Thursday, October 7, 2010

8 comments Gregg Easterbrook Is Either Blind or Colorblind

Now that Gregg Easterbrook has gotten to the bottom of this 3-4 defensive fad, we can all move on with our lives to more important things. Gregg chooses to move on to while talking about the pretty colors the teams wore this past weekend in the games and (astounding discovery alert) he also tells us all that special teams are important. I learn something new every week.

Bright-pink cleats, gloves and hats all across the National Football League; kryptonite-green gloves and shoes on Seattle players; it's finally happened, pink-and-green preppy football!

Gregg gets paid to write this stuff. Paid. With real dollars.

But amid the ocean of pink in Miami on "Monday Night Football," one figure stood alone, drab and colorless -- Bill Belichick, who had no trace of pink anywhere on his person.

Two sentences into this TMQ and Gregg Easterbrook is already very wrong, colorblind, or intends on misleading his audience. Here's a picture of Bill Belichick from Monday night...can you find any pink on his person? (Hat tip to Tom for sending me this link)

Unless Gregg doesn't consider a person's feet to be a part of his person, it sure looks like Belichick is wearing pink. But I guess the idea that Belichick is a cold, humorless person is much more fun to perpetuate than the truth.

The punt block that turned the contest into a walkover was an example of TMQ's dictum, Rush Eight If You Want to Block That Kick. Check the rush, not the returner, during an NFL punt -- it's rarely more than five men.

Because punt returns aren't a part of football either. You don't need blockers for that. It always makes sense to send most of your special teams players at the punter because who cares if your punt returner has blocking or not?

NFL coaches, concerned with blame-shifting, don't want to call a big rush on a punt because roughing the kicker might result, whereas if the team fields the punt and then does nothing, the players are blamed.

Or as any person who has played Madden knows, if you try to block the punt it doesn't leave any blockers back for your kick returner so he either has to catch the ball and hope he doesn't fumble/get killed or let the kick go and then God only knows where the ball will go. Football is a complicated sport and there isn't black and white ways to go about doing everything.

Teams that want to block kicks, such as Virginia Tech, send eight.

Or teams that want to block kicks play a cupcake schedule...WHICH SHOULD BE ILLEGAL AND PUNISHABLE BY DEATH!

On the punt block Monday night, the Patriots rushed eight. Miami was surprised, because the eight-rush is so rare on NFL punts.

Clearly, Gregg Easterbrook can read minds so he knows the Dolphins were surprised by the eight-rush. The punt block had more to do with the Dolphins surprise than the fact no one blocked Patrick Chung and it had more to do with a hole in the Dolphins punt blocking than anything else.

Monday night's game was dominated by TMQ's favorite kind of player, the undrafted free agent.

Patrick Chung- 2nd round pick (blocked a punt)
Brandon Tate- 3rd round pick (returned a kickoff for a touchdown)
Stephen Gostkowski- 4th round pick (Gregg just hailed him as great kickoffs)
Jerod Mayo- 1st round pick (had 16 tackles)
Rob Ninkovich- 5th round pick

New England got touchdowns from undrafted free agents Danny Woodhead and Kyle Arrington, both of whom were waived by other NFL teams that didn't want them. Undrafted free agents Stephen Neal and Wes Welker also played well for New England,

Welker and Neal are both established great NFL players. At what point do we forget they were undrafted? They are great players, we all know this. They will continue to play well. NFL teams miss on players. Once we can all acknowledge this, maybe Gregg will stop pointing out every good play an undrafted free agent makes.

Maybe New England played so well because of witchcraft -- see below. More likely, it was something to do with Belichick's refusal to wear pink, unlike other NFL coaches this past weekend.

Even though Belichick did wear pink...but feel free to base an entire theory on Belichick not wearing pink so I can say over and over again that Belichick did wear pink, therefore the theory is full of shit.

Apparently Gregg thinks if a coach wears pink his team will lose or does he believe if a coach doesn't wear pink his team will win? Either way, it doesn't matter. Gregg's entire point he is trying to prove about Belichick is false because he was wearing pink shoes.

In other sports news, recruiting scandals continue.

Gregg links an article that was written September 14th. This is old news by now...but he is really talking about this so he can pimp that he has written a portion of a book that is about college recruiting.

So TMQ has not only contributed to the new Rise guide -- I have compressed into 1,000 words the most important things a high school athlete needs to know. See here for the Tuesday Morning Quarterback Thousand-Word Guide to College Recruiting. It's free and easily printed out.

Given the terrible assumptions Gregg makes in TMQ, I would be very hesitant to trust any advice he has to give high school athletes. Remember high school athletes, Gregg doesn't know what the color pink looks like.

In TMQ news, a month of NFL action has passed. Time to restart the Single Worst Play of the Season -- So Far feature. See below.

But it is not time for the "Single Worst Play of the Season--So Far" in TMQ yet. Why is Gregg telling us about it before we actually come to it? Is this "Single Worst Play of the Season--So Far" Creep? I think it is! Isn't this illegal?

Stat of the Week No. 5: Tennessee tailback Chris Johnson, who said a 2,500-yard season was "realistic" for him in 2010, is on a pace for a 1,416-yard season.

We all know athletes never exaggerate their talents. I don't know if I would use a hypothetical number Chris Johnson wanted to get to in rushing yards as a "stat" comparing it to a real statistic since it is purely speculative. I could have said before the season that David Garrard will throw for 5,000 yards and comparing it to what he actually does throw for doesn't really prove much, other than the fact I am an idiot.

Stat of the Week No. 10: Undrafted free agent Arian Foster of Houston is on a pace for 2,148 rushing yards, which would be the NFL single-season record.

Doesn't that make him the greatest running back in the history of the NFL? I hear he won't drink and drive either. What a guy!

Sweet Drive of the Week: Leading 10-3, St. Louis faced third-and-10 on the Seattle 21. The call was a weakside screen to backup tailback Kenneth Darby. Sam Bradford threw a perfect strike to Darby amid defenders:

Sam Bradford threw a perfect strike on a screen pass. A screen pass. Threw a perfect strike. On the screen pass. I hate Gregg Easterbrook's TMQ.

Commentary on passing skill tends to focus on the long pass -- a well-thrown screen can be just as impressive, especially since on a screen call, the quarterback knows he is likely to be hit.

(Shakes head at Gregg Easterbrook's terrible generalizations and then ponders stabbing self in the eye with a fork)

Sour sidelight: With 1:30 remaining, megabucks Niners cornerback Nate Clements intercepted a Matt Ryan pass and tried to run for the icing touchdown. Clements carried the ball carelessly, low in one hand, more concerned with a pick-six to pad his stats than with ball security. Atlanta's Roddy White

Who is a mega-bucks wide receiver, though Gregg chooses not to point this out because if he does it will make it look like players who get paid a lot can actually be good football players, which is absolutely true. Gregg wouldn't want his audience to have the complete information on a player, and would rather they just believe whatever he says is true.

Cameron Lewis of Edmond, Okla., reports, "Driving from Phoenix to Oklahoma City, I came upon a sign advertising a free 72-ounce steak at the Big Texan in Amarillo, Texas. This sign was placed at mile marker 246 off of I-40 in Arizona -- 547 miles from the restaurant. They give you plenty of warning to start building that appetite."

And your point? That's exactly why the sign was put there. So a person who is interested in eating this large steak doesn't have a huge lunch anywhere else and not get a chance to eat the entire 72 ounce steak. Did Gregg and his readers fail every marketing class they ever took or are they just voluntarily stupid for effect when it comes to things like this?

Christian Swindells of Warsaw, Poland, writes, "Late in September I went on the annual company retreat weekend. The very pleasant castle hotel we stayed in had leaflets in each room advertising not only their Christmas and New Year's offerings but also their Easter 2011 brunch."

Because they would like for you to set up a reservation to eat there on Easter of 2011. It is hard for a hotel to set fucking reservations for an event if nobody knows about the damn event. This pleasant castle is assuming people don't go to the hotel every week, so they would have to advertise for this event fairly far in advance to ensure the maximum amount of people possible see it. There is a reason the Olympic Committee names the city hosting the Olympics nearly a decade in advance. It's not "Olympic Creep" but a chance for all involved (including athletes and the host city) to prepare for where the Olympics will be. Events get planned ahead and if a hotel, which inevitably hosts travelers who probably don't visit that hotel every week, is having an Easter dinner they will have to advertise far in advance to cast as wide of a net over who gets to see the advertisement as possible.

Gregg (and some of his reader's) stupidity in understanding why businesses advertise the way they do doesn't mean the business is not smart or advertising effectively, it means they probably should do some thinking about WHY a castle hotel would do this before firing up the ol' MacBook and emailing Gregg Easterbrook about what a travesty it is to advertise for an event AN ENTIRE SIX MONTHS BEFORE THE EVENT HAPPENS!

Undrafted Free Agent of the Week: On the Packers' six-minute clock-killing drive to ice a 28-26 victory over Detroit, seven of the snaps were handoffs to John Kuhn, undrafted out of Division II Shippensburg, who coming into the game had a total of 128 yards rushing in a five-year career.

Undrafted free agents are the best. Let's look at the statistical leaders for this game and where they were drafted:

The leading rusher (that was actually a running back because Shaun Hill was the leading rusher but he is a quarterback) was Jahvid Best, a 1st round pick.

The leading receiver was Brandon Pettigrew and he was a 1st round pick.

The leading tackler for the Lions, Louis Delmas, was a 2nd round pick.

The two leading tacklers for the Packers, Charles Woodson and AJ Hawk, were 1st round picks.

Terrence Fails, a Nashville resident who attended the Broncos at Titans collision, reports: "The Titans' cheerleaders were in fine form through the third quarter, sporting halter tops and shorts on a breezy afternoon with a kickoff temperature of 54 degrees. How can the home team lose with such cheerleader professionalism? At the end of the third quarter, with Tennessee ahead 20-16, the cheerleaders put on long-sleeve jackets. Do I even need to tell you who won?"

The team that had the most points at the end of the game? Oh wait, no, I bet the team that had its cheerleaders cover up lost the game! Because we all know the less clothing you have on the better the football team plays. It's pretty much a solid fact based on bullshit.

LeBeau was admitted as a defensive back, yet should have been the first assistant coach to enter Canton -- he's the primary exponent of the zone rush, the most important defensive innovation of the last generation.

Which is a defense he often runs using the 3-4 defensive scheme, which Gregg called a fad last week. This week, the zone rush is the most important defensive innovation of the last generation, but I guess the fact LeBeau runs it out of the 3-4 is a part of the fad.

As the Hurricanes' headmaster, Coker went 60-15 and won the national championship -- and was fired, because boosters were furious that Miami wasn't winning every game by 30 points.

It surely wasn't the 7-6 record, including 3-5 in the ACC, that got Coker fired. It was the fact they didn't win those 7 games by more than 30 points. Yeah, I believe that.

Since firing Coker, Miami is 24-18, has a losing record in its conference and is 0-2 in bowls. But Coker had to go; we weren't winning every game by 30 points!

I'm not saying the firing of Coker was right or just, but anyone follows college basketball, baseball, football, lacrosse or any other college sport knows that recruiting is a big part of how a coach is judged. It is quite possible that Larry Coker had not recruited the sophomores, juniors and seniors necessary for Miami to win football games under Randy Shannon. I know Gregg is just overwhelmingly a "black or white" type person, but it is possible the 24-18 record is not because of bad coaching since Coker's firing, but representative of how dry the talent pipeline had been left by Larry Coker.

The numbers back it up. Here are the number of Miami Hurricanes that were drafted since 2005 (Coker was fired in 2006):

2005: 5 (4 in the first 3 rounds)
2006: 9 (6 in the first 3 rounds)- should a team with 9 NFL draft picks go 7-6? Probably not.
2007: 5 (3 in the first round)
2008: 3 (3 in the first 3 rounds)
2009: 1 (0 in the first 3 rounds)

The guys who came out in the draft during 2007-2009 were predominantly guys recruited by Coker who were then juniors or seniors.

In 2010, the Hurricanes had four players selected and this year the team has a lot of pro prospects. Coker may have been a good coach, but his recruiting seems to have fallen off. Gregg needs to understand the cyclical nature of college football a little bit better.

Trailing Washington 17-6 with 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Eagles punted on fourth-and-5 from the Redskins' 44. TMQ wrote the words "game over" in our notebook.

Aren't you just a genius to think a game is over when a team winning by 11 gets the ball back one-third of the way through the fourth quarter? It's sage-like how Gregg gets this stuff right.

Trailing San Diego 41-7 with three minutes remaining, Arizona kicked a field goal. So what if it was fourth-and-17, I don't care if it was fourth-and-99!

I'm guessing the Cardinals had rookie QB Max Hall in the game and wanted to get some points on the board so he could feel good about the drive. It's just a guess, but would explain why they went for a field goal.

New England leads the league in scoring; Jersey/B is second. What do they have in common? Both have run up points on Buffalo. Last season, the Bills' 4-3 defense ranked 16th in points allowed -- quite respectable considering that a bad Buffalo offense kept sending the defense back onto the field. This past summer, Buffalo switched to the trendy 3-4, and so far it has allowed more points than any team in the NFL.

As I said last week, the 3-4 defense isn't an easy move. It is highly possible that a team would take a step back after they switch to the 3-4 defense before they take a step forward. Players who don't thrive in the 3-4 have to be gotten rid of and players who have played in the 4-3 their entire career have to learn the new defense. Gregg is showing his lack of knowledge about football to think every team can automatically improve four games into switching defenses from the 3-4 to the 4-3. It just doesn't always happen that way.

After 2009, the Bills' canny management let go defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, who favored the 4-3. Fewell now runs the third-ranked Giants defense, while the Bills defense appears not to be run by anyone.

I am sure there are no personnel talent differences in the Giants and Bills defense either. I am sure this is just a fair comparison since both defenses have the same amount of defensive talent and have the same offensive talent on the other side of the ball to ensure the defense of each team is not put in a bad position.

Next Week: EA releases the beta of "TMQ 2011," a football video game that won't allow you to punt.

This "TMQ 2011" game also has only two formations on offense, won't allow you to run the 3-4 defense, doesn't have any plays that aren't trick plays, has the formations on defense called the incorrect names and the computer-controlled players are always free-lancing around the field rather than running the play you called. Also, there is no draft after the year in this game. All the players are undrafted free agents.


HH said...

Gregg this week:

he's the primary exponent of the zone rush, the most important defensive innovation of the last generation.

Gregg last week:

Alignments run in fad cycles; the essential question is how good the players are.

Why does the zone rush matter if all that's important is how good players are?

Martin said...

I don't think Gregg even understood that all the pink was in support of breast cancer survivors and research. He's such a moron.

Bengoodfella said...

HH, the zone rush matters because Gregg forgot he had said that last week. I missed that exact contradiction. How ridiculous. This goes to show that Gregg really doesn't believe what he writes or have theories like this, he just makes up what he is saying from week-to-week with little regard for consistency.

Martin, I am not sure he did get that. If Gregg did understand that, he clearly didn't watch the Patriots-Dolphins game.

rich said...

Danny Woodhead and Kyle Arrington, both of whom were waived by other NFL teams that didn't want them.

Gregg doesn't understand math does he? Lets say on average an NFL players lasts 10 years. If every one of your draft picks over that 10 year spread made and stayed with the team for his entire career, you'd have 70 players.

So basically: draft picks not panning out, players leaving in free agency and players retiring before 10 years means that... there's going to be undrafted free agents. As a result of sheer numbers, some of them have to not suck at certain points.

Just because a guy caught a TD pass in one game doesn't mean that he shouldn't have been cut. It just means he had one catch that was a TD.

Danny Woodhead sucks. Having one TD doesn't change that.

Undrafted free agent Arian Foster of Houston is on a pace for 2,148 rushing yards

::student:: Why did I get a 50% of my test?
::teacher:: You only answered half the questions.
::student:: Ya, but I was on pace for 100%
::teacher:: ...

especially since on a screen call, the quarterback knows he is likely to be hit.

Um... the fuck? Screen passes are designed to get the ball out of the QB's hand fast. If the QB gets hit it means: 1. the OLine sucks; 2. the QB held the ball too long; 3. a blitz.

At the end of the third quarter, with Tennessee ahead 20-16, the cheerleaders put on long-sleeve jackets. Do I even need to tell you who won?"

After seeing this, Kubiak muttered "fuck" and told Schaub just to knee the ball from here on out.

As the Hurricanes' headmaster, Coker went 60-15 and won the national championship

He won the championship b/c he inherited a good team. The team then started to suck because Larry Coker sucks at recruiting.

Trailing San Diego 41-7 with three minutes remaining, Arizona kicked a field goal. So what if it was fourth-and-17, I don't care if it was fourth-and-99!

Because the score is 41 to fucking 7? It'd be like pitching your closer in the 9th even if you were down 10-2.

Fewell now runs the third-ranked Giants defense, while the Bills defense appears not to be run by anyone.

The Giants shitty defense is ranked 3rd? Seriously they're four games in and have played one good offensive team and got their asses kicked.

Just like NE and the Jets have big offensive stats b/c they ran it up on Buffalo, the Giants have good defensive stats because of the Bears game. Works both ways Gregg.

Also, there is no draft after the year in this game. All the players are undrafted free agents.

And 95% of your off-season duties are holding cheerleader tryouts. Also Bill Belicheck is replaced on the sideline with Satan and giving out large free agent contracts isn't possible.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, an NFL player I think lasts 4 years or something like that, but I get your point. I am afraid we will be seeing a lot of Woodhead in the future.

I'm pretty sure the only QB that would get hit hard on a screen pass is a QB that currently plays in Carolina or used to play in Carolina...or JaMarcus Russell.

I dislike the Hurricanes, but I also don't like it when idiots seem to think that coaching and recruiting are the same thing. Coker couldn't recruit and Shannon had to rebuild the pipeline. Coker recruited most of Shannon's team for the first two years.

That's a decent parallel. Putting your closer in during a 10-2 game and going for a FG instead of a TD in football.

I think the most boring game in the history of video games would be cheerleader tryouts. Maybe in real life it would be better, but on a video game, that would be terrible. The thought of an Easterbrook football game is almost unfathomable to me.

Anonymous said...

This is now at the bottom og Easterbrook's column:

An Oct. 5 Tuesday Morning Quarterback story on indicated that New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick did not wear anything pink in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month during Monday night's game against Miami. In fact, the soles of Belichick's shoes were pink.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, that's nice. Why don't they put it at the beginning of the column which is where Gregg Easterbrook made the comment? At least they put something in there. ESPN should have to fix all of Gregg's errors that he makes while assuming every week. The corrections would be as long as the column.

Arjun Chandrasekhar said...

the coker thing is laughable. he went 12-0 and 12-1 with butch davis's players. by 2006, when he had recruited HIS players and they had become seniors they went 7-6. coker's record got worse every season he was in charge. I'm not saying shannon is that great either, but coker's record is so massively deceiving - do gregg's readers actually believe this shit? when he talks about cheerleaders or football gods affecting games at least he's talking with a certain amount of facetiousness - but in this case he's totally serious about coker and dead fucking wrong.