Tuesday, August 13, 2013

9 comments MMQB Review: Peter Defends Jeff Fisher's Honor Edition

There are 3 more spots open in the BotB Fantasy Football League. The league ID is 265989 and the password is "eckstein" if anyone else cares to join. We need at least one more person to join the league so we can have an even number of teams. Email me if you have questions.

Peter King quizzed Chip Kelly last week with hard-hitting questions like "Why do you run practices this way?," he enjoyed his time tearing up the area around the Jamestown Jammers' stadium with his RV, and told tales of his visits to NFL training camps. It's Peter's favorite time of the year to blast the U2, park the RV in a dangerous spot and then have the chance for a good ol' Amish house-raising when the RV gets stuck in mud. This week Peter takes on Bernie Kosar for attacking Jeff Fisher (plus two of the seven tags for this MMQB are the names of Rams players...just saying), continues his training camp tours, and checks in with Andy Reid who is (surprise) so much happier in Kansas City. I'm not sure Andy Reid would ever say he is unhappier in Kansas City, but that's beside the point.

Pondering the biggest stories of the NFL weekend from a hotel room halfway between the Chiefs (St. Joseph, Mo.) and Vikings (Mankato, Minn.), as The MMQB training-camp tour rolls on:

1. A kicker from Norway, who’d never appeared in a football game in his life, kicked 49- and 50-yard field goals for the Lions.

Not to take anything away from this kicker, but is this really one of the biggest stories of the NFL weekend? If so, it wasn't a very exciting preseason weekend.

4. On the first pass of the Marc Trestman Era, Jay Cutler threw an interception.

That wasn't entirely Cutler's fault. I'm not sure the receiver ran the correct route. But hey, Cutler threw an interception so it has to be completely his fault, right?

For the sheer story-telling of it, Havard Rugland has to be this morning’s winner. He’ll tell his story at The MMQB in detail Tuesday, but the short version is this: Soccer player from a small town in southwest Norway, enchanted with American football. Ordered a football online in early 2011, began kicking it for fun, made a YouTube video of him powerfully kicking a football, Norwegian TV picked it up, it got some buzz on American TV, and the Jets invited him for a tryout late last year. Detroit tried him out, then signed him last spring.

Not that NFL teams are desperate for accurate kickers with a strong leg of course. They will sign a guy based on YouTube video of him making kicks.

It showed. For a third-quarter first-preseason-game field goal, Rugland’s 49-yarder engendered huge emotion on the Lions’ sidelines. Linebacker Stephen Tulloch lifted Rugland in the air, and the team gathered ‘round, pounding him on the pads and helmet. It’s hard to have a feel-good, memorable moment in a first preseason game, but this was certainly one.

Then the Lions team took Rugland out for a few drinks and got arrested for DUI as a team-building exercise.

“All I can do,” he said, “is focus on controlling what I can control.”
“You have already learned a lot with quotes like that,” I told him. “You talk just like an NFL player.”

“You see right through that, don’t you?” Rugland said.

You can't get anything by Peter. Well, that's not true at all. Sometimes I feel like Peter believes whatever a coach or player tells him. But sometimes when he is at the top of his game, Peter can tell when a player is talking like an NFL player and you can't get that by him. Not now, not not never, but actually probably just now and in this very situation.

Now for the tale of a week on the NFL road—this time in inverse order, because the Andy Reid/Alex Smith story was my favorite of a very interesting week.

But what about the kicker from Norway? He got an audition by posting a video on YouTube. Plus, still no one is talking about Anquan Boldin being traded to the 49ers. These stories are getting their feelings hurt by not being your favorite anymore.

Andy Reid comes to the door of his Missouri Western State dorm room, in his red CHIEFS hoodie, and the first thing you notice is how happy he is.

Why is this the first thing I notice? I've never met Andy Reid, plus he's fat and aren't all fat people happy? Anyway, what a strange use of "you" by Peter in this situation.

But even in private, toward the end of his 14-year period coaching the Eagles, it wasn’t quite like this. Not that he was sullen. But as a very good friend of Reid’s told me last spring: “Usually when a coach gets fired, he thinks of everyone to blame but himself. But in this case, Andy actually wanted to go, and he wasn’t mad at all that Jeff Lurie wanted to make a change.”

Again, strange use of the second-person by Peter. His readers don't know Andy Reid, much less haven't known him for 14 years, so we would have no idea if Andy Reid was happy or not. Maybe Peter was writing and used the second-person for no particular reason, even if it seems a bit weird since he is the person who noticed Reid looked happy and should use the first-person in this instance.

“When I got into coaching a long time ago,” he said, sitting on the RA’s couch in the Spartan room an hour north of Kansas City, “I got into it to coach. That’s the fun part of the game to me. Now I’m able to do it again—all of it. The hands-on coaching at practice, the install [installation of plays and the gameplan], and to call the plays.”

Plus, getting to call his own timeouts. Andy Reid was very clear that he wanted to be in charge of timeouts for the Chiefs.

“I knew he loved offensive linemen—that’s what I heard,” said tackle Brandon Albert. “But I never had a coach who knew the offensive line before like coach Andy. He gets down and actually teaches us little technique things. One day out there, in this thing we call the cut-off drill, he’s out there sprawled on the ground showing us the right technique.

I'm going to need some video of Andy Reid sprawled out on the ground showing the offensive lineman the right technique. I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to do a little photoshopping and turn Reid into a seal sprawled out on the ground. He has a mustache and a belly. Seals have mustaches and a belly. I need video of Reid doing this so we (the proverbial "we" because I don't have enough knowledge to do this) can turn him into a seal flapping around on the ground.

“The other thing about coach Andy: This is a hard game. Sometimes I think coaches forget that. I mean, I’ve got Tamba Hali over me. Sometimes I’m going to get beat. I understand if I get beat I’ve got to do it better, and I’ve got to have better technique. But the attitude here, with this staff, is not to yell and tell you how you messed up. It’s ‘Okay, on to the next play. Make the next play great.’

Plus, the Chiefs offensive line only has to worry about pass-blocking since Reid doesn't plan on calling that many running plays anyway. It's always a benefit to be able to only focus on pass-blocking and know you will rarely be asked to run-block.

Two other things about Reid: In the New York Times Sunday, he admitted he’d twice tried to trade for Alex Smith while in Philadelphia. He didn’t say when, and he told me that while it was true, he didn’t remember exactly when it was. Once was around the time the Eagles were in the process of fact-finding on Michael Vick before they signed him. “I just always watched him and thought, ‘Man, I’d like to coach that kid,’ ” Reid said of Smith.

Be careful what you wish for. Alex Smith is a right fine quarterback and he was really accurate last year and helped the 49ers win quite a few games. But...given the chance, Jim Harbaugh quickly and easily replaced Smith with Colin Kaepernick which made the 49ers offense much more threatening to opposing teams. Maybe this says more about Kaepernick than Smith, but for a starter who took his team to the NFC Championship Game the year before to lose his job that easily...well, it has to say something, doesn't it?

(Peter King hears his phone rings and picks it up) "Hey Peter, it's Marvin Demoff. What's up buddy?"

(Peter King) "Well gosh,---"

(Marvin Demoff) "It was hypothetical. I don't give a shit how it has been for you. When you cover the Rams this week after visiting their training camp, just be sure to make Jeff and Kevin look good, okay? None of this 'The Rams look good, blah, blah, blah' bullshit. Really sell it and say some shit you don't mean, but gets the reader's attention."

(Peter King) "You've been so kind as to help me get my own site, I think---"

(Marvin Demoff) "Just shut up and do it. I'll be reading Monday to see what you have to say about the Rams. Remember, dress it up a little." 

Saturday: Earth City, Mo.
The Rams have some weapons, finally.

Really? The Rams have offensive weapons now? I wouldn't know because Peter hasn't talked about Tavon Austin or the Rams awesome 2013 NFL Draft in at least a week. Why hasn't Peter told us the Rams have some really good offensive weapons?

Three times in a five-play span in red-zone seven-on-seven drills, Bradford found Jared Cook, with a catch radius as wide as Jeremy Shockey’s used to be (and that’s a good thing), at the goal line; it’s like the defense knew what was coming and just couldn’t stop it. The Rams don’t know quite why Cook caught only 44 balls for Tennessee in his free-agency walk year, but they’re happy he was a free agent, and that he walked.

Boy! That Jeff Fisher, Les Snead and Kevin Demoff sure have put a great team together haven't they? It's like Fisher, Snead, and Demoff are just so much better at their jobs than any of their counterparts at other organizations are. It's almost unfair, really. The Rams just plucked Jared Cook away from the Titans. Not many teams are smart enough to know how great Jared Cook is.

(Cook was underused in Tennessee, but Peter is getting ready to make Cook sound like Jimmy Graham and not 1,717 career yards over four seasons.)

I have not seen a better offensive weapon in all the practices I’ve seen on this training camp tour than I saw in the athletic and imposing Cook on this afternoon.

In all the practices Peter has seen he has not seen a better offensive weapon than Jared Cook? Wow, that's probably exactly what Marvin Demoff is looking for in terms of selling the Rams as the next offensive juggernaut. It's funny because Jeff Fisher is just so fucking smart, he managed to draft Cook when he was with the Titans organization as their head coach and then he signed him as a free agent steal. That's a double dose of genius. It's like inventing the car and then building the best car ever built. Really, Jeff "8-8" Fisher is probably the best coach in the history of the NFL if you think about it. Then, talking about Les Snead, words can't describe how great he is. Want to hear Peter's stories about what happened in the Rams draft room again? No? Well, let's talk about Kevin Demoff who oversees this whole enterprise. It's an A-1 organization there in St. Louis and Peter just doesn't see why any 2014 free agent wouldn't want to play for the Rams.

Then there’s the eighth pick in the April draft, slot receiver/kick returner/slot back Tavon Austin.

Peter hasn't mentioned Tavon Austin yet this week! What an overlooked player he is!

Come to practice now, and watch the eight-yard curl he ran on Cortland Finnegan.

Yeah, I'll be right there to watch Austin practice. Give me five hours and $800 to buy a ticket out to the Rams training camp.

What gets me most about Peter in regard to the Rams isn't that he is complimentary of them. He is very complimentary, but it's funny how he seemingly goes overboard in his praise for them. I just can't shake the feeling the fact he shares an agent with Jeff Fisher and Kevin Demoff is the COO of the Rams really gets in the way of his coverage of the team. Maybe Peter thinks he owes the Rams for allowing him in their draft room and so he is going overboard in praising them.

We all know Tavon Austin is very talented and could have a very good season. The fact is that Peter has told us time and time and time again just how great Austin fits in with the Rams and how talented Austin is. We get it.

Austin’s so quick it was almost unfair, and Finnegan explained why later.

Just like the Rams run the best organization in the NFL and that's almost unfair.

I don’t know what that means, but it sounds good. I do know, though, what “stops on a dime” means, and you’ll see that a lot this year—particularly with half of Austin’s games on the fast track of the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. “That surface will make me feel like I’m back at West Virginia,” Austin said before practice.

So the Rams turf will make Austin feel like he is in a state overrun by pickup trucks and coal while getting the overwhelming feeling that the only way out from the depressing conditions surrounding him while on the turf is suicide? That doesn't sound good. Wait, those are my feelings whenever I go back to West Virginia.

When you watch Austin, the only thing you worry about is durability. But as he points out, he missed one practice or game in his four seasons at WVU.

The "he" that pointed this out is clearly Marvin Demoff. Or maybe Jeff Fisher. Either way, there's clearly no difference in how hard college players hit and how NFL players hit so it's a moot point.

If he’s that durable—and it’d be stunning to see someone his size stay that healthy for a long time in the NFL—we’re going to have fun watching an explosive player in the Percy Harvin mold.

How dare Peter bring this type of realistic negativity into the discussion on Tavon Austin! He's going to be in big trouble with Rams management and his agent for putting a caveat on the Hall of Fame career of Tavon Austin. Peter has violated his "only say positive things about the Rams" mantra, even if only slightly.

2. Kyle Long, the first-round guard from Oregon, and son of Howie, and brother of Chris, is not only a strong, solid player. (He was promoted to first-team guard in practice Sunday.) He carries himself like a fifth-year player. Smart, very media-savvy, and from the look of it on the two series I watched him on each snap, he plays quick for a 313-pound man.

Apparently fourth-year players aren't smart, media-savvy and quick. Only fifth-year players are smart and media-savvy, but not fourth-year players. C.J. Spiller, Sam Bradford, Demaryius Thomas and various other players drafted in 2010 are very sad to hear this. 

5. Early reports are Cutler and Martellus Bennett will be a great match.

Jay Cutler just got married and now Peter is trying to match Cutler up with another man (yeah, I said "another" man----because Kristin Cavialiaraitii's voice makes her sound like a man, plus she does cocaine I bet and now I'm just being mean for no real purpose and it's obvious she isn't a man)? Cutler isn't some kind of hussy, Peter, who just hops from one good match to the next.

6. Dave Gettleman, the Panthers’ rookie GM from the Polian/Accorsi school, gets it. “We all gotta win,” he said before the game.

Wait, so knowing your team has to win games is "getting it"? Are there General Managers who don't understand this? If so, I need names.

And 2-12 in games decided by seven points or less.” Gettleman’s clear that he doesn’t put this all on Newton; it’s a team thing.

I don't see how a logical person can put a 2-12 record in games decided by seven points or less all on the quarterback. I chalk a lot of those losses up to a head coach who is over his head and a defense that has had a tendency to break at the wrong times. Not all of the losses, but quite a few.

So he cleaned up the salary cap, got Jordan Gross to take a big pay cut, and figured he’d fix more things in the future when he had time, cap space and draft picks.

Fuck it, we'll fix this team in the future and just sort of live now. Grab a beer and let's enjoy a 7-9 season.

Warmack went to the bench with his four linemates, and line coach Bruce Matthews immediately showed him what he’d done wrong. Among other things, he committed the cardinal sin for offensive linemen—playing too high.

On the offensive line, you can only play so high. If you are a little high, that's no big deal because it makes you slightly paranoid and you also tend to drink plenty of fluids. If an offensive lineman plays too high though, all he thinks about is getting out of the game to get into the post-game spread and quite frankly he isn't focused on the game and is too busy giggling. There is the right amount of high an offensive lineman needs to have when playing.

Something else shocked Warmack: the pictures.

“I didn’t know they took pictures of the plays,” Warmack said. “I never saw that before. I just came off the field, and they had the pictures of the plays I just was out there on. We never had that at Alabama. That … that was different.”

"I ain't never seen no pictures a'fore. Usually Coach Saban just yanks me by my face mask and threatens when I don't do no good on a play, but these NFLers have them pictures. Not the moving pictures like the videos you see up in New York, but stilled pictures of the play. I can right there see myself with this new technology called a cameruh and it tells me all that went real right or real wrong on a play. I declare, it's like magical."

So I guess this is a message for all top-level football recruits out there. If you go to Alabama, then you don't have to worry about pictures of you being taken while you are on the field.

This is where Chance Warmack is coming from: We expect rookies to walk out of powerful programs like Alabama and move seamlessly to the next level. And he should have been better on this night than he was—he’d better be, long-term, or else heads will roll, courtesy of owner Bud Adams.

Warmack is going to end up making more Pro Bowls than any other player in this draft. It will happen or my real name isn't Bengoodfella.

“There is nothing that can prepare you for this level,” Warmack said afterward, a half-eaten hot dog in his hand

"They even have hot dogs here too! They're just laying there, ready to be eaten. You ain't gotta kill the pig or nothing a'fore you eat it."

After I spoke with Warmack, I wandered back into the locker room.

Don't lie, Peter.  You wandered into the showering area. It's okay, I'm sure you were more than a little curious.

“The kid has been so honest,” Loggains said. “It’s refreshing. He came up to me after he got here and said, ‘Coach Loggains, I’m going to come to your office every week, and if I’m playing f—ed up, I want to know about it. I want you to be honest with me.’ “

"But if I done well, I expect a hot dog after the game. That's all I ask."

I’d been thinking about Brian Banks for some time.

Well, this is awkward. Isn't this more of a private MMQB thought rather than a public MMQB thought?

He’s the wrongly accused, wrongly imprisoned former California high school football star who was jailed for five years for a sex crime he never committed. After a 10-year nightmare of courts, prison and home confinement, Banks was freed 15 months ago,

I bet Peter would like to wander around those prison showers a little bit. It's no big deal. It's natural to just wanting to check it out to see if you drop the soap bad things really do happen.

Tuesday: Richmond, Va.
I’m telling you, RG3’s fine.

I'm telling you, no one is questioning you or if they are questioning you they are purely speculating. Simmer down.

So Griffin took his place on the side field in a faux shotgun, and Kyle Shanahan went to work, orchestrating every movement.
Hands to the right … Griffin sprinted right. No limp.
Hands to the left … Griffin sprinted left. No limp.
Hands way forward … Griffin backpedaled. No limp.
Hands to the left … Griffin sprinted left, then threw on the run to a ballboy.

I'm just throwing this out there, but Peter has continually insisted Robert Griffin is fine. He very well may be, but the fact is that Peter is the one observing Griffin and stating he has no limp. This isn't something Peter would lie about, but after insisting that Griffin is fine we are relying on Peter's own observation of not seeing a limp as proof that Peter is correct. I'm just saying he is the one who using an observation his readers can't observe to prove a point he wants to make.

This has happened often here at Washington’s invented training camp in the city, and the reaction has been the same every time, I’m told. No swelling. No limping. No residual soreness the next day.

Is the same guy who is reporting no stiffness and no residual soreness also the same guy who insisted he could play against Seattle in the playoffs even though it was incredibly obvious he was injured? If so, that's not a person who would tell the truth is it? A little suspicion when there is reason to have suspicion never hurt anyone.

So, as many of you know, I have pointed out (harangued?) that I thought the Ravens should have paid Anquan Boldin his full 2013 salary, $6 million, instead of trying to trim it.

Yeah, harangued is the right word. Boldin is still playing well, but the Ravens had to make tough choices this offseason.

“The acquisitions of Elvis Dumervil and Michael Huff are a direct result of the money we saved from that contract,” Newsome told me, watching practice at the Ravens’ facility. “And other guys we got—Chris Canty, Marcus Spears, Daryl Smith—were helped by the savings. So if you ask the question, you can’t just say, ‘Do you wish you kept him?’ You also have to look at the unintended consequences of your actions.”

I don't know how many times this point can be driven into the ground, but the Ravens wanted to avoid the situation they had put themselves in almost a decade ago by keeping aging players too long. As long as you accept the Ravens didn't want to keep veterans too long, their offseason moves make sense and you don't have to wonder why they didn't keep Anquan Boldin. Yet, Peter keeps wondering.

Combined Baltimore cap numbers of defensive starters Dumervil, Huff, Canty and Smith (courtesy of overthecap.com): $6.47 million.

Or, looking at it the way the Ravens like to: Boldin for one year … or Dumervil for five, Huff for three, Canty for three and Smith for one.

At this point, I'm starting to think Peter is the only one who doesn't understand the logic behind this move. I don't know why he insists on providing this data because I really, truly believe Ravens fans get it...or most of them do. Peter is the one who seems to not understand the Ravens strategy.

“When Dumervil came free, unexpected of course, we weren’t looking to spend that kind of money (five years, $27 million), but Steve’s point was, ‘We’re going to be winning, and we’ll never be able to get a pass rusher like that in the draft where we’ll be picking.’

Well, to be fair, Dumervil wasn't drafted in the first round so he is proof you can find a pass rusher like him picking where the Ravens will be picking.

Then Peter goes on about how someone said they like The MMQB and defines each part of the site for those who care to have them defined.

After the game, our Greg A. Bedard was in the Panthers’ locker room, talking to center Ryan Kalil, who praised the fine piece about a veteran in camp battling for his job, by punter Chris Kluwe.

The original column said Greg Bedard spoke to Matt Kalil in the Panthers locker room. This made me very excited at the thought of both Kalil brothers playing in Carolina. Unfortunately, it was a typo.

Then, further self-satisfied with his accomplishments, Peter goes on more about how much people like his new site. I will skip this part.

Before we launched, we asked Jenny Vrentas, the Penn State biochemistry department’s contribution to our writing team (yes, she was a biochemistry major in college),

Peter has mentioned this at least 10 times it seems. The main points that Peter wants us to know from the past three months and has drilled into our head are as follows:

1. The Rams had a great draft. Tavon Austin is fast.

2. Why did Anquan Boldin get traded again?

3. Darrelle Revis should not be traded by the Jets.

4. Jenny Vrentas was a biochemistry major in college.

“I choked.”

—Brett Favre, on the sidelines of the 2009 NFC Championship Game in New Orleans

Peter takes any chance he can get to talk about Brett Favre. Here's his chance and Favre gets a "Quote of the Week" mention, because Peter King is Peter King and that's all we need to know.

The startling admission is part of Rosenfels’ story about the memorable title game for our site. Stories like this great read, as I’ve said from the start, are what we’re going to be.

He turned to me and said, ‘I choked.’ I paused for a second and said, ‘Brett, you are the most amazing football player I’ve ever seen. It has been an unreal experience to watch you play this year.’ I can’t really describe the look he gave me, but I can tell those words meant something to him.”

Ah yes, it seems even on the football field Lord Favre would want people to tell him how great he was and what a privilege it is to see him play. That's really what his three non-retirements were about, they were about everyone loving Favre enough for him to feel the need to come back and be loved again and showered with all the hyperbole and glory one can shower an NFL player in. It's probably pretty obvious I never have liked Favre that much, but he craves attention and others telling him how great he is. I don't see why not everyone can see this. I don't see it as a bias, but as an obvious truth.

So next time Favre farts or his car breaks down, you can be sure Peter will cover it.

Then Peter talks about how great Luke Kuechly is and I can get behind this thought, but I found Peter's data interesting:

So I was watching Kuechly early Friday night. Jay Cutler threw a pick on the first play of the game. 

On the next series:
First down—Cutler threw a short cross to Alshon Jeffery. Gain of 13. Kuechly leveled him as soon as he caught it.
First down—Matt Forte tried to run up the middle. Kuechly stoned him, sharing the tackle with Dwan Edwards.
Second down—Cutler hit Forte with a short pass in the right flat. Kuechly tackled him. Gain of five.
Third down—Kuechly, reading a rolling-out Cutler, faded to the right with him, just close enough to the receiver that Cutler wouldn’t risk the throw. Cutler threw it out of bounds. Time to punt.

It's also entirely possible the Panthers have no other players on their defense who can tackle as well as Kuechly so he has to share most of the burden. That's why tackles are a funny statistic. They mean something unless they don't. A cornerback with a lot of tackles simply means he could have had the ball thrown at him a lot, which isn't something a corner typically wants. A linebacker with a lot of tackles could mean there aren't a lot of other good tacklers on the team and that one linebacker has to shoulder the load. Someone has to tackle the ball carrier and a tackle is impressive unless it comes after giving up a run of 5 or 6 yards.

Too often, former players believe the fact that they played the game and been behind the magic curtain is enough to merit a lifetime job on TV or radio. It shouldn’t be that way, and in the increasing meritocracy of football in the electronic media, ex-players are being made to bring something to the table.

This coming from a guy who has worked with Hines Ward and Tiki Barber, so I guess Peter knows something about ex-players who don't bring anything to the table.

“In the Pats locker room, a camera guy has a mishap and yells, ‘Jesus Christ!’ Tebow, in earshot, looks at the guy and says: ‘He loves you.’ “

—@kentbaab, of the Washington Post, reporting from Philadelphia after the Patriots-Eagles game Friday night.

I couldn't play on the same team as Tebow, let's just say that. I can agree with his sentiments, but shit like this would annoy the hell out of me. We get it, you are a Christian. Good for you. Don't preach while trying to be cutesy about it. I feel like it gives deeply religious people a bad name by making it seem like they are more preachy than they really are.

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think this was the thing that piqued my interest from a couple of weekend conversations with Gil Brandt at the Rams and Chiefs: I asked him what teams surprised him the most, in a good way, on his camp tour across America for Sirius XM NFL Radio. “Arizona,” he said. I’m hearing that out here on the trail. It’s got extra currency when Brandt says it.

So the 49ers and the Seahawks are both Super Bowl contenders, the Rams are a team on the rise and now the Cardinals could surprise. Every team in the NFC West can't make the playoffs. One of these teams isn't going to have a good year or make the playoffs. I can't wait to find out which team Peter King chooses that team to be.

4. I think for those of you in the preseason-mining mode, I’ve got a few bits from a fellow accompanying me on the tour this summer, Neil Hornsby of ProFootballFocus.com. You may know the site for its exhaustive work breaking down every player on every play of every game. Now, PFF is breaking down the preseason games. (Go here for a season or monthly subscription.) I asked Neil to cull a few items from the games over the weekend.

a. Although the Arizona first-unit offensive line—horrendous last year—played three short series in Green Bay, the news was positive. Carson Palmer was pressured once and not sacked in the three series.

It's amazing what having a good offensive line can do for a quarterback and a team's offense.

h. Keep an eye on Baltimore’s new pick-up, Daryl Smith. In just 20 snaps he managed a hit, a hurry, three tackles and an assist.

The Ravens got Smith with some of the money they saved this past offseason. But Smith is not Anquan Boldin, so fuck him, right?

8. I think if I were Rex Ryan, and my job might depend on competent quarterback play, I’d sure as heck be watching Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith live. Every snap.

I would be willing to bet that Rex Ryan is watching them very closely. I don't know why Peter would think that Ryan wasn't.

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

Out of these 11 non-football thoughts, three of them are football-related in some way. So Peter's definition of "non-football thoughts" probably needs an update.

(Peter's phone rings and he answers it) "Hello dolly, Peter here! Who am I speaking to?"

(Marvin Demoff) "Cut the shit fruitcake, it's Marv. You hear the comments Bernie Kosar made?"

(Peter King) "I did and they seemed out of---"

(Marvin Demoff) "I don't care what you think. I want to know what you are going to write. He insulted Jeff Fisher, my son, and the Rams organization. I guess that's something you won't allow to happen?"

(Peter King) "I will be sure to bring it up in the colum---"

(Marvin Demoff) "You need to be sure to bring up his drinking problems as well. That'd be super great if you would do that. Cut the stupid way you answer the phone and make Bernie Kosar look bad. Not asking, I'm telling. I am not your agent because I like you. I'm your agent because someone needs to write positive shit about the people I want positive shit written about and people read you for some reason. I blame the human race and the lowering of standards, but that's another discussion. Criticize Kosar hard."

(Peter King) "Sure, I---"(Marvin Demoff has already hung up)

d. Bernie Kosar, doing color on the Browns preseason game against St. Louis Thursday, had some harsh things to say about the Rams. He called the Rams receivers, including the eighth pick in the 2013 draft, Tavon Austin, “horrible,” said their parents “would be embarrassed” if they were watching the game, and, about backup quarterback Kellen Clemens, said, “Bless me Father for I have sinned. I have to watch him the whole fourth quarter.”

It's a Browns telecast and he is doing for a Browns audience. His comments were pretty stupid, but he was being a homer. It doesn't excuse his comments, but they weren't meant for Rams fans.

But I found the comments pretty far over the top and asked rhetorically, on Twitter, whether Kosar had been drinking.

You stay classy Peter King. It's always cool to bring up Kosar's drinking issues, even rhetorically. Not that Peter got angry with Kosar's comments about Fisher and the Rams of course and the fact Peter lost his temper and asked Kosar if he had been drinking in no way indicates Peter took Kosar's comments about Peter's friends in the Rams organization personally.

I don’t think I was over the top, but many of you felt I’d gone too far given the sea of trouble Kosar has had in his personal life.

Actually, that's sort of what makes it over the top, the fact Kosar has had a sea of trouble in his personal life. You made it personal. If Kosar had responded on Twitter by asking if you were still eating 5000 calories a day or asked if your daughter was still a lezzing out with her softball friends that would be over the top as well, even if not true. The point is this Tweet by Peter was personal.

(None of which, from what I can tell, involve treatment for alcohol, or any admission of alcoholism.)

So if Kosar had admitted to being an alcoholic then this Tweet by Peter would have been out of line, but because Kosar is in denial about his drinking Peter's personal comment is no big deal. Kosar has battled alcohol issues, so I'm not sure why he has to admit to being an alcohol for Peter's Tweet to be out of line. It seems to me, Peter took Kosar's comments personally for some reason. 

But Kosar went too far, in my opinion. And not just mine. Kosar called Rams coach Jeff Fisher Sunday to apologize, and Browns CEO Joe Banner said Sunday the Browns “don’t condone the personal and unprofessional approach” Kosar used.

I think Kosar was out of line too. I also don't think a supposedly neutral sportswriter who seems to overly defensive of the Rams organization of late should be making comments about Kosar's drinking. Everyone is wrong, Kosar more than anyone else, but Peter's joke about drinking hits a little too close to home and probably should have been held back. 

i. Congratulations, Michael Gehlken of UT-San Diego, for writing this memorable piece about the incredible journey to the NFL of Chargers rookie tackle D.J. Fluker.
j. So Larry David told Rich Eisen on Eisen’s podcast that he could be an NFL play-caller. “If they gave me a chance, I could turn the fortunes of an NFL team around,” David said. Only if Jeff Garlin could play right guard.

Non-football related thoughts? Really?

The Adieu Haiku
Randy Moss? TV?
I’m in the Doubters Club, but …
I can’t wait to watch.

More and more useless is what these have become. Peter lets his audience choose MMQB sections from time-to-time, so can his audience vote out these Adieu Haikus? 


Snarf said...

Soccer player from a small town in southwest Norway, enchanted with American football.

Peter, was this young boy-style enchantment? And how does Greg Zuerelein feel about your new leg interest?

It could doom the Ravens this year if Flacco struggles and can’t make the kinds of plays he made in the postseason last year with Boldin; remember the sideline throw a scrambling Flacco made on the game-winning Super Bowl drive, with Boldin fighting and winning a battle with Carlos Rogers for the ball?

Flacco was not scrambling on that play nor was he under duress. He audibled from a run into that play when he saw the single coverage of Rogers. Go to ~1:50 in the video below, you will see zero scrambling. Now, it's possible Peter is mixing this up with the sideline throw with Chris Culliver covering earlier in the game, but that is not the game situation he mentions above. This is hardly the worst thing anyone has ever mixed up, but I thought it was worth bringing up considering how often Peter talks about this that he can't even correctly identify one of the times that Boldin supposedly bailed Flacco out.


Regarding keeping Boldin, I think Peter is just still a bit stunned that Flacco wasn't allowed to walk during the offseason. He thought Ozzie Newsome was pretty clear on that when he said some familiar veteran players would move on in the offseason.

8. I think if I were Rex Ryan, and my job might depend on competent quarterback play, I’d sure as heck be watching Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith live. Every snap.

I would be willing to bet that Rex Ryan is watching them very closely. I don't know why Peter would think that Ryan wasn't.

See here:


I don’t think I was over the top, but many of you felt I’d gone too far given the sea of trouble Kosar has had in his personal life. (None of which, from what I can tell, involve treatment for alcohol, or any admission of alcoholism.)

Thank god for Peter this is the one time his editor probably got through to him that something wasn't a good idea. I imagine that he intially wrote something about Kosar being embarassed for his own children's chosen professional success.

Ericb said...

"Out of these 11 non-football thoughts, three of them are football-related in some way. So Peter's definition of "non-football thoughts" probably needs an update."

PK does have an editor. He doesn't seem to be earning his pay. On the other hand we haven't seen the original drafts that Pk hands in. I'd imagine they must be pretty bad if stuff like this falls through the cracks.

Snarf said...

Saw this posted elsewhere:

PK addresses the blowback from the Kosar story.


Bengoodfella said...

Snarf, I had forgotten about Zeurlein. He's probably pissed that Peter has a new love. What team does Zuerlein play for again? Haha.

I remember that very clearly. Flacco simply dropped back and threw a fade to Boldin. He wasn't under duress. I think Peter is getting it confused.

I didn't see that post on Gang Green Nation, but I would bet Ryan went back and looked at the tape. I don't take it to mean because Ryan didn't watch during the game he didn't watch on film. So I would bet Ryan does watch the snaps and doing it live I don't think matters as much anymore.

I could only imagine what Peter wrote originally destroying Kosar for what he said. You know Peter wrote something like his Tweet that got edited.

Eric, I bet there is some negotiation. Peter wants to keep one comment about gun control and the editor agrees he gets to take out the part where Peter questions whether Bernie Kosar is an alcoholic who molested his niece.

I would like to see the original draft. I often wonder if the editor is able to edit Peter as much as he should be able to.

Anonymous said...

lezzing out with her softball friends . . . Classic. No wonder why I wanted to join the league.

King is the lowest form of internet scum. I pray for the day I take the train from Boston to NYC and catch his fat ass on the same trip. I will give him a cell phone call to transcribe. MMQB is a poor rip-off of Grantland which sucks . . . hilarious.

Precocious Young Men

Slag-King said...

For a momnet, let's put aside from your disagreement with Tebow's preachy statement. What I want to know is why would Peter think this is a tweet of the week? Is this some sort of vendetta against Tebow or Christians in general (although I believe Peter is Catholic)? As a Christian, I'm not a fan of Tebow, but Peter's "tweet of the week" has me scratching my head as to why he was so interested in that, especially he follows up with Randy Moss' antics and Buck's reaction. (Poor editing or conniving manipulation?)

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I thought about Cartman when I wrote that from the episode where Butters goes undercover into the girls house to see what they are up to.

All I ask is that you have a transcript of his phone call and we can put it out in the world for all to hear/read.

Slag, I don't disagree with it, it's just very forceful and in your face. I get he is a Christian and I'm not sure everyone needs to be reminded God loves us.

I don't know if it is a vendetta against Christians or what it might be. It is a little confusing because I'm not sure the significance of its inclusion. Maybe Peter just found it to be a funny story. I would guess it is poor editing and that's why it is sandwiched where it is.

Peter seems too much like a people-pleaser to take shots at Christians like that, though he was all excited about Bernie Kosar being drunk and I guess all bets should be off.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ben, I've been following your blog for awhile. Your deconstructions of PK and Greg Easterbrook definitely make the day go by quicker. Are you still looking for another team this season? I've been looking for a new challenge (espn leagues get real boring). If so, feel free to shoot me an email: chris33cc@gmail.com

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, glad it makes the day go quicker. I have sent the invite to your email. We did need one more team in the league.