Site Meter

November 2011 Archive


LSU And Arkansas: A Quick Primer For Those Too Confused to Care

Bobby Petrino's Razorbacks will play LSU. A tough game in a week when they lost freshman TE Garrett Uekman who died Sunday of an undiagnosed heart condition at the age of 19 (info according to FoxsportsSouth)..

Even if you never heard of the LSU Tigers or the Arkansas Razorbacks, if you looked at USA Today’s latest list of College Football Coach salaries, you’d know right away the upcoming game between the two is a huge deal. LSU’s coach clocked in over 3.7 million in school pay with Arkansas’s mercurial leader Bobby Petrino coming in at just over 3.6 million.

Both schools have a lot on the line this weekend with LSU aiming to remain undefeated and both teams wanting a division title, conference title and a crack at the national title. The stakes for this game are pretty high, and if each teams’ performance thus far this season is any indicator it should be a battle to the end.

For those who don’t regularly watch college football you may not understand why this is a big game and why you should at least care a little teeny bit. Maybe I can help.


LSU is undefeated this season. Arkansas has lost one game. Alabama has lost one game…to LSU. All three teams are in the SEC West. All three teams are in the top 3 of the BCS rankings-LSU (1) Alabama (2) and Arkansas (3). Yes, all 3 teams. If Alabama and LSU play for the national title Alabama can get revenge on LSU for snatching their undefeated season from them in OT. If Arkansas beats LSU (which could happen) and Alabama beats Auburn (which is likely), it sets up an uncomfortable 3 way tie for the SEC West division title (ew!). It also would put Arkansas in a difficult but not untenable situation when it comes to a chance at playing for the national title. But before the national title sit-choo-way-shon is settled, one of these teams must come out of the SEC West to play in the SEC Championship Game against SEC East’s Georgia. See how neatly the SEC East has already been wrapped up? How you not get into this SEC West drama. ow!

If you hate the SEC, like many (most???) hot-blooded college-football watching Americans (I kid! Or…do I?), then forget about everything I just wrote and know that I think this is going to be one of the few big games that will live up to the hype.

AR’s QB Tyler Wilson averages 292.3 yards passing per game and LSU’s defense has wracked up 27 sacks and 15 interceptions-6 of those by two of their corners. LSU’s secondary is no slouch and neither is it’s pass rush. I’m itching to see what Petrino cooks up on offense. On the flipside, LSU has done very well rushing with three running backs sharing carries. Spencer Ware has 160 carries for 650 yards-an average of 4.1 yards per carry. I don’t see LSU struggling for first downs if Ware can get back to form along with the other two leading rushers for the team all of which are returning from a one-game suspension. OOPS.

NFL Trivia: Which NFL team has both one Arkansas Razorback and one LSU Tiger that both played at the schools last year? hmm there may be more than one. But I’m thinking of the New England Patriots and QB Ryan Mallett and RB Stevan Ridley. Wonder if they will catch the game together.



Rex Ryan Reduces Mark Sanchez’s First Team Reps to Motivate Him But Will It Work

NY Jets QB Mark Sanchez Is Getting the 2008 Eli Manning treatment

Rough times for Mark Sanchez this season. He is part of a number of QBs that folks are using the dreaded “R” word on. REGRESSED. Well the one of the Kings of Snidedom Bart Hubbuch, Giants/Jets beat writer for the NY Post, thinks that Sanchez is being piled on:

It comes with the territory when you play quarterback in the world’s biggest media market, of course, but the criticism of Mark Sanchez is over the top and not entirely justified. Sanchez can’t do it by himself, obviously, and not nearly enough scorn is being heaped on his supporting cast – and that includes GM Mike Tannenbaum. The running game that would take pressure off Sanchez and allow him to throw off play-action (one of his strengths) is 29th in the NFL and getting worse by the week, and the latter also could be said about the Jets’ awful offensive line. Consider this: Sanchez already has been sacked 25 times in just 10 games, compared to 27 times in 16 games last year and 26 times in 16 games as a rookie in 2009. Sanchez’s receivers aren’t helping him, either – the Jets rank near the bottom of the league with just 906 combined yards after the catch (YAC), compared to nearly twice that amount by the NFL-leading Saints. Sanchez has been admittedly pedestrian, but there is plenty of blame to go around for that.

I watched the Jets lose to the Broncos and there is no question that the offensive line played terribly. In terms of the running game, there was none and I’ve complained about this for all teams with a QB whose name isn’t Aaron Rodgers. A Jets fan asked me what I thought their biggest need was before the season and I said a running back. I’ve great respect for Tomlinson but I think the last couple years have been a bit of an anomaly given his age.

I also think it’s fair to say that Sanchez probably misses the reliability of Edwards route running and physical style of play. I think letting Edwards go has cost them. Comfort and timing are important to QBs regardless of playcalling (ask Tom Brady why he throws to Wes Welker in coverage even when Ochocinco is wide open).  Hubbuch noted that the Jets YAC is way down which means that even when Sanchez is getting receivers the ball they’re not doing much with it. Sanchez’s attempts are at a paltry 6.90 yards which ranks just below Seattle’s Tavaris Jackson.

As for Sanchez’s Coach Rex Ryan, he has given backup QB Mark Brunell some of the first team snaps in practice presumably to motivate Mark Sanchez whom he admits he has not spoken to this week. Is he doing that with the offensive line too? I don’t know if this is the best time to play mental games with Sanchez or have some Father-son tough love moment. Just seems like a pain in the ass given the way the whole team is playing. I mean…the whole team got beat by the Broncos.  And how do you get motivated when your reps are taken by a QB WITH NO CHANCE OF EVER STARTING IN THE NFL AGAIN. It’s hard to even be insulted by such a baseless gesture. The last time Brunell was a threat to anyone he could write a check without it bouncing. boo ya.


Doctors: Jay Cutler’s Surgery Not A Choice — Plus My Thoughts on Comparing QB Injuries

Jay Cutler just can't catch a break. Get it? break. haha...ha...ha. Oh well. Photo via Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images courtesy of Sports Illustrated

I can only hope that one day an entire season will go by without someone questioning Jay Cutler’s toughness and commitment to the team or whining about some face he made (or didn’t make). During the week 11 games Cutler broke his thumb and had surgery on it which could put him out for 6 weeks. Well, 6 weeks is way optimistic, 8 or 9 weeks sounds more like it. That means he’d be out into the playoffs. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has also been diagnosed with a thumb break, and the fact that he isn’t going to miss a game set the sports talk word on fire with people, once again, insisting that Cutler is just a big old pussy. WRONG.

After hearing questions Monday over the airwaves wondering why Bears quarterback Jay Cutler can’t play with a broken thumb in his throwing hand the way Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is, Dr. Mark Cohen offered a second opinion.

It doesn’t mean Big Ben has a bigger threshold for pain. It simply means Cutler has a different injury.

“Jay Cutler having the surgery now means the bone is broken and shifted or displaced and is not what they call a stable fracture,” said Cohen, a hand surgeon at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. “It’s an unstable fracture. On those you can’t wait because they’ll heal crooked or won’t heal properly. The guy had a significant thumb injury and he’s got to have the bone fixed so the bone can heal. He has no choices. The doctors have no choices. This is cut-and-dried.”

Let’s repeat this again for the slow muthafuckers in the back:

It doesn’t mean Big Ben has a bigger threshold for pain. It simply means Cutler has a different injury.It doesn’t mean Big Ben has a bigger threshold for pain. It simply means Cutler has a different injury.It doesn’t mean Big Ben has a bigger threshold for pain. It simply means Cutler has a different injury.It doesn’t mean Big Ben has a bigger threshold for pain. It simply means Cutler has a different injury.

It’s no secret that Ben Roethlisberger is my favorite QB and one of the things I like the most about him is the toughness he exudes both mentally and physically. But there are plenty of times when being tough crosses the line into being dumb as a bag of rocks and my honey Ben is no stranger to either concept.

This whole comparison habit people have reared its ugly head again when some, stupidly, compared Michael Vick’s rib injury to Tony Romo’s rib injury. I’m no doctor, but it seems common sense would tell folks that all rib injuries are NOT the same. Further, given the fact that players have different styles of play (not to mention throwing motions), it would follow that even if two players had the EXACT same injury (which isn’t likely) one may be able to play while the other couldn’t.

I was really upset at the suggestion that Vick should play with his rib injury just because Tony Romo did especially since the Eagles season is all but officially over and the team does need a healthy QB for next season. But that’s still really besides the point. All the newly minted ‘doctors’ in the sports world really need take a step back and stop rushing to see who can be the most foolish.

But far be it from me to insist that facts should impede a person’s ability to mock a player.




Secret Weapons: Jordy Nelson’s Teammates Think He Is Underestimated Because He’s White

All my real life brothas throw your hands up!! Whoa...wait a minute now Jordy.

Ran across this article on Green Bay Packers Jordy Nelson and how he and his teammates think that opposing defenders don’t take him as seriously cause he’s white.

There’s a joke in the receivers meeting room that Nelson benefits by being the only white receiver on the team because perhaps opposing defensive backs don’t take him seriously.

“Honestly, I think it is (a factor),” Nelson said. “As receivers, we’ve talked about. I know (cornerbacks coach) Joe Whitt tells me all the time, when all the rookies come in, he gives them the heads up, ‘Don’t let him fool ya.’ That’s fine with me.”

Said Jennings: “He uses that to his advantage. Don’t put this out there because that’s our secret. But no, seriously, he has taken full advantage of every position that he’s been in whether it be special teams with the kick return game, now being the No. 2 … however you want to put it, he’s taken full advantage of it. It’s not because he didn’t put the time in. It’s not because he’s the white guy. A lot of it has to do with the fact that guys look at him say, ‘OK, yeah, he’s the white guy, he can’t be that good.’ Well, he is that good. He’s proven to be that good, and it’s because of the work and the time that he’s put on not only on the field but in his preparation off the field.”

I can see there being some truth here though I think Wes Welker has pretty much blown whatever cover white receivers had completely to pieces at this point. Anyway, cute little secret weapon inside joke on the Packers team. Use what you got.



Jake Plummer Says He’s Not Delighting in Mike Shanahan’s Failures

The always-interesting former Denver Bronco QB Jake Plummer

For those who don’t know…current Redskins coach Mike Shanahan’s glory days were with the Denver Broncos. During his time there he dropped Jake Plummer who had a 39-15 record (13-3 the prior season) for current Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler whom he drafted the 2006 season. It was the beginning of one hell of  downfall for a storied franchise.

Opinions on Plummer vary from him having a whole lot of football left in him to being iffy from the beginning and heavily reliant on the defense (sound familar?). But I think most can agree that Shanahan’s handling of Plummer and subsequent Quarterbacks (McNabb, Grossman, Beck) isn’t admirable at all. In an interview with Xtra sports in Phoenix and had this to say when he was asked about Shanny being “exposed” down in Washington.

“Yeah and I don’t like to see that. I mean I don’t want to see anybody struggle. I’m not sitting here gloating or feeling better about his lack of success down there. As time goes you learn more things. I’m here hanging out with my buddies from college. Jason Verdugo from St.Paul, Minnesota, he’s a baseball coach for Hampton University. He said ‘God when we were 21 [years old] we thought we knew everything and thought we were old and we thought god we know what we’re doing. Now you look back and I’m 36 and I’m looking back on that and I didn’t know anything back then and look what I know now. In retrospect and hindsight you see things. Things play out and you learn if you keep your eyes and ears open. Hey I was lucky to get the opportunity to play for [Mike] Shanahan. He helped turn my career around and gave me a chance to show that I was a winner regardless of how things went down. His style is just what it is. I think we are seeing he isn’t the special coach we thought he was. He’s a great coach, but he’s not like some of those guys that will take a player…Coach [John] Fox man look at what he is doing. You think he is going to force Tebow to throw 30 times a game? No. They are going to try to win with what he can do and it is kind of fun to see since they are bucking the system in the NFL. They are running the option. Are you kidding me?”

Plummer went on to say that he thinks the Broncos will run the option until it no longer works at all and then they will attempt to readjust. The lead story from this interview for most sites was Plummer’s statement on Tim Tebow in which he essentially said that Tebow will become more likable when he realizes we all understand that he loves Jesus.

I agree with that but didn’t lead with it cause I don’t really care. And two, it’s really hard to control a media storyline. And three, Tebow is a little like a robot so I don’t know that he has much to say beyond lines about working hard and keeping the faith. In that respect, he’s just like almost every other football player.

Good stuff on Plummer on Sports Illustrated if you’re interested in what he’s been up to (handball) and what drives him (only God knows cause he’s kinda eccentric though obviously principled and intelligent).

Find a player or team

Posts By Year


Switch to our mobile site