Posts Tagged ‘Packers’

Profootballtalk.com Attempts to Manufacture a Scandal (Continued)

November 19, 2007

Another very smart post by Greg Bedard here.

Nothing is more irksome than living room know-it-alls who obsess about the NFL (or their teams) offering their unqualified observations to fill the dead time between games. Wait…

Seriously, Bedard is exactly right. The whole thing is a non-issue. The only thing that makes it remotely interesting is the suggestion that the Packers may have injured the NFL rushing leader and sure-thing Rookie of the Year as a result of a “bounty” on him. It’s nonsense, of course, but precisely the kind of thing that gives eats up the airtime the talking heads programs are so desperate to fill. How many times can they show Tom Brady throwing four touchdowns to Randy Moss? It’s just not a dynamic story. Much better for the professional gabbers to weigh in on things for which information is scarce and speculation drives the story. In this case, the PFT guys wrote: “To the extent that limiting a player’s production can be satisfied in part by, for example, tearing the player’s LCL, it’s probably not a good idea for incentives of this nature to be dangled in front of NFL players.” But as Greg Bedard pointed out: Al Harris made the tackle responsible for knocking Peterson out of the game, a hit that would have resulted in him PAYING off the bet, not collecting on it. So even if the incentive were financial — preposterous given that Harris, who makes $5,232,000, would have collected $500 — their “reasoning” doesn’t work.

Although profootballtalk.com hinted that an update was coming, they have not yet amended or expanded their 11:55 AM post in which they suggest that the existence of friendly wagers between Packers may have been responsible for Adrian Peterson’s injury. As someone might say, stay tuned.

UPDATE: No matter how wrong the guys at Cheesehead.tv are about yesterday’s game — were they smoking crack with my brother? — they’re exactly right on this. Nice, to have you guys back.

UPDATE II: Here is the ESPN story on all of this. They broke the story yesterday AM.

UPDATE III: Thompson speaks.

An Irresponsible Suggestion from Profootballtalk.com

November 19, 2007

Lots of discussion at the Journal-Sentinel’s Packer blog about a report from ESPN yesterday morning that has been hyped by the guys at profootballtalk.com.

Here is the PFT post from just before noon.

LEAGUE LOOKING AT WHETHER PACKERS ARE VIOLATING BOUNTY RULES

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tells us that the league is looking into the question of whether members of the Green Bay Packers have violated the league’s rules against bounties.

On Sunday, Bob Holtzmann of ESPN reported during Sunday NFL Countdown that a couple of Packers defensive backs had promised to pay each of the team’s defensive linemen $500 if there were able to hold Vikings running back Adrian Peterson under 100 yards rushing in Week Ten.

They succeeded.

For Week Eleven, another $500 per lineman was promised if the Packers held the Panthers to under 60 yards rushing.

They failed.

We asked Aiello whether these extra payments counted against the salary cap, given that they were coming from teammates and not from the team. Aiello said that it’s not a cap issue, but he explained that the league is looking at whether such promises are impermissible bounties.

The classic bounty is an offer of money or other benefits in exchange for injuring a player. But to the extent that limiting a player’s production can be satisfied in part by, for example, tearing the player’s LCL, it’s probably not a good idea for incentives of this nature to be dangled in front of NFL players.

Stay tuned.

It’s a post that is sadly typical of the stuff at Profootballtalk.com: Great newsy nuggets layered with irresponsible speculation. I’m talking specifically about this line. “But to the extent that limiting a player’s production can be satisfied in part by, for example, tearing the player’s LCL, it’s probably not a good idea for incentives of this nature to be dangled in front of NFL players.”

The implication is obvious: Al Harris may have taken out Adrian Peterson at the knees to keep Peterson under 100 yards. Of course, as Greg Bedard smartly points out, doing so would have meant that Harris PAID the bounties, not collected them. Ah, details, details. It’ll be interesting to see if the guys at profootballtalk.com have the cojones to report on their own website that their reasoning on the Peterson injury was exactly backwards. Stay tuned, as someone might say.

If the league prohibits player-to-player bonuses, as it seems to, and Packer players did this, it was wrong. The league is looking into the allegations and should punish the offenders. That said, it seems like an incredibly minor offense. When you’re talking about a payout of $500, thatt hardly seems consequential. It’s a rounding error for one of Al Harris’s accountants and certainly not the kind of money that would cause a professional football player to attempt to injure an opponent. To make such a suggestion is ridiculous.

Upon Further Review

November 19, 2007

I was certainly not as impressed with the Packers yesterday as Gred Bedard (as reflected in his Packer Insider chat) or Mike McCarthy (as reflected in his postgame press conference). The offense played reasonably well and the special teams was uneven — spectacular on Tramon Williams return and Koren Robinson’s 67 yard return, but lacking on Mason Crosby’s two missed field goals.

But the defense turned in a subpar performance, especially given the level of talent the Panthers put on the field. The Packers allowed the Panthers to score more points than at any time during their current four-game skid; 17 this week, twice they were held to 7. At times, DeShaun Foster looked like DeShaun Foster used to look at UCLA. He averaged a healthy 4.4 yards/per carry and one of the real questions of the game is why John Fox didn’t just keep feeding him the ball, even after they were down. (It’s tempting to point out that Vinny Testaverde averaged 9.5 yards/carry, but that’s a little unfair since almost all of it came on a 16 yard run late in the game. It is, however, completely fair to ask how Vinny Testaverde could have run 16 yards anywhere on the field without a Packer catching him. Shouldn’t Ryan Pickett be able to beat him in a 40 yard dash?) Testaverde threw for 258 yards, though he was picked twice and his passer rating (69.8) was just over half of Favre’s (126.8).

It was an adequate, if somewhat lethargic performance, that was good enough to beat a really bad team. But if we’d been playing Dallas or even Detroit, it’s hard to see how such an output would amount to a win.

McCarthy, a high quality guy

November 16, 2007

Check out this jsonline.com article by Tom Silverstein. For a coach to hold off on negotiating a new contract when an offer to do so has been put forward by management is pure class. Some might argue that he is holding off on negotiating until the Pack runs deep into the playoffs, thereby increasing his value. And if this is his motivation, I’m not bothered by it because it demonstrates to me that he is then very confident about this team this year because there would also be a risk for him that the Pack doesn’t perform up to this year’s new expectations which could hurt his value. But I also think he just wants to focus on this season and not bring in any potential distractions. Every day, I grow more and more comfortable with the way McCarthy goes about things. While I still love Jim Bates, the pain of TT overlooking him lessens with each day. Coach of the year? McCarthy would have my vote.

Ryan Grant — Dorsey Levens Reincarnated?

November 16, 2007

Some interesting thoughts on Ryan Grant from Brett Favre, Mike McCarthy and…Ryan Grant. A CBS Sportsline post on the Ryan Grant player page reports that several of Grant’s teammates and coaches see the similarities to Dorsey Levens that commentators have suggested.

“The number obviously is striking from that standpoint,” Favre said. [Clarification for Vikings fans: Levens also wore #25.] Favre continued: “He is a big, physical back, deceptively fast. He kind of sneaks up on you. I think his role in our passing game can evolve into what Dorsey’s role with us was. But he does remind me a lot of him.”

McCarthy said this: “As far as their frame, their history, their background, as far as where he played college, there are a lot of similarities.” And noted: “Brett said it the first week he was here.”

Grant is appropriately humble about the comparison. “I know what Dorsey did here. He was a great back, and what he accomplished was very big. So I definitely appreciate it. Honestly, I don’t know if I’m deserving of it.”

UPDATE: So apparently the folks at CBS Sportsline ripped off the Ryan Grant lines from this AP story written by Packers beat writer Chris Jenkins. In fact, they ripped off more than just the quotes. This is how the CBS write-up starts: “Brett Favre can’t help doing a double-take when he looks at Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant. True, Grant is a former undrafted free agent who was sent to Green Bay by the New York Giants just before the start of the season – and the Packers’ fourth choice to be their starting running back. But Favre still sees former teammate Dorsey Levens.”

And here is the AP story: “Brett Favre can’t help doing a double-take when he looks at Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant. True, Grant is a former undrafted free agent who was sent to Green Bay by the New York Giants just before the start of the season – and the Packers’ fourth choice to be their starting running back. But Favre still sees former teammate Dorsey Levens.”

I don’t know what the rules are governing use of the AP’s material and I’m sure CBS subscribes to the AP wire service. But isn’t it bogus to pass off someone else’s material as your own?

On Carolina, Mike McCarthy, and Sean Payton’s Lameness

November 15, 2007

Last year, I thought we might have missed out on getting the top young coach in the NFL by passing on Sean Payton. He worked a miracle in New Orleans. But now I’m not so sure. His attempts to motivate his team are so asinine that I’m becoming convinced that they actually serve to de-motivate (new word, it’s my blog) his players. Before the season, Payton held a New Orleans-style funeral to metaphorically “bury” all of their accomplishments in order to turn their full attention to this year. Stupid. Then, he reportedly exhumed the awards when the Saints started out by losing their first four games. Are you serious?

Last week, Payton set dozens of blue-and-gold mousetraps throughout the Saints locker room in order to remind them that playing the St. Louis Rams could be a “trap” game. Rams, 37. Saints, 29. I’m glad Mike McCarthy doesn’t use such kindergarten tactics to motivate the Packers.

McCarthy, in fact, might be a bit too blunt about his preparations for the upcoming games. I was going to post a cautionary note about looking past this Sunday’s game against Carolina, after reading in a couple of different places Mike McCarthy talking openly about game-planning for Detroit on Thanksgiving. McCarthy has to be preparing ahead, of course, but I’m not sure he should be talking about it. Might be good bulletin-board material for Carolina. In any case, I don’t need to do that post because Aaron at Cheesehead.tv has done it better than I could have. So just go here.

One newsy note to consider, however: Steve Smith sat out his second practice today with some kind of leg injury. If he doesn’t play, it might be okay to quit game-planning for the Panthers entirely and let Favre just draw up plays on his hand.

UPDATE: More good stuff at Bratsandbeer.com. “t could be argued this is the biggest trap game of the year so far.

The Panthers come into Lambeau Field with a three-game losing streak, but they are still 4-5 on the year with wins over St. Louis, Atlanta, New Orleans, and Arizona. All of those were road wins and in each one Carolina held its opponent to 20 points or less. The Panthers defense ranks 13th in the league for points allowed and yards given up and 14th against the pass.” Truedat.

Favre Leads Pro-Bowl Voting

November 15, 2007

This probably should not come as a surprise, given that Brett Favre is perhaps the greatest quarterback of all time and a very likeable figure. It doesn’t hurt that America’s Team (the Packers, not the Cowboys) has a national fan base to supplement the 100,000 strong in Green Bay.

There is little debate that Tom Brady is the runaway league MVP after ten weeks of the 2007 NFL season. Favre, in my view, is the only other person in the conversation. He probably used to drink Pabst before he quit drinking.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.