Tag Archives: nfl

Garrard’s Bad Case Of Deja Vu

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David Garrard's career in Jacksonville ended the way it started.

Here’s how cruel of a business the NFL can be… David Garrard was released today by the Jacksonville Jaguars only five days before the start of the regular season.

Jack Del Rio had grown sick of Garrard’s inconsistency and didn’t see enough from him in the preseason to keep him as the team’s starter.

Its a weird twist of fate as well as Garrard’s end mirrored his start. Garrard became the team’s starting QB in 2007 in similar fashion as the Jags cut ties with Byron Leftwich just days before it’s opener with Tennessee.

Garrard led the Jags to a 10-6 season and a first-round win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs. Ever since then Garrard has been an enigma under center and there was talk last year of him being replaced by Luke McCown before McCown went down for the season with an injury.

Garrard’s last few starts as a Jag were horrendous including a five turnover performance against the Redskins at the end of last season and in this preseason against St. Louis he went 1-5 and exchanged words with his offensive line. That may have factored into him not being voted a team captain by his peers and it was the straw that broke the camel’s back for his days in Jacksonville.

Now McCown takes over for the Jags but the real question is how long will he be the starter before Blaine Gabbert takes the reigns?

Gabbert was the tenth overall pick in this years draft and seems as though he’s adapted well to the Jags offense. With the Jags in rebuild mode we could see Gabbert after the November 6th bye week versus Indianapolis.

As for Garrard teams like the Buccaneers, 49ers & Bengals could use a veteran to backup a young QB so who knows how long he’ll be out of a job for.

One things for sure, Garrard got a front row view of how harsh life in the NFL can be. Today he lost his job in the same fashion that he got it. It’s tough but if you don’t perform well you won’t have a job for too long.

It also doesn’t matter how close to week 1 it is either.


Forever The Villain

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Michael Vick is back on top.

Say what you want about Michael Vick… bring up his past, villify him, hate him, wish bad things on him all you want.

Just remember that he is human and that we all make mistakes. Cliche? Yes. However, for all of the stones that we toss at Vick we tend to forget that we have a skeleton or three in our closet.

When Vick signs his brand new 6 year/ $100 million deal you will hear cries from the public that he doesn’t deserve the money, that he’s still a criminal and that the Eagles should be ashamed of themselves for giving a dog killer that much money.

Vick will never be able to live down the humiliation that he caused himself and his family. His involvement in a illegal dog fighting ring will haunt him wherever he goes for the rest of his life…

It doesn’t mean however that it should prevent him from living his life.

One thing that has angered me to no end about the Vick issue is this constant banter from dog owners and animal rights activists that Vick should continue to be punished and shouldn’t live his life. Murderers are allowed back into society, pedophiles have kids, domestic violence criminals have girlfriends, yet because Vick committed a crime that has nothing to do with human life (though killing living things is still a heinous act) he all of a sudden can’t make a living.

Vick paid his debt to society. He lost everything. He paid a hefty price for his actions and seemingly has learned his lesson. He is a more focused individual with a better understanding of life and is trying his hardest not to make more bad decisions. Isn’t that what we want out of people who do bad things?

America is a nation that loves a hero, more than a hero it loves a villain, and more than a villain there is no better story than a reformed villain. Vick’s tale is a cautious one and one of great redeeming value. He rose above his bad actions and back to being one of the game’s most electrifying players.

Vick is tapping into the talent that made him a number one pick in the 2000 NFL draft. He was an MVP candidate last year and is the leading candidate this year as part of the NFL’s dream team.

He is becoming a role model and an example that you can change for the better in a atmosphere that is filled with so many cynics and bad influences.

We should be celebrating Vick’s return to the top, instead he is and will always be the bad guy.

Is race an issue? I hate to play the race card but would we feel the same about Vick if he were white? Would he be forgiven easier and welcomed back to society with ease? Who knows.

One thing is for sure, I am happy for Michael Vick. I’m happy that he has put his crimes behind and learned from them. I’m happy that he has taken his second chance in life and done something with it. I’m happy that he will be paid well for his services and can make a living for himself and be happy.

Vick has paid and atoned for his sins. Who am I or anyone for that matter to still think he has a price to pay?


Throwback Post: The Passion Of The Favre

This was supposed to be the end...

Editors note: This article was originally published on August 5th, 2008. Yeah, I’ve been hating on Favre for a minute.

Like most football fans I was thoroughly saddened this past March when Brett Favre decided to retire from the NFL. I adored Favre over the years for his unbelievable creativity on the football field and never say die attitude. He was a gunslinger, the last of a dying breed of Quarterback. Jay Cutler and Rex Grossman can do nothing but hold the man’s jock strap. So when he made his tearful good-bye plans were being put into place for his accesion to deity status. His jersey was to be retired on opening Monday night against the Vikings, maybe a staute here, and road named after him there, just some stuff to remind young packer fans now and down the road how truly awesome this man was…then came June.

Brett Favre decided that it wasnt time for him to step away after all and sent a text to his boss saying i want back in…problem is once you say you’re done, you’re done. Which brings us to today and the purpose of this piece…Brett Favre has gotten on my last damn nerve! Brett you said you were retired but now you want to come back after giving it thought for three months? um, no, doesnt work like that not even for superstars such as yourself. Truth be told i’ve always thought Favre has been a little overrated. I mean when you turn on ESPN and see Mark Schlareth slurping the guy you would think he his an actual god. But Favre is flawed, very. For every monday night classic like his performance against the raiders after his father died, there is a moment when you go, what the hell Brett? Remember the Eagles game in the playoffs a few years ago (4th and 26…btw what the hell happened to freddie mitchell) and that ridiculous lame duck pass he threw in over time, or this past year against my giants when he threw two terrible passes that looked like Corey Webster and R.W. Mcquarters played for the pack? that gets lost in the whole Brett is God discussion. Especially the last five or six years I mean Brett at times has looked like Rex Grossman.

...Then came this.

Personally i dont want to know how Ted Thompson the packers GM feels. Brett for years has held the team hostage for months on deciding his future. Now when it looks like he’s moved on and the packers finally have something in place brett wants back in. Ted is in a no-win situation. I think he’s right for telling Brett that Aaron Rodgers is the starter, but can you really see Brett as a backup? plus all the talk of trading him which is stupid. look i know teams who are on the cusp would love brett for a year, but in the case of Minnesota why? you lose draft picks, kill your youth movement all for a guy that has to learn a new system, make quick chemistry with his receivers and do it in one year? and releasing him would be just plain stupid (imagine the bears picking him up, just for a sec).

Then there’s Aaron Rodgers. poor guy. first he loses about 40 million in the draft falling from the top 5 to number 23 now the guy cant do anything with having favre in his vicinity at anytime. Did you see the Espy’s would Justin Timberlake was mock hugging him, i thought Aaron was gonna either cry or knock his lights out. I dont think Aaron is going to be the next bart starr or anything but he’s on the last year of his deal and has been waiting for his time to shine for an eternity it seems. if he came out tomorrow and said he wishes death on brett favre could you blame the guy?

Finally there are the fans. Some want favre back, some want him to go back to mississippi, then there’s guys like me who would like the talk of the NFL to be how my world champion Giants are going to repeat (god that sounds beautiful) not how some guy who cant make up his mind on his future. I cant even enjoy baseball highlights in fear of seeing a Favre update flash across my screen and im sick of it. there are going to be those people who still feel he’s one of the greats ever and those people who feel hes a spoiled overgrown baby, like yours truly. whenever and if ever this gets resolved Favre legacy has changed. whether for better or worse remains to be seen. But whatever happens can it happen now? I want to enjoy a Favre-free sportscenter.


Get A Grip James

Damn damn damn James!

I’ve supported James Harrison through a lot of harassment at the hands of the NFL.

 

I’ve thought that Roger Goodell has come down way too hard on Harrison for his style of play, which has led to numerous fines from Goodell. I’ve thought that Harrison has been unfairly portrayed as a dirty player and reckless. I’ve though that he’s been a whipping boy for Goodell and used as an example of what happens to players for reckless behavior.

 

However, if Goodell and the NFL decide to fine him this time, I wouldn’t have an issue with it at all.

 

Harrison went all sorts of crazy in the latest edition of Men’s Journal magazine. In his highly candid interview entitled “Confessions Of An NFL Hit Man” Harrison blacked out on Roger Goodell as well as various teammates of his and the perception that his fines are racially driven.

 

Here are just a few excerpts:

 

If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn’t do it (on Goodell)

 

Fumble machine (on Rashard Mendenhall)

 

Hey, at least throw a pick on their side of the field instead of asking the D to bail you out again. Or hand the ball off and stop trying to act like Peyton Manning. You ain’t that and you know it, man; you just get paid like he does (on Ben Roethlisberger)

 

I slammed Vince Young on his head and paid five grand, but just touched Drew Brees and that was 20… You think black players don’t see this s— and lose all respect for Goodell? (On race being a factor in his fines)

 

He also called Goodell such nice words as “Crook,” Devil,” “Stupid,” “Puppet,” “Dictator,” and a anti-gay slur.

 

He also called NFL analysts and former New England Patriots Tedy Brushi and Rodney Harrison “Clowns,” and said that Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing “Juiced out of his mind.”

 

James Harrison wasn't exactly nice in Men's Journal article.

Damn damn, damn James (yeah I just went Andre 3000 on you).

 

There are certain ways to exert your frustration and anguish towards your boss, but the way Harrison went about it was completely unacceptable.

 

Harrison was way off base in his comments, all of them. Do I believe that Goodell has been a bit of a pawn for the owners in this entire lockout? Of course, they pay him. However, there are ways of letting your opinion of him be well known.

 

Calling him a racial slur and a bevy of childish words isn’t one of them.

 

Harrison should understand that this is a business just as much as anyone. I understand his frustration with the fines and the lockout, but to get in a national publication and go in on the man that runs your league was completely wrong.

 

Harrison’s complaints and accusations were unwarranted honestly. The idea that his fines were racially charged would make sense if the hit on Drew Brees wasn’t his 4th infraction of the season while the hit on Young was his first. Goodell has been just as hard on white players as he has on black players (see Roethlisberger). It doesn’t matter what race you are if you mess up under his watch on or off the field then you will be punished.

 

Speaking of Roethlisberger, why go at him or Mendenhall now?

 

Where was this talk two years ago when Roethlisberger’s mind was off in lala land? Why talk now after he took responsibility for the loss in Dallas and has seemed to make a change in the locker room? Plus why go at Mendenhall’s issues on the field when he carried the offense at times last year?

 

Why not take responsibility for not stopping the Packers in the Super Bowl, you know like defenses are supposed to do? Where was the criticism of poor secondary play, pass coverage, and lack of pressure on Aaron Rodgers? Were we all not watching the same game James?

 

How should Big Ben feel about Harrison after the release of the article?

(Side note: you know what I really hate about these articles? It’s that the guy talking smack always retracts what he says. If you meant it James stand by it. Don’t get all shook once your QB calls you up and asks what’s up. Be the guy holding two guns in the picture at the intro of the story and stand by what you said. )

 

This is the last thing that the Steelers needed this offseason with the Mendenhall tweets about Osama Bin Laden and Hines Ward’s DUI arrest. Harrison’s comments come at a bad time and further hurt the image of what the Steelers stand for.

 

If I’m Dan Rooney I’m at my wits end with these constant off the field issues and I would start reaching into some pockets.

 

In the case of Harrison I think Goodell will reach into his once the new CBA is done and the NFL is operational once again. He, once again, has to make an example of Harrison and let players know that there are ways of letting your opinions be known and there are ways of going about them.

 

Hopefully Harrison learns this lesson and puts better thought into his words so next time he wont come off looking childish and nasty.

 

I can’t even defend him for that.


Why The Dallas Cowboys Should Snatch Up Terrelle Pryor

Terrelle Pryor might make a good NFL QB after all.

You all know my feelings about Terrelle Pryor, you know how I feel about him in connection with the scandal at my alma mater Ohio State University, and you also know that I don’t think that right now he is a viable NFL QB and that he will flop as soon as he hits the field…

Ok let’s go back to that last part…

In watching Pryor on the field at Ohio State you saw a tremendous athlete who was great at escaping defenders and making plays with his feet. His arm was another story as Pryor was up and down throwing the ball in an offense that was more predicated on the run. Not only was his arm a concern but his footwork as his mechanics was as well. In my eyes he was basically a work in progress that needs more fine tuning.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when Pryor left the school and began private workouts with NFL receivers like Chad Ochocinco. Ocho announced that after catching passes from Pryor that Pryor was “the best quarterback that he’s caught passes from in years.” That can be viewed in three ways; one, a slight towards Carson Palmer (which honestly is well-deserved), two, he said it because he and Pryor are clients of Drew Rosenhaus (which I wouldn’t doubt) and three, he actually meant it.

Now knowing Ocho and Rosenhaus for that matter, none of us took it too seriously nor should we have taken it seriously, until we actually saw the tape. After watching the tape Pryor looked extremely comfortable in his release, throwing motion and accuracy. His footwork looked like it had improved dramatically and he was on point with every throw. He looked like a different guy than the one that I had seen at “The Shoe” for the last three years. Of course this was with no defenders in his face or Darrelle Revis blanketing his receivers, but it looks like Pryor has been improving as a pro football quarterback.

Ocho thinks Pryor is a pretty good passer.

Now, is he ready to play in the league? Hell no. I still think that he needs to learn an actual playbook, know when to improve and when not to, and understand the game more by watching from the sidelines. But I have changed my tune in the sense that I now think that he could be an NFL quarterback. The question remains as to who should pick Pryor and keep him on the bench for a year or two and let him learn how to be a professional…

The answer… The Dallas Cowboys.

You probably just read that and went “what the hell?”

Yes I know that this is the same team that employs Dez Bryant, Mike Jenkins and Roy Williams who are spoiled malcontents and the Cowboys have a recent history of being a playpen more than a NFL team.

However, new coach Jason Garrett is a lot tougher on his players than Wade Phillips or any coach before him. Garrett knows how to push his guys’ buttons and get the most out of them. Just look at what happened with that team after Phillips was fired and Garrett took over. They were a much tougher team with a little bit more discipline. Garrett is the kind of coach that Pryor needs to get his head straight in and out of the huddle.

And also there are veterans like Jason Witten, Terrance Newman and DeMarcus Ware who can show him how to properly conduct himself and be more professional than he was at Ohio State.

Now the football answer to the Pryor query. Let’s say that the Cowboys do take Pryor in the Supplemental Draft this month. You sit him behind Tony Romo for two years and let him watch the game and learn the playbook while he gets some reps in with Miles Austin, Witten and Williams and gets acclimated to a pro style offense. He learns the ins and outs by sitting on the bench and eventually he can understand the proper to go about things and will be ready to go in 2013.

(So what about Romo you ask? What about him? I’m sorry to say but Romo is not leading the Cowboys back to the promise land as long as he is under center. He is too unpredictable, too inconsistent, and not the most accurate QB in the league.

With Romo back under center whenever the NFL starts back up I think that the Cowboys are still the third best team in the division behind the Eagles and Giants.

To be honest, if Romo doesn’t show more consistency and leadership in the next two seasons it’s highly possible that Romo could be gone. Hence the need for Pryor.)

Garrett could be the guy to turn Pryor into an NFL starter.

It would be the best situation for each side because Pryor gets great teaching, and the Cowboys get their QB for the future, who honestly could be better than any QB taken in the NFL Draft.

That’s a far cry from how I felt about Pryor a few weeks ago.

Am I overreacting to a few pieces of footage that I saw? Maybe. Do I think he could’ve been a little more boastful in front of Jon Gruden during that ESPN session? Yes I do.

However I think that with the proper team Terrelle Pryor can become a very successful NFL QB and right now he is taking the proper steps to making that happen.

To me The Dallas Cowboys are the team that should step up and take a chance on developing Pryor and making him their QB of the future.

Of course I have been wrong before.


Who’s Under Center?

All that stuff I said about Kevin? Scratch that.

So, how’s your quarterback doing? For many of the teams in the National Football League—not so well.

By the end of Monday night’s 49ers-Saints game there are more than 6 controversies and 5 other questions at quarterback. On Sunday we found Kerry Collins, Bruce Gradkowski, and Luke McCown replace turnover prone QB’s, we saw Michael Vick take a strangle hold at the position over an injured Kevin Kolb, and we saw Brett Favre and Derek Anderson stink it up to the point where maybe it should be time for a change in both places (that sound you heard was Matt Leinart snickering in the background). As for Trent Edwards—eh.

In the case for Philadelphia and Vick the situation has led to a knee-jerk reaction by Andy Reid who said on Tuesday that Mike Vick is his starter. Granted he has played well by totaling almost 600 total yards in 6 quarters but he was sacked 6 times by the Lions defense… the Lions. They lost to a Super Bowl contender in Green Bay and still have to play Minnesota’s stout d-line and the Cowboys and Giants. For Reid to make such a quick decision when the plan was to develop Kevin Kolb and contend down the road will come back to haunt him, also IT’S TWO GAMES AND IT’S MICHAEL VICK!!! He’s barely a lifetime 50% passer. You ever taken statistics? You go with past trends over recent numbers because you’ve seen more of the former than the latter. Unfortunately Reid isn’t getting this memo and he’s about to find out the hard way.

For other scenario’s you have to wonder what the ramifications of replacing these quarterbacks will be. Bruce Gradkowski did do an excellent job after Jason Campbell was pulled, however it’s two games and it was the Rams. Now you have Campbell, who probably has lost trust in Cable, looking over his shoulder at a QB who isn’t a starting QB in this league. You’ve got to let him gel with his receivers (who honestly aren’t that good) and gain some trust in him. Then again, it is the Raiders, who love drama more than any other team in the league.

Then there’s Vince Young (speaking of constant drama). Young is on the hot seat, again, after getting run into the ground by the Pittsburgh Steelers defense and committing 3 turnovers and looking just plain bad. So now he’s involved in another carousel with Collins and at this point you have to wonder if maybe the Titans are close to just ending the Vince Young experiment and moving on and into the pool this draft for a new quarterback. The inconsistencies are becoming too much of a theme with Young and its year 5. Young had the job from the jump and aside from a few plays he hasn’t really had any big impact on Tennessee. This weekend at New York could be the breaking point for Vince. If he has another horrendous start and is benched for Collins, that’s it. He’s coming to the end of his rookie deal and with his poor performances popping up again it probably means that the Titans will not shell out another 4 years and X amount of dollars for a quarterback that has never lived up to the hype that he created in the 4th quarter at the Rose Bowl versus USC.

I miss college.

(side note: that 2006 Rose Bowl game, while still one of the greatest in college history, is becoming less and less relevant to the players involved years after it happened. It was a gluttony of overhyped talent that never panned out. Matt Leinart got booted out of Arizona in favor of Derek Anderson, Young has never transformed into the big play quarterback that he was billed as at Texas, Lendale White and Michael Huff are certified bums and Reggie Bush… I’ll spare him; he’s sort of having a bad week.)

So what about the other QB troubles in the league? Here’s my take on all of them:

BUFFALO

CONTROVERSY: Ryan Fitzpatrick takes over for Trent Edwards… somewhere in the world J.P. Losman is probably still wondering how he lost his job to Trent Edwards… he aint the only one.

CLEVELAND

SITUATION: Seneca Wallace or Jake Delhomme… Ryan Mallett.

TENNESSEE

CONTROVERSY: Vince Young still starting over Kerry Collins… I still hate Kerry Collins. I wouldn’t trust him to run a kwik-e-mart.

JACKSONVILLE

SITUATION: David Garrard over Luke McCown. Garrard will be the starter until the end of the season when the Jags jettison him for either Jake Locker or Mallett.

OAKLAND

CONTROVERSY: Jason Campbell vs. Bruce Gradkowski. Yet to be determined if Oakland is smart then they won’t even think about benching Campbell again for a career backup. Campbell was brought in there to be the guy and you can’t bench him twice in three weeks. On the bright side for Campbell its business as usual. Underachieving, looking lost in an offense, getting replaced by a lifetime backup, the usual.

PHILADELPHIA

CONTROVERSY: Vick over Kolb. If Andy Reid blows this then he’s getting fired at the end of the season. The Eagles could possibly lose three NFL quality quarterbacks in ten months. That’s got to be a record or something.

MINNESOTA

SITUATION: Favre… is it really inconceivable to think that Favre could be replaced by Tarvaris Jackson. Favre looks terrible. Two of three picks were absolutely horrendous throws and he has no faith in any receivers other than Visanthe Shaincoe. By the time Sidney Rice does come back from Knee surgery the Vikings might be done. The offense has lost so much mojo that even if they do turn into a heavy run based team they still won’t be an effective passing team which makes Favre useless. Not that he already wasn’t.

CAROLINA

CONTROVERSY: Jimmy Clausen over Matt Moore. It could be Casey Clausen and I would still start him over Matt Moore. Don’t be surprised if you walk into John Fox’s office this week and he’s updating his resume.

ARIZONA

Maybe there was a reason Cleveland let him go.

SITUATION: Derek Anderson with two inexperienced quarterbacks behind him. Going back to Sunday when watching the Cardinals offense I looked at Larry Fitzgerald at one point… he looks mad. Derek Anderson can’t find him and can’t throw a consistent pass. The Cardinals look lost on offense and has no identity. They are trying to keep that same high octane offense going that they had when Kurt Warner was around and its not plausible with a QB who can’t complete more than 52% of his passes. Don’t be surprised if every Cardinals player calls up Dancing With The Stars to vote Kurt Warner off and gets him back to Glendale… or kidnaps Leinart… who they never should’ve let go of in the first place. Good job Ken Whisenhunt.

COLLEGE BONUS: MIAMI

SITUATION: Jacory Harris or A.J. Highsmith. If Harris has another road stinker like he had against Ohio State, or North Carolina last year, or Virginia Tech last year, then he should stick to creating fashion trends like he did with his overalls and let Highsmith take the reins.


The Favre Saga Continues

The Brett Favre Reality Show continues.

I’m not going to get mad about Brett Favre anymore, really I’m not.

I’m not going to call him selfish, egotistical, and a hog for attention, even though he is.

I’m not going to go the Chad Ochocinco route and wonder why he gets special attention and can have his negatives be constantly overshadowed by his love for the game, and by the fact that he is such a kid on the football field while the fun Ochocinco has is always vilified.

However, I will say this, there has to be a point where someone has the cojones to say enough is enough and that you aren’t bigger than the game.

Someone at some point has to go up to Mark Schlereth and Merril Hoge and tell them that they are idiots for constantly slurping Favre and his ways. Someone has to tell these people that Favre is the worst technical quarterback of his generation and benefited from having good receivers and running one style of offense for his entire career (you saw what happened to him in New York right?).

Someone at anytime, in anyplace has to put an end to the soap opera that is the Favre retirement decision. It’s like any season of Heroes after season 1, annoying. Yes I am ranting about Favre, again. It’s just that I’m so sick of this story and the fact that it won’t go away.

Packers GM Ted Thompson got tired of it and did the right thing by moving on with Aaron Rodgers years ago, too bad for the Vikings they don’t have a Rodgers to move on with, nor drafted anyone to assume such a position. The Vikings are at fault for being so reliant on Favre because of not properly planning for their future by developing John David Booty who they drafted three years ago or drafting a quarterback in the first two rounds of the last two years of the draft. The fact that Brad Childress, who flies down to Mississippi to talk to Favre, doesn’t know what he’s going to do is laughable.

He knows Favre is coming back, he knows the routine. He’s going to see Favre in camp in about two weeks ready to go while the other players have been earning their reps in camp. He’s feeding into it.

I just want Zigi Wilf to come out and say to Brett Favre, “dude, yes or no?” stop letting him do the same run around with the fans, media and players that he’s been doing and getting away with. It’s as if everyone is afraid of the wrath of Favre and I don’t know why.

The guy is the most statistically decorated QB of our time, but he has cost his teams more than he has helped them (2005 divisional game versus Philly, 2008 NFC championship versus the Giants and last year versus the Saints just to name a few). Favre isn’t Joe Montana, Troy Aikman or Terry Bradshaw. Heck I’ll put Tom Brady and Peyton Manning ahead of him in retrospect.

Just get the message across to him, stand up to him, something. I really don’t want to go through another summer of this, really I don’t. even this blog is feeding into the Favre frenzy. I’M SICK OF IT!!!

See I went against my word, I got mad. I really hate Brett Favre, please go away.