Check out this video of a college football prospect. Hilarious.
Archive for the ‘football’ Category
After dinner with my wife and parents tonight, my dad and I were discussing the profession of long snapping. We did some very questionable math to determine that a long snapper essentially makes (earns is probably a bit generous) in the neighborhood of $30,000…per minute played. We reasoned thusly: 8 plays per game (which assumes 3-5 punts and 3-5 field goals/XPs), 8 seconds per play, 16 games per year (assuming one playoff game) and a $500,000 salary. Again, I know this estimate is not scientific but it’s probably not too far off.
This led me to think a bit more about long snapping and the possibility of getting my son involved in this profession early on. In fact, I came across an article that has positively inspired me.
Read here from the Onion.
1) San Diego Chargers – The story of the year for San Diego may end up being Billy Volek. I’m always reluctant to predict an injury, but I would consider Phillip Rivers somewhat vulnerable considering his knee issues. The Chargers may also have to deal with the shifty injury situation with Shawn Merriman. When he’s not 100% or he’s absent, this is a different team. They still have some monsters on their D (Shaun Phillips continues to be underrated), but his absence will alter their chances. They still have LT, the dynamite Darren Sproles (who will have a more significant role in the offense which will benefit the Chargers greatly), Chris Chambers and of course Antonio Gates. They still have too much fire power to totally chunk it this year, but look for the rest of the division (teams most experts expect nothing from), to keep it close. 11-5
2) Oakland Raiders – Crack pick alert. Oakland is my crack pick this year. JaMarcus Russell will be a beast. It will help him a great deal having the solid Justin Fargas and the spectacular Darren McFadden behind him. There may be some issues at receiver, though Ronald Curry is not bad (don’t expect much from Javon Walker). Oakland has the best cornerback in the NFL – aljqowhepohaspohapghp. He is very very good and even though I think DeAngelo Hall is not that good, he is the kind of player who makes QBs pay for mistakes – so at corner they are solid. Solid linebacking will also help this year. Again, it won’t be a full breakout year, but it will be a solid one. 9-7.
3) Denver Broncos – Denver will fall shy of expectations this year unless Jay Cutler busts out with a 110+ QB rating year. My guess is that it’s more likely Cutler will be just OK and unless Brandon Marshall goes nuts or Scheffler pulls an Antonio Gates, Cutler may not be totally at fault for not putting up big numbers. Selvin Young could be decent as most RBs are for Denver, but I get this feeling Mike Shanahan’s philosophy and job as coach will go down with the ship. Hard to pick against such a good coach – kind of like picking against Mike Holmgren, but I just don’t see the talent to get the job done. 6-10.
4) Kansas City Chiefs – Everyone knows KC and lead man Brodie Croyle will suck this year. This, even in the face of the reminders of encouragement from Brodie Croyle’s hammered frat brothers “Croyle dude, you’re like the best QB ever, not just for Bama, but in college and pro history. Dude, you are soooo incredible. Dude, no, no, don’t believe them, you’re not that skinny, you’re strong, like you kicked my ass, like in arm wrestling and in the like intramural tug-o’-war.” They will win 4 games because they could put 22 fat barbeque cooks out there and still win at least a few at Arrowhead. 4-12.
1) 1) Jacksonville Jaguars – Jack of the River has gone from being on the hot seat to being able to do whatever he wants – our “sources” indicate that he frequently orders staffers to bite down on the handles of wooden spoons, fill the spoons with ketchup and then do jumping jacks. It’s amazing how success can alter opinion. This team is solid throughout. Last year, Del Rio took what many regarded as a huge chance by letting the incumbent starter go (Leftwich) in favor of a lesser known performer (sound familiar). His gamble paid off and the team flourished under Garrard. Interesting note that really has nothing to do with the present Jax team, but Al Harris said without a doubt, the hardest WR he’s ever had to cover was Jimmy Smith. That guy was good. 11-5.
2) 2) Indianapolis Colts – To me, it’s a bit hard to believe that Indy is just a couple seasons removed from a Super Bowl victory. This team seems to be quite a bit different now even though a good number of the players from the SB are still on the team. The loss of Jeff Saturday hurts – I’ll bet that guy was a great college player but seems one day shy of being a great pro. Anyway, this team goes as Bob Sanders goes and considering Sanders has left the team to be the D-Coordinator for the Packers, the Colts could be in trouble. 10-6.
3) 3) Houston Texans – Houston is the Arizona of the AFC. For years I have been waiting for Arizona to stop being crappy and for years, they crappify, as it were. Houston finally has some legit players and made the wise decision to let Mike Sherman go back to college coaching. Their defense has improved (Ryans, Williams, the unheraled Dunta Robinson). On offense, the Texans, could be really, really good. Even though Ahman Green is there, the surprise of 2008 will be Steve Slaton (if he can stay injury-free). This guy is a winner who loves the end zone. Andre Johnson, Wisconsin’s own Owen Daniels and Matt Schaub, if they all remain healthy, could also lead a high-powered passing game. This is a team that could finally pave their own way and ride momentum right into the playoffs. But it is also a team that struggles against their own short history. They may need to wait for the fall or at least fade of the Colts or the Jags before they really contend. 9-7.
4) 4) Tennessee Titans – it’s hard to pick against the Titans and Jeff Fisher. They have talent, a solid defense, and a winner of a quarterback. Vince Young may not deliver great stats and some accuse him of having thin skin, but the fact is, the guy wants to win…badly. LenDale White turned out to be somewhat of a surprise to me last year – I thought he would be a relatively ineffective fat ass (sorry, preseason last year, he wasn’t looking very running back-like). But he was good and remains a threat this year. And, throw in the speedy Chris Johnson and the team’s running game looks poised to be solid. So, why do I put them at the bottom of the AFC South? Sometimes when someone has the combination traits of being extremely competitive and being thin-skinned, it can lead to some inner-team turmoil. I expect a couple of tough losses to derail an otherwise decent team. You’ll know that things are starting to go downhill when Fisher forgets about getting a haircut and the mullet reappears. 7-9
Read this take on the Favre situation (if you can stomach any more Favre situation talk) by one of the best writers out there – Gregg Easterbrook. Makes some sense to me, and echoes Steve’s post re this now being Ted Thompson’s team.
Also, wanted to add that I am still waiting for the “upcoming firestorm” from Favre and company for which the Packers apparently hired Ari Fleischer. Much of the reason I wanted to hold out on completely bashing Favre for his behavior during this episode was based on my firm belief that something bigger happened that the public just hasn’t been told about yet. While I acknowledge there was some justification for Favre feeling unwanted based on things we do know (especially if McGinn’s claim is true that TT didn’t want Favre back dating back well into last year), if this is all the info we have, I can’t help but be more bothered by Favre’s handling of this than the team’s handling of this. Perhaps we’ll hear more as time rolls on, who knows.
In the meantime, I’m focused on the Packers this year and really pulling for Rodgers. We still have a pretty good team I believe if the D-Line can come together. I will also though, be keeping an eye on how Favre does in NY. Maybe in some sense, it is fitting for Favre, who has played his entire career in the NFL’s smallest city, to go to its biggest city for a rousing send off. We’ll see.
Donald Driver: Driver should start again and produce at a high level. There is just something about him that has made him alarmingly reliable. He’s not a big guy and he plays so fearlessly that it sometimes doesn’t add up that he can produce so much sine injury (I threw “sine” in there so that you’d all say, wow, Andy knows Latin and must be so smart that he assumes the rest of us know other languages – a pet peeve of mine re academic types). Anyway, Driver is a stud and I expect a 60-70 reception season from him.
Greg Jennings: Jennings is also a stud. I have to admit, brother Steve called this and has been a big fan of his since Day 1. One thing Jennings has going against him this year, however, is that he’s not a secret anymore. Teams know now that if they don’t pay enough attention to him, he will not only make the catch, but very possibly take it to the house. Jennings took almost 1 in every 4.5 passes to the end zone…very impressive. For defenses, it will be a bit difficult to determine who to give more double-team help against, Driver or Jennings. Nice problem to have. I expect Jennings to maybe have more receptions this year (60-70) but fewer TDs.
James Jones: Jones is very good (shy of stud level for now) and something tells me he hasn’t really even given us a glimpse of his true talent yet. I think the pre-season play last week with the helmet is more typical of the kind of Sterling Sharpe-dragging-CBs-down-the-field type play we’ll see from Jones. Also, Jones is clearly going to be Rodgers favorite target this year and his number will show that. Interestingly, last year Jones only had 6 fewer receptions than Jennings (though 300 fewer yards and 10 fewer TDs). I expect Jones to have quite a few more receptions this year (70 or so) and to be a disruptive force in 3 receiver sets as it will become very difficult to defenses to know who to key on.
Ruvell Martin: I put Martin here in the #4 spot because he deserves it. Assuming his recovers OK from his concussion the other night, this guy need to be on the field. It’s hard to believe I’m writing that about a guy I considered mostly a scrub a couple years ago. But he just plain does something productive, whether it’s making difficult catches (though he dropped a critical one in the playoffs last year) or blocking better than any WR out there today. He’s got a great attitude and he helps this team. Martin, could surpass the 25 reception mark if he gets in enough.
Jordy Nelson: So far, Jordy has been OK. I heard someone raving about how smooth he was in the Cincy game the other night…didn’t see that necessarily. I can see his potential though in watching him play. I didn’t realize either that he was a 1st team All-American last year, no small honor. I know he had one decent return and I realize he’d be somewhat tough to bring down for opposing special teamers, but I still prefer Blackmon returning punts and kicks. Jordy might be at his best in a 4 receiver set where he gets a back-up/back-up CB on him. He also may be good on some jump ball kinds of throws or catching the ball in traffic. I did see a bit more juke in him on one play than I was expecting. Still, the jury on Jordy is still out until I see something more from him. I can see Jordy ending up with 15-20 receptions this year.
The rest: Johnny Quinn seems like the kind of tough I’ll-do-anything-you-ask guy who can really help out a team. But I don’t think he’s a keeper. Brett Swain looks like Brett Favre trying to catch passes. Not seeing the quickness or the apparent quality route-running. I had irrational dreams of him being the next Wes Welker. Chris Francies has to keep sticking around the team for a reason. It seems the team is reluctant to let him go. He had a bad game Monday night, but reports around indicate he’s had a decent camp so far. Taj Smith doesn’t seem to be that good, but may be able to be developed (practice squad type). Jake Allen – know very little re this guy???
By the way, anyone know what happened to Carlyle Holiday? I thought that guy was starting to look really good before his injury last year. I’m surprised he wasn’t at least invited to camp. Ok, I just read that he was released by the team 2/29/08. Too bad – I also liked having an emergency QB floating around just in case.
I apologize for not weighing in on all this stuff more yesterday – work picked a horrible time to be out of control. But I have to admit, over lunch and at other points, even when I tried to put down my thoughts on all of this, I would start and stop and start and stop – something I usually don’t do. I found myself battling many different and at times competing thoughts. So, I have decided now to just give you many of these fragmented thoughts:
- When Bob McGinn wrote this in his article yesterday “just about everyone who counted in the football department reached the conclusion that Favre could never win another championship” and dated this back to the Dallas Cowboys game, I had 2 main thoughts: 1) so did TT and “others” think that Aaron Rodgers actually would give us a better chance to win starting this year? If so, I disagree with this position and frankly it concerns me that our management would view the QB situation this way. 2) Doesn’t this somewhat justify Favre’s seeming neediness? Yes, I still think Favre overdid it, but if he had working knowledge that the GM of the organization, arguably the organization’s most important person, clearly didn’t want him to play, wouldn’t that at least have some effect on a decision to continue or not?
- Because of the above, I think it was Ted Thompson who started this whole thing. Favre then made it more complicated by deciding to retire in the first place, the unretiring, then saying stupid stuff through the media, then saying really dumb stuff about playing for Minnesota (which was a point at which many Packer fans I believe first grew frustrated with Favre). But TT’s attitude toward Favre started this.
- I don’t question that TT liked Favre as a person. But I firmly believe TT did not think Favre was that good of a player anymore.
- It could be that this GM was brought in just because the Packers brass knew that difficult decisions may need to be made toward the end of Favre’s career. So that may be in part, why they chose such a stoic, no-affect kind of guy (thinking he’d be good for an emotionally charged situation…you decide if this worked).
- If the Packers were 7-9 last year and Favre waffled and then wanted to come back and said some nasty things, I would probably be more sympathetic to management. It would also assist those people out there arguing that Favre’s talent has diminished enough to send him packing. But of course, that’s not what happened. They were 14-4 (and keep in mind, they didn’t have to play a first round playoff game because their regular season record was so good – something Favre was responsible for in good part).
- Brett Favre was the most exciting athlete in Wisconsin sports history.
- Brett Favre lied to the world when he said at his retirement press conference that TT and others did not affect his decision to retire. Sure, maybe at the time he was leaning toward retirement anyway. But when he said that, I suddenly had flashbacks to a certain “I did not have relations with that woman” comment by Slick Willy. I felt the same way when Marshawn Lynch made his first public comments after he ran that woman over and denied it. You could just hear/feel the lie.
- I hope the Jets are really good this year and Favre can go out on a high note. As crappy as he’s been through all of this, in the future, my guess is we’ll be able to look back fondly at his career as a Packer (I think I may be too young to seriously use the word “fondly” though. I think I’ll go now and sit on my davenport).
- I will always love the Packers above any one player, but if this Rodgers experiment goes awry, I will be quite ticked off. I’ll still love the Packers, but not TT. Not only have TT and co mortgaged our short-term future (which was bright) on this one player, in the process, they have taken a guy who already had tons of pressure on him and dumped 5x as much pressure on him with this whole fiasco. Maybe this will make Rodgers super strong mentally, I don’t know, but right now I think the honest truth (as opposed to the false truth?) is that Rodgers and many others are just deflated. Fortunately, there is some time before the season to get re-energized.
- I feel like this whole thing happened at the wrong time – too early. If Favre were truly welcomed back and also accepted coming back, and had an OK year this year, I could see really thinking about moving on. But the fact is, he came off of a tremendous season and many of us were very much looking forward to rolling into this year. It’s too bad he chose to retire (because he did choose this) but it’s also too bad that that decision was apparently based in part on feeling unwanted.
- I didn’t like it when people kept saying that the offense now goes through Rodgers and they’ve made a bunch of changes to accommodate that so the prospect of switching back for Brett would have been a really difficult one. I don’t buy that. Favre knew a bunch of plays last year and the offense, except in the Giants game, ran like a well-oiled machine. Also, if the offense right now is so geared toward Rodgers, isn’t that a bit dangerous – putting all the eggs in one basket – for a guy who has been injured twice in limited action?
- I really feel like I need to know, for my own mental health, what exactly happened to make both parties so pissed off. It still doesn’t add up that Favre would act like this. We all knew he needed some convincing and coddling to return, but none of us have seen such a nasty side of Favre before. As I’ve written a few times – nasty behavior doesn’t come out of nowhere. In mental health, you study behavior patterns and considering that he had never shown a public behavior pattern like this before, I think the inescapable conclusion is that there was some precipitating event that made him so angry with the team that he wasn’t sure what to do or say. And he didn’t manage himself well at all feeling like this. He seemed kind of all over the place when he talked about all this.
- I don’t like TT and his personality. I’ve never been much into that personality. And I can say safely if Rodgers doesn’t pan out, TT’s time in Green Bay may be limited.
- One question I have is just how good does TT think Rodgers will be? He took a huge risk by at least setting the Favre-out movement in motion. Bob McGinn writes “the Packers concluded that it would be the MOTHER OF ALL MISTAKES if Aaron Rodgers got away without being properly evaluated as a starter”. Really? The Mother of ALL Mistakes? That’s overstating unless someone thinks Rodgers is the next Montana.
- Something happened in this whole process to seemingly cool Favre’s relationship with McCarthy as well. I wonder what that is.
- Favre did choose to retire. There was pressure, yes, but he did make that choice and if he’d waited or perhaps chosen to come back and then retired later, that might have worked out better.
- If TT is right about all of this and the packers get back into the playoffs and go deep in the next couples years, many many people will have to give credit where credit is due and TT would probably have to go down with Ron Wolf as one of the better GMs in the game. I won’t rule out that possibility and I’ll certainly cheer hard for it.
- Lastly, I’m glad that TT managed to get something for Favre. While it’s still not enough, considering all that happened, it was a decent salvage effort for which he deserves some credit.
Ok, it’s in most publications right now, anywhere you go on the internet. From Tom Silverstein at jsonline, this is my favorite line:
The Jets sold Favre on the fact that the new (team HQ) location is in the suburbs and features some rural areas where he can fish and hunt.
I must admit I am relieved this is all over. What a messed up situation for everyone. One quick question for the Jets: did you do all of this just to jack up the prices on the seat licenses? Anyway, it will be interesting to see Favre in another uniform (if he doesn’t retire before actually playing).
But right now, I’m focused on the Packers picking up Chad Pennington – who is likely to be cut by the Jets. I think he would add very important depth to our QB roster. And, though I know there are others who want so badly to just have Rodgers be the unquestioned guy here, I don’t think stiff competition for the starting spot would hurt him. Listen, as I’ve written before, I think Rodgers might be quite good. But I’ve been wrong about a player or two (DeMond Parker for example, though he was never given a fair chance…). Pennington would not only provide real competition for Rodgers, he could also be a very strong back-up in case of injury, he’s heady and could learn MM’s offense well and if he does back up Rodgers, he could offer valuable veteran guidance, something this team has none of right now.
One concern I do have right now is that Pennington might land with Minnesota or the Bears (who still haven’t decided which horrible option they’ll go with as starter, Orton to start this week and Rex to start next week).
STEVE ADDS: Andy once again smoking crack. Do you really think, after saying all off-season that Aaron Rodgers was the starter and only when Brett Favre showed up in Green Bay saying that he could compete to start, that the Packers would let Chad Pennington compete with Rodgers? Crack, I tell you.
I’m fine if we pick up Pennington, though I suspect others will be willing to pay him more than we will. But it’s not because he’s very good or because he might play. (We know very little about Aaron Rodgers, but I’m fairly confident he’d beat out Pennington in an open competition. Of course, I’m fairly sure Andy would beat out Chad Pennington in an open competition and Andy throws like Ty Pennington. Come to think of it, Ty Pennington might beat out Chad Pennington.) The reason to sign him is because he’s smart and, apparently, understands the game very well. It would be useful to have someone like that for Rodgers to talk to when he comes off the sidelines.
Green Bay Press Gazette is reporting that part of the reason for the delay in TT’s press conference today is that there is apparently a bidding war going on between the Jets and the Bucs for Favre. The fact that 2 teams want him and are apparently bidding against one another does score some points for the Packers management here. While I’m still waiting to see what really happened with all this, I must say there is slight comfort at the thought that we may end up getting something in return for Favre leaving…that is of course, if Favre actually ends up playing and reporting to that team’s camp.
Steve will immediately rip this apart – but I hope Favre goes to the Jets and we somehow get both a draft pick or two AND Chad Pennington out of it. Despite being a popular guy to rip on lately, I’m telling you, he’s still got something left. He doesn’t have the greatest arm and is injury prone, but there is something about him mentally that could make him a valuable player to acquire. And, as much faith as I still have in Mike McCarthy to develop QBs, I would feel way more comfortable going into the season with at least one QB who has NFL experience.
STEVE ADDS: No, I like the Pennington part of a deal. He’s a veteran, and he’d be a backup. (Plus, the fact that he throws noodles isn’t as big a liability in our offense.) Could mentor Rodgers. My only concern is that the Jets would see it as giving up their likely starter and I think (and the Packers would think) that he’s an add-on, with the draft being far more important.
ANDY ADDS: What? are you warming to the Pennington in Green and Gold idea? You used to Washington DC me (cut me off immediately) every time I would mention his name! It’s interesting PFT has a story up here, claiming Mangini doesn’t know yet who the starter is – my guess is there may be a reason for this. I sure hope we don’t get Clemens somehow (which I would highly doubt)…that guy rots.
Perhaps I am overreacting here to some information in Jay Glazer’s most recent piece (actually, that is exactly what I’m doing – I’m a blogger). Read the whole piece here. Following is one tiny event I think might actually be very telling:
Favre emerged from the stadium’s loading dock exit at 2:34 p.m. EDT Tuesday, hugging Packers senior security advisor Jerry Parins before getting in his SUV and driving away. Shortly after, an SUV driven by Packers general manager Ted Thompson left the gate heading in the same direction.
I think it’s significant that he hugged Jerry Parins. Why would he hug the security advisor? I know Favre is rather affectionate, but this seems like something one does when saying goodbye. Sure, perhaps it means that he just isn’t sure when he’ll see his friend Jerry again. But more likely, I think it means that he knows he’s not likely to be around Lambeau anymore.
Also significant in this article is this line:
The continued disagreement on Favre’s role could accelerate trade talks, perhaps with the Minnesota Vikings – something Packers officials have suspected Favre wanted all along but have been firmly opposed to giving him.
Why would Packer officials suspect this “all along” and Glazer write this if there weren’t something behind it. More evidence for Steve’s Favre-to-Vikings post.