Wednesday, April 25, 2012

11 comments Anyone Can Be an NFL GM, But Only the Select Few Can Write an Irritating NFL Column Like Gregg Easterbrook Can

Gregg Easterbrook is back. He has written a column mocking NFL mock drafts and mocking NFL teams for the picks they make. Like most of his TMQ's, this column is completely tongue in cheek and just out there having some fun with the NFL. That is unless Gregg is right about something he says, in which case he will provide you a link and tell you how right he truly was a couple of years from now. If Gregg ends up being wrong about something he says, then he won't mention it again or mealy-mouth his way out of saying he was wrong.

A great example of this occurred earlier this NFL season when Gregg wanted to show the Patriots had not won a playoff game since Spygate. In order to support this contention, Gregg stated Spygate actually started AFTER the Patriots were actually punished for Spygate. The Patriots won two playoff games on their way to the Super Bowl that year, but to include these playoff wins would basically be admitting the Patriots had won a playoff game since Spygate. To fix this, Gregg stated that Spygate started (very conveniently) after the 2007 season was over. This was after the Patriots had been punished for Spygate, but that didn't matter to Gregg. He isn't a slave to reality. Of course later in this past NFL season, he quietly admitted in a TMQ he was wrong about when Spygate happened, but buried this admission at the end of a 10,000 word column.

So anyway, Gregg is mocking the mock drafts and is just goofing around, unless he is right about something in which case he was super-serious when he said it.

Deep down inside, the secret of NFL draft mania is that we love busts.

Nobody, other than Bill Simmons, knows exactly what every sports fan in the world secretly wants more than Gregg Easterbrook. Gregg Easterbrook is so omnipotent he tells us on a weekly basis EXACTLY what an NFL coach is thinking during a game. He knows why a head coach doesn't go for it on fourth down, he knows why a head coach goes for a field goal over a touchdown, and he even knows exactly what an NFL player is thinking on a certain play. In his own head, Gregg Easterbrook believes himself to be the smartest person alive.

JaMarcus Russell, Tim Couch, Brian Bosworth, Akili Smith -- guys who are taken at the top of the draft and then go bust have clandestine appeal.

Not if you are a fan of these teams. If you are a fan of the teams that drafted these players then these players have very little appeal.

No matter how badly you've been embarrassed, for example, you have not been embarrassed as much as Ryan Leaf.

I know I personally compare nearly all of my positive and negative life experiences to those life experiences of Ryan Leaf.

There's another reason busts cause Americans to love the NFL "selection meeting" -- busts show that anybody could run a draft. The highly paid experts in the draft rooms are revealed to be throwing darts at a board.

To an extent the NFL draft is a crapshoot, yes, but to another extent these draft experts are doing more than throwing darts at a dartboard. They are making educated guesses based on film study, interviews and attempting to reduce the amount of unknowns about an NFL prospect as much as possible. So these draft experts aren't throwing darts at a dartboard. They are basing personnel decisions on gathering as much information as possible on how a college player's game will translate to the NFL.

A person might daydream about being a concert pianist or a prima ballerina or an astronaut or a power-hitting third baseman. These are only daydreams, because great talent and years of hard work are required to achieve such positions.

But anybody could run an NFL draft!

Eh, not really. Anybody can run an NFL draft about the same way anybody can be a sportswriter. There is still a certain amount of innate or learned talent involved in succeeding at it. I wouldn't expect Gregg to know this, since he is mostly a complete moron about the NFL, but the person running the NFL draft for a team is usually a General Manager. The General Manager's job entails more than just running the NFL draft. He also is responsible for many, many other things rather than just simply running the NFL draft. The General Manager is responsible for every player signed and released in a given season. The General Manager is also responsible for planning the long-term and short-term direction of a team and executing this plan while dealing with constant changing variables like player performance. Not anybody is capable of such long and short range planning in such an effective manner.

The fact Gregg thinks the guy who runs the NFL draft primarily just runs the draft and anyone can do this does not surprise me in the least. For someone who has a weekly column about the NFL, Gregg knows shockingly little about the NFL. I'll tell you what I think anyone can do. Anyone can write a poorly researched and overly-long article about the NFL on a weekly basis, while making up fake rules and criticizing the already decided outcome of NFL games. So the irony of Gregg boiling down a complicated job into one simple task is ironic considering it doesn't seem to take a hell of a lot of skill to write the NFL-related portions of TMQ on a weekly basis.

No skill, insight or God-given ability is required to pick the wrong guy.

It takes a certain amount of skill to choose the right guy though. Therein lies why some General Managers are successful.

Any 32 people chosen at random from the telephone book could have looked at all the hundreds of players leaving college in 2007 and decided that Russell was most promising.

And yet, they would have been wrong. Could 32 people chosen at random chosen Darrelle Revis at the #14 spot in the 2007 NFL Draft? At #19, could 32 people chosen at random have decided the Titans should select Brandon Meriweather, Michael Griffin, Reggie Nelson or Eric Weddle as the right safety to draft in that spot? How about when things get harder later in the draft? Could 32 people at random have chosen Jermon Bushrod in the 4th round? Could 32 people have chosen the right move for the Jets would be to trade the 25th and 59th pick for the 14th pick? Could 32 people have been the team with the 14th pick who made this trade and then choose two Pro Bowl players with the 25th and 59th pick?

The NFL Draft is more than just simply picking the right players. The NFL Draft is about being in the right position to choose the best players for your team.

And it's not just the occasional blown pick -- busts are a running theme of the NFL first round. Troy Williamson in 2005, Vernon Gholston in 2008, Reggie Williams in 2004:

This is because some players never pan out for one reason or another. Busts are a part of the NFL Draft and aren't always a product of bad scouting. Shit happens.

Three of the first six players selected in 2003 went bust.

Six of the top 14 players in the 2007 NFL Draft have gone to a Pro Bowl. Seven of the top 12 players in the 2006 NFL Draft have gone to a Pro Bowl.

Check the 2009 first round -- many of the late selections (Clay Matthews, Hakeem Nicks, Vontae Davis, Michael Oher) are better than the super-prestigious early choices (Tyson Jackson, Aaron Curry, Darrius Heyward-Bey).

I don't think Gregg understands he really isn't proving a point at all, other than some teams make bad draft choices. So do the Packers, Dolphins, Ravens, and Giants not get credit for making smart choices at the end of the first round? If the General Manager who chose Aaron Curry didn't know what he was doing, then didn't the General Manager who chose Clay Matthews know what he was doing? If Gregg is going to criticize the Chiefs, Seahawks, and Raiders for making bad picks "anyone" could have made, shouldn't Gregg also acknowledge these other four teams made good picks? Or could "anyone" have chosen Vontae Davis late in the first round? He can't chalk up a bad pick to a lack of skill and then not acknowledge skill in making a good pick.

Isn't the fact some teams make good choices and other teams make bad choices over a longer period of time indicative there is some sort of talent to choosing the right player in the draft?

In the first round of 2005 the 32nd player chosen has had a better NFL career than the second and third players chosen. No special ability is required to make NFL draft choices!

Yes, but the 11th, 24th, and 27th picks had better or comparable careers to the 32nd player chosen. So there was no ability in choosing these players, it was luck of the draw? If there is no special ability to making draft choices then why does Gregg Easterbrook talk about how smart the Colts, Saints and Patriots are for finding unwanted and lowly-drafted players later in the draft? After all there is no special ability to doing this, right? Gregg seems to acknowledge there is a special ability to finding unwanted and lowly drafted players, but all of a sudden this is no longer true?

Is Gregg saying the draft choices are that obvious? I don't think this is true. Of course, Gregg would NEVER put out a mock draft to back up his contention anyone can draft well. Gregg is that guy who insists he can do anything, but always seems to be too busy to back up his claims with actual evidence.

The guy sitting next to you at the tavern could do it.

What is this, 1920's Ireland?

Then Gregg starts talking about monkeys trying to reproduce Shakespeare plays and how it is nearly impossible to do so. It sounds like he knows he doesn't have a point about this "anyone can be a GM" thing and wanted to kill space. Here's a sample:

Though actual attempts to get monkeys to write Shakespeare have not gone particularly well. In this experiment, six crested macaques given access to a typewriter mainly pounded on the letter "S"

Hamlet contains 130,000 letters. The chance of picking any one letter at random using the English alphabet is one in 26. If the goal is Hamlet, 130,000 consecutive random guesses would need to be right at 1 in 26 odds.

Riveting stuff.

But it's the knowledge that highly paid NFL coaches and general managers are confidently picking busts on national television that will keep us watching.

No. What keeps us watching is seeing which player our favorite team chooses and what player the other teams pick.

Now everyone has a mock draft, only TMQ annually mocks the draft. My selections:

1. Indianapolis: Kate Upton, bikini model. The woeful Colts could use the sex appeal of the most alluring woman of 2012. If Upton was doing the Dougie on the sideline while the Colts were playing on the field, which would spectators watch?

Woo-hoo! I get it! Women are sexy and men like watching women be sexy! That's funny stuff, Gregg.

Why do I get the feeling Gregg has an unmarked white van with "Free Candy" spray-painted on the side, which he parks outside high school football games?

5. City of Tampa: Mustela frenata, long-tailed North American weasel. The Bucs dangled money, so Greg Schiano walked out on his promises at Rutgers.

The Bucs also dangled an NFL head coaching job. So it isn't like it was a complete money-grab to go from college football to the NFL. It's sort of a promotion in some ways.

After Schiano bolted to grab the cash, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey showed himself a weasel governor by declaring, "Rutgers had the best graduation rate of any Division I football program." The statement simply is not true.

This makes him a liar, not a weasel.

Lin was born in California and attended Palo Alto High, which is visible from the Stanford campus. He led Palo Alto to the state title. Yet Stanford did not recruit the star from its own town, though an "official visit" would have entailed crossing the street.

Yes, nearly every college team missed on Jeremy Lin. This was covered thoroughly about two months ago (or was it two years ago?) by every media outlet in the world while Gregg Easterbrook took a two and a half month break from annoying the shit out of American by writing an NFL column.

Had he been thousands of miles away, surely Stanford would have said, "We've got to get that Jeremy Lin."

No, they would not have.

13. Washington Wizards (from Arizona Cardinals, projected trade) : It makes absolutely no difference whom the Wizards draft, and it never will.

NBA expert Gregg Easterbrook everyone!

14. Dallas: "Any one of 500 coaches."That's who Jerry Jones said could lead the Cowboys to a Super Bowl, given Jones's super-brilliant management.

Hold on a second. So an egotistical, self-important person has judged another person's job as being easy due to his own lack of knowledge about what it takes to succeed at that position? Is this describing Jerry Jones or Gregg Easterbrook claiming in this very column that "anyone" can be an NFL GM?

Gregg is such an egomaniac that it doesn't even cross his mind while criticizing Jerry Jones for saying 500 coaches could have led the Cowboys to a Super Bowl that he (Gregg) said "anyone" can be an NFL GM. It takes a special kind of asshole to call out others for the exact same behavior that certain asshole exhibits himself.

When Jones bought the 'Boys, his first super-brilliant move was to fire Tom Landry. More than two decades later, all Dallas head coaches combined under Jones have fewer victories than Landry.

Yet again, Gregg struggles with being accurate and not misleading his audience. Landry coached the Cowboys from 1960-1988. he won 250 games in that time, while coaching 418 games. So it really shouldn't be shocking Landry has won more games as the Cowboys head coach then any other Dallas Cowboys head coach, because he was in Dallas longer and coached more games than all of the other Cowboys coaches combined. Other Cowboys coaches have won 198 games, while coaching 368 games. So the other Cowboys coaches are on pace to have a lower winning percentage than Landry, but they also have coached 82 fewer games. The Cowboys also have 3 Super Bowl victories since Landry left, as opposed to Landry's 2 Super Bowl victories. This should be noted as well.

16. Jersey/B: Carmelo Anthony, petulant millionaire. On the day Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni resigned, the team was 10-24 with Anthony and 7-2 without him. Me-first and constantly complaining, Anthony would be a perfect fit for Rex Ryan's system.

When Gregg wrote this column, the Knicks had gone 16-6 under Mike Woodson with petulant millionaire Carmelo Anthony leading the way and super-awesome Jeremy Lin injured on the bench. This doesn't exactly fit the narrative Gregg is trying to propagate that Jeremy Lin is a wonderful NBA player, while Carmelo Anthony is a useless piece of shit who drags his team down. I bet Gregg hates it when people do research to show just how full of shit he is and how much he truly tries to mislead his readers.

20. Tennessee: March Madness Selection Committee. They pitted Vanderbilt versus Harvard and Duke versus Lehigh in the first round it order to get rid, as quickly as possible, of colleges that have distressingly high graduation rates for men's basketball.

The NCAA also pitted teams with low graduation rates against each other. Did they do this to get rid of teams with low graduation rates? No, they did not. It goes both ways. Gregg never even thought of it this of course.

For a supposedly smart guy, Gregg sure bases a lot of his conclusions on a lack of research and poorly thought out reasoning.

Fun fact: Tim Tebow already has more career rushing yards than Manning has compiled in 14 years.

Fun fact: Peyton Manning has more passing yards than Tim Tebow will ever get no matter how long he plays in the NFL.

28. Green Bay: Peta Murgatroyd, professional dancer. She is Donald Driver's partner on "Dancing with the Stars," where they recently proved that it does in fact take two to tango.

I don't think this needed to be proven. The saying goes, "It takes two to tango," and it is meant to be used as a fact.

"It's a quarterback league" -- everyone says this of today's NFL. Yet a surprising number of NFL teams behave as though they don't believe it, not investing in quarterbacks nor trying over and over again until they find a quality signal-caller.

Here comes another Gregg Easterbrookian contradiction. Easterbrook is well known for saying that undrafted or unwanted players are just as good as highly-paid glory boy first round picks. Yet, where do you think he suggests teams should look for a quality signal-caller? Not in the 5th round, not in the 6th round, not in the 7th round or among undrafted free agents...but in the first or second round of the NFL Draft. I guess highly-paid glory boys are good for something after all.

Consider: Of last season's 12 playoff teams, eight started a quarterback drafted in the first round, including three starting a quarterback drafted first overall. Three others started a second-round quarterback. Only one of the 12 playoff teams, the New England Patriots, reached the postseason without a first- or second-round-drafted quarterback on the roster.

So let's remember this little fact next Fall when Gregg tries to compare a highly-paid glory boy quarterback to an undrafted, unwanted quarterback and wants us to believe undrafted free agents are as good as highly drafted players.

Based on 11 of 12 playoff teams having high-drafted quarterbacks, you'd think there would be a line forming to call the names of quarterbacks.

You would think, but since the NFL Draft is just a crapshoot and anyone can do it then teams are just throwing darts at a board anyway, right?

Yet last season there were five NFL teams that did not have a first- or second-round drafted quarterback on the roster: Buffalo, Cleveland, Dallas, Kansas City and New England. And of the teams lacking a highly drafted quarterback, only one reached the postseason.

It's almost like quarterbacks drafted earlier in the draft are better than NFL quarterbacks drafted later in the draft and some NFL teams know what they are doing when they draft a certain player.

Not just drafting quarterbacks high, but getting quarterbacks as rookies and sticking with them through thick and thin, closely associates with NFL success.

Which explains why teams look at NFL busts like Ryan Leaf, JaMarcus Russell, and Tim Couch as players worth drafting early in the first round. So teams draft these quarterbacks in the first round, which Gregg advocates, and then for whatever reason these quarterbacks don't pan out Gregg accuses these teams of not knowing what they are doing for drafting these quarterbacks in the first place.

It seems all but inevitable that at least one quarterback-hungry club will pass on a highly regarded quarterback in this week's NFL draft, and then by next Christmas be lamenting its also-ran status.

Yes, but when a team like the Browns take Gregg's advice by drafting Ryan Tannehill, and he busts, Gregg will accuse the Browns General Manager of not knowing what he is doing. Yet again, Gregg fails to see how his advice, which seems to be "Go after a quarterback in the draft, no matter what" doesn't entirely square with his belief anyone can be a General Manager because early round players turn out to be busts. If a General Manager doesn't like Tannehill, then he shouldn't draft him. It's that simple.

As usual, Gregg wants it both ways. He wants teams to do whatever it takes to draft quarterbacks in the first or second round, but he also wants to accuse these teams of not knowing what they are doing by drafting quarterbacks who don't succeed. Maybe a team is passing on Tannehill or another quarterback because they DO know what they are doing. Gregg has never thought of that.

One reason not all NFL teams go strong for quarterbacks is that coaches and general managers are concerned with avoiding criticism.

You mean like when an idiot non-sportswriter says "anyone" can run a team's NFL Draft because a player failed in the NFL for reasons beyond the control of that "person who runs the team's NFL draft?"

Drafting a quarterback high exposes the coach and general manager to jeering if the player fails, whereas if a highly drafted lineman or linebacker becomes a bust, few remember.

Says the same guy who listed three linemen or linebackers who where busts earlier in this very column.

In contrast hardly anyone remembers what coach or general manager (or even what team) picked Dwayne Robertson, Mike Williams, Tyson Jackson or Aaron Curry, major-disappointment linemen or linebackers chosen with recent top-five draft selections.

No, people remember who chose these players. Maybe Gregg doesn't remember, but he doesn't speak for everyone. Off the top of my head, with no looking it up:

Dwayne Robertson: Jets (don't know the GM)
Mike Williams: Lions (Matt Millen...who else?)
Tyson Jackson: Chiefs (Scott Pioli)
Aaron Curry: Seahawks (don't know the GM)

Want to win an NFL playoff game? Invest high draft choices in a quarterback, then stick with him.

What a revolutionary idea, Gregg! Did you just discover this well-known fact just now? You should right a book about this very topic that most people are already very well aware of.

Want to keep your name from being mentioned on sports-talk radio? Pass on quarterbacks high in the draft.

Matt Millen disagrees.

Here is what jumped out at your columnist from the brouhaha: Gingrich is traveling with a Secret Service detail.

The former speaker is all but mathematically eliminated from the Republican presidential nomination. The Chicago Cubs have a more realistic shot at winning the World Series than Gingrich has at winning the White House. Yet Gingrich continues to barnstorm at taxpayer expense.

How dare Gingrich exercise his right to run for public office and be afforded the security detail the former Speaker of the House seemingly (since serious Presidential candidates seem to get Secret Service detail) deserves while doing so!

A government committee decides which candidates merit Secret Service details But having a detail is an option, not a requirement. If Gingrich, a millionaire who spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on jewelry, actually meant what he says about opposing the deficit, he would dismiss his subsidized bodyguards and pay the full cost of his own security.

If Gregg Easterbrook cared about children in Africa he wouldn't accept whatever monetary compensation he gets for this column and would donate all of his money to Nothing but Nets.

Next Week: Once again all drafts grade out as above average,

Of course Gregg Easterbrook doesn't give out draft grades. That would involve having some knowledge of the players who were taken in the draft and Gregg only knows enough about college football and the NFL to say what every team and player should have done when things go wrong. If Gregg has to make predictions or provide criticism before he already knows the outcome, well, he just isn't capable of doing that.


HH said...

Being wrong about JaMarcus Russell, a quarterback drafted first overall, led to Oakland head coach Lane Kiffin being fired after a single season.

False. Lane Kiffin explicitly didn't want to draft Russell. I know this and live a coast away from the Raiders and don't care in the least what they do or say. But then again, I'm a sports fan.


Want to win an NFL playoff game? Invest high draft choices in a quarterback, then stick with him.

Google "Survivor Bias." The reason that successfull teams have long-term qbs they drafted is because these teams happened to draft good quarterbacks (skipping the debate about skill and luck in the draft) and never let them go. This does NOT mean that just drafting a QB in the first round and sticking with him no matter what makes sense. By that logic, Leaf, Russell, Losman, and the like would have become great had the teams stuck it out with them. This is of course crap. It's not that sticking with a QB you drafted makes them or you good; it's that teams stick with good QBs they've drafted.

rich said...

Any 32 people chosen at random from the telephone book could have looked at all the hundreds of players leaving college in 2007 and decided that Russell was most promising.

And how many of them would have picked up Paul Soliai or Le'Ron McClain in the fourth round like Miami and Baltimore did?

Even in the first round, how many fans would have drafted Bush or Young over Williams in 2006?

How many Giants fans trade Rivers + picks for Eli?

How many Eagles fans draft McNabb? Considering how mercilessly he was booed, I'd say not many.

And it's not just the occasional blown pick -- busts are a running theme of the NFL first round.

Here's the stupidity in this argument. They were wrong in the first round yes and so would every other fan. So it seems to support the argument that any fan could run a draft.

Except how many fans would nail a 6th round pick and turn him into a pro bowler or a 7th round pick and turn him into an every down player.

If I were the Giants GM, I could probably do well in the first two rounds, maybe three rounds; beyond that? Not so much and it's arrogant and narcissistic to think otherwise.

Oh and lets not forget that the draft is just one of the job requirements of the draft. So fans could do well in one aspect of the GM... so what?

Hakeem Nicks

Oh this is good. Most Giants fans didn't want Nicks, we wanted Britt. Britt went to Rutgers (very near Giants' Stadium) and Giants fans were sure he would be the pick.

We were wrong and I can't imagine the Giants winning the SB last year with Britt instead of Nicks.

So the GM made several decisions that led to the SB last year that I doubt many fans make:

1) Trading for Eli
2) Bradshaw in the compensatory 7th round
3) Drafting all those DEs in the second/third rounds
4) Snee (remember, Giants fans thought they drafted him only b/c he had knocked up Coughlin's daughter)
5) Matthias Kiwiaunka (shocked Giants fans with that pick)
6) Nicks

Other than Bradshaw, those are all earlier round draft decisions.

So basically - the 2011 SB champs aren't the 2011 SB champs with fans running the team.

Nevermind the 2008 team that managed a shitton of starters from the 2007 draft, many of which I don't think make the fans cut including:

DeOssie (Pro Bowler), Boss, Bradshaw and Alford.

showed himself a weasel governor by declaring

As you pointed out, this doesn't make him a weasel... but how the fuck does this statement make him a weasel governor? Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but adding politics into a sports article is asinine. He lied about the state school of the state he governs... what a weasel of a governor.

Had he been thousands of miles away, surely Stanford would have said, "We've got to get that Jeremy Lin."

Which is why UNC, Duke, NCState, Pitt, Syracuse, Seton Hall, St. John's, St. Joe's, Villanova, etc. all missed on him too.

his first super-brilliant move was to fire Tom Landry.

And he hired Dave Campo to take over and the team never won a game again.

Oh wait no, he hired Jimmie Johnson who won two Super Bowls and then replaced Johnson with Switzer, who has the highest winning percentage of any Cowboys coach and also won a Super Bowl.

Make fun of the man for Dave Campo and some terrible moves, but the man revived the Cowboys who had gone 17-40 the three years prior to his owning the team.

rich said...

Yet a surprising number of NFL teams behave as though they don't believe it, not investing in quarterbacks nor trying over and over again until they find a quality signal-caller.

Double post because this deserves it:

The reason for this is very simple, there is a limited supply of good quarterbacks and this isn't a new phenomena.

I'm sure the 1994-1999 Giants would have loved a QB better than Dave Brown or Danny Kannell, but you have limited opportunity to find a good QB.

HH pretty much explains why: if a team has a QB who they can win with, they aren't letting that guy go in free agency.

So you either have to take a risk and sign someone either with injury (Pennington, Brees, Manning) or character (Favre, Cutler) issues, or you have to draft one.

So you have to hope that you either have year where you have an uncharacteristically bad year in a QB laden year (Pitt, NYG) or you have to hope someone falls (GB, NE).

You have teams like Baltimore, San Fran and Arizona that could use a new QB (sorry, Flacco sucks), but because they don't draft high enough, they have to either take a later round pick and pray he pans out or reach for someone.

So you have teams in this vicious cycle where they aren't competing for the first pick and they're not competing for the SB.

So how do you improve your QBing then?

You can point to Brees, Cutler and Manning as recent examples of improving through trade or free agency, but Brees wasn't expected to be this good, Cutler cost the Bears a small fortune and who knows where Manning's arm is at?

Basically, it's not that team's aren't investing in QBs, it's that there's not enough QBs to fill every hole, if there were, Washington wouldn't have given up all those picks for RGIII.

Based on 11 of 12 playoff teams having high-drafted quarterbacks, you'd think there would be a line forming to call the names of quarterbacks.

Overlooking that TJ Yates was the starter for Houston for 5 games, this is the other part of the issue - you look at this stat and you say "gee, lets get a QB!"

Except how many of those teams got to the playoffs because of their QBs?

Pitt? No (Defense)
Baltimore? No (Defense, Ray Rice)
Cincy? No
Houston? Sort of (running game, D)
Denver? No

NYG? Yes
GB? Yes
Detroit? Yes
NO? Yes
Atlanta? Yes
SF? No

So of the 11 teams: I have 1 sort of, 5 in because of good QB play and 5 in because of other reasons.

Even then, this argument fails on a whole different level, look at the teams that failed to make the playoffs with a early round QB:

Washington, Philadelphia, Chicago, Minnesota (Rookie), Carolina (Rookie), Tampa Bay, Seattle, Arizona, St. Louis, Oakland, SD, Jacksonville (Rookie), Cleveland, NYJ and Miami (Henne).

So excluding rookies, 24 teams started had early round (1st or second) round picks QBing them.

You have another three who played rookies significantly and a fourth that played a rookie sparingly (Tennessee).

Bringing us to 28 teams with a high round pick on the roster who played last year.

The others: KC, Buffalo, Indy and NE.

So you really have 3 teams (Indy would have started Manning if he weren't hurt), that have the franchise in the hands of someone who isn't a high pick.

How can you possibly say the NFL isn't investing in the QB position?

Teams are investing, there's just not enough talent to go around.

Bengoodfella said...

HH, I was also going to argue the point that Russell is what caused Kiffin to leave Oakland. That's not true. Kiffin left b/c he took the job at Tennessee and couldn't stand Al Davis when making him draft Russell.

Excellent point. Drafting a 1st round QB isn't in and of itself make a team successful, it is just teams who are successful keep the QB's they drafted. I just enjoyed that Gregg admitted first round picks are worth something and aren't pieces of shit.

Rich, that is what annoys me a/b Gregg's contention so much. He only focuses on the first round picks and ignores all the other responsibilities of a GM. Could I draft Cam Newton or Jordan Gross for Carolina? Yes, I could. Could I draft Charles Johnson in the 3rd round? Possibly not. There is more to being a GM than just drafting the first round pick and the average fan couldn't do it. Not to mention the dozens of other responsibilities a GM has. I don't think Gregg even knows who is responsible for drafting a team's players. He probably thinks it is some guy who a team outsources for the job.

I was torn between Britt and Nicks for the Giants. Nicks was gone in my mock draft and I gave you guys LeSean McCoy. I have to say, I don't know b/w both WR's I don't know who I would have chosen, but it would have been close...and given the fact Britt went to Rutgers I can see how NYG wanted him.

I don't want to knock Tom Landry, but Jerry Jones firing him was a really smart move. It led to a half-decade of Cowboys dominance. Gregg fails to mention this of course.

It's just silly to me that Gregg starts off the column by saying GMs don't know what they are doing and then suggests teams should just blindly take a QB in the 1st round b/c it leads to success. I think at this point he writes words on a computer, files TMQ and calls it a day. Don't criticize GMs for having an easy job and then make such a simple argument a/b why a team should draft a QB in the 1st round.

I don't know how to +1 your QB research in a comment, but the conclusion you come to is correct. There isn't the talent to go around, which is why when a guy like Matt Flynn hits the market he has 2-3 suitors.

Steelers fans will argue they got to the playoffs b/c of Roethlisberger in part I would bet.

Justin Zeth said...

Roethlisberger is the best player on the Steelers and has been since the first pass he threw for them. It is absurd to suggest otherwise. He's a detestable human being, but he is a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback.

Without him last year the Steelers would have been a 6-10 or 7-9 team. I find it fantastic that any informed person might think otherwise.

Bengoodfella said...

I figured a Steelers fan would take exception to that last comment by Rich.

I'm not going to argue your opinion, but you think Roethlisberger was the best player on the Steelers since his first snap? That is saying he was better than Ward, Polamalu, and Joey Porter over his first two seasons as Steelers QB. It's your opinion, and you probably watch the Steelers more than I did then, but I would say he was the Most Important Player, but maybe not the best during that time.

Otherwise, I would give Roethlisberger more credit than Rich did for the Steelers playoff appearance, but I still give the defense some credit too. I probably would have put "yes" in terms of Roethlisberger being the reason they made the playoffs, but overall I think his conclusion is correct.

rich said...

The Steelers defense allowed 14.2points per game. They were going to make the playoffs, even if Charlie Batch had to start.

I never said Big Ben wasn't a good QB (HOF though...), but when your defense allows under 200 passing yards, 100 rushing yards and about 14 points, I don't care if Tim Tebow is the QB, you are going to win games.

Now did Big Ben have a decent year? Sure. The Steelers finished with the tenth best passing offense, but the SD, Philadelphia and Dallas were ahead of Pitt in passing stats. In addition, Tennessee, Oakland and Carolina were right behind Pitt.

The difference is the Pitt D. Sorry, you may think Ben is a HOF QB, but he's not the reason they made the playoffs.

jacktotherack said...

"Tennessee: March Madness Selection Committee. They pitted Vanderbilt versus Harvard and Duke versus Lehigh in the first round it order to get rid, as quickly as possible, of colleges that have distressingly high graduation rates for men's basketball."

This is the dumbest fucking thing Gregg has ever written, and that is saying something. There is no way on God's green Earth he actually believes this shit.

Serious question: is there anyone in America who reads TMQ and is actually entertained by it? Is there someone out there who reads Gregg's shitty jokes and creepy musings on attractive women and goes, "Damn, that Easterbrook is one funny guy. I'd like to have a beer with him"? If that person actually exists I'd like to meet them and kick them squarely in the testicles.

Bengoodfella said...

Jack, I can't believe he would believe that as well. Does he really think the NCAA gets together and says, "Let's get all the colleges w/ high graduation rates against each other"? Really?

I don't know who reads him and thinks he is funny. I'm guessing intellectuals who think sports fans take the game of football too seriously.

Justin Zeth said...

Actually the great majority of the Steelers fans I know think exactly the way rich does: the defense has won the championships and Roethlisberger has just made a few throws here and there.

Bengoodfella said...

Justin, I can how ppl think that. I want to see Roethisberger behind a really solid o-line. Haven't seen that in a few years. He will probably be confused.