Tuesday, September 3, 2013

4 comments MMQB Review: The Concussion Suit was Settled So Everything is Fixed Now Edition

Peter King decided to invite someone into his daughter's fantasy football league last week in MMQB. I didn't get word on who the winner was that received the prize of being a part of Peter's daughter's fantasy league, but I'm sure that person feels very honored. Peter also chronicled a yelling fit that a certain "Dr. Evil" had on an airplane. More than discussing football, Peter loves to chronicle the conversations of strangers. If there was a CBS show about Peter it would undoubtedly be called "CSI: King" and Peter would work with the police to solve crimes by eavesdropping and documenting the conversations of strangers. It would be like "Person of Interest" combined with every other CBS crime show. This week Peter brings us down by talking about the concussion lawsuit that the NFL settled with ex-players, mentions Tim Tebow because he is apparently contractually obligated to do so, and defends himself for choosing Robert Griffin as his Comeback Player of the Year, even though there is no excuse for this type of stupidity. 

I also noticed while reading Sports Illustrated's NFL preview magazine that Peter did the Rams 2013 season preview (as if anyone else would do it of course) and he related to us that the Rams gave Jared Cook $19 million guaranteed. I didn't know this or had forgotten about it. Peter reminded me of this while comparing Jared Cook to Jimmy Graham (but of course). Not to harp, but the Rams gave a tight end who has never had more than four touchdowns in a season and never more than 759 yards per season $19 million guaranteed. Rob Gronkowski only got $16.5 million guaranteed in his contract extension. I had not remembered that the Rams gave Cook $19 million guaranteed. For that kind of guaranteed money he had better have a breakout season.

There’s only one story today, still. I know the season is three days away, and the concussion case settlement is four days old. But this head trauma issue was the nuclear cloud that hung over the game, and I think there are things you need to know—particularly you who would trash the settlement as being too meager. “Chump change,’’ I believe many of you called it on Twitter and elsewhere.

A lot of sportswriters and people who cover sports for a living called the settlement meager. It wasn't just the idiotic fans. The settlement may be worth it to the players, but given how much money the NFL makes and the league can now not have to worry about this concussion lawsuit hanging over their heads, it is a meager settlement to many.

This morning, you need to hear the story of 44-year-old former battering-ram fullback and current ALS sufferer Kevin Turner, and of the lead plaintiffs’ attorney who woke up more than once at night thinking of Turner, and how men like Turner pushed this case to get settled.

“I have a policy of not getting involved with the plaintiffs in cases like this, whether it’s NFL players, ballerinas or regular people,’’ Chris Seeger, one of the lead attorneys for the 4,500 former players and estates of former players, told me Sunday night.

"But then I realized I can make a shit-ton of money being a lead attorney on this case, plus give myself free publicity for my efforts. It was really a no-brainer after that. I decided I would convey my worry for Kevin so that future clients can see just how much I care."

But I met Kevin several times. Nobody had a bigger impact on me in this case than Kevin did. I’d wake up at night, sometimes in a cold sweat, thinking about this man and how important it was to him that he provide for his family, that his children get the college education they deserve.”

"Plus I get a percentage of the overall settlement and my firm was putting a lot of money into this case. I had to make sure we made enough money out of this case to justify the investment we had made. But yeah, the college education stuff...man, I was really worried about that too. There was sweating and I was cold...classic worry-type symptoms for me."

Turner is an Alabama boy. He played for the Crimson Tide, then got drafted by the Patriots in the third round in 1992. He played eight years for the Patriots and Eagles, and retired following the 1999 season. He lives in Birmingham now. He is divorced with three children, the oldest of whom played his first varsity high school game ever on Friday night. That filled Turner with pride, knowing his son loved the game enough to pursue it, and now as a sophomore he was playing at a high level.

But why does Turner let his son----

He knows what you’re thinking: How can he let his son play? And how he can he not hate the sport that very likely gave him—such a young man—this cruel disease with no cure?

OMG! That's exactly what I was thinking! How can you read my mind like this?

“It’s not complicated,’’ Turner said. “I love football. I always will love football. I love football so much I let my oldest son play the game, because I knew he would love it too.’’

Plus, Kevin Turner is an adult and if he wants to choose to allow his son to play football then that's his decision.

The deadline. Brody had told both sides they had until a date in July to reach a settlement. When they went to her at the appointed time nearly two months ago and said they were deadlocked, she assigned a mediator, Judge Layn Phillips, and told each side they had until Sept. 3 to reach a deal. If they didn’t have a deal by then, she’d rule, and she told both sides there would be parts of her ruling that could well be injurious to each.

It sounds like Judge Layn Phillips was going to force the lead counsel of each side to put a random "y" in their first name just to be original and have an alternative spelling of a traditionally simply name.

Each side was motivated to settle. ESPN reported over the weekend that Brody “signaled” that she agreed with part of the NFL’s argument—that a large percentage of the plaintiffs, those who played from 1994 to 2010, should be omitted from the suit because the collective bargaining agreement precluded them from filing lawsuits over health issues.

Is this the same ESPN that just removed itself from a documentary about concussions because they were afraid the NFL would get mad at them? Excuse me if I somewhat question ESPN's report that the NFL and their argument was more persuasive to the judge, since ESPN has shown they have a skin in this game by removing itself from the "Frontline" documentary on concussions.

The players also were pushing for a quick resolution because many of the sicker ones, Turner included, needed the money now and not years from now when the appeals had been exhausted. From the NFL’s side, there was no way it wanted the dirty laundry of stories of team doctors ignoring or minimizing concussions during games aired in depositions before the trial, or in testimony at trial.

You can sort of see why some people would say this settlement was chump change. It's not that it was truly chump change, but it's the simple fact the NFL had slightly more leverage since the players needed the money now and the NFL knew this. Sure, terrible stories of team doctors ignoring concussions could come out, but the NFL could further delay the legal process while the sick players need money now. So the NFL seemed to have slightly more leverage and Peter is naive if he thinks the plantiffs' attorney is going to come close to indicating the players didn't get the settlement they deserved.

The players’ side controls the payout pool. This was important to the players. They didn’t want the NFL controlling which doctors would examine the players in baseline testing, which would be the base provision for determining how much money each injured player is awarded. 

It’s complicated. But at the end, the attorneys for the players felt they got as much as they could from the NFL before the two sides would have had to appear in front of Judge Brody on Tuesday—at which point the players knew the case could have been weed-whacked if Brody removed all the players who had played since 1994.

I don't think it is a bad settlement, it's just that it doesn't feel huge compared to the amount of money the NFL and NFL teams make every season. The injured players are getting money to help with their medical expenses and the NFL is getting those pesky concussion lawsuits off their back so they can get back to accumulating money.

So the deal got done: a $685 million pool for compensation (a $5 million individual ceiling for ALS sufferers, $4 million for Parkinson’s, $3 million for Alzheimer’s or dementia), $75 million to fund baseline testing on retired players to see if they’ve been cognitively impaired, and $10 million for research. In addition, the NFL will pay lawyers’ fees for the plaintiffs, which will likely be $200 million or more.

The lawyers should be compensated for all of those sleepless nights worrying about whether Kevin Turner's children can have a college education. It takes a toll on a man to wake up and have to worry like that, but all this money seems to be worth the worry now.

Over the next 20 years, then, NFL teams will pay out about $1 billion, half in the first three years to fund the compensation pool.

This is a lot of money, but $500 million over three years isn't a lot of money relative to the NFL. I personally have no issue with the settlement. It's what the players agreed to, and it's their life not mine that has been affected. Still, $500 million over three years is a lot of money but certainly won't bankrupt the NFL.

I’m told a large majority of NFL owners approved the details of the settlement in conversations with commissioner Roger Goodell in the last couple of weeks. (But it was not unanimous.) And why wouldn’t they approve? For about $16 million per team all told in the next three years and $12 million over the following 17 years, nuclear winter was averted.

That's nothing to these owners. All they have to do is try to force an 18 game schedule on the current players and they can make the money back in just a few years.

Seeger was one of the lead attorneys in the Vioxx case that won $4.8 billion from the pharmaceutical giant Merck. He’s been down this road before, figuring how hard he can push a giant company.

I'm sure Seeger was up at night tossing and turning worried about his plaintiffs in the Vioxx case as well, worried their children could go to college. No wait, that's right, he doesn't normally get personally involved with his clients.

He’s heard the criticism of what the players got, and he’s hot about it.

BREAKING NEWS: The attorney for the plaintiffs likes the deal he got for the players. What a surprise!

I know Peter is just reporting what he is hearing, but is there an attorney who would file a class action suit, settle the suit and then claim he didn't get enough money for the plaintiffs? That would be like basically saying he did a shitty job. I'm not an attorney, but I'm pretty sure if you admit you do a shitty job it could affect how much business you get.

We plotted how much these players who need the money now and in the future, and who are eligible for it, would need, and we got it. We got it now, not 10 years from now. I’ve heard the criticism. A pittance … chump change. That is stupidity. We got exactly what we needed for the players and the families who need it most.

Great Peter, now you are going to keep Seeger up at night tossing and turning in a cold sweat that he didn't get enough money for Kevin Turner to send his child to college, plus the cabana on the edge of Seeger's pool needs to be re-done, he's having to use his backup BMW because his favorite BMW has a weird clicking sound and his housekeeper wants a raise. Times are tough all over.

“It’s easy to sit in the cheap seats and have a conviction that the settlement is no good. You weren’t in the game. You just don’t know. What I asked myself at the end as a lawyer was, ‘Is this enough? Is this enough for Kevin?’ ‘’

I guess "Kevin" is shorthand for "the amount of time and total expenditures put into trying this case to where it was profitable to bring this class action lawsuit."

I asked Turner if he’d ever gotten a concussion during a game and played through it.

“Sure,’’ he said. “The year after Green Bay won the Super Bowl, I was on the Eagles, and we played them in Philly. I remember the opening kickoff, and then I remember, maybe late in the first quarter, going up to our backup quarterback and saying, ‘You’ll think I’m crazy, but are we in Green Bay or Philly? And how are we doing?

That wasn’t the only time he played when he shouldn’t have. But he blames himself as much as he blames the football culture of the day. “Football didn’t do this to me,’’ he said. “My ignorance did it. That, and maybe others who should have known better.”

This seems to be a group failure. Kevin Turner had his ignorance which didn't allow him to realize he was hurting himself, the NFL didn't care, and the doctors didn't have to care.

On Aug. 22, Turner had a surgical procedure. A doctor implanted six electrodes on his diaphragm. “That should give me 24 to 36 more months breathing on my own,’’ Turner said. Before he needs a ventilator to breathe for him. He’s spending “darn near every cent’’ of his disability payments on treatments and doctors and medication and equipment.

Well, so much for Kevin Turner's kids getting a college education. Now Chris Seeger will be waking up all night worried again, tossing and turning, sweating like a whore in church.

“I didn’t do this for a public hanging of the NFL. I never wanted to kill the NFL. The past is the past. What’s more important? Hanging the NFL for the sins of the past? Ruining the lives of people who, I’m guessing, most of them don’t even work in the NFL anymore? Or doing something to really help people, and then really working to make the game safer?’’

Yes, but by helping people and working to make the game safer you are also looking to hold the NFL accountable for any evidence they had which would have helped people and made the game safer, but was ignored. It is important to hang the NFL for sins of the past so they don't commit these same sins in the future and will pay for any type of evidence they had of the brain injuries being incurred by NFL players.

“I think even moreso I’m excited about the game now,’’ said Turner. “Now, you see doctors, trainers and coaches who have the knowledge about concussions and head injuries treating them different than when I played. We should be excited about the game now. It’s the most beloved game in the country, and they’re making it safer now.

And that's what hanging the NFL for past sins can do for you.

With the money he gets from the settlement, Turner said he hopes to help his 70-year-old father so he can stop working. He wants to put enough money away so his three children will be well-educated—something he knows he would have been able to provide were it not for the ALS.

Thankfully, Chris Seeger can go back to sleeping soundly in his bed under a comforter of wooly mammoth hair and the finest sheets that you have to special order from a guy that Seeger knows...and no, you couldn't afford them.

He wants to seek treatment for himself, in the hopes that some new ALS treatment might be found. “Then,’’ he said, “if there’s anything left over, I’d like to help fund some research into ALS. I honestly believe we will find something to stop this in the next five years.’’

One could hope...

“He looked good. He looked good. If we can have him practicing on Wednesday and we feel that he’s good enough and mentally ready to play, then he’s going to play [against New England in Week 1].”

—Bills coach Doug Marrone on Sunday, after watching rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel do individual drills at practice for the first time since minor knee surgery two weeks ago.

Translation: Doug Marrone would prefer Jeff Tuel not be the starting quarterback for Marrone's first game as an NFL head coach. Getting beaten 52-10 isn't something Marrone would like to remember from his very first game.

“It probably wasn’t fair to Vince. We threw a lot on his plate and the fault is probably mine. I probably should have had him in here earlier.’’  

—Green Bay GM Ted Thompson on Sunday, after releasing quarterback Vince Young over the weekend.

Gregg Easterbrook wants to know why the Packers don't release Aaron Rodgers and just give the starting quarterback job to Vince Young? All Young does is win games. Plus, Young provides a different look to opposing defenses from all that "throwing touchdown passes" look that Rodgers provides.

Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me

It’s likely New England coach Bill Belichick will one day walk into Canton wearing a yellow jacket. But it won’t be because of his drafting acumen in the secondary. Belichick drafted seven defensive backs in the first two rounds of the six drafts between 2007 and 2012, and of those seven, only one is a starter today: Devin McCourty, and not at the position he was drafted to play.

Yet he seems to do pretty well when it comes to drafting defensive linemen, linebackers, offensive linemen, and tight ends. So I guess if Belichick drafts in the secondary poorly it really doesn't matter as long as he keeps winning football games.

Peter includes Darius Butler on his list of players who didn't pan out for Belichick, but Butler's play in Indianapolis was really good last year, so perhaps Belichick made a personnel mistake rather than a mistake in draft evaluation as it pertained to Butler?

Now, to be fair: Belichick has gotten Stevan Ridley, Rob Gronkowski, Brandon Spikes and Sebastian Vollmer in the top three rounds since 2009 too. It’s just that, clearly, the defensive backfield is a blind spot for Belichick, which is very strange, considering his career as a defensive maestro.

Not really. There is a difference in the ability to coordinate a defense and being able to choose personnel for that defense. It's why some good coordinators don't make great head coaches and why some good head coaches don't make good personnel evaluators. Being able to coordinate a defense is a separate skill from being able to choose personnel for that defense.

“@profootballtalk there is no conspiracy. I pulled the plug.”

—@JedYork, the 49ers’ CEO, after the Pro Football Talk piece about Ray Lewis saying he didn’t think it was a coincidence that there was a blackout when the Ravens were spanking the 49ers in the middle of last year’s Super Bowl.

Lewis said he had no facts to back up his accusation, made in the NFL Films’ America’s Game show, which will be shown tonight on NFL Network. “But,’’ Lewis says on the show, “you cannot tell me somebody wasn’t sitting there and when they say, ‘The Ravens [are] about to blow them out. Man, we better do something.’ … “

Ray Lewis was a very, very good middle linebacker during his NFL career. He is not a person you want doing a lot of thinking or else this is the result. Naturally, ESPN saw Ray Lewis logical and analytical abilities and thought, "Well, we just have to hire this guy."

“@TimTebow ; Stay the course brother, your day will come & the crow feast will be glorious! #prevail”

—@KyleTurley, the former NFL tackle, after Tebow was cut by the Patriots Saturday.

What? I'm not even sure makes sense. Though I do believe the only ones eating crow and prevailing are those who believe Tim Tebow is not an NFL-caliber starting quarterback. I mean, if the guy who drafted him in Denver can't be convinced to keep him around that doesn't bode well. The good news? The gospel of Tebow is coming to Canada.

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think the roster moves that caught my eye this weekend included:

d. Matt Simms, an absolute roster afterthought with the Jets, is one of their four quarterbacks this morning. Stay tuned, but son of Phil wowed the coaches with his 33-of-44 preseason finale against Philadelphia.

The Jets are essentially like, "Which quarterback can we sacrifice for a few weeks so we don't have to rush Geno Smith out there to run an offense without enough weapons that will allow him to be successful in an offense he probably doesn't completely feel comfortable running at this point? Oh yeah, let's ruin Matt Simms' career!"

“Quite honestly, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a player make the improvements he’s made,’’ said coach Rex Ryan.

Considering over the past few seasons Rex Ryan has gotten to view Mark Sanchez, Kellen Clemens, Greg McElroy, Geno Smith, and Tim Tebow at the quarterback position, I'm not entirely sure if this is a compliment or an admission that the standard for "improvements" (at least in terms of quarterback ability) has been lowered severely.

h. Jonathan Vilma stuck on the Saints’ 53-man roster despite being hobbled by an August knee procedure. New Orleans kept six inside linebackers, which could be a nod toward accounting for the rehabbing Vilma.

Hopefully no one will get paid $10,000 for intentionally hurting Vilma while he is trying to rehab from his August knee procedure.

i. Curtis Painter beat out David Carr at the Giants’ backup quarterback. Somebody’s got to sign Carr.

Has Peter ever seen David Carr play? He should be competing for the starting quarterback position on a CFL team with Tim Tebow and Tebow should be able to beat Carr. David Carr is not very good.

l. Geno Smith’s two favorite receivers at West Virginia, Tavon Austin (of course) and Stedman Bailey, were two of five wideouts kept by the Rams.

I'm thinking Tavon Austin is the new Chris Long (who is a guy Peter has an obsession with prior to the 2008 draft) or Brett Favre, to where Peter will find a way to force a mention of Austin into every MMQB. It's only going to get worse if Austin plays up to his potential.

n. Pat White was the fourth Washington quarterback kept. Seems excessive, until you realize White is a mobile left-handed quarterback, and can play the mobile left-handed quarterback the team faces in Week 1, Michael Vick, on the scout team this week.

Well it also makes sense if you understand that Robert Griffin is coming off major knee surgery (I haven't gotten an update on Griffin's injury today yet, why hasn't he updated us at all?), Kirk Cousins was semi-injured in the preseason, Rex Grossman is the 3rd quarterback, and Pat White is a mobile quarterback who is a candidate to run the zone-read offense for a few plays if Griffin gets injured again and the Redskins don't want to completely abandon this zone-read strategy. So I think it makes sense on a couple of levels.

r. The Raiders kept two punters on the 53-man roster Saturday, and unable to scare up any interest in a trade for Chris Kluwe, waived him Sunday.

It sounds like Peter is going to have to lobby for Kluwe to get another NFL job by cherry-picking statistics again.

4. I think if there was any doubt the Panthers are shaping the roster in new GM Dave Gettleman’s image, here’s proof: Only one of the eight 2011 draft picks from the Marty Hurney regime is on Carolina’s active 53-man roster this morning. 

Of course this could also be a sign that this specific draft class was terrible and was terrible as a result of the head coach, the owner, and the GM all having three separate agendas. There are still 20 players on the Panthers roster that were drafted by Marty Hurney. That's quite a lot even if Hurney was fired less than a year ago, especially when factoring in undrafted free agents still on the roster who were brought in during Hurney's time as GM aren't counted in this number. Hurney could be bad at times, but his draft picks are productive and the roster hasn't been completely shaped in Gettleman's image quite yet.

8. I think I got to thinking when I saw the Colin Kaepernick/Russell Wilson EA Sports/Madden commercial, the one that has little Colin and little Russell training in weird ways to be NFL quarterbacks: A year ago today, people had barely heard of these guys.

I don't think this is an entirely accurate statement. Russell Wilson was well-known among college football fans because he led the Wisconsin Badgers to the Rose Bowl and even in training camp last year he was getting rave reviews for his quarterback play. Kaepernick wasn't as well-known as Russell Wilson, but he was still a second round pick and record-setting quarterback at Nevada. I think Peter is overstating the case a little bit.

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

b. Saw a cool indie film over the weekend, In a World, written by and starring Lake Bell. Never thought I’d find the dog-eat-dog world of voice-overing making a good film, and I never knew Lake Bell before Saturday. But the movie’s good, and she’s a star.

Lake Bell is no Meryl Streep, that's for sure.

c. The Red Sox have a 5.5-game American League East lead with 24 games to play. They wouldn’t be fixing to break hearts from Millinocket to Woonsocket, would they?

Considering the Red Sox weren't expected to win the AL East this year I would chalk their lead up as a pleasant surprise rather than whining about how they may let you down.

d. I hate the one-game Wild Card in baseball. It devalues the 162-game season.

Oh yeah, Peter hates the one-game Wild Card now that he is afraid the Red Sox will get stuck playing in the one-game playoff if they blow the AL East lead.

Having said that, a sudden-death playoff game in the National League Central, with Cincinnati playing at either Pittsburgh or St. Louis, will be pretty dramatic. And that’s how it’s shaping up.

And of course St. Louis would win this game because they don't lose in the playoffs of late and I find that very annoying about them.

e. I want Miguel Cabrera to get healthy, fast. I want him to win two straight Triple Crowns.

I am sure the fact Peter King wants Miguel Cabrera back healthy soon is going to further motivate Cabrera to come back faster.

f. So … are you actually trying to convince me that Teddy Bridgewater is better than my alma mater’s Tyler Tettleton? Is that what you’re trying to say?

So you are trying to convince me this is a non-football thought?

g. One request about Week 1 of the college football season: Can we wait a few more games—one or two at least, please—before saying Jadaveon Clowney has blown the No. 1 pick in a draft that is 36 weeks away?

Since these are non-football thoughts, I presume Jadaveon Clowney is a basketball or baseball player?

h. Coffeenerdness: Sunday marked the last three-espresso-shot day of the season. From now on, it’s a minimum of nine per Sunday.

Holy shit, you clearly have a problem.

j. For those saying, “How can you pick Robert Griffin III to be the Comeback Player of the Year?’’ (Which I did.) He played through the end of the season, then had knee surgery. So he actually played the 2012 season.

Robert Griffin had knee surgery after his team's season was over. The Redskins played one game in 2012 without him on the field. How in the ever-living hell do you justify picking him as the Comeback Player of the Year? He didn't come back from anything. He simply had offseason surgery. I think a player has to actually miss a few games before he can be considered to have comeback from anything.

A couple of things. There are no rules for the Associated Press voters for postseason awards (I have one of those votes) concerning the Comeback Player.

There is this thing called "common sense" and it dictates to me that a football player who didn't miss more than one game during a season can't be the Comeback Player of the Year.

A player can be coming back from major surgery, or from a lousy year the previous season. And there is precedent for voting for a player who gets hurt late in the previous year. In 2012, Adrian Peterson got 17.5 of 50 votes for Comeback Player, and he started all 16 games of the 2011 Vikings season.

And I thought that was stupid too. Adrian Peterson came back from a knee injury, but there were other more deserving players who missed time during the 2011 season that came back during the 2012 season. In my opinion, it's hard to "comeback" from an injury that didn't really cause a player to more than one game the season before.

Also, THIS IS A FOOTBALL-RELATED THOUGHT!

k. Now for all the rest of my picks … I accept all over-ripe tomatoes, right in the forehead.

This is football-related as well. Out of Peter's 12 non-football related thoughts, four of these thoughts are related to football.

The Adieu Haiku
Long U.S. nightmare?
Over. Next 20 Sundays
Are football Sundays.


These haikus add zero substance to MMQB. I have no idea why Peter still includes them. I think he's just taunting us at this point. 

4 comments:

Slag-King said...

"These haikus add zero substance to MMQB. I have no idea why Peter still includes them. I think he's just taunting us at this point. "

He's competing with Gregg Easterbrook for the title "Football Blogs With the Least Substance."

Wow! This week's Peter's and Gregg's MQB have been absolutely snooze-fests. Ben, I'm surprised you are able to stay awake reading all of Peter's blog! I was bored with it in the first three paragraphs and did not finish it. I can't even imagine you'd be able to stay awake for Gregg's piece!

Hmm, I imagine that's how Peter stays awake reading Gregg's articles on Sunday--quaffing down the minimum 9 shots of espresso. Have you notice how similar both MQB sites are? Hmm, who is copying who?

Spenser Peterson said...

Do you think Austin is aware that 50 year-old Boston Red Sox superfan and NBA expert, Peter King, is responsible for turning the MMQB microsite of SI into the Tavon Austin fan site?

If he does, he must be pretty creeped out. What else could explain the lack of Tavon Austin direct quotes/interviews in Peter's column thus far?

Murray said...

Actually the one game WC means that the division finally matters

Bengoodfella said...

Slag-King, I can't decide who is winning (or is it losing?) in that battle. Peter's was pretty substance-free this week and TMQ was just okay. I haven't finished reading TMQ entirely, so maybe it gets more substance in it.

Spenser, I'm not sure if Austin is aware of that or not. Austin has such fantastic potential, so I'm interested to see how he does this year. I think the pressure is really on Bradford to show he is a franchise QB. Maybe The MMQB should be called The MMTA?

Austin probably runs the other way when he sees Peter coming and that's how Peter is able to observe just how truly fast he is.

Murray, yeah the division matters now, but I hate a one game playoff. It's stupid to me. Make it three games and I am happy, but I feel like a one game sample isn't a good way to determine who gets to move to the next round.