Tuesday, October 15, 2013

6 comments MMQB Review: The Book of Brady Edition

I completely had something ready to post yesterday and forgot to post it. I blame it on the stomach virus that I so kindly received from a loved one this past weekend which had me in bed all of Sunday. I guess I'll post it later this week. 

Peter King loved the revelation that was 2am football in last week's MMQB. Peter also continued the narrative that Tony Romo is a choker when it counts and then decided he would give his readers a homework assignment to write 250 words on why a certain NFL player should be in the Hall of Fame. I missed commenting on this completely in my original post, but apparently Peter also got the idea of being Wally Pipp-ed backwards. He called Tramaine Brock "Wally Pipp" when it should have been Nnamdi Asomugha who was "Wally Pipp." No big deal, except Peter haughtily told us to go do an Internet search on who Wally Pipp is in last week's MMQB. Perhaps he should do the Internet search on who Wally Pipp is. This week Peter talks about Tom Brady's magic, doesn't have a travel note where he complains about how others in this cruel world treat him, and doesn't seem to miss the late Sunday night football he wanted to badly to see again just last week. 

The latest chapter of the Book of Brady 

"The Book of Brady" a new coffee table book written by Peter King coming to you this December. It's the perfect holiday gift.

starts with a strange character, one who didn’t play or coach Sunday and was getting roasted for sitting the game out: Rob Gronkowski.

Even by not playing, Gronkowski is still helping the Patriots team. He's like David Eckstein, whose hustle and grit is still helping the St. Louis Cardinals play well even a few years after Eckstein no longer plays for the team. Grit is like herpes, it sticks around for years.

“You mentioned Rob Gronkowski and his situation,’’ Aikman said to partner Thom Brennaman, referring to Gronk being inactive for the sixth straight week with his mystery forearm injury. “One of the, I guess, positives that comes with that is he ran scout team all week. So the Patriots couldn’t have gotten a better look for having to face Jimmy Graham this week than what Rob Gronkowski showed them … When Bill Belichick decides he’s going to take someone out of the game, he does it as well as anybody. The key coming into this game for New England was trying to slow down and eliminate Jimmy Graham. That has happened.’’

It's possible this did help the Patriots prepare for Jimmy Graham. My favorite comment from Troy Aikman during the game was the one where he suggested the NFL is doing too much to prevent NFL players from suffering head injuries by flagging hard hits aimed at the head and then speculated the new rules intended to help prevent head injuries are not helping to prevent injuries. It's just an odd comment coming from a quarterback who was the subject one of the most compelling parts of the "League of Denial" documentary and had to retire due to suffering excessive concussions.

I sensed Aikman was onto something, brilliant football mind that I am.

Brady confirmed it in his email.

I love that Tom Brady and Peter King email back and forth. I imagine Peter checks his inbox 2-3 times per minute to see if the latest response from Brady has arrived yet.

“All of us have seen how badly Rob wants to help us win,’’ Brady wrote. “He has definitely given all he could in practice, especially on the scout teams to replicate the other teams’ best receiver. Though they may seem insignificant during the week, they are a huge reason why teams win.’’

Then I would imagine Brady signed the email "Tommy" and placed an emoticon beside his name.

When you go from one guy accounting for 137 yards a game to zero, that’s going to tend to keep an offense down … and in this era of garish passer ratings and yardage numbers, Drew Brees going three-and-out on seven series in a game is pretty amazing.

More like phenomenal. Astounding really. Of course Brees went three-and-out a few times in the last few minutes of the game while trying to run the clock out, so that had an effect on overall number of seven times that Brees and the Saints went three-and-out during the game.

Check out that cast. He met Dobson and Thompkins right after the draft. He met Collie two weeks ago. Bolden and Hoomanuwanui are bit pieces, who, with the right players healthy, wouldn’t have been playing this late in a game.

To be fair, any quarterback usually meets a receiver his team drafted or an undrafted wide receiver immediately after the draft. The draft was also five months ago, so Brady has had some time to work with Dobson and Thompkins. Also, Brandon Bolden, depending on the game plan, tends to take a lot of snaps for the Patriots. So I would imagine he would normally get some burn when it comes time for the Patriots to pass the ball at the end of the game, since Bolden is the Patriots pass-catching back.

How often does a quarterback have a chance three times in the last 3:30 to drive his team to victory? Now Brady was taking his third shot, 70 yards away, with no timeouts, and 73 seconds left. 

Which is why it is a little silly to call this "The Book of Brady" and add another chapter to it, when the Patriots defense really deserves the credit for stopping the Saints from picking up a first down on the last couple of possessions in the fourth quarter. Brady obviously won the game on the last second drive, but the Patriots defense allowed him to be in the position.

Now, Collie had practiced with the team six times. He was in the game now because Danny Amendola was hurt again. 

Amendola wasn't exactly hurt, he got knocked the hell out by a hit. You know, the same kind of hit that has caused Austin Collie's NFL career to be in jeopardy a few times.

Even when his team is as patchwork as he’s played with in New England. In many ways, that makes this game, and this season, all the more rewarding for Brady. Peyton Manning has Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker; Brady has Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson. Manning has Julius Thomas. Brady has Michael Hoomanawanui. Manning’s slot guy is Brady’s beloved slot guy, Wes Welker. Brady’s? Maybe Danny Amendola. Or Julian Edelman. Or Austin Collie.

Just remember this the next time someone tries to make the case that Tom Brady is overrated.

"Hey, remember that one time Matt Cassel had a great year with the Patriots? That means Tom Brady is overrated."

“We have been grinding it out to get to 5-1. I would love to grind another one out to get to 6-1.”

They are just plain dirt dogs.

Patriots at Jets, Sunday at 1. The next chapter. It can’t be as good as the last chapter. Can it?

The Patriots-Jets game was horrendous last time they played, so I would really, really doubt that game will be as good as the New Orleans-New England game on Sunday.

Patriots radio analyst Scott Zolak’s analysis after the Thompkins touchdown:
“BRADY’S BACK! That’s your quarterback! Who left the building? Unicorns, show ponies, where’s the beef!! Boy, when you thought you’ve seen it all, when it’s total despair, 14 years in the league, this situation after situation he’s been through, to elevate a rookie! My god!”

Someone needs to calm the fuck down. When a radio analyst starts talking about unicorns and is dropping commercial taglines from the 80's it may be time to reassess the excitement level.

Could be the great non-sequitor radio call of all time.

It's easily the greatest non-sequitor radio call of all time. Read more about it in "The Book of Brady," due in stores near you this December. The first 500 people to buy the book will get a printed out copy of Peter and Tom Brady's email correspondence.

Now we see the NFL’s response to the month that set diversity back in the league. Last January, as you recall, NFL teams hired eight head coaches and seven general managers. All 15: white.

I agree. The Panthers should have fired Ron Rivera and hired a minority head coach. Any minority head coach. Name one and that is perfectly fine with me.

But in the months following, the league’s executive vice president of human resources, Robert Gulliver, and senior vice president of player engagement, Troy Vincent, have cobbled together a list of eight former coaches and GMs, and the group had its first meeting Thursday in New York City to begin the process of improving the diversity scorecard.

The NFL Head Coach and General Manager Advisory Panel includes former GMs Ernie Accorsi, Ron Wolf, Charlie Casserly and Bill Polian, former Chiefs president Carl Peterson, and ex-coaches Tony Dungy, Dennis Green and John Madden.

I would have been shocked if Tony Dungy was NOT on this committee. As the moral conscience of the entire planet, he deserves---no, he NEEDS---to be on this panel. There are a few things in life you can count on and one of them is that Tony Dungy will counsel a troubled football player and he is ready and willing to appear on any type of advisory panel.

One way that could help advance minority hiring, particularly of coaches, is to give owners and club executives involved in the hiring process blind resumes—that is, resumes with the background and accomplishments of candidates, but not their names. That way, the theory goes, those hiring could look at an impressive nameless resume and commit to pursue the candidate before knowing who the candidate is. Would it help to be told about a college head coach of a top-10 team who has won 69 percent of his games and been a defensive coordinator at three major-college programs? No one knows if a team would say, “Whoever that is, let’s check him out.” It would, though, render the process color-blind, theoretically, without knowing the candidate is Charlie Strong, the African-American coach at Louisville.

Of course Charlie Strong is already on the radar of some NFL teams I would imagine, as are David Shaw and Kevin Sumlin. The issue is that none of these three coaches appeared to be interested in the NFL last offseason, so they didn't get offered an interview for a head coaching position they didn't appear to be interested in.

That’s some human-resource-speak right there. But the league knows it has a diversity problem on its hands after the January shutout, and something must be tried.

I have a feeling this diversity problem will no longer become a problem once Sumlin, Shaw, and Strong decide they are more interested in entertaining job interviews with NFL teams.

Fine Fifteen

Fifteen randomly placed teams in order of supposed strength.

2. Kansas City (6-0). Now the match of 9-0 titans in five weeks looks real. The Chiefs have Houston at home, Cleveland at home and the Bills on the road (and a bye) before traveling to Denver Nov. 17. Denver does have to get through an emotional Sunday nighter at Indy next week.

The Undefeated Bowl still lives! Thank God.

4. New Orleans (5-1).

This team’s got a ticket to the NFC title game, minimum, barring a major injury streak.

Wow, really Peter. The Saints have played six games and you already have the Saints in the NFC Championship Game at a minimum? You are not concerned about the Saints not being able to run the ball when they needed to burn the clock or think maybe mid-October is too early to make such proclamations, huh? Of course, I believe I had the Saints in the NFC Championship Game before the season began.

8. Cincinnati (4-2). Taking overtime to beat Buffalo is a worry. But Andy Dalton made enough plays when Cincinnati needed them.

My Super Bowl pick from the AFC, you guys! I'm so proud. 

11. Chicago (4-2). Not saying Marc Trestman has completely overhauled Jay Cutler’s game, because he hasn’t. But I think Trestman is helping Cutler play smarter, and not taking some of the risky chances he’s taken in the past. He’s a 70 percent passer with no interceptions in the last two games, including the win over the Giants Thursday.

Of course it also helps that the Bears offensive line is doing a better job of protecting Cutler and he has more than one receiving target to get the ball to.

Offensive Players of the Week

Tom Brady, QB, New England. A meh day on the stat sheet (25 of 43, 269 yards, one TD, one pick, six drops), but the 30-27 victory over New Orleans was one of the great ones of a great player’s career. Against one of the best defenses in the league, after two fruitless and frustrating late drives, Brady took the Patriots and their cast of newbies (Austin Collie, Aaron Dobson, Kenbrell Thompkins, etc.) 70 yards in eight plays to the winning touchdown with five seconds left. While a third of the crowd was already on its way out of the place on Route 1, headed home.

Nonsense. Patriots fans would never leave a game early. You speak nothing but nonsense, Peter King.

Coach of the Week

Bob Sutton, defensive coordinator, Kansas City. Same cast, basically, as the 2012 defensive team that allowed 26.6 points a game. This year’s D is allowing 10.8, and the defenders swear by Sutton’s send-blitzers-from-anywhere scheme. Against the Raiders Sunday, it was typical 2013 Kansas City defense: 274 yards allowed, 10 sacks of Terrelle Pryor, three interceptions.

Getting 10 sacks and three interceptions in a game is not typical for nearly any NFL defense. So this was a very abnormal performance for the Chiefs defense since they won't be getting 10 sacks and three interceptions on a weekly basis. I don't know how Peter could come close to calling this defensive performance typical when it was anything but that.

“Never say never because then you become a hypocrite. I’ve seen too many other people in my profession say never and come back. Always keep doors open in life. That’s the important thing to do.”

—CBS NFL analyst Bill Cowher, to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, on his self-imposed exile from coaching, and his chances of returning to it now that he has a cushy job in TV and as a commercial spokesman.

Plus, I'm sure it doesn't hurt to get attention and be named a candidate for nearly every NFL head coaching job that opens up. Attention is nice too, especially when the attention enhances your legacy in the eyes of many fans.

I don’t doubt a lucrative offer with the right team could tempt Cowher, but he’s been out six years and nine months now. The earliest he could re-take a job, 2014, would be eight seasons after he last coached. That’s an awful long time to be out of the game—to have seen all your assistant coaches from the Steelers years scatter with the wind, and to be accustomed to a totally different lifestyle than the all-consuming one a head coach experiences.

It is a long time to be out of the game. Remember back when Bill Cowher was criticized for not being able to win a home playoff game to advance to the Super Bowl? Cowher made it to the playoffs 10 times as a head coach and won 12 playoff games. Certainly that's impressive, but I seem to remember when he was saddled with not being able to win the big one and I also have questions about whether he is blessed to have coached for an excellent organization. Not that Cowher isn't a great coach, but he had a pretty good thing in Pittsburgh so I don't get why he would come back to coach again in the NFL.

“Bob McNair wasn’t available after the game. I didn’t need him to know he’ll fire Gary Kubiak if Texans continue to embarrass themselves.”

—@McClain_on_NFL, veteran Houston scribe John McClain, referring to the owner (McNair) and coach (Kubiak) of Houston, after the Texans embarrassed themselves at home in an ugly loss to St. Louis.

The Texans did lose to the powerhouse Rams though, so Peter should at least acknowledge it's hard to beat a team like the Rams. After all, Jared Cook did catch two whole passes yesterday and the uncoverable Tavon Austin did have a catch for three yards. The Rams are a juggernaut, so Bob McNair needs to keep that in mind too.

“Weeden just threw such a careless interception it makes Brett Favre look conservative.”

—@richeisen of NFL Network, after Cleveland QB Brandon Weeden’s second of two interceptions against Detroit.

Peter has to find a way to mention Brett Favre in his column. It has to be done because Peter misses Favre more than we could ever understand.

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think this is what I liked about Week 6:

Then Peter makes four notes of things he liked about the Bears-Giants game, which is a game that must have been much more exciting than I remember. It's a sad day for Peter when a couple of his Northeast NFL teams aren't playing well, so he has to mention them whenever he can.

d. Where did that 106-yard evening come from, Brandon Jacobs?

Don't expect him to do that again.

k. An efficient day for Cam Newton: 20 of 26 with no picks. And a 35-10 stunner in Minneapolis.

I'm sure it hurt Peter to even acknowledge that Newton was efficient. No compliment of course, just an acknowledgement of efficiency. Wouldn't want to go overboard with praise.

l. John Fox after the 16-point win over the Jags. “There is resistance out there. It’s called the other team.” Love that.

I'm surprised Fox didn't hit us with "The other team practices too," which is one of his favorite phrases to explain why his team lost or didn't play very well.

2. I think this is what I didn’t like about Week 6:

a. It’s easy to pick on Eli Manning, because he’s thrown 15 interceptions. But it’s also hard to pick on Manning, because he’s getting chased all over the field every week, and because it appeared his second interception Thursday was a result of Reuben Randle running the wrong route.

So Manning has only thrown 14 interceptions, that's much better then. Maybe Manning has had some bad luck with passes that were intercepted, but how many passes thrown by Manning should have been intercepted and haven't been? My point is that sometimes these interceptions tend to even out over time. A quarterback may have some bad luck when it comes to interceptions, but there are also passes that were not intercepted and should have been.

e. The Houston Texans are in the most stunning free-fall west of Atlanta (I say the Texans are a bigger surprise than the Falcons). The Texans were clearly one of the three or four most talented teams I saw in training camp this summer. Losing by 25 at home to the Rams? One of the strangest results I’ve seen in my years covering the league.

But J.J. Watt. He's one of the best defensive players in the NFL, so he couldn't ever be on a defense that is underachieving.

f. Geno Smith’s consistency. Or lack thereof.

It's almost like he is a rookie quarterback and should be treated accordingly.

g. The Tennessee running game. Chris Johnson at Seattle: 12 carries, 33 yards. Maybe he’s channeling his inner Trent Richardson.

By  "Trent Richardson" Peter obviously means "Barry Sanders" because that's what Trent Richardson was treated like he was when traded to the Colts.

3. I think Andrea Kremer deserves applause for her story on Packers defensive tackle Johnny Jolly, back from prison and addictions to drinking and codeine. “At the rate I was going, I could’ve been dead,’’ Jolly told Kremer. And a lot more.

Wait, so Jolly could be more than dead or there are more revelations like this in the interview? Because it's not easy to be a lot more than dead.

7. I think, after watching a good bit of college football over the weekend, I can picture Marcus Mariota throwing to Justin Blackmon over the corners of the AFC South for years to come, if Blackmon can find a way to stay on the straight and narrow after his dangerous dalliances with alcohol. (You can tell I’m dubious.)

Peter watches one weekend of college football and now he is an expert enough to comment on what he saw.

And at least two teams love Mariota to the point that I believe if he comes out those teams would have him higher on their board than Bridgewater.

I like Mariota a lot. Maybe not better than Bridgewater, but what do I know?

9. I think the Giants should trade Hakeem Nicks. They’re not going to sign him after this season, and some team would give them a draft choice to rent Nicks for the last 11 weeks of the season. No downside for either side, if you ask me.

There are always a lot of good trade ideas. Unfortunately, what would the Giants want in return for Nicks? A second round pick doesn't seem out of the question, but would a team pay that for a wide receiver they can rent for 11 weeks with no guarantee he would sign a long-term contract? The Giants need to get something they consider fair in return for Nicks, but another team isn't necessarily going to pay a high draft pick for a wide receiver rental over 11 weeks.

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

a. David Ortiz knows drama, I’ll say that.

I enjoyed the Red Sox fans serenading Jhonny Peralta with chants about his PED use, while cheering for David Ortiz (well, he is only accused of PED use that he has denied) and not sensing any type of irony to this.

c. Wow. How impressive is Wacha? Striking out Yasiel Puig with the bases loaded on a 3-2 count, then getting one of the best clutch playoff hitters, Juan Uribe, on a K next. Good to watch.

I'm not sure I would ever see the day where "one of the best clutch playoff hitters" is used in reference to Juan Uribe.

d. And Anibal Sanchez? And Max Scherzer? Lord. What pitching over the weekend in the two championship series. If Detroit had a bullpen, the AL series would be just about over this morning.

And if Juan Uribe wasn't one of the best playoff clutch hitters then the Dodgers may not even be in the NLCS.

g. Coffeenerdness: I have nothing to say about coffee this week, other than I drank a lot of it during the week. Can I have a week off?

Yes, in fact you don't ever have to mention anything about coffee ever again. It's our gift to you that is also a gift to us.

i. Congrats, Alice Munro. I love modest, humble and talented people winning awards they truly deserve.

In other words, Peter pretty much hates anything about Rick Reilly.

The Adieu Haiku

Sunday in Boston:
Brady first, then Big Papi
Worcester’s hoarse today.

Funny, Peter didn't mention anything about the Patriots or Red Sox winning on Sunday in this MMQB. Also, the Adieu Haiku is still haughty and stupid.


Murray said...

Actually that's just Zolak. He's a maniac

Anonymous said...

"One way that could help advance minority hiring, particularly of coaches, is to give owners and club executives involved in the hiring process blind resumes—that is, resumes with the background and accomplishments of candidates, but not their names."

And then when the owners look at said resume and see "2010-2012: Louisville head coach" they'll have NO IDEA who that is. I'd also like to know how owners are supposed to interview candidates without figuring out what skin color they are. Blind interviews as well? I always love when Peter or Gregg come up with an idea they think is SO SMART, but can be picked apart by anyone with a functioning brain. Blind resumes, well gosh I just have no idea who the current Cleveland Browns' defensive coordinator is. Head coach, Stanford, 2011-2013? I'm stumped.

Bengoodfella said...

Murray, I think that's the first time I've heard him call a game. He's crazy. Probably better than Eugene Robinson for the Panthers. He can barely speak English sometimes. And yes, it is that Eugene Robinson, the one who picked up an undercover cop posing as a hooker after receiving the Bart Starr Award.

Anon, I had thought about that too. It's not likely they won't know who the coaching candidate is. If a GM sees "Head Coach at Houston and Texas A&M" he probably will have a good idea who is applying for the job. Plus, it's not like teams take resumes by the Internet for their head coaching job, they invite candidates in for an interview. It's a much different selection process than in the real world.

Slag-King said...

"One way that could help advance minority hiring, particularly of coaches, is to give owners and club executives involved in the hiring process blind resumes—that is, resumes with the background and accomplishments of candidates, but not their names."

Wait, coaches have to put in resumes? Huh? Isn't their record public knowledge? So what does a coach put in his resume? Sumlin--I carried King Manziel's royal cape. Strong--I manipulated the AAC so I could go to ACC.

I dunno. I used to think that owners just place names on ping-pong balls and put them in a ping-pong machine and let it choose the 5 candidates.

What do I khow!

Bengoodfella said...

Slag-King, I didn't think of that until this morning either. These coaches send in resumes?

Snarf said...

I thought the same thing as well, but then I remembered the George O'Leary firing with Notre Dame. However, I think that wasn't resume-related, it had to do with overall falsification of his credentials.


I think you're right, I seriously doubt these people hand in resumes that are then reviewed by hiring managers/HR types, who pick the top 25% or so to be interviewed by management. Seriously doubt it. Further, to the idea itself, good luck taking the interviewing/hiring process out of the hands of the relevant stakeholders. Sounds good in theory, but it seems stupid to do this blind, especially considering the apples-oranges situations that will arise with some of these resumes, making some obscure D1 conference head coach look awesome relative to the OC of some super-innovative offense in a power conference (just talking college here to parrot the example given)