Wednesday, August 29, 2012

3 comments MMQB Review: Nobody Puts Peter in a Dimly Lit Room Edition

Peter King detailed in last week's MMQB how the Rams are making it easier for Janoris Jenkins to adjust to life in the NFL by helping him take care of his personal life. We also re-learned that Peter isn't going to overreact about what happens in the preseason, but (as Peter stated in his Tuesday mailbag) he thinks Andrew Luck will be a Top-3 quarterback in a few years. It's quite possible this could happen, but that's a lot of praise for a guy who hasn't taken an NFL snap yet. This week, Peter talks about the Russell Wilson phenomenon, gives his thoughts on the Red Sox-Dodgers trade as only he could, and still manages to find time to bitch about hotel he stayed at. You didn't think last week's complaint-free MMQB was going to be the new trend did you?

Now on with the show, the NFL show, in a busy week during which we've found out a few things -- that Pete Carroll was serious when he said the best man would win the quarterback job in Seattle

It helps a head coach look good when one of the guys in the QB competition clearly looks like the guy who should start. Otherwise, it would look like Carroll was just churning quarterbacks trying to eventually find someone who could run the team. If Carroll was coaching in New York I can only imagine how the media would have criticized him for trading for Charlie Whitehurst, Tarvaris Jackson, and then signing Matt Flynn only to have him lose the starting job in Training Camp. It helps that Russell Wilson looks like an NFL starter is what I am saying.

that Jim Irsay was not crying (Ron) wolf with all his trade tweets,

Not really. Irsay made it sound like the trade was a much bigger deal than just Vontae Davis coming to Indianapolis. Irsay made it sound like it was a blockbuster of a trade, not a trade for a underachieving cornerback.

The naysayers said to just wait until Wilson had to play against someone's starting defense; that would expose him. Uh, not so much.

Um yes, still so much. Wilson has looked great in the preseason, but if Peter King thinks the preseason is equivalent to what a defense looks like in Week 1 of the regular season than he should stop writing about the NFL. Wilson looks great, but teams don't generally game plan in the preseason, so Wilson won't be non-exposed until after Week 1 (or probably a few weeks after that, no matter if Wilson struggles or doesn't struggle) of the regular season. Simmer down. There is still plenty of time for Wilson to be exposed or not exposed in the regular season.

Wilson started and had seven possessions in Kansas City Friday night. The drives: 41 yards and a field goal, 41 yards and a field goal, 37 yards and a field goal, 62 yards and a touchdown, 59 yards and a touchdown, 55 yards and a touchdown, 54 yards and a missed field goal. By the time Seattle inserted Tarvaris Jackson to replace Wilson, the Seahawks led 44-7.

The Chiefs were fresh off giving up 31 points to the St. Louis Rams in the previous preseason game and the Rams scored 3 points in the previous preseason game against the Colts. So it doesn't look so impressive knowing all of that. So maybe that Chiefs defense isn't so great.

My point? That you can pretty much prove whatever you want to prove using preseason numbers. I know it makes it hard to write a weekly NFL column doing this, but it is best to wait until the regular season before saying Wilson will or will not be exposed. Plus, he's a rookie. He's going to struggle in some games anyway. I feel like there is always a rush to make a pronouncement that Player X is a bust or Player Y is for real. Give it time. Michael Clayton looked like a perennial Pro Bowl player in his first year with Tampa Bay, while it took Drew Brees a few years to become the quarterback he has become.

In the aggressive, rush-heavy defense new Indy coach Chuck Pagano plays, the Colts need cover corners. Now they have one after Sunday's trade with the Miami Dolphins for Davis. Though the fourth-year veteran had fallen out of favor with the new staff in Miami, Pagano is likely to make him a poor man's Darrelle Revis, putting him on an island against the Andre Johnsons and Justin Blackmons on the Colts' schedule.

After watching Vontae Davis work on an island against Steve Smith in the second preseason game this season should be fun to watch if you are a fan of a team with an outstanding receiver and that team is playing the Colts. Davis is talented, but a poor man's Revis is going to have a tough time covering Andre Johnson on an island.

So, if Davis is Indy thinks he is and his playing time requires the Colts to give up a sixth-rounder, Indy will have just three picks in the top 200 next year. But Davis is 24, has started for three years, and the Colts simply had no other potential cover corners like him.

My fear for Indianapolis is they are going the whole "find a franchise quarterback and let his talent cover up for the holes in the roster" way of building a team. Everything looks better when a team has a franchise quarterback, but I feel like the Colts put themselves in a position in the past to where it all depended on Manning. This formula worked for a long period of time, but I would hope the Colts learned something from last year outside of the fact they need a franchise quarterback on the roster. I feel like they still have rebuilding to do and they are trading draft picks, so it concerns me.

5. Tarvaris Jackson is headed to Buffalo ... for pretty meager compensation. Seattle will get a seventh-round pick that could improve to a sixth- if Jackson is active for six games this year; the Seahawks couldn't get more because the rest of the league knew Seattle wasn't going to keep Jackson and his $4 million salary to be a third-string quarterback.

I didn't understand this deal. While I am far from being on the Vince Young bandwagon I don't see how Tarvaris Jackson is worth trading any draft pick to acquire. He's like Vince Young, except he's had less time in the Buffalo offense.

8. Want the good news in Tampa? Or the bad? Let's start with the bad. Pro Bowl guard Davin Joseph went down against the Patriots, reportedly with a broken kneecap, and will be out about three months. For a team trying to play a pounding running game this year, losing a road-grading guard for the majority of the season is going to put more pressure on Josh Freeman to carry a suspect offense.

It's a good thing the Bucs spent $55 million on Vincent Jackson when the loss of one offensive linemen could dramatically affect the Bucs offense. Maybe they should have saved some of the $7.5 million they gave Eric Wright to sign a backup offensive guard.

The Cowboys aren't just a little worried about Bryant's maturity level, they're petrified. According to Calvin Watkins of, Bryant will not drink alcohol nor visit strip clubs this season, and he'll have a midnight curfew. He'll also have a three-man security crew, including one security man with him at all times, with rides from security to and from practice.

Is this really worth it? The Cowboys are treating Dez Bryant like a child in order to ensure he behaves and avoids getting in more trouble. It seems like overkill to me. At a certain point they have to either trust he will not get into more trouble or know he isn't going to stay out of trouble. I just don't think treating a grown man like a child is a permanent solution. For now, treating Dez Bryant like a teenager is going to work, but this solution seems only temporary. At some point the Cowboys will have to make a decision on whether they trust Dez Bryant to interact with the world on his own or not.

As I walked away from a 20-minute conversation with Wilson, I could see why people in Wisconsin loved him so much.

N.C. State fans start to kick a puppy because the three years he played in Raleigh are seemingly all forgotten at this point.

And so, like his four draft-mates (Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden), Wilson went out and earned the job.

What makes Wilson more impressive to me is that Luck/Griffin/Weeden were essentially handed the starting job. These three earned it, but they were the leaders in the clubhouse to be the starting quarterback going into Training Camp. They earned the job that was essentially theirs to earn. Only Wilson, and to a lesser extent (because you can't convince me Matt Moore isn't a better quarterback than Tannehill at this point) Tannehill, went out and earned the starting quarterback job after going against a veteran who could conceivably be a safer choice.

Not to mention, I wonder how Matt Flynn feels about picking the Seahawks as his destination now? How do the Dolphins feel about this too? Would they rather have Ryan Tannehill or Matt Flynn?

What's the best body type for a strongside defensive end in the 3-4 defense? About 6-5 and 290? Meet J.J. Watt, 6-5 and 288. The size for a good 3-4 outside linebacker? Maybe 6-4 and 255, DeMarcus Ware size.

While this may be true in some ways, it sounds like Peter sort of made up these measurements as the "best" body type in order to provide a narrative on how the Texans have "perfect" defensive players for their respective position.

In two December meetings, Dallas gave up 68 points to the Giants and 746 yards passing by Manning. The Cowboys went out and got two new cornerbacks -- Carr and first-round pick Morris Claiborne from LSU, the consensus best corner in the draft.

A great pass rush is still the best way, in my opinion, to prevent a team from hanging a bunch of points and yardage on a defense. I think Claiborne and Carr are fine, but it won't mean much if the Cowboys can't get to the quarterback.

"Every defense needs two like that, and nobody's got 'em,'' said Rob Ryan, the defensive coordinator.

Rob "If my last name was 'Smith' I wouldn't have near the trust in my defensive coordinating skills" Ryan has to know the Cowboys need a great pass rush. I think the Jets have two corners that are like Carr and Claiborne in Cromartie and Revis. So I wouldn't say "nobody" has corners like the Cowboys have.

Then Peter interviews Ohio University's quarterback to discuss this weekend's game against Penn State. Let's look at some of the hardball questions/light flirting from Peter:

"It'll be a pretty emotional atmosphere there, probably. The fans at Penn State will be all fired up to defend their program after so many people have been critical of it."

That's not really a question.

"But 107,000 people. It'll be intense."

This is the next question, and again, this is more of a statement than a question. This is starting to sound like the "Chris Farley Show" skit when he was interviewing Paul McCartney.

"How do you like your chances?''

Don't pry too deep, Peter. Leave the kid with some dignity.

"Why not baseball for you?''

"Why you not make game of baseball play you?"

"How tall are you?''

You aren't supposed to ask this on the first date, Peter.

"You watch Drew Brees and Russell Wilson?''

"You make watch of quarterbacks in NFL? How you like not tall of height quarterbacks in NFL? You use eyes of face to see play football on field?"

Coming in Tuesday's column: Some big offensive changes in Baltimore ... and why Tony Romo was up very late one night in San Diego. (Hint: It's all very innocent, and has everything to do with football.).

So Romo wasn't up until 5am trying to break the Cowboys record (set by Michael Irvin) of trying to sleep with eight hookers in one night? Thanks for the major tease and then clarifying what the major tease didn't entail. I'm on the edge of my seat for the answer in tomorrow's mailbag.

Seattle QB Russell Wilson. After his 13-of-19 night at Kansas City Friday, Wilson's three-game stat line puts GM John Schneider, decried for picking Wilson too high at 75th overall last April, in the early running for Exec of the Year:

Yep, it is late August and Peter is already deciding who should be in the running for Executive of the Year. I seem to recall Peter warning us a few weeks ago what we see in the preseason may mean something or it may mean nothing. Either way, Peter knows Russell Wilson is at the top of his MVP Watch for right now.

"Do you want to punch me in the face?''

-- Boomer Esiason, former Jets quarterback and current morning drive radio host on WFAN in New York, upon welcoming Jets quarterback Tim Tebow to the set during a Thursday morning broadcast live from Jets camp in New Jersey.

Esiason has said the Jets should cut Tebow because his presence is a distraction, and Esiason doesn't think he's a quality NFL quarterback.
Tebow said no, followed not long after by "God bless you."

"God bless you" is Ex-backup QB Punt Protector Jets speak for "I hate you and hope you die."

Not to mention, based on his preseason performance, if Ex-backup QB Punt Protector Jets tried to punch Esiason in the face he would either one-hop his punch or throw his punch a foot over Esiason's head.

Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones in 5.5 quarters of play this summer: 13 catches, 240 receiving yards, 18.5 yards per catch.

Yeah, but he is a diva who doesn't want to block for his teammates and he is the total reason why the Falcons didn't win their playoff game against the Giants last least that's Gregg Easterbrook's point of view.

Derrick Mason retired in June with more receptions, 943, than any of the 21 wide receivers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame except Jerry Rice.

I think this speaks more to how much the NFL has opened up in the passing game over the last two decades and how consistent of a career Derrick Mason had more than anything else.

On my final camp stop, in San Diego to see the Cowboys on Tuesday, I stayed at a hotel I'd never heard of: the Andaz. "What's Andaz?'' I asked our SI travel agent. It's the boutique-y Hyatt hotel, I was told. "Like a W,'' the travel agent said. And because it was significantly cheaper than any of the other brand hotels downtown, I took it.

So Peter willingly took a cheaper hotel and now will proceed to bitch about how this hotel isn't up to his standards. That's pretty typical Peter King. He doesn't want to pay as much as he would pay for other brand hotels, but he wants the service at the cheaper hotel to be on the level as a $200/night hotel.

I'm not a fan of dark hotels. I don't understand them, first of all. Who favors dimly lit rooms?

I like dimly lit rooms, especially when I am trying to sleep.

I looked all around the desk. Couldn't find a light. No light on the desk. "#$%^&*@#$!!!'' I said, or something like that, and then turned on every 40-watt-bulb lamp in the place (exaggerating, but it wasn't too bright in there). So I finished my work by candlelight, shut the computer, and accidently

Accidently misspelled the word "accidentally?"

touched what I'd thought was some silver sculpture or piece of curved art on the desk. And a light went on. The silver thing was a light, and I officially was a dufus.

Right, I can see how Peter got confused. Because you know hotels are always putting sculptures and pieces of art in each hotel room. I will check into a hotel and be amazed at the number of sculptures each individual room has. I saw a Van Gogh painting over my bed one time when I stayed at the "W" in Atlanta. It didn't strike me as odd because I know hotels are always putting sculptures and art around their hotel rooms.

I'm probably more a Marriott TownePlace Suites or Spring Hill Suites guy on the training camp road. There, I know how to turn on the lights.

Oh sure, Marriott is good enough for Peter now, but just wait until the coffee is watered down or they don't serve the specific cereal that Peter wants at the free continental breakfast. A cereal which Peter asked if they served at the free continental breakfast when he called to make the reservation. Yeah, we'll see how much Peter likes the Marriott or Spring Hill Suites once they disappoint him by asking for proof of identification when he uses his credit card.

"If u don't like it buy ur own team and try to make the playoffs 9 season n a row n put together 7 straight 12 win seasons n a row as Owner!"

-- @JimIrsay, the owner of Colts, indignant that some fans were ripping him for tweeting several times that the Colts were engaged in trade talks, implying that he sounds like the boy who cried wolf for the tweets and no trade happening. It finally did on Sunday.

Nothing like Jim Irsay taking credit for having Peyton Manning as his quarterback. When the team was without Peyton Manning, Irsay led them (as owner) to a 2-14 record and the #1 overall draft pick. Before Manning showed up, Irsay led them (as owner) to the #1 overall draft pick in 1998.

"Apparently the Dodgers front office doesn't get NESN."

-- @AndrewCatalon, a sports anchor at WNYT-TV in Albany, N.Y.
Meaning: The Dodgers dealt with the Red Sox to acquire, among others, the tremendously disappointing Josh Beckett and just-regular disappointing Carl Crawford, and NESN telecasts most of the Red Sox games.

Your audience isn't stupid Peter. There is no need to explain this to us. Most people know what NESN is and that the Dodgers just traded for players from the Red Sox team.

1. I think I've banged on the replacements, and the inability of the league to make a bridge with the regular officials in the negotiating process, so much in the past few weeks that I thought I'd give it a rest this week. Mostly. But it doesn't diminish the fact that it's incumbent on Roger Goodell and the NFL's negotiators to attack the process anew this week, and make sure there are real officials in place when a game vital to the playoff race is played nine day from now -- Cowboys at Giants -- in New Jersey.

The NFL needs to bring the regular officials back if for no other reason than to make sure no NFC East games are affected by bad officiating. Who really cares if the other games that aren't vital to the NFC playoff race are affected during Week 1? It doesn't matter. Every other NFL game can be terribly officiated. Let's just make sure this vital Week 1 game being broadcast on NBC (a company Peter not-so-coincidentally works for) has good officiating. That's all that really matters.

Peter has managed to show an East Coast bias, stated a game is vital to the playoff race in Week 1 of the NFL season (which is a bit premature) AND shamelessly plugged for NBC. That's a triumvirate that's hard to achieve, but Peter managed to do it flawlessly.

4. I think my wish-I'd-written-that line of the week belong to Mike Florio, of,

Ah yes, it is the weekly kiss-ass dance that Peter King and Mike Florio perform. Peter King reminds us in MMQB how brilliant Florio is and Mike Florio posts Peter King articles from MMQB in the "Rumor Mill" as if they are fresh rumors and not the product of integrating one part of the NBC family with another.

b. As far as the deal goes, I like it as a Red Sox partisan -- particularly the part about the Dodgers taking $250 million or so (96 percent) of the remaining salary of the four Red Sox vets. Adrian Gonzalez is a big loss. Carl Crawford might be, but he also might be a player who isn't suited for the big-headline places, and who won't be able to play until next April or May because of elbow surgery.

Oh yes, it is the old puffed-out-chest standby that Crawford just wasn't tough enough to play in such a demanding baseball town like Boston. Obviously Crawford won't have any issues in a small city like Los Angeles where the locals don't care nearly as much about their team.

And Josh Beckett, well, you can have him. Never met him; don't know any of these guys. But he strikes me as one of the most miserable people ever to put on a Sox uniform -- and that encompasses a lot of miserable people.

"I have absolutely no first-hand knowledge of the situation, but I'll give my opinion anyway."

The Sox have paid $46 million for Beckett to go 24-24 over the past three years. Maybe he'll be good in the spacious parks of the National League West,

Only true Red Sox can handle playing in the small stadium that is Fenway Park. Beckett was never a true Red Sox player.

He's spent the last 12 months helping drag down a franchise that was paying him like a king.

This has never happened to any other major league team in the history of baseball. Only the Red Sox have ever paid a lot of money for a pitcher who never gave them a return on this investment.

c. Gonzalez's first at-bat for the Dodgers: three-run homer. James Loney's first at-bat for the Red Sox: double play. And so it goes.

We're so cursed! We're more cursed than your team is cursed! Our curse is worse than your curse! Players are playing better when away from the Red Sox locker room and fans, but this is in no way a reflection on the fans or Red Sox management.

d. This is no little slump Boston's in. Red Sox in last 162 games: 73-89.
e. Pirates in last 162: 80-82.

No, a bad record over a 162 game span is actually a fairly small slump. It's one bad year. Get over it and quit acting like your team is too special to suffer through a bad year. You aren't special and the Red Sox aren't special. A playoff spot isn't guaranteed and there will be bad years. The Pirates have struggled for nearly a decade and the Red Sox have one bad year, which is causing Peter to flip out, and remind us of what a spoiled fan he can sound like.

f. The Pittsburgh Pirates are seven full games better than the Red Sox in the last full season.

Your readers are not stupid. They can do basic math and see 80 minus 73 is equal to 7.

i. While I'm on the topic of baseball box scores, is it too much, USA Today, to wake up in my hotel in San Diego and see the results of the East Coast games that end around 7:30 p.m. Pacific time?

Is it too much to log-on to the Internet and see the scores for the East Coast games, specifically since Peter works for a sports website and a sports network?


Matt said...

Slightly off topic, but in the same genre of whiny Boston articles / writers, please cover Simmons' story on the trade. It's hilarious in its pretentiousness.

rich said...

him a poor man's Darrelle Revis, putting him on an island against the Andre Johnsons and Justin Blackmons on the Colts' schedule.

Holy shit, seriously? A guy goes from losing his starting job in Miami to being a shutdown DB?

I like the trade for the Colts, Davis has been decent (though underachieving) and is only 24, but he's not a shutdown corner, he's going to need lots of safety help.

has started for three years

This is a terrible way to evaluate talent. You can say the same thing about Mark Sanchez, but I bet your ass no one is going to trade for him and make him a franchise guy.

He started for 3 years and didn't perform well.

He's like Vince Young, except he's had less time in the Buffalo offense.

I think Jackson convinced some people last year - he was playing rather well before his injury. If I needed to improve from Vince Young (who is a complete abomination), I wouldn't mind giving up a 7th. The fact the Bills made it a conditional 6th is baffling though.

The size for a good 3-4 outside linebacker?

Here's what's stupid, the size for a "good" 3-4 OLB depends on a bunch of things. Demarcus Ware is an all-pro because he matches that size with an insane amount of freakish athleticism. How many guys who are 6'4," 250 are as fast and strong as Ware?

I think the Jets have two corners that are like Carr and Claiborne in Cromartie and Revis.

Hell the Eagles had three of them.

Given the Giants won two Super Bowls with Corey Webster and Aaron "oops I fucking fell again" Ross... ya... Pass rush.

Gonzalez's first at-bat for the Dodgers: three-run homer.

Gonzalez then went on to go 2 for 14, giving him an incredible 3 for 15 stat line as a Dodger. Those Boston fans are cursed.

Bengoodfella said...

Matt, I'm working on it. I actually had to make it two posts. I didn't want to burn your eyes or anything like that. Too much material isn't a bad thing, but with Gregg Easterbrook and the Simmons-baseball column I've not had to look hard for bad journalism.

What Bill wrote...well, I will be writing what I think. It's so whiny.

Rich, I don't hate the trade for the Colts and Davis has talent. A poor man's Revis is an above average corner, who is someone you don't traditionally put on an island against Pro Bowl receivers.

I've always had a soft spot for Jackson. I never thought he got a good chance in Minnesota. He's not terrible, but I just didn't understand the move. Now I hear they may want to do the Wildcat with him, so that may make more sense.

In regard to the size of a perfect 3-4 linebacker, it does depend on a lot of variables. I think Peter was working too hard to make it seem like the Texan defenders had the perfect size required.

We all love corners, but the Panthers made the Super Bowl with Terry Cousins, Ricky Manning Jr. and Reggie Howard at cornerback. The fact they had Kris Jenkins, Peppers, Mike Rucker and Brentson Buckner is what helped them make it that far. I love great corners, but a great pass rush is the way to win a title in my opinion.

Nothing like taking one at-bat and making it mean more than it does.