Wednesday, August 7, 2013

6 comments MMQB Review: Peter Hits Chip Kelly with Tough Questions Edition

Peter King reminded us last week in MMQB that Anquan Boldin got traded this summer to the 49ers. He was confused as to why more people weren't talking about this trade. Of course, Peter also thought this past offseason the Ravens may trade Joe Flacco or let him go in free agency and then sign Alex Smith. Peter got angry last week because he is a Zone 1 passenger who is forced to endure being around the Zone 3 passengers who dare to stand in front of him as he tries to board a plane. Peter also warned us to not count out the Eagles from contending this year. I guess he feels there are people counting the Eagles out in late July. This week in MMQB, Peter talks about Riley Cooper, updates us on Darrelle Revis (thank God he isn't still talking about how the Jets shouldn't have traded Revis like he was doing every week all summer), visits NFL training camps (he likes Tavon Austin! Who knew?), and believes he attended an Amish barn raising. 

On Sunday afternoon, new coach Chip Kelly ran his 89 players (90 minus the mentally rehabbing Riley Cooper) through another practice. And I mean “ran.” It’s different here, with a fast pace and a soothing robot voice telling players what to do next and music. Lots of loud music. Cooper was away, apparently trying to figure out why he would scream the worst racial epithet a white person can scream.

I think I can guess why he would scream the worst racial epithet a white person can scream, though I do that not the worst racial epithet a Hispanic or Asian person could scream as well? I don't think it is socially acceptable for a person of any race to use the word that Riley Cooper used.

“This is the first training camp I’ve ever been to,’’ said a bemused Atlanta Braves pitcher, Brandon Beachy, as the session wound down. Beachy and four mates, in town to play the Phillies Sunday night, stopped by to see Camp Chip across Broad Street from the Eagles’ complex.

Peter doesn't know who you are Brandon. I would spend more time working on not giving up seven runs in 2 1/3 innings and less time hanging out with Peter King.

Nope, though a few (Seattle, most notably) do. I don’t know of any camps that run nearly all of their offensive plays without huddling, or during seven-on-seven drills use three ballboys with three-foot-high “fly-swatters’’ on shoulder pads to imitate very tall pass rushers with their arms up, or have each player wear GPS units and heart-rate monitors that track every step they take and every heart beat they experience.

If only there were a drill or monitor that would allow Mike Vick to not fumble the football or throw the football to the opposing team.

My simplest question to Kelly, back inside the NovaCare Complex after practice: “Why run it this way?’’

Peter with the hard-hitting questions for Chip Kelly.

The Eagles imported Kelly from Oregon in January, and he quickly began to change things all over the facility, and in the locker room.

I can see that Kelly changed things in the locker room. Apparently he decided he wanted a more "racially-tinged" tone to the locker room and Riley Cooper was glad to oblige.

His reign, I believe, will be the most interesting college-to-pro transition since Jimmy Johnson went from the University of Miami to Dallas in 1989.

I believe this isn't true and I also believe it doesn't matter. I believe Steve Spurrier's transition to the NFL was probably considered the most interesting college-to-pro transition back when he signed on to be the Redskins head coach, but Peter chooses not to remember it that way. It's interesting to me how Spurrier's failure in the NFL causes some writers to not remember how eagerly awaited Spurrier's "Fun 'N' Gun" offense was by many.

“I’ve always been a ‘why’ guy,’’ he said. “Like, I want to know why. And a lot of times the why is crazy. I understand it. I just always have been inquisitive. The only thing I won’t accept is because that’s the way we’ve always done it. I ask you: Why did you change from your old Monday Morning Quarterback format to a new one?

Peter hasn't changed the format of MMQB to a new one. He changed websites and prior to that he just kept adding parts to the current MMQB format until it became somewhat bloated.

Well, it wasn’t just for the sake of change. It was because you figured out why it was a better idea, and you thought it made sense.

No really, the only change in MMQB over the last decade has been the change from to The MMQB and Peter has added more personal thoughts, Tweets, quotes, complaints about how the world treats him while he travels.

I think the one thing we’re very conscious of is we don’t have an ego in our program. So it’s not: We are gonna do it our way no matter what and I don’t care what anyone else thinks. If it makes sense, and the science is behind it, we’ll do it.’’

I said: “So science is more important than tradition to you.’’

That's absolutely not at all what Chip Kelly was saying. Chip Kelly is saying what works best is more important to him than tradition. I don't get how Peter comes back with "So science is important than tradition to you" after this group of sentences where Kelly explains how there is no ego in the Eagles program. Kelly is open to ideas as long as there is proof the idea could work. That's what he is saying. These are the types of follow-up questions Peter asks apparently.

They used to give you salt pills in the old days. They used to tell you that if you took water during practice you were soft. The science aspect of things can help and I think the biggest thing is when you look at the other sports out there’s so many people out there that are more advanced than us from a science standpoint in sports that if you don’t listen to them then …

"Keep an open mind" is all Chip Kelly is saying. He's not making a Science v. Tradition argument. He's making an argument that he has to pay attention to ideas that may work and he recognizes the progress and change in the line of thought used by football coaches over the years. This follow-up question by Peter feels so vapid to me.

“I just think it make practice efficient,’’ he said. “That’s all it is. That doesn’t mean we’re gonna be a no-huddle team for the entire game. I’ve always believed that it’s easier to slow down than it is to speed up. So if we always practice fast, and then when you get into the game it seems to slow down for you, it’s easier for you.’’

"So speed in the no-huddle is more important to you than making sure you call the right plays?"

One more piece of misinformation out there: The Chip Kelly offense is going to be great for the quarterbacks, not so great for the runners.

I don't get this. If anything, wouldn't the perception be that Chip Kelly's offense isn't good for the quarterback, but good for the runners? I'm confused because then Peter gets quotes from Mike Vick that makes it sound like Vick thought the Kelly offense would be great for the runners, but not passers.

“First off, when he came, I was actually worried whether we’d throw it at all,’’ said Michael Vick. “But we just play the numbers. We know why he’s doing what he does. He explains it. We know the ‘why.’ “

We will see what Kelly's offense consists of once the Eagles start playing regular season games. It's stupid to try and guess until that time.

Now came a loud “Sweet Emotion’’ remix by some Aerosmith knockoff band.

Knowing Peter's knowledge of music, this song was probably just "Sweet Emotion" by Aerosmith. 

Pass, pass, pass. But what about those numbers—the 63 percent run ratio over the last two years at Oregon? Some of that, surely, comes from the fact that Oregon was beating up on some tomato cans and just wanted to run the clock out. But some, GM Howie Roseman said, was certainly by design. “I think what’s surprised me the most,’’ said Roseman, watching from the sidelines Sunday, “is how much he wants to be a physical offensive team in the image of this city.’’

That surprised Howie Roseman? Did he watch any Oregon football games before hiring Chip Kelly? The Ducks were a pretty physical team, especially considering they were very good at running the ball down their opponent's throats.

Another surprise, in a summer full of them. It’s only Aug. 5. I don’t know what’s coming next, but I can’t wait to see what it is.

So feeling surprised is more important to you than playing the regular season football games? 

A word or two about practice: Aqib Talib intercepted Tom Brady. Twice

So does this mean Talib is a better player than he was last year or Tom Brady isn't as good as he was last year?

Take this for what it’s worth: Tim Tebow made three beautiful downfield throws that I saw, completions thrown 25 yards or more hitting receivers in stride. Tebow was also the personal protector on punts (kudos to you, Mike Westhoff, for getting him started on that last summer) and ran down on punts with energy. I bet the Patriots keep three quarterbacks, knowing they’re able to use Tebow as a utility player. Not necessarily a guy they’d have active every week, but a guy they could use in certain matchup situations against some teams.

Peter wrote two sentences about players in Patriots camp who aren't Tim Tebow and four sentences about Tim Tebow. Just remember this next time Peter talks about the insanity that surrounds Tebow and seems confused as to why writers constantly talk about Tebow.

So how about that—E.J. Manuel winning the job (I’d say he’s in the lead, especially with Kevin Kolb’s weekend knee tweak) 

Plus it helps E.J. Manuel win the starting quarterback job that Kevin Kolb is Kevin Kolb.

And it could be that Rex Ryan and John Idzik will do the safe thing and give the start opening day to Sanchez, figuring they can go to Smith in relief if Sanchez continues his erratic, buttfumbly type of play. If it’s close, I don’t think that’s a good idea. If Sanchez throws two straight incompletions in the opener Sept. 8, the crowd will shower him with boos. And is that really the way the Jets want to open the season, with that kind of negativity? I think not.

I see the point here, but what if Geno Smith comes out and has two straight incompletions and looks terrible? At that point will the Jets fans be patient with him, will they boo him, and worry that both quarterback options suck? Is it worth having Smith start and not give him a chance to succeed? My point is that if Rex Ryan picks his quarterback on who could get booed less then he deserves what he gets for making a personnel decision based on what the fans want. You don't want to ruin Geno Smith before he has a chance to succeed either.

Friday, Aug. 2, Latrobe, Pa.
The Steelers
Finally, a team that tackles.

Ninth team I’ve seen practice. First team that tackled.

I guess teams are afraid of injuries. I'm not sure how to reconcile Peter saying "Finally, a team that tackles" while also writing last week about the season-ending injuries suffered by Jeremy Maclin and other NFL stars at the beginning of training camp. Not that tackling goes hand-in-hand with injuries of course, but I would think a team that tackles in training camp has a better chance of suffering injuries to the players getting tackled.

I ask Tomlin after the 150-minute practice why the Steelers do it this way when so many teams do not.

"So contact in training camp is more important to you than practicing and preparing your team effectively?"

You’ve got to pit man versus man out here. You’ve got to compete. And that’s what we’re going to do. We’re not going to run away from it. Football is a game that’s continually evolving, and we acknowledge that. But the physicality of the game will never go anywhere.”

Actually, the physicality of football is decreasing in some ways due to the new rules about helmet-to-helmet contact and the greater awareness about the long-term effects of concussions. I get what Tomlin is saying, but he's wrong about the physicality of the game never going anywhere.

The fact that Cooper is white, and plays on a team with some black players who are now inclined to hate him, makes this a very slippery slope for a team in modern sports to handle. The first response—and maybe the second and third—was that the Eagles should cut him. Make a statement that this won’t be tolerated by any employee of their organization.

Buuuut...the Eagles do need quality wide receivers, so..........

and my gut feeling is they’ll bring him back to the team, likely as a member of the 53-man roster when they’re set in four weeks.

Why? Lots of reasons. But one of them could very well be the ghost of LaGarrette Blount.

Wait, LaGarrette Blount is dead and haunting NFL training camps?

Kelly, the first-year head coach of Oregon, suspended Blount for the rest of the season. A month later, convinced Blount truly regretted what he’d done, Kelly changed course, setting in motion a plan for Blount to rejoin the team if he followed a strict set of guidelines on the field and at school. Blount followed the rules, and played the last two games of the season. One of Kelly’s advisers on the Blount case was former Colts coach Tony Dungy.

And if Tony Dungy thinks LaGarrette Blount is a swell guy then how could this be wrong?

So when Blount unexpectedly rushed for a rookie-high 1,007 yards in Tampa Bay, Dungy took a photo of a big banner celebrating Blount’s accomplishments and emailed it to Kelly. Dungy told Kelly, in effect, that without the coach’s forgiveness, Blount probably never would have been in the NFL, never mind rushed for 1,000 yards.

Why is Peter skipping the part where LaGarrette Blount got in a shoving match with a teammate while with the Titans and threw a punch at that teammate? Oh yeah, that doesn't fit the narrative. Blount hasn't been in trouble since he joined the Buccaneers but he was traded to the Patriots for a 7th round pick and Jeff Demps this past offseason. So his fairy tale after punching a Boise State player hasn't quite ended happily yet.

Three years ago, Dungy recalled Sunday night, “Chip could have kicked Blount to the curb. He chose to believe in him. And it worked out. With Riley Cooper, this kid made a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes. The big issue, too, is the alcohol. That has to be dealt with. But Chip will make the right decision. He doesn’t care what the popular opinion. He cares about what’s right.’’

Not coincidentally, in the case of Blount punching a Boise State player what was popular among some Oregon Ducks fans also happened to be something that would benefit Chip Kelly and the Oregon team, so Blount got reinstated. Crazy how that works isn't it? There is some comparison between Blount and Riley Cooper, but Blount punched a member of the opposing team, while Riley Cooper insulted and angered his own teammates. It's easier to bring Blount back since nobody on the Oregon Ducks team felt personally insulted he punched a Boise State player, while it's not as easy to call Reverend Dungy in for this situation to help rehab Riley Cooper's image and use Cooper's affiliation with Dungy as a reason to forgive him. Cooper pissed off his teammates, not members of an opposing team. It's not as easy to do the right thing and keep the team happy as it was in the Blount situation.

I left the Eagles’ complex Sunday feeling Cooper will have the chance to—as he told the team when the news broke last week—“make it right.” Then it’ll be up to him, and to how forgiving his mates will be.

I'm not entirely sure how Riley Cooper can make it right for it not to disrupt the Eagles season or cause some bad blood in some way on the Eagles team. Say an opposing safety takes a cheap shot at Cooper because he didn't like Cooper's use of a racial slur, is one of Cooper's Eagles teammates going to come to his defense? Obviously that question can't be answered now, but it's going to take some time to make this right.

My feeling? I definitely think the Eagles should keep Cooper, unless the situation becomes powerfully untenable in the locker room.

The issue is that the Eagles want to take care of the problem PRIOR to the locker room becoming powerfully untenable. There's no use in allowing the situation to boil over and then take action. That's the issue I see, because once the Eagles locker room becomes untenable then it may be too late. Obviously things need time to play out, but to say "I think the Eagles should keep Cooper, unless it turns out Cooper turns the entire Eagles locker room into a hostile environment in which case the Eagles should cut Cooper."

Cooper has told friends (believe it or not; and I’m not sure I believe it) that he was shocked when he saw the video of himself using the racial epithet, because he says he doesn’t remember doing it. That’s how drunk he claims to have been that night.

It's very convenient that Cooper doesn't remember saying it. Should that let him off the hook or be a sign that perhaps Cooper has other issues with alcohol that also deserve his attention? I'm saying he's an alcoholic, but I've tried the "I was drunk and didn't mean it" excuse a few times and seem to fail a lot of the time in it being considered a valid excuse.

Two of his best friends on the team over the years have been black. He cried when Cornelius Ingram, a tight end, was cut in 2011. He put a towel over his head and displayed anguish when Jeremy Maclin tore his ACL in training camp a week ago.

He can't be a racist, he has two black friends!

Cooper is a fighter, and a guy who lives hard. But there hasn’t been any sign that he is a racist to anyone on the team, from what I was told by three Eagle sources over the weekend. There’s something disturbing inside the man, and if he’s being honest (we’ll know soon enough), he wants to learn why such a vile thing came out of him that night two months ago.

Cooper may not have meant to say it, but he did and it got caught on-camera. Maybe there would be more signs that Cooper was racist if his teammates got him drunk and took him to a country music concert. Maybe Cooper just said something he didn't mean and will regret that comment didn't show what he truly thinks. Either way, if Peter can forgive the Marriott for not having fresh hot coffee at 6am, surely the Eagles players can forgive Riley Cooper.

I spoke with Revis, Dominik and coach Greg Schiano late in the week and, interestingly, Revis was probably the least optimistic of them all about his September readiness.

Yeah, that's really not good news considering Revis is the one who knows first-hand how good his knee feels. The fact Revis is less optimistic than Dominik and Schiano doesn't strike me as a good thing, especially considering we just experienced a basketball player (Derrick Rose) who missed the entire 12-13 season because he didn't think his knee felt good enough for him to play.

Revis said he has had no swelling in the knee; has been able to test it consistently; and that it has responded well to his testing, torquing and quick-twitch movements.

So I asked Revis: Do you wonder how the knee’s going to react a month from now?

“Not really,’’ he said. “I’m very confident. Very.

Revis is so confident his knee is going to hold up in regular season games he is thinking about holding out and refusing to play any regular season games until he gets a new contract. At this point he may as well, since it's a tradition.

It also sounds like Schiano is okay with Revis going back out to Revis Island—taking the opponent’s best receiver one-on-one. It’s what Revis did to become the best corner in football in 2010 and 2011, and he expects to be able to do it again—with Schiano’s blessing.
“Coach and I have talked about it,’’ Revis said, “and he’s open to it. It’ll be predicated on the gameplan. But I think you’ll see it a lot. I might have to dust the cobwebs off, but it’s the way I play best. I’ve said, ‘Coach, this is the way I play best,’ and I think he agrees.”

Not to be rude, but considering the Buccaneers traded for Revis and paid Revis to be the best corner in the NFL, I don't know what kind of gameplan would predicate Revis doesn't guard the opposing team's best receiver one-on-one. The Bucs paid for Revis to be the best, they may as well try and allow him to be the best.

“I’ve often thought about that day in 1996 when you drafted me instead of Lawrence Phillips. I think that worked out well for everyone.’’

—Former Baltimore tackle Jonathan Ogden, during his Hall of Fame speech, looking at the man who drafted him, Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome.

This did sort of work out for everyone since the Rams later drafted Orlando Pace to play left tackle.

What I’ve always thought was a silly theory was out in force again over the weekend: namely, that Bill Parcells was nothing without Bill Belichick. It’s true that Parcells won his two Super Bowls with Belichick as his defensive coordinator, and he made his only other Super Bowl appearance with Belichick on his coaching staff—in 1996, in New England.

I think it’s wrong-headed.

Now there is a shock. Peter King is defending someone he covered who he personally likes? Wouldn't see that coming. Peter then defends why he thinks this is wrong-headed by muddying the waters a little bit.

Did you know:
• Don Shula, in 15 coaching seasons without Bill Arnsparger on his defensive staff, was a 6-7 playoff coach with no world titles?
• Paul Brown never won a playoff game without Otto Graham as his quarterback.
• Bill Belichick’s career record without Tom Brady under center: 51-62 (.451).
• Bill Walsh’s career record without Joe Montana under center: 17-23-1 (.427).

While I don't think there is necessarily anything to the "Bill Parcells is nothing without Bill Belichick" argument, I'm not sure it is a good comparison to use a coach's record without his starting quarterback as a comparison to what head coaches have done without specific coordinators. To me, these are two different things. Maybe they are different versions of the same thing, but I see a difference in a coach's record without a certain quarterback and that coach's record without a certain coordinator.

Of course as I have mentioned before, I don't think Bill Parcells sucks, but I also think he got by on reputation towards the end of his coaching career.

Below this is a video of "Peter King's favorite Bill Parcells memory" where Peter tells a story in honor of Parcells' induction into the Hall of Fame. So, there's that...

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

1. Save the Jamestown Jammers. In the western New York hamlet of Jamestown Wednesday night, The MMQB RV stopped for five innings of tip-top minor-league baseball. Jamestown is the birthplace of Roger Goodell and Lucille Ball,

It must have been an honor for Peter to go to Roger Goodell's hometown. Maybe he and Goodell could take a picture together again while they are out to eat.

So the Jamestown mayor, who was in attendance for the game, saw our little crew and came over to our seats in the grandstand to see how we were enjoying Jamestown … and to make his case to keep the team in this lovely hamlet.

Because, you know, Peter King has full control over whether this team stays in Jamestown or not.

2. And thanks to your groundskeeper, Josh Waid. I did a dumb thing in Jamestown, but it led to a very cool thing.

The cool thing was that Peter tore up the Jamestown Jammers parking area with his big fucking RV. How hilarious!

I directed our staff aide and RV driver, former Colgate safety Andy DeGory, to park on the slightly sloping grassy area outside the park that serves as the parking lot for Diethrick Park. And so, of course, the RV got stuck on the soft ground.

Who would have ever thought a huge massive RV could get stuck in wet mud? Not Peter and ex-Colgate safety Andy DeGory that's who.

In the sixth inning, Waid brought a tractor out to gently coerce the back of the RV out of the little trap. We attracted a local crew of do-gooders, maybe 10 or 12 in all, who helped us push, and Waid used the tractor to do the final bit of work, and we were free.

The lesson here? Don't drive your RV onto a slightly sloping area of grass. Instead try to find a piece of concrete to park your huge RV on and then walk (gasp!) to the ball park so you don't need the groundskeeper to get out a freaking tractor to help you move your RV.

“It’s like an Amish barn-raising,’’ I said to Waid, thanking him profusely.

I would be like an Amish barn-raising if the Amish person built his barn with balsa wood on the side of a mountain and then everyone in the Amish community had to help move the house before it collapsed. So basically it was like an Amish barn-raising if the community had to pitch in simply to prevent the idiot who raised the barn from having it collapse on him.

5. Gotta love Homer, N.Y. A gas-station attendant in Homer provided us our quote of the trip. We’d just filled our 40-foot RV with gas—it was near empty—when the country fellow shook his head and mused, “Boy, that beaver was thirsty.”

Then later in the day the gas-station attendant and some neighbors had to help Peter move the RV because he had parked it in the middle of a lake.

“It amazes me that Riley Cooper is not suspended—that is PATHETIC.”

—@DickieV, announcer Dick Vitale.

Really, who better to give such an insightful perspective on the situation than Dick Vitale? I look forward to his 2013-2014 Diaper Dandy list that gets posted to It will essentially be the 2013 Scout 100 top 10 or 15 players.

“Fueling up at gas station. Guy is trying to convince wife to let him go to bathroom. She’s yelling at him, telling him no. His life stinks.”

—@granthpaulsen, beat reporter for Washington’s 106.7 The Fan.

This guy should just tell his wife the beaver is really thirsty.

Ten Things I Think I Think

f. Intense practice/scrimmage for the Saints Saturday. Sean Payton means business.

If I was the head coach of a team that had given up the most defensive yards in NFL history I would think the practices and scrimmages would be pretty intense. I wonder if Payton is motivating the players by financially compensating players for hits that injure someone. Not that Sean Payton would ever do this and Drew Brees knows absolutely NOTHING about this either.

i. The Jags had 19,000 at Everbank Field Saturday night, more than doubling last year’s stadium practice attendance. Gus Bradley Fever, evidently.

More like Chad Henne fever to be exact.

l. Biggest applause-receivers at the Friday night Hall of Fame dinner in Canton, in order: Jim Brown, John Madden, Joe Namath, Joe Greene.

So basically you only get applause if your name is Jim, John, or Joe. In fact, I don't know how Bill Parcells got elected into the Hall of Fame alongside Jonathan (Jon Ogden?) Ogden with a name like "Bill."

m. The Cards love Ryan Williams, but he’ll never make the team if his chronic injury history continues.

"Ryan Williams may never be a good NFL player if he isn't able to actually play in NFL games." #analysis

3. I think one of the good developing training camp stories

Is that Anquan Boldin got traded to the 49ers from the Ravens?

I’ve said this since I spent a day with the Cards in June, but Arians is going to try to be imaginative and explosive—and I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t shock the three teams in the division with schemes they’ve never seen from the Cards. He’s got Peterson in about 15 offensive plays, and could use him as a wideout at anytime. On Saturday, Arians said Peterson could be one of the top five wideouts in football if the Cards chose to put him there.

I say that Blaine Gabbert is the best quarterback in the NFL, but that doesn't make it true. We can all make outrageous unprovable claims, but that doesn't mean these claims are true. Of course the guy Arians has running the imaginative and explosive scheme is Carson Palmer, so I guess we will have to see how that's going to work out.

(Peter's phone rings) "Hello?"

(Marvin Demoff) "Hey asshole, it's Marvin Demoff."

(Peter King) "Hello sir, how may I assist you to the best of my ability?"

(Marvin Demoff) "I like the new site kid, but it seems to be missing a lot of the talk about the Rams and just how exciting that team is. Don't you think that merits a mention?"

(Peter King) "Oh, well...sir...I think I took a break off because there were other NFL stories to talk about."

(Marvin Demoff) "You don't take weeks off. Don't do it. Do you think Jeff Fisher cares about the other stories? No. Are your other stories going to help my son keep his job with the Rams? No. Write about the Rams and how exciting they are (hangs up)"

(Peter King starts typing furiously trying to think of something positive to write about the Rams)

8. I think I keep hearing great things about two offensive weapons: St. Louis utility star Tavon Austin 

I've never heard of this Tavon Austin fellow. Why hasn't Peter mentioned Austin or what a great offensive weapon he could be before this very MMQB?

and the guy who, to me, is a sort of Tavon Austin Jr., Jacksonville wideout/multipurpose player Ace Sanders.

He's like Austin, but nowhere near as good as Austin is, right? How could he be?

The Rams practiced in the Edward Jones Dome Saturday and gave local fans a whiff of what to expect from Austin, playing him at several spots. “You’re going to have to come out, watch and see what we do with him,’’ said coach Jeff Fisher. “Obviously, there’s things everybody does across the league in camp that they don’t show until the regular season.” During draft prep in St. Louis, the Rams privately knew if they somehow weren’t able to get Austin, they’d have gone after Sanders, who is emerging in camp as the kind of versatile weapon Jacksonville hoped it was drafting last April.

Thanks again for covering who the Rams would have drafted if they had not gotten the chance to draft Tavon Austin. It's not like Peter has covered the Rams 2013 draft in any depth already, so it's good that it is early August he is still telling us about the Rams draft strategy and who they would have taken had they not taken Tavon Austin. Marvin Demoff is smiling somewhere.

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

a. Johnny Manziel’s got to have a death wish. I mean, is he trying to get the NFL to hate him?

Make racist comments (Riley Cooper) and the NFL forgives you.

Drive drunk and kill someone (Leonard Little) and the NFL forgives you.

Be involved with a dog fighting ring (Mike Vick) and the NFL forgives you.

Drive drunk and run over someone (Donte Stallworth) and the NFL forgives you.

Be a 20 year old college student (Johnny Manziel) who likes to party and you'll be lucky to get drafted.

c. The mailbag is back, every Tuesday. I won’t have a top on it, but I’ll answer the best eight or 10 questions emailed or communicated to me through one of the aforementioned forums.

I used to cover Peter's mailbag from time-to-time, but it has become so monotonous to read I didn't even know the mailbag had not been running on a weekly basis.

g. Depressing how out of touch I get on the road. Really depressing. Now I see we’re under a terrorism alert. Hope I’m safe driving all over the land the next two weeks.

I think the biggest thing Peter has to worry about in regard to his safety over the next two weeks is making sure he doesn't park in his massive RV in the path of an oncoming train.

i. No, I have not decided my Super Bowl pick yet, though I did tell Charlie Rose my early guess is Denver-San Francisco.

No way! Peter is thinking about picking Peyton Manning to make the Super Bowl? I don't believe it. I wonder if this is a Gregg Easterbrook-type early pick where Peter will make this pick, but then make a real pick in "Sports Illustrated" that is his "real" pick, but he will gladly take credit for the Denver-San Francisco pick if that should end up being the Super Bowl matchup.

k. Pete Abraham covers the Red Sox for the Boston Globe. Red Sox owner John Henry just bought the Boston Globe. I assume at some point John Henry, as new owners/publishers of media outlets do, will walk into the paper’s newsroom and speak to the reporters, editors and photographers about his hopes for the paper. I can’t imagine how strange it would be to have the boss at my job also be the boss of the entity I cover.

Good news, Peter! You don't have to imagine! You can be a shill for Roger Goodell and the NFL teams without actually having them be your boss. It's not like Peter doesn't have some conflicts regarding who he covers and other aspects of his career, like he shares an agent with some NFL head coaches and that agent is the father of an NFL team's COO. You can't tell me Peter's access to Brett Favre didn't cause issues with his job, especially related to Peter's friendship with Favre.

Also, this is sort of what it would be like working for NFL Network, no? Sort of? You work for NFL Network, but the NFL Network is run by the NFL and Roger Goodell.

l. Coffeenerdness: Angel In A Starbucks Dept.: Nice man walks into the Starbucks on Broad Street in Philadelphia Sunday evening. Introduces himself, says he enjoys my work. I thank him. He goes and gets a coffee. I am pounding away at my column. He comes back five minutes later, shakes my hand and hands me a $10 Starbucks card. Thanks me again. I am … without speech. “Th-th-thanks!’’ I said. People are good.

And of course, the same Peter King who gladly earns seven figures per year, accepts a $10 gift card from this very nice man. No Peter, perhaps you should be buying THIS GUY a Starbucks gift card for reading and enjoying your column that helps make you so wealthy. I'm not sure it's the other way around. To be fair, Peter wouldn't think to buy some random guy a Starbucks gift card. Still, seems to be the case of giving a gift to a person who doesn't need the gift. It's like giving celebrities swag at awards shows.

The Adieu Haiku

Six months of football
started Sunday in Canton.
Life is good. Quite good.

This is a haiku that an 8th grader could have thought of. If you are going to put a haiku at the end of your column at least make it seem somewhat meaningful or intelligent-sounding. 


Ericb said...

I know I shouldn't be complaining considering how much non-football padding there is in the MMQB but two of PK's non-football thoughts are about football.

Bengoodfella said...

Eric, I caught that last week and missed it this week. At this point I think any of the comments in MMQB are arbitrarily thrown into the column.

Snarf said...

"This is the first training camp I’ve ever been to,’’ said a bemused Atlanta Braves pitcher, Brandon Beachy, as the session wound down. Beachy and four mates, in town to play the Phillies Sunday night, stopped by to see Camp Chip across Broad Street from the Eagles’ complex.

I hope the four mates were Jason heyward, the uptons, and Dan uggla or some collection of braves players that Peter has no idea are baseball players.

Bengoodfella said...

Snarf, I was thinking it was more likely the four mates were Hank Aaron, Dale Murphy, Chipper Jones, and Bobby Cox. Of course if that were the case Peter would have written,

"Beachy, his two uncles, his dad and his grandfather..."

Eric C said...

The Cooper "but I have black friends" excuse has been used over and over by everyone in that situation.

I remember this kid who was drafted by the Nationals two years ago used the same excuse:
Here is the article about Zach Houchins

Just because you are friends with a black person or roommates with them doesn't mean you can pull that shit. The kid Houchins was deemed too much trouble by the Nationals and they just chose not to sign him. At least Houchins has the excuse that he was 18 and stupid.

If I used that terminology in my classroom, no matter what my excuse would be, no matter whether I had tenure or not, I'd be out on my ass, like this teacher.

Bengoodfella said...

Eric, I think it was D.L. Hughley that said if you know exactly how many black friends you have or when you have been nice to a black person then that means you are a racist.

Obviously that is a joke, but I like how Cooper showed sympathy towards Jeremy Maclin and that obviously means he doesn't have hatred towards African-Americans. The showing of emotion towards another human being doesn't preclude you from stereotyping or being hateful to a larger group of the same people.

For example, I feel bad for Dean Smith's current mental condition, but really don't like UNC basketball.

Why would that teacher call the students future criminals anyway? That's asking to be fired.