Tuesday, March 27, 2012

2 comments MMQB Review: Ex-QB Broncos Goes East Edition

Peter had no knowledge of the Saints' bounty punishments or Backup QB Jets (I finally remembered to use the Tecmo Super Bowl version of his name) being traded to the Jets last week, so he could not include either of these two events in MMQB. This week Peter fills us in with all of his not-so-deep thoughts on each issue. Peter claims to be sensitive to the issue of discussing Backup QB Jets. He isn't really sensitive to it. He clearly doesn't give a shit if his readers don't give a shit about Backup QB Jets anymore and feels free to discuss Backup QB Jets at length. I'm pretty sure readers of MMQB are tired of hearing about Backup QB Jets.

We all know discussing Backup QB Jets gives Peter pageviews and that's all that is good enough reason to saturate his MMQB with coverage of a backup running back turned quarterback. Peter will shock you with in-depth knowledge of the NFL like his revelation that Sean Payton thinks the bounty penalties are too harsh (who saw this revelation coming? No one), as well as the trade for Backup QB Jets and the circus that comes with him. Peter believes this trade makes sense for the Jets, who apparently have given up fielding an NFL team in favor of creating a soap opera revolving around an NFL team. It's like they saw themselves on "Hard Knocks" two years ago and thought it would be more interesting to have drama always surrounding the team.

New Orleans coach Sean Payton arrives at the NFL owners meetings this morning, with only seven days left in his 2012 season. Starting next Monday, Payton will begin his year-long suspension for looking the other way

If by "looking the other way" Peter means one of the employees Payton was responsible for managing was engaged in illegal or unethical practices, then I guess he did look the other way. Usually, a manager is responsible in some way for the activities of the employees he manages. Perhaps if Payton understood he isn't an offensive coordinator anymore then he would understand the length and severity of his suspension a little bit better. The commissioner handed down strict penalties and Payton is the head coach of the team that is being penalized. Lord knows Payton loves the accolades that come with being an NFL head coach, but this is the downside of the job. When one of his employees screws up, a head coach sometimes has to take some heat too.

I'm told Payton is thinking of speaking to owners and coaches here, and he's undecided about it.

Please keep us updated on what Payton does, because we don't really give a shit.

But if he does, it won't be to blast the ruling, which he feels is patently excessive.

So you mean a person received a punishment and believes it is excessive? Is this the first time in United States history a person has received a punishment he or she feels is unfair? Most likely.

I think the ruling was harsh, but since there isn't really any point of reference or precedent for an incident like this there isn't really any way to know if it is patently excessive. I think Goodell has sent a strong message that probably needed to be sent and if Sean Payton or Drew Brees don't understand this then that tells me something about their character. Come on, I've done things wrong in my life (not to this extent) and once you have done something wrong, to a certain extent you submit yourself to the punishment you may receive. He can fight it, but I'd love to hear what Payton's suggested punishment for himself would be.

I've also heard conflicting stories about whether he'll appeal the year sanction from Goodell and try to get it reduced. That may come in the form of GM Mickey Loomis trying to convince the league it is he -- Loomis -- who should be punished the most severely because he is ultimately responsible for what happens under his watch.

I can somewhat see this reasoning, but I don't get how this would reduce Payton's punishment. If anything, this should increase Loomis' punishment, but have no effect on Payton's punishment. Loomis trying to fall on the sword for the benefit of the football team doesn't take away that Payton either (a) knew about the bounties and did nothing or (b) lacked control of his team to where he wasn't in position to prevent the bounties. Either one does not reflect well on Payton and probably makes him culpable in some way.

Payton has until next Monday, the same as every person sanctioned in the bounty case, to decide whether to appeal the penalty.

Sean Payton probably believes only giving him two weeks to appeal is patently unfair.

People I talk to in the league are split on the discipline. Most like it.

If people are split on the discipline, then how can most people like the discipline? This makes not of sense.

They like Goodell drawing a line in the sand and point to decisive, iron-fisted action like that as the reason why the NFL will stay on top of the sports world. But some feel Goodell's year sanction of Payton was over the top.

It is a very harsh punishment. Goodell is setting a precedent for a team having 2-3 years of bounties on opposing players so next time if a team has a bounty for only one year Goodell can give the next team who takes out bounties a lesser sentence without the sentence being a slap on the wrist. It's called setting a precedent and Goodell has set one. 2-3 years of bounties on players costs a coach a full year in a suspension. If Goodell had gone softer on Payton, giving him eight games, what would a coach have to do to deserve a one year ban? 4-5 years of bounties on opposing players? That's half a decade of trying to intentionally injure opposing players, which seems like it should be punished by more than a year suspension. Goodell made a point with his harsh punishments.

I share that feeling, I thought eight games would have been fair

Based on what, Peter? The fact you personally like Sean Payton and have shown an inability to report on NFL news without bias or a lean towards people you personally like? Why is eight games fair and why the hell does the NFL have to be fair to Sean Payton? This isn't about fairness, this is about setting a precedent and trying to stop this from occurring again.

Peter King thinks Sean Payton is a good quote, offensive playing calling genius and he personally likes Payton. So he lets this come into his thinking about the "fairness" of the penalty. That's what I believe at least.

He wanted to lay down the law so that, unequivocally, no coach or player would ever be tempted to put a bounty out on a foe again, ever. My feeling is it could have happened with an eight-game ban for the head coach.

This deterrence from having bounties will definitely happen with a year-long ban then. It's all karma coming back on Sean Payton. That's my opinion. I think he is an ego-driven (more so than most NFL head coaches) jerk who the media seems to adore because he coaches in New Orleans and this allows them to ignore all of his faults.

"I would respond to that this way,'' Pash said. "The commissioner has been clear from day one that he wants to change the culture of the game. He wants to eliminate the gratuitous hits, and eliminate any excessive violence that has no place in the game.

The game of football is inherently violent. Good luck getting rid of the excessive violence and hard hits. See, I have enough scorn for everyone in this situation. The NFL needs to punish the Saints because what they did as a team was against the rules laid out and not base it mostly on a fictional basis of trying to clean the game up. The game of football is violent and it was wrong for the Saints to try to intentionally injure another player. Just leave it at that. If you want to change the violence of the game, you have to change the entire game of football.

Pash refused to compare this scandal to the Spygate affair in 2007. I believe that by any measure this bounty scandal is more serious and worse for football than Spygate, which involved surreptitious taping of opponents' defensive signals, and using those tapings to gain an unfair edge in figuring out what plays the opponents would call.

I've heard a few Saints fans use Spygate as an example for the Saints' punishment being unduly harsh. There isn't a comparison. It's the difference in cheating at a game and intentionally trying to injure another person. At the end of the day, the Patriots spying on competitors was wrong and should have been punished. Football is a game though. The Patriots spying on competitors didn't involve hurting the physical well-being of the opposing team, which is usually deemed more important in the overall scheme of things. An example...

What would you consider to deserve more severe punishment during a pick-up game of basketball? If the opposing team kept cheating by insisting their team had scored more points or if the opposing team tried to intentionally injure your teammates? Most people will be annoyed and get in a minor confrontation over the wrong score being calculated, while intentionally trying to injure another player in a pick-up game would deserve an ass-kicking. There's a difference in what happens in the realm of the game and what happens to individual people's physical well-being during a game.

The bounty business involves violations of the salary cap and tax code by paying players a cash bonus off the book, and, more seriously according to the NFL's case against the Saints, involves players being incentivized to knock foes out of the game. That can't be tolerated in any form. I think we'd all agree with that.

But here is the game-suspension scoreboard in the two cases this morning: Saints Bounty Scandal 46, Spygate 0.

Gregg Williams 16 (maybe more), Sean Payton 16, Mickey Loomis eight, Joe Vitt six.

Bill Belichick 0.

This is an interesting point. Clearly, the league considers what the Patriots did to be a much lesser offense than what the Saints did. Let's please remember these aren't comparable situations. Should the league have not gone as hard on the Saints because they went "easy" on the Patriots? Not necessarily.

There are more people involved in this case -- coaches, staff, players -- than in Spygate. So the penalty is going to seem more severe. But two high draft choices, and 46 games, with more to come, is one heck of a message to send.

Yes, it is. Let's remember this happened over 2-3 seasons. I think that is important to know. The Saints had bounties on opposing players even in 2011, so the penalty is being reflected as a consistent refusal to obey the NFL's rules on bounties, including bounties during the past NFL year, and is not based on a one-time offense.

Now Peter goes to 10 free agency moves he liked.

1. CB Tracy Porter from New Orleans to Denver. The other day in Denver, I spoke to John Fox about the supporting cast for Peyton Manning, and one of the things I gently reminded him was his defense allowed 40 points or more in five of 18 games last season. "I know,'' he said. "We plan to do something about that.''

"This calls for more soft coverage by the corners, not allowing Denver's best cornerback to cover the opposing team's best receiver and a refusal to put pressure on the opposing quarterback by blitzing!"

2. QB Alex Smith staying in San Francisco. This was not a phony, visit-Miami-for-leverage ploy by Smith. If the Dolphins had shown him some more first-year money, he very well could have left San Francisco. Good idea that the Niners stepped up, rather than make the quarterback position on a solid Super Bowl contender a Josh Johnson/Colin Kaepernick camp duel.

How a year has changed that Alex Smith is viewed as a solid, safe quarterback. We'll see how this opinion holds as the 2012 season progresses. Smith has only been solid and safe for one year. Naturally, because sportswriters have no long-term memory they don't recall last year was the 49ers first season in the playoffs in nearly a decade and last year was the first year Alex Smith was a solid quarterback. So in many sportswriter's minds I feel like the 49ers are on the brink of a Super Bowl and Alex Smith is bound for the Pro Bowl.


Four points on Tim Tebow's arrival in New York:

Not 30 points? How about 100 points?

I read somewhere that Backup QB Jetsmania has now died down, even if he is with the Jets. That's bullshit. Because Backup QB Jets is now in New York, the center of the universe, I think Backup QB Jetsmania will start up all over again.

1. In a strict football sense, Tebow as a Jet makes sense. He allows a risk-taking coach, Rex Ryan, and his Wildcat-loving offensive coordinator, Tony Sparano, to experiment with different ways to use Tebow. Wildcat quarterback. Spreading the field on the two-point conversion. Maybe even the personal protector on the punt team where imaginative special teams coach Mike Westhoff can throw some changeups at the defense.

I'd love to see Backup QB Jets play special teams.

I just don't know if the accompanying headaches will make it a plus overall for the Jets, never mind what it does to the psyche of the starter. I don't care what Mark Sanchez says publicly. This ticks him off.

Maybe rightfully so. This was a sort-of wakeup call for Sanchez that he needs to step his game up or move on out. Sanchez is a quarterback the Jets fans don't seem convinced about as it is, but throw in Backup QB Jets to the mix with his Wildcat and running abilities, and I see no way this season isn't going to be a disaster for the Jets in some ways. Backup QB Jets will come in the game and be successful in the small amount of plays he participates in, then Sanchez throws a few interceptions and the next thing you know there is a quarterback controversy.

4. I will be shocked if, one day before the end of his career, Tebow is not a member of the Jaguars -- assuming the Jags remain in Jacksonville long-term. When? I don't know. But unless he establishes a solid starting beachhead in New Jersey or elsewhere soon, he'll be a Jag one of these days. Just makes too much sense for a franchise that needs the juice of Tebow.

Feels bad to be Backup QB Jets. Your over-excited fans make NFL teams not want to trade for you to avoid the circus around your presence on the team, teams trade for you as if you are some sort of a mascot designed to increase attendance, and you are hated by a good portion of the population through (mostly) no fault of your own.

The former Patriots head coach and Giants and Steelers offensive coordinator died in Florida Wednesday at 80. I'll always remember him for the great coaching job he did in Super Bowl XXV as the Giants' offensive strategist, one of the great game-planning and play-calling days I've seen in the years I've covered the NFL.

The other day, after Erhardt died, I asked Parcells about "Shorten the game.'' How big of a reason was it in the outcome of the game?

"It wasn't a reason,'' Parcells said the other day. "It was the reason. Ron had a terrific plan that day.

I'm sure the Giants defensive coordinator during this Super Bowl, Bill Belichick, is happy to hear his defensive gameplan isn't really being credited by Bill Parcells as the reason the Giants won that Super Bowl. Actually, Belichick probably doesn't really care at this point. He has more Super Bowl appearances and victories than Parcells at this point.

"He liked my performance. I hope I like his performance.''

-- P.J. Benjamin, who plays Oz in the Broadway musical Wicked, to the New York Daily News Saturday night, after Tebow finished his first official day as a member of the Jets by attending his first Broadway show. Tebow went backstage after the show, according to the newspaper, and lauded all of the performers.

More Backup QB Jets! We can't get enough of it, Peter! What did he do AFTER the Broadway show? Did he accidentally hire a prostitute thinking she wanted to go eat ice cream with him? Did he get lost in the city and end up hanging out with a crazy bird lady in the attic of a symphony house only to finally be found by his parents after he held off two thieves trying to physically harm him as retribution for putting them in jail a few years earlier? MARV!!!!!!

Speaking of "shows," how many offers for reality television shows do you think Backup QB Jets has received? I'd guess at around 20 serious offers.

"There's only so many times a man that has done everything he's been asked to do can be disrespected! Guess the GOOD GUYS do finish last....''

-- @mattforte22, the Bears running back, after Chicago signed free-agent running back Michael Bush to a four-year, $14 million contract, with $7 million guaranteed. The Bears and Forte, the no-doubt No. 1 back on the team, are still trying to get a long-term deal done.

I do feel bad for Forte because he has been a good soldier through the contract (lack of) negotiations. Still, there is a difference in the Bears offering a running back $7 million guaranteed to sign with them and using $30 million guaranteed (or whatever Forte wants) to sign Forte. I think it was clear before the signing of Michael Bush that Matt Forte isn't getting the big payday he wants from the Bears. I'm not sure if this contract means Bush is any closer or further away from getting the big contract he wants and deserves.

I bet a lot of other NFL players are taking notes on this situation though and seeing DeSean Jackson's whining has paid off with a new contract from the Eagles shows them how a new contract is really negotiated. This is as opposed to Ray Rice and Matt Forte having acted like good team players about not having new contracts, yet they haven't gotten paid yet by their respective teams. NFL players see this and will adjust their attitude accordingly.

I think if I'm a Bengals fan, and I'm trying to analyze what they're doing in free agency, the conclusion I would come to is this: They are plumbing the depths of the lower-middle-class and seeing what, if anything, sticks. Derrick Harvey and Jamaal Anderson are two of the most disappointing highly drafted pass-rushers in recent years. Check out their stat line on profootballfocus.com. In the last two seasons, Anderson and Harvey have combined for eight sacks and 34 pressures in 1,307 combined defensive plays.

Imagine getting drafted in the first round, and barely producing, and there are the Bengals, with a nice soft landing spot. The only saving grace is the money, which is minor.

It's a calculated risk the Bengals are taking. If a different team had done this then Peter would believe they are smart for trying to get highly talented, yet disappointing set of defensive ends on the cheap. The Bengals hope these two players eventually find how to use their talent. I can't find the money for these two players, but it isn't like they are huge risks. Peter thought Backup QB Jets to the Jets makes sense and they gave up draft picks to get a quarterback who at best will only play a few snaps a game (in a perfect world) and at worst will cause a quarterback controversy on a team that needs less controversy. But these signings on the cheap of potential high reward players was a bad move for the Bengals. I'm not sure I get it. If these two guys fail, how does it really negatively affect the Bengals? It isn't like they were counting on them to produce at a high level this year.

I don't even think these signings deserve a mention really, but I can't understand why Peter seems down on these two players. They aren't good players, but they also aren't being paid like good players.

4. I think, regarding Jeremy Shockey being accused by Warren Sapp of being the snitch in the Saints bounty scandal: I didn't like it.

It's Warren Sapp. What did you expect from him?

I like how IF the informant was Jeremy Shockey it throws the excuse given by Drew Brees that he had no knowledge of a bounty program in doubt. Shockey played offense for the Saints and if he knew about the bounty program, wouldn't logic dictate that Brees knew about the bounty program? He is the starting quarterback for the Saints. I find it hard to believe Shockey would know about the program, but Brees didn't.

8. I think I'd love to see Sean Payton work the studio for FOX, or work games, as Judy Battista reported was possible Sunday in the New York Times.

Of course you would love to see this, Peter. Again, you have difficulty differentiating between the people and teams you cover and your personal feelings towards these people. You like Sean Payton and would like to see him get a gig involved with the NFL while he isn't able to coach in the NFL.

There's no head coach who can explain offensive football better than Payton right now, and he's at the fore of so many offensive innovations in the game.

I would bet the NFL isn't exactly going to love the idea Payton would be paid to work games or in the studio for FOX. I could be wrong, but this seems like something the NFL would politely tell FOX they don't want to see. Again, I could be wrong. It's not like he is a criminal, so the NFL may have no issue with him calling games on FOX.

My opinion: What Payton could add in football intelligence would outweigh what he'd subtract in image.

What a shocking opinion from Peter. He wants his friend and MMQB guest author, Sean Payton, to get an NFL-related job.

10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:

Peter thinks these are his thoughts. He isn't completely sure if these are his thoughts or ideas put into his head by someone else.

a. North Carolina 73, Ohio U. 65, overtime. Imagine your best player (D.J. Cooper) shoots 3 of 20, you get outrebounded by 30, you lose, and the best player on the other team, Tyler Zeller, says after the game, "Ohio played the better game.''

Peter doesn't have to imagine this because it actually happened. Now imagine your team's head coach, John Groce, takes the job with Illinois and your school has to find another head coach who hopefully is as good as Groce is.

I'll remember the missed foul that should have been called on a Cooper drive to the basket, when he got hatcheted in the face in front of the trail ref.

Absolutely untrue. The North Carolina Tar Heels have never committed a foul while on or off the basketball court.

The ref called nothing, Cooper fell to the floor and North Carolina got a 5-on-4 and a vital last-minute three-point basket.

This must have been a figment of Peter's imagination. Also, whining about the officiating would influence me more if this play had made the ultimate difference in the game, which it did not. Do you know what DID make a difference in the game?

I'll also remember Walter Offutt's missed free throw that likely would have been the winning point with 27 seconds left;

Right. If Ohio had hit this free throw, they could have won the game. That was the difference in the game. A free throw made would have won the game in regulation for Ohio.

b. I guess this means Groce is a prime candidate for some big job now. He certainly deserves one, but I hope he stays in Athens.


The Denver Post ran an eight-paragraph story on Baylor's win over Florida in the NCAA's women's tournament last week, and six of the paragraphs concerned star Brittany Griner's dunk in the game, which was neither the first of her career or the first in a big NCAA game. I can understand a mention. But six graphs?

What the media, and especially ESPN, doesn't understand is that by highlighting one dunk by a woman's player it only serves to highlight the differences in the men's and women's game that causes male viewers to not tune into women's basketball.

"Look, one player in women's basketball is able to dunk! Isn't that exciting and cause you to want to watch the sport?"

No, it doesn't. It only serves to show me why I don't watch women's basketball because it highlights the physical differences in the women's game that makes it less attractive to me.

g. Are you serious, Pirates? Erik Bedard the opening day starter? Whoa.

The only reason Peter knows the name Erik Bedard is because he played for the Red Sox last year. This certainly puts Peter's whining about the Red Sox pitching staff in perspective doesn't it? Well, not for him. Peter will continue whining, but it puts the Red Sox starting rotation in perspective for the rest of us.

i. My rotisserie team, after last Thursday's draft for our 12-team league in New Jersey, which none of you care about:

So because we don't care, Peter immediately lists his roster for us to see and judge.

Buster Posey catching, Adrian Gonzalez at first, Dustin Pedroia at second, Elvis Andrus at short, Chase Headley at third, Michael Bourne, Jayson Werth, Carlos Beltran, Corey Hart in the outfield, David Ortiz as DH/extra hitter, a rotation of James Shields, Ian Kennedy, Brandon Beachy, Shawn Marcum and Max Scherzer, and Jordan Walden, Grant Balfour and Brandon League as the main closers.

It is Michael Bourn (no "e") by the way. I'm sure Peter will get this right after Bourn signs with the Red Sox during the 2012 offseason.

n. RIP, Bert Randolph Sugar, one of the great raconteurs in sports history, and certainly the pre-eminent boxing historian. He died Sunday at 75 of cancer. Too many good people dying.

Yes, we need more bad people dying. Where's the justice in this world?

m. Don "Donnie Brasco'' Banks tells me I missed a great show Friday night in Tampa, when Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band finished a three-hour concert with Tenth Avenue Freezeout. I am very jealous, Brasco.

Seriously, does Peter understand how a nickname works? Call him Donnie Brasco or call him Donnie Banks, but it doesn't make sense to call him Don "Donnie Brasco" Banks. It just doesn't make sense because you are using two last names as a nickname.

It would be like calling Dr. Z, Paul "Paul Hogan" Zimmerman. It doesn't make sense to nickname Don Banks as Don "Donnie Brasco" Banks.


rich said...

here is the game-suspension scoreboard in the two cases this morning: Saints Bounty Scandal 46, Spygate 0.

Spygate wasn't that bad. What the NFL was pissed at wasn't that the Patriots were filming... it's that they had a guy filming from the sidelines.

Had he been in the stands or in the coaching box, there'd be nothing to get upset about.

Plus after Spygate, you'd think teams would get the memo to not try to skirt the rules. The Saints did. They had their warning and they went and did it anyway.

So to recap:

1. Spygate was wrong because the guy was filming from the wrong spot.

2. Saints actively tried to hurt players over three years.

Shocking that 2 would face a harsher penalty.

Wildcat quarterback.

If you have a QB running the wildcat... it's not the damn wildcat. The fact that people are saying how awesome it will be to use Tebow in the "wildcat" are pointing to why they got him for basically a 4th rounder: he can't throw.

If you get a backup QB and plan to use him 20 plays a game in a set that doesn't let him throw means you have a shitty backup QB.

The thing I love about the move in a "I can't believe they did it" way is this. If Sanchez sucks, then the Jets have to move forward with Sanchez making top 10 QB money or Tebow.

If Sanchez doesn't improve this year, then the Jets are screwed. Without Tebow, the Jets cut Sanchez, maybe bring him back at a reduced salary and draft another QB.

Now? Now if Sanchez sucks, they have to hope that Tebow improves really fast or they have to use more draft picks on a QB, which is hilarious because:

1. They moved up to get Sanchez (1st and 2nd rounders + 3 players).

2. They drafted McElroy last year (7th round)

3. Sent 2.5M, a fourth and a 7th for a 6th and Tebow.

So that's 2.5M,three players and five draft picks for three backup quality QBs and a 6th round pick.


What does Tebow add to the Jets' offense that they didn't already have? Sanchez is a better passer and John Conner (FB) is a decent runner when he gets the chance.

So basically, if the Jets just wanted a big guy who could run, they already have that in Conner and if they wanted a QB... they already have one better.

It's also shocking to me that Rex said he planned on using Tebow about 20 plays a game. I mean... you might get 50 plays in a game, so you're going to give your back up QB 20 of those?

How can you expect your offense to have any rhythm when you're splitting plays 60/40? Honestly when was the last time this actually worked? Did Rex not watch LSU try to pull it off this year?

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, I think as bad as Spygate may have seemed, intentionally trying to injure an opponent is worse. The punishment obviously reflects that. I figured there would be comparisons to Spygate and the punishment doled out, but there two situations really aren't comparable.

I can't say I honestly get the move for Tebow either. I know it isn't bad for Sanchez to have competition, but this isn't good competition for Sanchez. Tebow isn't a guy who will come in and do the same things Sanchez will do, but he is a completely different quarterback. So it isn't like the Jets brought in a veteran to compete with Sanchez, they brought in a quarterback who would need to run a completely different offense from Sanchez.

That's a good point that if you are running the Wildcat with a quarterback, it possibly isn't the Wildcat. I didn't get the move because of Sanchez fails then the Jets have assured Tebow gets a shot at running the team after Sanchez fails. I'm not sure that's a smart move. If Sanchez succeeds and improves this year, there will be clamoring for Tebow to get on the field and play, which would disrupt the flow of the offense. This puts too much pressure on Sanchez for all the wrong reasons. It is needless pressure in my opinion. If Sanchez fails, why have a QB on the roster who will require you to change the entire offense?

20 plays a game sounds like a lot. Like the old adage goes, if you have two quarterbacks then you really have none. If Sanchez performs well, the fans will want to see Tebow, if Sanchez performs badly, the fans will want to see Tebow. Doesn't sound like the Jets have committed to Sanchez as much as they pretend to.