Thursday, January 17, 2013

Extra Points

1. Te'o No, No: This Mantei Te'o story is so bizarre that its nearly unbelievable. Here are a couple of thoughts:
A. If this young man was duped into a three year relationship with a girl he never met, then he is not smart enough to be attending Notre Dame. What he and the University of Notre Dame are trying to do is protect his image and character for his future employer, the NFL. Are their teams that take risk on guys with character issues? Sure, but now a lot of character guys are falling into the 2nd and 3rd round. After his awful Titile game performance, the last thing Te'o needs is someone questioning his play as well as his character. Owners and GM's will take risk on a guy once but if you pulled an elaborate hoax about faking a relationship with a girl and her tragic death, how will he be received in the locker room? How does a head coach believe him when he misses curfew or some other incident happens with him? Te'o's character is now in question and that is something that is not repairable in sit down interview.
B. ESPN, if they knew about this story before the National Championship game and sat on it shows their lack of journalistic standards. It doesn't matter who your partners are or who you have contracts with, the news is news and let the chips fall where they may. That is journalism 101. You can't let the money dictate how you cover a story, no matter who a partner is.
C. Notre Dame is taking a big risk by backing Te'o. If the story turns around and he knew this was a hoax, then Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame AD, and the university just lost all credibility with their student body as well as fans. I truly hope they know what damage this could do to the university if comes out that Te'o was involved.
D. Think Brian Kelly is wishing he would have met with the Eagles one more time?

2. Falcons-Niners: One of these two young QB's will be playing in their first Super Bowl. However, there is more pressure on Matt Ryan than there is on Colin Kaepernick. Ryan, who just won his first playoff game, has been in the league longer and the expectation's for him and his team are higher. Matt Ryan is still trying to exercise the demons of Michael Vick and lead the Falcons to their 2nd Super Bowl. Ryan still has not had a stellar playoff performance, even though he did lead the Falcons back in the final seconds to win the game. Pundits are done questioning Harbaugh's move to Kaepernick, the jury is still out on Matt Ryan being elite.

3. Ravens-Pats: This ride the Ravens have been on with Ray Lewis has been fun but the real fun starts on Sunday. Traveling back to Foxboro and trying to beat the team that knocked them out of the Super Bowl last year in a rematch. If the Ravens have learned anything from this season it should be these things:
A. Ray Rice should be relied on to try and control the Pats offense and leave them on the sidelines.
B. Get pressure up the middle on Brady and he will crack.
C. Go to Anquan Boldin early and often. Make the Pats double him.

4. Chip Kelly: Boy, did he picked a great week to dump Oregon and become the Eagles head coach. He better enjoy it while it last because the first 3 game losing streak, Eagle Fan will be packing Kelly's belongings and shipping them back to Eugene.I do believe Kelly will be successful and his success will be clearly on who his quarterback is. When the Ducks up tempo offense is properly run, it is impossible to stop because the pace is nothing a defense is used to. Defensive coaches fear that pace because you can not substitute.

5. Mile High Blunder: Don't know what John Fox is smoking but there is no way that taking a knee with 31 seconds left and a tired defense and your HOF QB with the ball is the right call. For goodness sake, a year ago he took a shot with Tebow, who didn't have a "Golden Arm" and they won the game on a pass. Fox knows he blew it and those are career defining moments for coaches. I know Tim Tebow is smiling.

Thanks for reading.....

Monday, December 17, 2012

Extra Points

After a hiatus, I am backing to blogging. Let's get started.

1. Why did Jim Harbaugh switch to Colin Kaepernick?-It's simple as this Kaepernick is a better passer and a faster runner than Alex Smith. As much as announcers and former players bemoaned the moved because Smith loss his job due to injury, in the end its the right move. Alex Smith was having trouble getting the ball down field. I don't care about passing efficiency or passer ratings. The Niners went out and got weapons at the receiver position (Randy Moss and Mario Mannigham) and they needed a quarterback with a strong arm to get the ball down field. If you noticed none of the vets complained because as much as they love Alex, in their hearts they knew its the right move. To have an opportunity to win a Super Bowl, the window is very short, sometimes you have to do an unpopular thing to get your team that title.

2. St. Louis Rams Experiment-Are the Rams playing better under Jeff Fisher? YES!! However the experiment with Sam Bradford could comeback and haunt this team in the future. Not bashing Bradford but the one thing you notice and OU fans can tell you this as well, his ball just hangs in the air for an eternity. Db's sit back and wait for it to come down and its an easy pick. Bradford doesn't have any zip on the ball. Not taking Robert Griffith III with that pick could cost the team a shot at some deep playoff runs.

3. End of an Era? Part 1-After watching the Broncos dismantle the Ravens, I was struck by one of the sidelines shots of Ray Lewis staring at the Jumbo tron. He just looked defeated. My thoughts were this: Baltimore missed a ton of opportunities to get back to the Super Bowl and when they look back at it, it will always be a dropped pass here, a misssed block there, or a missed field goal in the case of last year. Two of the greatest defenders (Lewis and Reed) will most likely not get the opportunity to play on that stage (for Lewis it would be his second trip). Their teams always seem to come up short some way or somehow. Really puzzling.

4. End of an Era? Part 2-The same can be said with the Steelers only its a little different because they have won a Super Bowl within the last 4 years. When you look at the Steelers, you just see an old team. The extra battle have worn them down and there is very little fight left in the old warriors. You can see their bodies are in the right position to make the plays but the younger, faster players just shoot right by them.Father time has caught up to the AFC North.

5.Teams Your Favorite squad does not want to see in the playoffs-Indianapolis, Washington and Seattle, the funny thing about that is all three of these teams all have rookie quarterbacks. Luck, RGIII and Russell Wilson strike fear into the hearts of defenses, especially having to prepare for them on a short week.

Thanks for reading.....

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Extra Points (NFL)

1. Kind Of Tired Of Vilma..: And the other Saints players complaining about Bountygate and suing the Commissioner and dragging this case out longer and longer. Saints interim coach Joe Vitt told the NBC crew that for anyone to think the Saints put players and coaches put out a bounty to hurt other players is ludicrous. I got news for you Joe, EVERYONE KNOWS YOU DID!!! If you are a good leader what you do is own up to your mistake and take your punishment like a man. The sad thing is the Saints defense is so bad that Vilma and Vitt can't make a difference. My advice would be take the suspension and ask for the league to pay you and end it.

2. Michael Vick Is Not The Problem: Initially after watching the Eagles play, Vick was turning over the football at an alarming rate. But his last three games, Vick has two interceptions and one fumble, which is good. The Eagles problem for the last two years has been their defense. Nnmadi Asomugha has been just awful at DB. Asomugha has been chasing receivers from behind all season, this is after he said the defensive calls were bad. How about you get in proper position and technique and start covering receivers correctly? Also Andy Reid has almost exclusively fell in love with the pass and has forgotten LeSean McCoy. This quickly becoming a nightmare season for the Eagles, which could possibly cost Reid his job.

3. Was It Wrong That I Took Pleasure in the Cowboys Collapse: Loved seeing the Cowboys get bombed in the beginning of the game against the Giants, and then comeback to take the lead and at the end get their hearts ripped out. How much longer can the Cowboys keep running Dez Bryant out on the field, when clearly the guy runs the wrong route, turns the ball over just as much as Romo, and the quarterback does not trust him. Bryant has a world of talent but with that talent comes a responsibility to be there for your teamamtes, coaches, and owner. It would not surprise me to see the Cowboys part ways with the troubled player, which may be a good thing in order for him to get his life right.

4. Peyton Has Played Great But: Not sold on the Broncos as Super Bowl contenders. What you do see when you watch him run the Broncos offense is you see the same offense that is ran in Indianapolis. The Broncos receivers will only get better as the year progresses but the Broncos defense is suspect. Real suspect to most observers. 

Thanks for reading and comments are always welcomed...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Extra Points (College)

Another great weekend of College Football games this weekend. So let's get to top games this weekend and my thoughts about them:

1. Notre Dame v. Oklahoma: Here's the scenario the Fighting Irish have not been 8-0 since 2002. Bob Stoops, lost his very first game against the Irish. Brian Kelly has a superior defense but using two quarterback's has to catch up with them at some point. Landry is a senior QB facing a young secondary. This has the makings of a classic.

2. Miss. St. v. Alabama: In most years on paper the Mississippi St. Bulldogs would be completely over matched against the Crimson Tide and this year looks to be the same, except I think the Bulldogs can give Alabama some trouble. The Bulldogs schedule has been really soft up to this point but what they have is a good offensive coach that can make Saban raise his game on defense. In the end the defense of the Crimson Tide should carry them to victory but except the Bulldogs to keep it close.

3. Georgia v. Florida: If Georgia wants to turn its season around this game would be the game. Florida comes in No.2 in the BCS and by winning this game they clinch the SEC East. Georgia defense after playing well the first few games got torched by South Carolina and hasn't played a good game in three weeks. They have a chance to make the one-dimensional Gators pay. Florida has to throw the ball better if it wants a shot at a National Title.

4. Texas Tech v. Kansas St.: Texas Tech is 6-1 in the Big 12 South and K-State is undefeated in the North. This game is crucial for Colin Klein's Heisman hopes as well as a National Title chances. Tech is a great story because no one expects them to be in this position of spoiler and sleeper for a Big 12 title but they are. Think about how Tech took apart West Virginia and made Geno Smith look human. The Red Raiders defense is very good and will give Klein and Snyder trouble.

5. Duke v. Florida St.: Yes, that is the Duke Blue Devil Football team and not basketball. Probably the most underrated and unnoticed team and coach is the Blue Devils. Coach David Cutcliffe (who Ole Miss fans lose their minds when you say his name. The guy who coached Eli Manning and never made a real bowl game) has the Blue Devils bowl eligible at 6-2 and facing a Seminole team missing some key defenders. Its just weird talking about Duke football being good. Come to think of it the last time Duke was in a bowl game was in 1994. Way too long.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Extra Points (College and NFL)

1. Florida @ No.2?-I've been on record saying who the BCS simply doesn't like any schools in the western time zone. But for once I believe they have it right by putting the Gators AHEAD of the Ducks. My only objection this year is that the SEC is a little more overrated than most years, so while having the Gators in front now is OK, in the end Ducks, as long as they stay undefeated should be playing for the National Title. Alabama is superior to all others in the SEC, while LSU (has no offense), South Carolina (tough schedule and injuries sealed their fate) and Georgia (crumbled as usual) are not really as good as most people thought.

2. Any Reason For Saban To Leave?-No way Nick Saban is going to leave Alabama for Cleveland, right...No one truly believes this but with a new ownership group and fan base that is desperate for a winner, the Browns will talk to him and offer him most of Fort Knox to get him back to Cleveland. Saban is a smart guy and with an ego the size of Texas and the money and power that the Browns can offer will definitely have them flirting for a while. But why leave a place like Tuscaloosa for Cleveland? The challenge of matching his buddy Belichick and making up for his failure with the Dolphins. People forget that Saban desperately wanted Drew Brees while he was with the Dolphins because he knew that would turn the franchise around. Having that franchise quarterback makes life in the NFL a little easier. Just ask the Saints, who with Brees have won a Super Bowl.

3. Notre Dame Is Squeaking By-The Golden Domers are still undefeated after getting past BYU.Looks like they will finally get a BCS Bowl bid, barring a massive collapse. This team is playing a lot like Brian Kelly's Cincinatti teams minus the offense. Their defense has been devastating and the have a true defensive player as a Heisman candidate in Mantei Te'o. As long as they keep winning Te'o will be in New York City and the first defense player threatening to win the Heisman since Charles Woodson. 

4. Kansas State Came From Nowhere-The Wildcats of Manhattan have completely caught many people off guard with their play. Colin Klein (as of right now leading the Heisman vote) is like Tebow but his passing is worse. Bill Snyder is proving that you can win in your late 70's and has the resurgent Wildcats threatening for the National Championship. The tough part of the schedule is behind K-State and the most difficult games are at home. No one expected this team and the coach to be in the hunt but they are proving it with tough play. The problem is if they are undefeated and Oregon is, who would the people want to see face Alabama?

5. Is Your NFL Team Moving?-The NFL had an owners call this past week and stated to all the owners, don't plan on moving your team to L.A. in 2013. 2014 is the target date for teams to move.Still believe the candidates are Oakland, San Diego, St. Louis and Jacksonville. Eventually L.A. will have two teams to balance out the league but the first step is getting one of those teams to move. I believe its a toss up between the Rams and Raiders. Both have stadium issues and both cities are dragging their feet to get the teams what they want. The clock is ticking....

6. Jay Cutler got Crushed-By Suh. Suh is such a dominating force but I thought the was a little much. It will be interesting to see if the league fines him.

Thanks for reading....

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Extra Points

1. Not Cool Booing Your Own Guy-Matt Cassel in my humble opinion is not a good QB, however, Kansas City Chief fans should be ashamed of themselves by booing Cassel when he got hurt. Everyone knows the season isn't going the way you guys thought it but to boo your team player when he is hurt is classless. These guys go out and perform at high levels, some guys play a lot better than others and that's OK. When a player makes boneheaded mistake after boneheaded mistake then booing is acceptable, even if it is your own guy. Booing an injury, especially to your own guy tells how far we have come in society.

2. The Promise (Lambeau Version)-"I set the bar high and I expect to play at a higher level. (I've) been making just some mistakes I'm not used to making," Rodgers said."My solemn promise is I'm going to work every day to get better," Rodgers said. "I'm going to clean up some of the things I'm not doing as well as I should. But, the proof is in the pudding. Right now, I'm not getting it done. I've got to look at myself first."
Does this sound familiar? Tim Tebow said something similar as a Gator and Florida went on to the championship game. If the 2-3 Packers season turn around after this and they win the Super Bowl, a statue will be erected in Green Bay and these words of Rodgers will be inscribed on it.

3. Mama Said Knock You Out-If RGIII keeps acting like Sonny Liston or Mike Tyson sparring partner by staying in bounds and taking big hits, his career will not be long. The way officials officiate the game with a running quarterback versus a pocket-passer is completely different. RGIII needs to sit down with Steve Young or Randall Cunningham and learn from them on how they played the game. He's too talented to have his career cut short by playing so recklessly. (For those of you who didn't get pop reference the headline is from LL Cool J)

4. I think Brees Is A Good Quarterback But-What's more important to be have a record that Johnny Unitas held or have your team in contention for a playoff spot. Football is about championships not records and the last few years Brees has racked up the records. But the game has changed and it is geared more towards offense, especially quarterback putting up big numbers. Brees has benefited from paying in this era and having that Super Bowl win helps solidify his place in history. Just wonder if the emphasis on the old records when the game was different is fair.

5. Pretty sure The Chargers-Are wondering where the replacement refs are? The regular officials had 2 egregious calls that could have cost them the game.

6. Really, Jimbo Fisher? Really!?!?-After a devastating loss in the final seconds to N.C. State that cost his team a shot at playing , Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher told reporters that his team still controls its own destiny in the ACC. The ACC, the ACC!!! Memo to Jimbo: The ACC doesn't matter!!! Winning Championships, do!!! Apologize for screaming but sometimes coaches just frustrate me.

7. South Carolina Destroyed Georgia-But why does it feel like the Gamecocks will lose one of their next to games.Those next two games are at LSU and at Florida. They can thank the schedule makers for those two beast of a game.

8. My Apologies To The Country On Saturday Afternoon-Because CBS has Alabama at Missouri and that game will not be pretty. Missouri will be missing their starting quarterback and two offensive linemen. Getting queasy thinking about the potential outcome.

Going to watch the Florida Gators and Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday!!! Pics and updates forth coming.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Extra Points (NFL)

The fashionable question to ask quarterbacks is if they believe they are elite. Which franchise has their guy that can lead them to the promise land. But I have a different question, which is what franchise quarterback is setting them farther away from a Super Bowl? Here are a couple of suspects:

1. Matt Cassel-The Chiefs have paid a lot of money to the former Pats backup and he has not produced. Outside of 1 playoff appearance, that was really on the legs of Thomas Jones and Jammal Charles, Cassel has been terrible. Cassell has not protected the football and has not been able to lead this franchise back to respectability in the mediocre AFC West. Scott Piolo, the GM, was trying to create the Patriots of the Midwest by bringing Cassel over, has put his job in jeopardy. The backups are Brady Quinn and Ricky Stanzi  which neither guy is impressive. It looks like the Chiefs will have to use a high draft pick to get a quarterback.

2. Blaine Gabbert-It might be too harsh to say this after two years but Gabbert has been just awful in Jacksonville. What makes his stats even worse is MoJo (Maurice Jones-Drew) is in his prime and a good ground game normally helps a young QB grow faster, Gabbert is just the opposite. He has regressed from his rookie season and his new head coach is quarterback coaching guru. The Jags may be better off either getting an established QB so Gabbert can learn or just starting over in the draft. Who knows maybe Tebow is on the horizon.....

3. Carson Palmer-At first glance of the trade of Palmer, everyone said the Raiders got the better end of the deal because Palmer was a perennial Pro-Bowler, he was coming home and hit was the missing link to the Raiders success. Boy were they wrong!! Late last year, the Raiders were contending in the weak AFC West but this year, the offense looks confused, out of sync, and Palmer looks disinterested in playing. Losing can do that to you. The Bengals on the other hand look great with Dalton and Green and have used the Raiders pick to begin building a more stable franchise. Yes that last sentence was actually typed. The Cincinnati Bengals are in way better shape as a franchise than the Raiders.

4. Tony Romo-As previously chronicled in my prior post Extra Points, Romo is not the answer in Dallas.

Honorable mentions to this list are: Josh Freeman, Mark Sanchez, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kevin Kolb or John Skelton.

Other points:
The Rams were terrible few years with Steve Spagnulo at the helm, so is it any surprise that Saints defensive side is awful this year with him in charge. Look Spags is a good guy but he has lost his touch in developing talent and inspiring players. For a team that is already void of leadership, his passive style of coaching is not helpful.

Jeff Fisher has the Rams over .500 for the first time since 2006 and I'm not surprised. The Rams have had a ton of top picks but no one to lead them, this why Fisher is the right coach for this franchise. The Rams play harder, do not quit and play inspired on offense and defense. Kudos to Fisher for making them relevant again.

The NFC West, once the laughing stock of the league know has arguably the best defense's in the NFL. The Niners, Seahawks, Rams and Cardinals all have had games of 5 sacks or more on a quarterback. Defense reigns supreme in this division.

Enjoy the games....