Thoughts about week 15 of the NFL

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Thoughts about week 15 of the NFL

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher at ...

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher at the White House- Cropped from original image. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The 49ers with Kaepernick are for real.

The win over the Pats was very impressive.  Kaepernick put the team in position to blow out the Pats but the D struggled to keep up the pressure on Brady.  It was the D that gave up the 4 TD lead but Kaepernick ended the game with a TD.  This team is nearly ready to go for it all.  The change from Smith to Kaepernick should have been made earlier in the season.


The Jets are a joke that is not funny.

The issue with the Jets is not only QB Sanchez but the roster’s lack of talent.  Mike Tannenbaum Jet’s GM has blown drafts and free agent signings.  HC Ryan is not the best coach in the league but deserves better players.


Sanchez was never a favorite of mine because he had only one year of starting at USC.  If he could not beat out John David Booty who was a 5th round pick, what made Tannenbaum think he was worth a top 10 pick?


The Browns are not and never were a hot team.

The Browns’ three game winning-streak was against the Steelers with a 97 year old QB that was sitting at home watching the league on TV a week before he started and two of the worst teams in the NFL.  This team is badly coached and hopefully for the fans that will be resolved after the season by the new owner Jimmy Haslam.  However, in my opinion Lombardi is not a quality candidate for the GM spot.


Watch out for the Seahawks.

QB Wilson is the real deal.  I told you that in the middle of the 2011 college season and often since.  He has the arm, head and mobility to take this team all the way unless the coaching gets in the way.  The D is solid and when they get their CBs back is as good as any.  At home this team is nearly unbeatable.


The Giants are in trouble.

The Skins are playing well.  Even the Cowboys seem to have overcome some QB and HC issues to become a contender rather than the pretender we have seen for several years.  If WR Bryant can stay on the field and be even close to effective, this team will challenge for a playoff spot.


The Giants on the other hand are suffering with below average QB play and a boatload of injuries.  Even some of the best coaching in the league cannot save this season.  QB Manning has suffered from a lack of protection and drops by usually reliable receivers.


The Bengals are in at this point and the Steelers are out of the playoffs.

The Cincy D is playing well and QB Dalton has solved his footwork issues for the most part.  He is playing consistent ball and living within his limitations of arm strength.  This is not a Super Bowl team yet but it can make the playoffs for a second consecutive season.  That has not happened in a long time.


The Steelers are in serious trouble.  They have to beat the Bengals and that will be a problem.  QB Roethlisberger is back but he is not healthy.  The team has an injury plagued D and a running game that is fumble prone.  Even if they back into the playoffs, they will not be a factor.


The Falcons need the home field advantage more than any other team.

The Falcons are as inconsistent away from home as any team in the league.  That is in part due to an average D that plays better at home.  If the Falcons get HFA throughout the NFC playoffs they will have a shot at the Super Bowl.  If not they will lose again.


The Texans are capable of great or terrible games.

When the Texans lean too much on the passing game they get in trouble.  They have one of the top 2 RBs in the league.  They have to keep the ground game going to keep winning.  QB Schaub is good but can’t carry the team alone.  They need to keep running with Foster.  The D is good enough to win it all but this team may not get there this season.


The Broncos are my choice as the best team in the AFC IF…

The IF is can Manning stay healthy?  If so, the team can go far and win both at home and on the road.  If not the team is done.  He has made the WRs much better and helped a less talented OL look good.


Coaching changes to look for after the season

The Cardinals will fire Ken Whisenhunt which is a shame.  I doubt it was his choice to staff the QB position with duds.  It is the GM that should be canned.  Whisenhunt is a good coach and will not be unemployed long.


The Browns will fire Shurmur and the staff.  Only DC Jauron may stay but that is doubtful.  My preference would be a vet NFL coach but that is not likely to happen.  No top drawer coach will want to come unless Haslam charms him with his great personality.


The Jags and Chiefs will change coaches as well.  Both teams have under produced and the Jags new ownership wants progress.  Chiefs’ coach Crennel is a nice guy but is not head coach material.  He will get a job as DC somewhere.


The Eagles have already made it clear that HC Reid is gone.  That has more to do with the team tuning out his voice than his coaching ability.  He made a couple of critical staff mistakes that hurt and the fall of Mike Vick did not help.  Reid is a solid coach that will resurface as soon as he wants to work again.


The Chargers will replace HC Norv Turner.  He was lucky to have kept his job this long.  He has coached his way out of the league.


The Bills may change coaches as well.  Chan Gailey has been the coach since 2010 and has not won much since.  He has been struggling with QB Fitzpatrick but so far the QB is inconsistent.  The team brought in FA DE Williams to help the D but that has not resulted in wins.  The GM Nix’s job is in jeopardy as well.  When you trade for QB Tarvaris Jackson you need QB help and that is not it.


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 edits  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at

He edits .  

What to look for in the Sunday Divisional round games.

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Cowboys @ Vikings


Prior to this season the Boys folded in December. When JJ issued his threat to blow up the team and the coaching staff this season unless the Boys got into the playoffs and did well, the team got the message. This team has played a lot better than they did in previous seasons but I am not on the Boy bandwagon yet.

The O has been solid but the last two games were played against an Eagle D that seemed to give up after being in a position to win the NFC East. In the upset win over the Saints, QB Romo had a QB rating of 104. In the two games against the Eagles he had ratings of 86.1 and 106. That is a great improvement over last year when he finished the year with ratings of 44.9, 66.2 and 55.8 in the 3 losses. The improved Romo is the key to difference in this years team. The Boys will need as much passing as he can generate because they will not be able to get much on the ground against the Vikes.

RB Jones ran for 148 yards but that is misleading. Take out the two long runs and he had a 4 yard average. That is VERY average. Starter Barber is probable but is coming off a knee and won’t be close to 100%.

The other key to the turnaround is the play of the O line. The line had been living on an undeserved rep. In the latter part of the season they started to play up to that rep. They will have to against an outstanding D line of the Vikes.

The Cowboy D has also had the habit of playing up or down to the competition. The key will be pressure on QB Favre. If they can pressure him, they will have a chance. The pass D ranked 20th giving up over 200 yards per game. Balanced offenses give them problems. The Vikes can be very balanced when they chose to be.


The Vikes tend to throw too much on O. That habit tends to get them in trouble. QB Favre can light up the scoreboard but can also throw enough picks to kill the team’s playoff hopes. The Vikes ended the season just 2-3 in December including an embarrassing loss to the Panthers. Favre had a passer rating of 73.7 in that loss. The team ranked 8th in passing.

The running game is solid with the leagues best back Peterson. But he has 1 100 yard game in the last half of the season. The O line had not been opening holes for the running game and Peterson has gotten beaten up. Peterson has to get over 100 yards for the Vikes to win. That is going to require the O line to play at a higher level. G Hutchinson is probable for the game. He would help the O line a great deal.

The Viking D is solid as well. It ranks 2nd against the run but 19th against the pass. The key to the Vikes winning the game is shutting down the Boys running game and forcing Romo into mistakes. Given enough pressure, he will make errors.

This is a very hard game to call but I think the Vikes have just enough to beat the Boys. The Cowboys will not be able to run and will not be able to keep up with Favre and the Vikes.

Jets @ Chargers


The Jets beat a Bengals team that was inexperienced in the playoffs. That is not the case with the Chargers. The game will depend on how hot Jet QB Sanchez can get. The Jets took advantage of an easy schedule and even then needed gifts from both the Bengals and the Colts to get into the playoffs. The O has the top ranked running game. That is a good thing because in the last 3 weeks of the season, Sanchez had passer ratings of 49.7, 78, and 60.2 and threw just 1 TD with 9 picks. That is not going to scare experienced playoff teams. RB Thomas is their top guy but he had only 3 100 yard games in the last half of the season. He is 31 and they hope it is not an indication that he is showing his age.

The Jets are going to have to be able to throw better than that to win.

The Jet D ranked 1st in scoring D, passing D and yards. They are 8th against the run. They have been playing very well under Coach Ryan. However, they have not beaten an O like they will against the Chargers.


QB Rivers has had an outstanding season. He has a passer rating of 104. The running game is ranked 31st which caused Rivers to throw a lot. The passing game is ranked 5th. He has a solid group of receivers WRs Jackson and Floyd and TE Gates. The running game has Tomlinson but he is a shadow of what he was a few years ago. Neither he nor RB Sproles has gotten the running going. The Chargers used the franchise tag on Sproles. That was a mistake because he will never be able to be a starting RB. The O line came together after recovering from early season injuries. It still can not run block.

The Charger D is middle of the road in terms of yards but ranks 11th in scoring D. NT Scott is their 3rd guy in that spot but has come on nicely. The loss of All Pro NT Williams has reduced the ability to stop the run and the team ranks 20th in that department. They are 11th against the pass and have a pair of pro bowl LB in Merriman and Phillips. They have not played up to their rep this season. The D backfield is led by CB Cromartie. The D can play at a very high level but is inconsistent.

Given all that, the Chargers should be able to score on the Jets through the air. I am not sure that QB Sanchez can keep up with Rivers. The Chargers win.

Your fantasy football doesn’t have to be over. Run a pro football franchise all year long for free at . Tell them Coach Smith sent you.


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 .

Technorati Tags: NFL,NFL Football,nfl playoffs,divisional round,Cowboys,Vikings,Favre,Peterson,Jets,Bengals,Chargers,Colts,Thomas,Thomlinson,Sproles,Rivers,Sanchez

Around College Football this week.

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USC’s Coach Carroll made a critical mistake.

I openly wondered that if Sanchez was such a good QB, why didn’t he beat out John David Booty who was very average on his best day. When Carroll said before the draft that Sanchez should stay in school because he wasn’t ready to go pro, I scratched my head again. Given how the two Sanchez replacements have played, it is obvious why Carroll wanted him to stay. Now that Sanchez has proven his readiness and we have seen USC lose to a less than average Washington team (1 and 17 in the last 18 games), I can come to only one conclusion—Carroll screwed up.

I can’t believe that Sanchez wasn’t better than Booty but Carroll started the incumbent. That could cost Carroll a prime recruit in the future. There should be no favoritism in football. I couldn’t care less if a QB was blue and yellow with pink spots and stood 2’6. If he was the best guy he started. Parents of quality high school QB prospects will take notice of the clear difference between Sanchez and Booty. They may decide to go elsewhere if the incumbent starter has an edge despite ability. Had he started Sanchez over Booty in 07, maybe Sanchez would have stayed in 09.

The Florida Offense isn’t as good as last year.

There is no question that Daddy Kippen did a great job planning and executing his D to stop the Florida O. However, this Florida O is not nearly as explosive as last years model. The difference is the WRs. Tennessee committed 8 guys in the box much of the time to stop the Florida running game including Tebow. Last year, Tebow would have made them pay by taking advantage of the man to man coverage of the wideouts. But on Saturday, that did not happen often. The wideouts struggled to get open even with man coverage with one safety over the top. When the Vols stuffed the run, the Florida O struggled.

Ole Miss @ South Carolina (Thursday) This game matches 2 over rated teams. OM is living off a 1 point victory against Florida last year. They did not lose too much in the off season and return 16 starter including their QB Snead. Snead has the potential to become an NFL QB. But Old Miss has yet to play any significant opposition.

SC beat NC State but lost against a Georgia team (41-37) that had already been shown to be just a little better than average. The old ball coach Steve Spurrier gives the team credibility but his runs to national championships were a long time ago and in Florida not SC. He has not been able to get the top recruits to come to SC.

Old Miss will win but don’t expect it to be the West division winner. In my opinion, Alabama still has the best team in that half of the league.

The one thing that Ohio State lacks to become a contender in the national championship chase is a solid O line.

One of the key differences between the offense of USC and that of OSU in their big game week 2 was the O lines. The OSU offense will not generate anything close to what it could giving the talent of QB Pryor. The O line will continue to give the Bucks just enough O to win games against lower level teams but will falter against true power teams.

Texas v Texas Tech

Texas QB Colt McCoy reportedly had the flu last week and felt lethargic during the first half of the game. That could explain the closeness of the game at half time. We will see. In my opinion, the difference between those two teams was the quality of depth that Texas had that TT lacked. Oklahoma has the same quality of depth that Texas does so we will see if the O really is as good as it is billed.

Oklahoma QB issues

There are a lot of opinions on when QB Sam Bradford will return to the Sooner lineup. One paper reported it will be 3 to 4 more weeks. The team has “hoped” he will be ready to play some next weekend against the upstart U of Miami. The Sooners need Bradford for both the game against the U and against Texas. A lot of the hype of the Red River game will be gone if the Sooners have 2 losses. In my opinion, the Sooners will not cover the spread against Miami without him and could easily lose that game.

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 .

Technorati Tags: USC,College Football,Sanchez,recruiting,Florida,Kippen,Tennessee,Tebow,Snead,Ole Miss,Georgia,South Carolina,Spurrier,Ohio State,Texas,Texas Tech,McCoy,Pryor,Oklahoma,Bradford,Miami,the U

AFC Draft winners and losers

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By Bill Smith

NOTE: The NFC winners and losers will be discussed tomorrow.

We all know that it is impossible to really know how a draft of any particular team will work out until 3 to 5 years after the fact. So, ignoring that truth, let’s look at the preliminary score card because everyone else will be doing it.


Jets: New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum should be investigated for theft after he picked the pocket of the Browns to get QB Mark Sanchez (USC). They gave only a first and a second round pick along with 3 journeyman players. If those guys start for the Browns, it is only because they were Jets. Shonn Greene (RB Iowa) was a value in the third round. Grade A+

Chargers: SD got some solid values with the best player in the draft Aaron Curry (ILB Wake Forest) with the 3rd pick, my favorite center Max Unger (OC Oregon) in the second and one of my sleepers, Nick Reed (ILB Oregon) in the 7th. Grade A-

Pats: The Pats got quantity picking 11 players but also got good value with their second picks of Ron Brace (DT Boston College) and Darius Butler (CB Connecticut) to go with their later picks of Brandon Tate (WR North Carolina) in the 3rd round. I really liked Myron Pryor (DT Kentucky) in the 6th round who should develop into a starter. Grade A-

Jags: The Jags got their replacement tackles with their first two picks. Jarett Dillard (WR Rice) is a nice pick (and one of my sleepers) but the 2nd round was a touch early. Rashad Jennings (RB Liberty) was a steal in the 7th round and is this years Brandon Jacobs. Grade B

Bengals: WHAT? That’s right. I’m concerned about Andre Smith (OT Alabama). Odds are good he may eat his way out of the league. But Rey Maualuga (ILB USC), Chase Coffman (TE Missouri) and Jonathan Luigs (OC Arkansas) were excellent values and good players. Michael Johnson (DT Georgia Tech) has top 5 physical ability but needs to have a fire build under his more than ample rear end. The 6th round pick Morgan Trent (CB Michigan) was one of my sleepers and was a steal. Grade B


Texans: Their biggest need was a DT but they went LB with their first 2 picks. They seemed to reach for players a round before they should have been picked. Grade D

Raiders: Al Davis gets an A for the the last half of the draft but the F for the first half outweighs it. He waisted a 2nd round pick on a 6th round CB and got the 3rd best WR with the 7th overall pick. He did take 2 of my sleepers later with Matt Shaughnessy (DE Wisconsin) in the 3rd and Sulak, Stryker (DE Missouri) in the 6th. Grade D

Broncos: They didn’t have a bad draft but lost a franchise QB and did not replace him. Grade D-

Browns: The lack of experience of GM George Kokinis showed in the trades that he made. He failed to get anything close to value in any of the trades down. The Jets were willing to give a 1 in 2010 in addition to the 09 picks but Kokinis took stiffs instead. He also failed to get value in trading down twice. The first deal from 17 to 19 should have brought a 4th round pick but he got a 6th. The trade down from 19 to 21 should have brought a 5th at least but again he got only a 6th. Then they drafted Alex Mack (OC California) with the 21st pick. Mack or another C like him would have been available in the 2nd round. Grade F-

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 Draft,Draft grades,draft steals,college football,nfl,Chargers,Jaguars,Bengals,Browns,Raiders,Texans,Broncos,Patroits,Jets,Sanchez,Cutler
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  • Published: Apr 25th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Niblets with NFL Draft sauce for 4/25/09

Niblets with NFL Draft sauce for 4/25/09

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nib nfl

By Bill Smith

Rumors that we might believe:

The Browns are rethinking their draft away from a WR and more toward a D player. Both BJ Raja (Boston Col) and Brian Orakpo (Texas) seem to be the leaders.

However, the Jets have a deal with Jacksonville to move to the 8th pick if one of the 3 players they want is still on the board. The Jags want desperately to trade out of 8 to get more picks.

The Pats are looking hard at Clay Matthews OLB USC. They love players with a pedigree and smart guys. Matthews may turn out to be the best of the USC linebackers and he was a walk on in college.

I predict:

Don’t expect the Edwards (WR Cleveland) trade to be completed but a QB deal could be. It looks like the Giant deal is dead.

The deal with The Lions signing QB Matthew Stafford (Georgia) increases the chances that some team will want one of the Browns QBs. Reportedly the Vikes are interested among others.

The Lion’s pick also drives up the value of 3rd QB Josh Freeman (Kansas St). Look for him to be gone by pick 19 Tampa.

While a number of potential suiters might like to trade up to get QB Mark Sanchez (USC) but he will be taken by Seattle with the 4th pick. The value of the 3rd pick 2200 points. That is too much for the Jets at 17 or Tampa at 19 to get to.

ILBs will fall. Both James Laurinaitis (Ohio State) and Rey Maualuga (USC) have fallen to the bottom of the first round or maybe into the second. The value of an ILB is lower than OB and neither of them had a particularly great pro day.

Chris Beanie Wells (RB Ohio State) has fallen but has gotten up. Because of his toe problem and his 40 time early in the draft season he fell to the late 1st or early 2nd but he has made a comeback. Look for Wells to be gone no later than 21 to the Eagles.

The Bengals are not worried about the off the field problems that OT Andre Smith (Alabama) had by getting suspended for the Bowl game and quiting at the Combine. The Bengals will take Smith with the 6th pick unless BJ Raji is there. That might cause them to change players.

Despite the hype a couple of players will under produce based on their draft position.

OT Eugene Monroe (Virginia) is soft. While he will become an outstanding pass blockers, he will never be the run blocker you would expect.

3-4 OLB Brian Orakpo (Texas) is not a pass rush specialist and will disappoint the team that drafts him. He will be a good backer but not the pass rush guy they think they got.

Tyson Jackson DE LSU and Malcolm Jenkins CB Ohio State will be among the candidates for D rookie of the year.

Rumors that are probably not true:

The NFL has told the Bengals that they must use the no huddle offense in 09. That is only because felons violate their probation if they are within 20 feet of each other.

Detroit seriously considered bringing Mike Vick in as their starting QB and taking an OT with their first pick. That was not because they though Vick was a winner. They knew that PETA would send hundreds of protesters into the stadium and the Lions could use the extra attendance.

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: Edwards,NFL Draft,nfl,college football,Browns,Giants,Stafford,Lions,Vikings,Sanchez,Bucs,Ohio State,USC,Wells,Bengals,Raji,Monroe,Jenkins

Niblets from around the net for 4/18/09

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Fryingpan Sports By Bill Smith


Best Email this week:

from TheonlyJustice on Mangini seems to be eliminating the leaders on the Browns.

I would feel a little better if Mangini was at least talking to the media a little .I can understand a new coach wanting to keep quiet a little bit about the off season and pre-draft goings-on, but all we have heard here in the Cleveland area is very little and less.

He has already turned off our best defensive player from last year Shaun Rogers. And he isn’t sure if he should use the 3-4 or 4-3 defense , has he looked at the films from last season? We DO NOT have the right linebackers or speed at D-End to keep the same D as Romeo used. And he is saying Derek and Brady will have to compete for the #1 QB, we in C Town are fed up with QB completions after one has had a chance to prove himself and for most of the time didn’t pass the test, Derek fooled the other teams for the first half of the 2007 season, and looked terrible last season. Anderson has a strong arm, but he CAN NOT throw the touch pass, so unless the Browns are trying to trade Derek they are going down the wrong path if they are seriously thinking about keeping Derek over Brady. After all the last regime went through to get Brady it would be terrible to trade Quinn before he gets the real chance to prove himself here.

You are exactly correct about the total lack of touch by Anderson. Given the number of teams that are starting stiffs, the “QB contest” is an attempt to build up the perceived value of Anderson. GM’s may be dumb but they are not stupid. It won’t work and if the Browns find a candidate for a trade, Anderson’s value will be a late 2 or 3 with a 2010 conditional choice based on performance.

Updates on previous columns:

The NFL and NBA should be brought before the Supreme Court.

There have been a couple of comments about the Bill of Rights applying only to government actions. That was true until the 1930’s and that was exactly what the founding fathers had intended. With the progressives taking over the court, the actual text and original intent of the Constitution has not mattered. They consider the Constitution a “living” document that must be expanded and contracted to address the political ends of these judges. Recent court decisions have added rights to the Constitution. For example, the right of privacy is nowhere in the text of the Constitution.

Because the individuals that have been denied entrance to the NFL and NBA are minority, the issue of racial discrimination is one area that should be explored. Frankly the education that public schools give to inner city kids is a violation of their civil rights. No amount of money spent on bad teachers and worse schools will make up for that. Until the inner city parents are given vouchers to allow them to pick a private school for their children, forcing athletes to go to college even for a year is unfair. The educational disadvantage forced on the players by government is a legitimate argument for striking down the rules.

The NFL shot itself in the foot when it allowed 19 year old DT Amobi Okoye into the league a couple of years ago. Okoye has proved that a 19 year old can not only compete but succeed in the NFL. He was a 1st round draft choice. Based on the Okoye case, age discrimination is another area that could be challenged. While it is normally the older people that use this aspect of civil rights law, this is another possibility.

The market for Owens will tell the Browns a lot about the trade value of Edwards.

It looks like Cleveland will trade WR Braylan Edwards to the Giants. After the Giants cut Plaxico “shoot me now!” Burress, the team really needs at least one and probably 2 WRs. Typically it takes a WR rookie two to three years to become productive. That is why they want Edwards. The Browns are asking for a 1st (29th overall) and a 3rd (91st overall). The reason that the deal has not been done is that the Giants are trying to get in on the action for Cardinal WR Anquan Boldin. Despite the fact that he has 2 years remaining on his contract, he wants the same 10 mil a year deal that his running mate Larry Fitzgerald who signed a 10 mil a year deal earlier. Both Fitzgerald and QB Kurt Warner have offered to give up 1 mil each to help get Boldin a new deal with Arizona.

My analysis: Boldin would likely cost more draft choices and money than Edwards but is much less of a head case. Chad Johnson (Cincinnati) is also available. One of them will be a Giant before the draft day 1 ends. The Titans and Ravens are also interested in a veteran wr.

The analysis of the Cutler trade.

Several draft prognosticators have Seattle taking QB Marc Sanchez (USC) with the 4th pick. It is looking more and more like the Seahawks will take Sanchez to replace an aging QB Matt Hasselbeck. There are several reports indicating that including one from respected NFL analyst Todd McShay, of ESPN. Now the Broncos have announced they will bring Sanchez in for a workout. They have 2 1st round picks 12 (1200 value) and 18 (900 value). They may be interested in trading up to get Sanchez. While many mock drafts show Sanchez falling to the Broncos at 12, that is not likely to happen.

My analysis: It would have been impossible for the Bears to trade up to get to #3 to get him. As I said in my column, the price for Cutler was not at all excessive. If you are going to be sure to get Sanchez, you have to trade into the 3rd pick worth 2200 points. Denver can do that with both 1s and a 3rd because they have an extra 3. No other team is in a position to trade up that high. I predict that no trade will happen and Sanchez will be taken in the 4th spot by Seattle or 8th by Jacksonville.

You draft out of fear of failure and you will fail.

You never have enough good big men.

It happens ever year around this time. The big guys are moving up the draft board. The reason this happens so frequently is fear. O line are the “safest” picks in the draft normally. If you draft a guy as a LT and he doesn’t have the feet to play there, try RT or G. That can protect a 20-30 million dollar guarantee. D line is somewhat more risky but both groups are far safer than QB or WR.

Fresh niblets:

The Bills trade LT Jason Peters to the Eagles.

The deal will send Peters, a multiple year pro bowl player, to the Eagles for their 2nd 1st round pick (28th), a 4th this year and a 4th to a 6th next year according to John Clayton. reported that the 2010 choice is a 6th. Peters will get a new extension of 4 years for 60 million added to his current 2 year deal. That deal includes 53 mil in new money.

My analysis: Peters played much better in 07 than he did in 08. Like several O linemen, he earned his pro bowl in 08 on rep. When he is interested, he is an outstanding tackle. A former TE, he has very good feet but went undrafted. He was signed by the Bills and converted to LT.

Derek Anderson (QB Cleveland) refused to have surgery on his injured knee.

Last year Anderson hurt his left MCL after the being hit more than a baseball in an Indians game. Eric “the silent” Mangini has refused to answer questions about Anderson’s condition (or anything else for that matter). EM has said that Anderson and Quinn will battle for the starting spot. GM George Kokinis said “Derek’s 100 percent.”

My analysis: The Browns will need both of them and 3 or 4 more unless the O line plays better in 09.

The Bills sign RB Rhodes.

The Bills signed former RB of the Colts Dominic Rhodes to a contract. He will have to fill in for suspended RB Marshawn Lynch who may be out 3 games due to a plea bargain on a gun charge.

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]

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