Friday, May 16, 2014

15 comments Gregg Easterbrook Works Overtime to Mislead His TMQ Readers This Week

Gregg Easterbrook made his non-triumphant return to writing TMQ by telling us that Joe Flacco, who briefly went to the University of Pittsburgh, is 6'5" 240 pounds, and was drafted in the first round, was not the prototypical NFL quarterback. Gregg compared him to Drew Brees and Russell Wilson in that way. Gregg is still a terrible writer who misleads his readers all the time, by the way. This week Gregg tells us about the decline of the running back position and reviews each team's NFL Draft by not really reviewing each team's NFL Draft. Gregg also criticizes television shows for not being realistic enough, which is pretty much a standard TMQ feature at this point.

Last year's draft was the first since the AFL-NFL merger in which no running back was chosen in the first round. This year's draft nearly became the first in which no running back was chosen in the first two rounds. The initial runner selected, Bishop Sankey by Tennessee, went in the bottom of Round 2, more than 24 hours after the draft began.

It also helps there are no elite running backs coming out into the draft. Call me in a year or two when Derrick Henry, Shock Linwood, and Leonard Fournette make themselves available for the NFL Draft. There's no doubt the modern offense doesn't require a workhorse running back, but I think the position will start to become undervalued in the draft.

Is it the twilight of the running back?

Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't. Gregg Easterbrook watched the Super Bowl and asked whether defense was about to overtake offense in the NFL, despite having seen an entire season where offenses made defenses look silly. He has a tendency to overreact and make a small issue into an overwhelming NFL-wide trend.

The fullback offers a cautionary tale. A generation ago, every offense had two backs in the backfield, sometimes three.

Occasionally even four backs in the backfield. Sometimes NFL teams didn't even bother with using offensive linemen and just lined up 10 running backs in the backfield.

Even the 49ers' West Coast offense under Bill Walsh, then cutting edge, usually showed a fullback. Roger Craig played fullback for several years under Walsh in San Francisco, sometimes lining up in a two-fullback set with Tom Rathman.

While true, the last season Roger Craig played fullback exclusively was 1986, which happened to be Tom Rathman's first year in the NFL when he had a grand total of 33 carries in 16 games. So they did play together, but Craig wasn't used as a fullback in the backfield with Rathman much past 1986.

Most of the league's fullbacks are undrafted free agents who rarely get into games and almost never touch the ball. Craig averaged 51 receptions per season in a long career. Probably all the league's fullbacks combined did not make 51 catches last season.

I like how Gregg says "probably" because if he actually did work to find out whether his assumption was correct then that could end up proving him wrong. Mike Tolbert had 27 receptions last year, John Kuhn had 13 receptions, and Vonta Leach had 11 receptions. So three fullbacks had 51 receptions last year and I didn't even include Marcel Reece's 32 receptions.

Research is very important and it's also something that Gregg Easterbrook refuses to do. Why do any kind of research to determine whether an assumption is correct when it should be up to the reader to determine if the assertions you make in a column are correct? After all, isn't doing research and making sure your statements have a factual basis not the responsibility of the reader? It's on the reader to make sure the writer isn't lying or misleading his/her readers. Why would it be Gregg's responsibility to back up his assertions with facts? The best case scenario is Gregg's readers don't do research and assume he's right. Worst case is someone does work and proves Gregg wrong. What's it going to change though? Gregg said "probably" so he didn't lie, he just made an assumption due to his lazy inability to do research and hopes his readers believe his assumption. This is willfully not searching out information in order to mislead his readers into believing his larger point is true.

Now, a similar thought process is downgrading the running back. In a five-wide offense, he's not needed; in a four-wide, often a tight end lines up in the backfield to blitz-block or run a flare.

Yes, "often" the tight end does this. If you believe Gregg's statement that "often" the tight end lines up in the backfield then, well, you are probably as stupid as Gregg. Putting a tight end in the backfield with no running back on a regular basis makes no sense. It takes away the threat of play-action and NFL teams would much rather have a speedy running back come out of the backfield catching passes than a tight end. God forbid someone at ESPN actually prevents Gregg from making things up.

Of the past five Super Bowl winners, Seattle was unusual in employing an old-fashioned feature-back offense. The other four winners -- the Ravens, Giants, Packers and Saints -- either had the running-back-by-committee approach, or in the case of Green Bay, simply didn't run, with just 11 called rushes in its Super Bowl victory.

Wouldn't this be a better example of the decline in the workhorse running back rather than a decline in teams running the football? The decline in the workhorse running back doesn't mean there will be a further downgrading in the running back position. Even if a team uses a running-back-by-committee they are still running the ball. The Ravens rushed the ball 32 times with Pierce and Rice in the Super Bowl. The Giants ran the ball 26 times with Bradshaw and Jacobs. Running the football using a committee is still running the football, so the decline of a workhorse back doesn't necessarily mean the running back position as a whole has been downgraded.

The rising pace of offense has increased the running-back-by-committee format. In a quick-snap offense, receivers and backs constantly shuffle in and out so they can catch their breath.

Really Gregg? Does Gregg pay attention to what he writes or does it just free flow from his mind onto the keyboard? So in a quick-snap offense receivers and backs are constantly coming in and out of the game? Gregg does realize if the offensive team substitutes then the defensive team is given time to also substitute out players, right? So a quick-snap offense may substitute players in and out, but not while they are being quick-snappy. It sort of ruins the point because it allows the defense to substitute as well.

Only four of last season's top 10 rushers were first-round choices. If you can usually get a running back in the later rounds, running backs don't sound so important.

Yes, but only one of the running backs in the Top 10 was selected outside of the 3rd round and if you open the selection up to the Top 20 rushers in the NFL last year then nine of those running backs were selected in the first round and sixteen of them were selected in the first three rounds of the draft. So in order to get an elite rusher, a team still needs to spend a Day 1 or 2 draft pick on one.

Now that Kelly is an employer, he understands the value of diplomas. When he was a college coach who benefited from free labor, the situation was different. In his final year at the University of Oregon, only 64 percent of Kelly's players, and a dismal 49 percent of African-American players, graduated.

For a smart guy, Gregg is stupid sometimes. These numbers mean nothing without a little perspective around them. What was the percentage of players who graduated throughout FBS football? What was the percentage of American-American players who graduated in FBS football? Those are the numbers that will give perspective on whether Chip Kelly's graduation rate at Oregon was dismal or not.

The 64 percent was about the same for University of Oregon students as a whole.

Oh okay, so 64% isn't dismal at all and is average? Great, so stop calling out Chip Kelly for not graduating players.

But a Division I football player gets 10 semesters instead of eight, gets special tutoring and, most important, doesn't pay for college -- running out of money is a primary reason why kids don't finish. Division I players should graduate at a higher rate than students as a whole.

Oh really? Division I players should graduate at a higher rate than students as a whole? I guess Gregg has a point if he keeps moving the markers for success. Does the average college student spend 20-25 hours a week playing sports at the school and spend large amounts of the Fall semester away from school traveling to sporting events? If not, then Division I players should not be held to a higher standard.

Also, running out of money is not the primary reason students don't finish school. That is an absolute lie. Just an incredibly fat lie. I'd be glad to forward Gregg some information on why most students don't complete their program if he would like. "Financial Aid reasons" is a popular reason, but it's not because the student is out of money, but because they couldn't afford the school in the first place or have another less specific reason why they are leaving but simply say "financial reasons." Gregg continues lying. It's amazing ESPN just lets him do this.

Here's a draft review:

The Falcons went for meat and potatoes, choosing linemen with their first two picks, after years of favoring skill players. Seven of their previous 11 top picks had been spent on or traded for wide receivers and cornerbacks. The result was a 31st-ranked rushing defense and Matt Ryan getting sacked 44 times in 2013.

The Falcons first two picks in 2012 were offensive linemen and three of their first 4 picks in 2010 were offensive/defensive linemen as well.

In the fourth round, Atlanta chose Prince Shembo of Notre Dame, the player who was implicated in a sexual assault accusation that made national headlines because a suicide was involved -- nothing was ever proved or disproved in court. TMQ proposed in January 2013 that the player reveal his identity. Three months ago, Shembo did step forward, maintaining what happened was a consensual misunderstanding...After the draft, Shembo said he'd wanted to speak out at the time, but Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly instructed him to say nothing. If that's true, Kelly behaved dishonorably. Shembo was an adult when at Notre Dame -- and surely the university would say he was a student, not an employee of the football program. So why couldn't he speak?

In the first place, Shembo was protected by FERPA and he didn't have to say anything at all about the situation, so Brian Kelly "instructing" Shembo to not say anything was Brian Kelly instructing Shembo to exercise his right to privacy under FERPA and not discuss a topic he wasn't obligated to publicly discuss. There is no second, because that's pretty much it. If Shembo didn't have FERPA behind him, then I can see Gregg's issue, but FERPA does grant Shembo the right to privacy so Gregg's insistence on stating Shembo should reveal his identity is out of place. That's just how it is.

TMQ long has felt that second-echelon clubs simply should copy the draft tactics of successful clubs. In this context, looking at someone else's answer sheet is legal.

Literally every year NFL teams try to copy other successful teams. TMQ should pay more attention and not have TMQ's head up TMQ's ass so much to the point TMQ contends something should happen that is already happening.

In 2012, Joe Flacco led the Ravens to a Super Bowl triumph, throwing 11 touchdown passes versus zero interceptions in the postseason. But what have you done for us lately? Already the Ravens are viewed as washed up.

What? Who the hell said this?

Tuesday Morning Quarterback is not so sure.

I see TMQ is going the JemeHill route of column writing. Disprove a point of view that few people hold.

"TMQ has long contended that Adrian Peterson isn't the most overrated running back in the NFL."

Watkins was the special talent of the 2014 draft. He has as much upside as Jadeveon Clowney, but less downside.

Gregg is an expert draft analyst now.

The last time the Bills made a king's-ransom trade, for Cornelius Bennett in 1987, the arrival of "Biscuit" changed a group of talented underachievers into contenders. Watkins might do the same for the current Bills.

So Gregg is saying a highly-drafted glory boy wide receiver could make the team around him so much better he propels them to the playoffs? Let's remember this the next time Gregg bashes Watkins or a highly-drafted glory boy.

To flip 2014 positions with the Browns, Buffalo surrendered only 2015 draft choices. The current front office knows the team will be sold soon, and if Buffalo fails to break its playoff drought, everyone who doesn't wear cleats will be fired. So there's no point in saving for the future.

Or the Bills wanted to draft the wide receiver that Gregg just described as having less downside than the #1 pick in the draft. There's that too.

Carolina Panthers: Steve Smith was the franchise's star, with five Pro Bowl appearances and more honors to come. Yet he was shown the door. This is not unprecedented. Wide receivers of similar achievement -- Tim Brown, Cris Carter, Randy Moss, Andre Reed and Jerry Rice -- were shown the door at about the same stage of their careers...Why does this happen to wide receivers and not fading greats at other positions?

Just when you think Gregg can't be more dumb...he goes and does something that totally proves he can. Joe Montana, Brett Favre, O.J. Simpson, Eric Dickerson, Reggie White, Richard Dent, Tony Dorsett, Franco Harris, Joe Namath...should I stop here? These players all were sent to a different team at the end of their career and would be considered to have been dumped by the team they are most closely associated with. It's not just happening to wide receivers as Gregg so misguidedly attempts to assert.

The explanation is the Randy Ratio. Wide receivers tend to be egotistical; the game is not about who wins but about how often they see the ball. As things went downhill with the Vikings, Randy Moss demanded a Randy Ratio: 40 percent of the passes had to be targeted to him. Passes should go to whoever's open.

Outside of this being pure speculation, Randy Moss always thought he was open.

In recent seasons with the Cats, Smith has complained unless the stat sheets shows enough balls targeted to him.

A lie. A pure lie. ESPN allows Gregg Easterbrook to lie in his columns and that's that. They don't care, he's a liar, and so it works out. If anything Steve Smith had become more of a teammate and complained less about getting the ball. That was the problem. He was a leader and the team wanted different players to step up as being the leader.

Fine athlete that he is, Smith had begun to harm the team. There's the door, sir.

Again, Smith had become harming the team less in recent years. But whatever.

The cultural stereotype is that gay men spend their days watching Julie Newmar movies and baking macaroons, while lesbians wear lumberjack apparel. But gay men are as likely to be as macho as any other kind of men; gay women as likely to be as feminine as any other kind of women.

I know, right Gregg? How dare people stereotype lesbians and gay men when it's Gregg's job to make assumptions about lesbians and gay men!

Because the 2015 draft is expected to be weaker at most positions than the very strong 2014 draft, Buffalo's first- and fourth-round selections next year, obtained when Cleveland traded down to let the Bills grab gifted Sammy Watkins, likely will be worth less than choices this year.

Incorrect. The first round pick is still a first round pick and it doesn't lose value because of a perceived weaker draft.

The draft's oddest trade came when the Browns, holding the ninth choice, give a fifth-rounder to Minnesota, which held the eighth choice, in order to flip-flop picks, Cleveland then selecting corner Justin Gilbert. Flip-flopping with Minnesota seemed necessary only if the Vikings were planning to select Gilbert -- in which case they wouldn't have traded the pick! The second possibility is that Cleveland wanted to stop Minnesota from trading the eighth selection to some other team that sought Gilbert. But if the Browns' bid of a fifth-round choice seemed better to Minnesota, that means the rival offered no more than a sixth-round choice,

No, it does not. It means no other team offered a fifth round pick and the combination of a high first round pick to move up to the #8 spot. Why is Gregg so stupid? Why doesn't he think? The Vikings got a fifth round pick to move back one spot. Another team may have been offering a 4th round pick and a mid-first round selection, but the Vikings didn't want to move that far back in the first round. So Gregg is wrong, it doesn't mean no other team offered more than a sixth round selection because there was also a first round pick involved in the trade and the Vikings may not have wanted to move too far back in the draft. He's so enamored with proving how stupid NFL teams are, he misses that there was a flip-flop of first round picks. Where in the first round the first round pick the Vikings would receive in return for the #8 pick determined which trade offer they would go with. Moving back 10 spots would require more than a fifth or sixth round pick. Gregg's ignorance is baffling sometimes.

and nobody moves up at the top of the draft for just a sixth-round choice.

Just stop writing this column please. You are embarrassing yourself.

One reason is concern that Manziel's style will not translate into the pro ranks. Remember those times in college he spun out and ran backward? If he tries that in the NFL, the result will be a 20-yard loss.

Russell Wilson also has a tendency to run backwards.

In the past decade, there has been an average of only one first-round tight end annually. 

One reason is that college offenses use the tight end mainly as a blocker, so it's anyone guess whether he can catch.

These must be the same college offenses that run fast-paced, pass-wacky offenses that are keeping a tight end back as a blocker. Sure, that makes sense. Keeping making things up Gregg.

Most college coaches don't want the quarterback throwing short over the middle, where a pick is more likely.

This is a 100% factual statement and not at all an example of Gregg talking out of his ass. It's not like he needs any type of factual backing for statements like this. Remember that's the job of the reader to prove Gregg's statements as being true or false.

About 25 percent of Saban's recruited Alabama players have gone on to earn at least some NFL income, a very high rate. But that still leaves three-quarters never cashing a pro football paycheck. If they got an Alabama education and graduated, they received something of value in return for their labors.

Again, I would ask how many regular college students go Alabama and leave without a degree compared to the number of Alabama players who go to Alabama and leave either with an NFL career or a degree?

The whole public-prayer issue could be resolved rather simply if the Supreme Court simply endorsed Jesus' teachings on the subject.

Oh yeah, I'm sure the whole public-prayer issue would go away if the Supreme Court would adopt the Christian view of public prayer. That will fix everything, right?

Then Gregg basically calls Jadeveon Clowney lazy because Gregg is good at lazy analysis.

It was the seventh straight year the Jaguars picked in the top 10 of the draft, the league's longest run of such high picks. What does Jax have to show for it? Derrick Harvey, bust; Eugene Monroe, big disappointment in Jacksonville then an instant success in the jersey of the Baltimore Ravens;

Not true. He was pretty good with the Jaguars.

Tyson Alualu, reliable journeyman;

He's only played for one NFL team. How in the holy hell can he be a "journeyman?" DOES GREGG NOT KNOW WHAT THIS TERM MEANS?

First-round selection Odell Beckham didn't do well on the Suzy Kolber test. Standing next to her for an interview immediately after his selection, Beckham appeared only slightly taller than Kolber. Even adjusting for high heels and a riser, this cannot be encouraging to Giants fans. ESPN has Beckham at 5-11¼, and I'm not so sure about that quarter-inch.

Oh, so now Gregg can sense measurements to the quarter of an inch while sitting on his couch at home?

This is beautiful. Gregg Easterbrook spends one column a year complaining about hyper-specificity in measurements and then he thinks he can sense a quarter-inch from his couch at home. Of course.

Given the G-Persons already field a fast but small wide receiver in Victor Cruz, why they wanted a Cruz body double isn't clear.

Because Victor Cruz is very good at football?

"Justified," once a hip show, ran out of gas this season. Because "Justified" is marketed as gritty realism,

No, it's not. It's marketed as a fictional television show about United States Marshalls.

Hero lawman Raylan Givens boards a plane from Lexington, Ky., where he lives, to Memphis, Tenn., to join forces with a DEA agent. The two use the DEA agent's car to drive to Harlan County, Ky., about 150 miles from Lexington. A gunfight ensues, and of course the good guys prevail. The DEA agent gets into his car to return to Memphis. Givens gets into his car to return to Lexington. Where did Raylan's car come from? 

My guess would be that one of the other US Marshalls at the scene, and there were others, brought the car to Raylan or he took someone else's car. More importantly, does it really matter? At all? In any way?

Minnesota has had an amazing seven first-round choices in the past three drafts. That ties the most first-round choices a team has had in a three-year span since the AFL-NFL merger; the previous team to do this was the Bengals from 1984 to 1986. So are the Vikes primed with talent and about to bust out? Performance on the field does not suggest that. Last season, Minnesota finished 31st in defense, 23rd in passing offense.

Considering five of those first round choices were drafted either a year ago, where they have only played one season in the NFL, or drafted this year, where these players haven't taken a single snap in the NFL, I think it's safe to say the performance on the field probably wouldn't immediately suggest the Vikings are about to bust out. How about letting the Vikings rookies play a game before wondering why they haven't contributed to the team's success?

Clowney, the first defensive player taken, received dozens of college recruiting offers. Khalil Mack, the second defensive player taken, received just one scholarship offer, from the University at Buffalo (which perhaps should style itself as UATB). Clowney has been an athletic celebrity since high school; Mack was an athletic nobody till last fall. Celebrities tend to want to lie on the beach sipping mai tais, while nobodies tend to be driven. Don't be surprised if over the next five years, Mack significantly outworks Clowney.

Don't be surprised if Clowney outperforms Mack despite the stereotype that he doesn't work hard enough. It's not easy being a celebrity since high school by the way. That's a lot of expectations to live up to and Clowney has succeeded in doing that. So rather than bash him, maybe he deserves some credit for living up to the expectations others pile on him.

The Nesharim gave a fifth-round choice for Darren Sproles, who was expected to get the carries that last season went to Bryce Brown. Then Philadelphia got at least a fourth-round pick from Buffalo for Brown. Since Sproles is a better player than Brown, the series of transactions raises the question, Why didn't Buffalo just trade for Sproles?

What in the holy hell? Buffalo didn't trade for Darren Sproles because they didn't want to trade for Darren Sproles. Sproles isn't a true running back like Bryce Brown is and the Bills wanted a running back to back up C.J. Spiller, not a scat-back/slot receiver/returner like Darren Sproles is. Gregg asks some really, really stupid questions and makes some really stupid assertions, but this one is certainly up there. Why didn't Buffalo trade for Darren Sproles? Because they didn't want Darren Sproles. It doesn't work that way. The Eagles wanted Sproles and the Bills wanted Brown.

And no, Sproles won't get all the carries that would go to Bryce Brown. Chris Polk will probably get some carries also. Sproles and Brown are completely different types of running backs. Anyone who writes a column about the NFL should know this.

In praise of Who-Dats: As draft hoopla fades, bear in mind about a third of NFL players were undrafted. A few years from now, many players drafted last week will be forgotten, while hardworking who-dats will become well-known names.

As usual, Gregg doesn't even read the article he links. I don't mean to be hyper-specific, but 30.7% of NFL players are undrafted not "a third." Also, if Gregg read the column he linked then he would see this part of the column:

In other words 69.3% of players in the NFL last season had gone through the draft, I was a little surprised 30.7% were undrafted.  Now this isn't a calculation of quality, you'd assume most kickers, long snappers, and special teams guys made up the undrafted count.

Gregg takes it to mean that these undrafted players are performing on the same level as drafted players when they are not. Unlike Gregg, the author of this study backs up his assertions with facts, Like this one, 

If you make the minimum threshold 8 games played (half a season), the number of undrafted players drops to 15.4%.  But judging round by round, the number of active players does decrease as you get deeper in the draft.

So while Gregg links this study, he is hoping that his readers don't actually follow the link because they would see this study actually disproves Gregg's theory that undrafted players are just as good as drafted players and "many" players drafted will be forgotten, while hardworking undrafted free agents (because the players who were highly-drafted don't work hard obviously, this coming from a guy who was busting up stereotypes about gay athletes earlier in TMQ...sounds like Gregg has some stereotypes of his own he needs to bust up) will thrive. What this study found was: 

1. If you take the threshold to how many times these undrafted players were active for the majority of the season (and therefore contributing to the team's success on the field), then the number of undrafted players in the NFL drops by half. 

2. As the draft gets deeper the number of active players from each round decreases, thereby showing that highly-drafted players are a safer bet to be in the NFL over the next 3-4 years as compared to an undrafted player or even a player drafted, but drafted later in Rounds 5-7. I wouldn't expect Gregg to read the study he links in TMQ nor would I expect him to make the decision not to mislead his readers. 

Since 2008, the Rams have gone first overall once, second overall thrice and also had the draft's eighth, 13th, 14th and 14th choices. Doesn't seem to matter to the standings -- no winning season for St. Louis that period.

Three things:

1. Out of these eight picks, five were the Rams own and they selected Chris Long, Sam Bradford, Tavon Austin, and Robert Quinn with two of those picks that were their own. I'm not a huge Bradford fan, but that's not a terrible haul.

2. Yes, but how many times have they had the Redskins first round pick during this time? Three of these picks were the Redskins picks.

3. The Rams traded up for the 8th pick to get Tavon Austin. Their pick in the 2013 draft was actually #16. But hey, these types of facts don't support Gregg's argument so he leave it out. Of course he also leaves out that the Rams traded back to #14 in 2012 to get Michael Brockers and their pick was actually the #6 pick. So maybe he isn't being malicious, he just is very lazy and refuses to do research when trying to prove a point.

San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers have become a halfway house for high-profile wide receivers who are struggling: Randy Moss, Stevie Johnson, A.J. Jenkins, Jon Baldwin, Mario Manningham.

Again, what is Gregg talking about? Stevie Johnson is struggling? When did this happen? A.J. Jenkins was drafted by the 49ers so he didn't come to them when he was struggling, he just wasn't a great draft pick. Mario Manningham signed with the 49ers as a free agent and was coming off a very good Super Bowl performance. Facts are so tricky, so why not just lie to your readers?

Having Michael Crabtree and Johnson on the field together in 2014 -- two me-first guys who refuse to block and pull up their patterns whenever the throw is to someone else -- hey, what could go wrong?

Gregg is basically just committing football character assassination with no proof his allegations are true. As always, ESPN doesn't give a shit. I don't mind comments like this if they are true, but try to show some shred of proof before committing football character assassination.

Seattle: For dropping only eight slots, from the 32nd to 40th picks, the Seahawks added a fourth-round choice -- and avoided paying a first-round bonus, since Super Bowl winners always have salary-cap problems the following two seasons.

ALWAYS! This is always true, which is why you are finding the Seahawks not handing out any big contracts this offseason. They are in salary cap hell and can't afford to pay their own players.

TMQ continues to wonder if NFL teams in the 2014 season will try to emulate the Seahawks, playing pressure defense but with conventional four-man-rush tactics.

Will other NFL teams try to get pressure with only four guys and that will allow them to drop seven guys into coverage? I don't know, that seems kind of risky and I doubt any teams would want to try to get pressure with only four guys. It's only nearly every team in the NFL that would like to do this.

In March, the Bucs waived Darrelle Revis in order to avoid sending Jersey/B a third-round draft choice to complete their 2013 trade, which stipulated that if Revis were not on the Tampa roster when 2014 free agency began, the Jets would receive only a fourth-round choice. So in effect, the Bucs traded Revis and a fourth-round draft choice for a third-round choice. For having Revis on the team for 16 games, the Buccaneers paid $16 million and first- and fourth-round draft selections.

The Buccaneers have a new head coach and new general manager. Trashing the Revis deal shifts blame toward the previous front office. New general manager Jason Licht can imply that predecessor Mark Dominick screwed things up so badly, Licht took over a sinking pirate ship. For many NFL teams, setting expectations low is essential. That the new guy is lining up excuses is not a great sign.

This is why Gregg Easterbrook is the absolute worst. He trashes the Buccaneers deal for Darrelle Revis and talks about how the Buccaneers ended up essentially trading Revis and a fourth round pick for a third round pick while paying him $1 million per game, but then criticizes the Buccaneers new GM for also trashing this deal. It's fine for Gregg Easterbrook to state the Revis trade was a mistake, but the Buccaneers GM is just passing blame if he does the same thing. Stay consistent, Gregg. I know it's hard, but just put effort into it.

I also couldn't find any instance where Licht implied that Mark Dominick screwed things up badly regarding the Revis trade. Licht has stated Revis's salary structure didn't work for the organization, but he didn't imply Dominick screwed up. I guess that's why Gregg says Licht "can imply" Dominick screwed it up, but then misleads his readers by acting like Licht has already done this in saying "that the new guy is lining up excuses is not a great sign." Gregg lies and misleads his readers. It shows a lack of integrity if you ask me.

The last time the Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous Persons overpaid for someone the Eagles wanted to unload, Donovan McNabb, Washington soon regretted its actions. Chainsaw Dan Snyder gave a huge check to the Eagles' Jeremiah Trotter, and almost immediately wished he hadn't. Chainsaw Dan gave hefty checks to Albert Haynesworth, Bruce Smith and Deion Sanders when these players were past their primes.

Yeah, but those players didn't come from the Eagles.

Next Week: Next week comes in August, when the NFL artificial universe resumes.

Gregg has other columns to write during that time in other publications where he undoubtedly misleads his readers and twists facts, all while accusing others of doing that very thing.


Anonymous said...

This may have been the worst TMQ yet. I think almost everything he wrote was either flat-out wrong or just a really stupid assumption. I feel like I lose football IQ points every time I read this.

Crazee said...

As someone who has only ever occasionally read TMQ before finding your blog...

My biggest beef is all his stupid team nicknames. Some of them I get immediately, but seriously...Why? Why not call the Giants the Giants? This can't be good for new readers. This is what's called continuity lock in narrative fiction.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, what scares me isn't that Gregg writes this, it's that there are people out there who won't look into his assertions to find the truth. I'm afraid there are people who read this and believe Gregg isn't lying. If he's not lying, then he is misleading his readers and a person has to research whether what he is stating is the truth or a lie.

Crazee, I pretty much ignore the names. I think it's Gregg just trying desperately to be cute and funny. Obviously he fails at it. I don't know why he insists on giving out nicknames like that. It lacks funny.

Slag-King said...

He not only misleads people in sports, but he misleads people in religion!

He made the assertion that Jesus disliked public prayers. A cursory reading in the Gospel does not support his assertion since Jesus has prayed in public in several different occasions. What Jesus hated was the hypocritical prayers where people prayed for their own benefits in appearing to be religious, hence His statement, "do not be like those hypocrites."

Ben, I empathize with your fear of people who take his comments as gospel and do not (and will not) think for themselves.

Slag-King said...

The Bolts used their first selection on TCU's Verrett, who becomes the latest NFL cornerback to sport very long dreadlocks. Speed is so essential to corners -- aren't long dreadlocks bad for your coefficient of drag?

I'm surprised this got past the editor or ESPN big-wigs! This is such a racist statement that I'm surprised with all the hoopla surrounding he-who-shall-not-be-named (I'm being facetious here) that Gregg is not fired for this.

rich said...

The other four winners -- the Ravens, Giants, Packers and Saints -- either had the running-back-by-committee approach

Nothing really to say about the RB thing that you didn't already say, but two of those teams actually had offenses that used FBs quite a bit.

I just find it amazing that that Greeeeeeeegggg can try to show the declining value of RBs by comparing it to the declining value of FBs by using the example of two teams who use FBs fairly extensively.

Watkins was the special talent of the 2014 draft. He has as much upside as Jadeveon Clowney, but less downside.

So after talking about how the Atlanta Falcons were using top picks on skill positions, he makes a not so subtle dig at the Texans... You hear that Houston? You should take linemen unless TMQ thinks the best talent is a WR, then you have to take the WR!

Why didn't Buffalo just trade for Sproles?

::Looks at age::
::Looks at salary::
::Reads what Ben says::

I have no idea why Buffalo would go for the guy seven years younger making 1/5th the salary with the more complete skillset.

who-dats will become well-known names.

Well fuck it, it's settled - never draft anyone. Draft the top rated player? He'll suck compared to the second overall pick due to his "celebrity," so imagine how awesome a team of undrafted free agents would be?

Donovan McNabb

Was 34 when the Redskins signed him, was coming off a year in which he was injured and was generally showing signs of decline.

Desean Jackson is not 34, is coming off his first 16 game season since his rookie season and set career highs in yards and receptions.

The Casey said...

IIRC, Mike Tice came up with the Randy Ratio, not Randy Moss. But it's Randy Moss, so let's just blame it on him.

JBsptfn said...

Not every team back in the day used fullbacks.

For example, in the 1980's, the Redskins and Broncos had an H-Back instead of a fullback. The Chargers also did that in the late-80's and early-90's.

HH said...

But if the Browns' bid of a fifth-round choice seemed better to Minnesota, that means the rival offered no more than a sixth-round choice,

No, it does not. It means no other team offered a fifth round pick and the combination of a high first round pick to move up to the #8 spot.

Somehow I didn't catch it while reading it, but man, what an idiotic statement by Gregg and brilliant takedown by BGF. Of course you need less to move from 8 to 9 than from 8 to 11 or 8 to 21. Fun fact: Gregg has a book about football. He is an expert.


Anonymous said...

"For example, in the 1980's, the Redskins and Broncos had an H-Back instead of a fullback."

This is a great point, and not only that but didn't the run-n-shoot teams not carry a fullback either? I'm pretty sure Barry Sanders never played with a fullback until Bobby Ross became coach, which was something like 1997.

Bengoodfella said...

Slag, I know people who enjoy Gregg's writing and that's fine. I just want them to understand they should look into what he is writing. I feel like there are those who read what Gregg writes and don't think to wonder if he's telling the truth.

I thought Jesus had prayed in public before but honestly wasn't sure enough to contradict what Gregg wrote. I wish I had.

Rich, there's no doubt that the use of the FB and value of RB's are declining but I bet Gregg didn't even know that he used the example of two teams that used a FB a lot as example of the declining value of RB's. It's not like he thinks before he writes at times.

The whole "why didn't the Bills just trade for Sproles" thing just made sigh. The logic behind that statement is just ridiculous. The Bills didn't want Sproles, that's why they trade for him. It's that easy.

Gregg sees research showing that more highly drafted players make an impact in the NFL and he manages to read it differently.

Casey, I thought it was the Vikings OC who came up with it. Was that Mike Tice instead?

JB, I still think the RB has value and I think Gregg needs to realize the fact teams don't use double RB's or a FB/RB, that doesn't mean RB's are no longer of use. I wonder if Gregg knosw what an H-back is?

HH, I was reading it and got lucky to think about it. If a team wants to move up, they may have to give higher compensation to get to #8. If I'm Gregg, I'm thinking it through before I ask why no team gave more than a 6th pick to get to #8. It's easy to miss, but it's just one more thing Gregg either doesn't think much about or he tries to mislead his readers.

Anon, all I know is on Tecmo Super Bowl the Lions didn't seem to have a FB on the game if I remember correctly.

your favourite sun said...

I was coming in here to say the same thing as The Casey. The Randy Ratio was Mike Tice's brainchild based on what he observed already in games, that they had a better W-L record when throwing the ball to Moss 40+% of the time. Moss didn't demand it but Gregg won't do the research to find out because pulling it out of his ass is so much easier. (Tice also appeared to use the strategy for Brandon Marshall when he was the OC for the Bears in 2012.)

Also, we could fill an entire Hall of Fame with guys who were "shown the door" by their primary team toward the end of their careers before even including a wide receiver.

Bengoodfella said...

But that can't be true, because what's up with all of these WR's being shown the door as they get older? Gregg is confused because he looked at all the WR's, and looked at no other position, and saw these players were shown the door as they got older.

Anonymous said...

More on Jesus and Prayer..

Not to mention that as an observant Jew it was a religious duty to go to the Temple in Jerusalem and join in the public prayers with thousands and thousands on Holy Days.

That's what he was on the way to do when he tossed out the moneychangers.

Bengoodfella said...

I think 10 year old Ben would have known this, but I didn't remember that at all. I didn't think Jesus had a huge issue with public prayer, but again, I didn't know. I'm glad you commenters are smart though, widens my knowledge base.