Gregg was correct last week when he chose the Colts or the Broncos to win the Colts-Broncos AFC Divisional game. So kudos to him for having the foresight to pick both teams. He also brought up his Baptist upbringing in last week's TMQ and continued to use the Authentic Games metric that he himself claims is bullshit. This week Gregg reveals to his readers that teams with better coaches and quarterbacks tend to be more successful teams with stability. Stability with a great coach and a great quarterback is the key to success. Apparently this is something that Gregg feels some people may not know. So NFL teams should hire a good coach and find a great quarterback. THAT is the key to playoff success. Why haven't teams looked to do this in the past?
Not only will Sunday be the fourth straight AFC title appearance for New
England but it also will be the 12th consecutive AFC championship
featuring the Patriots, Steelers, Colts or Broncos. Of the 24 entrants
to the AFC title game in those dozen years, 18 were the Patriots,
Steelers, Colts or Broncos. Only three other AFC teams have made a title
appearance during the period, while nine of the AFC's clubs, the bulk
of the conference, have not reached the title game at all.
LO-fucking-L! Gregg is about to use the Colts as an example of a team who have used stability in their coaching staff and quarterback to win games and make the playoffs. Two weeks ago here is what he wrote about the Colts:
Since 1978 the Browns, Colts and Raiders have combined for 33 instances
of head-coach turnover, and also mainly struggled in that period. The
team with the least coaching turnover since 1978 is the Steelers, two
new head coaches. And hey, look, three Super Bowl rings during the
I pointed out at the time that the Colts had more winning seasons than losing seasons in that time. It turns out Gregg agrees and this week uses the Colts as an example of a team who has had coaching stability. In a span of two weeks, the Colts have gone from a team with a lot of head coaching turnover to a team with stability in Gregg's mind. As I always say, he is completely willing to mislead and lie to his readers in order to prove a point he wants to prove. Facts are malleable and reality can be distorted to make Gregg seem smarter. So which is it? Are the Colts a team with a lot of head coaching turnover since 1978 or are they a team with a lot of stability which has resulted in many playoff appearances? It can't be both, Gregg. He has such little respect for his audience that he thinks they will forget how he contradicts himself and misleads them. Sadly, some of his readers still think Gregg preaches the truth.
Of course sports franchises go through up and down cycles. But the
domination of recent AFC Championship Games by four teams shows that
stability matters more in football than may be appreciated.
Except the Colts aren't a stable team when that point of view better fits Gregg's agenda. What a farce. I can't figure out why ESPN allows Gregg to mislead his readers on a weekly basis in TMQ. Gregg has no beliefs, simply information he will distort to prove the point he wants to prove at that very moment.
Title games sprinkled throughout that period have included Colts-Jets,
Patriots-Ravens (twice), Steelers-Ravens, Steelers-Jets,
Steelers-Broncos and Patriots-Chargers. That's four clubs dominating,
three making token appearances and nine (Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland,
Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Miami, Oakland and Tennessee)
absent. There is more diversity in NFC title contests of late, but also
the same tendency of a few clubs seizing many spots while others are
absent. During the period the Eagles, 49ers, Packers and Seahawks have
made the championship tilt three times each while the Buccaneers,
Cowboys, Lions, Rams and R*dsk*ns have been unaccounted for.
The lesson Gregg thinks he's teaching his readers, a lesson that is blindingly obvious, is that teams with a great quarterback and head coach are going to win more games. No shit. Stability is caused by teams choosing great quarterbacks and head coaches? You don't say.
In the past dozen years New England has had the same coach (Bill
Belichick) and same starting quarterback (Tom Brady) the entire time.
Pittsburgh has had two head coaches (Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin) and
the same starting quarterback since 2004 (Ben Roethlisberger).
Indianapolis has had three head coaches (Tony Dungy, Jim Caldwell, Chuck
Pagano) and two quarterbacks (Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck). Denver has
had three head coaches (Mike Shanahan, Josh McDaniels and John Fox, plus
a one-month fill-in), and five quarterbacks (Jake Plummer, Jay Cutler,
Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning). Stability at head coach and
quarterback -- it's the NFL gold standard.
The NFL gold standard, but in the case of the Colts they are the gold standard that has also had a lot of coaching turnover. I know Gregg is desperately trying to prove a point, but stability goes with winning games. Coaches and quarterbacks that win games provide stability, so most teams aren't going to change that which is working. I hope Gregg isn't trying to prove that if teams would simply not fire their head coach or replace their quarterback then that would lead to success. Because that's a faulty assumption. The stability is partially caused by winning and the winning is partially caused by stability with a great quarterback and great head coach. A team that doesn't win games isn't going to have stability and no amount of wishing and hoping without firing the head coach or replacing the quarterback will make that team win games. Stability is great. Hoping for stability and getting the same negative results is not great.
This year 10 of the 12 teams to reach the postseason fielded
secure-starter quarterbacks who have been with the club their entire
careers. The only exceptions were Ryan Lindley, an emergency fill-in at
Arizona, and Peyton Manning at Denver, where after arriving as a free
agent he became a secure starter.
Gregg Easterbrook says NFL teams should try to draft a franchise quarterback. Why haven't NFL teams thought of doing this before?
Of the 20 NFL teams that missed this year's playoffs, only six fielded
secure starters who had been with the club their entire careers:
Atlanta, Jacksonville, Jersey/A, Miami, Santa Clara and San Diego. The
other 14 that missed the playoffs fielded gents not obtained in the
draft or changed starters midstream or both
As I always ask when some idiot tries to bring a similar point up, so if these teams didn't change starters midstream or drafted a quarterback does that mean that team would have success and make the playoffs? Not necessarily? Right, which means the key to success has nothing to do with changing starters midstream, but choosing the right starter in the first place. Stability has to do with choosing the correct quarterback and coach. It doesn't have anything to do with choosing a coach or quarterback and not firing or replacing that person if the quarterback or head coach has proven to not be good at his job.
Some teams change quarterbacks because of injury or paucity of talent,
but head coach indecision and mood swings can be as much a factor. Some
teams change head coaches because of retirement or poor performance, but
ownership indecision or mood swings can be as much a factor.
They want to win, so they choose a quarterback they think can win games as opposed to sticking with the quarterback they have who won't win them games. It's like saying the best way to have stability in a marriage is to choose a girlfriend and then don't dump her.
The lesson on head coaches is clear -- stand by your man.
Says the writer who criticizes the head coach of losing teams every week for being bad at their job. Standing by the head coach isn't going to lead success if the head coach isn't the right guy for the job.
The lesson on quarterbacks is clear -- make someone Da Man, then don't waffle.
Gregg is seriously suggesting an NFL team keep their starter no matter how bad that quarterback performs or how many games he loses? Gregg really thinks eventually this dedication to the quarterback will pay off? Like all of a sudden Jake Locker is going to become a great NFL quarterback. Just give Christian Ponder two or three years worth of starts, then the playoffs will be the next stop for the Vikings (okay, the Vikings did make the playoffs during Ponder's rookie season). Gregg is completely ignorant of locker room dynamics obviously. A coach can't trot the same losing quarterback out on the field every week without losing some guys in the locker room.
Season in, season out a small number of NFL franchises understand these
principles, and dominate the postseason invitations. Season in, season
out, at other franchises head coaches and quarterbacks ride the
carousel. Enjoy the Colts-Patriots championship pairing. You'll see it
It wasn't about standing by their head coach for the Patriots or Colts, it was about choosing the right quarterback and head coach in the first place. This is a shockingly basic concept. Stability comes with choosing the right quarterback and/or head coach. It doesn't always come with sticking by the head coach and quarterback a team currently has. Why is this hard for Gregg to understand?
Of course if Oregon and Ohio State players graduate, they receive a
college diploma in exchange for their athletic efforts, and a bachelor's
degree adds about $1 million to lifetime earnings. So college football
players who graduate are rewarded when they wear a funny robe and walk
to "Pomp and Circumstance." How many actually take this walk? See the final 2014 ESPN Grade below.
I'd rather consult a chart covered in feces for my information about which college football teams are the best on the field and in the classroom. A feces covered chart would have as much meaning to me as ESPN Grade does.
Stats Of The Week No. 4: The Broncos opened their season by defeating the Colts at home and closed their season by losing to the Colts at home.
You know next week Gregg is going to have a stat that says:
"The Seahawks opened their season by defeating the Packers at home and closed their season by losing to/winning against the Packers."
Gregg is very predictable in this way.
Sweet Play Of The Week: Underdog Colts leading the Broncos 14-10
in Denver in the third quarter, the visitors faced third-and-16 on the
Broncs' 40. Home teams always surge late --
Always. There are no exceptions.
The Colts sent out five receivers, as they did for much of the game
since the Indy offensive line was performing so well. "Tight end" Coby
Fleener -- really a tall wide receiver, like Jimmy Graham -- was flexed
in a trips right. He ran a short stop-and-go; the defense bit. The stop
fake "sold" because a few yards would have put the visitors into
high-altitude field goal range.
Obviously this wasn't a third down-and-short play because teams only go long or go short on third down according to Gregg. At least he claims that is what defenses should expect.
Now it's Green Bay leading 26-21 with 4:42 remaining, Dallas facing
fourth-and-2 on the Packers' 32. The scoreboard margin,
down-and-distance and cold weather make going for it a better call than a
long field goal attempt. Dallas goes for it -- after taking Murray off
the field! Not only is he not present to run, the Packers know his
absence means they don't have to defend a run.
But Gregg, the Cowboys were averaging 7.4 yards per pass on the day and Romo only had three incompletions up to that point. Because the Cowboys threw the ball in this situation they surely would have gotten the first down and won the game.
Whoever is right about this call -- Dallas would have been better off to
rush, convert and continue to milk the clock, aiming for a touchdown
that would leave Green Bay no time to reply. Doubly sour.
And obviously Dallas would have converted if they ran the ball. I'm sure Gregg would argue the Cowboys had over 5 yards per carry on the day, but when pointing this out and not understanding the situation is different in fourth-and-short, Gregg would fail to mention the Cowboys were averaging over 7 yards per pass play with only three incompletions up to that point in the game.
There's no rule there must be five offensive linemen on the field, only
that there must be five ineligible players on the line of scrimmage,
known as ineligible to the defense. New England complied. Offensive
linemen could place themselves all along the line of scrimmage -- they
do sometimes at Oregon, and in this standard Emory & Henry alignment.
There's no rule saying the ball must be snapped by a guy at the center;
it can be snapped by anyone on the line of scrimmage. Five huge guys
bunched in the middle is a custom, not a rule. Sour that Baltimore
didn't know this -- and especially sour that, confronted with a very
unusual formation, the Ravens didn't simply call time.
Gregg is all about calling timeout once a team sees a formation they don't understand. If I faced a Gregg Easterbrook-coached team then I would simply start every drive off with a formation his defense hasn't seen and then watch his team blow all three timeouts early in the first and second half. Or I may just do three weird formations in a row and watch Gregg's team blow all timeouts on one drive.
After the touchdown that followed the trick formation, Baltimore went
three-and-out. New England called a wide receiver pass with Julian
Edelman, a quarterback in college, lobbing a 51-strike to an uncovered
man. In the past three seasons, New England has been running an ungodly
number of hitch screens: the play began by looking like a hitch screen,
drawing up the secondary. Sweet.
I'm sure Gregg thinks New England had been calling those hitch screens for three years simply so they could use this one play in a playoff game.
Do zebras reduce enforcement of defensive pass interference during the
postseason? That's long been a conspiracy theory about the NFL.
Certainly, there have been games in which too much defensive holding,
illegal contact and pass interference by the home team were allowed. One
was the 2003 AFC Championship Game, Indianapolis at New England.
I don't really know if that was defensive holding, illegal contact and pass interference in this game because the NFL changed the rules after the game in order to tighten up what defenses could do to receivers. My understanding was that the Patriots were playing within the rules and that's why the NFL decided to tighten up the rules about pass interference, illegal contact and defensive holding in the secondary. So I'm not sure I would call what the Patriots did as illegal any more than they took those rules to the very edge of what was allowable.
During the run-up to this season's Indianapolis at New England title
contest, you're sure to hear about the uncalled pass interference
instances in that game.
You mean we are sure to hear about it because you just brought it up?
Football is a team sport. The Denver front office performed poorly in
spending on big names whose careers were headed downward, rather than
fresh legs. Did DeMarcus Ware play in this game?
Yes, he had four tackles in the game, while Aqib Talib had four tackles and one pass defensed and T.J. Ward had two tackles and two passes defensed.
John Fox performed poorly, hyper-conservative as always -- more on that in a minute.
8-7 in the playoffs for his career with two Super Bowl appearances and three Conference Championship appearances. Yeah, he's terrible.
Skilled quarterbacks want to be big-blitzed; Manning for years has
wanted to be big-blitzed. On Sunday, he threw poorly on third-and-long.
On one third down, Manning could have jogged for a first down and
instead threw the ball out of bounds.
Well, if the reports are to be believed, it's hard to jog for a first down with a torn quad. Who cares if that was true or not? Manning should still jog for the first down, no matter whether he isn't mobile in the first place, 38 years old or has a torn quad.
Any team can have an off-game, but for all the hype, Denver has looked awful
in its past two postseason outings. One can't help thinking the
constant emphasis on shining the spotlight on Peyton is a cause.
That HAS to be the cause. Denver looking awful in their last two postseason outings couldn't be easily explained by them having to play very good teams in the playoffs or having faced one of the best defenses over the past two decades in last year's Super Bowl. To attribute the Broncos' performance to the quality of their competition would be ridiculous and misguided.
In mid-October at Denver, Broncos management stopped the game so everyone could dance about a Manning record. From that juncture on, the Broncos failed to defeat a team that made the playoffs. Don't trifle with the football gods!
The Broncos only played two more teams in the regular season (after this mid-October game against the 49ers) that ended up making the playoffs and both games were on the road. It's not an excuse of course, but it bears mentioning.
As for Fox, with the Broncs down 21-10 in the fourth quarter, he sent in
the field goal unit on fourth-and-4 from the Indianapolis 23. That was
the do-or-die moment. Denver would not cross midfield again until
There is no point in criticizing John Fox with being conservative. The word "conservative" and "John Fox" are synonymous. This is a guy who had Manning sit on the football at the end of a playoff game and play for overtime rather than try to have Manning get in field goal range with a timeout remaining to win the game. One of Fox's favorite sayings is, "A punt is not a bad play." There's no point in criticizing Fox for being conservative, that's all he knows.
Waiver-wire acquisition Daniel Herron had a fine game, including a
touchdown run on a classic one-back counter, while Trent Richardson was a
healthy scratch and at this point officially is a bust. But if
Indianapolis had traded a No. 1 draft choice for Herron and gotten
Richardson on waivers, touts would say that was canny management.
I am still not 100% sure who "touts" are, but Daniel Herron comes from a football factory. Gregg fails to mention this of course.
About all that Indianapolis big blitzing on third-and-long -- it worked
against the aging Manning. It will not work against Tom Brady.
STOP ME BEFORE I BLITZ AGAIN!
Sure, blitzing worked well against Peyton Manning, but Gregg is going to be eager to point out if blitzing doesn't work against Tom Brady. Then Gregg will point out how playing a straight four man rush like the Seahawks do certainly would have won the game for the Colts, but they instead relied on big blitzing, which doesn't work against good quarterbacks unless you want to consider how it worked the week before against Peyton Manning.
Language Watch: When did "may I have" become "can I get"? When
did "tornados" become "tornadic activity"? Isn't a "true freshman" the
same thing as a "freshman"?
No, because a college athlete can be a "redshirt freshman" and therefore still considered a freshman, yet have already been in college for one season.
The final ESPN Grade for this college football season found Ohio State
No. 1 and TCU No. 2 -- the Buckeyes ahead on the field, the Horned Frogs
ahead in the classroom. UCLA and Boise State took major leaps in ESPN
Grade, Florida State fell slightly and Mississippi State fell
Why on Earth would TCU, UCLA, Boise State and Ohio State jump ahead so much when all they did was win a football game? Probably for the same reason Florida State and Mississippi State fell as far as they did. There was no new grade information available, but these teams won or lost their bowl game and ESPN Grade is heavily weighted towards on the field performance. This is true no matter how much Gregg wants to pretend that ESPN Grade is a good measure of on and off the field performance. If a team's AP and Coaches Poll ranking after one loss causes a team's ranking in ESPN Grade to go up or down significantly when there is no new grade information available, then maybe the metric isn't as balanced as Gregg claims it is.
TCU finished 12-1 with an 83 percent football graduation rate. Boise
State finished 12-2 with an 85 percent football grad rate. Alabama
finished 12-2 with an 80 percent football graduation rate. Duke finished
9-4 with a 92 percent football grad rate. Notre Dame finished 8-5 with a
94 percent football grad rate. Don't tell me academics and big-time
football success can't go hand-in-hand because that statement simply is
They can go hand-in-hand, but ESPN Grade isn't the metric to be used to show how they go hand-in-hand. If ESPN Grade is so great then I would like to have Gregg explain to me how Duke with a 92% graduation rate isn't in the Top 25 of ESPN Grade. Notre Dame isn't present either with a 94% graduation rate. Why is that? Because these teams are good football teams, but not in the Top 25 so they don't even get to be a part of ESPN Grade.
Last week at a conference in Texas, academics asserted the GSR,
Gun shot residue?
a number ginned up by NCAA headquarters, is misinformation.
Any scholarship player who departs from a college in good standing --
which can mean as little as carrying the credit loan of a part-time
student while not being expelled -- is counted by the GSR as having
received a diploma. Obviously, that's phony. Next year, ESPN Grade will
switch to the more rigorous Federal Graduation Rate. A note to the Power
Five: Starting next season, it's on.
But it's only "on" for teams who are in the Top 25. If Duke graduates 100% of their players and go 8-4, but don't end up in the Top 25, then they don't get to be a part of ESPN Grade.
Last week, yours truly predicted a divisional round home team sweep. As
Elon Musk said after his rocket crashed into the Atlantic: Close, but no
cigar. I did add last week, "If there's to be a visitor victory in the
divisional round, the Broncos seem most vulnerable."
Gregg predicted that both of the outcomes could occur and I wrote:
The funny part is I just know Gregg is going to take credit for whatever
happens in the Colts-Broncos game. He'll be sure to crow about how
right he was either way, notwithstanding the fact he essentially
predicted that both possible outcomes could occur, so he really
Verily, I am not in fact correct, it's just that Gregg is that predictable.
Indianapolis arrived at Denver with a better Authentic Games number than
the Broncos, so my nonscientific metric seemed to know what others did
not. The nonscientific metric continues to forecast a Seattle-New
England Super Bowl, which has been the TMQ gut feeling since early December.
This was the gut feeling since December, not including the two other Super Bowl predictions that Gregg had made before and after that time. If he guesses enough time, he's certain to get a prediction correct. My Non-Authentic Games metric predicted a Packers and Patriots Super Bowl, so I'll be sure to take credit for that if/when it happens.
Phase Two of the annual NFL coach-firing festival is the scapegoating of
assistant coaches, who are fired to shift blame from the head coach.
Jacksonville and Jersey/A are among clubs that fired coordinators; the
head coach had no idea -- just none at all -- that the coordinators
That's not what it means at all. The head coach did have an idea the coordinator wasn't performing and that's why the coordinator got fired. I don't even understand this criticism. Why would Gregg say sarcastically the head coach didn't know the coordinator wasn't performing? I don't think either Tom Coughlin or Gus Bradley are claiming they didn't know their assistant coach wasn't performing, they are in fact stating they DO KNOW that assistant coach wasn't performing by firing them. Gregg kills me.
Last week, Browns' offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan parted ways with
Cleveland, scapegoated for the Brian Hoyer-Johnny Manziel mess. Coach
Mike Pettine couldn't possibly have had anything to do with the
I'm pretty sure it was reported that Shanahan resigned rather than was fired. Who cares about facts or any type of non-black or white issues when Gregg has a point to prove?
As TMQ noted at several junctures when the Broncos were spinning
scoreboards last season, rhythm-based passing offenses tend to peter out
in the postseason as defensive intensity cranks up -- a warning sign
for the Patriots, should they face Seattle in the Super Bowl.
The Seahawks just shouldn't blitz because that's part of the short road to ruin.
Did the reversal prove a conspiracy against Jerry Jones? Jones would like to think so!
Jerry Jones actually took the call well.
Tactics note: With Green Bay facing third-and-3 with 2:36 remaining and
Dallas holding two timeouts, the Cowboys lined up in a rush defense, as a
clock-moving run made total sense. But third-and-3 is a passing down
for the Packers' offense -- completion and first down.
I would simply like for Gregg to get his position on these third and fourth down plays straight. He thinks the Cowboys should have rushed on fourth-and-2 with the game on the line, but doesn't think the Cowboys should have expected the Packers to run the ball on third-and-3. This despite the fact the Packers ran the ball for 4 yards per carry on the day and had an even higher average if Aaron Rodgers' kneel-downs weren't included. so why should one team run the ball on fourth-and-2, but not expect an opposing team to rush on third-and-3?
The Packers had run on third-and-3 in the second quarter and gained 6 yards.
The Packers had run on third-and-1 in the third quarter and gained 1 yard.
But yeah, the Packers did throw a lot on third down. They had shown earlier in the game on a third-and-3 they would run the ball and running the football here would have run the clock to the two minute warning. I would think the Cowboys would have to be alert for a run in this situation.
In the Lord of the Rings movies and their endless spinoffs, everybody's
fighting over a magical ring. In "Guardians of the Galaxy" -- No. 1 movie of 2014 by U.S. gross
-- everybody's fighting over a magical stone. Finding and possessing a
small mystical object is the MacGuffin of many box-office smash flicks.
OK, they are movies. But how many times in the real world has a single
small object controlled the fates of millions?
You mean other than in any situation where nuclear warfare is involved? Or do you mean any of the other doomsday scenarios where water being poisoned or a virus being unleashed could cause an epidemic that would affect millions of people?
New England Snaps Ravens Postseason Mini-Curse: It's not often an
NFL team wins a playoff contest despite being outrushed by 122 yards at
home. That's what happened at New England. Adjusting for sacks and
scrambles, Flying Elvii coaches called 56 passes and 10 rushes. Knowing
that in big games the Ravens sell out to stop the run -- they'd held
Pittsburgh to 68 yards rushing on its own field the week before -- Bill
Belichick eliminated the middleman and didn't even try to run.
I never knew in big games the Ravens sell out to stop the run. I would think they had different tactics depending on the opponent they were playing, but apparently the Ravens always sell out to stop the run in big games. I learn so many facts and bullshit designed as a fact in TMQ.
Disclaimer Of The Week: Reader Rachel Weinstein of Ann Arbor,
Michigan, reported a Swiffer TV ad said at the bottom in fine print that
it features "real" people
It's very obvious this disclaimer is meant to point out these people featured in the commercial are not actors. I don't even know why this merits a mention. It's so very, very obvious what "real" people means.
There's nothing wrong with high pay. What's wrong is when the high pay
for college football coaches is combined with rising debt for college
students (football income might be used to reduce tuition),
Not if boosters give money specifically to be used for athletics. I guess Gregg wants us to pretend we live in a world where boosters will hand over millions of dollars and not give a shit how the school uses it. So the money given to Harbaugh probably partly came from boosters, who want the money used for athletics, not used to cut tuition.
The Football Gods Promised an Investigation: A TMQ law holds:
Cold Coach = Victory. On a cold day at New England, Bill Belichick was
heavily bundled up, including ski beanie and hoodie; John Harbaugh wore a
baseball cap. The Patriots won. On a cold day at Green Bay, Jason
Garrett looked smart in a varsity jacket, hatless; Mike McCarthy was
heavily bundled up. The Packers won. During the offseason, I will
journey alone to a distant mountaintop -- OK, a distant parking lot --
and seek clarification from the football gods.
No need to seek clarification from anyone on this. You make shit up and that's why the half-ass rules you create don't always apply.
Carolina committed numerous gaffes, so Seattle should not feel good
about how tight the game was until midway through the fourth quarter.
Twice while the contest was close, Carolina receivers dropped
well-thrown third-down passes; had those passes been held, the outcome
might have been different.
Had the Panthers not allowed the Seahawks to gain a yard for the entire game the outcome could have been different too. Or the outcome may have been different if the Seahawks benched Russell Wilson and played without a quarterback for the entire game, instead choosing to just kneel the ball down. All three of these things didn't happen, so it doesn't matter how the outcome "might" have been different.
On the zone blitz that created the touchdown for Seattle's 24-10 lead, a
bungled coverage left the entire offensive right, both short and deep,
defended only by cornerback Melvin White and a backpedaling defensive
linemen. And how did that work out? It would have been difficult not to
score against such a badly blown coverage.
This might lead one to believe this is why it is called a "blown" coverage, no?
Except on two bad reads that led to interceptions, Cam Newton played
like a franchise quarterback -- maybe he's finally showing his
Newton played as well as, if not better, than most of the other quarterbacks who played in Seattle than this year, but let's hold our horses. He was responsible for three turnovers in the game. Even though two weren't necessarily directly his fault, one was a long pass that served as a punt. Here's what Gregg said earlier in this TMQ about Andrew Luck throwing a pass that served as a punt:
Tactics note: With the Colts ahead 14-7 and 1:37 remaining before
intermission, Luck heave-hoed an ill-advised long pass that was picked
off for a 37-yard change of field position. In this situation, it's
common to hear "a long interception is as good as a punt," which is what
the CBS announcers said. But nobody punts on third down!
So yeah, that wasn't just a bad read, but a bad pass.
In Praise of Positive Coaching: TMQ's Law of Positive Coaching holds: The coach who screams is wasting everyone's time, including his own.
Quarterbacks should yell at their coach to show leadership, while coaches shouldn't yell at the players to show leadership. Got it.
The best case for football at the high school and college levels is it
teaches boys to become men within a framework of self-discipline and
teamwork, adding a little fun as well. Screamer-type coaches who are
bullies at heart just teach boys to be bullies and don't confer any
valuable life lessons.
But Gregg Easterbrook thinks Andy Dalton should show more leadership by yelling at Marvin Lewis when he doesn't like the choice to punt on fourth down. Is that showing self-discipline and teamwork?
NBA Race To The Bottom Heats Up: In recent days, the Celtics
traded Jeff Green and Brandan Wright in separate deals for two
first-round draft selections, salary cap space, a guy with an expiring
contract who can be waived five seconds after the season ends and
another guy who is expected to be traded again momentarily, if not
stopped when arriving at Logan International Airport and told to go back
to the gate and fly somewhere else. These deals not only ensure the
Celtics won't accidentally win games but also mean it took Boston less
than a month to get rid of one of the players (Wright) the Celtics had
pretended to trade Rajon Rondo for.
Gregg so terribly fails to see how finances work in the NBA it's almost not even worth trying to explain them to him. The Celtics did not want Wright, they only traded for him because the salary cap numbers matched up for them to trade Rondo for draft picks. The same thing goes for Jameer Nelson. As Danny Ainge says, players can't always be traded, but draft picks are always a commodity. The point wasn't to acquire players, but to acquire picks which can be used to draft players or trade for other better players in the future.
The Celtics now hold at least 11 first-round picks in the next four
drafts (possibly 12, depending on fine print) plus extra second-round
selections. They will be horrible -- soon Boston fans might dream of the
club's 12-22 record on the day Green trade was reported -- but can
vaguely promise better days ahead, though in many years there is no
clear relationship between high draft choices and basketball success.
There is a pretty clear relationship between high draft choices who are chosen well by teams and success. Look at the Heat with Wade, the Cavs with LeBron, the Thunder with Westbrook and Durant, the Wizards with John Wall and Brad Beal, the Pelicans with Anthony Davis, and the Bulls with Noah and Rose. High draft picks can catapult a team into contention. It's just like an NFL team choosing a quarterback and a head coach. The team has to choose wisely if they want to achieve success.
(Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 overall choice of 2013, has two career starts with a 4.9 scoring average.)
Tim Duncan has multiple NBA titles, as do Shaquille O'Neal and LeBron James. This doesn't include the No. 1 overall picks who won a single title or were very, very good players but never won a title.
As TMQ notes, getting rid of players is the essence of the NBA general
manager's art. But because two-thirds of the NBA's teams know when the
season begins that they have no chance whatsoever of winning the title,
offloading players in order to tank is getting out of hand. Looks like
the storied Celtics franchise has no intention of conceding the NBA's
worst record to the Knicks, 76ers or Timberwolves. Philadelphia -- you
gonna let this pass? Get rid of some more players!
It's not about tanking, it's about getting as many draft picks during the season as opposed to being good enough to have a Top 15 pick, but not good enough to make the playoffs. The Celtics and 76ers have decided to really suck in order to maximize their chances at Jahlil Okafor or whoever they want in the June NBA Draft.
Next Week: If Peyton Manning hangs up his cleats, who will
Gatorade, Sony, Oreos, Sprint, Nationwide, DirecTV, Papa John's,
MasterCard and Buick turn to for paid endorsements?
If I had to guess, probably not Andrew Luck.