Around the NFL for Wile Card week.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

nfl

The Coaching carousel spins.

Redskins—Zorn is gone. Former Denver coach Shanahan is in and has total power. See there is not a “no win” policy in Washington. Shanahan is smart and will get a lot more out of the talent that is there. The biggest problems with the Redskins are the O line and QB. The D is solid but has suffered because it has been on the field nearly 40 minutes a game. Shanahan will get the running game going and will move on from QB Campbell soup can.

Browns—Mangenous is still there. Browns Pres. Holmgren announced today that Mangini and his minions will be given one more season. Most observers had hoped that the team would at least demote or fire OC Daboll because he was clearly over his head in that spot. Holmgren is an offensive coach and all the Browns fans can hope is that the he will be puppet master calling the shots for the O.

There are a couple of things going on here that made that decision reasonable. First, there is a 75% chance that there will be no NFL football in 2011. For all the reasons I have published here months ago, there will be no agreement in time to prevent an uncapped year in 2010 and little chance that the two sides will agree to a deal before the drop dead date early in 2011.

The second reason is that I believe the rumors that have Jon “Chuckie” Gruden joining the team after football returns as head coach of the Browns. I would love that combination. I believe it would finally turn the team around. Both Holmgren and Gruden realize what a big job this is going to be. But both thrive in turn around jobs.

Steelers—The staff of coach Tomlin is paying the price for the team not making the playoffs. OL coach Zierlein and not so special teams coach Ligashesky have been fired. This is a move to take some heat off the HC chair. If the team comes around next season, Tomlin will keep his job. If not he will be the next one to get the pink slip out of Steel town.

Giants—O line coach Waufle was fired yesterday. The O line was one of the best in the league in 08 but disintegrated in 09. It caused QB Manning to run for his life on almost every play. The way the team rolled over and died late in the season, the O line is not the only problem. Look for more changes in the Big Apple.

Bears—The Bears fired OL Luke Butkus and quality control/wr assistant coach London. The problem on the O line was age not coaching. OT Williams was the only top 3 round pick in the last 6 years for the team. C Kreutz is a year past serviceable, Gs Garza and Omiyale are “never was” guys that are below starting quality and RT Shaffer is a journeyman. The WR problem is lack of WRs. The combination of Bennett, Davis and Hester don’t equal one #1 NFL quality guy.

Chiefs—Kansas City is trying to become “Patriots West.” As I have written before the only way that coach Haley saved his job was to bring experienced coordinators in like training wheels on a bike. Former ND and Pat OC Weis has been named OC. Look for current DC Pendergast to be the next causality. There are rumors that ex-Brown coach Crennel will be named DC. That might give Haley enough experience on his staff to make up for his lack of it.

The INs and the OUTs.

INs

Jets—The Jets got REALLY lucky being scheduled in their last 2 games against two teams that had already clinched their playoff position. The Jets won those games and they are in. They are playing a little better than they were earlier in the year but you can’t go far with a rookie QB at the helm unless you come from Pittsburg.

Ravens—The Birds won the games they were supposed to win to get WC spot. They are matched up against the Pats and that should be a great game.

Cowboys—Who says threats don’t work to motivate players and coaches? JJ threatened to blow up the team and start over if they missed the playoffs and the team responded. They beat the Eagles easily to win the NFC East. Let’s see how far they go. They will meet the Birds again in the Wild Card round.

Packers—The Pack beat the Cards easily and that will be the Wild Card game. The Cards rested a number of players that were nicked up. They will play this weekend.

The OUTS

Broncos—After a 6-0 start, the team disintegrated going 2-8 and failed to make the playoffs. It was only the 2nd team since the playoffs were expanded to 12 team to go 6-0 and not make the big dance. The problem is the head coach. He ticked off his all pro QB Cutler so badly that he was forced to trade him. Then he benched his all pro WR Marshall twice losing all those games. McD is not qualified to be head coach of a peewee team.

Texans—This team is just not talented enough to be much over .500. They have had some good drafts in the early picks but not enough guys contributing from the middle and late rounds to get over the hump.

Dolphins—One of my readers asked why I didn’t talk more about the Dolphins. Here you are. The Fish amazed everyone in 2008 going from the 1st overall draft pick to the AFC East championship. This year they were scheduled against other playoff teams and that and key injuries to their QB and RB proved to be too much to get to the playoffs for a 2nd year in a row. They are a really good team that has found their QB of the future in Henne.

Steelers—A Steeler team that can’t run the ball won’t make the playoffs. They are going to have to solve the O line problems to both protect the QB and create holes for the RBs. Their D missed Polamalu most of the season. The D has become far too dependent on him to correct mistakes that the other players make.

Giants—A combination of injuries and guys getting old in a hurry killed their chances for the playoffs. This team will be reworked in a big way in the off season.

Falcons—This team was another surprise in 08 that failed to make the dance in 09. They are getting better but had a lot of injuries that hurt its chances of making the post season.

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

Technorati Tags: NFL,PLAYOFFS,Redskins,Browns,Steelers. Ravens,Giants,Bears,Chiefs,Jets,Cowboys,Packers,Broncos,Texans,Patroits,Dolphins,Falcons
  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 26th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Tampa Bay—Pick a quarterback; any quarterback

Tampa Bay—Pick a quarterback; any quarterback

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

t

The Buccaneers have a new coaching staff. new GM, new players, but one thing hasn’t changed since the days of Jon “Chuckie” Gruden—The team is still searching for a legitimate QB. They need an NFL quality QB to compete in the NFC South. Right now they don’t have one.

New head coach Raheem Morris has yet to name a starter. He has a few choices but none of them have “it” that an NFL QB requires. Luke McCown, Byron Leftwich, and rookie Josh Freeman are all in the mix with Freeman a little behind the other two. McCown is 1 and 6 as a starter. He has a career passer rating of 75. No “it” there. I like Leftwich more than the other 2 but he is not an NFL quality starter either. He had a passer rating of 104.3 last year in Pittsburgh. But that was on only 36 attempts. Overall he has a career average rating of a little over 80. As of today, McCown seems to have a slight edge. Morris has said he would reveal the Game 1 starter before the 3rd preseason game. Freeman is the wildcard. He has a ton of physical ability but came from a spread offense at Kansas State and never had to do a lot of reading coverages. In addition the Big 12 is not known for D.

Derek Ward looks to be the pick for starting RB. He is a UFA from the Giants and is starting quality. The backup and short yardage guy is Earnest Graham. Graham is versatile and has played RB and FB effectively. He is also a good receiver out of the backfield. Cadillac Williams is the often injured potential superstar of this group. He has had 2 ACL injuries in the last 2 years. If he is healthy he is the most talented guy on the team. B.J. Askew and Jameel Cook will battle for the FB spot. Both are decent blockers but Cook is younger and cheaper. He wins ties in this contest.

Antonio Bryant and Michael Clayton are the starting WRs. Bryant became they kind of WR for Tampa that the Browns though he could be when they drafted him in 99. The Bucs franchised him this off season. Clayton has been slow to come around but the team resigned him. They hope he will finally begin to produce. Rookie Maurice Stovall and Dexter Jackson will try to become the 3rd WR. I like Jackson’s chances to win the 3rd spot and possibly unseat Clayton. The Bucks traded for Kellen Winslow, Jr. He will become the security blanket for whichever QB wins the job. He will never become the deep threat he could have before his accident. But he is a warrior and plays with pain every snap.

The team has a lot more confidence in their O line than I do. G Davin Joseph was a pro bowler last year. The left side of the line will have T Donald Penn and G Arron Sears. They are both OK but no better. In camp, G Jeremy Zuttah is pushing Sears hard for his spot. C Jeff Faine wasn’t good enough for the Browns. Enough said. T Jeremy Trueblood is developing but has serious technique problems.

The Chuckie Tampa 2 is history. The problem is that the players were selected with the 2 in mind. They really don’t fit the head up 2 gap system that Morris is installing. The projected starters are DEs Jimmy Wilkerson and Gaines Adams, NT Chris Hovan, and DT Ryan Sims. Hovan is no NT even though he is bulked up to 310 pounds. He is a penetrator. Sims is a run stopper with some ability. Wilkerson is average at best. Adams is developing but has yet to prove he is worth his high draft choice. The team wants to get more sacks. The 2 gap system is not going to do it with this group. The bench is a bunch of rookies and “hope so’s.”

The D lost its heart and soul when Derrick Brooks was cut. MLB Barrett Ruud is the only sure thing at linebacker. He is one of the better IB when healthy. Jermaine Phillips was penciled in on the weak side but it is a position move from safety. That is not an easy transition.  He will be moved back to safety soon.  The other side is wide open. Quincy Black and UFA Angelo Crowell (Buffalo) are still fighting for the strong side starting spot. Crowell is coming back from a season ending injury but looks like the leader.

Again the change in scheme is going to be a challenge. CB Aqib Talib should be fine. CB Ronde Barber may not. He has played his entire career in the Tampa 2. Speed is not his strength. The bump and run requires speed. SS Sabby Piscitelli can’t tackle and that is a huge problem. He fills in for Phillips. FS Tanard Jackson is very inconsistent. Last year was not good for him. There is even less on the bench. The team has to be watching the waiver wire to get help at both LB and DB.

OVERALL: This team could be OK but would be better in their former Tampa 2 system. There are just too many questions in the transition. The team has always depended on their D and a conservative O. Now they really don’t have either to depend on. Morris is starting over with this team. It won’t be pretty early. The Bucs will be 3rd or 4th in the division.

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

Technorati Tags: NFL,NFL Draft,Fantasy Football,Gruden,Morris,McCown,Leftwitch,Freeman,Kansas State,Bryant,Clayton,Jackson,Stovall,Joseph,Faine,Sears,Zuttah,Trueblood,Wilkerson,Adams,Hovan,Ruud,Crowell,Phillips,Talib,Barber,Browns
  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 22nd, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on The Saints will come marching into the end zone often.

The Saints will come marching into the end zone often.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

t

There is no question that the Saints have one of the most dangerous Os in the league. Their win/loss record will depend most on how well they can stop the other team from doing the same thing.

Drew Brees is the #2 QB in most Fantasy Drafts this year for good reason. In the last 3 seasons he has thrown 26, 28 and 34 TDs. The only comment that some QB gurus make is that he is too short at a little under 6 feet to see over the O linemen. Let’s be honest. When you have 5 guys that are between 6-8 and 6-5 in front of you, you have to be 8 feet tall to see over them. Every QB needs to look in between his linemen to find his target. Brees has it all—leadership, arm, accuracy, ability to read coverage, ability to move in the pocket and rush awareness. His backup is Mark Brunell. Mark has to use Grecian Formula 88 to keep his hair brown because Grecian Formula 44 wasn’t strong enough. He is 39 but is a reasonable backup. Joey Harrington joins Brunell on the bench.

The Saints running game is a little up in the air. If you look at all the preseason books, they show Reggie Bush as the starter. He may but his has never in his college or professional career been “the” guy. Even sharing the position with a number of other Saints, he has not been healthy for an entire season over the last 2 years. He is a talent and has speed and elusiveness. But he is not built to handle 25 carries a game for 16 games plus playoffs.

My Fantasy tip of the year—get Pierre Thomas as your 2nd or 3rd RB. He averages 4.8 yards per carry and scored 12 TDs last year (9 rushing). The duo is solid and should make it difficult for defenses trying to defend the pass. The FB is Heath Evans, an excellent blocker and receiver out of the backfield.

The receiver corps is a 3 headed monster. Marques Colston, Devery Henderson and Lance Moore are as good as any 3 in the NFC. Colston was out for 5 games but the O never seemed to slow down. There may be another head added to the group because Robert Meachem is getting better and is a solid threat. The TE are Jeremy Shockey, Billy Miller, and Darnell Dinkins all of whom have been starters. Shockey was a disappoint primarily due to injuries. He still caught 50 balls.

One of the goals on the O line last year was to get bigger and tougher. Ts Jammal Brown and Jon Stinchcomb were the only guys to survive the change. The team added 2 rookie guards Carl Nicks and Jahri Evans and both were OK. Jonathan Goodwin stepped in at C. The entire group is back with Brown as the best of the line. G/C Jamar Nesbit, T Zach Strief and C Nick Leckey provide veteran depth.

If the O is the good and the D is the bad then the D line is the ugly. Both DEs Charles Grant and Will Smith had injuries last season and have been suspended for the first 4 games for substance violations. Bobby McCray, Paul Spicer and E Anthony Hargrove will battle to start in their place. Spicer and Hargrove were UFA additions and have look very good in camp and in the first preseason game. DTs Sedrick Ellis and Kendrick Clancy were OK. Ellis started as a rookie.

The team traded for MLB Jonathan Vilma and he solidified the middle of the D. It’s a good thing because backup MLB Mark Simoneau was put on the IR with a torn tricep. SLB Scott Fujita and WLB Scott Shanle are projected to start but may be challenged. UFA and former all pro Derick Brooks was signed to bolster the LBs. He provides leadership and is particularly good at pass coverage.

The D backfield last year was a major problem. The team brought in vet CB Jabari Greer and drafted rookie Malcolm Jenkins from Ohio State. They will challenge expected starters Randall Gay and Tracy Porter. UFA FS Darren Sharper brings leadership and joins SS Roman Harper to solidify the last line of defense. The group should be better with the additions. Vet S Pierson Prioleau was signed as a solid backup and former starter Jason David is expected to be the 5th DB or be cut due to his salary.

OVERALL: The Saints are great on O but improving on D. They will challenge the Falcons for the NFC South title. The winner will be whichever D plays the best. Bet on the Falcons with the Saints a possible wild card team.

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

Technorati Tags: NFL,NFL Draft,Fantasy Football,Brown,Brees,Formula 16,Stinchcomb,Bush,Nicks,Grant,Smith,suspension,Spicer,Ellis,Clancy,Vilma,Simoneau,Fujita,Shanle,Greer,Jenikins,Ohio State,Sharper,Gay,Porter,David,Falcons

© 2011 FryingPanSports. All Rights Reserved.

This blog is powered by the Wordpress platform and beach rentals.