Tuesday, November 29, 2011

6 comments MMQB Review: Peter Starts Critiquing Obituaries Edition

Last week Peter King talked to us about his D-list celebrityship and I got perhaps the most useful feedback I have ever received from a commenter about MMQB. I felt like I had to feature it this week in the MMQB opening paragraph. It is from "Ceska" and here is what he had to say about MMQB from last week:

Baseball strageies are very well explained. I can follow and organize material. I think it well written. I recommend it. I am a baseball coach and I beleive that the information in this would cost me in hundreds of dollars for a baseball clinic. I was grateful for the pictures and diagrams in the book because I think it enhances the material provided.

We all know I work very hard in MMQB talking about baseball strageies and I am always here to help those baseball coaches running a clinic. Consistent readers of this blog also gladly note how many pictures and diagrams I use to enhance the material. So I'm glad my hard work is making a difference. Most likely Ceska was happy about the diagrams and pictures since he seems to have an only slight grip on how to spell. Thanks for the spam Ceska.

That was this week's edition of "Spam BotB has received in response to a post." This week in MMQB, Peter details the Texans bad luck and gives his vaguely informed opinion on a bunch of other stuff. I should probably changed "This week" to "every single week" and that last sentence would be completely accurate. Here is this week's pictures and diagrams to help baseball coaches manage their material easier.

Gary Kubiak's voice sounded defeated, deflated on the phone from Jacksonville, where his team had just defeated the Jaguars with a heavy heart.

"With a heavy heart?" Did Matt Leinart die or merely get injured and is out for the season? I realize it is a tough loss for the Texans, but I'm not sure "with a heavy heart" should describe a season-ending injury for a player.

Nine years ago, Daniels had thrown six passes as a redshirt freshman at Wisconsin, but now this was the Houston backup plan if Yates, suddenly the most important player on the franchise, went down.

Peter is firing on all cylinders today. T.J. Yates is the most important player on the franchise now. Most valuable player in regard to keeping him healthy? Yes. Most important player on the franchise. Not unless something happened to Arian Foster or Andre Johnson.

My favorite note about T.J. Yates is that until his senior year at UNC many Tar Heel fans called him T.J. Yikes. I think that's great.

Imagine you're Kubiak.

(Bengoodfella buys a huge house, a bigger car and moves out of his mom's attic. Then goes out and requests Rick Smith sign Sage Rosenfels)

You've lost defensive cornerstone Mario Williams for the year, and offensive key Andre Johnson for six weeks,

Johnson is back now. Let's not dwell on injuries in the past that may no longer be relevant.

and in the last game, you lost your rock at quarterback, Matt Schaub, for the season. You get the ship steadied by spending two weeks (including your bye) getting Matt Leinart ready to play quarterback for his first meaningful snaps in four years. And 28 minutes into his first game, Leinart gets dumped on his throwing shoulder and, apparently, cracks his collarbone.

Am I still Gary Kubiak? If so, I'm calling Brett Favre. He can easily lead my Texans-coached team to the playoffs and then throw a crucial interception while playing throw tremendous pain, such as a really, really achy ring finger. He'll show you X-rays if you don't believe it is really, really achy.

Heck, the Texans will take hanging onto their two-game lead in the AFC South and just making the playoffs now.

I do feel bad for the Texans. My motto generally in situations like this is "that's why you have backups," but at this point I think we are past that phrase having meaning. 3rd string quarterbacks aren't expected to lead teams to the playoffs nor should one be expected start a playoff game and have any sort of very positive impact.

That being said, I do really like T.J. Yates in the future. Just not starting for the Texans this year.

They'll get backup Kellen Clemens ready (he was signed after Schaub went down), and sign another backup, possibly Brodie Croyle. The savior won't be Brett Favre, barring a major change of heart from GM Rick Smith and Kubiak.

Jimmy Clausen is available I hear. $50 bucks and a case of Sun Drop. That's the asking price.

Also, please shut up about Brett Favre. Even if he was signed I firmly believe Kellen Clemens or Brodie Croyle could come in and do approximately the same job as Favre could do at this point. Clemens nor Croyle are that good, but they also bring no-drama and maybe they will be competent. Favre's QB rating last year was 69.9 and he threw more interceptions than touchdown passes. That isn't the kind of quarterback the Texans need right now.

"I don't think so,'' Smith told me about Favre postgame. "I don't want to bring the circus to town.''

Brett Favre's legacy, everyone!

My favorite part about this story is how Peter went on television and brought up the story of Favre to the Texans only to then squash it. He essentially created the Favre-to-the-Texans rumor and then told us all why his idea won't work. You would think he worked for ESPN the way he did this.

The recipe for the Broncos winning five of six is not Tebow, Tebow and more Tebow. It's defense and the running game keeping things close. It's Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil rushing the passer and keeping him uncomfortable, and a reborn Willis McGahee (4.8 yards per carry at age 31) pounding defenses with the changeup ability of Tebow thrown in. And Eric Decker making circus catches. That about covers it.

So my question is, I wonder what happens when McGahee stops running well at 31 years old, Eric Decker can't make a circus catch and the changeup of Tebow's ability is better game planned by defensive coordinators? I'm not questioning whether the Broncos are playing very well right now or not. They are playing well, but the quarterback's ability can't be a "changeup" and expect the Broncos to continue winning games for the next few games and seasons. The Broncos defense is playing exceptionally well. Tebow is an incredible weapon at quarterback, but I firmly believe he will have to complete more than 9 or 10 passes in a game for the Broncos to win. Maybe I'm wrong and Tebow will change the NFL forever.

And the two men combined to do it, helped by a third-and-11 conversion catch by Decker that was upheld by review on the game-tying drive at the end of the fourth quarter. You know, when Tebow takes over.

Tebow taking over in the fourth quarter consisted of two drives that consisted of 16 plays and 87 yards. Let's be cautious in how we use "take over" to describe his performance. In overtime he had three drives consisting of 13 plays and 73 yards. It's impressive the Broncos won the game, but it took a missed field goal and three drives for the Broncos to get in field goal range in overtime. Tebow isn't such a winner if the Broncos defense doesn't step up and prevent the Chargers from scoring points in overtime.

And the special teams shall lead them. Remember draft weekend 2000? (Of course you don't remember something that happened 11 and a half years ago. But play along.)

Everyone who reads Peter's column is stupid and can't remember 11 years previous to this year. If only you had the lofty ability to recall facts, or the ability to use an Internet search engine, like Peter does.

I'm just like you. I'm skeptical of Suh's sincerity. But his apology may give Hanks and Anderson something to think about, because I'm told he wasn't winning any points inside the walls of the league office by his consistent refusal postgame to accept any blame for the incident.

Maybe Suh should have texted a picture of his penis to the Green Bay offensive lineman rather than step on the lineman's arm and he would then escape punishment from the NFL .

The Lions should very quietly arrange for Suh to get anger-management counseling, because the way he plays, and the way he goes over the edge at times, he looks like a guy who needs behavior modification.

Shock therapy maybe? Does that sound like a good way to do behavior modification?

Also, given the fact Suh's behavior is public knowledge and the public wants to see how Suh is punished for stepping on a player's arm, I am interested to see how his punishment in the form of behavior modification could be arranged very quietly.

I believe, despite Suh finally admitting he did something wrong, the league will suspend him this week. My gut tells me two games, though the NFL could make it one game plus time already served -- nearly half a game for the 25 minutes missed against Green Bay.

That's bullshit. How can Suh get credit for a suspension after he got kicked out of the game? This isn't the prison system where inmates get credit for time served. I don't think Suh should get credit for missing half a game because he got kicked out of the game for stepping on a player. He got kicked out of the game for the personal foul he committed and the punishment from the NFL for Suh should not be considered part of the punishment for the personal foul he committed during the game. The punishment from the NFL should be separate from the personal foul he committed which got him thrown out of the game.

As I said on NBC Sunday night, I think it's likely if Suh appeals his suspension and is suited up next Sunday at New Orleans, the Lions will sit him for the first quarter to show they're serious about reining him in.

Wow. A whole quarter. Those Lions sure are cracking down on Suh's behavior.

Aug. 28, 2010: Browns QB Jake Delhomme slammed to the ground by his head, resulting in a $7,500 fine.

In fairness to Suh, Jake Delhomme does owe me $150 for the 2009 NFL playoff game against the Cardinals. So he was only roughing up Delhomme a bit at my behest.

Dec. 5, 2010: Bears QB Jay Cutler gets a forearm to the back of the head, leading to a $15,000 fine.

Again, in fairness to Suh, Cutler was dating Kristen Cavilaiatirrri at the time and some sense needed to be talked into him. God only knows what viruses she is carrying.

Aug. 12, 2011: Bengals QB Andy Dalton slammed to the ground by his head -- $20,000 fine.

Suh just wanted to know if Dalton's head would bounce like a big red ball would. It was only an experiment and he won't do it again.

One other note: This is the sixth season for Roger Goodell as commissioner. For on-field incidents (not including things like the Vick or Roethlisberger suspensions) only one player in the Goodell era has been suspended for longer than one game, and that was Albert Haynesworth, who got five games for the Andre Gurode helmet-ripping-off and head-stomping. Gurode was injured by that. Dietrich-Smith, apparently, was not hurt by the Suh stomp.

So whether a player is hurt or not should factor into the determination of the fine? So if a player is going to cheap-shot an opposing player just be sure it doesn't leave a mark or doesn't cause any type of permanent harm. Apparently the act itself shouldn't determine the fine amount, but the damage the act causes is the real determination of the fine amount.

6. Pittsburgh (8-3). I know the win at Kansas City was too close for comfort, but Ben Roethlisberger's such a special player. His lofted first-half touchdown toss to backup tight end Weslye Saunders at the back of the end zone was gorgeous, and I'm glad Cris Collinsworth fawned over it.

10. Houston (8-3). I hate downgrading the Texans here, because what they did with a third-string quarterback was admirable in Jacksonville. But until I see "C" quarterback play out of T.J. Yates or whoever the quarterback's going to be, I'm not going to trust them to win in January.

So winning a close game against a bad team with your starting quarterback gets you moved up in Peter's rankings while winning a close game against a bad team with your backup quarterback gets you moved down in Peter's rankings.

12. Chicago (7-4). The Bears will be endangered species if Caleb Hanie duplicates that performance a couple more times.

Ba-da-(gunshot to the head)

15. (tie) Denver (6-5). I don't want to be a Doubter. At some point, when a team wins five out of six, and the quarterback is money in the fourth quarter every single week of that stretch, you've got to say, "Who cares how it's happening. It's happening.''

Arizona CB/PR Patrick Peterson. How valuable has Peterson been to a Cardinal team struggling so mightily to score? His fourth punt return for touchdown in his 11th NFL game tied an NFL record for punt-return touchdowns in a season -- and he's just the second rookie in NFL history (Detroit's Jack Christiansen, 1951) to do it. The 80-yard winding return gave the Cardinals a 20-10 lead in a game they'd go on to win 23-20, on a day that quarterback John Skelton struggled mightily all day.

This is interesting:

So in regard to the Broncos scoring three points in the fourth quarter it doesn't matter how it is happening, it is happening. This goes for Tebow's performance as well. Peter doesn't think it matters how it is happening, it is just happening. Tebow went 9-18 for 143 yards in the game.

In regard to the Cardinals scoring three points in the fourth quarter, John Skelton struggled mightily all game. Skelton went 12-23 for 114 yards. Skelton clearly played worse than Tebow, but his team still won the game. Still Tebow didn't play exceptionally well. Possibly this is a sign quarterback play isn't the reason both teams won the game.

I can't gloss over the fact Tebow didn't have an interception and Skelton had two interceptions. Still, he and Tebow scored the same amount of points on offense in the fourth quarter and both of their teams won the game despite the quarterback play. My point is that Tebow is playing well, but the Broncos are winning because he isn't turning the ball over, not because of Tebow's quarterback play. I really can't emphasize this enough. I give Tebow credit for playing well and not turning the ball over, but the Broncos defense is the reason the Broncos are winning games.

4. Terrell Suggs, OLB/DE(you figure out the position; technically he's an outside 'backer, but he sure looks like a defensive end the way he lines up to me), Baltimore. When he's really good, the Ravens don't lose.

Justin Smith has been at this spot for the past few weeks. I guess because the 49ers offensive line couldn't stop the Ravens from getting to Alex Smith this means Justin Smith is now less valuable to the 49ers. Let's face it, Peter just puts pretty much whichever defensive player seems the hottest during the past week in his MVP Watch.

I'm hardly the arbiter of great parenthood -- that would obviously be Steve Martin -- but sometimes it's hard to keep your mouth shut when you see some of the interesting parenting out there.

It's the weekly Peter King column topic I call "Peter King says he isn't going to do something and then immediately does that very thing." This week, Peter isn't a great arbiter of great parenthood (I am ignoring the Steve Martin movie reference), but this doesn't stop him from being an arbiter or parenthood.

On Saturday, I flew back from San Francisco to New York after spending a family Thanksgiving in California. Across the aisle from me were a mom and her 3-year-old (I'm estimating) daughter.

She could have been six months or could have been eight years old. Peter doesn't know. He's estimating. Peter was very busy at the time, seeing as there was a packed plane and that meant there were a large amount of people Peter had to stare at and then make a note to himself about each person's behavior.

The mom put her own headphones on and opened a book. After about 90 minutes, the movie was done, and the kid was restless, and the mom kept shushing her. "Sssssshhhhhh!'' And the kid would say, "But Mommy!'' and ask for drink or food or whatever, and the mom would say, "Sssshhhhhhhh!'' This went on, on and off, for the rest of the flight, the mom refusing to pay attention to the kid, the kid crying out for attention -- any kind of attention. Five hours of the mom ignoring the kid other than to shush her.

Peter would never have shushed his children or ignored them as they were growing up. Peter would have directed his wife to pay full attention to the children while she was taking care of them as Peter flies and drives around the United States for half of the year reporting on the NFL. If Peter had heard stories of his wife ignoring his children on a plane, well that just would have been unacceptable, and when he got home in two weeks he was going to have a real talk with her.

I guess I should have begun that sentence with "I'm hardly the arbiter of great parenthood" and I would have been free to criticize other people's parenting behavior.

(This would have been annoying to hear the mom say "Sssssssssh" for the entire flight. I will admit that. I just don't know what kind of attention the parent can give the child while on a flight. I know Peter knows this better than I do, since he seems to have been staring intently at these two people, but perhaps the parent was "Sssssshing" the child because she couldn't provide what attention the child needed while on a flight)

Those two have some interesting years ahead of them.

Not that Peter believes he can stand in judgment of them however.

h. Matt Moore. Good backups have 15-year careers, and Moore is at least that -- and on a day when he and Mike Pouncey couldn't get the exchange right, I thought he was still a major plus.

Moore struggled at times and he won't ever be an elite quarterback, but teams can do a lot worse than him as the backup quarterback. I've always been a bit of a fan of Moore and this Dolphins team is about the best situation he has ever been put in as an NFL quarterback.

b. Alex Smith missing a wide-open Delaney Walker on the first 49er offensive play of the game. Big, big error.

Right, because after the first offensive play of the game there is little to no time to make up for this huge, massive error.

3. I think whoever hires Tony Sparano when he gets fired after the season is going to get a heck of a football coach.

I think Peter King is a big fan of Bill Parcells, who is a big fan of Tony Sparano, which is why Peter King makes this statement. I have read multiple reports from multiple sites that have described how Tony Sparano is over his head as the Dolphins head coach. He may be a good coordinator, true, but he probably isn't going to be a head coach again. More importantly, most NFL head coaches got to where they were because they were a heck of a football coach previous to being an NFL head coach. So this statement could probably go for quite a few fired head coaches. Whatever team got Dick LeBeau after he was fired from the Bengals got a heck of a football coach. The same goes for Gregg Williams. Most fired NFL head coaches got to where they were because they were good football coaches. Sparano isn't special in this way.

Steven Ross' preliminary search list should include Jon Gruden and a slew of defensive coordinators: Mike Zimmer (Bengals), Chuck Pagano (Ravens), Perry Fewell (Giants), Rob Ryan (Cowboys) and Mike Pettine (Jets).

I don't get the Rob Ryan inclusion. I think if his name was Rob Sawyer he wouldn't be considered a head coaching candidate at this point in his career. That's just my opinion. Dallas' defense is 12th in yards per game given up, 14th in passing yards per game given up, and 10th in rushing yards per game given up. Those aren't bad numbers, but they are also some of the best numbers a Rob Ryan coordinated defense has ever accumulated.

The following are the rankings of Ryan's defenses in yards per game given up since he became a defensive coordinator:

2010: 22nd
2009: 31st
2008: 27th
2007: 22nd
2006: 3rd
2005: 27th
2004: 30th

Of course, this doesn't mean Ryan won't be a good NFL head coach. He may make an excellent head coach. These numbers just tell me he really hasn't distinguished himself too much as a defensive coordinator, at least in my opinion. He's been good, but not great. The rankings of these teams may mean absolutely nothing, but I do believe if his last name wasn't "Ryan" he may not be as highly regarded as he is.

I've said for years the NFL needs to adopt the college system for pass interference -- 15 yards from the line of scrimmage on defensive pass interference -- instead of the spot-foul it uses. (I actually think 10 yards would be better, but I'd settle for 15.) Brown's foul was relatively ticky-tack, and this was a game that was going to be a defensive struggle all the way, and this foul gave the Ravens 50 yards. Huge.

It is sad that Peter and I can agree on something.

9. I think that was the softest, weirdest, most unimpressive four-touchdown game that Mark Sanchez played Sunday that I'd seen in a while.

I thought it didn't matter how it got done as long as it got done? Sanchez is a winner! He just wins games, it shouldn't matter how he does it. The very rule that was being used to support Sanchez as a quality quarterback (he wins games) is now being used to describe Tebow and for some reason this rule no longer applies to Sanchez, as there are heightened expectations for him. Sanchez actually seems to be playing statistically better this year than he has the previous two years, yet he's not a "winner" anymore because he isn't winning as many games.

b. Take A Breath Dept.: Far be it from me to critique an obit in the great New York Times,

Which means Peter will now immediately critique an obituary. An obituary. Someone died and had their life written about in a paper. This gets critiqued by Peter King.

but the Tom Wicker piece after he died Friday in Vermont could have used a few more periods. In the first seven paragraphs of the piece were 49-, 65-, 69-, 58-, 58- and 62-word sentences.

Good thing Tom Wicker is dead. I am sure he would be outraged at the long sentences used to describe his life.

d. Wicker was a great questioning-authority and participatory-journalism beacon for J-school students in the '70s. His reporting from inside Attica during the New York prison's uprising was riveting.

This was riveting material, not because of the actual reporting, but because of the short sentences used in the piece.

e. Spent Thanksgiving with my family in San Francisco. Fun, relaxing, at times slothful. Very enjoyable, including the football-watching. What I found most interesting was the interest in the games.

"Not only do they have NFL games on the West Coast, but they enjoy watching NFL games on the West Coast! Who knew?"

i. Lord, Notre Dame looked pathetic Saturday night until that frosh quarterback from Cincinnati Moeller came in. How in the world has the Irish won eight games?

Clearly, Peter hasn't watched many Notre Dame games this year since he is obviously taking a sample of one game against one of the best teams in the country (Stanford) and then basing conclusions about Notre Dame after seeing that one game.

Saints 30, Giants 17. Look on the bright side, Eli: At least your parents only have to get on a streetcar to commute to this game.

Because we all know Eli Manning has two concerns prior to a football game...whether the Giants will win and what kind of transportation his parents will have to use to get to the game.


rich said...

but now this was the Houston backup plan if Yates, suddenly the most important player on the franchise, went down.

Well then they should have had an emergency QB on the roster. It's not like Kubiak didn't know going into the game that he'd be down to two actual QBs.

And Eric Decker making circus catches. That about covers it.

At one point, Tebow led back to back drives that lost yardage. That's incredible.

People also point to Tebow consuming the clock... except SD actually had the ball for about a minute more in that game and Tebow had six drives that lasted under 2 minutes.

You can win with Tebow and he deserves some credit (1 turnover in 6 games), but you have to win the same way Baltimore won with Dilfer or Baltimore wins with Flacco.

Defense and run the ball.

the quarterback is money in the fourth quarter every single week of that stretch, you've got to say, "Who cares how it's happening. It's happening.''

This might be the dumbest thing I've read in a while. Peter it matters because it's not sustainable. You can't rely on your defense (unless it's historically great, which, let's be honest Denver's isn't) to hold the opposing team to 10-13 points and pray that the offense can tie the game on the final drive.

Even more so, in both OT wins, the Broncos got the ball second.

Alex Smith missing a wide-open Delaney Walker on the first 49er offensive play of the game. Big, big error.

Tim Tebow went an entire half without completing a pass and the Broncos won. Who cares how it happens right?

Perry Fewell (Giants)

I hope this happens. Fewell sucks.

Ericb said...

I can see Denver beating every team on their remaining schedule except for New England (and maybe Chicago). Not good news for the Broncos' long term health as a team.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, they have Jake Delhomme now! Everything will be fine!

I think the Ravens comparison is a good one. Tebow has done a great job not turning the ball over, but you have to win the game by running the ball and playing great defense. It helps to have an excellent defense. Tebow should get as much credit as Dilfer got...and I don't mean a Super Bowl MVP trophy.

For me, the credit goes to the defense to Tebow for not turning the ball over. I don't think it is sustainable, but the more I say that, the more the Broncos win games. Tebow wouldn't be money if the other team could score first in OT.

In regard to your comment on Alex Smith, it does matter when we aren't talking about Tebow. That was my point about Sanchez. He threw 4 TD passes and they were "soft" or whatever he wrote about them. The idea it doesn't matter how it happens isn't used here b/c Sanchez is now being held to a higher level than Tebow is. For Tebow, 4 TD passes would be great, but for Sanchez Peter isn't impressed. Then he makes a comment about Alex Smith missing an open receiver...of course I guess this mattered b/c SF didn't win. All is forgiven w/ a win.

Not a fan of Perry Fewell, huh?

Bengoodfella said...

Eric, I agree. I don't know if winning this many games is a good thing for Denver. It may be, especially if Tebow can improve his passing in the offseason. Can't argue with success, but success also leads to worse draft position.

Ericb said...

In this article (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=jc-cole_direct_snap_broncos_tim_tebow_winning_112911) Jason Cole compares the current Broncos to the 2008 Dolphins. I think that is pretty spot on. Next year, with a tougher schedule and a probably improved Norv Turnerless San Diego team, I doubt the Bronco's will repeat this season's success.

Bengoodfella said...

Eric, I can see that comparison. That Dolphins team ran the Wildcat and eventually sort of built the team around the concept by drafting Pat White...then it fell apart. I hope Denver doesn't make the same mistake. The bottom line is Tebow can't get replaced for next year. So the Broncos will work on his throwing of the football. If he can excel at that they have a good shot, otherwise they will go backwards. Winning is good...sometimes.