Saturday, September 28, 2013

4 comments Bill Simmons Has 14 Reactions to the Trent Richardson Trade Because a Longer List Means Higher Quality Content, Right?

Bill Simmons has 14 reactions to the Trent Richardson trade. Yes, 14 reactions. Bill is at the point where he is convinced a longer column makes up for less quality in his writing. He's like a band who knows their songwriting isn't as good as it used to be, so they make it up their fans by playing longer songs. It's like saying, "Hey, our work isn't as good as it used to be, but look how long we are playing our new mediocre material." Bill, not shockingly, applauds his good friend Mike Lombardi for trading Trent Richardson and Bill also has his Week 3 picks. NFL season is an exciting time for Bill because he doesn't have to resort to writing a mailbag in order to cover up for his lack of new, original material.

My first reaction: What?????

I'm guessing it took Bill 15 minutes to think of his first reaction. This may be the worst time to mention Bill broke this column up into two pages for no good reason, but I just mentioned it anyway. Neither section is especially long, but he broke up his comments on Richardson from his Week 3 picks. He probably did this just to make me nitpick him. Everything is about me.

My second reaction: Wait, shouldn't the Browns have gotten more for Trent Richardson?

If it were still 1989, then yes, the Browns should have gotten more for Trent Richardson. 

My third reaction: If Richardson turns into Edge James 2.0 for the Colts, Lombardi will be back on my podcast in time for the 2014 draft!

Bill rides the fence on this issue on whether he thinks trading Richardson for a first round pick was a smart move. I'm just kidding! Bill basically states that Mike Lombardi has revolutionized tanking and has set a standard other NFL teams will eventually follow while attempting to tank. I feel like trading 2012's first round pick for a 2014 first round is something he would normally rip the Cleveland Browns for doing. Of course this is assuming one of Bill's friend isn't the GM of the Browns, so all bets are off since Lombardi and Bill are friends. Isn't it fun how relationships affect the coverage of sports stories?

My sixth reaction: Wait a second … are we sure Trent Richardson is good?
(Did some Googling … looked at his numbers … noticed he ran for just 3.4 yards per carry behind what we thought was a solid offensive line …

Yes, "we" did think the Browns had a solid offensive line. I love reading Bill Simmons' columns in order to find out what I think.

My seventh reaction: Just because Richardson went third overall in the 2012 draft, does that mean that's where he should have been drafted?

This is the seventh reaction and Bill is already stretching to desperately find a way to start a discussion. This same question could be asked of any NFL player drafted any point in the NFL Draft, regardless of whether that player was traded or not.

found a PFT piece with Jim Brown saying he thought Richardson was "ordinary" and that he "wasn't impressed" with Mark Ingram one day before the draft … found Mel Kiper calling Richardson a "rare talent" in his 2012 draft grades … found a bunch of "Richardson is overrated" articles heading into that draft … remembered how dumb Cleveland's old regime was for trading up one spot to get him when Minnesota just wanted to take Matt Kalil anyway …

Oh yeah, the old Browns regime was stupid for trading up a spot to get Richardson. I would assume based on this comment Bill would ordinarily find trading Richardson for a first round draft choice a year after he has been drafted to be dumb too. After all, if trading up one spot to get a player is dumb, wouldn't trading that same player away a year later for a lesser pick be equally as stupid in Bill's simpleton mind? I'm trying to think overly-logical right now.

My eighth reaction: But wait — Lombardi worked for NFL Network and back then. Now he's the GM of the Browns. What did he think of Richardson before that 2012 draft? I looked up his archives. Here's what Lombardi wrote.
"I believe the safest pick in the draft — beyond Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III — is Alabama running back Trent Richardson. He's a blue-chip player and has all the skills to quickly establish himself as a top-five player at his position. Forget the nonsense about not taking backs early — everyone would love the chance to get this guy."
My ninth reaction: Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? THE PLOT THICKENS!

This eighth reaction isn't an actual reaction, but more a question. Of course the same could be said for the seventh reaction as well. So the ninth reaction is an actual reaction, while the eight reaction is simply a question posed. I am only being hyper-technical because I think Bill is really stretching to make this Richardson discussion worthy of an entire column.

My 10th reaction: Was Lombardi's premise, "Forget the nonsense about not taking backs early," flawed? Yes and no.

What do you know, Bill rides the fence on this question. Also, this is yet another question and not a reaction.

He's right if you're talking about Adrian Peterson, or a prospect close to Peterson. He's wrong if it's anyone iffier than that. You don't need a franchise back to win a Super Bowl in the 21st century, as the Willie Parkers, Joseph Addais, James Starkses and Ahmad Bradshaws taught us.

Three things:

1. Trent Richardson isn't Adrian Peterson.

2. You don't need a franchise back to win a Super Bowl, but you do need Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, or Aaron Rodgers.

3. The idea you don't need a franchise back to win a Super Bowl is a great theory and I support it, but the Browns drafted Trent Richardson in the Top 5 of the NFL Draft, where franchise players are supposed to go. So stating Richardson isn't a franchise back isn't a defense of the Browns in any way. I love the Browns got a first round pick back for Trent Richardson, but I don't think makes them smart any more than it shows the franchise needs to find a direction and go with it. It's a good trade for the Browns if you ask me. They got a first round pick for a player who probably isn't a franchise running back, except they passed up franchise players in drafting that running back a year earlier.

So basically Mike Lombardi the analyst was wrong and Mike Lombardi the GM was correct.

As for "luxury" running backs like Trent Richardson, teams have spent 13 top-16 picks on backs since 2002: Richardson (3), C.J. Spiller (9), Ryan Mathews (12), Knowshon Moreno (12), Jonathan Stewart (13), McFadden (4), Marshawn Lynch (12), Reggie Bush (2), Peterson (7), Ronnie Brown (2), Cedric Benson (4), Cadillac Williams (5), William Green (16). It's a grisly list. Only Peterson and Lynch made it. Bush and McFadden kinda sorta made it. Spiller made it in the "everyone overpaid for him in fantasy this year" sense. And that's it.

This data Bill is using regarding how running backs have performed over the past 20 years in the NFL is completely irrelevant as it relates to the Trent Richardson trade. What Trent Richardson is right now as a running back and what the Browns received in return for Richardson is all that matters. In that, I think the Browns succeeded.

My 11th reaction: If the Browns had just trumped Washington's offer for Robert Griffin III in 2012, they never would have found themselves in this pickle.

I know this isn't what this column is about, but why do people ignore the Rams could have had Griffin and given up nothing? They had the #2 overall pick and all they had to do was pick Griffin and then trade Bradford to get a few more picks. The Rams could have had Robert Griffin AND gained picks out of the deal. I'm done talking about this. Let the Rams keep Sam Bradford and have no one pay attention to the fact the Rams could have had Griffin and another pick(s) to go along with him. I know, I know, it's all hindsight. Still, if the Rams had done their homework on Griffin...

They were outwitted by Daniel Snyder and the Vikings (Daniel Snyder and the Vikings!), then "landed" their QB by rolling the dice with a 28-year-old rookie.

To be fair, the Vikings did make the playoffs last year...mostly because they have a real franchise running back who was drafted in the first round.

My 12th reaction: Is it possible that Cleveland's old regime had no idea what they were doing? We knew the Weeden experiment was probably doomed, but why didn't it bother us more at the time when the Browns spent a top-three pick on a back?

I didn't hate the Richardson pick when it happened. I thought he was going to be a great running back and always thought he was much better than Mark Ingram even when Ingram was the Heisman Trophy winner.

When my illegitimate son Barnwell wrote his 2011 and 2012 Trade Value columns, you might remember, he almost completely devalued running backs. Only Peterson made 2013's list (no. 30). Only Ray Rice made 2012's list (no. 39). So why take one in the top five? What's the point?

This is some good old fashioned Bill Simmons logic. Bill Barnwell wrote his 2011 Trade Value column on August 31, 2012 and Trent Richardson was drafted by the Browns in April 2012. So basically Bill is writing the following question:

"Bill Barnwell devalued running backs in his trade value column. Why didn't the Browns use a time machine to move four months into the future in order to find out Bill Barnwell's opinion on the value of a running back, jump back into the time machine and then base their draft evaluations on Barnwell's opinion? What's the point of taking a running back when Bill Barnwell doesn't think the Browns should, even though the Browns wouldn't have access to this opinion at the time they drafted Richardson?"

So Bill is posing a question that not only would require time travel in order to be answered, but would also require the Browns to ignore their own evaluation of Trent Richardson and pay attention to the opinion of a sportswriter. Bill really amazes me sometimes. He not only believes teams should listen to what his writers at Grantland may say, but also thinks NFL teams should base their draft picks on a column that wasn't written at the time they made the draft pick. Brilliant.

Justin Higdon of defended the Richardson deal and made a shrewd point: He's the first back since Ricky Williams to fetch a first-rounder in a trade. Normally, they go for much less. St. Louis gave up a fifth- and second-rounder for Marshall Faulk. Seattle gave up a fourth and a fifth for Lynch. Indy allowed Edgerrin James to leave for nothing. Now Richardson is fetching a first-round pick? Doesn't this seem … off?

Yes, because I don't think Richardson is worth a first round pick. Of course, and I'm not contradicting myself here I promise, Richardson doesn't have to be a franchise back for the trade to work out for the Colts. Basically, Richardson isn't worth a first round pick overall, but to a team like the Colts who need a running game to help out Andrew Luck then he is worth that price. It's sort of like how Joe Thomas isn't worth a first and third round pick, but the Giants would possibly giving that up to acquire him from the Browns. Maybe not, I'm just spit-balling here and I hope you know what I mean. This is how players get overpaid in free agency. A player's worth is inflated by the needs of one team. So while Richardson probably isn't worth a first round pick to most NFL teams, the Colts perceived need meant he was worth a first round pick to them.

My 13th reaction: Could Cleveland be the first NFL team to steal my NBA-centric concept of "It's better to bottom out than be stuck in no-man's-land?"

Bill is now under the impression that he invented tanking. There's literally nothing Bill won't take credit for. I'm shocked he doesn't take credit for inventing theories since he is the one who proposed the Ewing Theory to the general public.

In the NBA, you either want to be really good or really bad (with no in-between). You don't want to finish 42-40 and lose in Round 1 every year. Basically, you don't want to be the Bucks.

As I wrote previously, the Rockets seem to have done pretty well for themselves recently while being the 8th/9th best team in the Western Conference over the past 5-6 years.

Next March and April, it's only getting worse. We'll see more tanking than we saw in the final 25 minutes of Saving Private Ryan.

Okay. Whatever this is, good job, it was hilarious.

But whenever this happens in the NBA, the general public gets it. They might not like it, but they get it.

Here goes Bill taking on his self-proclaimed role as the official spokesperson of the general public again. "We" as a general public get it.

And that's the most compelling part of this Richardson trade: For the first time, an NFL team is thinking like an NBA team. Fifteen years of futility nudged them there.

Yeah Browns fans, Mike Lombardi isn't continuing the tradition of being the GM for a rudderless, directionless Browns team while promising things will be better in the future and not giving fans a clear picture of how this time is different. Lombardi is revolutionizing the art of sucking by admitting his team sucks and then banking draft picks as a part of the promise things will be better in the future while not giving fans a clear picture of how this time is different.

So they accepted their fate much like the 76ers did and said, "Screw it, this is ridiculous, WE'RE NEVER GONNA HAVE A CHANCE until we find a franchise quarterback."

Interesting, I think Browns fans would recall this same conclusion was reached two years ago and the result was the drafting of Brandon Weeden. Actually, this conclusion was reached when Tim Couch was drafted. I'm not saying the Browns made a bad move by trading Richardson, because they got a first round pick for a player they weren't using effectively anyway. There is a difference in admitting as a GM that your team needs a franchise quarterback and actually having the ability as an organization to evaluate a quarterback, develop him and help him become a franchise quarterback by surrounding him with the right players and coaches. The Browns haven't ever had a problem knowing they need a franchise quarterback. Their issue has been drafting and finding that franchise quarterback.

So if you think about Cleveland's Richardson trade like it's an NBA trade, it makes more sense: The Browns will have a top-five pick at worst (probably higher), and then, if Indy misses the playoffs, that gives them a second chance at finding their QB.

Yes, but if the Colts make the playoffs then the pick is in the 20's. Don't just suggest the ideal situation that helps to prove your point, Bill.

Let's say Jacksonville lands that first pick after losing to Cleveland in the Toilet Bowl on December 1 (yes, they play). Cleveland then ends up with the no. 2 and no. 12 picks, and let's say everyone agrees that Jadeveon Clowney and Teddy Bridgewater dwarf every other prospect.

Don't you love how Bill is working hard to get his buddy Mike Lombardi the best possible pick in order to give him the best possible outcome? Fuck it, let's just say the Browns get the No. 1 and No. 2 picks in the draft because the Colts lose every game from here on out. Wouldn't you take Teddy Bridgewater AND Jadeveon Clowney Browns fans? See, Mike Lombardi is a genius. Say his name.

Translation: Thanks to that trade, the Browns are officially in Drowney for Clowney AND Play Dead for Ted mode. Well, why not? How is that strategy any different from what eight NBA teams just did? Cleveland's brain trust just told its fans, "We've sucked for 14 years, and we're tired of it … it's Quarterback or Bust."

The problem is, and Bill doesn't pay sufficient attention to understand this, but this is the same shit Browns fans have been hearing for 14 years now. It's not "Quarterback or Bust" that has been the issue, but the issue has been picking "Quarterback Busts." The idea of finding a franchise quarterback has always been there, the execution of actually drafting one is the problem the Browns have had.

The short answer: Until they prove otherwise, we don't know if they're different. I know Lombardi, obviously. I know team president Alec Scheiner, a Sloan Conference staple who happens to be one of the smartest sports people I've ever met.

And yes, Bill loves to name-drop.

I know they're trying to build a first-class organization, and I know they believe that big decisions are made collectively, with everyone on the same page, from the owner down to the coach. I know they also believe that an NFL franchise cannot succeed short-term and long-term without such a decision-making structure in place.

Here's the fun part of the column. Bill has in-depth knowledge of what the Browns organization wants to accomplish. He knows what they are trying to do as an organization and knows enough about the Browns organization to vouch for their strategy. All of a sudden though, when it comes to the Browns opinion of Trent Richardson, well, he has no inside information. It's funny how that happens isn't it?

So for them to flip Richardson into a future pick, that tells me (with no inside info, by the way) they didn't want to build around him, worried about his durability and various injuries (red flags when you're trying to get 375 touches per year from the same back), believed he was the wrong fit for Chudinssksglskgskdkskski's offense, and didn't believe he would come back to haunt them.

See? Bill knows enough to know the Browns overall organizational strategy, but all of a sudden his knowledge well runs dry when it comes to specific information about that strategy. But don't worry, Bill's knowledge well fills right back up when it comes time to praise Lombardi for making this move. He knows the Browns thought they would get murdered for the trade, but anything that Mike Lombardi doesn't want Bill to reveal he conveniently doesn't have information about.

They saw the same things we saw — that for a blue-chip running back, Trent Richardson sure looked average as hell. And they KNEW they'd get absolutely murdered for the trade, only they did it anyway.

Gutsy. That's Bill's frien---I mean Mike Lombardi from a purely neutral observer point of view.

Put more simply: THERE IS NO GOING BACK.

That's what makes this such a riveting trade, and that's why it left the football world so stunned. NFL teams rarely make these kind of trades; when they do, it's usually a panic move by a regime on the outs (like Oakland foolishly sacrificing a first and a second for Carson Palmer).

These aren't comparable situations. The Browns traded Richardson for a first round pick while the Raiders traded for Carson Palmer. I think Bill is being a bit overdramatic. Trading a running back for a first round pick isn't an all-in, no going back move. It's not like the Browns gave up picks in this trade.

These Colts weren't one good back away from making the Super Bowl; if anything, they were this season's no. 1 regression candidate, and that's even before they nearly lost to the Raiders and got bested at home by a better Miami team.

Oh hindsight, must you be so cruel to Bill?

After the Colts lose in San Francisco this Sunday,

Oh assumptions, such a frightfully angry mistress thou art.

they'll be 1-2 with a home-and-home against Houston, home games against Seattle and Denver, and road games at San Diego, Tennessee, Cincinnati, Arizona and Kansas City remaining. They won't be favored in any of those nine games. It's true.

Not true. The Colts will be favored against San Diego, Tennessee, and Arizona at least. Of course, Bill will never acknowledge this comment if/when he is proven wrong. That's the best part about being Bill Simmons, your fans ignore your mistakes and focus on how right you are all the time and please can they meet you face-to-face they promise they won't be weird about it.

So instead of Richardson propelling them to 10 or 11 wins, there's a much better chance this trade swings the other way, with Indy missing the playoffs and maybe even losing a top-10 pick. Our friends at simulated the 2013 season 50,000 times and earmarked the "improved" Colts for 6.5 wins, projecting that they'd be handing Cleveland the sixth pick in next April's draft.

I don't care if the pick is #25 in the first round, it was still a good move for the Browns.

My 14th and final reaction: Whatever happens, it's the ballsiest NFL trade in years — two teams that said, "SCREW IT!" for wholly different reasons. We'll remember it as a watershed transaction, because either …

Yes, "we" will always remember it. Thanks for speaking for me since I can't speak for myself.

Just know that, if the Browns REALLY want to bottom out while keeping their fans vaguely intrigued by their 2013 season, I have a 27-letter word for them:


Ugh, a pretty weak ending. It's clear Bill didn't know how to end this part of his column. So now onto Part 2 with Bill's picks that are all correct. It's true.

Then Bill talks about taking his daughter to a WNBA game. He (not shockingly) name-drops the people he saw and tells us he sat beside Lisa Leslie. Bill is big deal guys, don't ever forget it.

You know what was interesting?

Absolutely nothing you are about to write?

They gave Candace Parker the MVP before the game, even though Taurasi is still the league's best player. As Taurasi laid the smack down — 30 points and seven assists — I was sitting there thinking, This is a little like the game when Hakeem got pissed because David Robinson won the '95 MVP and decided to kick his ass

It's just like Hakeem and David Robinson, except Taurasi and Parker don't play the same position and no one gives a shit who won the MVP of the WNBA.

Cards (+7.5) over SAINTS

Say this much for the Cards: They're one of those teams that, when they make a big play near their own sideline, suddenly 20 guys are excitedly leaping toward the field with their fists pumped. They just seem locked in. 

The amount of useless bullshit Bill writes regarding NFL/NBA/MLB teams is staggering.

Browns (+7) over VIKINGS


Fine, maybe not. But I'm grabbing the points.

Even with the "Fine, maybe not," caveat you know Bill is taking credit for this prediction. It's happening.

Apparently they make Factory of Sadness T-shirts and everything. I love that there's a "Cleveland comedian." Who knew those words were legally allowed to appear in the same sentence, especially this week, when they're sending me e-mails like this, from Scott in Cleveland:

"Having overcome the shock of the Browns tanking the season before fall begins (literally, it's only September 19th), I sent this email to my friends. It sums up being a Cleveland fan. 'I've been getting weekly junk emails from the Browns for years now and have just been deleting them in case there is really important or awesome news. I just got one about Sunday's game. I finally unsubscribed. Fuck the Browns.

This is no lie. I didn't write this post until after I wrote MMQB for the week. I have no reason to lie. I don't look at Bill's Friday columns until the following Tuesday morning at the earliest, usually after I have written MMQB. In MMQB, Peter wrote the following:

Essentially, the bounty of picks the Browns received for the one the Falcons on Julio Jones resulted in one player likely to be an average to above-average starter: Phil Taylor, who plays about 60 percent of the defensive snaps. And it cost Cleveland the equivalent of Justin Houston to move up to get Taylor.

Then I wrote the following:

If this were Bill Simmons, he would then follow this up with an email from a pathetic Cleveland Browns fan bemoaning how bad the team is.

Well, it happened exactly like that in Bill's Friday column. Bill is very, very predictable. It's actually kind of sad.

Rams (+4) over SAME OLD COWBOYS

Your official "The NFC West Is A Juggernaut And The NFC East Is A Doormat" game. If you add up the rankings for every Week 3 team from my Half-Assed Power Poll and separate them by divisions, the lower the number, the better that division is overall, right? Example: Seattle (1) + San Francisco (3) + Arizona (19) + St. Louis (20) = 43, our lowest number for the eight divisions. Who has the highest number? Well …
NFC West: 43
NFC North: 53
AFC West: 57
NFC South: 66
AFC East: 67
AFC South: 72
AFC North: 84
NFC East: 86

Translation: The NFC East blows.

Oh my. Here Bill is making a statement that the NFC East sucks and then he uses his own opinion through his NFL power rankings as proof that he is correct. Bill does this shit all the time. His ego is massive. Bill is saying, "The NFC sucks and if you don't believe my opinion is correct, here is another example of my opinion that proves I am correct that the NFC sucks."

Maybe Bill just wants credit for keeping his opinion consistent, but either way he is very, very impressed with himself.

Speaking of great things, I'm excited to introduce a new weekly feature called "This Week's Really Mean E-mail About Roger Goodell." Our first installment comes from Jeff Z. in Weston, Florida:

"It appears that the porn industry voluntarily shut itself down after Cameron Bay tested positive for HIV. Who would have thought that porn purveyors would show more responsibility for the safety of employees than Roger Goodell?"

Yep, concussions and HIV. They are the exact same thing.

Bucs (+7.5) over PATRIOTS

The good news for the Bucs: They're a stupid late hit and a missed 46-yard field goal from being 2-0. The bad news for the Bucs: everything else. Meanwhile, here's how bad it's gotten for my Patriots this month (I'm using "we" if that's OK) …

Considering Bill uses "we" to tell us what we all think about a certain topic because he believes he speaks for the sports-loving public, I'm not sure why anyone would have a problem with him using "we" to talk about the Patriots.

Because on Wednesday night, I was watching America's fifth professional sport (The Challenge) and one of America's greatest competitors, CT, described his feelings about making the Challenge finals like this …

This is a reminder that Bill Simmons is "that guy" who still watches "The Challenge" on MTV. In fact, Bill is "that guy" who still watches MTV and believes he is on the cutting edge of today's youth.

As for the Ravens, they're a 30-40-50-40-30 team this year — every time you flip over to one of their games, the football is located somewhere between the 30s. Houston's too good offensively to lose to a 30-40-50-40-30 team right now, especially a team that has Brandon Stokley and Dallas Clark on pace for 128 catches total. That offense is miles away from being good.

Apparently Houston isn't too good to lose to a team who Bill describes using a descriptor that he made up thirty seconds prior to writing about that team's upcoming Week 3 game. Hey, throw shit against the wall and see what sticks. Who really knows what the Simmonsites will like or not like?

Then Bill posts emails from Carolina Panthers fans whining to Bill about how bad their team is. It is fine to whine, just don't write to Bill Simmons and whine. That's all I ask.

To recap: We just heard Ron Rivera compared to a disease, losing your virginity to Lindsay Lohan, getting punched in the dick, and being the Bizarro Mariano Rivera.

He's really a great coach as long as his team is winning 38-0. If you want him making tough calls at the end of a game, then he suddenly becomes absolutely horrendous. So the key is for the Panthers to win by more than seven points, so the 2-14 record (Rivera's record in games decided by 7 points or less) doesn't come into play.

SEAHAWKS (-20) over Jaguars

Poor Gus Bradley — he's returning to Seattle with Chad Henne against a juggernaut with an insane crowd that won its last nine home games by an average of 30-11. They couldn't make this line high enough. There's only two tiny cases for the Jags +20: Bradley knowing how to slow down Seattle's offense, 

Knowing how to slow down the Seattle offense and having the players to actually slow down the Seattle offense are two different things. Gus Bradley isn't even close to having the players he needs to slow the Seahawks down or even come close to beating them.

"We need a new statistic to truly define the stink that is the Jaguars offense. I think I have it. You see, my cousin was given a clock with the Jaguars' score as the hour and the visitors' score as the minutes. His coworkers have taken it upon themselves to show up to the Clock whenever the Jaguars are able to successfully complete a clock game. What's a Clock game? Any time the Jaguars score 12 points or less and the opposing team has anywhere from 2 to 59 points.

That's brilliant. A Clock Game! The key for a Clock Game is that you can't get shut out — you'd think the 1977 Bucs (103 points in 14 games and six shutouts) would be the Clock Game leaders, but they were shut out six times. I don't know who had the most Clock Games in NFL history, but I couldn't resist looking up the offensively impotent 1990 Pats — coached by Rod Rust's cadaver, the worst Pats team of my lifetime — and they churned out a whopping NINE Clock Games. NINE! If anyone can beat nine, by all means, lemme know.

Only Bill could seem to take such great pride in his favorite NFL team being so terrible, but the 2010 Carolina Panthers had eight Clock Games. I can't believe I'm actually playing this stupid game.

Bears (-2.5) over STEELERS

I know it's a Kitchen Sink game for the Steelers — they lose this one and they might as well Play Dead For Ted, trade Roethlisberger to the Vikings or Cardinals and blow everything up.

Oh man, so many questions based on this stupid sentence.

1. Why in the hell would the Steelers trade Roethlisberger once they have gone 0-3? He's only 31 years old, I'm not sure it is time to just randomly give up on him because he doesn't have a great offensive line, running game and the defense is underachieving.

2. Why would the Vikings trade for Roethlisberger? They seem happy with Christian Ponder.

3. Why would the Cardinals trade for Roethlisberger? They just traded for Carson Palmer.

4. Every NFL team can't draft Teddy Bridgewater. So far Bill has the Jaguars, Browns and Steelers all trying to get Bridgewater. They can't all draft him.

5. Seriously, why would the Steelers trade the best player on their team simply because the season has started off rough?

6. What could the Steelers reasonably expect in return for Roethlisberger that would make it worth their time to trade him? A first and third round pick? Is that worth getting back in return and starting over because the season started off 0-3? I'm not sure.

You're right, they'll never do that. 

Because it seems like a major overreaction to starting the season off 0-3, as well as a move that won't fix the Steelers problems, but only exacerbate their problems.

But if they blow Sunday night, they're screwed. You know what's not helping? Their utter inability to block, run the ball or call a decent sequence of offensive plays. The Steelers stink.

It's shocking what a leaky offensive line and no running game does to hurt an NFL team's chances of winning games.

And I kept fighting off the urge to say, "I think the Bears are legitimately good" until Jaws lavished praise on them on Thursday's PTI as Wilbon beamed like a proud dad. If they have the Jaws Seal of Approval, I'm in.

This is the same Jaws that stated on PTI the Ravens would be a better team than they were last year, the Broncos weren't a better team than last year, and he expects the Broncos to make it to the Super Bowl. So...there's that too.

This Week: 1-0
Last Week: 7-8-1
Season: 14-17-2

I messed up my record last week and mistakenly gave myself an extra win for Week 1. We fixed.

"We fixed." Don't you mean "We fixed it."? Maybe the "it" will be added once Bill corrects this new grammatical error. 


Anonymous said...

The idea that the Browns were tanking by trading Trent Richardson never passed muster with me. They weren't winning with Richardson, so how was trading him going to cause them to lose more? They traded him specifically because he's not that good, not because of some devious plan to forfeit the season.

And OH BY THE WAY, the Browns are currently tied for first in their devision. Everyone seems to think the Bengals are playoff/Super Bowl contenders, well the Browns beat them today by 11. They weren't trading their best player, they were selling high on a wasted pick and refocusing the offense. No more having to suffer through 3 yards per carry for 25 carries a game because of their "franchise" back, now they can pass all they want and utilize their truly best players, Jordan Cameron and Josh Gordon. Assumptions truly are a seductive mistress. People assumed the Browns were purposefully getting worse, when in fact they were getting better.

By the way, I think the Rams held on to Sam Bradford because of his enormous contract, and the size of the salary cap hit they would take by trading him. I don't know specifics, but I know he got a monster deal as a rookie, so I bet they would have taken quite the hit by trading him a year ago. Of course you could argue it's worth it for Griffin, but it's not as cut-and-dried as "they chose Bradford over Griffin."

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I don't know if I see it as a master plan to tank either. I do, in that the Browns thought they were naturally going to be an inferior team w/o Richardson, but I also don't because they weren't going anywhere with him. When the trade happened (and probably here on this blog) I said "Stating Richardson is the Browns best player says more about the Browns then Richardson." Richardson is a good RB, but I don't think I would give a 1st round pick for him. He's not a franchise changer at this point.

Plus, it really made sense to trade Richardson in that he doesn't fit Chud's offense at all. Chud had no idea what to do with Mike Tolbert (another back who can catch the ball and grind out yardage) and Chud prefers to pass the football rather than run. So Richardson was wasted. I think it's a good move for both teams, but I do like it for the Browns.

I know the salary cap is a part of it and I would bet they would take a huge hit. I wasn't trying to make it too cut-and-dried that they chose Bradford over Griffin, but hindsight makes me wonder how good the Rams would be if they had gotten a chance to make a trade work and had another 1st round pick in return for doing so. It doesn't matter now obviously, but I'm not a huge Sam Bradford fan and always felt he gets off a bit easy (until now...something about playing on national television opens people's eyes) for his performance.

jacktotherack said...

The only proof you need that Bill is a complete and total moron is his notion that the NBA and NFL are in any way, shape, or form comparable. You can't "tank" a season on purpose in the NFL an automatically assume it is going to transform your team into a contender based on acquiring one player with a Top 5 pick. This can work in the NBA since you only have 12 active players on the roster, it does not work in the NFL when you have a 53 man roster and injuries occur weekly to key players on the roster.

Sure there are individual players who elevate otherwise mediocre teams (RG3 in Washington last year, Peterson in Minnesota) but on the whole this is not a model for success and teams that stockpile picks and assets would on the whole be more successful than Bill's hypothetical (and entirely wrong) scearion where the Browns are trying to fold on purpose for Clowney or Bridgewater. What's even more hilarious is both the Colts and the Browns are 2-0 after this trade, further making Bill's whole premise of this article laughably stupid.

Bengoodfella said...

Jack, that's a really good point and one I didn't think of. It's harder to turn it around in the NFL with the addition of just one draft pick.

I'm sure Gregg Easterbrook has some theory about why each team is 2-0 after the trade. I'm sure the theory will suck.