Tuesday, April 21, 2015

3 comments MMQB Review: Peter Talks About Tim Tebow, Not Because He Wants to, But Because One Anonymous Coach Said Tebow May Make the Eagles Roster

Peter King described Troy Polamalu as a pure safety in last week's MMQB in order to explain how safeties aren't often elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, then went out of his way to get quotes from Dick LeBeau and Joe Flacco that show Polamalu was more of a hybrid safety. He also spotlighted Sarah Thomas again and wondered if she could handle grown men yelling at her. Peter also continued his useless Adieu Haiku. This week Peter talks about Tim Tebow being signed by the Eagles (not that he is just another media member obsessed with Tebow of course), talks yet again about Malcom Butler's interception in the Super Bowl, and has some strong feelings about how the NHL does their draft lottery. Oh, and Peter thinks the Patriots should have done more homework on Aaron Hernandez prior to giving him a contract extension. That's easy to say now.

Timeline of Sunday night:

It's important that Peter breakdown the timeline here. We are about two weeks away from Peter mocking the Tebow-mania that goes on in the media. It's the same Tebow-mania he is guilty of himself, but he won't be self-aware enough to realize this.

6:34 p.m. ET: FOX’s Jay Glazer reports the Eagles will sign quarterback Tim Tebow, unemployed by any NFL team for the past 20 months, on Monday.

7:46 p.m.: ESPN’s Darren Rovell tweets, “98,000 Tweets on Tim Tebow in last hour.”
9:02 p.m.: Assistant coach in the NFL who knows Kelly but does not work with him says to me, “This is not a prayer. There’s a chance here. If there’s one coach in the NFL who could figure a way to use Tebow, it’s Chip. Maybe not every week, but in spots.”
Substitute the word "Belichick" for "Kelly," then "Bill" for "Chip" and I have heard this shit before. I believe it was previously Bill Belichick who could use Tebow on the Patriots roster and would figure out a way to utilize him best.

Tebow signing with most teams in the NFL today might not lead this column, especially because I’ve got two other items I really like. Tebow signing with the Eagles leads the column because, as my anonymous coach says, Kelly will give Tebow a legitimate chance to be one of his three quarterbacks this season. I say “chance,” because that is what this is.

Don't bullshit us, Peter. It's unbecoming. You have Tebow lead the column because putting "Tim Tebow" in the title of MMQB and leading off with it increases pageviews. Don't be a liar and don't use horseshit excuses. It doesn't make sense to write, "Well, I wouldn't normally lead the column off with Tebow, but I'm doing it because some anonymous coach says Tebow has a chance to be the third-string QB for the Eagles." So simply because some anonymous coach gives Tebow "a chance" to make the roster all of a sudden it's worthy of leading MMQB with this story? Please. Just say you know Tebow provides pageviews and that's why you are leading the column off with Tebow. You can find an anonymous coach to give credibility to any roster move if you really want to. Peter really wanted to find one, so he can act like it's worth leading off MMQB with Tebow. 

This morning, Kelly has five quarterbacks on his roster, which will expand to 90 players in the next two weeks, once the draft and the signing of free agents is done. Kinne might be gone then. Who knows? Barkley might be gone then, traded or released. But Chip Kelly wants to get a good look for himself at Tim Tebow in the offseason program and presumably at training camp for at least a while.

Thanks for the inside information there, Peter. This does seem to explain why the Eagles signed Tebow, to get a look at him. The fact Tebow has "a chance" to make the roster, doesn't mean all of a sudden this Tebow is story more important than it otherwise would have been. Just say you wanted to lead off the column with the story that provides the most discussion and pageviews.

I don’t blame him. I applaud him. You’ve got 90 spots on your roster. If you think a player has a chance to help your team win a game somewhere down the road this season, wouldn’t you want to take a look at him for a few months—for free? Because the Tebow trial will cost Kelly essentially nothing.

I don't think anyone is blaming Chip Kelly. Little defensive here, Peter?

In 2010 he was a first-round pick.

Stupidly he was, yes.

He has a skill set that fits in Kelly’s spread scheme with an emphasis on quarterback runs (at times). I still think Kelly wants to have a mashing-type running game, with a physical back (he has that now, in DeMarco Murray) and a quarterback who, at least occasionally, can be a running threat.

Tim Tebow could succeed. He may not succeed.

Let’s be real about what this is:

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, Peter is about to get real!

It’s a trial. It’s a chance. It’s a coach who doesn’t care about the distraction of having Tim Tebow in his camp, because he thinks Tebow might help his team. And about that distraction thing: Did you ever hear Bill Belichick or Robert Kraft or Tom Brady talk about Tebow being a distraction in Foxboro in 2013, when Tebow was on that team for the whole of training camp? No.

Well, I partially didn't hear them complain because I don't cover football for a living nor am I around the Patriots team to where I could hear them complain. The fact a tight-lipped organization didn't publicly complain about distractions a player brought to the team doesn't really mean there was no distraction. Do I ever hear Brady, Kraft or Belichick complain about any player being a distraction? No? It doesn't mean that player wasn't a distraction.

Cutting Tebow was justified. Tebow didn’t deserve to be on that team. He might deserve to be a cog in the wheel in Philadelphia. We’ll see.

But more importantly, Peter didn't lead off this column with Tebow because he wants pageviews, it's because there's "a chance" Tebow makes the Eagles roster. That is enough to give Tebow the lede for this MMQB. Peter almost HAD to lead the column with Tebow or he wouldn't be doing his job as a serious journalist.

Tebow getting signed by the Eagles is not the decline of western sporting civilization.

No one said it was. Calm the fuck down.

It is a coach running an offensive system that’s a good fit for a mobile quarterback just looking into whether one of the best mobile quarterbacks in college football history—and one, by the way, who beat the Dick LeBeau-led Steelers defense in an NFL playoff game—can be That Guy.

Oh my God. How long is Tebow going to be given credit for beating the Steelers at home in a playoff game?

Hall of Fame GMs on Winston vs. Mariota

Before we learn the real story behind the Malcolm Butler interception, and why I think Big Ben is bound for the season-opener, and finally someone going on the record in San Francisco on L’Affair Harbaugh,two voices of sanity on the great quarterback debate of 2015.

Peter sort of already did this. I'll guess he'll do it again. The Super Bowl was over two months ago. There is nothing better to kill space than hearing the "real" story of Malcolm Butler's interception? Nothing else?

In August, Ron Wolf and Bill Polian will become the first general managers since 1995 enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Both are still active in the game. Wolf has been a consultant to several teams in recent years, most recently the Jets in a scouting and coach-and-GM-advisory capacity. 

Oh. He was involved with the Jets recently.

Polian works for ESPN as an NFL analyst, and has been watching tape of college players preparing to work the draft.

Bill Polian is like, "Draft Peyton Manning and then reap the benefits. That's my advice to the Buccaneers and Titans."

Polian had to choose between Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf in 1998 as general manager of the Colts, and between Kerry Collins and Steve McNair for the Panthers in 1995.

Hey, one for two isn't bad. Then Polian had to choose whether to build the Panthers for success for the future or build them for short-term success that would enable him to get a job somewhere else and I think I remember which option he chose.

I asked both Hall of Fame GMs over the weekend: If you had to choose between quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota in this draft, who would you take?
In fairness, both answered with asterisks, which I’ll explain.

In fairness, I'm going to need a fucking solid answer if I'm to believe these two Hall of Fame GM's aren't just going to say nothing in the hopes they won't be seen as wrong.

“I’d probably lean toward Mariota,” Polian said.
“If I had to pick, based strictly on what I know now, I’d pick Winston,” said Wolf.

Actually Ron Wolf, you will be allowed a five minute look into the future. Put your head into this metal contraption that looks like a bear trap, but is totally NOT a bear trap, so just stick your head in there and I'll let you make the decision based on what you know in the future. But you only get a five minute look!

Every single decision a GM makes is based strictly on what he knows now.

The provisos: Polian said it’s unfair to make a definitive choice without knowing everything your organization would know about the mental makeup and off-the-field behavior of the players. Wolf said “it isn’t fair” for him to judge Mariota with finality because he’s done much more work on Winston, even seeing him on the field in warmups before the Florida State-Miami game last fall.

Well great, I'm glad Peter asked your opinion then. Because I know Peter's readers are looking for an opinion with a huge asterisk beside that essentially says, "I don't know enough about this player to provide an opinion on this topic, even though I've been set up as an expert on the topic."

With those “yeah buts” out of the way, it was clear in talking to both men they have strong opinions on these players.

Strong opinions that they would prefer not to be held to, because their strong opinions are based only on what they know now and they can't predict the future so if they are right please remember they were right, but if they were wrong then let's forget about it and hey look remember Brett Favre and Peyton Manning?

“I’ve seen Mariota on tape—I’d have to see a lot more of him—and I’ve seen Winston in-person and on tape,’’ said Wolf. “I’ve been exposed to Winston more. I watched Winston versus Miami before the game, down on the field, and then will his team back from a 16-point deficit. He’s an imposing guy. He has everything you’d want in a quarterback. I thought he was superb. What I know about Winston I like a lot. I’d take him in a heartbeat.”

But this doesn't mean in the next heartbeat he wouldn't take Marcus Mariota.

I asked: “If the psychological report on Winston was clean, would it still be Mariota?”

Polian: “Very, very close. But I’d probably lean toward Mariota, as I said. It’s closer than Manning-Leaf was. Way closer. More like Collins-McNair in ’95. With Mariota, I don’t think playing from the pocket will be an issue; he did a lot of that in the eight or nine games I saw. And he didn’t throw 18 interceptions either. On 14 of those 18 interceptions, Winston didn’t see linebackers underneath or he zeroed in on the receiver regardless of coverage.

“But look, both guys have a chance to be successful. They’re both gifted.

Thanks Bill Polian! I feel smarter now knowing that you would choose Marcus Mariota.

And I’ve got to go with the more sure thing in my mind—Mariota.”

But this isn't a definitive choice of course.

Memo to Tampa Bay GM Jason Licht: The moral of this story, this year, is there isn’t a 100-percent sure thing, for a variety of reasons. You’d better go with your gut. The gut sounds like it’ll be Winston as we sit here, 10 days before D-Day.

Oh yeah, D-Day. That's the day that resulted in Peter King having a lot of chances to ask soldiers how many people they killed.

I hope I don't forget to remember Peter called the 10 days before the draft as "D-Day" the next time Peter gives a lecture to someone about taking football too seriously.

The inside story of how Malcolm Butler made that interception.

(Deep sigh)

The still-stunning play that decided Super Bowl 49, of course, was little-used nickelback Malcolm Butler’s interception of a Russell Wilson pass with 23 seconds left in the game at the Patriots’ goal line, preserving New England’s 28-24 victory. On a soon-to-be released video series, a part of which I recently got to watch, you’ll be able to see the rest of the story. Namely, why Butler made the play, and how the Patriots’ coaches made sure an error in Thursday’s practice by Butler would not be repeated.

I'm not still-stunned. Miraculously, I have managed to move on with my life.

The still-stunning play that decided Super Bowl 49, of course, was little-used nickelback Malcolm Butler’s interception of a Russell Wilson pass with 23 seconds left in the game at the Patriots’ goal line, preserving New England’s 28-24 victory. On a soon-to-be released video series, a part of which I recently got to watch, you’ll be able to see the rest of the story. Namely, why Butler made the play, and how the Patriots’ coaches made sure an error in Thursday’s practice by Butler would not be repeated.

It's almost like practice is useful or something.

We were anticipating a bunch of pick routes, rub routes [by Seattle],” Boyer says on the video. “We didn’t do a very good job at the point … Malcolm kind of gave some ground there. Garoppolo ended up hitting Josh Boyce for a touchdown. Obviously, as a coach, that doesn’t make you feel good. Coach Belichick, Coach Patricia, they’re like, ‘Malcolm, you’ve got to play this a little better  … You’ve got to stick your foot in the ground and go and not give any ground and beat him to the junction point and make a play on the ball.’ ”

In the Super Bowl, of course, Butler went around the attempted pick by the first man in the stack—Jermaine Kearse, who was being blocked by cornerback Brandon Browner—and powered into position for the interception. Butler blasted Ricardo Lockette and caught the Wilson pass simultaneously. The coaches’ point hit home.

It did hit home. It was a great play by Malcolm Butler and he learned from his mistake in practice. So the inside story seems to be that the Patriots practiced defending this play prior to the Super Bowl and it paid off in the Super Bowl. I'm pretty sure I had heard that Butler got burnt for a TD in practice on a similar play, so maybe this wasn't quite an "inside" story. But hey, I guess Peter can't talk about Tim Tebow throughout MMQB.

Pittsburgh at New England, Sept. 10.

I’ll tell you why:

Why Peter? What reason is it? Could it be some in-depth scheduling quirk the NFL doesn't allow the public to know about? Is this matchup traditionally one of the higher rated games?

Ben Roethlisberger.

Okay. So I guess that explains it then...I guess.

So what do we have as candidates in a relatively weak New England home schedule? Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, along with the refurbished Buffalo Bills and New York Jets. Tom Brady will be on one side, and the Patriots will be favored against any team on the other sideline that first night. But the one thing the NFL can’t have is a 24-3 game at halftime. Pittsburgh is the best insurance against that risk.

And Ben Roethlisberger is the only one who plays for the Steelers, so as the quarterback of the Steelers he is the key to the defense not giving up 24 points in the first half? It makes perfect sense to me.

Philadelphia, likely with new quarterback Sam Bradford, who has missed 25 of his last 32 games with back-to-back ACL surgeries in 2013 and 2014. What if he gets hurt again, or is rusty coming back to the game?

The Jets, with Ryan Fitzpatrick or Geno Smith. Could be a debacle by halftime.

Buffalo, with Matt Cassel or EJ Manuel. Less of a chance to be a debacle at halftime, but there’s still that chance. 

Pittsburgh, with two-time Super Bowl champ Roethlisberger at the controls, a gunslinger capable of playing a four-quarter shootout with Brady.

So basically it took Peter a couple of paragraphs to explain that he thinks the opening game will be Steelers-Patriots because the Patriots don't have too many good teams coming to play them in Foxboro and the Steelers are the best team with the best quarterback that is coming to Foxboro. Wow, it took me once sentence to say it AND I saved the dramatics that Peter attempted. 

One interesting point about the opener, if it’s Steelers-Patriots: Each team would be without a suspended running back from the same pot-smoking incident in August 2014—Le’Veon Bell for Pittsburgh and LeGarrette Blount for New England.

What a nugget of coincidence! 

I'm surprised Peter didn't write,

"Two key players from both teams will be missing that first game if it is Steelers-Patriots. I'll tell you why."

"Drugs, carousing."

"Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount are both in the same boat. A drug boat that is. Let me tell you why they are in a drug boat." 


"Both Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrett Blount won't be present for the first game of the season due to being suspended and let me tell you why." 

"Drugs, cars. What does this have to do with LeGarrette Blount and Le'Veon Bell? I'll tell you." 

"They are both suspended for the first game of the season due to an incident they both participated in where they had drugs in a car. I'll tell you more in a second." 

"They were in the same car and will be suspended the same amount of time for the same drug violation. I'll tell you in a minute which team they were on when this happened and how it's relevant now." 

"They were both on the Steelers team at the time and they would be facing each other if the Steelers-Patriots play at a certain time during the season. I'll tell you which game that is." 

"The first game of the season." 

Peter has to extend those dramatic reveals a bit.

The schedule will be announced sometime this week. I’ve been wrong before, many times on many things. But Pittsburgh-New England makes the most sense to me.

Because this may be the most competitive home game for the Patriots. It's not complicated, yet Peter got a whole section of MMQB out of it.

Andrea Kremer has an insightful story Tuesday night on “HBO Real Sports” on Jim Harbaugh, who wore out his welcome in San Francisco and is now the University of Michigan coach. The piece has detailed quotes from Niners guard Alex Boone, who says Harbaugh gave the team a great initial spark when he got there in a time of major malaise for the franchise in 2011.

Continues Boone: “He just keeps pushing you. And you’re like, ‘Dude, we got over the mountain. Stop. Let go.’ He kinda wore out his welcome. I think he just pushed guys too far.

I know. I hate it when NFL coaches are constantly trying to push professionals to be better than they think they can be. Lay off them, the 49ers had won a few Super Bowls. They were over the mountain.

There’s no question San Francisco owner Jed York wanted a little more of a kumbaya attitude with the front office out of Harbaugh that wasn’t forthcoming.

Jim Tomsula says the attitude around the team still isn't going to be all Kumbayan, it's going to be a straight American attitude. These Kumbayan people probably don't know how to motivate themselves like Americans do.

And now we see that some of the players—at least one, and I’ve heard reliably it isn’t just one—didn’t like Harbaugh as time went on in San Francisco either. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean he should be gone. I covered the Giants in the eighties, and Bill Parcells was hardly a players’ favorite in all corners of the locker room, even after the Giants won a Super Bowl.

Bill Parcells, Bill Parcells, Bill Parcells. The standard upon which Peter King compares all head coaches.

“The players have nothing to do with him getting fired,” Boone says to Kremer. “I think that if you’re stuck in your ways enough, eventually people are just gonna say, ‘Listen, we can’t work with this.’ ”

That's a great point. The 49ers had reached the mountain, so what else did they have to accomplish at that point? So Harbaugh should have just laid off knowing he had an incredibly successful team that achieved every team goal an NFL team could achieve. Every. Single. One. Mountain. Climbed.

“Why did Pete Carroll throw that ball? Seattle’s at the half-yard line. If anybody in the league can get a half-yard, it’s Beast Mode [Marshawn Lynch].”

—Spike Lee, speaking at the premiere of “The Greatest Catch Ever,” his half-hour documentary on the David Tyree catch in Super Bowl 42 that helped the Giants end the Patriots’ dream of a 19-0 season.

Well first off, Pete Carroll doesn't call the plays. He may have signed off on this play, but he isn't directly responsible for the play call. There is no second off. That is all. 

I was at the documentary premeire Sunday in New York, and three things occurred to me:

That you were subtlety trying to brag about being at the premiere of the documentary?

1. Lee kept coming back to this in a post-doc Q&A on stage. He was legitimately angry, confused and befuddled by the Carroll call, and no one in the theater could give him a smart answer on it.

If no one in the theater could give Lee a smart answer, then obviously the theater was full of sportswriters like Peter.

2. The star of the doc was Rodney Harrison, and I don’t say that just because I work with him.

Yes, Peter probably does just say this because he works with Rodney Harrison.

He was, well, just so moved, in a bad way, by the failure to dislodge the ball from Tyree. So moved, in fact, that when he went back to his hotel after the game, he said he holed himself up in the bathroom of his room and cried.

This is probably a typical response to losing the Super Bowl, though this catch didn't win the game for the Giants so Harrison would have had a few other chances to make up for not dislodging the ball. Like maybe he could have figured out a way for Plaxico Burress to be covered better in the end zone.

“I never want to kill the dream of playing two sports. I would honestly play two sports … I may push the envelope one of these days … I know I can play in the big leagues. With the work ethic and all that, I think I definitely could, for sure. And that’s why the Texas Rangers, you know, got my rights. And they want me to play. You know, Jon Daniels, the GM, wants me to play [baseball]. We were talking about it the other day.”

—Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, in an interview with Bryant Gumbel for Tuesday’s “HBO Real Sports” show.

I personally find Russell Wilson to be a disingenuous person. He's a great quarterback and I don't think he's much worse than other pro athletes, but I don't buy the whole "nice guy" act he puts on. I think he creates his own reality at times (for example, his comment about being "kicked off" the N.C. State football team) and this quote is simply Wilson trying to get some leverage in negotiations with the Seahawks. That's all. Wilson chose to play professional baseball and that's why he got "kicked off" the Wolfpack football team in favor of a quarterback who had talent (Mike Glennon) and actually cared to be with the team during the summer. But of course Wilson sees himself as the victim there. Now he's pretending he can or would really play for the Rangers. I don't buy it for a second.

Very interesting. This quote will make the bulletin board of Seattle GM John Schneider, who is trying to get Wilson signed long-term. The two-time NFC champion quarterback’s contract expires at the end of this season, and the two sides are eligible to sign a new deal now, though no agreement is close.

This is all it is. A feeble attempt to pretend he would actually play baseball for the Rangers rather than play in the NFL. I don't buy it and Wilson will play football over baseball for the same reason he didn't play for the Rockies and chose to transfer to Wisconsin. That reason being he'd rather be a football player and knows it would be hard to make it in baseball at this point.

“I owe private apologies to a lot of people that I disappointed but a very public one to the Browns organization and the fans that I let down. I take full responsibility for my actions and it’s my intention to work very hard to regain everyone’s trust and respect. I understand that will take time and will only happen through what I do and not what I say.’’

—Part of a statement attributed to Johnny Manziel and released through the Cleveland Browns on Friday, after his three-month stay in a rehab facility for treatment of substance abuse.

The last part is most important: Manziel said a lot between February 2014 and December 2014 about his devotion to football and his maturity and—well, all the good stuff he had to say to convince everyone in the NFL he was worth a first-round pick, 

Yes, but the only ones who believed it were the ones who wanted to believe it. The idea Manziel would stop partying and get more serious about football just as soon as he gets paid to play the sport was just not realistic. This of course wouldn't matter if he performed on the field.

For the Why Would Philip Rivers Ever Favor A Trade To Tennessee crowd:

Rivers is a homebody.

He and wife Tiffany, both from northern Alabama, have their strongest family ties to the Deep South.

Yes, but Tennessee is not the Deep South. Maybe northern Alabama is, but Tennessee is not.

Rivers was born in Decatur, Ala., 114 miles south of Nashville.

Rivers was a high school football star in Athens, Ala., 97 miles south of Nashville. 

The closest NFL franchise to Athens, Ala., by far, is Tennessee. The Atlanta Falcons are twice as far away.

In his most accurate season as an NFL quarterback, 2013, Rivers’ offensive coordinator was Ken Whisenhunt, now the Titans coach and a fervent Rivers fan.

It makes sense, but the thought of Rivers in Tampa Bay with Evans and Jackson is terrifying to me.

Let me make it clear that I am not saying Rivers would rather play anywhere else but San Diego. But too many people wonder why he’d ever want to play for Tennessee. Those are a few clues.

"Tennessee bound for Rivers? Maybe. Why? Peter will get to this."

"Why would Philip Rivers like to play in Tennessee? I will tell you in a minute."

I should probably be happy that Peter didn't have any dramatics surrounding why Rivers would like to play in Tennessee.

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think there are two points about Aaron Hernandez that can’t be forgotten.

I should probably just be happy that Peter didn't write he has a few "bullet points" regarding items about Hernandez that can't be forgotten. Peter would write that, Richard Deitsch would defend him saying Peter takes too much shit and then Peter would apologize explaining that he didn't know guns shot bullets.

One, if a player has strong ties to a sordid past—either gang-related or simply sordid in some other way—it’s not very smart for that player to be playing in the backyard of his youth. Hernandez’s hometown of Bristol, Conn., is 115 miles from Foxboro.

Well Hernandez certainly wasn't going to request that he didn't play for the Patriots because he was afraid he would end up murdering someone. The Patriots probably didn't know the extent to which Hernandez had gang ties.

As Greg Bedard reported last month, Hernandez went to the combine in 2013, ostensibly to ask Bill Belichick for a trade to distance himself from some dangerous friends back home. Bedard couldn’t nail down the details of the story. Was Hernandez trying to start a new life and just couldn’t get out of his current one?

Hmmm...this seems like an action that was too self-aware for a guy who later committed murder.

Two: The Patriots can, and should, be faulted for their private-eye work, or lack of it, before giving Hernandez a rich contract in 2012. It’s true that teams can’t know everything about their players, but I’d think it’d be reasonable to expect that if you’re going to commit $40 million to a player on your team with a history of some transgressions off the field (and Hernandez did have them at Florida), you’d do more investigating than the Patriots did before signing him to the rich extension.

Perhaps the Patriots did what they thought was a sufficient amount of investigation into Hernandez prior to the draft and then prior to his signing an extension. I would imagine the Patriots looked into Hernandez prior to drafting him and then the organization saw him all the time when he was actually a member of the Patriots. In hindsight, more investigating makes sense, but the Patriots may have felt like they knew Aaron Hernandez. Besides, plenty of NFL players have gang ties and that doesn't mean they end up murdering someone. It's fun to fault the Patriots for what they should have known, but whether a guy will commit murder or not after being drafted by an NFL team isn't exactly predictable.

3. I think I’m starting to have my mind changed. I’ve thought all along that Adrian Peterson has likely played his last game for Minnesota, because he obviously doesn’t want to be there. But the question is: What team out there wants to commit $13 million in cash to a 30-year-old running back—albeit a great one—with salaries of $15 million in 2016 and $17 million in 2017 on the horizon?

That's a great question and one reason I thought it was a bit silly that Peter thought Peterson could force his way out of Minnesota. Peterson can hold out of camp all he wants, but he's only getting older and more expensive for whatever team trades for him. While Peterson has leverage over the Vikings, the Vikings have leverage in that Peterson understands if he wants to play in the NFL, time isn't on his side and he can't afford to hold out of training camp.

I don’t believe Vikings GM Rick Spielman will be pressured into a deal. And I don’t believe Peterson will choose to forfeit the weekly paychecks of $765,000 this season. So though it may get ugly, I think there’s an increasing chance the Vikings are not going to bend to Peterson by draft weekend unless the offer for him is a high pick or picks.

I feel sad for Adrian Peterson that he thinks this is going to work. Running backs are being devalued, Peterson is on the wrong side of 30, and he's a very expensive player with a weird history of tangling with the court system over the whipping of his kids. He's got baggage, so Peterson may want to just play for the Vikings.

5. I think if I were the Giants at No. 9, I’d take Trae Waynes over Brandon Scherff. Rare cornerbacks—and the 6-1, sub-4.4-in-the-40 Waynes is potentially quite rare—are harder to find than very good offensive line prospects. Pro Football Focushas Waynes

Is "Pro Football Focushas" the international version of "Pro Football Focus"?

with problems on change of direction, which would be a issue with a cornerback, so it’ll be interesting to see how teams factor that in—if they agree—as the first round approaches.

I can't imagine why a cornerback would need to change direction.

6. I think the Seahawks players did a smart thing, both in inviting new tight end Jimmy Graham along on a training/fun trip to Hawaii last week, and in poking public fun at the feud they had from the 2013 season with Graham. Before a playoff game, Bruce Irvin and Graham jawed at each other on the field, and last week Irvin sent out a photo on Instagram of Graham having to be restrained from fighting Irvin. They were play-acting.

Oh, so they were play-acting and weren't really going to fight? Thanks for clearing that up Peter. If you had not cleared it up then I'm sure your readers would have been so foolish as to think Bruce Irvin would Instagram a picture of him fighting one of his new teammates.

Also, Jimmy Graham IS soft. I don't want that to get confused.

8. I think Georgia running back Todd Gurley, five months after ACL surgery, got some good news the other day at the combine medical re-check in Indianapolis. So good, in fact, that one team interested in Gurley now thinks it’s legitimately possible he wouldn’t have to start the year on the physically unable to perform list; he could well be active. Seems little doubt Gurley will be a first-round pick.

Draft Todd Gurley or pay $45 million for three years of Adrian Peterson...I know which one I would take personally.

9. I think one name stands above others on the Mysteries of the 2015 Draft list: wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham. Boom or bust. Very big boom or very big bust. A GM who takes Green-Beckham in the first round is a GM who feels very secure in his job

Just write it Peter. You know you want to. List the same teams you always list that could draft a player like Green-Beckham and surround him with veteran players who will show him the right way. The Patriots, Seahawks, etc. Or have the Patriots been kicked off that list due to the whole "Aaron Hernandez committed murder so there goes the Patriot Way" issue?

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

Quick joke for college football fans...did you know Nick O'Leary is Jack Nicklaus' grandson? You would think this could get mentioned every once in a while.

e. I’m not much of an NBA fan (in fact, I’m not one at all),

And here comes a conclusion based on Peter's lack of experience in watching NBA games. It's a guarantee Peter will come to a definitive conclusion after stating he doesn't watch the NBA.

but did anyone notice the Celtics finished the year on a 17-7 run and ended 40-42? Brad Stevens must be pretty good.

Yes Peter, Brad Stevens must be pretty good based on your observation the Celtics played well at the end of the year in a bad Eastern Conference. You don't watch the NBA at all, but you feel free to come to conclusions about players/coaches/teams in the NBA.

f. Paul Blart. One of the great, and most apt, names in film history.

Peter King. One of the lofty, and most apt, names in history for Peter's opinion of himself.

h. The Edmonton Oilers won the lottery to pick number one in the 2015 NHL draft. Okay. Shouldn’t sports leagues have some sort of rule how many times you can have the top picks in an X-year span? Since 2010, and including this year, Edmonton has picked (in order) first, first, first, seventh, third and first. This year they’re bound to take an incredible prospect, Connor McDavid. Edmonton must have taken some other incredible players the past five drafts, and the Oilers still stink. Why reward this?

What's the alternative, Peter? Be a problem solver, not just a problem spotter. The lottery is designed to allow the worst teams an opportunity to acquire the best players in the draft. If Peter thinks this shouldn't be rewarded, then I'm sure the NHL would love to hear suggestions on how to fix this. Suggestions that of course Peter doesn't have.

j. Maybe I’m wrong about this. Tell me if I am. But to continue to reward a team that simply can’t turn it around … It just seems wrong to me.

Says the guy who covers a sport where the Raiders have picked in the Top 10 over the last decade. What's the alternative that Peter prefers? A lottery like the NBA (a sport Peter doesn't watch) has? It's not like there aren't teams in the NBA who get Top 10 picks every year and still can't turn their team around.

k. Coffeenerdness: It’s okay on a warm afternoon to stray from coffee. You can have the occasional unsweetened iced green tea, and you’ll get the desired jolt. And the quenching of the thirst at the same time.

Thanks for the permission to drink unsweetened iced green tea. By the way, "unsweetened iced green tea" sounds like the way someone who is in the 1% of income earners like Peter is would drink iced tea. I can think of no loftier, more haughty way to drink iced tea.

n. Man, that Britt McHenry video is tough to watch.

She's on television, bitch.

o. This must have been weird: The Giants, riding an eight-game losing streak, got their World Series rings Saturday night.

It possibly could have been more motivational than weird. The Giants did win the World Series last year. It would be weird if there were few players from the 2014 World Series winning Giants team still on the roster when they got their World Series rings. 

The Adieu Haiku

Draft’s 10 days away.  
Still. Explain that. I beg you.
Thing should be in March.

Why would Peter's readers have to explain this? It's the NFL's decision. Also, the haiku is still pointless and useless. 


Matt D said...

"Richard Deitsch would defend him saying Peter takes too much shit and then Peter would apologize explaining that he didn't know guns shot bullets."

And then Richard, being as self-aware as Peter, would still not realize that people keep pointing out he doesn't go after SI writers because it's true.

Part of the reason this quote was so funny to me is that I can actually see Peter trying to say he didn't know guns shot bullets.

Chris said...

I'd love to know exactly how Peter knows the Pats didn't thoroughly research Hernandez before giving him his big contract in 2012. What exactly where they supposed to do short of having a spy wait in Aaron Hernandez's house for him to slip up and murder someone? Maybe the Pats should have done more due diligence on Hernandez but unless they knew that Hernandez was jonesing for a good murder then what more could they have done?

I have to say the David Tyree story is nice and all but what new ground is going to be tread in a half hour documentary about it. I mean half an hour is about as long as a tv sitcom so what exactly is Spike Lee going to be enlightening us about David Tyree and the play that we didn't already know?

Bengoodfella said...

Matt, I like Deitsch's work but he does seem to go a little easier on SI writers. When he told me that PK takes a lot of crap from people, I thought, "Well, doesn't Skip Bayless?" It's just Deitsch doesn't PK deserves that crap, while Bayless does. He denies it, but he doesn't go after SI guys nearly as hard as guys from other parts of the sports world.

He thought the guns shot really, really hard air, not bullets.

Chris, I'd love to pile on the Pats, but they did research before drafting him. After that, they felt like they knew him well enough from their day-to-day interactions that a thorough look into his past was required. There comes a point you can't predict what a guy will do.

I don't know what else can be learned from the Tyree play. It's like the Butler play in the Super Bowl, where fans of NYG and NE will enjoy it, but there's no much else to cover on the topic at this point. I'm sure the interviews with the players were interesting to some...