Saturday's nibblets around the net for 02/15/09.

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Fryingpan Sports

Saturday’s nibblets around the net.

By Bill Smith


Ted Payne posted this:

Well let’s be honest – guys like him are SCARED. They are legitimately scared of bloggers.

I mean each team can have a hometown blogger, bloggers that are dedicated to one team even. How can traditional journalists compete with that? Bloggers might not have the access of these top ESPN guys, but they can watch one team day in and day out, Albom can NOT do that.

Sports reporters are scared that one day, they won’t have a job, because people will turn to their local bloggers.

Ted, you are exactly right. The new media including the Internet bloggers scare them to death. Thanks for the support and I hope you become a regular reader. We will try to post the best comment each week.

Political Correctness run a muck.

Our old pinhead friends at the NCAA rules committee are thinking about making the touchdown celebration a “live ball” penalty rather than a “dead ball” foul. The difference is that a live ball foul is stepped off from the previous spot and takes the score off the board! I don’t have a problem with a penalty if a player throws the ball at an opponent. But we are talking about 19-22 year old kids that love the game they play.

The first thing that the official will say is that the player is calling attention to himself when he celebrates alone. But then when he celebrates with his team mates, the pinhead zebras say that the celebration was premeditated and organized. That isn’t allowed either.

My Advice: Let the kids have fun and forget the live ball foul. While you’re at it, forget the the dead ball penalty as well.


Mike Martz can’t find a job.

Martz complained to Tom E. Curran, of that he is being kept from getting a new job as O Coordinator by people saying negative things about him. “”People are determined to keep me out of the league. It’s been going on for three years and at this point, I can’t fight it. I just can’t fight it. Three years of people putting it out there that I’m a high-maintenance lunatic.”

My Advice: Mikey, let it go. Maybe it is the quarterbacks that you almost got killed with your 5 receivers in the pattern style offense that are keeping you down. No one trusts you with their franchise QB. Change your offense and maybe you’ll get work.


Bret Favre retired—again.

This time I think we have seen the last of Favre. He was a great player and we respect that. He struggled in the last half of the season with the Jets and is physically done.

My Advice: Bret go back on your plantation and we will see you again in 5 years and hand you the yellow jacket and your bust in the Hall of Fame. But we don’t want to hear about you or see you until then. Frankly, you exhausted us with your “will he stay or will he retire” dance routine over the last few years. Enjoy your retirement because you deserve it. Just leave us alone.


Kurt Warner says he will keep an open mind about where to play next year.

Warner had decided that if he gets a contract he likes he will play next year. He also has told many outlets that he and his family like Arizona. However, he said that he will keep an open mind if the Cardinals don’t come up with a reasonable offer.

My Advice: Kurt, I am not a Viking fan but there you would have a D that is ready to win now and an O line that will give you a lot better protection than you get now. Plus they play 9 games a year inside.


QB JaMarcus Russell has minor surgery on his ankle.

Russell has hinted that his accuracy problems were partially due to his bad ankle that prevented him from pushing off properly. Dah!

My Advice: JR, while you’re sitting down waiting for the ankle to heal, watch some tape. You need to make better decisions. Then go throw a couple of hundred passes a day until you can throw the ball into a coffee can from 25 yards. Your problem is not your ankle, it is your head and your footwork.


Percy Harvin, Florida is not a first round pick in my book.

Harvin is small and fast. But he doesn’t really have a position on the team other than spot 3rd down receiver and special teams player. He can maybe play the slot for a 3 wide team but that is about it. It is hard for a team to be successful drafting a player in the first round that is on the field less than full time. Just ask the Saints with Reggie Bush, or the Cowboys with Felix Jones.

My Advice: Harvin is compared incorrectly to last year sensation tiny DeSean Jackson. The difference is that Jackson was a polished receiver running disciplined routes and had very soft hands. Harvin is an athlete. He has not had enough experience at routes and will take a lot of coaching to even determine if he can be a slot receiver. He is a late 2nd or 3rd round value.


The Falcons want to trade Michael Vick.

The Falcons Owner and CEO Arthur Blank told a news conference that he wanted to trade the rights to QB Michael Vick if and when Vick is reinstated by the NFL. There are a couple of problems with that. First, he will be 29 this year when he is released from prison to a half way house. There is a good chance that he will have to spend a couple of years suspension after he gets out of jail. So he will be 31 or 32 and will not have played for 5 years.

There is also the issue of his contract. It is huge. No team is going to take the PR hit of Vick on their team, pay the price of the current contract and give the Falcons a draft choice for the pleasure of having demonstrations outside the stadium by PETA every game day.

My Advice: Art, call the Lions and offer Vick and a draft choice for a couple of used footballs. They will take the deal because they could use a few PETA people paying admission so they can carry signs inside the stadium. That will insure some paying customers anyway.

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 .

My email is [email protected]

Technorati Tags: nfl,nfl draft,Political Correctness,NCAA,college football,officials,Martz,NBC,Favre,retirement,Hall of Fame,Warner,Vikings,Cardinals,Russell,Raiders,Harvin,Florida football,Jackson,Vick,Blank,Falcons,Lions,Atlanta,Detroit

A tale of 3 QBs.

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Fryingpan Sports

A tale of 3 QBs.

By Bill Smith

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Technorati Tags: Jets, Favre, NFL, NFL Draft, Packers, Dolphins, football, college football, Mangini, Giants, playoffs

Late in training camp in 2008 the Packers traded Bret Favre to the Jets. That trade ripped throughout the NFL like the explosion of a stick of dynamite used by lazy fishermen in a small lake.

Green Bay:

The Packers had a problem. They drafted Aaron Rodgers, the QB from California, in the first round in 2005. As of the beginning of 2008 football year, they had paid him a little over 6 million and were required to pay almost 2 million in 08. They drafted him because Favre began to play spin the bottle to determine if he would come back to play each year or not. As the preseasons rolled by, it took him more and more time to spin that bottle.

In January of 2008, the team decided that it was time to “move beyond” the Favre era and make Rodgers the starter. It looked like Favre would retire to everyone except Favre. When he came back there was more coverage of his arrival than there was of the OJ Simpson drive on the LA freeway after the murder of his wife. The 24 hour sports news channel sent people to his home in Mississippi to talk to him. Then fans and the news media gathered at the airport to wait for his arrival in Green Bay.

New York Jets:

The Jets had a quarterback that management didn’t like but fit the coach’s game at all. Chad Pennington had arm injuries that had reduced what was never a particularly strong arm to begin with. More important, management wanted to get the Giants off the back page of the newspaper by making a big splash in 08. Pushing the surprise 2007 world champion off the back page was not going to be easy but that was the goal.


A new administration without a QB. Any QB would do. Even though they went 1-15, they had a decent D and needed a QB to go with a deep and expensive if not spectacular running game.

You all know what happened after that. What I want to focus on is why it all happened and what should have been done be each of the teams in the soap opera to make things work out better.

What Green Bay should have done:

The Pack did well to get something for Favre. They were taking a risk with Rodgers because he had been hurt in almost every game he played and even once in warm-ups. They got lucky that he lasted all season but when the league D coordinators had a couple of game tapes on Rodgers, they adjusted and Rodgers was not able to. The result was that he started hot and ended up with an aging playoff quality team out of the big dance.

What the Jets should have done:

The Jets should never have traded for Favre. He did not fit the offense of Eric Mangini at all. Based on the final couple of games in 07 season, Favre had also lost some zip on his passes. But management got the back page by doing the deal for Favre. They then released Pennington who was signed in a Miami second by the Dolphins.

Remember that the Jets had made the playoffs in 06 with a 10-6 record but fallen to 4-12 in 07. The Jets took a team that had shown it might be able to challenge for a playoff spot to a hot start. When they went to Tennessee and beat the undefeated Titans, there was talk about the Jets being the best team in the AFC. Not so fast. From that game they lost to Denver at home and then a revitalized 49er team in SF. The coupe de gras was in week 17 when the exiled Pennington brought his Dolphins to NY and beat the Jets. Oops! Mangini who never wanted Favre was fired and the Jets now play spin the bottle with an aging and injured QB and have nothing behind him that even looks like an NFL QB.

The Dolphins did exactly the right thing. Grab Pennington and work the O around what he could do very well and not what he was unable to do. They laughed all the way to an AFC East championship, one of the great turnarounds in the history of the NFL, and the playoffs.

Those that fail to learn from history are not as the old saying goes doomed to repeat it. They are just doomed.

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 .

The Browns got 3 former Pats coaches, now can they get the success?

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Technorati Tags: Mangini,Browns,patriots,Jets,Daboll,Ryan,Asomugha,Raiders,defense,offense,Branch,Johnson,Belichick,Pennington,Favre

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Rob Ryan Brian Daboll

The Browns got 3 former Pats coaches, now can they get the success?

By Bill Smith

I discussed my thoughts about the Browns new head coach Eric Mangini. While he has previous head coach experience, he has a mixed record at successfully developing some of his high draft choices. Now Mangini has named his OC and DC–Brian Daboll and Rob Ryan respectively.

Ryan is a good choice. He was able to put a more than respectable defense on the field for the most dysfunctional franchise in NFL history—the Raiders. Under Ryan’s direction the pass defense became one of the best in the league. CB Nnamdi Asomugha (1st round 31st pick) has become the best shutdown corner in the league. Safety Michael Huff is on the verge of stardom. Ryan resurrected the career of former Browns mistake DT Gerard Warren helping him finally begin to realize his potential. He also helped turn NT Tommy Kelly into an acceptable NFL player.

Despite the record of the Raiders, the D played hard under Ryan. He has the reputation of being a no-nonsense guy that help get control of a sloppy tackling team like the Browns. He learned at the hand of his father Buddy Ryan and under Bill Belichick. Those credentials added to the Raider experience make this an excellent move by Mangini in my opinion.

I do not have the same warm and fuzzy feeling about Mangini’s selection of former Jets quarterbacks coach Brian Daboll. First, he has never had the OC responsibility. That is not good. We have just suffered through the learning curve of a couple of position coaches getting their first taste of the OC responsibility. Daboll was the WR coach in New England from 2002-2005. While he was given credit for developing WRs Deion Branch (2st round 2002) and former seventh-round (2002) pick David Givens into NFL grade receivers, he failed with Bethel Johnson (2nd round 2003).

In 2007 Daboll became the QB coach for the Jets. He inherited an experienced QB in Chad Pennington but failed to help him have a successful season. When Pennington went down, the Jets shuffled QBs through the lineup like a card shark at a poker game. None of the replacements even came close to success. In 2008, he stood by while head coach Mangini and Bret Favre battled over the offensive play calling. That is not exactly a recommendation.

But for better or worse, Daboll is the guy. Let’s hope for the fans sake it is not for the worse.

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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