Archive for July, 2010

Packers should trade for Marshawn Lynch

July 30, 2010

Marshawn Lynch is a bit of a tool. He ran someone over with his SUV and then offered a pathetic denial (though the pedestrian he hit was apparently enormously drunk at the time). He’s also had several other foolish run-ins with the law in his short career. Concerning yes. Would he be a gamble? Yes. But many times, when a guy gets into trouble early in his career he eventually figures out what he’s throwing away – and this can lead to a pretty nice career. Marshawn Lynch was a strong Heisman candidate in college and a pretty good RB on a very crappy team for two years in Buffalo before his stupid off-the-field issues got him suspended for the beginning of 2009, opening the door for RB Fred Jackson. Jackson is now the man there mostly because he’s really good and because he has performed really well – not necessarily because Lynch totally sucks now. And, in the 2010 draft, Buffalo picked up RB CJ Spiller – a guy many figure will see the field plenty this year because he also has freakish skills (4.37 40 etc). Lynch is considered by many to be the #3 back in Buffalo at the moment.

Outside of depth at RB, Buffalo is a very bad team. Very bad. They have holes…everywhere. Given their desperation for…anyone, I think we could offer up a package for Lynch and they would jump at the chance to get rid of him. Give up Brandon Jackson plus a veteran or two like Donald Lee or AJ Hawk – or even swap dreads for dreads with Bigby. Or, the best option may be to give up a draft pick or something – maybe a 4th rounder. (I should add that whatever we do, we should also try to throw in Poppinga so I don’t feel compelled to write disparagingly about the guy anymore.)

Once in the fold in GB, I think Lynch would shape up attitude-wise because I think Rodgers already commands that kind of respect from the players around him. And, if I’m not mistaken, Rodgers and Lynch played together for 1 year at Cal – so there would be some familiarity already. Lynch could provide a nice style contrast from Grant. Lynch runs with some speed, he’s got some shake to him, he’s very powerful and he has decent hands for screens. My guess is that if something like this actually came about, Lynch would see this change as a fresh start and he’d help the Pack have a very effective 1-2 punch (maybe even a 1-2-3 punch considering the positive reviews so far for RB James Starks). He badly wants out of Buffalo and Buffalo badly wants to get at least something in return for the guy. I say let’s look into it.

I know these are highlights from 2008, but still, gives you a good sense for his ability.

Bigby signs tender

July 28, 2010

From PFT:

Atari Bigby signs his tender

Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on July 27, 2010 6:34 PM ET

Packers safety Atari Bigby will arrive to training camp on time to try to defend his starting strong safety job. A league source has confirmed to PFT that Bigby signed his restricted free agent tender on Tuesday.  Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported the news.  Bigby, a rangy but highly inconsistent player, is scheduled to earn $1.759 million. Rookie Morgan Burnett has impressed in minicamps and could challenge Bigby for playing time this year.  Bigby makes big plays and is an asset in the running game, but too often was the cause of breakdowns in the secondary.

What struck me about this brief write-up was Rosenthal’s use of the word “rangy” to describe Bigby. That’s not accurate. Bigby can be inconsistent as Rosenthal points out, good against the run and can sometimes make big plays, yes – but “rangy” is simply not a word I’d use to describe Bigby.

Nice Rodgers article (thanks for pointing it out Travis)

July 20, 2010

Read here, from ESPN magazine. Rodgers is a stud – and for those in fantasy football, don’t hesitate to make him your #1 QB this year because nobody will be better.

Name the top 5 people you’d most like to grab beers with

July 19, 2010

(I apologize for ending this post title in a preposition. It’s bothering me too, but I think it would be lamer to say “…with whom you would most like to grab beers” – somehow that would diminish the tone of this post.)

I’ll warn you, settling on 5 people is a brutally difficult task. It is also somewhat revealing. You can pick anyone. As I went through options I thought about people I’ve always wanted to meet, people I admire and/or people who would probably just be fun to drink beers with. For now, let’s make this list only for people who are alive. Also, I don’t mean grabbing beers with all 5 people at once – just separate beer-grabbing with each. And importantly, know we all reserve the right to amend our lists at anytime! Here’s my offering:

  1. Ian Wright – host on the travel show Globe Trekker. Wright travels throughout the world, obscure places and popular places alike, and somehow manages to be funny to all people in all cultures. Interesting dude too and I’m pretty certain he likes his beers.
  2. Conan O’Brien – I’m not always in line with all of his late night stuff, but I still think he’s hilarious. If you have doubts about Conan’s hilarity, read this commencement speech he gave to the Harvard class of 2000.
  3. Lyle Lovett - strange, super smart, immensely talented musically, funny looking and Julia Roberts’ temporary husband when she was trying to prove to herself that “beauty is within”.
  4. Charles Woodson – Not only one of football’s all-time greats, a very interesting guy besides. (The owner of a winery though, Woodson may prefer wine to beer – I’d be fine with that.)
  5. Brian Regan – comedian, hilarious content, clean, intelligent, near flawless delivery – this would be a highly entertaining beer-grabbing.

Here are some of the others I considered (italicized were the hardest cuts):

  • Steve StrickerPGA golfer from Madison – one of the best players in the world and by all accounts, the nicest guy on the tour.
  • Steve Martin - One of the rare comedians to keep his humor relevant for decades. Man with Two Brains, The Lonely Guy and The Jerk were all great movies.
  • Bill BrysonI highly recommend his book I’m a Stranger Here Myself
  • LeRoy Butler – Packer legend, fun dude, underrated w/regard to his commentary and insight into all things football
  • Ron Wolf – one those guys some consider a genius
  • Gene Wilder – grew up with his classic movies
  • Bob Uecker – could listen to his stories for days
  • James Lofton
  • Sidney Moncrief
  • Aaron Rodgers
  • Helen Mirren
  • Bill Cosby
  • Jeremy Irons
  • Adam Sandler
  • Peter King/Don Banks
  • Tim Howard/Brad Friedel
  • David Feherty
  • Herb Kohler
  • Ted Thompson/Brett Favre – get them both hammered, see what happens
  • Dr. John
  • Martin Sexton
  • Christian Lander
  • Will Ferrell
  • Tom Watson
  • Emmylou Harris
  • Pele
  • Kristin Wiig
  • Glen Hansard
  • Dennis Miller
  • Mark Tauscher
  • Warren Buffett

*Note: David Zucker of Airplane fame had been on my running mental list for years, but back in 2008 in Minneapolis, Brother Steve, Brother Dan, my wife and I actually had the chance to have a beer with him. It was one of those great life moments – though it was interrupted when security types tried to escort us from the party because we didn’t have the appropriate guest passes or something. It was embarrassing in the moment, but eventually hilarious as it seemed like the kind of thing that would happen in one of his movies. (Fortunately, we got to stay and party.)

*Additional Note: if Tim Russert hadn’t passed away last year, he would have in my top 5.

Who would make your top 5?

You know we’re hurting for Packer news when…

July 19, 2010

Articles like this are written. I like Lori’s stuff generally and it’s not that this is an irrelevant article (just ask the Cleveland Browns). But equipment cleaning? Really? I’m usually all for taking a different angle on things or writing about unique or obscure topics, but this seems to me to be more of a total boredom article brought to life by the simple question: what can I possibly write about next?. Been there Lori, been there.

Jolly suspended for year – beyond?

July 16, 2010

This from Dan O’Donnell’s blog at 620: WTMJ

Read it and weep, Packers fans–this just came down from the NFL:

The Packers just released this statement:

The Packers have been informed by the National Football League about the suspension of DE Johnny Jolly. Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations Ted Thompson issued the following statement:

“Johnny is a good player that loves everything about the game of football. We appreciate the contributions he has made to the Packers the past four seasons. His focus and priorities now lie elsewhere – our thoughts are with him during this difficult personal time.”

As this is a league matter, the team will have no further comment.

Interesting punishment. He did some bad stuff it appears (though most of us don’t know the extent of it) – but this is a big-time punishment. TT/MM clearly had a sense for this when shifting Pickett to DE and naming Raji the starting NT. And, in the draft, we added depth to the line at least. I wonder if this will get Mike Neal on the field sooner – which may not be a bad thing.

One thing I will miss about Jolly is his Paul Pressey-like arms. He batted down a ton of balls. From a mental/frustration standpoint for a QB, I think having a ball batted down can really take its toll. Jolly was seriously good at doing this. But overall, I don’t think he can’t be replaced. It may in fact be a quality opportunity for a young guy to step up.

Bo knows…living?

July 12, 2010

Interesting article here in USAToday on Bo Jackson and what he’s doing now. Seems to be a guy who has his life together pretty nicely. I like his mindset and approach to public life. He was a freakish athlete I wish fans could have enjoyed for longer.

John Lopez and his 26-27-60 theory on drafting QBs

July 9, 2010

Check out this interesting article by John Lopez from si.com. I think he came up with this 26-27-60 rule himself – impressively thought out I have to say. The general idea is that QBs who have a 26 or higher on the Wonderlic, 27 college starts or more and a completion percentage of at least 60%, will succeed in the NFL. His examples of successful QBs who have met those numbers are compelling: Manning, Matt Ryan, Brees, Romo, Schaub, Rivers. (Check out Ryan Fitzpatrick’s Wonderlic score of 48…wow.) At the same time his list of those who did not have all 3 of these qualifiers was also compelling: Ryan Leaf, Joey Harrington, Akili Smith, Tim Couch, David Carr, JaMarcus Russell (among others). A few notable exceptions are Brett Favre (22 on Wonderlic) and Donovan McNabb (14 on Wonderlic) – and he doesn’t mention him, but our own Aaron Rodgers.  Rodgers I believe falls short in the games started category – he started 22 games in college as far as I can tell. I believe he had a 35 on the Wonderlic and his completion percentage was 63.8%. So, technically, like Favre and McNabb, Rodgers would actually belong in Lopez’s loser category.

Not a perfect theory, but still not bad.

Does being massively fat equate to NFL coaching success?

July 2, 2010

I’ve been thinking about this topic for a while now. The very basic thought that first sparked deeper thinking on this topic arose from this hypothetical scenario: if I were an NFL player and I was told to run extra wind sprints because I ran the wrong route or something, would I harbor any extra resentment if I were told to do this by a super fat coach? Answer: yes.

Well, I decided to study this notion a bit further. I have put together a statistical study so sophisticated that MIT just offered me an honorary PhD in math. Margin for error, zero.

NFL coaches in this study are each assigned to one of 4 weight categories: fit, normal, overweight and massively fat. The success rating is determined by using a 10 point scale. Added weight (pun intended) is given to those coaches who have led their teams deep into the playoffs (except for Brad Childress because he’s a tool).

Here is a rundown of present NFL coaches, their weight, and their success rating:

  • Mike McCarthy – overweight; 7
  • Brad Childress – normal; 6
  • Jim Schwartz – fit; 3
  • Lovie Smith – overweight; 6
  • Mike Shanahan – fit; 7
  • Andy Reid – massively fat; 8
  • Tom Coughlin – normal; 8
  • Wade Phillips – overweight; 7
  • Sean Payton – fit; 9
  • John Fox – overweight; 6
  • Mike Smith – overweight; 8
  • Raheem Morris – fit, 3
  • Pete Carroll – fit; 7 (likely rating after a few NFL years – he will be good)
  • Ken Whisenhunt – fit; 9
  • Mike Singletary – fit; 6
  • Steve Spagnuolo – fit; 3
  • Tom Cable – overweight; 4
  • Josh McDaniels – fit; 6
  • Todd Haley – fit; 3
  • Norv Turner – normal; 7
  • Mike Tomlin – fit; 9
  • John Harbaugh – fit; 8
  • Marvin Lewis – normal; 6
  • Eric Mangini – overweight; 5
  • Bill Behlicheck – overweight, 9
  • Tony Sparano – overweight, 6
  • Rex Ryan – massively fat, 8
  • Chan Gailey – overweight, 5
  • Jim Caldwell – overweight, 8
  • Jeff Fisher – normal, 7
  • Jack Del Rio – normal, 6
  • Gary Kubiak, normal 5

Results of this scientific, incredibly accurate study?

  • 12 fit coaches – average skill level of 6.083
  • 7 normal coaches – average skill level of 6.429
  • 11 overweight coaches – average skill level of 6.4545
  • 2 massively fat coaches – average skill level of 8

So, the best coaches overall are massively fat, followed by overweight, then normal and the worst coaches are fit. Perhaps the extra resentment some players may feel when yelled at by fatter coaches is somehow channeled into a focused anger that is then taken out on the field during games, leading to higher quality play.

Detroit’s 2 TE sets could be quality

July 2, 2010

This may be a minor thing but it’s something that could end up being a small factor in a few Detroit Lions games this year: Detroit could have a fairly mean 2 TE set with Brandon Pettigrew (almost recovered from injury) and offseason acquisition TE Tony Scheffler. Scheffler is a good player. A few years ago, he was a great option for Jay Cutler in Denver when Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal were covered. Similarly in Detroit, Scheffler may find some good space to get open in the middle and sit in zones especially, using his size to block out some space. Calvin Johnson will be the primary focus of most pass defenses and that automatically opens up at least a bit of space for Scheffler/Pettigrew. Also, Pettigrew himself was starting to look pretty good last year before his injury.

Now, I still think the Detroit D will struggle. Vanden Bosch, Corey Williams and Suh may all add some teeth to the D-Line, and Louis Delmas is a very good safety, but it won’t be enough and the D will likely continue to struggle.


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