Friday, October 30, 2009

7 comments Peter King Talks About Crappy Teams

Everyone remember to update your College Pick ‘Em teams by tonight and also update your Fantasy Football rosters.

One part of the Peter King archive at CNNSI.com I tend to ignore more than I probably should is his Tuesday mailbag, which follows up his Monday Morning Quarterback column on Monday. Usually he posts it too late in the day for me on Tuesday and at that point I am moving on to better and more exciting things (i.e. TMQ/Gregg Easterbrook). Don’t get me wrong, his Tuesday mailbags aren’t nearly as long or as full of his normal drivel as his MMQB, but they still have parts with no redeeming qualities. Let’s see what happens when Peter talks to the people.

Seems to me we have nine bad teams in football right now.

Doesn’t that just feel like a lot of teams that just aren’t any good? That race for the Top 3 picks in the NFL Draft may be tighter than the Wild Card and Divisional races this year.

The worst teams fall into three categories. Separating the badness:

I swear to God if one of the categories is the “Bruce Coslet Division” I am immediately sending Bill Simmons an email telling him that Peter King is ripping him off. Peter better not test me.

The Blow It Up And Start Over Division: Tampa Bay (0-7), St. Louis (0-7), Cleveland (1-6), Kansas City (1-6), Detroit (1-5).

What an interesting division name for five teams who literally blew it up and started over THIS PAST YEAR. So when I say “interesting” I mean “completely not accurate or descriptive of what this division should be called.” These teams have already blown it up and attempted to start over.

Every single one of these teams got a new coach in the offseason and every team but St. Louis and Cleveland got new quarterbacks. I see what Peter is saying, but let’s call this division something else. How about the “Teams That Have Shown Little to No Hope For Immediate Progress” Division?

It All Starts With The Quarterback Division: Oakland (2-5), Washington (2-5), Carolina (2-4).

I think it starts and ends with MUCH more than the quarterback in Oakland. If Peter thinks JaMarcus “The Misguided Missile Launcher” Russell is the only problem in Oakland then he may need to make another trip to Oakland before this season ends. Russell is a huge problem for the Raiders but he isn’t the only problem.

I am going to be fair here to Washington. They tried EVERYTHING they could this offseason to get a new quarterback. They tried to trade up for Mark Sanchez and trade for Jay Cutler. They may as well have had a billboard on the side of the highway with a picture of Jason Campbell saying, “QB for sale,” in the process making it clear to him they don’t care to have him around anymore. If I am not wrong Campbell’s contract runs out this year, so he is in the middle of making sure he won’t ever get a starting job with any other NFL team since the Redskins, who aren’t good, didn’t want him and he certainly isn’t giving them any reason to keep him around. Washington tried like hell to get rid of Campbell and upgrade their quarterback position.

I know this may come as a shock to those who don’t pay attention very closely, but there aren’t that many great quarterbacks just hanging out in the trade or free agent market. So Washington failed in their attempt to upgrade the quarterback positionbut they tried extremely hard to get rid of Campbell this offseason.

Carolina is a different story. Ignoring the fact management gave him a new contract this offseason after one of the worst postseason performances by a quarterback in the history of the NFL, which was an absolutely retarded thing to do, Carolina didn’t exactly have a huge amount of options. What were they to do with Delhomme after his meltdown against Arizona? They had three real options:

1. Get rid of Delhomme and draft another quarterback to start this year. There is no way Delhomme could have stayed on the roster as a backup since he is the winningest QB in franchise history and for some reason his teammates love him. It just couldn’t happen. The Panthers weren’t drafting low enough in the draft to get Sanchez or Stafford without trading up and I am pretty sure only Tampa Bay liked Josh Freeman as much as they did. Throw in the fact there is no way they could have afforded a higher 1st round draft pick because of Julius Peppers’ franchise tag and this really wasn’t a reasonable move. Knowing what they knew then, they couldn’t just get rid of the QB who led the team to a 12-4 record and put him as the backup.
2. Sign a free agent quarterback to start or backup Delhomme. This would have been the best move but the Panthers like Josh McCown as the backup and if he hadn’t gotten injured he would be starting right now. Otherwise there wasn’t a hell of a lot out there, as Washington would attest. Jeff Garcia would not be a good fit for the offense, Rex Grossman was never an option and I think we have all seen what Matt Cassel can do and have been fairly unimpressed…plus Cassel had the franchise tag which would have stopped Carolina from trading for him unless they moved Peppers in the same trade or prior to the trade.

3. Draft a young quarterback in the later rounds to back up Delhomme and hope he develops. Then the team is in the same position they are in now with Matt Moore. There is a young guy who NO ONE trusts to run the team well and the team will continue losing. At least there would be a young quarterback with potential on the roster, but the outcome of that young QB not being prepared enough would be the same.

Sorry for the long list, but for Washington and Carolina there wasn’t a whole lot they could in this offseason to improve the quarterback position. Washington tried desperately and failed, while Carolina didn’t see fit to get rid of the leader on a 12-4 football team. So Peter’s division category title is sort of correct in the end because each team has massive quarterback troubles but in the case of Washington the problem was a little bit out of their hands.

They Never Should Have Drafted Vince Young Division: Tennessee (0-6).

How bad was the quarterback market this past offseason? Kerry Collins got a 2 year deal. The Titans just had to hang on to him.

It’s funny because for someone who names an entire category after how bad Vince Young is, Peter King certainly didn’t hate Young at one point. Here are some choice Peter King quotes as related to Vince Young:

The link. The quote from an “All-Futures Team” that CNNSI.com put together (and it is a double whammy):

I thought long and hard about JaMarcus Russell, because he's a much more efficient and accurate quarterback (right now) than Young. But I settled on the Tennessean because of how good he was as an NFL frosh running and throwing, and because he's such an electric player. And I figure his accuracy will improve in the next few seasons.

Another link.

It is a long story from Sports Illustrated that says Young could be a bust but it was also favorable towards him.

How about this link?

On this 2007 “All Current Team” Peter King put Vince Young THIRD among quarterbacks. That would be ahead of every quarterback in the NFL except Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Now it is 2009 and Peter King is second guessing the Titans for ever drafting Young. Archived articles can be a bitch sometimes can’t they? Especially when they show how a sportswriter is second guessing a decision that sportswriter seemed to support at one time.

The last four teams have quarterback problems that will keep them down until solved.

JaMarcus Russell is a disaster; we don't need to see any more of him to know his pocket presence and awareness are horrible and his accuracy just as bad.

Yet in 2007 Peter thought Russell was an accurate and efficient quarterback. This is why Peter is not a scout.

In Carolina, John Fox has to be wondering if Jake Delhomme is Steve Sax.

Or Chuck Knoblauch. Or Mark Wohlers. Or Steve Blass. Take you pick.

Also, John Fox announced today that Jake Delhomme will be starting this upcoming week, which means the showdown for worst quarterback in the NFL between JaMarcus Russell, Derek Anderson, and Jake Delhomme continues to be on. I am excited, though I really don’t think any player will be able to beat Russell if he has an entire season to prove how bad he is. He is awful in such a consistent manner.

But the five teams in the Blow It Up Division have three things in common. If I'm the owner of any of them, I think it's foolish to think anything but stay the course and let's evaluate everything after the season.

So Peter thinks all the teams in the “Blow It Up Division” should stay the course and NOT blow it up this offseason? Which of course leads me to the question of why he would call it the “Blow It Up Division” if he doesn’t think any of the teams should blow up the teams and start over?

Peter King: A man of mysteries, coffee, crossword puzzles, and enigmas wrapped in a big question mark.

Scott Pioli was given a free hand to reconstruct the Chiefs in his vision from the ground, and he's in the 10th month of probably a three-year building job doing that.

Obviously signing an underachieving and expensive quarterback before he proved he could quarterback a team that had not gone 18-1 the year before was a part of that vision. Along with getting rid of Tyler Thigpen, the only quarterback on the team last year who had some success as a starter. This was another vital move important to the cause of blowing the team up and impressing Peter King with the Chiefs progress by reminding Peter how smart Pioli was when he worked in New England with Bill Belichick…and probably promising Peter an autographed Matt Cassel football in order to say nice things about him.

At Tampa, Raheem Morris probably got his job a year too soon,

Year? As in singular? I was thinking “year(s)” or perhaps “a decade,” would have been the appropriate length of time he got a head coaching job too early.

Steve Spagnuolo got to know everyone in the building in St. Louis and promoted team to the point where he took down all individual current photos of players in the building.

Most likely also because if the Rams are going to succeed any time soon none of the players currently on the team, except a handful, are going to be on that team which ends up successful.
Cassel and Stafford are their teams' quarterbacks of the future and are going through growing pains.

I can’t help but wonder how long Peter is going to make excuses for Matt Cassel. Matthew Stafford is a rookie this year and is 21 years old on team that was epically bad last year. Matt Cassel is a 27 year old quarterback who has been in the NFL for five seasons including nearly one entire year already as a starter on a team that was nearly perfect the year before. Now Matt Cassel is on a team that is horrible. How many growing pains can we expect a guy who got a huge new contract based on his performance last year to go through? Shouldn’t Cassel be over the growing pains part of being an NFL quarterback by now? Isn’t that why the Chiefs traded for Cassel over drafting a young quarterback? I thought it was because Cassel was a more proven commodity and would be ready to play well immediately?

Cassel is supposed to be a talented quarterback who would bring leadership and some experience to a roster that was starting over and now Peter is trying to convince me he is supposed to be having growing pains? I don’t believe it. My opinion is that Cassel was at his peak ability last year when he had a good offensive coordinator in Josh McDaniels and a great coach in Bill Belichick to guide him and give him players on offense that helped to make his job easier. Matt Cassel is not paid all that money to have growing pains, he should be the steady part of the Chiefs team based on his time in the league and his experience as a starting quarterback in the NFL. That’s just my opinion.

Which team will turn it around in 2010? My guess is Detroit and Kansas City have the best chances because they have what appear to be strong GMs, strong coaches and quarterbacks who look like they have a chance.

I know I keep dumping on Scott Pioli, but I think Pioli has Peter King snowed because from what I have heard Bill Belichick was the decision maker in New England and Pioli was only a part of the decision making process. Nothing I have seen since Pioli left for Kansas City and Belichick has stayed behind in New England has caused me to think this is not true. Peter wants to believe Pioli is a strong General Manager but I submit he may not be as strong as his track record indicates because that New England team is Bill Belichick’s and it always has been that way.

Now for some of the mail Peter gets and actually decides to answer…since he never answered any mail sent from someone who comments on this blog.

From Jeff of Atlanta: "Good point on fans in Tampa never seeing Tom Brady, etc., because of the game overseas, but don't you HAVE to make that overseas game a cross-conference game? Otherwise, a conference game -- or even worse, a division game -- that might decide a playoff spot is lost, and the team that gave up that home date is REALLY penalized.''

Jeff from Atlanta is absolutely correct in saying this. I am sure Peter will have something insightful to say.

PK: I'm sure that's what teams will argue. But if I'm a fan, I tell my owner, "How can you rob me of my one chance to see Tom Brady EVER? I pay good money for these tickets. Take away the Jake Delhomme game, please. But not the Brady game.''

Isn’t there some sort of middle ground on this issue? Maybe a non-conference game that features a boring, non-sexy quarterback? I may not be a big enough NFL fan to really give a shit whether I get to watch Tom Brady play in my home stadium, it’s just not that big of a deal to me. Possibly this is different for other fans. I wouldn’t turn down tickets to see Tom Brady play, but I also am not sure if I missed him playing against my favorite team at home I would immediately begin to contemplate suicide.

Regarding NFL games that go to England to be played, I think it would be possible to put a non-divisional game together that wouldn’t cause the fans to miss a fan favorite from playing for his one, and possibly only, time in Tampa or any other city. Or the NFL could just get over putting football in England be satisfied with being the #1 sport in America. I guess that would be too easy for them to do that.

From Ashley of Cincinnati: "Man, those crossword comments were harsh. It's like they think you won the Nobel Peace Prize prematurely.''

Is it really harsh to treat a sportswriter badly when he is using his status to massage his ego by basically begging for recognition in the form of being a crossword puzzle clue? Peter essentially said in a column a few weeks ago, “This is my dream and what I want…I wonder if anyone could make this come true?” It was an ego trip for him, so yes, he is going to get some criticism about this.

I know the Sunday crossword people, and believe me, they're not big Monday Morning QB fans.

Nor are they big fans of a grown man openly soliciting others in a passive-aggressive fashion to soothe his ego and need for recognition. That was the name of Peter’s game in his attempts to be a clue in the crossword puzzle.

-You may remember Scoop Jackson’s absolutely horrid article a few months ago which asked the question, “What If Brett Favre Were a Woman…” If you have forgotten the article then I deeply apologize for bringing it up and linking it again. It was an epically bad piece of journalism that took maybe 10 minutes to think through and write a rough draft for. If this were the olden days Scoop Jackson would have been drawn and quartered for publishing an article of such horrible content and wasting the precious resources of the community, like paper and pen.

Fortunately, it is not the olden days, so it is just our eyesight and short/long term memory that has to suffer at the hands of this journalistic Hindenburg. Scoop will not suffer any long term effects from writing said article, except negative effects to his reputation, which from reading his work prior to this article he doesn’t seem to care too much about anyway.

Even the title of the article sounded like a bad rip-off of the Harry Carey skit on “Saturday Night Live” where Will Farrell playing Harry Carey asks absurd hypothetical questions to another character in the skit. He asks questions like:

“We all know the moon is not made of cheese, but if it was made of barbeque spare ribs, would you eat it then?”

Or…

“Would you let the Predator monster play baseball if he promised to not kill anyone on the field?”

The title sounded like something that would fit in with a question asked in that skit. Ignoring the content of the article, the title just sounds like something that is an absurd question. Getting to the actual content, if anyone read it, the title may be the best part of the article. Even Hollywood is not stupid enough to make a sequel to a shit-fest movie like “Battlefield Earth,” but the inherent badness of a column has never stopped Scoop from writing previous articles, so why would it stop him from writing a sequel to his “If Brett Favre was a woman” article? It wouldn’t and it didn't.

I have had some bad ideas in the past on this blog and often I don’t return to those ideas because they weren’t great, so I wish Scoop would have the same policy. Here are some excerpts from his “Favre/woman” sequel article.

OK, I'll take him.

I'll take him out on a date, bring him home to Mama, put a ring on his finger.

Was I wrong for asking the question in the first place? Wrong for even putting it out there like that? Wrong for questioning who he was and what he could do?

In a word, yes. Scoop was wrong for writing the article that had the question and then running out of ideas and writing another article with an answer to the question in the first article.

Nope.

Yes.

This probably-one-week-too-late pseudo mea culpa was prompted by my boy Biscuit's comment after the Packers' win against the Ravens in Week 6

Scoop has a friend nicknamed (hopefully just nicknamed and that is not his real name) Biscuit?

Between that and Bill Simmons having a friend nicknamed “House” I think I am the only person in the world who calls his friends by nicknames that aren’t physical objects.

Mirror, mirror on the wall … The mirror knew all along. It was me who was the dumbest of them all.

Here is finally some self-realization from Scoop.

He is Brett Favre.

The diva whom, if he were a woman, I'd take to the altar.

I said Scoop’s prior “Brett Favre/woman” article took 10 minutes to think of and put together…I say the sequel took maybe 5 minutes. Maybe. I know I have said this before, but ESPN really should be sort of embarrassed to publish this type stuff. I want to believe Scoop is better than this.

-The AP Preseason College Basketball poll came out today and I would be more excited if I didn’t realize the preseason poll means absolutely nothing because it never reflects the rankings by the end of the year. Since no one cares, I thought I would give my thoughts on the initial poll and try to predict the changes that will happen to it through the season…because there will be massive changes to how it looks between now and early March.

In spots #1-#10, Kansas is ranked perfectly. I already have them and Villanova in the NCAA Championship Game this year. I think Kansas is our eventual champion, as I explained before they have all the components I personally look for in a championship team. Villanova therefore is under ranked at #5. It wouldn’t shock me if they spent time at #1 this year or even go into the NCAA Tournament as the #1 overall seed. Michigan State is over ranked a little bit, as is West Virginia in my mind. It’s not that WVU isn’t a good team but the Big East is still a tough conference this year and I don’t see them as being the second best team in the conference…plus
I never trust Bob Huggins’ teams.

In spots #11-#20, I think UConn will move into the Top 10. Mississippi State, who I really like this year, will move up near the Top 10 and I think Oklahoma is over ranked by a little bit. Unless Willie Warren turns into Kevin Durant overnight, I don’t think Oklahoma is quite as strong as they get credit for and I do like where Ohio State is ranked. I don’t know what Georgetown has done to put them at #20 in the AP Poll, but I think this could be the year the team’s seeming underachieving gets John Thompson III on the hot seat. I love Greg Monroe and gang as much as the next guy, but they have to prove to they are a good team on the court and just not on paper for me to believe in them…especially after Georgetown’s year last year which was underachieving to say the least.

In spots #21-#25, I think Illinois is over ranked and Georgia Tech falls under my previous “Georgetown principle” where they are a team of potential and that is about it. It’s hard for me to justify a 12-19 team making the top 25, no matter what kind of recruiting class that team gets. I think Maryland, Syracuse and Xavier will end the year in the Top 25. I also like Florida to be in the Top 25 by the end of the year. Yes, I know these are all “major conference” teams.

-Last thing for today. I am not going to say I was right about DeJuan Blair and Ty Lawson being great pro prospects, but I am getting my end of the year pre-NBA draft post ready that complains about teams passing over great college players who have perceived height or weight issues for players who can’t play at all but look like they could be great players. Apparently the fact Blair outplayed the #2 pick nearly every time their teams played each other last year was not impressive to scouts because “he is short and seems slow.” Regardless he can rebound in traffic well and knows how to use his body to his advantage. It is almost unfair the Spurs got him in the second round. He’ll never be an All-Star but he is going to be a much better player than a good number of the guys drafted before him.

As far as Ty Lawson goes, nothing against Brandon Jennings and the other point guards in the draft, but Ty Lawson was the best player on the best team in college basketball last year so he should have been chosen higher. UNC-CH was a team that had two other first round picks and a second round pick, along with a future lottery pick in Ed Davis, in the rotation…and Lawson was more important than any of them. There should be no shock that he is going to be going to be a difference maker on that Nuggets team. So he is shorter than the ideal point guard, who cares? I can’t believe NBA teams would pass on him for what seems to be that reason and really that reason only.

7 comments:

KentAllard said...

"I thought long and hard about JaMarcus Russell, because he's a much more efficient and accurate quarterback (right now) than Young. But I settled on the Tennessean because of how good he was as an NFL frosh running and throwing, and because he's such an electric player. And I figure his accuracy will improve in the next few seasons."

Wow. Just, wow. Good thing Peter doesn't work in a field where you get fired for incompetence. Who will be the quarterback of the future, Russell or Young? What does he have against Brodie Croyle?

Bengoodfella said...

It's rare I go doing research and find such a memorable gem in a quote. The funny part is that I didn't dig all that hard, so I bet I could find 15 other things Peter has said which he completely takes back now or regrets saying.

Saying Vince Young doesn't have JaMarcus Russell's accuracy is like saying Kerry Collins doesn't have Steve DeBerg's speed.

Vince Young was ranked by him as basically the 3rd best QB of the next 5 years...think about that. What a huge miss and this is AFTER seeing him play a year already in the NFL.

Bengoodfella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RuleBook said...

I'm going to disagree with you with regards to Cassel. He went from a team with a Good O-Line and great receivers to a team with no talent at all. In my opinion, you could probably put Brady on the Chiefs, and they probably wouldn't have a winning record.

He was injured week 1 and didn't practice going into week 2. He played awful in his first regular season game against Oakland. Following that, in his next 4 games (all 4 NFC East teams), he threw 6 TDs, and didn't turn the ball over at all. He had a bad second half against the Chargers, but the Chiefs were down 20-0 at halftime, and he took some chances throwing.

Essentially, what I'm saying is that he's a QB with an awful O-Line (he's been sacked 24 times in 6 games), abysmal offensive weapons, and a defense that is 29th in the league. The fact that he has only turned the ball over in 2 of 6 games means that he is not playing awful. No, he's not a great QB, but frankly, I think he's playing much better than he's being given credit for.

Bengoodfella said...

Ok, ok, I will lay off Cassel a little bit. You make a good argument about how his offensive line in Kansas City isn't up to par with what he had in New England. I probably should have looked harder at his individual game stats rather than take it as a whole.

I will still argue it was stupid for the Chiefs to put a highly paid quarterback behind that offensive line because even if the QB is good he won't have much of a chance at being successful...which is pretty much what you said. If you are going to have a shitty offensive line why not put a quarterback who is used to it and not as expensive back there like Tyler Thigpen and draft a quarterback or work on the offensive line? They have so many holes I guess...

I will wait my turn until the end of the season to pile on Cassel and criticize him for not being worth the money he was paid. He may have played well under the circumstances he is in, but the Chiefs still overpaid for him in my mind...but I could be wrong.

Martin said...

I think Matt C will be fine, and that he's ok for a QB, so you have been a little harsh on him Ben. I also have to totally agree with the fact that with about 18 more pressing needs, signing a high priced FA quarterback was not the brightest mnove.

Bengoodfella said...

I like to be hard on him though...you can't take this away from me!!!

I make a vow to lay off Matt Cassel until the end of the year and then I will be fair to him when judging his year. I am misplacing my criticism a little bit at this point and I think it should be focused more on the fact the Chiefs should have done more to make sure they have a good base on the lines (O line and D line) before spending money on a QB.