What did we learn from this weekends games?

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football

College football

I didn’t do quite as well this past week in predicting winners in college football. This past week I went 5-3 so now have a total of 10-4.

#1 Alabama went down hard to #19 South Carolina. SC beat a top 3 team for the first time in the history of the school. They key was shutting down 2009 Heisman winner RB Ingram. The win by SC went against everything we have seen from the team for several years.

#2 Ohio State got some shocking news this week. Yesterday ESPN “BCS guru” Edwards projects that the BCS computer system shows OSU is the 10th highest rated team which is at the bottom of the undefeated group. According to him, the BCS formula would put Boise St., Oregon, TCU and Oklahoma ahead of the Buckeyes at this point in the season despite OSU being #1 in the human poll.

#3 Oregon didn’t quite put up the 50 points I predicted but did score 43 in the win over Washington St. The Oregon D showed some vulnerability to the pass and the Duck O lost WR James Rogers for the season. With all the weapons the Ducks have that should not hurt too badly but we will see.

#8 Auburn struggled on D against an aggressive 0-2 SEC Kentucky team. Ky QB Hartline went 23-28 for 220 yards and a TD. Auburn will have to do much better than that if they expect to beat Arkansas or Alabama.

Unranked Oregon State is finally starting to look like the 22nd ranked team it was projected to be in the preseason poll. As I predicted, it went to #9 Arizona and won the game 29-27. The Beavers made plays when they needed them most and were 10-15 on 3rd down conversions. Arizona was 6-11.

Two of the best games of the week pitted top 25 teams against each other in Florida. #12 LSU beat #14 Florida in a come back win scoring on the last play of the game 33-29. It took a fake field goal to convert their last 3rd down and put the Tigers in a position to score the final TD with 6 seconds left.

In Miami #23 Florida State overwhelmed the #13 Hurricanes 45-17. Miami did not look prepared for the game. It looked lethargic and uninterested.

The Pros:

For a detailed analysis of the pro game check out NFLDraftDog.com News Notes and Rumors.

The Monday night game:

The Vikings came into New York really needing a win and left without it. Frankly, I think QB Farve has arm problems. It has affected his accuracy more than velocity. Next week is Desperation Bowl between a 1-3 Dallas team and the 1-3 Vikings. The loser of that game will be virtually out of the playoffs.

Cowboys: With both the current coach Phillips and the Coach in waiting Garett on the hot seat, it is hard to predict what Owner Jerry Jones will do if the Boys go to 1-4. The Boys have never replaced a coach in the middle of a season, but JJ has made a lot of noise about wanting to be a home team for the Super Bowl which will be in Dallas this year.

Vikings: The Vikes are in better shape than the Boys for a couple of reason. First, they are in the NFC North which has been weaker than most other divisions prior to this season. At least they are not in the basement because Detroit is also in that division. Second, the Vike D is much better than the Boys D and plays more consistently. The problem has been the O in general and QB Farve in particular. He has turned the ball over WAY too much and that has led to the losses. The running game which struggles in the last half of 09 has been better this season despite losing RB Taylor in free-agency.

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 http://fryingpansports.com. His first non-fiction work is at the publisher now and he has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NCAA Football,BCS,BCS Rankings,Polls,college football,Alabama,Ohio State,South Carolina,Oregon,Oregon State,Washington State,Auburn,Kentucky,LSU,Florida,Florida State,Miami,Cowboys,NFL Football,Super Bowl,Vikings,Farve,Jerry Jones
  • Author:
  • Published: Dec 3rd, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Around the NFL after week 12.

Around the NFL after week 12.

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nfl

The Colts struggle to keep perfect.

The Texans had a 14-0 lead on the Colts at the end of the 1st quarter. Indy seems to play down to the level of their competition for the first 3 quarters then play like the devil in the 4th. Almost half of the Colts wins have come on the last drive. The D is struggling due to injuries but the O is operating at a very high level most of the time. They will beat Tennessee this week but won’t go undefeated.

The Saints are a real threat to go all the way.

Two games against the Pats by the Saints and Colts show the difference between the two undefeated teams. The Pats had the Colts beaten until Belichick made a key mistake and handed Manning the win. The Saints on the other hand totally thwarted the Pat O and had WRs running through the Pat D like children in a field of flowers.

The Saints O has more weapons than the Colts and is better balanced with a credible running game to go with an outstanding air attack. The Saints D is also better than the Colts is without S Sanders and the other wounded Colts. The Saints will have an excellent shot at a perfect regular season. They will be a tough out for any team because they are good and will have home field through the NFC playoffs.

The Giants will not make the post season.

The Giants are dead. The loss to a falling like a rock Broncos was the final blow. They now have 5 losses and with their schedule it is very unlikely they will get into post season. QB Manning’s foot problem is a lot worse than has been admitted. It will end his season before game 16 and the team can not win without him.

The Titans are pretenders not contenders.

It’s a great story—QB Young bringing the team back. But don’t believe that Young is the answer to get a team that got old all at once back into the playoffs. It won’t happen. The Young O is easy to defend and the NFL is a great copycat league. The D coordinators will force Young to throw from the pocket and he will disintegrate.

The Eagles are limping toward the playoffs. The question is will they make it?

QB McNabb is up and down. RB Westbrook is out for the foreseeable future with a concussion. The injuries are beginning to pile up on the other side of the ball. Even so, the Birds have a good chance of making the playoffs due to the weakness in the NFC East and great coaching.

The Coaching firing watch is on.

Cleveland—Mangini is as good as gone. Owner Lerner doesn’t have the guts to do it but will hire a “football guy” to can him. There is no question that the team is much worse than last year and the 1-10 record is the worst in Browns history.

Dallas—Jerry Jones issued a call to arms this week saying that Coach Phillips must win a playoff game to keep his job. But when a couple of name brand coaches come calling, Phillips’ post season 09 won’t matter. He will not be back. This is a very talented team that should have been much better for the last few years. Phillips is the reason that the team loses in December.

Washington—Coach Zorn is history as well. The team is 3-8 and is rudderless with QB Campbell under center. The team needs new leadership.

Houston—Coach Kubiak can’t get this team over the .500 mark and that will do him in this year. It is a good team that only a Cowher could carry much above 8-8.

Tampa Bay—Coach Morris is clearly in over his head as head coach. In January 09 he was hired as Offensive Coordinator then went to get a haircut. When he came back, he had been named Head Coach. The Ownership may choose to bring in an experienced Assistant HC to help him or fire him and try again depending on who is available.

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 http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL Football,NFL Draft,Colts,Patroits,Saints,Giants,Titans,Eagles,Cowboys,Browns,Redskins,Texans,Bucaneers

What did we learn in week 3?

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football

QB News:

Miami: QB Chad Pennington is likely out for the season. According to ESPN, he suffered a torn capsule in his shoulder. He is getting a second opinion. I hope he can recover from the injury. He has always had the head of a coach, the heart of a lion and the arm of a chicken. But he is a perfect QB for the Dolphin O. Former 2nd round pick Chad Henne from Michigan will start for the time being.

St. Louis: QB Mark Bulger has a rotator cuff injury. He will miss significant time.

Tampa Bay: Coach Morris announced that Josh Johnson will be the starter replacing Byron Leftwich who will be the #3 QB behind rookie Josh Freeman.

Cleveland: Brady Quinn was replaced by Derek Anderson to start the second half. As usual, no information has been made public about who will start next week against the Bengals. He will announce his latest victim on Wednesday.

Quinn has shown nothing in 2+ games. Anderson moved the ball much better in the 2nd half but threw 3 picks. In my opinion, Mangenus will select Anderson but he should stick with Quinn. We all know that Anderson is not going to get this team back to respectability. Let the kid play. The team is not going anywhere this year anyway. I will have a lot more to say about the Browns Wednesday on NFLDraftDog.com

Teams that are in some trouble:

Dolphins – The team was not going to repeat as division champion anyway. But they are 0-3 and Pennington is hurt. They will not make the playoffs.

Browns – They may get the #1 draft choice overall but Mangini will trade it for a bag of balls.

Titans – This team will recover. They are much better than both the Jags and the Texans. But at 0-3 the playoffs are in question.

Chiefs – Who cares?

Redskins – What do you expect when you have a bad QB and a rookie O Coordinator?

Bucs – This is the worst team in the NFC and that is saying a lot.

Cowboys – If the Boys don’t win tonight Jerry Jones is going to have to fire his coach before the end of the season—the sooner the better.

Panthers – The QB problem is going to keep the team from getting better. Matt Moore is their backup! Good planning guys.

Seahawks – Starter Matt Hasselbeck is out and backup Seneca Wallace is in. That is trouble for the team that is already 1-2. The only thing they have in their favor is the fact that the St. Louis Lambs are in their division.

Lambs – The Lambs are going to fight the Browns for the 1st pick overall. They have less talent but perhaps are better off in the locker room.

We will look at the College game and NFL teams going in the right direction later in the week.

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 http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: Dolphins,Browns,Rams,Buccaneers,Titans,Chiefs,Redskins,Cowboys,Panthers,Pennington,Bulger,Quinn,Anderson,NFLDraftDog,Seahawks,Hasselbeck,NFL,nfl draft
  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 29th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Niblets for August 2009

Niblets for August 2009

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nib

Best comment of the month: on Tuesday morning QB. Analysis: Sanchez has all the tools except experience in the NFL

from Crime Scene Cleanup

I am very interested to see where Sanchez is in 5 years. Looks like he is a great guy, but I’m still not sold on him being a franchise QB or anywhere close to it…Time will tell

Crime: That is the beauty of Pro Football, time will definitely tell.

Updates on previous articles:

The Bengals will go as far as their O takes them. Carson Palmer is hurt already with a high ankle sprain. The team says that he will be fine for game 1. Don’t believe it. The dreaded HAS is the kind of injury that will linger all year.

Major League Baseball gets “BALCOed” right between the eyes The Federal court has ordered that the samples and test results be destroyed. Now that is a decision that would have meant a lot more to MLB 3 years ago!

Bronco Owner Bowlen shoots his team in the leg. Now the 2nd best player on the team, WR Brandon Marshall, has been suspended until Sept. 6th. He is not happy and wants to be traded like QB Jay Cutler. The QB that they got for pro bowl Cutler looks like a gun shy rookie and the Bears are coming to Denver to play. Nice job Bowlen. Stay away from Marshall as a top 4 rounds list in your Fantasy Draft. WR Eddie Royal’s value is now higher.

Dallas needs a new head coach to get to the next level WR Roy Williams was hurt on Thursday when he collided with a DB in a no pads half speed practice. X rays were negative on his shoulder. Nice job Coach Phillips. The yellow pages to find a Realtor are holding up the leg of your desk.

Tampa Bay—Pick a quarterback; any quarterback Friday night the Bucs announced that Byron Leftwich would be the starter game 1. In my opinion this is the right pick but Tampa is a long way from being competitive. Stay tuned because this is likely to change any time.

Fresh pickings off the cob:

The next challenge for the America’s Cup is to be held in the Persian Gulf (???) All kinds of law suits are grinding through the courts. Was the water off Somalia not available? How stupid can they be to put yachts in the middle of the Gulf wars? Hopefully the yachts won’t get run over by an aircraft carrier or Iranian war ship.

Jerry Jones and his JumboTron vs. the NFL The NFL has backed off of forcing JJ to move the world’s largest HDTV. The only thing bigger than the Tron is Jerry’s ego. Jer, next time hire an engineer.

What do preseason games mean? Not much except PS Week 3. We will take a long look at week 3 results of the 1s vs 1s and what those games mean after we finish the NFC West.

Two 1st round picks are not yet signed. Guess who? Andre Smith (OT Alabama) has yet to sign with the Bengals. Nothing surprising here because Mike Brown (the cheapskate of the league) always struggles to sign early picks. The other is WR Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech) is the other with the 49ers. Crabtree believes he was the best WR in the draft but the Raiders didn’t think so and drafted Darrius Heyward-Bey before Crabtree. Don’t look for either to be a factor this year. The critical aspect of the preseason and training camp is to get the O line working together as a unit. Smith will be too far behind. Besides, Smith was not known for his work ethic. He was the one that walked out of the Combine because he wasn’t ready despite knowing when it would be held for 2 years. He isn’t a bust yet but might already be a “bu.”

Crabtree faces 4 problems. First, it usually takes WRs 2 or 3 seasons to blossom. Second, very seldom is a college junior at all successful in their rookie season. Third WRs coming from the run and shoot type O like the one at TT struggle more than those from a more pro style program. And 4th, he has really pissed head coach Mike Singletary off and that is not likely to get him on the field any time soon.

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 http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: MLB,NFL,NFL Draft,Fantasy Football
Technorati Tags: Bengals,Palmer,Balco,steroids,Bowlen,Broncos. Raiders,Cowboys,Jerry Jones,America’s cup,Persian Gulf,Williams,Phillips,Bucaneers,Leftwitch,Cutler,Orton,NFL,NFL Draft,Fantasy Football,MLB,law suit,Marshall,Jason Smith,Crabtree,bust

Dallas needs a new head coach to get to the next level

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t

I live at a lake. I see people fall off their jet skies all the time. The craft just goes around in a circle. That is what has happened to the Cowboys. They have not won a playoff game since Romo was in high school. Without a coach in control of a pro team, the franchise will not advance.

The reason that Wade Phillips is still the coach must be that Jerry Jones wants to surround himself with lackeys. We know that Jones knows a coach when he sees one because he has had a couple of the best in the history of the game. So why Phillips? Because Jones wants to be “the” star of stars in Dallas. Phillips couldn’t be a star in a basketball league of 5 year olds.

QB Tony Romo is more of a pop culture star than an NFL star. He seems to lack the discipline to move from good to great. Can you imagine him lacking discipline in a Bill Cowher or Bill Belichick locker room? Romo has “weak-itis.” He rolls up big numbers against the weak teams but folds in the big games in the 4th quarter when it counts the most. That in part has prevented the Cowboys from getting to the Super Bowl. Experienced QB John Kitna is now the backup and have drafted the QB of the future in Rudy Carpenter. The future may be sooner rather than later if Romo doesn’t play better this year.

The Boys took the “excuse” of Terrell Ownes away. But in doing that, they also took the best WR on the team away as well. What the Boys are left with are two “maybe’s.” The starters are Roy Williams and Patrick Crayton. Williams has yet to prove he can be the #1 guy. Crayton will make an unbelievable catch then drop two easy ones. He also has difficulty getting open. The bench consists of Miles Austin, Sam Hurd and a group of rejects and newbies.

The one guy that Romo can count on is all pro TE Jason Witten. He is consistent, tough, and seems to always be open. 6-7 Martellus Bennett is his backup.

The Boys might be better off being a run first team. They are loaded at RB. Marion Barber is a top back and Felix Jones isn’t far behind. Add to that Tashard Choice and Keon Lattimore and you have a stable of very good RBs.

Three starters on the O line are fine. G Leonard Davis and C Andre Gurode should be probowl players again. RT Marc Colombo is OK and can be good if he applies himself. The left side of the line is the potential problem. G Kyle Kosier is coming off of an injury in his foot. LT Flozell Adams is no where close to what he was and seemed to get old in a hurry. He needs to be replaced this year but there is no replacement on hand. He will be gone next season for sure.

On the D line, the questions are at end. LE Marcus Spears has shown flashes of great ability but is consistently inconsistent. He is in the final year of his deal and will produce or move on. Ex-Charger Igor Olshansky replaces UFA Chris Canty. Igor is average at best but there is no quality depth. The NT is pro bowler Jay Ratliff. He collapses the pocket and had 7.5 sacks last year. He needs help at E. His backup will be Junior Siavii orTim Anderson.

The backers include sack master DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer who replaces Greg Ellis and is questionable. ILB Keith Brookings is fine and fellow ILB Bradie James is adequate but a little old. The depth is very suspect.

The only solid player in the secondary is CB Terence Newman. His running mate will be either Mike Jenkins or Orlando Scandrick neither of whom has proven himself. The safeties are Ken Hamlin and Gerald Sensabaugh. Hamlin fell off last year and needs to rebound. Sensabaugh replaces Roy Williams who was a nightmare in coverage. There is little behind the starters but potential.

OVERLL: Teams that put a lot of their salary cap in a few players will always lack quality depth. That has hurt the Cowboys in the past. The biggest reason that they will not make it to the Super Bowl in 09 is lack of both preparation and discipline. The team commits penalties at crunch time then makes key mistakes that keeps them from challenging for a title. Sooner or later even Jerry Jones has to realize that Wade Phillips is not up to the job.

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 http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: Cowboys,Jones,Phillips,Super Bowl,NFL,NFL Draft,Fantasy Football,Romo,Belichick,Cowher,Ownes,Witten,Crayton,Ware,Williams,Hamlin

The difference between winning and losing is work ethic and mental toughness.

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t

What did we learn from the British Open?

Tom Watson gave all of us that are older than dirt and even a few that are older than rock a warm feeling by his outstanding British Open. Watson is almost 60. He fought back several times and came within inches of winning the tournament in regulation. Granted, he missed a makable putt on the 18th green to fall into a playoff and then struggled in overtime. However, his performance along with that of Greg Norman last year at the British point out 2 very important points. First, the British Open requires a lot more patience than strength and more experience than power. But the most important lesson from the Open is this. Younger players in almost all sports win or lose based on work ethic and mental toughness more often than on talent and athleticism.

In general, the work ethic of the current group of golfers is not nearly what it was in the days of Nicholas, Palmer, and Player. The equipment is much better now. The athleticism is at a higher level than in the 60’s through the 80’s. One reason that Tiger Woods has been able to dominate the golf scene over the last few years is his work ethic and mental toughness against the other top golfers.

Work ethic and mental toughness show themselves in other sports

Those same two qualities show themselves in other sports as well. Check out the off season headlines Tom Brady and Tony Romo. Brady wins playoff games while Romo struggles in key situations including the 4th quarter and playoff games.

In ProSportsDaily.com the top 4 Brady headlines are “Tom Brady, Randy Moss go the extra mile to reconnect”, “Tom Brady to Randy Moss A blast from the past”, “Knee surgeon Wins High Praise from Brady”, and “Catch up time with Brady”

How about those about Romo?

From Google we see articles like “Romo says kids should play more than 1 sport‎”, “Tony Romo broke up with Jessica Simpson”, “Tony Romo fires a 69 at American Century Celebrity Golf Tournament”, and “Is John Mayer responsible for Simpson, Romo split?‎” Nothing about football, the Cowboys, or his focus and dedication to win it all in 2009. I think Jerry Jones has a work ethic problem with his QB.

Romo enjoys the celebrity status he gets from football. Tom Brady is too busy trying to win to enjoy his.

Another example of dedication, mental toughness and work ethic is Lance Armstrong. He now is second just 1:36 behind his team mate Alberto Contador. He may value the team result at this point in his life as much as the individual win. He may or may not win the yellow jersey in the end. I think that if the leader was a member of another team, he would win it as much for his team as for himself.

But he has been away for 3 years, battled back from cancer, and is 10 years older than the majority of his competitors. He is still is leading the rest of the pack.

Golf and tennis suffer the most from so many talented players lacking work ethic and mental toughness but it shows up in other sports as well. Roger Federer and the Williams sisters dominate tennis with their minds and focus as much as they do with their physical skills. Don’t expect to see that change any time soon. Work ethic and mental toughness goes a long way to winning in any sport.

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 http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,Romo,Brady,Cowboys,Watson,British Open,Williams,Golf,Tennis,work ethic,toughness

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