Wednesday, December 4, 2013

5 comments MMQB Review: An NFL Committee Should Help NFL Teams Make More Decisions Edition

Peter King had no travel-related note last week in MMQB, but he did talk quite a bit about the Manning v. Brady matchup in Foxboro. This wasn't unexpected of course and Peter looked forward to the next matchup between these two quarterbacks (not these two teams, but these two quarterbacks) next season. This week after almost writing the Colts off last week, Peter gets back on the Colts bandwagon (again, we see his level of reaction elevated based entirely on the immediacy of what happened on the football field), is upset the officiating got in the way of a "Robert Griffin has totally redeemed himself" narrative, and is eager to tell us about what a bust Josh Freeman has been with the Vikings. 

What a day. What a weekend. And it’s not over:

What? I thought the NFL season was over with a five-way tie for Super Bowl victor between the Saints, Seahawks, Patriots, Broncos, and 49ers. They are all going to Disney Land together, as a group, but only the quarterbacks for each team.

There will be time to get to that. Lots to cover before then, including:

1. What does Meryl Streep think about Starbucks?

2. What really is Colin Kaepernick's favorite type of pizza?

3. A quick list of things that annoy Peter about the general public.

4. Brett Favre on the farm. How is it going?

1. If the season ended today, Houston would have the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Question is, who will be coaching Teddy Bridgewater?

The twist: Charlie Strong is the correct answer.

2. An officiating snafu roiled the end of the Sunday night game. Just what the NFL wants: Robert Griffin III’s trying to redeem himself, and the Monday morning headlines are all about Jeff Triplette.

How dare the officials get in the way of the narrative that Peter King wants to see played out. Robert Griffin was totally going to redeem himself and Peter was totally going to write about, then Jeff Triplette has to go and make a mistake which doesn't allow Griffin to redeem himself for a (perceived) underwhelming performance this season. The narrative was being written that Griffin would redeem himself for daring to not meet the media's expectations of him, but now the media won't let Griffin off the hook because of an officiating mistake. Don't blame Peter, it's not like he can control what he writes.

5. Denver’s most recent four foes are a combined 32-16. Next four: 16-32. The Broncos have a one-game lead for AFC home-field over New England, and they don’t play a winning team the rest of the way.

Remember earlier in the season when Peter was concerned that Peyton Manning would play a road playoff game against the Patriots? Lo and behold, now the Broncos are in the solid lead for home field advantage throughout the playoffs. It's been a very over-reactionary season for Peter.

8. The Mike Tomlin discipline for his bizarre or calculated (doesn’t matter which) pas de deux on the field in Baltimore Thursday will be discussed inside 345 Park Avenue today, with a decision likely by Wednesday. I expect a heavy fine, but no suspension or loss of draft picks. 

How about the public execution of a Steelers' staff member? Because that seems about as logical as suspending Tomlin or taking away draft picks from the Steelers.

9. The Colts essentially won the AFC South Sunday. Actually, their magic number now is one—one loss by Tennessee or win by Indy clinches the division.

I hate over-using the word "literally," but it was literally last week when Peter King was writing about the Colts possibly losing the AFC South to the Titans. Peter even talked about the Colts possibly missing the playoffs. One week later...just one week later...Peter makes a note that the Colts have essentially won the AFC South now. This is yet another example of sportswriters putting too much emphasis on what happened the week before. It takes away some of the relevance and impact of MMQB when Peter overreacts to what happened during that current week's slate of games. Anyone with a brain knew the Colts had a bad habit of falling behind in a game and having to comeback, which could prevent them from winning games for the rest of the season, but they were still in good shape to win the AFC South. One week later, the Colts have essentially won the AFC South.

Now, a little bit of a different lead to the column, featuring a trip into a subject I’ve never been able to cover.

I hope it's not that discussion of the muff that Peter wanted to have with his readers last week. Just keep it NSFW, please .

Give me a few paragraphs before we get to the current events of Week 13.

Peter has written almost half of a page of this five page MMQB prior to writing this. So he has written almost 10% of MMQB already and wants a few more paragraphs before he discusses the events of Week 13. So what was the previous half-page of writing discussing? Just killing space to make the column look longer?

Last month I trailed Gene Steratore’s officiating crew—one of 17 seven-man officiating teams in the NFL—for a week, for a three-part series that will begin Wednesday at The MMQB.

But this week with the officials … this was unique. 

The officials not only provided free coffee, but provided free Starbucks coffee. What a unique experience for Peter and a welcome breath of fresh air.

We typically know very little about the lives of officials or the inner workings of the jobs they do. The linguistic shorthand they use (“UNR” for “unnecessary roughness”) and the way jobs change just before the snap of the ball (the head linesman has the slot receiver, but if the slot receiver goes in motion beyond the quarterback, the head linesman switches to the innermost receiver on his side) become dizzying to keep track of.

If only they trained thoroughly in order to perform this job and received compensation for performing this job. Then I wouldn't feel so bad for the officials.

Here's the thing. "We" typically know very little about the lives of anybody in any profession, the shorthand used in that profession or the real difficulties those in a certain profession face until "we" do that job. So I wouldn't expect officiating NFL, college, or high school games to be any different.

Just a thought while Peter talks about how little we know about the officiating profession.

I’ll give you an example that just reared its head Thursday on the controversial Mike Tomlin play. Did you know that before every game, the head linesman asks the head coach: “Who is your get-back coach today?” That, of course, made me ask Mackie on the day I spent with him, “What in the world is a get-back coach?”

Really? Peter covers the NFL for a living and doesn't know what a "get-back" coach is? He's gotta be kidding. This is clearly a joke. Peter is making a funny.

“Every team designates one man on the sidelines to keep the coaches and players back from the field,” Mackie said. 

I wish Mackie had haughtily told Peter to Google or Bing it for the answer to the question, just like Peter does to his MMQB readers when he wants them to research a question he poses.

That six-foot-wide white stripe on the sidelines, called the “No Fly Zone” by some crews, is supposed to be free of everyone during the game. But as you saw Thursday night, the enforcement of that is too lax. There were several breakdowns when Tomlin strayed too far on the stripe and actually had his right foot on the field, forcing Baltimore kick-returner Jacoby Jones to slightly alter his path. Pittsburgh’s designated get-back coach didn’t do his job. The two officials on Clete Blakeman’s crew running the sidelines following Jones, line judge Ron Marinucci and field judge David Maslow, should have flagged Tomlin for unsportsmanlike conduct (amazing they didn’t see it, or chose not to flag it) and didn’t do their jobs.

Losing a draft pick for something like this? I don't know who floated this as a possibility first, but it seems a little too draconian to me.

Now you know what the “get-back coach” is.

I'm not that smart and I already knew what this was. Peter should have known too.

So the Eagles are tied for the lead in the NFC East with Dallas this morning at 7-5—though Dallas holds the tiebreaker—and Philadelphia can thank Foles for that. Since he wrested the job from an injured Mike Vick a month ago, the Eagles are 4-0 and Foles has been close to perfect. For the season he’s a 63 percent passer, with 19 touchdowns and no interceptions. It’s December, and that’s right: no interceptions.

No interceptions. Is that right?

that’s right: no interceptions.

Thanks for clarifying that, Peter.

“Man, horrible throw, horrible decision,” Foles said from Philadelphia an hour after the game. “When I saw the flag and heard the call, I said, ‘Thank you God.’

God responded by saying, "I'm sorry, but I don't care about the outcome of a sporting event nor did I help you throw or not throw an interception. I got bigger and better things to do."

Foles is not an athletic quarterback, which everyone can see. But this game showed he has the kind of functional athleticism

Basically, Foles is a white quarterback and he doesn't trip over his feet as he runs, so he has "functional athleticism."

Foles said he appreciates how magnanimous Vick has been, both in the quarterback room and publicly; Vick has said Foles should keep the job because he’s playing so well. “One of the most dynamic quarterbacks in NFL history is also an incredible teammate,” Foles said. “He helps me every day.” He thinks he’s proven you don’t have to be a Vick to succeed in the Chip Kelly offense, and who can argue with him?

I think at this point it has been proven that you can't be Mike Vick to succeed in the Chip Kelly offense. I thought Chip Kelly's offense was a really good offense for Vick, but I also thought Charles Rogers was a great draft pick.

“I feel I’ve played well, but not as well as I can,” Foles said. “I’m 24. There’s still a lot of growth in my game. I need to improve a lot of things, especially my game management. But I think everyone tries to overanalyze the kind of quarterback that’s best for this offense.”

Apparently the best quarterback for the Eagles offense is a quarterback who doesn't throw interceptions. Who would have thought this could be true?

Foles, a clear No. 2 on Labor Day, is one of the most important players in the league as the NFL heads into the final quarter of the season.

BREAKING NEWS: The quarterback for a team trying to make the playoff is very important to that team.

What? Another officiating debacle? Washington did quite enough to lose to the Giants 24-17 at FedEx Field, and probably would have lost without striped impediments; their receiving corps ought to be nicknamed The Bad Hands People.

"Sure, this controversy I'm about to manufacture may not have made a difference in the result of the game, but let's pretend it did so I can manufacture a controversy and talk about Robert Griffin for a little bit."

Of course, this call did have an impact on the outcome of the game. 

But referee Jeff Triplette’s crew had far too big a role in the final Washington drive of the game, and far too big an influence on the outcome.

And this will obviously be the first time the officials have had an impact on the result of an NFL game.

In the first play after the two-minute warning of the fourth quarter, on 2nd-and-5 from his own 41, Robert Griffin III hit Pierre Garçon for a gain close to the first down. The head linesman, Phil McKinnely, motioned for the chains to be moved forward for a first down, and the chain gang rushed up and changed the down marker from “2″ to “1.” First down. Except Washington was in the hurry-up offense, and the ref, Triplette, standing behind the offense, held up three fingers. Third down.

On the sideline, coach Mike Shanahan said he asked an official for a measurement, and the official responded, “You don’t have to. It’s a first down.”

Now, using complete hindsight, I think it's fair to say this is the point where Shanahan should have flipped out and said the officials were contradicting each other. I honestly have no clue how he should have done this, but when two officials are obviously contradicting each other then a head coach has to help them resolve this contradiction immediately rather than see how it plays out. Maybe Shanahan was hoping John Elway would help resolve the situation for him.

Fourth down, signaled Triplette. Shanahan seemed apoplectic on the sidelines. The side judge was telling him first down on the previous play; the head linesman had already signaled first down and moved the chains up … and now Triplette was insisting it was fourth Will Hill stripped Garçon of the ball. Giants ball. Game over. Had Garçon not coughed it up, Washington would have had a first down at the Giants’ 49 with the clock running and about 1:19 to play. So this didn’t cost Washington the game, per se. But it was a massive failure of the crew.

I would say this call was on par with the missed holding call in the New England-Carolina game, especially since the Redskins would have more than one play to win the game if the officials had made the correct call. This wasn't a judgment call that was made, but two officials signaling information to each team that contradicted each other. This call didn't cost the Redskins the game, but it at least cost them a chance to try and win the game.

After the game, in a pool report with a local writer, Triplette said he felt it would have been “an unfair advantage” to Washington to stop the clock and get the down situation straight with his crew and the chain gang.

Yes, it would be an unfair advantage to make sure the officials are making the correct calls, so instead the officials handed the Redskins a disadvantage by providing conflicting information on what down it was. Makes sense. The officials want to make sure everything stays fair to both teams, by handing out contradictory information that hurts one team.

By the crew’s failure to clarify what was going on, Washington’s play-calling was bastardized by the obvious impression that it was a different down than what it was.

I'm just sad that Robert Griffin's redemption narrative can't be continued now that he lost this game due to poor officiating. Obviously whether a quarterback wins a football game or not is what decides whether he performed well in that game, not his statistics during the game. So Griffin's tale of redemption in this game is completely dependent on being a winner and not a loser, through no fault of his own.

As I reported on NBC last night, the committee finalized its plan to address minority hiring last week by compiling a double-digit list of candidates for head coaches and general managers, going beyond the usual suspects. In essence, the league will provide the kind of service teams have been buying through headhunting firms:

Oh good, I'm glad the NFL has decided to start offering a service themselves that teams usually have to pay for. I always like it when the NFL meddles in the affairs of individual teams.

If an owner calls wanting to know whom the top offensive prospects are, the league will have a list of prospects to discuss with them, and will make available the men they’d want to discuss the openings with anyway—such as former coach Tony Dungy or former GM Bill Polian,

And really, doesn't every owner want to discuss the opening with Tony Dungy anyway? He's the conscience of the NFL, no, the conscience of the world overall. I think the NFL should make it mandatory that an owner gets permission from Tony Dungy to hire a head coaching candidate before the hire can be made.

“The focus is not just the hot name,” said Robert Gulliver, the NFL’s executive vice president for human resources. “It’s identifying the new talent too. New names will emerge.”

Well yes, the names of new head coaching candidates emerge every year. New talent emerges every year. The NFL doesn't need to help make this happen.

The coaching list, for instance, will contain the top names—Stanford coach David Shaw, former Bears coach Lovie Smith [both African-American] and former Bucs and Raiders coach Jon Gruden, who is white. But Jon’s not the only Gruden on the list. Brother Jay is on it; he’s the Cincinnati offensive coordinator who has shepherded Andy Dalton through two straight playoff seasons and is on the way to a third. And minority coaches Mel Tucker (Chicago defensive coordinator] and Eric Studesville (Denver running backs coach), both of whom have been interim head coaches, got high marks from the committee too.

Here's the thing though...these names would be on the short-list that any NFL team looking for a head coach would have. The NFL doesn't need to compile this list because smart NFL teams already are looking at these candidates...except for Jon Gruden. He just wants attention and isn't worth $9 million per year compared to these other candidates. I think paying attention to him as a head coaching candidate is a waste of time.

Of course, owners don’t have to use the committee’s recommendation. Who knows if any will? Owners will do what owners want to do. The system works when owners and hirers go into the process with a truly open mind. In 2007, Pittsburgh’s Dan Rooney had a blank slate entering the process, and he ended up hiring a coach he’d never met before, Mike Tomlin. In Chicago last winter, GM Phil Emery went into his search wide open, interviewed 13 candidates and hired Marc Trestman from the CFL—a man on no one’s radar entering the process.

So while acknowledging the NFL isn't where they want to be in terms of hiring minorities as head coaches, wouldn't it be fair to say most NFL teams have a wide open search process and often a candidate who was on few team's radar could end up with the head coaching job? So if the NFL wants to increase minority hiring, that's great, but I'm not sure asking teams to use this committee will increase the number of minority hires. You know what will increase the number of minority hires? If guys like David Shaw, Kevin Sumlin, and James Franklin show interest in coaching in the NFL or if a guy like Eric Studesville blows away an NFL team with his interview. It would also help if sportswriters like Peter King stop floating guys like Jon Gruden as possible head coaching candidates. It wastes time.

Just wondering what happens when owner Zygi Wilf and GM Rick Spielman, who went out on a limb to spend $2 million to bring Freeman in, have an encounter. Does Wilf say, “Why exactly am I paying $2 million to someone who’s a healthy scratch every week?”

I know Peter is full-on "Let's help save Greg Schiano's job in Tampa Bay by continuing to bash Josh Freeman" mode, but I don't think spending $2 million to bring Freeman into Minnesota is that much of a waste. There's no long-term commitment and $2 million for one season is a small price to pay in order to determine if Freeman could be "the answer" to the Vikings quarterbacking issues. I understand Peter's agenda here though. He likes Greg Schiano and is using his status as a writer to make it look like Schiano did a great thing in running the lazy bum Josh Freeman out of Tampa Bay. I get this feeling Peter has some sort of an agenda.

Fine Fifteen

1. Seattle (10-1). The Seahawks, who haven’t played in about three years, were supposed to be all healthy and happy entering December. Now Percy Harvin’s likely out tonight. His ailing hip is acting up. As every hour passes before this game for likely NFC home-field advantage against the Saints tonight, the worry beads get rubbed a little harder in the Pacific Northwest.

I wonder if Peter has any criticism for the Seahawks to trade a first round pick (where the Seahawks could have drafted DeAndre Hopkins, Cordarrelle Patterson, Robert Woods, or Keenan Allen) in exchange for Percy Harvin, as well as criticism for giving Harvin a big, new contract coming off an injury and fully knowing he was a malcontent at times in Minnesota? Of course not, because the Seahawks are winning games, while the Vikings are not. It's interesting to me how Peter points out the Vikings are idiots for paying $2 million to Josh Freeman for one year, then moving on to discuss the Seahawks and Percy Harvin, a player who has been injured almost all year and has a big long-term contract.

I'm not saying they are the same thing, but I think the $2 million for Freeman isn't a big deal. For some reason, Peter thinks differently. I think his agenda makes him think differently.

3. Denver (10-2). After playing three Sunday night games out of five, the Broncos saw daylight Sunday afternoon in Kansas City. They liked it.

Well, the game did end when it was dark out.

With a sweep over the Chiefs, the Broncos would have to collapse in the last four games to blow a first-round playoff bye now.

Remember earlier in this season when Peter had handed the Chiefs the AFC West and was getting hyped about a Brady-Manning wild card matchup?

6. San Francisco (8-4). Niners versus Rams, 2012: St. Louis wins the series, 1-0-1, by a composite score of 40-37. Niners versus Rams 2013: San Francisco wins the series 2-0, by a composite 58-24.

In the Rams' defense, they are missing their starting quarterback and they really weren't as good last year as their record against the 49ers indicated. The really bad news is that the Rams are 5-7 with games against Seattle, Arizona, Tampa Bay, and New Orleans ahead. This means Jeff "8-8" Fisher may have a hard time going 8-8 for the sixth time in his coaching career. The good news is he has a good chance of going below .500 for the sixth time in his coaching career. That's right, out of the seventeen full seasons he has coached in the NFL, Fisher has been .500 or below .500 in eleven of those seasons. Not that he isn't a fantastic coach of course.

10. Indianapolis (8-4). Well, the last month of games in the AFC South now has no meaning, with the Colts building a four-game lead over Tennessee with four to play. (Four, because the Colts swept the Titans this season, making a three-game lead in the standings beefier thanks to the head-to-head tiebreaker.)

And here just one week ago Peter thought the Colts could lose the division to the Titans. Things change so quickly in one week...

11. Kansas City (9-3). Reeling. A trip to Washington Sunday should help.

This is the team Peter had at #1 in his "Fine Fifteen" until the week of the first Broncos game when he dropped them to #2 in his "Fine Fifteen" after the Chiefs were coming off a bye. Very interesting. It's funny what happens when a team's schedule gets more difficult.

“I’m sounding a bit like a broken record, but sometimes you gotta gut out a win, however ugly it is.”

—Andrew Luck, Indianapolis quarterback, after winning ugly over the Titans 22-14.

At least until the Colts don't win a game, at which point Peter King will point out how they have won ugly and could be in a free fall. Also, notice Andrew Luck's statistics for the season. Then compare it to Robert Griffin's statistics for the year.  One quarterback is perceived as selfish and underachieving and the other is perceived as continuing to improve as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, despite the fact the underachieving quarterback has more passing yards, a higher completion percentage, more rushing yards, a higher QB rating, the same number of touchdown passes, but three more interceptions. It's always interesting to me how expectations and a team's performance relate to a quarterback's performance in the eyes of the media. Griffin has at least been the comparable quarterback to Andrew Luck in many ways this year. That's not what gets written though.

I admit I’m being hasty here. But just look at the numbers before you tell me I’m nuts to suggest Calvin Johnson, 990 catches from passing Jerry Rice, might one day challenge Rice for all-time greatness.

Peter is hasty in all things that he does. Calvin Johnson is 33% of the way to Jerry Rice's reception record and now Peter thinks Johnson could catch more passes than Rice. Hey, it could happen, but yes, it is also very hasty. Of course, this has been the year of being hasty and making snap judgments for Peter. So I don't know why I would expect anything to change.

I don’t believe he will, because he’s already missing a lot of practice time (and one game this year) to injury; he has a knee condition that troubles him regularly and, at 238 pounds he’s just a larger man than Rice was. More can go wrong with a bigger receiver than with one of Rice’s build, someone more lithe and 35 pounds lighter than Johnson.

"Calvin Johnson may pass Jerry Rice or he may not pass Jerry Rice. Either way, it will or won't happen. Now let's kill some space with speculative statistics."

I'll save your eyes. The two players' statistics will look similar when Calvin Johnson is 29 years and 1 month old and Peter projects this to mean that Johnson could pass Rice's receptions record.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

Didn’t travel for Thanksgiving.

Great, I was wondering if you had or not.

I did duck out just before 7 a.m. to buy a couple of newspapers in Manhattan, and I saw something I’d never seen before in my two years living on the East Side: A light changed to green on Second Avenue, and by the time it was red again (maybe 35 seconds), no cars had passed. That’s when you know it’s a holiday in the city.

Peter has never really seen a traffic jam on the East Side to where the light goes green and no cars pass the light? I would imagine this has to happen quite frequently.

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think this is what I liked about Week 13:

a. Justin Tucker, in 32 career games including playoffs, has made 93 percent of his field goals (63 of 68). That says two things: Tucker should be DNA tested for the clutch gene.

Which won't be found because there's no such thing.

And the NFL needs to do something to make field goals harder.

b. I believe I’ve made that point before.

Perhaps you should mention that you have made this point before in point A where you are actually making the point yet again instead of mentioning you have made the point before in point B.

c. Is there a better 1-2 running back punch in football today than Reggie Bush and Joique Bell? Absolutely unequivocally not.

Great. Glad that's decided.

d. Bush: 182 total yards against Green Bay. Bell: 128. That’s 310 yards from people not named Calvin Johnson for Detroit in one game.

And naturally, despite whether this statement is true or not, Peter bases his opinion on the results from one game.

f. Julius Peppers is a hard day’s work for any offensive lineman, and Sunday in Minnesota was no different.

Well, he's a hard day's work when he feels motivated to be a hard day's work.

j. Tim Ryan’s excellent analysis on FOX about Cam Newton being late with a first-quarter throw that turned into an interception.

Newton was 18-29 for 263 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, along with 68 rushing yards and this seems to be the sum total of what Peter took from the performance. Newton threw an interception because he was late in throwing the football.

k. Trent Cole. Stunning that his first-quarter strip-sack of Carson Palmer was only his fourth sack of the year (he added another one later in the game). He’s too good for that.

Apparently he's not.

o. Cam Newton definitely crossed the plane of the goal line before fumbling in the second quarter against Tampa. Definitely a TD, and good use of replay.

The call on the field was a touchdown and all scoring plays are automatically reviewed, so by "good use of replay" if Peter means "the officials followed the rules set out by the NFL to review the play" then yes, good use of replay.

2. I think this is what I didn’t like about Week 13:

e. Arizona CB Jerraud Powers, you cannot interfere in the end zone. But you know that. If you’re going to tamper, at least try to disguise it.

Cheat, but just don't get caught. That's Peter's advice.

3. I think the more I see London Fletcher, even now at 38, the more I think he’s the kind of player who will deserve honest consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I mean, how long has he been the defensive centerpiece for teams?

I wasn't aware that "was he a defensive centerpiece for his team" was a Hall of Fame criteria a player must meet.

Did you see Sunday night how he made a stop with a couple of minutes to go and forced the Giants to punt—and Washington had a chance to win at the end instead of the Giants running out the clock.

Since there is no question mark at the end of the sentence I guess that's a statement and not a question?

4. I think if you want to measure the value of a good coach, look at what Gus Bradley is doing in Jacksonville. In the last month the formerly winless Jaguars are 3-1. They’re feisty on defense, imaginative on offense and the thing you notice is even though they have nothing to play for, they play as though a playoff spot is on the line. Owner Shad Khan has to be thrilled with the hire.

I'm shocked the Jaguars were able to hire a competent coach without the NFL providing the opinion of a committee on who the Jaguars should hire as their head coach. It's amazing it was a quality hire without the NFL providing a list of good candidates for the job, as well as Shad Khan getting an opinion from Tony Dungy.

5. I think we all thought Darrelle Revis had enough time to rehab and play well this season. We all were wrong.

What's this "we" shit? Don't you love how sportswriters start writing "we" when they are wrong about something? They can't say "I" was wrong, but no "we" were wrong for reading a column where Peter King presented an opinion. The mere reading of MMQB means "we" were all wrong about Darrelle Revis and his health.

Here's what Peter wrote in an August MMQB:

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

Here is what I wrote:

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

Don't "we" me. Peter King reported that Revis was least optimistic and I thought that didn't sound good. I'm not smart, so I know I'm not the only one who thought perhaps Revis couldn't rehab and play well this season.

9. I think if you’re wondering what Brett Favre will be doing Friday night,

I'm not, because I don't give a shit about Brett Favre. Brett Favre is an obsession with Peter King. He constantly has to bring Brett Favre up in his MMQB. It's on-par with his use of the word "precocious" as being really, really bizarre.

the offensive coordinator of the Oak Grove (Miss.) High football team will be accompanying his ballclub north to Jackson for the 6A Mississippi High School Football Championship Game against Tupelo High.

No, really Peter, no one but you cares about your obsession with Brett Favre. 

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

a. I have tried to think since the end of the Alabama-Auburn game whether I’ve ever seen a more significant, thrilling and shocking end to a sports event.

This is a thought about a football game. Therefore it is not a non-football thought.

g. I can see Carlos Hyde being a Trent Baalke draft choice. Perfect physical Niners back.

And it's not like the 49ers have any running backs on the roster or anything. Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, Marcus Lattimore...

i. Only 113,511 at the Big House. Thinking that should on my bucket list. Covered a game there; never sat in the stands.

I'm not sure if this counts as a humblebrag or not. Probably not.

l. Coffeenerdness: In the midst of a jillion Manhattan Starbucks shops, here comes Ground Central, on East 52nd. Very good espresso. Hope it can survive.

Don't be confused though. Peter is still completely planning on going to Starbucks every morning, but he hopes other people support Ground Central enough to keep it in business.

Seattle 30, New Orleans 27. For this to happen, I have to have some belief in the Seattle bench at cornerback—particularly in 2011 sixth-round pick Byron Maxwell, making his first career start, and the marginal Jeremy Lane, now in the nickel role. How’d you like to be Maxwell? Eyes of the nation on this game, national TV, first start, knowing as the corner opposite star Richard Sherman that Drew Brees has a bulls-eye on your chest for four quarters? “All our corners will be confident in this game,” safety Earl Thomas told me the other day. “The way our attitude is, just because you’re not starting doesn’t mean you’re not a starting-caliber player. Our backups are just as good as our starters—that’s our feeling.

I'm not sure this is the negotiating tactic that Richard Sherman will use when trying to get a new contract from the Seahawks, but I'm sure Sherman and Browner are very happy that Earl Thomas thinks they are easily replaceable like he claims they are.

Chaos at FedEx.
A ref’s job: control the game.
Jeff Triplette didn’t.

I still don't get the point of the adieu haiku. I'm not sure I ever will.


Snarf said...

Looks like Peter got in a good edit to his column. In it's original state:

Of course, owners don’t have to use the committee’s recommendation. Who knows if any will? Owners will do what owners want to do. The system works when owners and hirers go into the process with a truly open mind. In 2007, Pittsburgh’s Dan Rooney had a blank slate entering the process, and he ended up hiring a minority he’d never met before, Mike Tomlin. In Chicago last winter, GM Phil Emery went into his search wide open, interviewed 13 candidates and hired Marc Trestman from the CFL—a man on no one’s radar entering the process. That’s the key: not determining in October or November there’s one man you have to have and focusing all energy on him.


n. Pope Francis Quote of the Week: “How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?”

o. I think the new Pope is trying to get me back in the pew every Sunday.

Two thing here:

1) People are going to care about things that affect their daily lives. Even if you're not rich, if you have a retirement fund or savings for your children's college, etc. it is likely that these will be impacted by movement within the stock market. Also, the world isn't always so zero-sum. One can feel sad for the state of some group while simultaneously caring about something else or enjoying some other frivolous part of life. /rant (I do get the point of the Pope's comment, though)

2) Were John Paul II and Benedict XVI just like, "fuck the poor?" Seems like this isn't some new revelation from the papacy. Maybe to Peter, though.

Bengoodfella said...

Snarf, it does sound like he got a good edit to his column. That's interesting he edited that part about Tomlin.

I think JP II (as the non-Catholics like me who are lazy call him) and Benedict XVI didn't care at all about the poor. It's a completely new thing for the Pope to encourage others to help the less fortunate. Completely new.

And yes, it is possible to care about the stock market losing money, mostly because that means a large group of people lose money, while also caring about the homeless. I get his point too.

Eric said...

"a. Justin Tucker, in 32 career games including playoffs, has made 93 percent of his field goals (63 of 68). That says two things: Tucker should be DNA tested for the clutch gene.

Which won't be found because there's no such thing."

Gregg Easterbrook will claim that this gene actually exists in a soon-to-be-written column, and post a link to a webpage discussing plant DNA hoping nobody actually clicks the link.

Eric said...

"Did you see Sunday night how he made a stop with a couple of minutes to go and forced the Giants to punt—and Washington had a chance to win at the end instead of the Giants running out the clock.

Since there is no question mark at the end of the sentence I guess that's a statement and not a question?"

I think what Peter is trying to say is that if a linebacker makes a stop that forces a team to punt, then they should be in the Hall of Fame. I think I'm going to nominate AJ Hawk for the Hall of Fame. I think he stopped somebody once on third down (3rd and 15 and he got dragged 14 yards, leaving it at 4th and 1, but still a stop!)

Bengoodfella said...

Eric, the link will probably go to so you can buy Gregg's new book that he pimps out in every TMQ.

I see no reason why that wouldn't get Hawk in the Hall of Fame. If that were the case, then Rams fans probably think Mike Jones is a Hall of Fame linebacker too.