Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Jersey?...REALLY?


BREAKING NEWS: The NFL voted today to host the 2014 Super Bowl at New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford New Jersey. It'll be the first time since the 1966 merger of the NFL and AFL that the league championship will take place outside in a northern stadium.

Strange huh? The "New York"/New Jersey bid won the bid by pushing that A: awesome NFL historical moments have taken place in the freezing cold (the Ice Bowl, Snow Bowl/Tuck Rule game, and Brett Favre shitting his pants against the Giants) plus B: the game's in "New York". Game winner.

I'm not sure where I stand with this one. Sure the Super Bowl's going to be in some crappy weather. But wouldn't you rather have a Super Bowl outdoors in "New York" instead of some shithole like the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Canada or Minnesota or wherever the hell it is, or in f@#!$%* DETROIT? Not even a question.

But then again, it's not like they're gonna be playing in New York, like when they used to play the NFL Championship at Yankee Stadium. It's in JERSEY. NORTH JERSEY. The same place that ACTUALLY SMELLS LIKE SEWAGE. The same place that made all the losers from the Jersey Shore famous for BEING DOUCHEBAGS. I don't care if it's near New York City or in a brand new stadium. Jersey is f!@#$%^& Jersey. Should we really degrade the Super Bowl to East Rutherford?

Jersey-bashing aside, Super Bowl 48 will be cool to watch, especially if the whether gets nasty (key: On an HDTV with the heat cranked up). According to a Giant season ticket holder, we shouldn't expect snow. But you can expect a hell of a lot of wind and some freezing ass weather.

I'm totally down for that. With all these mamby pamby rules girlifying the league, its about time the NFL goes back to its roots with some tough football in the freezing cold. Maybe we'll even see more legitimate football fans and less corporate idiots at the game.

What do you guys think? Vote in the poll or leave a comment. I'm too lazy to write anymore so do some work for once in your godforsaken lives.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

NFC West Draft Grades: Quarterbacks Optional


Sorry this is so late (not really). Also sorry that we're actually grading the NFC West (completely).

When I think about the NFC West, the first thing I think of (outside of pathetic football, boring football, and "the NFC West is a real division?") are craptastic quarterbacks. Think about it.

San Fran's Alex Smith is one of the most pathetic first-overall quarterbacks I've ever seen (yet he still has a job, and delusional Niner fans think they still have a chance). Seattle's Matt Hasselbeck is like 300 years old and looks like a geezer out there. Meanwhile, gone is Kurt Warner in Arizona. Partyboy Matt Leinart will take over for him. That's grrreat...yeah...And entering draft day, the Rams had no one. So you'd think come draft day that a new QB would be on the minds of everyone in the division.

Wrong. Whatever. I'm through trying to figure out this division.

ARIZONA CARDINALS - B-


Remember when the Cardinals were good? Say no more. After losing LB Karlos Dansby, S Antrel Rolle, WR Anquan Boldin, and QB Kurt Warner in just one off-season, the Cardinals transformed from the only relevant team in the division to a steaming pile of shit. Basically, by drafting ANYONE they'd improve. But they did pretty good. Tennessee defensive tackle Dan Williams was a steal towards the end of the first round, and will be counted on as the anchor of their 3-4 scheme. Midway through the second the Cards took TCU linebacker Daryl Washington to step in for Dansby. But the Cardinals should have taken a quarterback. Party-boy Matt Leinart couldn't beat out an old man (with exceptional talents) for the starting job in three years. What makes anyone think he'll play well without Anquan Boldin? Nothing. This ain't ball room dancing bro. This is the NFL.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS - A-

Take this with a grain of salt San Fran because Alex Smith is still your QB. But that's the only thing keeping the Niners from getting an A. Head coach Mike Singletary preaches smash mouth football, and beefed up the offensive line with two first-rounders to pave holes for RB Frank Gore. Rutgers tackle Anthony Davis and Idaho guard Mike Iupati were both smart picks for San Fran. USC safety Taylor Mays in round 2 and Penn State linebacker Navorro Bowman in round 3 will bring more toughness to the defense.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS - B+

Like San Fran, the Seahawks had the luxury of 2 first rounders to work with. Oklahoma State tackle Russell Okung was the best offensive lineman in this draft and Texas safety Earl Thomas has unmatched versatility as a hybrid corner-safety. Meanwhile, Notre Dame WR Golden Tate could be the steal of the draft. BUT WHY THE HELL DIDN'T THEY DRAFT A QB? Matt Hasselbeck may have taken Seattle to the promised land a few years back, but he gets injured more than Kenny McKormick. You need a backup and a future at the position, and Charlie Whitehurst is neither.

ST. LOUIS RAMS - B-

Unlike the rest of the division, the Rams actually did draft a QB, taking Oklahoma's Sam Bradford with the very first pick of the draft. But after that pick, the Rams didn't make any picks that stand out. Indiana Offensive tackle/guard Rodger Saffold gives the Rams flexibility on the offensive line, but taking gambling South Florida corner Jerome Murphy with the first pick of the third was a bit of a reach. In short, the Rams were horrible, are still horrible, and this draft didn't help out much.

BEST DRAFTEE -
SEATTLE SEAWHAWKS, R:1 P:6, Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State


Just an absolute monster. Taking this man was probably the only reason that the Seahawks didn't draft a backup QB, as Seattle feels he'll be able to keep Hasselbeck from getting hurt. It probably increases his chances, but the fact remains: Matt Hasselbeck is made of glass.

BIGGEST STEAL -
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, R:2 P:28, Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame


People say this guy can't be a number 1 receiver because he's too short at 5'11. Bullshit. This guy has an outstanding vertical and great after the catch skills. Reminds me of Chris Chambers (before he sucked).

FUTURE BUST -
ST. LOUIS RAMS, R:1 P:1, Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma


Too easy. QB taken first overall? Didn't play the majority of his senior year because of a shoulder injury? Playing for the god damn Rams? Recipe for disaster. I hope he proves me wrong, but for all the money this dude will make he'll likely never actually earn that pay check.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

NFC South Draft Grades: Apparently, Drafting is EASY


It's very rare to see an entire division draft well. Each has it's own village idiot, from the Buffalo Bills to the Jacksonville Jaguars, who year in and year out will find a way to make this dumbass look smart.

But somehow, the only NFL division with four southeastern teams somehow made "edjamacated" decisions. Go figure. Here are the NFC South Draft grades.

ATLANTA FALCONS- B-

Hotlanta came into the draft looking for a pass rushing defensive end. Didn't happen. When Brandon Graham went to the Eagles at 13, Jason Pierre Paul to the G-Men at 15, and Derrick Morgan to Tennessee at 16, they were !@#$ out of luck (though they could have made me look good by picking Jerry Hughes out of TCU). So they went to need number 2 with the best guy left on their board: Sean Witherspoon out of Missouri. Great pick. Kid's fast and will be a great weak-side linebacker in Atlanta's Tampa 2. 5th round pick Dominique Franks (CB, Oklahoma) was excellent value towards the bottom of the draft.

CAROLINA PANTHERS- B+

The Panthers had no pick in the first round. Yet despite sitting on their asses for an entire day doing nothing, they still had one of the best drafts in the NFC. Why? Because Notre Dame's QB Jimmy Clausen, a projected top ten pick, fell into their laps. Apparently, Clausen fell all the way out of the first because he's a major prick (see picture above). But Carolina didn't care, nor should they. San Diego's Philip Rivers is the epitome of douchebag, yet he's one of the top 5 quarterbacks in the NFL. And to land top ten talent midway through round 2? Ridiculous. Add high value third round pick Brandon Lafell (WR, LSU) and 4th rounder Eric Norwood (LB, South Carolina), and the Carolina Cats had themselves a dandy draft.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS- B-


Like Carolina, the Saints had few picks to work with. But all things considered Stormin' N'Orleans did a damn good job with their first two picks. As the Old Man can attest, first round pick Patrick Robinson (CB Florida State) was a force on defense with the Seminoles, and will give the Super Bowl Champs more depth at a fairly deep but not particularly strong position. Meanwhile, drafting USC tackle Charles Brown was smart, giving N'Orleans an option at left tackle in a few years down the road.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS- A

The Bucs had the best draft in the NFL. Fact. Despite not taking players at every position of need, the Pewter Pirates outdid themselves at the draft. Sure they didn't draft a safety or shore up the offensive line. But to be fair, they completely sucked last season so drafting a quadriplegic would have made a vast improvement. Anyhow, Tampa landed some damn good players, starting with Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy at 3 overall. He may not be as strong as Ndamukong Suh, but he makes up for it with his speed and pass rushing ability...something perfect for the Bucs. 2nd round UCLA DT Brian Price will help McCoy anchor the line and 4th round corner Myron Lewis out of Vandy will help the secondary immediately. But what the Bucs drafted for young QB Josh Freeman made this draft class special. Illinois WR Arrelious Benn in the early 2nd will provide an immediate target for Freeman, as will 4th round wideout Mike Williams out of Syracuse.

BEST DRAFTEE -
CAROLINA PANTHERS R:2 P:16 Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame


Gerald McCoy is definitely the best drafted player. But to get first round talent like Clausen in the second round, especially when he's a potential franchise QB that won't command first round money is fantastic for Carolina. Even if he's sporting a Pauly-D-like blow out.

BIGGEST STEAL(S) -
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

R:2 P:7 Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois

R:4 P:3 Mike Williams, WR, Syracuse

The Bucs landed QB Josh Freeman two excellent targets with Benn and Williams. Benn was an outstanding WR coming out of high school, but ran into the misfortune of playing for coach Ron Zook and with QB Juice Williams. To be frank, both sucked. But the kid can catch the football and is a load to bring down when he gets his hands on the ball.

Meanwhile, Williams was statistically one of the best receivers in college football until he quit the team mid-season, and as a guy who witnessed this kid first hand on many occasions, he was a damn good player. Especially when you consider that he was double teamed on every play and that his QB Greg Paulus was completely awful. The character issues are a concern, but Mike's talent speaks for itself. If he behaves, the Buccaneers could have a major offensive weapon for years to come.

FUTURE BUST -
ATLANTA FALCONS R:1 P:19 Sean Witherspoon, LB, Missouri


This is less an assumption that Witherspoon will be a bust, and more the fact that there are very few players drafted in the NFC South that fit the "bust" category. But keep in mind that Witherspoon was not the pass rushing defensive end that Hotlanta wanted in the first round. Linebackers are nice, but if you can't rush the quarterback you are screwed in this league.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

NFC North Draft Grades


Now the NFC North isn't everyone's favorite division (except maybe an anonymous commenter who may have had a thing for Rex Grossman), but there's still a pretty good amount of controversy between the four teams. You had the Favre situation, the Cutler situation, some bitter rivalries...and the Lions.

I'm gonna make this as quick as I can, so here's what I thought about what the NFC North did on draft weekend.

CHICAGO BEARS - C

Da Bears had a while to wait before participating in the draft party, but I thought they made it count with safety Major Wright in the 3rd round. They snagged a monster in DE Corey Wootton in the 4th round, who looks like their best pick right now. The Bears might have taken a sleeper with QB Dan LeFevour in the 6th round, a guy who was Tebow-like successful in college, but Cutler is the guy for the next few years. Bottom line: they almost made their 5 picks count, but they passed on a receiver and didn't take an O-Lineman 'til the 7th round.

DETROIT LIONS - A-

The Lions made a splash in the 1st round, taking Ndamukong "He's a Wrecking Machine" Suh and RB Jahvid Best. Both should start/get significant playing time, and they seem to be creating some more fan interest in a team that hasn't been to the playoffs since '99 (and who play play in Detroit. That's a double whammy.) Oh, and 3rd round pick CB Amari Spievey could be the nickel back (who are from Canada. Ouch.) And just look at Tim Toone (a.k.a. Mr. Irrelevant).

GREEN BAY PACKERS - B-

Green Bay didn't go for a rush linebacker like I thought they would (passing up guys like Hughes and Kindle), but they waited and had OT Bryan Bulaga fall into their laps at #23. It was a great pick for an aging line, and they addressed the 3-4 defensive need in the 2nd with DT/DE Mike Neal. SS Morgan Burnett was a beast in college and could compete for a job in the secondary. The Packers didn't stand out, but they went for depth and this class could produce a few starters down the line.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS - B+

The Favres stepped out of the 1st round but still got a solid corner with Chris Cook in the 2nd. I love the Toby Gerhart pick later in the 2nd round, and he should be a great supporting back to Adrian Peterson with Chester Taylor gone. The best pick probably came in the 4th round with the pick they got from the Lions. They took DE Everson Griffen from USC, who I had going in the late 1st round and who has the potential to be huge in the NFL. Oh ya, you betcha.

BEST DRAFTEE -
DETROIT LIONS R:1 P:2 Ndamukong Suh, DT Nebraska


Come on. The boy can play some football. He can play left, he can play right, it don't make no difference. He can block, tackle, score the touchdown, snap the ball and kick the extra point. The boy will fill up the Gatorade cooler, walk the dog, and paint your back porch. AND HE CAN PASS!

BIGGEST STEAL -
MINNESOTA VIKINGS R:4 P:100 Everson Griffen, DE USC


I'm saying this purely on potential and because he wasn't a 1st round pick (like Jason Pierre-Paul). The Vikings may have landed a future sack artist in exchange for moving down 4 spots from the 1st round to the 2nd.

FUTURE BUST -
DETROIT LIONS R:1 P:30 Jahvid Best, RB California


Just for the record, I don't really believe that he's gonna be a bust. I just don't think he's gonna last long enough to be great. The Lions have a questionable offensive line and Best has injury problems (mainly concussions), so we'll see if he has what it takes to have an extended career.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

AFC West Draft Grades


The AFC West is not on the same level as the NFC East (in talent or familiarity for me), and I don't pretend to keep a close eye on it during the offseason. But while the prestige might not be there, Al Davis is, and that makes the division newsworthy on its own. So here are my thoughts on what Raider Nation and their fearless/ageless/clueless leader did in this year's draft, along with the other 3 teams that aren't as fun to talk about.

DENVER BRONCOS - B-

This class was ridiculously difficult to judge, and we probably won't know whether it's good or terrible for another couple of years. It really all depends on Tim Tebow. If he turns out to be a decent NFL player, then I'd give the Broncos closer to an A. If he busts, it's gotta be around a C. Josh McDaniels and the Broncos think WR Demaryius Thomas has what it takes to be a stud, which is why they kept trading back for picks and still took him over Dez Bryant. I really like the picks of WR Eric Decker and CB Perrish Cox, who both should provide depth and have starting potential. CB Syd'Quan Thompson fell to the 7th round because the guy runs about as fast as Tebow, but he's really physical and could contribute if he makes the team.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS - B

As much as it originally seemed like the Chiefs would take an O-Lineman at #5, I have no problem with Eric Berry there. If he really is Ed Reed (or something close to him), he'll look like a bargain. The problem is that Pioli and staff waited until the 3rd round (their 4th pick) to grab a lineman, Illinois' Jon Asomoah. I think Dexter McCluster and Javier Arenas can both contribute this year, with Arenas serving as a dangerous return man who might remind some Chiefs fans of Dante Hall. Keep an eye on McCluster to be a Darren Sproles-type player for the Chiefs.

OAKLAND RAIDERS - B+

I know, right? I don't know if Al Davis slept through the weekend, but the Raiders actually landed a pretty good draft class. LB Rolando McClain might not have been a necessity at #8, but the guy is an absolute beast and has the tools to be a Pro Bowler. DT Lamarr Houston was a great pick in the 2nd round, and they followed that up with two mammoth offensive tackles in rounds 3 and 4 (including Maryland's Bruce Campbell, who I had them taking in the 1st round). They returned to form by taking WR/returner Jacoby Ford, who was the fastest man at the Combine (just watch him run). Oh, and they got that guy Jason Campbell to (hopefully) replace that other guy. Something Russell, I think.

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS - B-

The Chargers didn't do much this draft, but that's mainly because they gave up a few picks to ensure they got RB Ryan Mathews, their replacement for LT. I don't really have a problem with that. When your team is as talented as the Chargers with a glaring hole somewhere, I think it's OK to sacrifice some depth to get your guy. They got a few likely role players here and there, but their best pick was probably DT Cam Thomas in the 5th round. They desperately needed a nose tackle to replace Jamal Williams, and they landed the able Thomas after passing on Terrence Cody.

BEST DRAFTEE -
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS R:1 P:5 Eric Berry, S Tennessee


Berry was #3 on my Big Board, and there's no question in my mind that he is the AFC West's best rookie. Fast, athletic, and instinctive, Berry will revamp the Chiefs struggling secondary and has the potential to be a top-5 safety in the NFL.

BIGGEST STEAL -
OAKLAND RAIDERS R:4 P:106 Bruce Campbell, OT Maryland


This one was interesting because if he was drafted in the 1st round like I thought, I would have called him the "future bust" of this division. But the Raiders waited and waited, and eventually landed the most athletic lineman in a long time. This is a steal because they picked another lineman before him, and he has time to develop his huge potential before he has to start.

FUTURE BUST -
DENVER BRONCOS R:1 P:22 Demaryius Thomas, WR Georgia Tech


I know you all thought I was gonna go with Tebow here but I don't think anyone really thinks that he'll be a star, and that's an important part of the "bust" status. Thomas has great size and can be a good NFL receiver, no doubt about it, but he's built more as a deep threat and the Broncos don't have anyone who can chuck it down the field. Plus, they took him over Dez Bryant. He might burn out in Denver.

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