This is a post I meant to put up last year after watching Rashard Mendenhall dismantle the Badgers. I know it won’t happen as we’re more likely to draft for other positions. But if there is one player in this draft who will be an NFL impact player right away, it is Mendenhall. McFadden is awfully good too, but I have a feeling he will be Grant Hill-like in his inability to stay on the field. Too wirey a build to avoid injury in the NFL. But Mendenhall is solid, shifty, fast, smart and a good receiver. If the Packers had the tandem of Grant and Mendenhall (and were creative enough to sometimes put them in the backfield at the same time – I’ve always wondered why more teams don’t do this), defending us would become even more difficult. The guy is gifted and someday will be a household NFL name.
Archive for February, 2008
Corey Williams has been traded to the Cleveland Browns, per a report on the Washington Post website. Greg Bedard basically predicted this a week ago. I hope the Packers get a lot for him. Someone — maybe Bob McGinn — suggested that Packers could get a second or third rounder for him. That seems cheap to me. The relative value of DT is huge this year. Earlier today, the Raiders signed a very mediocre Tommy Kelly to a $50.5 million contract, $18.2 million guaranteed. (Kelly is coming off a torn ACL).
Given that reality, I would think a first-rounder would not be out of the question for a guy who plays part-time but had 7 sacks in each of the last two years. But what do I know?
UPDATE: Greg Bedard has more.
UPDATE II: Adam Schefter, on NFL Network, reported that the Packers are getting a second round pick for Williams. The Browns pick 22nd in the second round. Maybe I’m missing something, but with the market so depleted for DTs this year, this seems awfully low to me. I would have thought the Packers could have gotten a 2nd rounder and a late-round pick, if not a first rounder. I hope the coverage tomorrow will give us a decent sense of why I’m wrong.
UPDATE III: Just to be clear, I still think this was a good move for the Packers and a smart maneuver by Ted Thompson. I just wonder why the Packers couldn’t have held out for more given the awful DT market this year.
Profootballtalk.com is “reporting” that the Green Bay Packers website has posted a story that Brett Favre is retiring. The Packers have disabled the story on their site and have denied that Favre has decided to retire.
We don’t know what to think. It’s not uncommon for organizations and news agencies to write stories before news events actually take place. (The New York Times is famous in journalism circles for the team of reporters who pre-author obituaries). Was this one of these? Perhaps.
It’s also possible that Favre really is going to retire and that the Packers are denying the story because it would be sad to send a legend off by mistakenly posting a notice about it on your website. We’ll update the story as is warranted.
UPDATE: If the link was a mistake, the Packers need to get out in front of it with an announcement immediately. We’ve noted before that Favre appears to be overly sensitive to perceived slights from the Packers. This won’t help.
UPDATE II: Also, no word in the Biloxi Sun Herald, where veteran writer Al Jone has broken several of these kinds of stories before.
UPDATE III: PFT is now calling it a “website snafu.”
UPDATE IV: The Sporting News has more, including a look at the page as it was posted. Jeff Blumb from the Packer PR office told WTMJ that “there’s nothing to it.”
UPDATE V: Let’s let this, a denial from Favre’s agent James “Bus” Cook, end this matter.
Sean Salisbury asked ESPN for a seven-figure contract. Completely serious. When they turned him down, he said that he had known they would and called his dismissal a “mutual parting.” Again, serious.
“I’d grown tired of being punished for not being an NFL superstar,” Salisbury told the LA Times. “Analysts who don’t work as hard as me, don’t prepare as hard as me, and don’t have my resume were making more than me just because of their ability to throw or catch a football.”
Leave aside all of the idiocy in that comment. I have only one question. He prepared for his airtime?
“Don’t get me wrong,” he continued. “I appreciated the opportunity ESPN gave me, but they had capped my ceiling. There was only so far I could go there.”
Okay, so I have a second question. How do you cap a ceiling?
One things we’re going to do more, perhaps in a separate section if we can figure out this internet website thing, is write about fantasy football. This is not because we claim to have any special expertise — in fact Andy has never been in a FFL league — but because I spend a lot of time looking at this stuff and it’s easier to justify doing that if I think others might read it, too.
With that in mind, and with our devotion to (obsession with?) accountability, check out this post at the New York Times’ football blog, Fifth Down. It is a ranking of the various fantasy football preseason rankings last year. The author is a young woman who calls herself the Fantasy Football Librarian and keeps her own blog under that name. (Seriously, how many marriage proposals do you think she has gotten over the lifetime of her blog?) If you want to see which of the preseason rankings are worth checking out again, give it a click.
She also directed me to this article, which discusses the relative health of NFL teams last year and concludes that the Packers were the healthiest. Their number of “games missed” seems low to me, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
Now we know what it’s like to be an “Oscar nominee.” I’m just glad there weren’t TV cameras around when Andy clicked over to Cheesehead.tv to see if we’d been named best Packer blog in their Titletown Awards. That high honor went to Railbird Central and Andy, when he got the news, did his best to give the I-was-just-happy-to-have-been-nominated look that so many pissed off actors and actresses have had to fake over the years. He’s now curled up on his hardwood floor in a blanket and his skivvies, drinking orange juice and listening to Gloria Gaynor.
He will survive.
The winning site, by the way, is fantastic. I’m not sure why I hadn’t realized that before — maybe I visited during slow times or something — but a quick look at it today reveals that his front page has two posts — two — on the vacancy for defensive quality control coach. Thorough is an understatement.
Read here about the recent termination (or non-re-signing) of ESPN’s “analyst” Sean Salisbury. ESPN decided not to renew his contract. Of course to Steve and I, this comes as no surprise at all. The bigger surprise for us is that he lasted 12 years at ESPN. He is not insightful, makes ridiculous statements simply for the sake of being extreme or “provocative” and he’s a moron. I don’t like bashing someone when perhaps they’re going through a hard time, but I don’t feel so bad about doing it to Salisbury because he doesn’t seem to be too worried himself: “my résumé speaks for itself as a football analyst, and I believe I can talk all sports with the best of them”.
Good luck with that…Steve, you’re going to have find a new analyst to rip on now.
UPDATE: Click here for more on Sean Salisbury, a “No Talent Ass-Clown,” and seanbigmouthsalisbury.com.
Good read here from Wilde on the Badgers very solid kicker Mehlhaff. Tough guy. Very good kicker. But one of the things I enjoyed about watching Badger games when he kicks is that he can be a fairly aggressive tackler for a kicker. He’s no John Hall (former Badger kicker who has his own NFL highlight reels of flattening little kick return guys), but I do think he’s a better kicker than Hall was.
I think he would be a good addition to any NFL team. On a related note – have others noticed that Josh Brown continues to be available as Seattle is apparently not going to re-sign him. I’m surprised at that, thought he was a good kicker. Too bad the Packers are set at kicker for now as either Brown or Mehlhaff would otherwise be good additions.
It’s interesting, over the course of the last week, I’ve noticed something re the combine: the very same journalists and press people who were instrumental in building up the media hype surrounding the combine to what it is now, have turned on it by denouncing its value. I have heard several commentators, talk show hosts and journalists blast it as a mostly useless exercise that doesn’t really help evaluate draft prospects. They say that the combine shouldn’t change someone’s draft status much and that physical attributes don’t account for a player’s “football” understanding. They’re right to some extent (though I think it is at least interesting to know how fast people can run, how well they throw and how agile they may be) – but again, lots of the people saying this now were likely responsible for making the combine one of the most hyped events of the year in sports.
Fortunately for Packer fans, the Bears continue to make unbelievable decisions re the quarterbacks they keep on their roster. Grossman was just re-signed to a one year contract and apparently Orton will also be signed to a one year contract. Read about it here.
Someone high up in the organization is stubbornly refusing to give up on Grossman. This is so foolish. The Bears got to the 2007 Super Bowl because of Devin Hester, a quality defense and a good bit of luck. They also got there despite Grossman. They weren’t then nor are they now, a very good team. One glaring upgrade they have needed for years is a quarterback who can come in and be a bit more than competent. Despite Orton’s 12-6 record, sometimes a team needs to just start fresh and the Bears would be best served by cutting all 3 of their quarterbacks and just starting over with different players. Sort of like Brian Billick in Baltimore – sometimes there just comes a time when a person’s welcome has worn out. While re-signing Orton isn’t a heinous mistake (it is still a mistake), re-signing Grossman is a huge mistake and having the two compete to start may mean several more years of Bears quarterback mediocrity.
If I were a Bears fan (I thank God to this day for my grandfather who never would have let this happen even if we lived in Illinois), I would be so ticked off right now. They have an aging defense that is riddled with injuries every year. They got rid of the better running back in Thomas Jones last year and now have zero run game. Their star linebacker has back problems and their other star linebacker is leaving via free agency. They have Devin Hester, but it’s only a matter of time before someone finally flattens hims and he then is injured. And, the team management just continues to make poor personnel decisions.
The Bears could be 3-13 next year.