying that for political reasons. I like Brady, but sometimes I think he just has these boring robotic answers to the media. I can't blame him, but sometimes it gets old.

Speaking of the NFL Network, where do they get some of these clown analysts. The guy was talking about the Cardinals needs and saying that they should take Adrian Peterson because they need a running back. Does this guy even watch the Cardinals? They invested a high pick on JJ Arrington and a lot of money on Edge James. He said that Edge is getting old and that they still need "production" so they should draft AP. Are you kidding me?

Maybe, just maybe nobody can run in Arizona because their line sucks. I watch a lot of Cardinals football the past 2 years and noticed they have a big offensive line that is designed to just bulldoze people ( with big guys like Lenoard Davis). Well that plan doesn't work. Those big guys couldn't maul anybody and their feet were too slow in pass protection. I noticed earlier in the year that the Cards rarely ever pulled lineman. They just tried to line up and blow the guy on the other side of the ball up. That didn't work.

Later in the year Arizona tried to pull lineman and that didn't work either ( were they too slow, or didn't practice pulling enough?) Arizona needs to address their offensive line or their defense. If Quinn does go in the first 3 picks like he thinks he might, then maybe Joe Thomas falls to the Cards at 5. If not maybe they can grab the best defensive stud available. I have no idea why the NFL Network's Charles Davis thinks they need to invest MORE money on a running back.

Brady Quinn brought up an interesting point when he "expected" to be the first player selected. The media has all of these projections, but they are just projections of what people think those teams need, and who the best players available are. We really have no idea if the Raiders like Jemarcus Russell, Brady Quinn, or Calvin Johnson better. Most of the media has Russell penciled in at #1, but with the Raiders who knows. A lot of these teams picking high in the first round are doing so for a reason ( not the best management and track record). We have no idea if Matt Millen will take tackle Joe Thomas ( like he is projected to do), but he could honestly selected a receiver ( Calvin Johnson) or maybe take AP like Marshal Faulk thinks. We have no idea about what Cleveland will do at 3, or if they will even keep the pick, and the rest is a crap shoot after that.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Free Agents

I added my 3rd wager of the 07/08 season

It appears that Adalis Thomas will become a New England Patriot, so I added 11 units to win 110 units on the Patriots Future to win the Super Bowl ( 10-1) odds. I already bet 12.5 units on the Eagles at 35/1 after the Super Bowl, and a smaller wager 2.5 unit wager on the Pats at 12/1.

It looks like the Pats will add the explosive Ravens linebacker Adalis Thomas. He goes to visit the Pats on the first day of free agency and people were already linking the two as good suitors for each other. Thomas is a veteran linebacker who has played in a 3-4 and 4-3 defense. The guy has played every position on defense and is a hard hitting versatile player. The grand chess master BB in New England would just love to have another great piece. The Pats have money, and need a linebacker. Sounds like a good fit.

The Pats also appear to be ready to sign Kyle Brady. Now Brady won't be going to the Pro Bowl anytime soon, but he is a solid vet player who they would probably sign to a fair deal. Brady would be a blocking tight end who would replace Daniel Grahmn who they probably won't resign ( some team will over pay him). So the Pats would rather sign Brady, Kyle to a fair deal instead of over paying Daniel Grahmn. That also fits the profile of the Patriots business model.

An interesting fact about Kyle Brady if I remember correctly is that he is a virgin. I believe when A.C. Green was breaking a consecutive games played streak in the NBA, they were talking about A.C. ( a virgin) and some other athletes that choose to abstain. I guess it would show a team that a player has discipline, and with the talk of the league cracking down on naughty behavior, I wouldn't expect Brady to be on Daunte Culpeckers sex boat cruise.

If the Pats plug up these two needs, I'd also expect them to sign whoever the Broncos, Giants, and Ravens don't sign to a fair deal. Maybe they will sign a guy like Ahman Green, Jamal Lewis, TJ Duckett, or Domonic Rhodes to a lesser deal.

The Pats also have two later first round draft picks which they can use to sign big name college players or use as trade bait. I wouldn't be shocked if the Pats went after the disgruntled Oakland Wide Receiver Randy Moss. Moss has Corey Dillon syndrome right now and doesn't want to play for a circus of an organization. The Raiders are probably looking to dump him before new management takes over and the Pats could potentially send a 2nd round pick to Oakland for him. How would you like that Tom Brady?

Other News

Looks like the 49ers have locked in top corner back Nate Clements to an 8 year 80 million dollar contract with 22 million guaranteed. The 49ers do look to have over paid the guy but they had the most free cap space and had to spend it somewhere. You might as well add a top notch corner back to your joke of a secondary.

Some people never learn. Daniel Synder had Fred Smoot and London Fletcher taken to the Wizards game last night in a private Limo. Does anybody see a pattern here? Snyder brings in some big free agent names, the Redskins fans shout Super Bowl in early march, and then they have the same crappy team that has two playoff appearances in the past 15 years. I can't stand these Deadskins fans around me. Last time I checked the Redskins still don't have a pass rush, and their Left Guard just signed for Buffalo. Then they resign their old quarterback Mark Brunell. I wonder how many teams would have done that? Plummer was to be traded, Bledsoe is done, the Eagles don't want to pay Jeff Garcia, Kerry Collins is done, Trent Green is on the trading block, but the Redskins reward Mark Brunell with a new contract.

The Redskins have the " grass is greener on the other side". They always want to sign the big name, that they let home grown guys like Antonio Pierce, Ryan Clark, Robert Royal, Derrick Dockery and Fred Smoot go. Maybe instead of signing guys like Adam Archuletta you should just keep guys like Ryan Clark? I forgot that this team is more concerned with selling new jerseys instead of winning, my bad.

Domonic Rhodes visited the Giants. I'd rather see the Giants sign him to a modest deal and split time with Brandon Jacobs then see the Giants use their first round pick on a running back.

Ed Hartwell and Ike Reese were cut from the Falcons. Could Hartwell go back to Baltimore and replace Adalis Thomas? Hartwell isn't as versatile, but he's good in the middle. At times I thought he could shed blocks better than the speedy Ray Lewis. Ike Reese should be a good special teams signing for somebody ( maybe back to Philly?). The guy layed the hit of the year on the Dallas return man late in the year last year.

The Falcons got rid of two defenders, but signed Fullback Ovie Mugelli and lost Justin Griffth. I can't wait until Mike Vick has more excuses about his blocking and his teammates.

The Bills added Derrick Dockery and Langston Walker. Two huge mauler type lineman. Maybe they will really try and dump Mcghee ( to a team like Denver or NY) and try and employ more of a power run game. Dock and Walker are huge power run blockers and the Bills have a top O-Line coach in Jim Mcnally.

The Saints are in talks with Ken Hamlin and Brian Simmons. Hamlin could replace the burned Fred Thomas and Simmons could help bolster that linebacking core. The Saints need to address their back 7 on defense and they look to be doing so. I'm not sure I'd want Ken Hamlin partying around the big easy though. The guy already going hit in the face with a stop sign once so hopefully he learned to "STOP"

Chris Dielman visited Seattle. The guy is there to potentially replace Steve Hutchinson. Now wouldn't it have been easier to just resign Hutchinson in the first place? I am not sure if that was feasible last year but my point is that teams should build from within and retain their top talent. This is a perfect example of that. Free agency is to tweek a few holes on a team, not to BUILD a team like the Washington jokeskins.

Kevin Carter released from Miami. Good defensive lineman are hard to come by. Throw in the fact that Carter is very durable and he should get paid alright by some team. Everybody needs more pass rush.

Eric Steinbach to the Browns. They could use some help on the offensive line. They tried to ink a top guy last year in Bentley, but that didn't work out so they try again. They don't have a top notch QB so they are looking to fight it out in the trenches with a guy like Steinbach and weaken a division rival.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Lions Trade Dre Ble to Denver for T. Bell, Foster, late round pick.

Denver ripped off the Lions big time. Holy crap.
Detroit didn’t want Bly anymore, and Denver was in obvious need of a corner so the price tag on Bly ( the best player in the deal) was low.

The ironic thing is that T. Bell was the draft pick that was traded in the Redskins, Bailey and Bell ( 2nd round pick) for Portis deal.

George Foster is more of a mauler which isn’t as required in the Denver zone blocking schemes. The guy was benched later in the year and was totally expendable for Denver.

Give the Broncos front office credit for realizing RB’s are “fungible” and they sent off a guy that wasn’t even the solid starter. Mike Bell had his share of carries this year and was actually set to open the year as the opening day starter ( remember that fantasy players)?

The first thing this reminds me of is the old fantasy baseball/football trades where you send 2 average players for 1 good one. Denver sends a backup/ part time starting RB and a marginal/ back up starting RT and get a big play corner in return.

It also reminds me of how Billy Beane will build up the value of say a closer, and then trade the guy when everybody else is so high on him. Denver builds up the value of the speedy but raw Bell, and then trades him.

Denver now really has the option of being able to blitz a whole heck of a lot more with having two corners that can play man and stud safety in John Lynch. I’ll be shocked if the Broncos don’t blitz more and in turn get a lot more sacks/turnovers. Remember, their defense was pretty stout early in the year last year and showed flashes.

Matt Millen is just plain foolish. The guy is joe freaking public in a luxury box. He gets rid of a rare NFL commodity ( a big play man/man corner) and gets an average lineman and a back who’s production is enhanced by his team.

I can’t get over this trade. Think of the possibilities this unleashes for Denver. Today’s NFL is a zone defense league in light of the rule changes in the defensive backfield. Not many teams play man/man defense and it’s because most teams don’t even have the ability to play man/man defense. Not everybody could play man/man even before the illegal contact down field rule.

Now wouldn’t go so far as to say that Bly is a shut down corner because he’s not, but he’s a good corner, and when you combine that with Baliey, Denver might have the best corner tandem in the league. Those opposing QB’s better be ready for the Blitz. Damon Huard, Andrew Walter and the young Phillip Rivers better watch out.

Remember, a Man/Man corner can play zone, but a zone corner can’t play man/man. It’s a hell of a lot harder to play somebody man/man, especially when Detroit’s pass rush is a joke. You also don’t have to advertise that you don’t want Bly which will diminish his value for potential trades. Negotiations 101.

Also, you don’t trade Dre Bly based on his value on YOUR team, you trade him based on his value to others. Just because Detroit had him in a lot of underneath zone, doesn’t mean Denver will ( and pay him as such next year).

If you don’t think it’s a bad trade, then take a look at the upcoming free agency. Detroit could pick up those caliber players in FA and give up nothing in return.
On the other hand, you better open up your check book if you want to sign a good corner back. Nate Clements is going to be rich very soon.

There are tons of good running backs out there, and plenty of starter/backup caliber lineman, but only so many good corners. Simple Economics says that Detroit got ripped off.

Congrats Denver, you ripped off the Redskins and another big bozo. I hear New England needs a Wr and a LB. I hear Matt Millen is thinking of Trading Ernie Simms and Roy Williams to Scott Pioli of the Patsies for some magic beans. Just a rumor.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]