Monday, January 2, 2012

10 comments TMQ: Gregg Easterbrook's Unwanted Column

This week is my least favorite TMQ of the year. I do not like the unwanted players All-Star list that Gregg compiles every year towards the end of the year. Gregg consistently puts players on the list who were unwanted 5-7 years ago, were unwanted for a reason (they were a bust at one point) and he has a very broad definition of the word "unwanted." For example, Jason Babin is on the list. Being a first round pick and a highly drafted glory boy we all know Gregg Easterbrook would generally consider Babin to be a bust highly paid glory boy, but now when Babin plays well he was "unwanted" and his previous teams should have kept him around. Funny how that works.

As always, Gregg Easterbrook wants it both ways. He wants to criticize a team for drafting an overpaid, highly drafted glory boy like Jason Babin, but then after Babin flourishes with another team, Gregg also wants to criticize Babin's previous teams for not holding on to him. Gregg is an expert at telling NFL teams what they should do after the fact. Gregg has no long term memory and he does absolutely no investigation into WHY a player was unwanted or undrafted. Also, I will do a (shortened) version of my Drew Brees-Miami Dolphins rant everyone is already tired of. Don't act like you aren't excited. Let's get to it.

Tuesday night the NFL announces its Pro Bowl rosters: Megabucks glory-boy types will hear their names called.

Because they tend to outperform undrafted free agents and lower drafted players. This is a fact that Gregg struggles to come to terms with on a weekly basis. Hence we get this unwanted All-Stars column where a second-team offensive tackle (Byron Bell) can be an All-Star simply because he has started a lot of games this year. Who cares if his performance has been average or below average? He was undrafted and unwanted!

But the players who catch TMQ's eye are the unwanted: performers, those who were undrafted, or waived, or both.

I would like to add that in the salary cap era of the NFL, a player being waived doesn't mean a team believes that player isn't very good anymore nor does it mean the player may not potentially be valuable to the team anymore either. It simply means sometimes players make too much money or want too much money as a free agent to be affordable to a team. This is vitally important to understand when evaluating in the salary cap era why a team keeps certain players over other players. Gregg, not surprisingly, fails to grasp this idea. In the salary cap era, a team may want to keep a player, but simply can't due to salary cap restrictions. Gregg pretends he pays heed to the idea of the salary cap, yet fails consistently to do so.

In most of life, hard work and determination are more important than social status or talent.

More evidence, if more was needed, that Gregg Easterbrook sometimes lives in a different America from the rest of us. My college roommate had a saying, "It's who you know and who you blow." Perhaps that's a negative way to look at the world, but in part of life it is true. In the NFL, talent tends to get drafted over players who are perceived as having less talent and eventually hard work can pay off in the real world as well. You just better hope you aren't competing for the same position at a company against current employees or the relative of an influential employee of that company.

That's why Tuesday Morning Quarterback lauds hard work and determination on the part of football players who were not born into success, but reached success through constant effort.

Let's be clear here. Nearly every single NFL player was a superstar at some level, even if it wasn't in college. So these players weren't born into success, but at some point in their career most NFL players were big fishes in little ponds at the very least.

First, the Tuesday Morning Quarterback Unwanted Players of the Year.

I promise. I will edit this down as much as possible since Gregg and my opinion of what "unwanted" differs so drastically. I also find it ironic that Gregg talks about "Christmas Creep" for most of the NFL season and his readers write in with other stories of events "creeping," yet Gregg gives out his All-Unwanted awards and THE NFL YEAR ISN'T EVEN OVER YET! Is this "Unwanted All-Star Creep?"

Runner-up: Fred Jackson, tailback, Buffalo. Jackson never started a game in high school, being "too small" and "too slow."

Usually when a writer puts words in quotation marks he is actually quoting something that exists in literature. I'd love to see Gregg provide proof that Jackson didn't start a game in high school because he was "too small" and "too slow." This may be true, and I'm not English teacher, but I'm pretty sure if you put words in quotes they need to be an actual quote that exists and not the figment of the writer imagining what was said. Mostly likely Gregg did here what he usually does, which is deceive his readers into believing these were words used on an actual evaluation of Jackson's skill set in high school. He attempts to deceive his readers by putting "too small" and "too slow" in quotes as if this came from a specific evaluation of Jackson in high school.

At the point Jackson broke his leg, he was second in the NFL in rushing and second in total yards from scrimmage, outperforming an array of No. 1-drafted megabucks players.

I don't even know why teams keep first round draft choices on the roster. They should only sign undrafted free agents.

Tuesday Morning Quarterback Unwanted Player of the Year: Doug Baldwin, Seattle. Two rookie wide receivers named Baldwin entered the NFL this season. Jonathan Baldwin, a No. 1 draft selection, has been nearly invisible with his team, the Kansas City Chiefs. Doug Baldwin, undrafted, became the leading receiver for the Seattle Seahawks and also is a special-teams ace, with a punt block that caused a Seattle touchdown on "Monday Night Football."

Doug Baldwin played better for one year than a highly drafted receiver who also had the last name Baldwin. That appears to be Gregg's point.

In other football news, the fans cheered wildly at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis when the hapless 1-13 Colts scored with 19 seconds remaining to upset the heavily favored Texans. This victory may deprive Indianapolis of first choice in the 2012 draft.

Why do the Colts even want the first choice in the 2012 draft? Shouldn't the Colts win as many games as possible and trade all of their players for 7th round draft picks? After all, why would the Colts want highly drafted, highly paid glory boys when they can get hard working lowly drafted, unwanted players?

If the Colts end up choosing second or third next spring, and Andrew Luck ends up as the only consensus franchise quarterback in the draft -- that could change, of course -- Indianapolis faithful may rue the day they cheered for the upset of the Texans.

I love how Gregg moves notes the worth of highly drafted players when it is convenient for him, but otherwise tries to convince his audience highly drafted players are lazy and don't work as hard as undrafted players.

Then again, perhaps the Indianapolis plan is to stick with Dan Orlovsky long-term. After all, he took over an 0-11 team and has now won two straight.

Of all the options the Colts have, this would by far be the worst option. Sure Gregg, let's ignore Orlovsky's entire body of work to focus on the last two games.

Stats of the Week No. 5: The AFC West has been outscored by 252 points.

And yet, Denver gets to host a home playoff game against 12-4 Pittsburgh. If I could change one thing about the NFL playoffs, this may be it. I just think a team like Pittsburgh, who didn't win their division granted, that went 12-4 in a division with three playoff teams should be rewarded with a home playoff game over an 8-8 team from a weak division. This is a nitpick of course, but if the NFL could change one thing about the playoffs, I think this would be it for me.

Baltimore now leading 17-0, the Browns faced goal-to-go on the Ravens' 3 with 11 seconds remaining until intermission, out of timeouts. Coach Pat Shurmur called a run to Hillis, stuffed; the half expired without Cleveland having time to send out its field goal unit. The CBS announcers mocked Shurmur for not getting a kick launched. But Cleveland trailed by 17 points! The Browns needed a touchdown, and Shurmur thought a rush would surprise a defense that was expecting a fade to the end zone,

The defense was expecting a fade to the end zone...which is why the Ravens stuffed the run to Hillis. I agree with the idea of going for a touchdown, but how can Gregg say the defense was expecting a fade when the Ravens easily stuffed the Browns running play? Doesn't it make sense to believe the Ravens were looking for a running play? Why does Gregg just make up what he believes the defense was looking for?

Jersey/B leading 7-3, Jersey/A faced third-and-10 from its 1-yard line. Eli Manning retreated into his end zone and threw a 10-yard curl to undrafted Victor Cruz, who legged it all 99 yards for a touchdown -- very sweet.

The play lasted 12 seconds, a long time in sports terms, yet no one from Jersey/B caught Cruz. Safety Brodney Pool, who had an angle, quit on the play and began jogging when Cruz was 30 yards from the house.

Pool had "an angle" in that he wasn't going to catch Cruz and would have had to make up 5 yards of distance between him and Cruz in those 30 yards. But yeah Gregg, sure Pool would have caught him. What a lazy bum.

Jersey/B surrendered a safety as defensive tackle Chris Canty bull-rushed past guard Matt Slauson to sack Mark Sanchez: a fitting conclusion to a sour effort all around by the Jets.

Don't you mean highly drafted glory boy Chris Canty bull-rushed lowly drafted, hard working Matt Slauson?

Two Cheers for Ndamukong: Ndamukong Suh soared in your columnist's estimation with the news that last year he gave away $2.6 million, more than any other pro athlete. Donating to charity, education or the arts is among the strongest signs of admirable character.

This is an absolutely admirable act. Don't get me wrong. Gregg is leaving an important part out of this story though. Suh gave $2 million to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Suh's alma mater, for a scholarship fund. So this is very admirable, but Suh did give the money back to his alma mater and not an actual "charity," though the funds will be used for scholarships. Suh is a great guy for this still, of course.

Scoring to pull within 27-24 with 1:51 remaining, Miami kicked away rather than onside kick. Yes, the Dolphins held three timeouts. But they were on the road, kicking away to one of the league's most proficient offenses; all New England needed was one first down to drill the clock. Needless to say, that's what happened. Miami had a better (though still long-shot) chance of victory had it onside kicked.

Assuming the Dolphins didn't recover the onside kick, the Dolphins would still have had to stop the Patriots. Statistically, the Dolphins probably weren't likely to recover the onside kick so the Dolphins were trying to ensure they got good field position if they stopped the Patriots. I think the decision to kick the ball away was at least defensible.

But seeking victory is not always first in a coach's mind. Interim head coach Todd Bowles would have known that if he ordered a deep kick, the Dolphins would all but surely lose -- but they would lose only 27-24. The league grapevine would say, "Hey, the Dolphins went into New England in December and only lost by three," improving the odds that Bowles will convert his Miami interim status into the plum job at Miami or elsewhere.

I personally would have kicked an onside kick here, but I can see why Bowles did not. Also, I always love it when Gregg displays his special ability to read a coach's mind as to why he made this or that decision. Gregg is omnipotent and can decipher intent from a single act. Come to think of it, Gregg should have been a criminal attorney since he knows how to decipher intent so well. He could be using his amazing ability to decipher the exact intent of a person for the good of society, but instead he is selfishly using his gift to decipher the intent of NFL and college head coaches.

A Tale of Two Turnovers: On the first Tim Tebow pick-six at Buffalo, the Bills led 26-14; Denver had abandoned its high school-inspired triple-option attack for straight dropback passing. Obviously Tebow isn't ready for this.

He's not ready to throw the football like an NFL quarterback should throw the football? So is the hope just that the Broncos always have the lead so the Broncos can run the type of offense Tebow is ready for? I'm just wondering about this. Tebow has been in the NFL for full two years. If he isn't ready to run a pro-style offense yet, does this bode well for his future?

John Fox continues to make ultra-conservative game management decisions, which hardly helps Tebow.

You mean "John Fox continues coaching like he has coached his entire NFL head coaching career." Remember, a punt is not a bad play.

The pass interference came on an eight-man mega-blitz that backfired badly. The mega-blitz was radioed in by backup defensive coordinator Reggie Herring. Starting defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, still in the hospital, never would have made such a boneheaded call.

Gregg's omnipotence helps him prove yet another point he wants to prove. It's amazing how Gregg can create evidence out of thin air that Wade Phillips NEVER would have made such a boneheaded call and just happens to prove how a terrible "mega-blitz" singlehandedly lost the game for the Texans with this evidence. It's amazing how this works.

Of course "Terra Nova" is just an absurd television show. But since Fox promoted it as the most expensive program ever made, "Nova" merits an absurd level of scrutiny.

FOX didn't market the show as the most expensive program ever made. YOU marketed it in TMQ as the most expensive program ever made. If it weren't for Gregg Easterbrook I would have had no idea how much the show cost. Maybe I'm the only one.

It's the mid-22nd century, yet idioms have not changed. Characters say "I'm done," "a world of hurt," "ginormous," "I'm running late," "back at you" and "clicks" to mean kilometers. Think how different typical speech was in 1873, which was as far backward as "Terra Nova" goes forward. Yet the 22nd century people of "Terra Nova" talk exactly like Southern California mall customers of the present day.

So the smartest thing for the writers to do is to write the dialogue with new words and lingo the audience can't understand or follow? Why the hell didn't the "Terra Nova" writers think of this earlier? You write a show using dialogue the audience can't understand or follow and success should immediately follow, right?

The use of today's lingo not only represented a failure of imagination but a missed marketing opportunity. "Terra Nova" should have contained future slang -- made-up words the characters would use without explanation, that viewers would figure out from context.

Gregg, let's start doing this now. Gregg, you are a fago dindroit. See if you can figure out what I mean.

Made-up vocabulary is a factor in the ratings success of "Game of Thrones."

Well, that and good writing, a built-in audience, and great support from HBO. But yeah, I'm sure it is the made-up words that causes the audience to tune in. I'd love for Gregg to explain why made-up vocabulary and slang used by the characters didn't help "The Wire" out at all in garnering a ton of viewers. Indeed.

Made-up future slang might have entered social-network culture as memes, which would have gotten young people talking about "Terra Nova" and watching so they could be first to hear and use the next bit of future slang.

Or it could have confused the viewing audience who much prefers to have things spelled out to them and don't want to constantly play catch-up on what's being said.

Here are the qualifications for the All-Unwanted All-Pros: A player must have been undrafted, or been waived, or been let go in free agency when his original club made no bona-fide attempt to retain him.

Gregg's criteria fails in that it doesn't tell WHY a player's original club made no bona-fide attempt to retain him. I know this doesn't matter to Gregg, but to consider a player unwanted, wouldn't it make sense to know why his previous team didn't keep to determine if he was unwanted or not? I guess not.

Players who left their teams via trade are not eligible, because the team received something of value in return. Free agents whom their original teams wanted to retain, but could not for salary-cap reasons, are not eligible.

Then a guy like Drew Brees is not unwanted. The Chargers would have loved to kept him, and made him an offer, but they had Philip Rivers. So for salary cap reasons it didn't make sense to pay two quarterbacks like they were going to be the starting quarterback. Yet, Brees shows up on this list year after year.

For example, Wes Welker qualifies as unwanted for going undrafted, then being waived by San Diego. But his trade from Miami to New England does not count, since the Dolphins got draft choices in return.

So in that case he is no longer unwanted and shouldn't be on the list since the Dolphins got value for him. Yet, he is on the list year after year.

In past seasons the undrafted James Harrison has made the All-Unwanted All-Pros. This season Harrison seems so determined to convince people that he is not much of a human being that he has been disqualified from consideration.

So there is a morality clause now?

(If anyone sees a player on the unwanted team we should have a major issue with, please alert me in the comments. I tried to do the players I have a major problem with being unwanted)

Richie Incognito,* Miami (waived by two NFL teams).

Incognito was waived by the Rams after committing two 15 yard personal foul penalties in a game and then having a confrontation with his head coach. Shouldn't the new morality clause take him out of the running for being unwanted? Of course not. Gregg had no idea Incognito got waived for this reason. That would require doing research and having a consistent set of guidelines for Gregg's all-unwanted list.

Fullback: Vonta Leach,* Baltimore (undrafted, waived by three NFL teams. Everywhere Leach goes, two things happen: The team has a great year rushing, and afterward Leach is waived).

Leach has only been waived by two teams and he wasn't waived by the Texans last year. He signed with the Ravens as a free agent after playing for the Texans since 2006. His 3 year $11 million contract wasn't matched by the Texans. Most likely for salary cap reasons. Therefore he probably shouldn't be on this list.

Leach's teams have waived him after a great rushing year exactly zero times. The Saints were 18th in rushing yards in 2005 when they waived Leach.

Quarterback: Drew Brees, New Orleans (let go by San Diego, unwanted when he offered to sign with Miami, later Super Bowl MVP).

Most people know this is a pet peeve of mine. Brees was not signed by the Chargers for salary cap reasons. They offered him a contract. He declined the contract and then the Dolphins didn't offer Brees enough guaranteed money, so Brees went with the team offering the most guaranteed money. That's right. Brees went with the highest offer. The Dolphins wish now they had upped their offer, but Brees was coming off serious shoulder surgery and they didn't feel like they could increase their offer. It was a mistake on their part, but Brees never "offered" to sign with the Dolphins any more than he "offered" to sign with any team that would be willing to give him the most guaranteed money in free agency.

Defensive line: Andre Carter,* New England (had his best year at age 32 after being let go twice);

ONCE. Andre Carter was let go once, by the Washington Redskins in 2011, who were playing him outside of his best position at linebacker. Andre Carter was signed by the Redskins as an unrestricted free agent and chose not to re-sign with the 49ers. So the 49ers didn't let Carter go, he let on his own accord.

Ahmad Brooks, San Francisco (viewed as a bust in Cincinnati);

So Gregg is going to call Brooks "unwanted" when he was a bust in Cincinnati? Doesn't he realize the ridiculousness of calling a player "unwanted" when that player underperformed with his previous team? Sure, the 49ers did well by signing Brooks, but calling Brooks "unwanted" seems to indicate the Bengals did something wrong by getting rid of a player who wasn't performing at a high level.

Charles Woodson, Green Bay (let go by Oakland as "too old," now wears Super Bowl ring and is likely Hall of Fame entrant);

I'd love to see Gregg try to find the quote by the Raiders that called Woodson "too old." He won't find it because Gregg made this quote up. He's essentially lying by putting the words "too old" in quotes since it didn't come from any cited article. He just made this criticism up. In reality, the Raiders didn't franchise Woodson again in 2006 because he didn't want to play in Oakland and was suffering injuries that caused him to not be worth to the Raiders what they had been paying him. Woodson left as an unrestricted free agent, he wasn't let go. Gregg writes great fiction.

Robert Gallery, Seattle (often described as a draft bust because he was the No. 2 choice in 2004 and initially played poorly, needed time to adjust to the NFL);

Hahahaha! Look at Gregg now making excuses for a highly drafted, glory boy when it fits Gregg's need to call that player unwanted. Hilarious. We all know an offensive lineman who played college football for four years and is drafted #2 overall just needs 4-5 years to adjust to the NFL. That's reasonable to Gregg. Gallery is EXACTLY the kind of player Gregg calls a highly paid glory boy on a weekly basis and suggests is too lazy to make it at the NFL level. So Gregg should never criticize a highly drafted player because it may take that player just take a few years to adjust to the NFL. This makes sense, right, since Gregg is making this excuse for Gallery? Of course, Gregg will continue to criticize highly drafted players for not playing well after 1-2 years. This is his rule and his favorite thing to do. It is just when it fits Gregg's need to be right Gregg will change his position. So when Robert Gallery performs well after leaving the team that drafted him, he just needed more time, as well as a switch of positions along the offensive line, to play well in the NFL. Gallery isn't a bad offensive lineman, but it is incredibly ironic to hear Gregg Easterbrook want to give a highly drafted pick "time" to adjust to the NFL because it fits Gregg's agenda.

Brian Waters,* New England (undrafted, released by Kansas City as "too old," realistic shot at the Hall of Fame).

Again, I would love for Gregg to provide the specific quote that he just quoted calling Waters "too old." I don't see how ESPN allows a writer to directly quote something that doesn't fucking exist.

Running backs: Cedric Benson, Cincinnati (practically propelled out of cannon, Chicago was so anxious to waive him);

Because he wasn't a good running back and had two alcohol-related arrests in a five week span. Those types of things are good reasons for a player to be waived.

Adam Carriker, Washington (let go after being a high-number choice at St. Louis)

He was essentially a bust in St. Louis because he didn't meet the Rams expectations of him. In fact, here is what Gregg "The Omnipotent" Easterbrook had to say about Carriker in 2010:

Other players from the 2007 first round -- Ted Ginn, Marshawn Lynch, Adam Carriker, Justin Harrell, Jarvis Moss -- have been busts; all were praised by NFL insiders who supposedly had access to scientific yardsticks.

Gregg outright calls Carriker a bust. So how can he be considered "unwanted?" The hypocritical Gregg Easterbrook, the same guy who wants to criticize a player for being a bust and criticize a team for giving up on a bust too early, said this as well about Carriker:

Shortly before the draft, Les Mouflons traded Adam Carriker, the 13th selection of the 2007 draft, to the Redskins for very little, officially making the St. Louis 2007 draft a fiasco. It was just three years ago and no one from that draft remains on the St. Louis roster. In payment for Carriker, the Rams received an exchange of fifth-round draft selections: Moving up in the fifth round was all that a recent Rams first-round pick was worth. But wait -- as part of the deal, the two clubs also exchanged seventh-round selections, Washington getting the 208th choice of the draft from St. Louis, and giving back the 211th choice. A three-slots difference in the last round is so incredibly minor, it's as if St. Louis tipped the Redskins on the trade: "Here you are my good man, here's your 2007 first-round draft bust, and I've thrown in a little something extra for your troubles."

So Gregg not only criticized Carriker for being a bust, then criticized the Rams for trading 7th round draft picks in the Carriker trade since he was a bust, and now criticizes the Rams for ever getting rid of Carriker in the first place. The moral to this story is Adam Carriker is a bust and major part of the reason the Rams are so bad, unless Carriker starts playing well for another team, in which case the Rams never should have gotten rid of Carriker.

Bart Scott,* Jersey/B (undrafted out of Division I-AA Southern Illinois).

Bart Scott also signed a 6 year $48 million deal as an unrestricted free agent. He is a part of that overly-cocky defense that Gregg seems to despise so much. It doesn't matter much that Scott is highly paid and part of a defense Gregg doesn't like when he is trying to show that Scott is "unwanted."

Carlos Rogers, San Francisco (shown the door in Washington to free up money for megabucks corner DeAngelo Hall, whom Rogers has outplayed);

Carlos Rogers was also highly drafted in the first round. Of course, Gregg won't acknowledge this since it goes against his contention that highly drafted players are lazy and think everything should be handed to them. Another small detail is that Hall was already on the Redskins team when Rogers was on the team. They played together for three seasons, including two years when Hall had a huge contract. So Rogers was not "let go" in order to free up money for Hall. Hall already had the money and Rogers wasn't re-signed for salary cap reasons that may or may have something to do with Hall's contract. Which means he shouldn't be on the list. Gregg hopes no one does research like I am doing which shows he is somewhat full of shit.

Sean Payton wants to be the coach of a quarterback who holds a major record. If it's the second half next Sunday, and Payton knows San Francisco is pounding St. Louis (meaning New Orleans cannot improve its seeding) while New England is in a close game with feast-or-famine Buffalo (meaning Brady stays in), the New Orleans coach may be sorely tempted to keep Brees on the field and throwing to make sure he finishes the season ahead of Brady.

Which is exactly what happened. I didn't have as much of a problem with the Saints doing this against Carolina. I did have a bit of a problem with the Saints throwing late in the fourth quarter against the Falcons in order for Brees to break the record. I just thought it wasn't sportsman-like simply because Brees could have broken the record at home the very next week. It doesn't really matter I guess, but if I were the Falcons I probably would have been a bit irritated with the Saints.

Why is New Orleans so effective on offense? It's not funky tactics.

A great offensive line and they have Drew Brees as their quarterback. It's nearly that simple.

Rookie Julio Jones is playing well, but the king's ransom of draft choices Atlanta gave for him has already resulted in decline of the Falcons' power game.

Here we go again. The inability of the Falcons' offensive line to block well for Michael Turner is pretty much Julio Jones' fault. Jones has ruined everything for the Falcons.

In the first half, when the game was close, Atlanta coaches radioed in only nine rushing plays.

Does Gregg think Julio Jones is the offensive coordinator for the Falcons? I don't know if having more options at wide receiver, which lacking these options has hurt the Falcons in the past, is why the Falcons don't run the ball well. Perhaps more blame should go to the Falcons offensive line. Of course, Gregg won't do this because the Falcons offensive line has one of Gregg's unwanted All-Stars on it (Tyson Clabo) and doesn't have many underachieving high draft picks. So Gregg lays the blame with a glory boy wide receiver who has hurt the Falcons running game apparently by merely being on the active roster.

Next Week: Should Tuesday Morning Quarterback have a disclaimer?

Yes. The disclaimer should say, "Tuesday Morning Quarterback's statements are merely hypothetical and contain very little research or factual information. Statements made by TMQ may not in fact be true and we encourage readers to do their own investigation into the claims and statements by TMQ. This column is purely for entertainment purposes and ESPN only gives a crap about pageviews and doesn't endorse, proofread or edit any of what is written therein. If you repeat as fact anything TMQ may state or claim then you perhaps deserve the ignorance you have acquired by not doing any research."


HH said...

But seeking victory is not always first in a coach's mind. Interim head coach Todd Bowles would have known that if he ordered a deep kick, the Dolphins would all but surely lose -- but they would lose only 27-24. The league grapevine would say, "Hey, the Dolphins went into New England in December and only lost by three," improving the odds that Bowles will convert his Miami interim status into the plum job at Miami or elsewhere.

Of course. It certainly isn't a factor that this is a meaningless game for the Dolphins (a loss actually improves their draft position) and maybe Bowles doesn't want to risk the health of his players (or the Patriots' - it's a collegial game) on a high risk play like the onside kick.

rich said...

quit on the play and began jogging when Cruz was 30 yards from the house.

It was actually the 20 when Poole quit, but he also wasn't the closest guy to Cruz, so I fail to see why how this is a big deal.

John Fox continues to make ultra-conservative game management decisions, which hardly helps Tebow.

Considering the coaches sees Tebow in practice every week, so if there's someone to accurately judge what Tebow is capable of, it's them. Even if not, the fact that TMQ stated that Tebow wasn't ready to be a drop back passer, then gets pissy about the "conservative game management" is asinine. If he's not ready to be a drop back passer, then why the hell would John Fox gameplan to do things that his QB can't do?

Being in KC for the weekend, I had a chance to watch Tebow play against KC and boy was it shocking. Unless a WR was 4 or 5 yards away from a defender, he refused to throw the ball. There were countless plays where he had someone who was open enough to at least attempt to pass to and he just stood there. After watching the game, it's absolutely clear that Tebow is not ready to be a starting NFL QB.

"Terra Nova" and watching so they could be first to hear and use the next bit of future slang.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Slang comes naturally from situations, if you try to force it, it will suck and people will laugh at them for trying to be too "hip."

In past seasons the undrafted James Harrison has made the All-Unwanted All-Pros.

How can someone who a team gave 50 fucking million dollars be unwanted?

Richie Incognito,* Miami (waived by two NFL teams).

Brett Favre got waived too! Oh and Incognito was a third round pick... clearly unwanted.

: Drew Brees, New Orleans (let go by San Diego, unwanted when he offered to sign with Miami, later Super Bowl MVP).

I know we go through this every year Ben, but I'm astounded that Brees can be considered unwanted. He was offered a contract by SD and Miami and told them he wanted more money.

By this logic, then Eli Manning is unwanted because SD traded him!

Charles Woodson, Green Bay (let go by Oakland as "too old," now wears Super Bowl ring and is likely Hall of Fame entrant)

5 years, 55M. Unwanted!

Robert Gallery, Seattle

Waived due to his insane contract. Was also drafted as a franchise LT and is now a Guard. Shocking a team wouldn't pay top 3 money to a guy not playing as valuable a position anymore.

Carlos Rogers, San Francisco

Carlos Rodgers is a first round fucking pick. By this stupid ass logic 95% of the NFL is unwanted.

Rookie Julio Jones is playing well, but the king's ransom of draft choices Atlanta gave for him has already resulted in decline of the Falcons' power game.

Here's someone in an article where he just talked about the all "unwanted" team saying that Atlanta needs high draft picks to improve. What planet is he living on?

Martin F. said...

John Fox runs an ultra conservative game plan because now Tebow's confidence is shot. Not through any of Fox's fault though. I think the 4 picks against the Bills really messed with Tim's mind. WE know he isn't all that accurate (understatment of the decade), so I'm guessing FOX knows that he's inaccurate, so what other type of game plan is there to run for him?

As some of have said, draft a kid in the 3rd/4th round you like, give Tebow a full off season to see if it helps at all, roll the dice next year. Right now the Bronco fans are so in love with him that it's the best option the team probably has. Perhaps they can suck enough to get Barkley next year.

J.S. said...

This was truly brilliant Ben

Ericb said...

Gregg should write a column the week after the draft that explains in detail why each of the 32 first round picks are going to be overpaid glory boys.

Bengoodfella said...

HH, that's always a thought as well. I don't know the conversion percentage on an onside kick the receiving team knows is coming, but I can't imagine it is good. I think even if I would do the onside kick, it is a defensible move.

Rich, see Tebow isn't ready to be a dropback passer in Gregg's opinion, but he wants the game plan to be more wide open. I'm not sure how to reconcile those two opinions. So Fox should compile a game plan that Tebow can't run very well? Tebow has some skills, but the Broncos game plan fits his skill set right you saw in person.

I do go through this Brees thing every year. I can't help it! Miami made the wrong decision, but they had a reason to do so because Brees was coming off shoulder surgery. They screwed up, but the bottom line is Brees went with the team that offered him the most money. There is nothing wrong with that and the Chargers didn't keep Brees for salary cap reasons. They can't pay him and Rivers starting QB money.

The planet Gregg is living on is the planet where a player who gets $50+ in free agency is unwanted by the team that doesn't re-sign that player. Gregg has no concept of the salary cap. None.

Martin, I have thought the worst thing for the Broncos this year was Tebow's success. It gives the illusion this is sustainable. I just don't believe it is. I watched a John Fox offense in Carolina struggle to come back from deficits with Jake Delhomme at QB. What happens when Tebow has to throw the ball? Sure, he has pulled out some game winners, but I don't believe he can continue to rely on scrambling and having wide open receivers at the end of the game to make a comeback. I can't explain how it was happening earlier this year, but for all of Tebow's positives, Fox isn't going to give him a chance to run a more wide open offense without confidence he won't turn the ball over.

There is a reason I said Fox wasn't a good coach for Tebow. He is a conservative coach who will look great when the Broncos can run the ball, but when the Broncos need to throw, Fox won't have the confidence in Tebow to develop him in that manner.

J.S., thanks.

Eric, see Gregg has no clue which players aren't any good immediately after the draft is over. He takes the UFA list of the Pats/Colts and tells us these players will be good b/c they were drafted by the Pats/Colts. That's not really good analysis.

I wish Gregg would write that column, but he can't because he has no idea which of these players are highly paid glory boys until he sees them on the field. Then he writes them off after 1-2 years (or has a bizarre bias against them like the case of Julio Jones), except when "they need time to adjust to the NFL" like Robert Gallery. I'm amazed at the excuses Gregg makes in order to make a player unwanted.

jacktotherack said...

"Rookie Julio Jones is playing well, but the king's ransom of draft choices Atlanta gave for him has already resulted in decline of the Falcons' power game.

In the first half, when the game was close, Atlanta coaches radioed in only nine rushing plays."

What a load of shit. Michael Turner just finished #3 in the league in rushing yards and the Falcons were #10 in total offense. Julio Jones is emerging as a star and this idiot can't get by his own inexplicable prejudices against him, so instead Gregg invents criticisms out of thin air to bring down Jones. What is up with this?

Bengoodfella said...

Jack, I have no idea why Gregg doesn't like Julio Jones. Turner had a good year and the Falcons still base a lot of their offense on the running game. Jones almost had a 1000 yard season (he had 54 catches for 959 yards and 8 TDs) and he has been lauded for his blocking ability. Essentially, Gregg is just making up the fact Jones is hurting the Falcons running game.

What annoys me the most is ESPN allows him to do this. Gregg isn't giving an opinion, he is stating facts that are lies. Like when Gregg made up a fake quote about Jones being a diva. How is that not a lie? Also, the Falcons running game may or may not be declining, but they still put up good numbers as a team and why is it Jones' fault if the running game doesn't work as well?

From ESPN, Gregg's very employer:

Sandatola said...

Gregg has proven himself to be the king of hypocrisy. I'm glad somebody called him out on it.

Bengoodfella said...

Sandatola, I obviously agree. He needs to be called out on some of the hypocrisy and contradictions that can be found in his columns. Sometimes he can make good points, but they usually don't involve him discussing the NFL.