New Years Resolutions Certain Sports people SHOULD be making.

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LeBron James
Image by Keith Allison via Flickr


Indians GM Chris Antonetti – “I will not overpay a baseball has been. I will not overpay a baseball has been. I will not overpay a baseball has been.”

Indians Owner Paul Dolan – “The next time I have 2 potential Cy Young candidates to trade, I will get more than a couple of ‘never wases’ and a bag of practice balls.”

Browns HC Mangini – “I will find the best real estate agent in Cleveland. And I will begin looking today!”

Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts – “I will never buy another baseball team as long as I live.”

Cam Newton’s father Cecil – “Next time I try to shake down a college for money to let my son play, I’ll require a non-disclosure notice be signed first.”

NCAA Chief Rules Enforcer Julie Roe Lach – “Consistency? Consistency? We don’t need no stinkin’ consistency!”

NFL Investigator Favre Case – “I will not ask Favre for an autograph at the interview. I will not ask Favre for an autograph at the interview.”

Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen – “Before hiring a Head Coach, I will remember to ask the applicant for a resume and I will read it prior to issuing an job offer.”

Dallas Cowboy Owner Jerry Jones – “I will not rest until I find a high profile head coach that will accept the job and not object to my meddling in daily operations of the team.”

Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell – “Next time we go 14-0, I won’t play only backups for the final 2 games.”

LeBron James – “Next time before I sign with a team I will consult the Oracle of Delphi and a marketing consultant as well. I will not go on ESPN and take an hour to announce my decision.”

Tiger Woods – “Next time before I get married I will consult the Oracle of Delphi, a lawyer to write a prenuptial agreement and a driving instructor as well.”

Mark Parker CEO Nike – “Next time before I sign a huge contract with an athlete I will consult the Oracle of Delphi, a marketing consultant, and a physiologist as well.”

Redskin DT Albert Haynesworth – “Next time before I sign a huge contract with a team, I will make sure they play a 4-3 and that will be in the contract.”

Redskin QB Donovan McNabb – “Next time before I sign a contract extension with a team I will make sure that I’m not in the middle of a spitting contest between the coach and owner.”

Redskins Owner Daniel M. Snyder – “Next time before I sign a huge contract with an athlete and a new coach, I will make sure that both will play well with others.”

If you have any more please add them to the comments section.

HAPPY NEW YEAR and thanks for coming to our site.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits His first non-fiction work is at the publisher now and he has also published several novels on

and a non-fiction work at He edits . Also listen to the best Sports Talk anywhere on the Internet and hear his draft analysis on Tuesdays on

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  • Published: Aug 17th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Rap up of the Preseason 1 NFL games

Rap up of the Preseason 1 NFL games

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This will become a regular Monday column. I will comment on some of the key games of the week. Let me know what you think of it.

Cleveland at Green Bay—Ugly is as ugly does.

Cleveland: The Browns looked bad. The Browns need a pass rush and the ex-Jets don’t have the ability to generate it. Look for DE Williams to get traded. He is not a fit in the 3-4. By the way, Mangenus said that QB Ratliff was a guy he really liked in the trade down from the 4th pick in the draft. Coach, just what was it you saw?

Green Bay: Packer fans shouldn’t get too giddy about the win because they were playing only part of the Browns D without NT Rogers. The Pack O looks very sharp. Bret Who?

Dallas at Oakland—QB Russell looks better

Oakland: JaMarcus Russell looks a lot better. He still is not starter quality but seems to have been working on his mechanics. The running game looks sharp and deep. On D the pass D is fine but they will have to find a way to stop the run.

Dallas: The Dallas O looks confused and shaky. The 1st team O line struggled against Oakland. Romo still has not convinced me he is all pro quality. TO may have been a distraction in the locker room but the WR corps is not nearly as talented as it was before he was released. The D looks OK. DE Igor Olshansky needs to step up his production. S Gerald Sensabaugh may be better in pass coverage than Williams was but does not support the run as well.

Washington at Baltimore—Is it soup yet? Yes, Campbell Soup.

Washington: Jason Campbell is still the QB because the team couldn’t get anyone else they liked better. He is still as inconsistent as always. His mechanics are a little better but still not solid. The other big question is the O line. RT Stephon Heyer held his own against a good Ravine D line but the running game struggled. It was not totally because Clinton Portis was out. The line had a tough time running against the Ravines D. The D didn’t have new addition DT Albert Haynesworth and it showed. They struggled against the running game.

Baltimore: Joe Flacco is great between the 20s. It is in the red zone that he struggles. Having WR Derrick Mason back helps a lot. Don’t forget him in your Fantasy Draft.  RB Willis McGahee looked good. Competition from Ray Rice has inspired him. C Matt Birk provides leadership for a young line. The O line is not yet ready to deal with multiple blitzes. They had better get ready before they play the Steelers. The D looks ready now. It is good to see SS Dawan Landry back from injury.

Denver at San Francisco—Opps, we got the wrong QB!

Denver: QB Orton looked HORRIBLE! He will get better. QB Sims was better but played against the reserves. We will see how he does against some starters. The D is worse. The team looks like it has no idea what the 3-4 is let alone how it is supposed to work. Any change in system will take some time. That time has not come yet for the Broncos.

San Francisco: The team isn’t sure who the QB should be. Smith looked good but it was against Denver. Hill wasn’t in long enough to tell much. Huard would have been better last year in KC with decent protection.

Atlanta at Detroit—Matthew Stafford looks like the real deal.

Detroit: Stafford looked good. He made good reads and accurate throws. The running game is going to be a problem. I am not a fan of Kevin Smith. Rookie Aaron Brown (TCU) could be a find. The D looked a little better but Atlanta wasn’t showing much. The Lions held the Falcons to under 250 net yards. Besides, the Lions won the game!

Atlanta: The Falcon’s O is ready to go. RB Turner looks perfect. Rookie of the year QB Ryan is middle of the season sharp. The Falcon starters are fine but the team does not have enough depth to keep the O going a full season. The D looked totally off. The D gave up over 400 yards to the Lions. That is a bad sign.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits He has also published several novels on and edits .

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QB Jason Campbell is the starter because the Redskins couldn't get anyone else.

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Cambell will start but his feelings have been hurt—again. Campbell has struggled in the second halfs of seasons. The Redskins were 6-2 at the half pole but fell off the cliff and out of the playoffs in the second half. Part of Cambell’s problems were due to the injury to RB Clinton Portis and the failure of the running game to keep up the pace. Injuries in the O line caused more pressure and fewer accurate passes. Coach Jim Zorn tried to get several QBs via trade but failed. Unlike the Denver situation, Cambell took it like a man and settles in again under center.

Campbell has talent and a great arm but has had very inconsistent mechanics. Under pressure he tends to forget his mechanics and fall back to old habits. It is impossible to be a consistent passer with bad mechanics. But until they find someone else, he’s the guy. As insurance the team has vet Todd Collins in reserve. Collins is 36 and is past the point where he can be a full time starter. Run and shoot QBs Colt Brennan and URFA Chase Daniel are also in the mix.

Portis had more injuries than the Republican Guard in 08. He was leading the league at the 8 game mark with over 900 yards and then suffered hip, knee, neck and back. He struggled to a little over 500 yards in the second half of the season. He is not 100 percent yet and will be used very sparingly in preseason. Ladell Betts backs up Portis and is very solid. FB Mike Sellers didn’t have his usually solid season last year despite being elected to the pro bowl.

As Campbell lost accuracy, the WRs lost catches. Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El are one of the better combos in the league. Both started out hot and cooled as more throws hit the ground. Moss has lost a half step and is 30 this year. Randle El is the underneath guy and one of the most physical receivers in the league. He an excellent down field blocker. There are no long runs without the WRs and TEs making blocks down field. The team wants youngsters Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly to develop to provide another deep threat. They will compete for the 3rd WR spot left open by free agency. The TE is 2 time pro bowl Chris Cooley. He is consistent and Campbell’s relief valve.

The O line that has gotten so much praise got old all of a sudden. Long time RT Jon Jansen and G Pete Kendall are gone. Derrick Dockery replaces the latter and Stephon Heyer or vet Mike Williams will play RT. Chris Samuels started strong but wore down. He is nearing the end of the road. C Casey Rabach and RG Randy Thomas have to play the way they did in the first few games before they too were nicked up. Overall the O line has to improve to get the O back on track.

The Redskins D quietly ranked in the top 10 overall last year. The D is a fantasy football favorite. Now they have added the $100 million dollar man in DT Albert Haynesworth from the Titans. He joins a very deep and talented but aging group in starters E Phillip Daniels, DT Cornelius Griffin and E Andre Carter. The bench includes former starters T Kedric Golston, T Anthony Montgomery, DE Renaldo Wynn and the versatile T/E Lorenzo Alexander. IF this group stays healthy the D line is outstanding. But Haynesworth came in limping and Daniels is coming off a knee injury that kept him out almost all of 08.

1st round pick Brian Orakpo was handed the SLB spot day 1. He is converting from DE at Texas. He joins the undersized and overachieving MB London Fletcher and WLB Rocky McIntosh. Fletcher was snubbed last year but played at an all pro level. McIntosh is solid. The bench includes SLB insurance H.B. Blades, Alfred Fincher, Chris Wilson, and former 1st round bust Robert Thomas. Blades is fine but the rest are suspect.

LCB Carlos Rogers, RCB DeAngelo Hall and FS LaRon Landry are young and talented. Landry is coming on strong but needs to finish more plays by improving his ball skills. Hall has to overcome inconsistency. SS Chris Horton has to avoid a sophomore slump. The 7th round pick was a standout in training camp last year and played well. CB Fred Smoot, S Reed Doughty, S Kareem Moore, CB Justin Tryon and CB Kevin Barnes are the backups now but Smoot is in danger of being cut.

OVERALL: The Redskins were great in the first half of last year. Despite getting Haynesworth, they are not Super Bowl threats. They don’t have enough passing to prevent teams putting 47 guys in the box to stop Portis. The team will go as far as Campbell takes them. That may be to the playoffs but won’t be much farther.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits He has also published several novels on and edits .

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The Titans will be at destiny's door again in 09 but will they find the key to open it?

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When the Titans were the Houston Oilers, then head coach Buddy Ryan said that they had knocked on the door of the AFC Championship a couple of times and promised to kick it down next year. They didn’t and he was gone a season later.

For most of last year, the Titans were considered by nearly everyone the best team in the AFC if not the NFL. Then they lost to the Jets and that seemed to take the heart out of the team. They ended up doing what they have for all the Super Bowls but 2000—watching from the sidelines. This year could be different, but don’t bet the house on it unless you have a balloon payment due on it soon. Chances are 4-1 they will be the second or third best team in the conference. It will take luck and avoiding injuries to get the Titans to big game.

Former starting quarterback Vince Young will be fighting a possibly terminal case of splinters from carrying the clip board all year. Kerry Collins is the starter and Young has done absolutely nothing to win over the coaching staff or the team other than run his mouth. Collins is calm, accurate, very instinctive and has an above average arm. Young has an above average mouth and arm but has yet to put in the time to learn the playbook or read defenses on the fly.

The Titans have an outstanding running game. The Titans knew that rookie Chris Johnson was fast but they had no idea that he could run inside the way he does. He is establishing himself as one of the top half dozen runners in the league and can take a simple plunge or wheel route to the endzone. USC second banana LenDale White will have the same role this year in Tennessee. White has slimmed down to 229 and looks faster while not losing his power. He is in a contract year and won’t be back in 2010. FB Ahmard Hall is vastly underrated.

The Titans got Steeler UFA WR Nate Washington to sign and he will start opposite last year wideout Justin Gage. Washington was the 3rd WR last year in Pittsburgh but is expected to be the deep threat and top option in 09. He is not a top 15 WR. Gage will be the possession pass catcher and is good at that role. The reserves are thin with that group including the talented but baby bean green Kenny Britt and a bunch of stiffs.

The team will use 2 TEs a lot again and have a couple of the best in the league. Bo Scaife and Alge Crumpler can both block and catch. Neither will get deep but can control the short middle of the field.

The O line isn’t full of brand names but the line works well together and is rock solid. LT Michael Roos, C Kevin Mawae and RG Jake Scott are all pro bowl quality and starters LG Eugene Amano RT David Stewart are good in this system and getting better. Backup C/G Leroy Harris is capable of filling in any of the inside spots.

The one question mark on the team is the D line’s ability to continue to play at a high level without the traded DT Albert Haynesworth. Tony Brown who played LDT will probably get that job with Jason Jones replacing Brown unless either Jovan Haye or Sen’Derrick Marks take his place. RDE Kyle Vanden Bosch is going to have to return to top form after a groin problem last year and Dave Ball will play opposite him on first and second down. The freak Jevon Kearse returns to the Titans this season and should be a force again in passing situations.

RLB Keith Bulluck leads the backers and is outstanding. LLB David Thornton, MLB Stephen Tulloch are both fine but there is no quality depth so all three will have to stay healthy. Their success will in large part be determined by how well the D line makes up for Hayesworth’s absence.

The Titans have one of the very best D back groups in the league. CBs Nick Harper and Cortland Finnegan join FS Michael Griffin and SS Chris Hope to form a group all playing at a pro bowl level. Backups FS/Nickel back Vincent Fuller and SS Donnie Nickey provide both experience and ability.

OVERALL: The Titans are among the top 5 teams in the league in terms of talent. They have to stay healthy as do their competitors to get to the big game. But the Titans also have to overcome their tendency of losing to the Steelers, Pats and Colts in big games. Each of those teams seem to have the mental edge against Tennessee. This year they could well overcome their past losses and get to the Super Bowl but I doubt it. But at the very least, they should make the playoffs and be among the last 4 AFC teams on the board.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits He has also published several novels on and edits .


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