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  • Published: May 20th, 2010
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Is DeMaurice Smith director of the NFLPA the Gulf Oil spill to the NFL Players Association?

Is DeMaurice Smith director of the NFLPA the Gulf Oil spill to the NFL Players Association?

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demorris smith nflpa

Is DeMaurice Smith director of the NFLPA the Gulf Oil spill to the NFL Players Association?

Just this week, two very powerful old friends of DeMaurice Smith’s were quoted saying some rather bazaar things.  The first old friend; President Obama and the second Smith’s former boss Attorney General Eric Holder were quoted saying as far “As the Gulf oil spill is concerned we will keep our boots on the throats of the British Petroleum Executives.”

The Obama Administration could have just as easily said, “We are aware of the severe nature of this incident and are ready to stand side by side and lend full assistance until this spill is contained”; but no, even though the US Government has complete regulatory power they choose to take no responsibility, stand above the fray and jam their boot down on some throats.

Mr. Smith was chosen as the Director  for the NFLPA specifically due to his close ties to Obama and other high government officials.  Given that fact it is not surprising that Smith stated in Feb. 2010 without hesitation, “there is a 140% chance of a player lockout in 2011.”  Instead of saying something like ”We are ready to stand side by side with the NFL owners groups to stop this spill”. Instead extending an olive branch of common interests and negotiation he chose to be confrontational.  As a lover of American football as well as a huge Redskins fan there seems to be a strange sense of déjà vu and doom in the air surrounding the NFL’s near future.  With out much warning we could soon see a rainbow colored sheen across the gulf of the NFL.

  • 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

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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 .

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The Ravens will be different but will they be better?

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There is no question that the window for the Ravens to win another Super Bowl is closing. The D is getting older and there are still questions on O. The Ravens will be different but there is serious doubt that they will be better or worse than in 08.

The D will be a little younger. The Ravens jettisoned their expensive and injury prone pro bowl CB Chris McAlister and brought in FA Domonique Foxworth. He had better work out because they are spending 27 million for the next 4 years with over 16 mil guaranteed. The other corner will be ex Raider Fabian Washington. Samari Rolle who was a starter came back on a backup contract and will be the key replacement. FS Ed Reed is older than dirt but played at a high level last year. He had better be just as good this season. The SS spot is up in the air. The Ravens have their fingers, toes, arms and legs crossed that Dawan Landry can come back after missing all but 2 games from a neck injury last year. There isn’t much behind him so he had better get well soon.

The linebacking will get new look as well. Tavares Gooden replaces Bart Scott inside next to Ray Lewis. He needs to be more physical than he has shown up to now. Lewis is older than rock but got it done last year. He is on the down side of a Hall of Fame career. Jarret Johnson is unknown but has started for 2 years and is getting better with every game. Terrell Suggs wanted to be paid like a DE but got top OB money—63 mil over 6 years. The Ravens hope he plays with as much abandon as he did in his contract year.

On offense, TE Todd Heap will get a heap of passes thrown his way. The WR situation went from critical to life support when their only consistent receiver Derrick Mason announced his retirement. If he doesn’t come back, they are going to have to find another starting quality WR. Mark Clayton starts on the other side but has caught over 50 passes only once in the last 4 years.

Joe Flacco has developed nicely. He will yield to Troy Smith for more wild cat type O than they used last year. The RB will be by committee. Last year starter Willis McGahee and the versatile Ray Rice will split carries. Rice may start over McGahee who is coming back from injury again.

The O line is physical and nasty. All pro FA Matt Birk takes over at C and gives the team real leadership. The left side is solid with LT Jared Gaither and LG Ben Grubbs. Both are young and talented. They will only get better. The right side is a question mark. Rookie Michael Oher and vet Adam Terry will battle for the RT spot. Oher should win. They hope that RG Marshal Yanda has recovered from his knee injury. If not, that will be a trouble spot for the Ravens.

Overall—The Ravens have enough to be a playoff team but unless they get all the right answers from those coming back from injury and find a solution to the WR spot, they will be second again looking over their shoulder at the Bengals coming on hard from behind.

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,Ravens,Bengals,Super Bowl,Lewis,Suggs,Flacco,Heap,McGahee,Birk,Johnson,Rolle

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