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NFC East


One Thing The Eagles Could Learn From the Broncos Handling of Tim Tebow

Sometimes I wonder if Philadelphia Eagles Coach Andy Reid has ever met the players on his team.

The Eagles, under Andy Reid, have this nasty habit of picking schemes with little to zero regard for the players on the team. Good things happen when you take the opposite approach. That is, look at the personnel you have, and play to their strengths. For a while, the Eagles’ habit of forcing square pegs into round holes has been met with some success. No SuperBowl wins but an appearance and a bunch of NFC chips. This year, things completely fell apart and it’s time to reevaluate that “strategy.”

The first square peg this season was Juan Castillo going from O line coach to Defensive coordinator. To add to that they make Michael Vick pass too much, forced Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to play in the slot, took Nnamdi Asomugha off man coverage and off the other team’s best receiver for stretches of games, and implemented a wide 9 formation that is heavily dependent on competent Linebackers all the while keeping a set of LBs that would be iffy even if this were college football we’re talking about.

What the Broncos have done with Tim Tebow should serve as an example of what personnel-based planning can do. The Broncos have completely adjusted their entire scheme to fit his lack of skill er I mean strengths.

The game plan for the Broncos is unique. The read option, the triple option (no different than what we watch on Friday nights in high school ball), swap boot, jet sweep, etc. This isn’t what we expect to see on Sundays, but I doubt it will change. The Denver QB is not going to succeed at this point in his career in a traditional pro style system that asks him to take five and seven-step drops, go through his progressions and move the sticks. This is what you get with the Broncos when Tebow is under center. Adapt the play calling to fit your personnel.

If not for Tebow being such a sacred cow, I think most of us could admit that scaling down an NFL offense to this degree is a gross admission of the fact that you have a quarterback that isn’t ready for primetime. Most organizations might even be to embarrassed to run a bone offense in the NFL. I mean triple options? REALLY THOUGH?

But here’s the thing, adapting the play calling to fit your personnel is what folks should be doing. Vick has a better record when the Eagles run the ball more. So why don’t the Eagles pursue a 2 running back system? Vick has traditionally favored his TE. TEs are a struggling QBs best friend, why don’t the Eagles integrate both Brent Celek and Clay Harbor into the base offense more? Vick is 6’0, no one sees a need for him to have at least one receiver who is taller  than him?

I could go on and on, but the fact is that the Eagles are TERRIBLE not cause they don’t have talent (in fact, they’re LOADED with talent at specific positions) but because the schemes and play calling do not fit the players’ strengths. A long time ago former Bush administration Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld made a really flippant comment that was so inappropriate for his subject matter but perfectly fitting for this post: You go to war with the army you have—not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.

I’m saying though.



The Problem With Benching Rex Grossman

Washington Redskins QB Rex Grossman drops the ball

This photo shows Redskins QB Rex Grossman in his most comfortable position--dropping the ball.

The life of a Redskins fan was lookin up sort of. The Redskins were performing better than analysts predicted. Last night, they ran into a desperate Eagles team. Oo I hate to say that but it’s true. Redskins came into the game with one of the better performing defenses in the league and an up and down offense with a QB that has made some crucial mistakes.

In addition to Grossman being shaky on offense, the Redskins receivers are extra regular, and one of their best options in the past, the tight end Chris Cooley, has regressed due to injury. The Redskins biggest threats are running backs Ryan Torain and Tim Hightower.

The Eagles got off to a fast start scoring 20 points in the first half. In the 2nd half the Eagles didn’t score at all, but the Redskins just couldn’t take advantage of any of it.

In the 4th quarter of the game, after Grossman threw 4 interceptions,  the Shanahans had seen enough. They pulled Grossman from the game and put in John Beck, the dude I WRONGLY predicted would be the starter from the beginning. Not because he’s “so good” but because we already know what Rex Grossman has to offer. And we already know (or I thought we knew?) that it’s not good enough to be a starting QB in the NFL. We don’t know what Beck has to offer, and if he’s the only other option, it might be good to see what he’s got. That way you know if next year needs to find you drafting a QB, looking at David Garrard, or trying to wrestle Ryan Mallet away from the Patriots.

Although I thought that Beck should be the starter for the season, I still see an issue with the Shanahans benching Grossman at Week 6.

If nothing else, thus far Redskins seemed stable. They were low on mistakes (especially non-QB mistakes), they were competitive in their 1 loss coming into this game, and have already won more games than many analysts predicted. Benching Grossman throws the team into an uproar again and I’m not sure that the Redskins offense is one that Beck is gonna be so much better in. While the receivers are reliable, the Redskins don’t have the kind of explosive offensive weapons that can help a struggling QB not look so..well…struggle’ish.

Secondly,  I think that the decision to bench Grossman should stand for the entirety of the season win or lose. I don’t think that Grossman should start again unless Beck can’t play. It just doesn’t serve anyone to have that kind of controversy at the QB position. But given the Shanahans’ history, we might see another benching at week 9, around the time that offenses really need to be clicking on all cylinders.

That’s just bad. How does it help a QB’s performance to have the threat of benching hanging over his head after every game?

Grossman finished against the Eagles with a QB rating of 23.7, apparently he’s given 3 worst performances in his career. He’s the same Gross we always knew and I can’t ever  complain about Grossman being offered a seat on the sidelines. But I worry that this is just another act in the Redskins Quarterback play, and the rest of the cast deserves better performances from the lead characters.



Cathartic Rant: 2011 Philadelphia Eagles Welcome Fans Back to Horrors of 1998

Philadelphia Eagles Coach Andy Reid

No. Just no.

As a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons I try not to blog on them often because I like to cover the whole NFL. But every now and then they WILL inspire me to rant and rave. So yes this post is long enough to rival “Roots,” but there’s no point in having a blog if you can’t let loose every now and again.

The Eagles are known as perennial contenders. And most of the time I’ve been a fan of the team they have at least been competitive. This year, they’re not competitive at all and I’m getting strong feelings of deja vu from the 1998 season.

In 1998, current Cleveland Browns Defense Assistant Ray Rhodes was the Head Coach of the Eagles. This 1998 team featured the talent of DE Hugh Douglas, LB Jeremiah Trotter, TE Chad Lewis, CBs Bobby Taylor and Troy Vincent, DT Hollis Thomas, RB Duce Staley, and WR Irving Fryar. QB duty went to Bobby Hoyer until he was benched for Rodney Peete (who had previously shared QB duties with Hoyer and Ty Detmer).

It wasn’t a perfect team but it was damn sure full of talent. That year, the Eagles won 3 games.

The fans, media and everyone else complained that Philadelphia’s high priced stars weren’t stepping up in big games. Team morale was gone, play was listless, and the players weren’t listening to Coach Rhodes and it was largely his fault.

Fast forward to 2011 and here we are again!

Everyone is frustrated with expensive free agents like Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Jason Babin, and Cullin Jenkins, and expensive stars like Vick and Asante Samuel. 49ers running back Frank Gore, who racked up 127 yards against the Eagles in a win last weekend said that the Eagles gave up during their game so I think we can safely say the play is lackluster. Last week Eagles DE Darryl Tapp CASUALLY mentioned that former offensive line coach cum defense coordinator is still learning to call plays on the fly.


Who in the hell can trust coaches when they don’t know what they’re doing. Worse: who can trust coaches when they HIRE people who don’t know what they’re doing. If you spent your life coaching offensive players shouldn’t you AT LEAST have to be an offensive coordinator before you take over defensive coordinator duties? Andy Reid didn’t think so.

I’d say this season has all the making of 1998.

  • 1-4 going into week 6
  • Frustration with expensive talent
  • Terrible Coaching
  • Player distrust of Coaches
  • Loads of talent at key positions
  • Noticeable gaps in talent at other positions


LBs, DBs, and OL

Yes the Eagles have poor linebackers and poor safeties. But every team has holes. Football is a strategic team game. Coaches are supposed to look at the opponent and look at their team and figure out which plays to use to mask (or at least deemphasize) those holes. Reid’s biggest strength over the years has been making contenders out of patch-worked pieces. If he can’t do that anymore then why is he still around?

The offensive line’s weaknesses offends me the most due to the fact that Vick is their prized possession, Lesean McCoy might be THE BEST pass-catching running back, and Desean Jackson is their best weapon when down… priority numero uno should have been to keep Vick safe so that he has time to find Jackson and to make sure they could block for McCoy. They didn’t. And that fault lies with the Eagles front office. At 5 years old I knew to guard my favorite doll, a cabbage patch kid named Glenna Nola, as though my life depended on it. So there’s no way the Eagles front office didn’t know Vick needed protection.

Michael Vick

I didn’t appreciate seeing jokes about the Eagles possibly getting Andrew Luck. Not only is it not funny but it’s stupid. Vick has to get rid of the ball faster and he has to anticipate pressure better especially with his sham of a line. HOWEVER, overall Vick has played well under the circumstances. He’s been tough, and he has never given up during games. Now who’s ultimately responsible for Vick consistently passing on 2nd and 4s and treating McCoy like a stepchild anywhere near the redzone? Well, I’d say again it’s Coaching cause that’s the kinda jackassery that went on when Vick was still a happy Atlanta Falcon and Donovan McNabb was at the helm of the Eagles offense.

Wide 9

There’s nothing wrong with the Wide 9 scheme in my opinion. It does, however, call for players to learn it first and hopefully to have a good middle linebacker. Andy Reid chose to start 4th round rookie Casey Matthews at MLB. He later benched him in favor of 6th rounder Brian Rolle. Someone once asked Pat Kirwan what’s the hardest position to transition from one team to another. Kirwan’s answer? Middle linebacker. Why? To paraphrase, in order to be successful at that position you gotta know the back and the front of the defense including the lingo. In Matthews’ and Rolle’s case they didn’t just change teams they changed LEAGUES and had no OTAs during the summer. Reid should have expected problems and angled for at least one proven linebacker middle or otherwise. Just so you know, Detroit Lions’ LB Stephen Tulloch who previously played in the Wide 9 formation was available while the Eagles were trading their lives away for another corner.

Speaking of corners…

Nnamdi Asomugha

Asomugha built his well-earned reputation as a great cornerback playing press. The Eagles have him playing zone. But that’s not all. They also have him lining up all over the field. Same as Rodgers-Cromartie who is also very good in press and not so good everywhere else. When I peaked in on ONE play in the Bills-Eagles game today I saw Asante Samuel playing press on Stevie Johnson and I almost tossed my cookies. Samuel is a ball hawk, he’s not a press guy and he hates being tied to one spot or person. I had previously suggested Samuel try FS but after witnessing his idea of tackling, I take every bit of it back (not that it’s worse than the current safeties). Anyway, Asomugha and Johnson are almost exactly the same height and weight. Whose idea was it to have Samuel cover Johnson when he gives up 3 inches and 30 lbs to him?

The Eagles don’t need Asomugha to be Charles Woodson lite…they need Asomugha to be Asomugha. But in typical Eagles fashion, they pick a scheme and force personnel into it instead of looking at the personnel and playing to their strengths. RIP to Asomugha’s stellar reputation. He has to regret picking the Eagles over the Jets.


The 1998 season ended with the firing of Rhodes which made 1999 a rebuild season with Reid named as the new Head Coach. In 1999, Reid’s first season as the Eagles head coach their record was 5-11. The VERY NEXT year their record was 11-5 with largely the same talent they had in 1999. I genuinely believe that with better coaching the Eagles would be a better team this year and certainly next year with the benefit of off season activities.

In January of this year, I wrote that Andy Reid should be fired (and was subsequently LAMBASTED for it). But I stand by what I said although I could have expressed my thoughts more clearly. But just like today, I was angry when I wrote it.

Suddenly everyone is tired of Reid, including the press-though he’s been putting on the same rude show in the media for years now. The Eagles remain the ONLY team in the NFL in violation of the NFL access to coaches rules as Reid typically does not allow his assistants to conduct interviews.

For the record, it pisses me off whenever you call for a coach’s firing and people say “well who would you replace him with?” I take that opportunity to remind folks that Reid was plucked from relative obscurity to coach the Eagles. In other words, I’m sure they can find someone qualified. I’m not an advocate of staying in a bad relationship just because dating is hard.

I said at the beginning of this season that this SHOULD be a rebuild season for the Eagles and I would have preferred they fired Reid at the close of last season and made it official. I didn’t think they’d be *this* bad, but I didn’t think they’d necessarily go to the playoffs with 63% of their defensive starters new to the team. There are no easy games in the NFL anymore. You can’t roll over the Bills, Lions, Browns, Bengals, Raiders and other teams that have been consistently weak for a few years. Anyone can win on any given Sunday…teams must be smart and cohesive. The Eagles are currently neither.

I swear I didn’t start this site:

Final note… on the “Dream Team” label

Had anyone told me that I could have Vick, Maclin, Avant, McCoy, Jackson, Jenkins, Babin, Asomugha, Rodgers-Cromartie, Samuel, Cole, Peters, Herremans, and Young all on one team YES I would have thought I was dreaming. A grand dream. A happy dream. The kind of dream where you wake up smiling and don’t know why. I love the talent that’s on this team. I STILL BELIEVE the Eagles are infinitely more talented than most of the teams in the NFL. Only in the hands of Andy Reid does this group become a complete nightmare.

Foreshadowing…if the Falcons lose to the Packers another rant soon cometh.



Why Is The Eagles Defense So F****ng Complicated!

Eagles Defensive coordinator Juan Castillo

Eagles newly minted Defensive Coordinator must come hard or don't come at all. (wait...what?)

When the Eagles signed a bunch of new players, their rankings went up on both sides of the ball. I wasn’t one of the people who got super excited because as a fan of the team I remember how bad they were last year from a talent standpoint. The Eagles had lots of holes that were masked by the brilliant performances of Michael Vick, Desean Jackson, Trent Cole and the always gambling Asante Samuel.

I definitely thought they sured themselves up to an extent, and I was happy to feel a sense of urgency to win for once, but I couldn’t understand why they would sign two more corners when they so desperately needed safeties and linebackers. A lot has been made of the horribleness of the linebackers, and they are certainly bad. However, I’d be less worried about the Eagles giving up the run if they weren’t also giving up the world to Tight Ends. Of the 8 touch downs scored against the Eagles, 5 have been by running backs or Tight Ends. There’s no point in having three stellar corners to guard against the pass if you’re so holey elsewhere, teams can just abandon the pass with ease and still beat you.

Biggest issue I have with the Eagles defense right now is that it’s complicated for no reason. The Wide 9 approach which takes the defensive ends out of the run defense and puts them almost exclusively on pass rush every play is fine by me. Unfortunately, for ultimate success it seems to require the linebackers to be of some substance which they’re not. In particular, from my view, this kind of scheme needs a good (or at least respectable!) middle linebacker almost as bad as a base 3-4 defense needs a solid outside linebacker.

The Eagles are rotating the line to keep legs fresh, which also sounded great to me in the beginning but now I’m not sure. I do think it’s good to have 8 different guys learn the base defense and be semi-interchangeable, but it’s not really smart to think they all function the same way. Some of the guys are already playing 30%+ more snaps than others. And it might be throwing things out of wack since they’re rotating weaker players consistently rather than using weaker players only when injuries occur. I’m torn on which strategy is best at this point.

To make use of the three star corners, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Samuel and Nnamdi Asomugha, the Eagles are 1. sitting Rodgers-Cromartie way too much 2. putting Asomugha in a million different positions on the field 3. Making Rodgers-Cromartie play the slot when Joselio Hanson is soooo much better at it 4. Forcing the secondary to play in a zone style that suits Samuel and Samuel only.

I complained that the Eagles might trade Samuel (he’s my favorite Eagle) but at that point I was assuming they had some great strategy in mind for how to use the three corners together. I don’t think they did….or maybe they “thought” Rodgers-Cromartie would get the slot position down right away…but given his background (and no OTAs and mini-camps) there’s no reason to believe that would happen.

Of course, the Eagles don’t seem to be much into reality and that’s why they thought the undersized 4th rounder Casey Matthews could come in and make a difference right away. He is now being replace with *wait for it* a fellow rookie drafted even later than he was (6th round).

But back to my point…Asomugha alone has lined up: in the slot, as a safety, behind an end, as right corner and God knows what else. It has been disorienting for him. But it’s also been disorienting to his teammates. When watching the Eagles D play, you get a sense that no one knows where anyone else is. One of the biggest things in the NFL is the focus on giving QBs different looks and keeping them confused. I get it. But when you’re keeping your own players confused it kinda defeats the point.

Right now there is no synergy between the front and the back of the Eagles defense. I just don’t see why Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie aren’t playing press-at least for now. A lot of teams dream of having two PROVEN press corners. Eagles should leave Joselio in the slot and maybe try Asante out as free safety. I may be saying something radical here given his size and the fact that he hasn’t played the position since his freshman year of college, but if Asante wants to roam and ball hawk like a tiny Ed Reed, I say let him try it. It looks no sillier on its face than having linebackers that welcome you to munchkin land. If the Jets Jim Leonhard can play strong safety in the NFL at his size anything is possible.

They still need a better strong safety for the T.E.s but in the mean time they can use Asomugha to defend T.E.s when there is a Tony Gonzalez or Vernon Davis on the opposing team.

Next year when everyone is more comfortable, perhaps they can get fancier, but a simplified defense that emphasizes the players’ strengths would be much more productive for a team where 63% of its starting defense players are new to the team and there were no off season opportunities to jell.


Emotional Romocoaster: Cowboys Romo is a HUGE Disappointment and a Gigantic Success

Dallas Cowboys Dez Bryant

oh wow! You mean there are Cowboys NOT named Tony Romo?

Apparently the Cowboys still enjoy some semblance of being America’s team or whatever cause the Redskins/Cowboys Monday Night Football game got the highest week 3 ratings EVER!  Eva eva? Yes, eva eva. But then again, the NFL is rising in popularity all around so maybe all credit shouldn’t be given to Cowboys marketing and the storied rivalry between them and the Skins.

I fell asleep on this super exciting game right after one of the teams kicked the 5th field goal. Don’t ask me which one cause I don’t like lying in public.

I think the game played out as expected with both defenses playing hard and the stars having a good showing (Demarcus Ware and Brian Orakpo, for example). And at the end, being personified by whichever QB made the last critical mistake. Which in this case was Redskins QB Rex Grossman. I wonder what his haters are saying this morning?

The real story of the week was whether Tony NoNo would play with the cracked rib and miraculously healed punctured lung he sustained in the game against the world famous San Francisco 49ers. And, also,  whether CB Deangelo Hall would take a hurting to any of NoNo’s injuries. Tony delivered. Deangelo lost his package.

I hope Romo doesn’t read a lot of sports sites. Really, no athlete should. But Romo especially given the fact that if he paid attention to what’s said about him even he wouldn’t know what to think of himself.

Romo has been crucified and resurrected more times than any QB in recent memory. I hear there’s a 3rd testament to the bible in the works that covers only Romo’s career. He has been carried to the morgue then dug up and paraded through the streets like a hero several times this season already—and it’s only Week 3.

Why can’t the media just finally decide how fucking good they think Romo is or isn’t and stop taking us on an emotional Romocoaster?

Here’s the real as I see it. As a QB, Romo is…OKAY…GOOD…SOLID…RESPECTABLE. He’s not in my top 10, he’s not elite, but he’s not terrible, embarrassing , middling or below average. He’s just fine. He’s in a comfortable quarterback suite that features a three tier bunk bed with Jay Cutler on top and Mark Sanchez on the bottom. #NoRomo (I’m sorry, but why is his name so much fun!)

Romo makes some critical mistakes at some of the worst times.  Sometimes he wins in spite of them and sometimes he loses badly. That’s what makes him GOOD and not great. But he’s not the only person on the team and he damn sure doesn’t coach himself. Ain’t nothing in this world wrong with having a solid QB. In fact, in this league it’s a blessing.

But back to my point. Romo is 31…he’s not a youngin anymore. We should have decided what we think about him already. But because sports is nothing without superlatives, and “good” just isn’t a good enough in the world of SEO, we are alternately told that Romo is huge disappointment or a gigantic under-appreciated success depending on whether a groundhog sees his shadow that day or not.

Quite frankly, I’m tired of it.

I remember one of my favorite players, Demarcus Ware, complaining about his ranking on the NFL Top 100 players list among other griping about not getting his due. It’s quite possible Ware doesn’t get his due in part because people are too busy talking about Romo to realize there are other Cowboys.

The great talent that is Dez Bryant could barely get a mention until the world found out he was in diamond debt. Nary a peep about Miles Austin until he dated and then promptly dumped hot hottie Kim Kardashian.

The next time people are so inclined to discuss how good Romo is consider it a well-worn NoNo and give some lip service to one of the other Cowboys. Sean Lee perhaps?



Cowboys and Eagles Should Sit Romo and Vick This Week

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo has a cracked rib and a punctured lung. Currently, it hurts when he laughs. Brian Orakpo just shared this on facebook.

I can’t believe I have to say this…but I really don’t think that Tony Romo and Michael Vick should play Sunday (Eagles/Giants) and Monday (Cowboys/Redskins). To catch you up, Romo suffered a cracked rib and punctured lung against the San Francisco 49ers. And Vick was concussed in the game against the Atlanta Falcons. 4 days later and Romo is expected to play on Monday and Vick is currently a game time decision having participated in team walk throughs the last couple of days.

I realize that football players are the superest of humans, but this is so dumb it’s sickening. I get that football season is short and that every win counts, and you certainly want to nail those wins against teams that aren’t great lessening the blow of not beating superior teams. But if ever there was a good chance for backup QBs Kitna and Kafka to win games in their starters’ absence it’s against the Redskins (umm yeah I know they’re 2 and 0) and the depleted Giants.

How can a league that changed kickoffs in the interest of safety also send two players out to play given what they experienced last week? Redskins Cornerback D’Angelo Hall has already publicly said he will target Romo’s injury which is appropriate football strategy (however terrible some people thought it sounded). Whether Hall makes will make it over the line of scrimmage I don’t know, but there’s a HIGH probability OLB Brian Orakpo will. And SS Laron Landry is coming back off injury with something to prove. What better way to welcome yourself back then to grab a couple of sacks against your division rival?

Romo could be without his best receivers leaving him vulnerable to holding the ball longer when he has to pass. But I suppose it’ll be okay because we’ve been assured that the puncture was “small” and could clear up in a matter of “days?”

I don’t care!

Kafka had a good showing for the Eagles last week when Vick had to leave the game. And if Vince Young’s hammy feel better this week he’s likely to be available to play as well. The Eagles have a former starter and a promising youngin backing up Vick and are headed to play an injured team whose best strength the past couple seasons has been getting to the QB. Given the Eagles offensive line woes if Vick absorbs more hits, knockdowns and sacks in the next game while he’s already feeling badly…the likelihood of him fulfilling the gruesome prophecy held by many that he’s going to miss most of the season increases exponentially.

I ain’t with it.

There were a number of other players that suffered concussions this week, and I’ll try to keep track of who plays and who doesn’t for a future post.


The Redskins Are Men in Tights

Washington Redskins Tight Ends Wear Tights

The Redskins are putting the "tight" in Tight End. Photo via Washington Post taken by Sky Kerstein

Redskins Tight End Chris Cooley has always been a character. I guess his former teammate running back Clinton Portis kind of took all the spotlight so maybe people don’t know. But just a reminder, Cooley is the dude who posted a photo of his playbook which was sitting on his lap…that was naked. He didn’t realize he was putting his BUSINESS out there until too late. *insert man meat joke*

Now Chris and his fellow Washington Tight Ends have opted to begin wearing tights in practice. I read this Washington Post article twice and could not for the life of me figure out why. They mentioned that they “look” lighter and more aerodynamic wearing the tights, but are they ACTUALLY faster? And don’t NFL players already wear rayon jeggings as it is?

Whatever, they look cute.


Michael Vick Forgets to Put On His Pants and Shoes Before Giving Press Conference

I hate when people write a post and there’s no post…but I really have nothing to say except WHY WOULD HE DO THIS TO ME? As I watched this press conference I tweeted:

Vick…you are dead wrong for this!



Top 10 Angriest People in the NFL After Week 1

Minnesota Vikings DE Jared Allen

I assume Jarred Allen is skeptical about the defense across the league right now

1. Atlanta Falcons Fans

As an Atlanta Falcon fan I am HEATED. I’m almost glad I missed the game. The Bears gave them an afternoon they won’t soon forget. This, after Roddy White had a T-shirt made that said “unacceptable” and had the Packers/Falcons score from last year’s first round of the playoffs (where they also got whooped) on the back. This after Sports Illustrated’s Peter King pegged the Falcons to win the SuperBowl.

I never jump off a cliff after week 1. And I do remember very well that the Bears went to the NFC Championship game with their QB lying prostrate the entire time. And the Falcons have started off bad and picked it up after week 3. But this ain’t the preferred way to start a season. It’s one thing to lose, it’s something different not to be competitive. The Falcons have the same core offense they had last year. They added pieces to the pass rush and reworked their secondary (though it still lacking). Consistency and talent was supposed to take this team to a fast start. That didn’t happen. And I’m not happy about it!

2. Peyton Manning’s neck

Now you’d think that Colts fans and the Colts organization would be angrier than Peyton Manning’s neck. But how mad would you be if you prematurely ended the career of someone you’ve been eating, breathing, working and sleeping with for 36 years? It wasn’t supposed to happen like this! Manning’s neck has stuck closely by him for so long and now, toward the end of an illustrious career, he can no longer control himself? He…it….cannot possibly be happy.

3. Running Backs

Hey man, nobody cares about yall anymore. And by nobody I mean coaches, offensive coordinators and quarterbacks. Running backs are so irrelevant that the Philadelphia Eagles, arguably the deepest defensive team in the league have all but admitted that their linebackers will only be seen on a 3rd and 1. And they dare you to run on them. GO AHEAD. MAKE MY DAY.

Last night, New England Patriots Tom Brady passed for over 500 yards on the Miami Dolphins. That’s crazy enough but check this: Fins QB Chad Henne passed for over 400 yards. I SAID CHAD HENNE PASSED FOR OVER 400 YARDS. I SAID CHAD HENNE PASSED OVER 400 YARDS. I wrote that three times cause some people use the skim, scan, scroll method to read and I didn’t want anyone to gloss over the fact that CHAD HENNE PASSED FOR OVER 400 YARDS.

Together, Brady and Henne combined for 906 and now hold the record for most combined total passing yards in a game.

Am I awake?

Maurice Jones-Drew and LaGarrette Blount became the first two star RBs to complain about not getting enough playing time. Hey man, nobody cares about yall anymore. Tight Ends are getting 50+ receptions. Elite ones like Jason Witten are getting 90. Hey man, nobody cares about yall anymore.

Maybe as the season goes on offenses will develop some feelings for their running backs. I mean the extremely pass-happy New Orleans Saints let lil baby Darren Sproles go buck wild the other night. They say that people can fall for each other after they’re already married. It’s entirely possible that in a few weeks coaches will will see their running backs sitting on the bench or looking lonely near the line and say “hey…you wanna go out some time?” On the other hand, we could get to week 16 and find out that offenses like running backs…just not “in that way.” Unless of course your last name is Johnson (Tenn), Peterson (Minn) or Williams (Car).

4. Pittsburgh Steelers Defense

Their blood rivals beat their asses like they got caught stealing out of the team giftshop. This needs no further explanation. They gotta be PISSED.

5.Chad Ochocinco (honorable mention to his “fiance” Evelyn Lozada)

If I were to write a book about Chad Ochocinco and his made-for-television fiance Evelyn Lozada (which I would NEVER do), I would call it “Of Meal Tickets and Attention Whoring.” It’s a snappy little story about a guy who was the center of attention in a small town. A man who was the best player on a bad team. A guy who used a charismatic personality to climb all the way to the middle. And once he got to the middle, he figured dating a reality comet (I wouldn’t yet call her a star), would help him get to the bottom of the top (even though he had referred to the same woman as a whore on his twitter feed the year before). But then he left the bad team in the small town where no one ever paid attention to him breaking off routes preferring to shift all the blame to Carson Palmer’s knee, to go to a place where on and off-field discipline is demanded. Where you’re expected to not only know the playbook like that thing on the back of your hand, but to carve out a specific role for yourself. Or as my uncle used to say “earn your keep.” And while Chad struggles to learn the Patriots system, his newly minted feyawnsay is doing provocative photoshoots with the Boston Herald (what the hell are yall putting the clam chowdah to come up with something like this?) and swearing she’s no jersey chaser despite affairs with former NBA Boston Celtics players Antoine Walker and Kenny Anderson.

This book would be based on a true story, so since it’s week 1 the ending hasn’t been written yet. But suffice it to say, there may be some cutting going on by Week 7 if things don’t start looking up. Chad needs some reps, and he didn’t get many chances to prove himself last night. That’s gotta be frustrating for him and his tag along cookie, Evelyn.

6. Cam Newton Detractors

Before I begin, I’d like to say to all those who want to see Cam fail: hahahahahahah bwahahahahaha hahahaahh muwahahahahahahahahaahahah.


yeah I know it’s Week 1. And I know they played the Arizona Cardinals whose defense is holier than a Tyler Perry movie. And yes I know they lost. But come on! He passed for over 400 yards. In the clips I saw, Newton looked big and strong and capable (wait, are we still talking about football?). He seems to have fixed his laser eye that tells every dude on defense who he’s about to throw to. When he gets that backfoot squared away he will be kicking more ass than Anderson Silva and taking more names than Nevin Shapiro. I can feel it. I CAN FEEL IT!

It bothers me that Cam Newton inspires so much disdain. This whole idea that kids should be held more responsible than adults for their actions is astounding to me. A guy gets accused of breaking a few NON-VIOLENT rules and all of sudden everyone in the public turns into Mother Teresa. This is football, if you want to see girl scouts buy some cookies.

7. Broke Has-beens (ouch…but I didn’t know a better way to say it! I swear I’m a sweet girl!)

If ever there was a year not to be a financially devastated elderly team cancer looking for team, it was this one. Tiki Barber and Terrell Owens have both learned this the hard way. Even for team players whose pockets are straight (like Clinton Portis and Darren Sharper), the interested teams were slim. The current league boasts lots of rookie starters and with the shortened practice period it seems like the right time to just go ahead and give them their reps.

When it comes to Owens and Barber, I imagine teams looking at their phones when their agent’s call, laughing and saying “What I look like getting back to a has beeeeen. Yeah, I said it. Has been. Hang it up. FLAT SCREEN.” Sorry. lol

8. The Few People Who Still Play for the Giants

The season just started and the Giants have some exciting players currently active. Those include Steve Smith…wait…no, I meant Plaxico Burress…oh naw naw…Kevin Boss…ooo hmmm….Osi Umenyiora…oh wait…he’s out…Justin Tuck…oh umm…their brand new highly touted rookie CB Prince Amukamara…oh dammit! A lot of the guys you associate with the Giants have either moved on to other teams or are nursing injuries. The Giants have  8 defensive players out for the season.

The ones that are actually playing were left to get a serious smackdown from the Washington Redskins and their quarterback Re…Re….Re…I can’t even type his name. Anyway, you know that dude that passes the ball or whatever for that one football team in Washington. Him! He balled out on the Giants and there is no way in hell anyone is more angry than the players who had to endure the douchbaggery that is Re…Re…ughhhh

Definitely not a Giants fan, but my heart goes out to them!

9. Anterior Cruciate Ligaments

Before the season started, we were at about 11 achilles tears. Now we’re up to 9023939029343. It’s just getting ridiculous. Player ACLs have been texting each other tips for staying healthy. So far the tips they’re sharing are not working.

10. Defensive Players

You can probably tell by reading this blog that I am ALL about defense. Offense doesn’t really move me beyond whatever the tight ends are doing. Blame Shannon Sharpe for that. Defensive schemes and philosophies are where my heart lies. Defensive back is my favorite position. Linebackers make me swoon. Defensive Ends get my attention. Defensive Tackles get my heart pumping. The best thing about defense is there’s always something more to learn.

The worst thing about defense-there’s always something to learn. It’s clear that defenses across the league are struggling to adapt to all the damn creativity. I find it hard to believe that offenses are just this damn good. I think that defenses are so caught up with giving QBs different looks the players are confused as to where to be. This is just a hunch. I plan to blog about this more next week as I get more of an opportunity to get caught up on which teams have installed what and how it’s shaping up.

But to give you one good example, I’ll use my Eagles (YES I LIKE THE EAGLES AND FALCONS, HAVEN’T WE GONE THROUGH THIS ALREADY?). During Pre-season, alleged CB Nnamdi Asomugha lined up on the right, behind the DE, as a safety, and in the slot all in one game. Watching Asomugha during the Eagles-Rams game was like playing “Where’s Waldo?” except Waldo was dressed like everyone else. And his damn face was covered, which makes the game almost entirely impossible to win. The Eagles also rotated 8 on the line to keep legs fresh. Technically that means 8 dudes are “starting” just on the line. That’s more players that have to learn more than base defense.  I could have sworn I heard one of them say “Where am I? Who am I?” at one point. Or maybe that was me.

I think defensive players have a difficult task right now. Again, I want to revisit this at a later date when I have more to go on. But remember, many rules have been implemented to give offense an advantage. (OMG Can Goodell fine me for saying that?) But looking at this week’s games you’d never know that “more offense” was needed. Defenses can’t be happy with the points and yards that have been given up in week 1.



Hacked Accounts: Injured Laron Landry Says Washington Redskins Staff is a “Circus”

A shirtless and tattooed Washington Redskins Safety Laron Landry

Washington Redskins Laron Landry in Quasi-Linebacker Form

I live for little bits and pieces of honesty from players I like. Washington Redskins safety Laron Landry is one of my favorite Defensive Backs, and apparently fans have been questioning him on twitter about his progress. Landry expressed frustration about how his injury has been handled by the Redskins in some tweets that have since been deleted. I’m sure he was hacked…but on the off chance he wasn’t, the Washington Post says:

“Uuhhh oo it ain’t my fault…blame the genius circus staff for the rush. wouldve been there 2wks ago. Im [sorry] but saga [continues],” Landry said in atweet that has since been deleted.

On Saturday, Landry tweeted, “Dont u hate when u absolutely know something 200% and dumb. . . still do the opposite of what u tell them!!! Set backs. . . !!!” The message contained three vulgarities.

Landry hasn’t exactly been forthcoming when asked directly about the situation. On Monday, when he was asked about the status of the strained hamstring that forced him to miss the last two preseason games-after rehabbing the strained left Achilles’ tendon that cost him all of training camp and the start of the preseason-Landry said only “every day is progress.” Landry, who last season recorded 85 tackles, a sack, an interception and a forced fumble in just nine games, also maintained hope that he would play Sunday in the regular season opener.

Side note: Why do defensive players use so many exclamation points when they type? This is a trend I’m noticing. Maybe it’s just a symptom of having an aggressive personality or something.

Moving right along, I can’t tell from these tweets what exactly is going on on the Redskins but this is a dysfunctional team so really you never know.

Only last week did I confidently predict that John Beck would be starting over Rex Grossman, only to be brutally rebuffed when the Redskins announced Grossman as the starter for week 1 (they keep saying week 1…is he the starter for week 1 or the starter period?). I need to marinate on this. Grossman has taken over 1100 snaps in a regular season games to Beck’s 3 (over the entirety of their careers). He also has a year more in the Redskins “system” (whatever that is). If I see two people with those numbers I’d expect the person with more experience and snaps to easily play better than the guy who has barely had a chance. The fact that Grossman didn’t blow Beck out of the water is a bad sign to me.

For Beck’s comment, he is PISSED. His words, not mine. Another interesting round in Redskins land.



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