Tuesday, April 30, 2013

2 comments MMQB Review: Marvin Demoff Plays Emperor Palpatine to Peter's Anakin Edition

Peter King told us last week in MMQB that he really enjoys the obituaries in "The New York Times," he made a few guesses about how the NFL Draft is going to turn out, discussed the Darrelle Revis trade, and glossed over Jimmy Haslem potentially being convicted for a crime. It's not like that would be a big deal or anything of course. This week Peter talks about all the surprises in the NFL Draft, talks about the time he spent in the (not a shock) Rams' war room, and apologizes for lacking non-football related notes. Because I'm sure everyone reads MMQB for Peter's half-thought out ruminations on baseball and to see what latest anti-gun screed he has cooked up for this week. Oh, the horror of an NFL column not having enough non-football related topics contained within it.

(Four days before the NFL Draft, Peter King and Jeff Fisher's agent Marvin Demoff calls Peter)...

(Peter is whistling a U2 song when his cell rings) "Brett, is that you?"

(Marvin Demoff) "Peter, you have to stop answering the phone that way. How many times have I told you that? I will let you have Brett Favre's cell phone number at the end of the 2014 season. No sooner, no less. Your habit has to be broken."

(Peter King) "Sorry, sir."

(Marvin Demoff) "Don't you think Jeff Fisher is doing a great job in St. Louis?"

(Peter King) "Oh, I think he's doing a right splendid job down there in St.---"

(Marvin Demoff) "Over there, Peter, not 'down there.'"

(Peter King) "Oh...right. I think he's doing a right splendid job over there in St. Louis. I've been telling my readers just like you like me to what a fantastic team the Rams are putting together. I let my readers know what a fine coach Mr. Fisher is."

(Marvin Demoff) "Yeah, you are doing great. I need you to ask your bosses if you can be in the Rams war room for this year's NFL Draft. I just need you to be in the war room and report on what a fine organization is being run by Fisher and Les Snead. No big deal, just say nothing negative about the job Jeff Fisher is doing, exactly like you have been doing so far even though Fisher has hired a coach who placed bounties on opposing players and then hired that coach's son when he not ready for the position."

(Peter King) "Oh, sir, you know I'd never say nothing negative about the Fisher team being run down there in St. Louis."

(Marvin Demoff) "Again, it's 'over there,' not 'down there.' While you are in St. Louis writing about all the great things the Rams organization is doing, take a tour of St. Louis and get to know the city so you know where the hell it is. Just convince your bosses this is the team you need to be embedded with or I will never give you Favre's cell phone number."

(Peter King) "I'll get done, sir. I do the good work and will make Mr. Fisher seem like the next Bob Lombardi---"

(Marvin Demoff) "It's 'Vince Lombardi," Peter, not 'Bob Lombardi.'"

(Peter King) "Either way, you'll be real impressed with the work I'll do. I'm gonna make him look real good and see if I can't help you land him another contract in St. Louis."

(Marvin Demoff) "That's real good Peter. I'm proud of you. Make me even prouder and remember to never ever say anything bad about the Rams and say only good things about who they draft."

(Peter King) "I won't forget, I promise sir. And I'm taking that tour of St. Louis while I'm there. Nebraska is such a beautiful state I bet."

(Marvin Demoff) "St. Louis is in Missou---ok, just go convince your bosses, Peter. Talk to you later."

Being with the coaches, GM, scouts and execs of the Rams for Round 1, I saw and heard what a rush the draft is for football-freak 30- and 40-somethings.

The NFL is popular and those who have jobs with NFL teams like their job. Apparently this is a concept Peter had never come to understand prior to spending time in the Rams' war room. Peter just figured everyone read MMQB for his sharp wit and astute observations on the Red Sox team.

There's gambling -- which the Rams did especially well in moving from pick 22 to pick 30.

(Marvin Demoff nods his head in encouragement and rubs his hands together excitedly at how Peter is starting MMQB off)

There are big-screen TVs, and the occasional chuckle at a Kiper or Mayock statement, and catered swordfish and strip steaks, and you're with all your friends (mostly), doing what guys love to do: talk football.

I feel like I am really there in the war room. What a descriptive narrative by Peter King. There is big-screen televisions and catered swordfish? It's not like Peter to bring up any interesting perks he gets while doing his job, so you know this must have been some really good catered swordfish.

I was here to write a story on the Rams for this week's issue of Sports Illustrated (shameless plug -- on iPads Wednesday and newsstands Thursday!).

So we get a preview of the article on the Rams in MMQB AND we get an entire full article in "Sports Illustrated" this week? It's going to be interesting to read about the Rams war room, but it is such a coincidence that Peter was embedded with Jeff Fisher's team. I'm interested to learn more about Jeff Fisher's plan to go 8-8 this upcoming year. I am kidding of course, the Rams seemingly did a great job in the draft and it is just a coincidence Peter breathlessly reported on Fisher's decision between the Dolphins and the Rams over a year ago. It was just a coincidence and had nothing to do with Peter throwing his agent a solid by driving up the interest in his client.

Well, I lucked out, as you'll read in the story this week, because GM Les Snead, coach Jeff Fisher and COO Kevin Demoff made stuff happen.

Wait, wait...Kevin Demoff? That must be a misspelling because there is a Marvin Demoff that represents Fisher and Peter King. It turns out this is not a misspelling and Kevin Demoff his Marvin Demoff's son.

So for those of you keeping track, Jeff Fisher was hired by his agent's son and now that same agent has another of his clients who is a respected reporter in the Rams war room reporting on the Rams draft day dealings and selections. A more jaded person would say Marvin Demoff worked this all out so his client, who is a reporter, could report positive things about another one of his clients, Jeff Fisher, so that his son who happens to be the COO of the Rams would look good. I am not jaded and would never suggest anything like this was ever thought nor happened. It was all just a coincidence.

You saw the Rams trade twice -- from 16 up to eight, to take wideout/returner Tavon Austin, and from 22 down to 30, to take versatile linebacker Alec Ogletree -- but what you didn't see was the glee in the room when both picks were made.

You also won't hear from Peter about the red flags that came along with Alec Ogletree and how Austin is a bit of a risk because he put up his fantastic numbers in a very wide receiver-friendly college system and is not built like the typical #1 wide receiver.

Twenty-five or so football people in the room, not in cliques or camps, but together, and pretty excited when the moves were made. Case in point: When Ogletree was picked, special teams coach John Fassel and linebackers coach Frank Bush high-fived and considered the impact of the first two picks.

My question to Peter would be this...the Rams traded up to get Tavon Austin and Alec Ogletree, so why would anyone expect the Rams organization to be upset about these picks specifically when they traded up to get these players? Is it really news that the Rams organization was happy about these picks? They traded up to specifically acquire these players.

"Wait,'' Fassel said. "I don't want him to block the punts -- I want to see Tavon return 'em!''
And they both laughed the kind of laugh you hear in a draft room when you've just had a good day.

It's all rainbows and sunshine in the Rams war room. Well played Marvin Demoff, well played.

Will Austin be the electric player he was at West Virginia? Don't know.

But Peter does know the Rams were excited to pick Austin and that has to mean something, right? Usually the staff of an NFL team mopes around after selecting a player they specifically traded up to acquire.

Will Ogletree be all player and no distraction, which made him tumble down the board in Round 1? Don't know that either. But for one night, the Rams seemed to help their team quite a bit, and it's obvious from the view I got why football's such a drug to so many.

BREAKING NEWS: An NFL team liked their draft picks.

Topics of the day:

1. I admire what Doug Marrone did. I think passing on the quarterback who helped him get an NFL head-coaching job was tough -- but it was the loyal thing to his organization, and the honorable thing to do once he found he liked E.J. Manuel more than his own Ryan Nassib.

So Peter admires Doug Marrone for choosing the quarterback he likes best who will also best enable him to keep his NFL head coaching job? It doesn't take much to get Peter's admiration it seems. Do what is best for you to keep your current job and Peter thinks you are a peachy guy.

Why would Marrone draft a quarterback he doesn't believe is the best option at #16 in the first round? Is there an NFL head coach who would do this completely out of loyalty to one of his college players?

2. Who doesn't love what the Vikings did? Sharrif Floyd 23rd?

Players sometimes fall for a reason, plus he has short arms, which apparently is a bad thing for a defensive lineman.

The most dangerous deep-threat receiver in the pool, Cordarrelle Patterson, 29th?

I remember the last time the Vikings selected a dangerous deep-threat and a defensive lineman in the first round it was Troy Williamson and Erasmus James. I'm not saying Patterson and Floyd are going to be busts, but let's not crown the Vikings quite yet. They appear to have had a great draft, but Patterson isn't exactly a non-risk at #29.

4. Cleveland does the Belichickian thing, trading into the future.

Except unlike Belichick's Patriots teams the Browns need good players right now. There's a small difference in the Belichick approach for the Patriots and the Browns.

5. The quarterbacks didn't go 6-29-31-33-40, the way we were sold that they might. They went 16-39-73-98-110. They fell because we all bought the hype --

What's this "we" shit? I didn't buy into any hype. My mock draft had one quarterback going in the first round. Granted, I was WAY off on when Nassib would go, but there isn't a "we" in the conversation. Peter King bought into the hype.

As one personnel man told me Sunday: "I think we just couldn't believe there wasn't a run on them late in the first round, and it's because it turned out teams just didn't see them as their quarterbacks of the future.''

Thank God I have this quote from an anonymous personnel guy to tell me that teams who don't like a quarterback won't draft that quarterback in the first round. This is completely new knowledge to me.

Here will be one of the great trivia questions five years from now: Who was the first running back picked in the 2013 draft? Even this morning, you have to think hard to say Giovani Bernard (37th, to Cincinnati). This was the first time since 1973 a runner wasn't picked in the first round, and no wonder. In 2010, an undrafted back (Arian Foster) won the rushing title. In 2011, the top five in the rushing race were drafted 60th, 55th, 154th, 53rd and not at all. And of course last year, the 173rd pick, a rookie, Alfred Morris, finished second in the rushing race to Adrian Peterson.

Where was Adrian Peterson drafted again? That's right, the first round. So there may not have been a franchise running back in this year's draft, but it still may be worth it from time-to-time to draft running backs in the first round.

There can still be great running backs picked high, but why do it unless you have a combo speed/power guy like Peterson -- especially when rushing gems drop out of the sky on Day 3?

What if a team has found it's speed/power guy in the 2014 draft and wants to make sure they get this running back by drafting him in the first round? Does that make it a bad pick or did they simply draft the guy they wanted when they wanted him? Say Eddie Lacy has a great rookie season, wouldn't it make sense for an NFL team to look at T.J. Yeldon and think, "It may be worth it to take him with a first round pick"?

13. Two Philly thoughts: I have no idea what Chip Kelly's going to do on offense, and I think he likes it that way. If two of his three quarterbacks (Nick Foles and Matt Barkley) are pocket guys, is he really going to make his quarterback pocket a movable feast? I think Tony Dungy's right (his son played for Kelly at Oregon) when he says he expects Kelly's NFL offense to be like Buffalo's under Jim Kelly -- very fast-paced, but not necessarily with a quarterback who has to run to win

Is having a fast-paced offense not necessarily with a quarterback who has to run to win any different from the hurry-up offense the Patriots run or the no-huddle offense the Falcons ran at times last year? I fully expect Chip Kelly to do some different things in terms of running the Eagles offense, but there are NFL teams who run a fast-paced offense without a quarterback who has to run to win.

14. Stop killing the Cowboys. Just stop. Dallas got the No. 1 center on many boards at 31 (Travis Frederick), filling a gaping hole; an offensive tight end to someday replace Jason Witten (Gavin Escobar) at 47; and a 51-game starter at wideout from Baylor, Terrance Williams (who averaged 19 yards a catch last year) at 74. As one GM told me Sunday: "Frederick might be a reach, but if you get a starter for your team for six or eight years -- at any position -- isn't that worth the 31st pick overall in a lousy draft?"

This wasn't a lousy draft at all. If anything this is one of the deepest drafts over the last decade. There were quality players to be found in the fourth and fifth round. It certainly wasn't considered a top-heavy draft, but the draft wasn't lousy.

When Arizona took Mathieu early in the third round, I immediately thought that was the kind of move other teams in the NFC West would have tried.

Upon hearing this I immediately think you are an idiot and I have no idea what you mean by this comment.

Seattle went the risky route with Bruce Irvin in the first round last year (and took cornerback Tharold Simon two days after he was arrested this year).

There is a big difference in drafting Bruce Irvin in the first round and taking Mathieu in the third round. There is less money involved and there are more questions about Mathieu's ability to be mature and thrive in the NFL. Bruce Irvin was more of a risk because he was seen as being drafted too early. Irvin broke a sign in March of 2012 and had spent 2.5 weeks in jail five years before being drafted. Mathieu's red flags were more numerous and also spread over a shorter period of time.

"It's uncharacteristic of our organization to take chances on guys with troubled pasts,'' Cardinals general manager Steve Keim told me Sunday night. "But we thought this was a good player and person for us to take.''

"He is good at football," is all Steve Keim had to say. That's what he really means.

The Cardinals, one league source told me earlier Sunday, will randomly drug test Mathieu as often as weekly after he signs his NFL contract -- a contract, I'm told, that will not include any guaranteed money. Rather, Mathieu will earn bonus money in the form of roster bonuses, to ensure that the club is protected in the event that he lapses and the team chooses to cut him. If that happens, the Cardinals will be out a prime draft choice, but not any guaranteed money. Last year's 69th pick, wideout T.J. Graham of the Bills, signed a four-year deal with a $671,000 bonus. For Mathieu to make that money, he'll have to be a member of the Cardinals in good standing week to week -- and clean.

I'm not sure Peter is completely understanding the issue with Mathieu. It isn't the money the Cardinals should be worried most about. For them, taking a chance on a player who will earn a $700,000 isn't a huge risk. This is the team that gave Kevin Kolb a huge contract, so if Mathieu doesn't stick I don't think money would be the Cardinals biggest concern. The concern is mostly about spending an early third round draft choice on a player who has red flags when it comes to his personal life and behavior. It's smart for the Cardinals to protect themselves in terms of bonus money, but I wouldn't think the money spent on a third round draft choice is the main concern here.

Some team was going to take Mathieu, 

Most likely an NFC West team, because drafting Mathieu is the kind of move other NFC West teams would have tried.

others were interested somewhere in the middle of the draft.

Mainly NFC West teams of course. Only that division would have the out-of-the-box thinking to draft a guy like Mathieu. We all know it is a move Jeff Fisher would have tried because he is the perfect combination of willing to give a guy a second chance while also being a disciplinarian who doesn't stand for a player's bullshit.

Oakland GM Reggie McKenzie said the health scare "became a non-issue for us'' once Raiders medical officials cleared him.

When I heard the Raiders took D.J. Hayden in the first round I thought that was the kind of move an AFC West team would try to pull. That's SO AFC West to draft a guy who almost died on the football field!

Can he? Hayden hasn't been in a football practice or game since that fateful day last November in Houston. He said he's rough-housed with friends around his home, but hasn't had the kind of contact he'll have come July in Raiders camp. Will he be able to put the accident out of his mind when bigger, stronger and faster players come at him from all directions?

"Great question,'' he said. "I definitely understand that. You don't know 'til you get out there. The chance of it happening again are slim and none. But I can tell you I think the more reps I get, the more comfortable I will be and the better I will do. I am not worried about it.''

Hmmm...this doesn't exactly instill confidence that Hayden won't be a little gun-shy once he gets out on the football field. "You don't know until you get out there," while probably true, isn't exactly making me believe Hayden won't be affected the first time he tries to tackle an opposing player.

Nix and Marrone both judged Manuel the best quarterback in the crop. Buffalo traded from No. 8 t in the first round to No. 16, picked Manuel at 16, and stashed an extra second-round pick in the process.

When I talked to Marrone on Sunday, it was apparent that even though the pick was three days old, the impact of it -- all of it -- was still fresh. And it still bothered him.

"I don't know if words can explain it,'' Marrone said from his office.

Yeah, you can explain it. You like Manuel better than Nassib. It's business. Drafting Nassib in the first round simply to show sort of loyalty to him despite not thinking he was the best quarterback for the Bills would have been doing Nassib any good, Marrone any good, and the Bills any good.

"The responsibility I had was to get the best player we could get. There are a lot of people relying on me to get the best players we can get here -- all the people in the organization and all the fans who buy tickets to see us play.''

NFL coaches pass on their ex-players all the time. Pete Carroll passed on Taylor Mays a few years ago and he still hasn't regretted that decision.

I don't see it as disloyal. I see it as a coach who got a job and whose new job is to look at a pool of players and pick the best one. Why would he automatically pick the one he'd been with, just because he'd been with him and had success?

I'm not sure any rational person has stated that Doug Marrone should have drafted Ryan Nassib purely out of loyalty. He's arguing with no one. I feel like there is a future JemeHill column titled, "Everyone Who Thinks Doug Marrone Should Have Drafted Ryan Nassib Out of Loyalty is Wrong."

Should he put on blinders because he'd won with one player and pick a player he felt deep down was inferior to another one? No. His loyalty is with the Buffalo Bills now, not to the players had at Syracuse.

Again, this seems pretty obvious. I really don't know who would argue with Marrone not taking Nassib if he didn't think he was the best quarterback for Buffalo.

Now about the Manuel pick. Marrone didn't want to get into comparison shopping here, because saying what one guy does better than the other is going to leave the second guy looking like a loser. But Manuel, though a questionable decision-maker, was more accurate last season. He's two inches taller and a better athlete. Now, there are things Nassib did better. He's more instinctive in the pocket and appears to be better at picking the right target downfield.

So Nassib has better instincts for a quarterback and throws the ball to the right guy better. Manuel looks more like a quarterback, which is something I thought was seeming less and less important, but that's neither here nor there.

No. But who wouldn't be impressed with Barkley's demeanor after he was the 98th overall pick, a year after choosing to stay in school when he could have been a top 10 pick after his third straight standout season at USC?

So it is the time of the column where we compliment Matt Barkley for having all of the measurables of a starting NFL quarterback except the skill set required?

"Whether I'm the first pick or whether I'm Mr. Irrelevant, I'm in the NFL now. My jersey's not going to say, 'Fourth round Barkley.' It's going to say, 'Barkley.' ''

Well, that's assuming Barkley even gets a jersey on Sundays. He could end up wearing the Clausen line of sideline wear that includes a mike in his ear, a team t-shirt, and a sad look on his face. This is what the inactive NFL quarterback rocks while on the sidelines.

"Repetitive accuracy is the No. 1 quality we're looking for in a quarterback,'' Kelly said Saturday, and when he was asked about Barkley's average arm strength, he said, "We're not trying to knock over milk cartons at the county fair.''

Repetitive accuracy is the No. 1 quality Chip Kelly wants in a quarterback? Kelly does realize his starting quarterback has a career completion percentage of 56.3% (though Vick's accuracy has been much better in Philadelphia)?

But the consensus was he'd have been a top 10 pick. Tannehill's deal: four years, $12.7 million. The 98th pick last year, Ravens center Gino Gradkowski, signed for four years and $2.58 million. Turns out it was a $10.1 million year of school for Matt Barkley.

Man, I hope it was worth it. Go on take the money and run is what I always say. Don't give the scouts time to pick you apart and decide why you aren't a Top-10 pick.

Cleveland made two of the three trades for next year's picks, which is something Bill Belichick always has liked to do -- and Cleveland GM Mike Lombardi goes to the Belichick school of draft maneuvering.

This is where the similarities between these two begin and end. Otherwise, Bill Belichick is Bill Belichick and Mike Lombardi is Mike Lombardi. He can't ride those Belichick coattails forever and the comparisons between the two end quickly.

Browns fans: Just remember when Josh Gordon is crushed over the middle by the heir to Troy Polamalu, Syracuse strong safety Shamarko Thomas, Thomas is the guy your team let the Steelers have.

Well, Doug Marrone also passed on Thomas (Thomas went to Syracuse) to take Duke Williams, so there's a chance Shamarko Thomas isn't the heir apparent to Troy Polamalu.

Then Peter gives credit to Ted Thompson for having Eddie Lacy and Jonathan Franklin fall to him. I like both picks, but after writing about the running back position has been devalued Peter shouldn't act so surprised top running backs are available in the second and fourth rounds. After all, Peter just pointed out how many of the leading rushers during the 2012 season were not early round picks. So Ted Thompson was merely smart and knew he could get the guy he wanted in the draft given the current state of the running back position.

On a trade you paid no attention to.

Stop telling me what I did or did not pay attention to.

Now as the picks ticked by, they knew they risked losing the linebacker they liked most at this point, Kansas State's Arthur Brown. So the Ravens dealt the 62nd pick along with fifth- and sixth-round picks to Seattle for the 56th pick. They picked Brown.

It's a fucking riveting story and I originally had Brown mocked to the Ravens in the first round, but backed off it because I'm a wimp. Boy, I wish I had paid more attention to this trade. Thanks for pointing out what I do or don't pay attention to, Peter.

Brown's a potential captain, the kind of leader the Ravens hope two or three years down the road will start to fill the void left by Ray Lewis. Great trade.

A great trade, no, a fantastic trade. If only I had paid more attention to it.

I write quite a bit in the magazine in my Rams story about the trade from 22 to 30 for Alec Ogletree. The Rams coveted Ogletree, and they took a calculated risk they'd lose him by not picking him at 22. In fact, had they lost Ogletree between 22 and 30, it would have cast a pall over the entire draft.

No, it would have cast a pall over the entire universe as a whole. The Rams had to have Alec Ogletree. Fortunately they have the best GM and head coach in the history of the NFL.

But that's why they pay Jeff Fisher and Les Snead the big dough.

And boy are they worth it! (Marvin Demoff smiles happily)

The trade brought back Atlanta's third-round pick, and with that pick, the Rams picked West Virginia wideout Stedman Bailey, who led college football with 25 touchdown catches last year. Bailey and Tavon Austin could remake the Rams' attack into a latter-day Greatest Show on Turf with their quickness and playmaking ability downfield. 

Again, these two guys also played in an incredibly wide receiver-friendly college offense and are both under six feet. I feel like this needs to be mentioned before we start comparing them to Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce.

And it never would have happened if Snead and Fisher hadn't taken the risk of potentially losing Ogletree. Win some, lose some. But the weekend, as I'll explain in my story this week, was a big win for the Rams -- assuming Ogletree is a solid citizen as well as a playmaking linebacker.

"Jeff Fisher and Les Snead are risk-takers! But not such big risk-takers that they take bad risks. Oh no, they are smart risk-takers, the perfect blend of pretty much anything any head coach and GM should be. Under the management of rising genius COO Kevin Demoff the Rams are on an upper trajectory in the NFC West."

I would imagine that's how Marvin Demoff demanded the first sentence of Peter's column on the Rams would begin.

"I'm all in for Week 1, just like you guys are."

-- Robert Griffin III, the rehabbing Washington quarterback, at the club's draft party for fans over the weekend. He jumped up and down on stage, and the crowd reacted like a packed house at a Jay-Z show.

"...reacted like a packed house at a Jay-Z show." Peter is hip with his urban music analogies. He knows what a "Jay-Z" is, he can Superman that ho' and knows all the modern dance moves (Peter starts doing the Macarena).

Then Peter begins absolutely salivating all over Tavon Austin to the point it is embarrassing.

I enlisted SI college football guru Andy Staples to help me with the math on something that amazes me about the smurfy Austin, the first pick of the St. Louis Rams and the only offensive skill player to be picked in the top 15 of the 2013 draft. Austin told me he missed one practice in his four years at West Virginia. Doing the math with Staples, if you figure Austin went through three sets of spring practices (15 per year, 45 total), four preseasons (25 per year, 100 total), four bowl games (15 per year, 60 total) and about 50 regular-season practices per year (100 total), that adds up to 405 practices.

Austin practiced 404 out of 405 West Virginia practices, then, and played in 52 of 52 WVU games.

 More bonus facts about Austin: In his first 48 college games, he rushed the ball only 51 times, mostly on end-arounds and options. In his 49th game, against Oklahoma, he rushed 21 times for 344 yards. Imagine having a game with runs of 74, 56, 54 and 47 yards ... in one half (the second).

The Big 12 record for all-purpose yards in a game prior to that game was 375. Against Oklahoma, Austin had 572.

I realize Austin is an exciting player, but Peter isn't doing much to make my kooky conspiracy theory that he is pumping up the Rams' draft and Jeff Fisher simply because his agent (Marvin Demoff) represents Fisher and King, while Demoff's song is the COO of the Rams. It just all seems too perfect in my mind, though I know it probably isn't true. Maybe if Peter wrote something negative about the Rams it would help, but good luck with that happening.

The first names of the seven Denver draft picks: Sylvester, Montee, Kayvon, Quanterus, Tavarres, Vinston and Zac.

Peter loves to bring up when a minority player has a funny name. He is never not shocked at how creative minorities can be with these names they give their children. They so crazy!

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

And as Marvin Demoff instructed, Peter did take a tour of St. Louis. He notes this in his weekly travel note.

Here in St. Louis, with a couple of hours free Thursday afternoon and not wanting to obsess about the draft, I took a walk from my downtown hotel over to the Gateway Arch. I've seen it before, but not really up close. I walked around both bases of it -- it's much wider than I thought.

Why does it not shock me that the Gateway Arch is wider than Peter thought?

And there was a tour group of what looked to be junior-high kids hearing a guide give some of the facts and figures of the Arch, so I loitered in the back and listened.

Let's call this what it really was, Peter King leered in the background as innocent school children took a tour of the Gateway Arch, causing the adult chaperones to get a step or two closer to the children for their own protection.

It's beautiful, by the way.

Thanks for the information. I can't wait for Peter's visit to the Grand Canyon where he remarks it is deeper than he expected, but more majestic than he ever imagined.

Ten Things I Think I Think

2. I think if I'm Mark Sanchez, I ask John Idzik very respectfully to put me out of my misery and release me.

I think if I am John Idzik then I wouldn't release Mark Sanchez until I know Geno Smith could be a good backup and that David Gerrard can be a temporary starter. I don't know if I would go about releasing Sanchez until I know a rookie and a guy who didn't play football last year could hold down the starting quarterback job. We all know Sanchez isn't a great quarterback, he isn't even an average quarterback, but take it from a guy who has watched Jimmy Clausen start at quarterback, it can be much worse than having Sanchez as the Jets starting quarterback.

Whether you think it was smart to take Smith or not, the fact is he's in Jersey now, and the Jets are going to give him a fair shot to be the long-term quarterback. It's silly to think it's not going to be a total zoo around that team if Sanchez stays this season. I'd rather have a prayer with team peace while developing a new quarterback and spending $91 million on players than mayhem and spending $103 million.

This isn't a bad plan, but it is always a zoo in New York anyway. Plus, if Rex Ryan has any say left in the organization then he isn't about to start to get his season-ending firing started in May by developing a new quarterback and giving himself zero backup options at the quarterback position that he trusts at least 20% to win games.

I think the Jets should release Sanchez, but not necessarily be in a rush to do so.

5. I think this illustrates the bizarre nature of this year's draft: One team I spoke with Friday, not in the market to draft a quarterback but stunned at the descent of Ryan Nassib, told me Nassib was the second-rated quarterback on its board. And one team I spoke with Sunday had 10 quarterbacks rated higher than Nassib.

It's almost like each NFL team has a very different draft board that reflects how each team values the collegiate players entering the NFL Draft.

b. GM David Caldwell saw Denard Robinson for what he was -- a versatile weapon who loves football -- and plucked him 135th overall. What will he be? A running back, probably. Or a slot receiver, or a wide receiver, or a Brad Smith-esque quarterback/receiver. What I've said about Tim Tebow for a year holds true for Robinson:

He's worthless and shouldn't be considered a quarterback by any stretch of the imagination?

Just get the guy on your team and find something for him to do. He'll find a way with his hands on the ball to be a factor.

Except Tebow didn't do anything with the football in his hands on the ball over the last year. I know, I know, these are just small details. Tebow is awesome and no one will give him a shot. NFL teams are famous for not giving talented players a chance to show what they can do on the football field.

c. Skeptical about the smurfy (5-7, 173-pound) receiver/returner Ace Sanders in the fourth round? Understandable. But Sanders was the guy the Rams would have targeted in the third or fourth round if they weren't able to move up for Tavon Austin.

Oh, well I didn't know the Rams were going to draft Ace Sanders if they couldn't get Tavon Austin. The fact the Rams were going to draft Sanders totally changes my opinion of Sanders as a receiver. I didn't realize Ace Sanders was such an NFC West-type pick. Now if the Vikings were going to draft Sanders if they didn't get Corradelle Patterson, well then obviously that means Sanders would suck as a wide receiver.

7. I think, not that it's going to tell the tale of the guy's career, there was a little bit too much woe-is-me head-hanging out of Geno Smith Thursday night. Buck up, fella.

He had booked a hotel room for Thursday night and didn't get drafted so he had to make the decision to stay in town one more night or stay behind and show up after he didn't get drafted in the first round. It's embarrassing. I think it's natural to hang your head when you are being shown on national television every five minutes with the fact you haven't been chosen yet being discussed constantly.

9. I think Manti Te'o at 25 would have been eminently justified. Manti Te'o at 38 is a value pick for San Diego.A value pick when they traded up to get him? Speaking of woe-is-me head-hanging, how about the ESPN draft analysts mentioning the fact Te'o had not gotten chosen every five minutes?

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

a. Been a little busy with football thoughts this week to have non-football ones, but I'll give it a go.

That was Peter's first thought. His first non-football thought was that he didn't have many non-football thoughts.

e. Thanks for putting Houston in the American League, whoever did that.

Yeah, "whoever did that." I'm pretty sure it is easy to figure out who put Houston in the American League. I'm surprised Peter even knows there is an MLB team in Houston. He probably wasn't aware of this until the Red Sox played the Astros recently. Peter loves baseball, you know. He just seems to know very little about the sport.

f. Red Sox and Yankees, 33-16. Rays and Jays, 21-30. Wasn't it supposed to be the other way around this year?

It's almost like the preseason narratives don't perfectly describe exactly how the season is going to end up progressing. The Blue Jays were good on paper and the Red Sox weren't, how could reality be different? Peter's world is shaken. 

g. Coffeenerdness: St. Louis has Peet's coffee, which automatically makes it a place worth visiting. It's in the casino down by the Arch.

I'm guessing this isn't the same casino that Peter visited in New Orleans after the Super Bowl where he was shocked that there were drunk people and not a lively, spirited crowd at 6am. Who knew casinos could be a place for such ruffians at 6am?

j. Forgive me my limited non-football notes this week. I'll be better next week.

Actually, by doing better you would have even more limited set of non-football notes.

The Adieu Haiku

Vikes picked a punter.
Chris Kluwe, endangered dude?
Come write for SI.

Just average punter.
Peter likes his politics.
CFL next stop.


Anonymous said...

Regarding the Jets and cutting Sanchez, there is not a drop from $103M to $91M. He will count against the cap just the same if he's on the team, cut, or even traded. So, its a sunk cost and Peter's suggestion to just cut ties with Sanchez and have less in player salaries would not work. #peterkinghatesthejets

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I did not know that. You think Peter hates the Jets? He's been way off on what they should do this offseason. I don't see the point of cutting Sanchez and his suggestion to keep Revis until the beginning of the season was misguided. Best case scenario is Revis plays (without a new contract) at the same level he played at previously and has the same value the Jets got for him from the Bucs.

Worst case is Revis holds out or isn't the same guy and then the Jets lose leverage and don't even get a 1st round pick for him through trade.