Monday, January 20, 2014

3 comments What Happened in TMQ on My Christmas Break Part 2

As I explained when I did the December 24 TMQ, I didn't have time over Christmas to post TMQ so I will be covering the two TMQ's I missed after the date they were posted. I only have from Aug to early February really to mock/criticize TMQ and I like writing about TMQ even though it tends to raise my blood pressure at times. In the December 31 TMQ, Gregg decides the NFL should switch to a seeded tournament, which would of course potentially negate the need for conferences or even divisions. Of course Gregg doesn't address this really (naturally) and it's not entirely clear how the NFL would do their scheduling so that the schedule is fair or doesn't present one team with a tougher road to making the playoffs as compared to another team.

Check the playoff card: 10-6 Arizona is eliminated, while 8-7-1 Green Bay hosts a game. Who does 8-7-1 Green Bay host? San Francisco, at 12-4.
This, in a nutshell, is why the NFL should switch to a seeded-tournament postseason format.

There are probably 2-3 different ways to resolve an issue like this without revamping the entire NFL playoff system, as well as the NFL's division and conference format. Very simply, the NFL could decide the team with the better record would host the playoff game, even if that team didn't win their division. With the right proposal, I wouldn't be against a seeded-tournament postseason format, but it seems like an extreme solution solely for the purpose of correcting how sometimes teams who won their division with a 8-7-1 record host a playoff game against a 12-4 team.

In the NFL's goofy system, a 8-7-1 finish can be superior to a 12-4 finish; one 10-6 record can be rewarded with a home playoff date while another 10-6 record is shut out entirely.

This "goofy system" is (cue Chris Traeger voice) literally the exact same goofy system that the NBA, MLB, and NHL all use. All four major sports use a conference and division format where a team in one conference can miss the playoffs while having a better record than a team in another conference. It's not the NFL's "goofy system" it is the playoff system used by all four major sports. 

The NFL's conference-and-division format is a handy way to organize schedules and rivalries, but does not reward success.

This is very arguable.

A seeded tournament would reward success. College basketball also has conferences and divisions to organize regular-season play, then uses a seeded postseason tournament. The result is excitement. Why doesn't the NFL shift to this model?

For one, college basketball has 330+ Division I basketball teams and there are 32 NFL teams. Second, Gregg has absolutely no idea what he is talking about in making this comparison. Division I college basketball uses the exact same "goofy system" that the NFL uses and Gregg dislikes. A team that wins the Horizon League could make the NCAA Tournament with a 17-16 record while an SEC team could have a 20-13 record and be left out of the NCAA Tournament completely. The reason the NFL doesn't shift to this college basketball model is because the NFL already uses this model. Does Gregg do any research or put any thought into his ideas before slapping them down into TMQ?

Since the NFL-AFL merger, there have been 36 teams that failed to make the playoffs despite a better record than a team or teams that made the playoffs the same year.

I would guess every year (or at least every other year) more than 36 Division I teams fail to make the NCAA Tournament despite having a better record than a team or teams that made the NCAA Tournament that year. These Division I teams with a worse record than other Division I teams get to be in the NCAA Tournament because they won their conference tourney. It's the exact same system used in the NFL when Green Bay makes the playoffs because they won their division, while Arizona stays at home for the playoffs.

In 2008, 11-5 New England did not make the playoffs while 9-7 Arizona hosted a postseason contest.

What happened after Arizona hosted that playoff game, Gregg? Care to mention that? Arizona beat the Falcons, beat the 12-4 Panthers on the road, and then won the NFC Championship Game to make it to the Super Bowl.

In 2010, 10-6 Jersey/A did not make the postseason while 7-9 Seattle hosted a playoff game.

The Seahawks then beat the New Orleans Saints in this playoff game.

Lack of seeding also leads to absurd results such as, in 2010, when 12-4 Baltimore opened on the road while 7-9 Seattle opened at home, or in 1999, when 11-5 Buffalo opened on the road while 9-7 Seattle opened at home.

I can get behind the idea of the team with the better record having a home playoff game, regardless of whether that team won the division or not.

A seeded NFL playoff format would reward success and increase excitement.

Would the Excito-meter go from a 8.7 (is that too hyper-specific for Gregg?) to a 9.7? What the hell does it mean that this change would "increase excitement" and how does Gregg know for sure that a seeded NFL playoff format would increase excitement? I think the NFL playoffs are pretty exciting as they are now.

I do find it interesting that Gregg claims a seeded playoff format would increase excitement when if this format were in effect for the 2013 season the two "win or go home" games in Week 17 would have been meaningless. I guess it's more exciting to have fewer "win or go home" games.

Here is the argument against an NFL seeded playoff: "But the way we do it is the way we've always done it!"

The argument against an NFL seeded playoff is also this one: "It's a great idea, but when floating the idea of a NFL seeded playoff you also need to provide suggestions on how the NFL would schedule the games since divisions and conferences would essentially be useless. So great idea, but is it a functional idea in terms of ruining natural rivalries that exist (Baltimore-Pittsburgh for example) and ensuring the schedule is made in a manner to which no team has a significantly harder schedule than another team?"

Currently under the division and conference format, there is an unbalanced schedule, but teams within the same division play the majority of the same AFC and NFC teams out of their division. There is some semblance of fairness to the schedule.

Here is what the playoff field would look like, if seeding were in effect.

Bye teams in order of seeding: Denver, Seattle, Carolina, San Francisco.
Opening round:
San Diego (9-7) at New England (12-4)
Arizona (10-6) at Cincinnati (11-5)
Philadelphia (10-6) at Kansas City (11-5)
Indianapolis (11-5) at New Orleans (11-5)

But then offense rules, and resistance is futile. Turns out 2013 was the highest-scoring NFL season ever. Teams averaged 23.4 points per game, besting the 23.2 number set in 1948,

So much hyper-specificity I can't stand it!

The Broncos were hardly the only reason. Had the Broncs scored at the rate of last season's highest-points team, New England, the 2013 season still would have set the record, at 23.3 points per team per game. That means it wasn't only Denver that was spinning the scoreboard.

Is there really someone who thinks the league average of 23.4 points per game is solely due to the Denver Broncos scoring a lot of points? How many points would the Broncos have to score to increase the league-wide average of points scored per game by a significant margin? They would have to score 50+ points per game or something crazy like that. I can't imagine it is necessary for Gregg to point out the Broncos weren't the only team scoring points at a high pace this season.

There are worrisome signs for Broncs fans. One is that Peyton Manning is 9-11 during his career in the playoffs.

It's the "Peyton Paradox" that Gregg introduced earlier this year and that magically disappeared once Gregg realized it was a crock of shit.

TMQ's Authentic Games metric ends the regular season by predicting a Super Bowl of Denver (six authentic wins) versus New Orleans (five). Cincinnati also recorded five authentic wins; Arizona, Carolina, Indianapolis, San Francisco and Seattle posted four.

Though my own metric predicts Denver versus New Orleans in the swamps of Jersey, that outcome seems unlikely -- my bet is the Broncos fade while a Saints-Seahawks playoff contest, if one occurs, would be held in Seattle, conferring the edge on the Bluish Men Group.

See, I knew this is what Gregg would do. He would introduce the "Authentic Wins Metric" and act like he had proven something or this metric meant anything at all, but then once he didn't like the conclusion the metric came to he would go against what it shows. What good is a metric when it's own creator doesn't like the outcome the metric shows?

So maybe my Authentic Games metric is nuts. But last season at this juncture, it projected Baltimore to reach the Super Bowl, and that seemed pretty unlikely.

It's not nuts. It's shit. It should be treated accordingly.

Stats of the Week No. 1: Cincinnati, New Orleans and Seattle finished a combined 23-1 at home.

Then Cincinnati went and lost a home playoff game to the Chargers.

Stats of the Week No. 2: Indianapolis won its final three games by a combined 78-20.

Then Indianapolis gave up more than 20 points in one half of a playoff game.

Stats of the Week No. 3: The Packers are 6-2 with Aaron Rodgers and 2-5-1 with anyone else.

Well, 6-3 with Rodgers now.

Green Bay leading Chicago 13-7 in the third quarter of a winner-take-all, the Packers faced third-and-1 and threw a short slant, incomplete, rather than rush against a Chicago defense that allowed 5.4 yards per rush, worst in the NFL. Then Green Bay punted on fourth-and-1 rather than run against that same defense. The football gods punished the Packers by allowing Devin Hester a long return, followed by a Chicago go-ahead touchdown on the possession.

Then the football gods punished by the Packers by allowing them to beat the Bears and make it into the playoffs. What a stiff punishment that was.

Now Green Bay puts two wide receivers left. One stops at the line-to-gain, in front of Bowman, who again stops there. Chris Conte, the safety on that side, runs toward the receiver stopping at the line-to-gain. Randall Cobb, the slot receiver, heads deep and immediately raises his hand -- Conte should have had Cobb, and instead Cobb is uncovered. Conte made the high school mistake of looking into the backfield trying to guess the play, rather than guard his man.

This is such lazy analysis of what happened when Randall Cobb caught the touchdown to put the Packers ahead. How did Gregg see Chris Conte's eyes to know he was looking in the backfield instead of guarding his man? Does Gregg have such great vision he can see where Conte's eyes were looking from the comfort of his own couch? And also, "guarding his man." This isn't basketball and Conte very well could have been playing a Cover-2 or Cover 3 in this situation. He would have a zone to guard at that point and not a man. Why does Gregg constantly fail to understand that not every NFL team plays man defense?

Trent Williams of the Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous Persons, a highly hyped tackle who was fourth overall selection in his draft year, made the Pro Bowl despite having such a bad season that Persons coaches debated whether to bench him. Check film of the San Francisco at Washington game, Williams was awful. Eric Wood of Buffalo didn't make the Pro Bowl: for TMQ's money, he was the best center in the league in 2013.

Notice how Gregg mentions Trent Williams' draft position when he talks about how overrated he is, but fails to mention Eric Wood was a first round draft pick when lauding him as the best center in the NFL. How convenient.

(No one from the Buffalo offensive line made the Pro Bowl, though the Bills were second in the league in rushing despite a revolving door of no-name quarterbacks, which means the blocking was good.)

It's almost like the offensive line is a group who has to work well in cohesion and a team can have a great offensive line without one player from that offensive line being so outstanding he makes the Pro Bowl.

Zane Beadles of the Broncos, for TMQ's money the best guard in the league in 2013, didn't make the Pro Bowl, though both guards for the Saints did.

Yet again, Gregg leaves off Beadles' draft position. Beadles was drafted in the second round. So the best center in the NFL according to Gregg was drafted in the first round and the best guard was drafted in the second round. I wonder if Gregg ever thinks about this as he starts railing against highly-drafted glory boys. My guess is he does not.

Discounting the kicking teams, here are the Pro Bowl players who were undrafted:
Jason Peters, Eagles (made the Pro Bowl as an offensive linemen despite never playing this position in high school or college)
Marcel Reece, Raiders
Mike Tolbert, Panthers
Brent Grimes, Dolphins (played for Shippensburg in Division II)
Cameron Wake, Dolphins (got his start in the CFL)
Vontaze Burfict, Bengals

Discounting the kicking teams, here are the Pro Bowl players who were drafted in the first round and are considered by Gregg to be highly-drafted glory boys who only care about getting paid money while they underachieve:

Peyton Manning
Cam Newton
Philip Rivers
Dez Bryant
A.J. Green
Calvin Johnson
Andre Johnson
Demaryius Thomas
Branden Albert
Tyron Smith
Joe Staley
Joe Thomas
Trent Williams
Ben Grubbs
Mike Iupati
Logan Mankins
Alex Mack
Mike Pouncey
Vernon Davis
Marshawn Lynch
Adrian Peterson
Cameron Jordan
Robert Quinn
J.J. Watt
Mario Williams
Gerald McCoy
Haloti Ngata
Dontari Poe
Justin Smith
Ndamukong Suh
John Abraham
Tamba Hali
Terrell Suggs
Luke Kuechly
Patrick Willis
Joe Haden
Patrick Peterson
Darrelle Revis
Aqib Talib
Earl Thomas
Eric Berry
Troy Polamalu

Boy, it sure seems like one list is longer than another doesn't it? Anytime an undrafted player does something great as compared to a highly-drafted player, Gregg can't wait to crow about it, but he never takes the time to understand the majority of the best players in the NFL are the highly-drafted glory boys he thinks only care about themselves and making money.

The eight-man blitz rarely is seen because it's like handing the opposition a card that says, "Please score a touchdown." Minnesota leading Syracuse 17-14 with 1:21 remaining in the Texas Bowl

Instead Minnesota brought the rare eight-man blitz, with double overloads on both sides. That left no one defending the middle: Syracuse quarterback Terrell Hunt went up the middle to the end zone untouched, putting the Orange ahead by four, and of course you know who won.

Well yes, if Syracuse scored a touchdown with a minute left in the game it's not hard to see who won the game regardless of the defensive tactic used by the Minnesota defense.

Even if the blitz had created a loss of yardage, Syracuse still would have been in good field goal position -- thus Minnesota wagered losing the game, against a gain of little. Ye gods.

Has Gregg ever watched a college football game before? College football kickers are pretty shaky and if the Minnesota defense was able to move the Syracuse offense back even five yards it makes it a much harder kick for a college kicker.

Then Gregg begins to criticize television shows because this is a column about football.

Then in the 1967 episode that first gave viewers Ricardo Montalban as the sinister Khan, the Enterprise encounters a spaceship "built in the late 1990s" that has traveled a fair distance into the galaxy. Star Trek writers of the 1960s thought warp drive would be invented during the Clinton administration!

It's crazy for a genre called science-actualfuckingreality to be so wrong. It's almost like these "Star Trek" writers would have been better off writing a fictional television show!

Lots of other things will be the same in 2048. Cops still never have any paperwork to do, just engage in gunfights in which hundreds of rounds are fired,

I think Gregg's ideal television show about cops would show them realistically drinking coffee in the car and filling out paperwork for 42 minutes. It may be boring, but at least it's realistic.

During buddy-bonding conversations in the car, the scenery projected on the window still rolls by at a steady pace, as if there were no stoplights or traffic. Bad guys who are shot still die instantaneously, while good guys are never hit anywhere but in the arm, and it's still always a "through and through," which still is depicted as merely a scratch.

I mean it when I say Gregg Easterbrook must be a nightmare to watch a television show with. I would guess the urge to stuff a sock in his mouth or just punch him in the face would arise prior to half of the show being completed. Gregg would take copious notes on every little thing that is inaccurate and point out in a haughty manner that the scene depicted is impossible in real life. I would be forced to lose it and take measures to make him stop.

Both teams protect the football -- Kansas City was plus-18 on turnovers, Indianapolis plus-13. So, expect a sloppy contest with lots of interceptions and fumbles.

Sadly, and just a little bit shockingly, Gregg was sort of correct.

Considering Philadelphia just struggled on offense versus the NFL-worst Dallas defense, the Saints' defense may determine who wins this game.

Yes, who would ever think the Saints defense would have an impact on which team won the game. This is some breathtaking analysis right here. One team's defense may determine who wins the game (notice Gregg can't even say "will" but "may"). Say it ain't so. 

TMQ's sixth sense tells him the Blur Offense fades in this contest and that New Orleans will advance to a monster NFC playoff confrontation at Seattle.

I don't like a world where Gregg Easterbrook is right about two things in a row. Fortunately, his football analysis still stinks.

The Bengals are undefeated at home, averaging 34 points per game on their turf, while in order to reach the postseason, the Bolts had to go to overtime against the Kansas City practice squad. So this game has the makings of a laffer.

I'm sure Gregg will claim he meant the Chargers would be laughing about how bad they beat the Bengals at home.

Though Marvin Lewis has a reputation for ultra-conservative tactics, the Bengals went for it on fourth down 21 times this season, most of any team that made the playoffs.

Does Marvin Lewis have a reputation for ultra-conservative tactics? I'm asking because I feel like Gregg is sort of making this up. I've never heard Lewis called ultra-conservative and a search for "Marvin Lewis conservative on fourth down" reveals nothing of the sort.

Around Thanksgiving, TMQ took a lot of heat for saying the 49ers had no passing game. Now the season is in the books, and San Francisco finished 30th in passing.

I don't think the criticism was coming from some (ok, me) about Gregg stating the 49ers had no passing game. It came because Gregg stated:

As for San Francisco, the Niners are difficult to take seriously without a passing attack.

Bet Gregg would like to have that statement back, huh?

Mostly, Griffin and Kaepernick looked like quarterbacks who can only run a college-style offense. When the zone-read was a fresh idea last season, that was fine. Now that defenses have adapted to the flavor of the month, good old vanilla, chocolate and strawberry passing is required.

Kaepernick is certainly not the most accurate NFL quarterback, but he has been missing his best receiver all year (Michael Crabtree of the now defunct and magically disappeared "Crabtree Curse") and Gregg seemed to basically discount the 49ers because they had not passed the ball well. It seems Gregg was writing that column to state yet again the zone-read is dead when (a) this isn't entirely true and (b) the 49ers weren't using a lot of zone-read at that point.

Then there's New Year's Eve and Day -- bah humbug! Another big holiday right after Christmas. Why not save New Year's for midwinter, when a holiday is really needed? Or move Christmas to then, since no one knows when Jesus was born. New Year's is especially hard on those who are not invited to any of the flashy parties that the media tell us everyone should be at.

Yeah, move Christmas to another part of the year. That doesn't seem like it would cause a problem at all. Also, the calendar year ends on December 31, so it wouldn't make sense for New Year's to take place at the end of February.

Trailing 6-3 in the first quarter, eliminated from the postseason and losers of 19 of their past 20 to the Patriots, the Buffalo Bills faced fourth-and-3 on the New England 41, and punted. Outraged, the football gods ensured New England took the ball the other way for a 13-3 lead. Later, Buffalo tried and failed on fourth-and-1 from midfield, in a straight-ahead play that not only involved no misdirection -- that used skinny speed receiver T.J. Graham as lead blocker.

Doesn't Gregg sometimes credit an NFL team for throwing the ball to a little-used player or for using a player in an unexpected role to gain yardage? The answer is "yes" and I have to think if the Bills had picked up the first down then Gregg would have credited the Bills for using a receiver as a lead blocker and taking the defense by surprise.

In the endgame, leading 17-7, the Jets put three defensive tackles into the backfield. Rex Ryan seemed to be mocking Miami. True, the Dolphins choked in the final two games. But should a team that started the day eliminated be mocking anyone?

Certainly the football gods are going to smite the Jets for mocking the Dolphins. Gregg will point out something negative that happens to the Jets over the next three seasons as empirical proof the Jets pissed off the football gods by mocking the Dolphins and paid for it.

Reports of the Death of the Zone-Read Are Greatly Exaggerated: Though the read-option tactic is no longer the surprise it was in the 2013, it's still useful.

The rumors of the death of the zone-read were rumors that Gregg Easterbrook himself started in TMQ by stating that NFL defenses had caught on as to how to stop the zone-read. But sure, go ahead and tell us how useful the zone-read is Gregg and forget this exists. Of course Gregg is very careful to say "IF" the zone-read is a flavor of the month, all while acting like the zone-read is a flavor of the month and being sure to take credit for being correct if the zone-read had faded away.

Carolina, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle, which often use the zone-read, made the postseason. Eddie Martz of ESPN The Magazine (Published on Earth The Planet) notes zone-read rushing plays averaged 4.9 yards in 2013, versus regular runs averaging 4.1 yards.

But no, tell us more about how defenses can stop Robert Griffin and Colin Kaepernick when they run the zone-read again. It's a useful tactic to be used in an offensive gameplan, but certainly not a worthy strategy to build an entire gameplan around.

The devil's bargain of quarterbacks exposed to injury continues: Should Robert Griffin III never recover his lightning speed, traditionalists will argue that only backup quarterbacks ought to execute the zone-read.

Which is the exact argument that Gregg Easterbrook made earlier in the season when he argued the Packers should bench Aaron Rodgers for Vince Young during certain plays so Young can run the same zone-read offense that NFL defenses completely know how to stop now.

Many innovations begin as ridiculed, then seem unstoppable, then settle down into another occasionally used element of the tool kit. 

It's funny how Gregg has softened his language about the zone-read now that four teams who run some zone-read are in the playoffs. The best part is Gregg seems intent on lecturing his readers on how sometimes innovations that seem unstoppable end up being just another part of a team's offense. Gregg was the one throwing himself off the 49ers bandwagon back in September and beginning the eulogy for the zone-read as an effective offensive tactic.

As regards the NFL, TMQ annually notes that most ticket sales occur in the winter -- meaning a team that had a bad year must give fans a reason to believe next season will be better. Firing coaches is the quickest way to achieve this.

It also so happens that offseason planning begins immediately after the season has ended and it makes no sense to continue employing a head coach who the team is planning on firing. Head coach firings happen in January when preparations for personnel are being made for the next season, so it makes absolute complete sense for an owner to fire the head coach in January so a new head coach/GM can take over the team and move the team in the direction they think will lead towards success. It's stupid to fire a head coach in June after free agency, the NFL Draft, and rookie mini-camps. But yeah, I'm sure most head coaches get fired in January only because ticket sales occur in winter.

As regards the NCAA, TMQ continues not to understand why universities allow weasel coaches to sprint out the door whenever more money is waved. Penn State was a special case: to attract Bill O'Brien into its maelstrom, offering an out clause would have been a good negotiating tactic.

So Gregg is okay with Bill O'Brien breaking his contract and breaking promises to his players because he negotiated an out clause in his contract. But if James Franklin leaves Vanderbilt for an NFL job and hasn't negotiated an out clause in his contract then he is a weasel who has lied to his players and broken a contract. The key to Gregg Easterbrook not believing a college coach is a weasel when taking a better job is for a coach to be up front and negotiate a way out of the current job for a better job before even taking the current job or accepting a new contract with his current employer. Gregg is fine with this.

But most college programs allow head coaches out for any reason, and so far as I have been able to determine, don't insist on the kind of non-compete clauses that moderate the movement of highly paid executives, engineers and artistic talent.

If a college program wants to ensure they can't ever hire quality head coaching talent, then they will put a non-compete clause in the coach's contract. That's the best way to ensure that program never hires good head coaching talent. Plus, I very much doubt a judge would find this non-compete clause to be permissible if challenged. Because most college programs recruit nationally or at least across several states then the non-compete would essentially prevent the head coach from pursuing employment in the same field of coaching throughout the United States. I am betting a court would find this scope of the non-compete to be unreasonable for a football coach and wouldn't stand up in court when challenged.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter call O'Brien the "overwhelming favorite" for the Texans job, though the team must first satisfy the Rooney Rule -- which, at this point, requires a club to pretend to be interested in a minority candidate even if it really wants someone else.

Mortensen and Schefter say the Texans may interview Lovie Smith, which would satisfy the Rooney Rule even if Houston has no bona-fide interest. Smith would know this, so why would he play along?

Because it is an interview for a head coaching job in the NFL and because he eventually ended up getting the Tampa Bay job, so he doesn't care if Houston has bona-fide interest or not.

The Football Gods Were Puzzled: Why was Drew Brees, and the rest of the Saints' starters, on the field in the fourth quarter with New Orleans ahead 42-17? Saints coach Sean Payton has always loved stats. 

That's mostly what Sean Payton and Drew Brees care about. They care about statistics and don't seem to have a regard for running up the score or pulling their starters once a team has been beaten if there is a chance to obtain a personal record. It's the same reason Payton had Brees in the game to break Dan Marino's passing yardage record against the Falcons in Week 16 two years ago. That game was on national television so Payton wanted Brees to achieve a personal record in front of a large crowd as opposed to achieving this record the following week at home during Week 17.

Next Week: Should NFL head coaches be hired through temp agencies?

I wish we could hire a temp to write TMQ. I don't know why I hate myself enough to go back and cover the TMQ's that I missed. 


HH said...

This "goofy system" is (cue Chris Traeger voice) literally the exact same goofy system that the NBA, MLB, and NHL all use. All four major sports use a conference and division format where a team in one conference can miss the playoffs while having a better record than a team in another conference.

This is actually a uniquely North American thing, at the professional level. In the rest of the world, the top league (of soccer, obviously) consists of 16-20 teams, and they play a home game and an away game against every other team. It's a fair schedule (subject to the usual varagies of injury etc), but it's unworkable in the US and Canada for a few reasons:

1. Too many teams. NFL teams can't play 58 games, which is what a home/away series would result in.

2. There is no international competition or relegation. In other leagues, teams with bad records drop to lower leagues, while teams also compete to participate in international contests (like the Champions league, UEFA cup, UIC tournament, etc) the following year. There is nothing similar in the US, so a team that's out of contention for the top spot has nothing to play for, so most fan bases would start dropping out and ratings and attendance would probably fall. Divisions keep it exciting in a way that relegation/promotion do in soccer leagues.

Eric said...

I love this guy. He includes Vontaze Burfict as one of his special little undrafted guys. he ignores the fact that Burfict was a top 10 talent who had a couple bad workouts and is such a piece of crap that only the Bengals would touch him. More lazy research by Gregg. If asked, Gregg would probably say that Burfict beat the odds with limited talent and lots of can-do attitude and hard work... Basically, he probably doesn't actually know a damn thing about the guy.

Bengoodfella said...

HH, I would be fine with changing the NFL playoff system around as long as it was done fairly. I don't want to see one team have an easy schedule while another team has to face a gauntlet of teams.

Those are two good reasons it can't work here. I think it is funny that Gregg thinks the NFL system is so odd, but it's the same system the other (North American) professional teams use. It may be a goofy system, but it's the same system the other three major sports in North America use. His comparison to how the NCAA does the college basketball tournament was just laughable. If anything, that's an example of an inferior team making the playoffs based on being in an inferior league. Gregg seems to lack the ability to make such comparisons effectively.

Eric, Gregg doesn't pay attention to that stuff. He doesn't know about Burfict and so he thinks he's smarter than he is. Burfict has a ton of talent, but leading up to the draft he:

1. Feuded with the coaches at ASU.

2. Test positive for marijuana.

3. When he was on the field for ASU, committed stupid penalties that showed a lack of focus.

4. Ran the slowest 40-yard dash among linebackers.

5. Blamed the ASU coaching staff for his problems in college.

6. Was out of shape at his pro day.

Any two of those items are enough to make his stock drop, but those are all things he did in 6-8 months leading up to the draft. Gregg knows nothing about Burfict or why he wasn't drafted.