Wednesday, September 2, 2015

4 comments MMQB Review: Observations From Preseason Games That Mean Nothing But Take Them Seriously Please Edition

Peter King talked about Cris Carter's "fall guy" comment in last week's MMQB. He also (again) apologized for having poor sources (again) who lied to him or gave him bad information (again). But hey, keep apologizing and saying the readers deserve better. I'm sure that will fix the sourcing issue. Peter also talked about enjoying a delicious salad, then downed a few high calorie drinks from Starbucks. This week Peter talks more about deflated footballs, makes observations of every preseason game that he claims don't really matter (his observations are not good), says that he is totally going to publish the fan essays he asked for two months ago, and wants "people" to act and do something about a gun control conversation. I'm pretty sure Congress has more of an impact in whether this conversation occurs than "people" do. I don't even know the point of a national conversation if Congress doesn't care to do anything, but as always, I'm sure "people" need to do something.

Lots of football stories in the NFL this morning, 10 days from the opener. The Eagles, and Sam Bradford, are out of control

Oh no, this sounds horrible.

—in a good way. (Composite first-quarter preseason score: Philadelphia 52, Foes 3.)


NaVorro Bowman plays like J.J. Watt will have competition for Defensive Player of the Year

Who needs an editor when you are Peter King?

Bill Belichick will coach at least eight more years—his words, not mine

Oh, those are Bill Belichick's words? I was confused because I thought Peter King was forcing Bill Belichick to coach at least eight more years, so it's good to know Belichick will do this voluntarily. Glad it's all cleared up.

Drew Brees walks two miles home from practice, lugging his helmet and shoulder pads, through the adopted city he loves, at a time the adopted city really needs it. 

The city NEEDS him to walk through the city after practice. Hey, it's the reward they get for offering him the most guaranteed money a chance to join a city he chose because he knew he would love it so much.

I’m no Fandango or Rotten Tomatoes, and certainly no Hollywood Reporterbut I’ll get involved in some movie business today. Here, we’ll debut the trailer for a movie the NFL is not going to like. (I don’t mean The Curious Case of Thomas Brady either.)


We start, though, with the Nightmare That Will Not Go Away,

It won't go away because sportswriters like you keep writing about it week after week after week after week. How can you expect it to go away when you won't stop talking about it?

coming for the third time to a New York courtroom, forcing Super Bowl MVP quarterback Tom Brady to miss a third Patriots practice while he fights to avoid a four-game suspension, forcing Roger Goodell to put off governance of a distracted league for another day, forcing America to start the 2015 season with endless Deflategate news after ending the 2014 season with endless Deflategate news and having every month of the offseason sullied by endless Deflategate news, while a federal judge decides the fate of Brady’s season and the fate of Goodell’s authority. While we all decide whether to throw our shoes through our TV screens. 


Personally, I think Brady should skate. For now.

But it’s complicated. 

It's complicated by the fact Peter has sources he really shouldn't trust on both sides of this issue and rather than take a definite stand he will probably qualify his opinion and then state the obvious, that's it's complicated.

The best part is Peter again makes the suggestion that the NFL continue to drag out the story he is already tired of. Makes sense. Kick the can down the road a little bit, then complain how long the resolution is taking.

I’ll start at the end: If I were U.S. District Judge Richard Berman, I’d begin today’s proceedings with a question for both sides about a potential compromise:

Seeing as though the pressure in footballs has never been measured at halftime and after games before, and seeing as though no one is exactly certain how much pressure in footballs would be lost over two to four hours on cold days, and seeing as though the Patriots footballs from the AFC Championship Game lost—by the measure of one gauge—a fairly predictable amount of air pressure according to the Ted Wells Report … why can’t both sides agree to table the Brady suspension until the end of the 2015 season?

Peter is tired of this story, but he wants to keep reporting on this story for the next six months.

If the pressure in the footballs on a similarly cold days drops at the same level the pressure in the Patriots’ footballs did, then Brady will not be suspended. If the pressure in the football on similarly cold days drops much less, then Brady—who wants to play several more years—will be suspended for the first four games of 2016.

I'm trying not to laugh at this, but Peter's suggestion for a controversy he is tired of reporting on involves making sure every single time a football game is played in cold weather that the PSI of the football is measured and compared to the PSI of the football on the day of the Colts-Patriots playoff game. So rather than have Judge Berman make a decision, Peter would rather report on this story he is tired of reporting on nearly every single week of the NFL season. This is Peter's solution.

I don’t expect that to happen. I expect Berman to push both sides anew today, trying to force two sides that don’t want to compromise to somehow find a deal. 

It probably won't happen because there does need to be a decision made and complaining this is a long, drawn-out process and then having the resolution be to drag this all out more seems a bit contradictory.

Remember: Berman can suggest, and cajole, and threaten with a you’re-not-going-to-like-what-I-decide wag of the finger to both sides. But he cannot order the two sides to compromise. He has been asked to decide whether to uphold or vacate Brady’s four-game ban by Friday, so the Patriots can know who’s going to play quarterback for them six days later—Brady or neophyte Jimmy Garoppolo. 

Berman can kick the can down the road a little bit more though. Great idea!

Regardless what Berman rules this week—and no one truly knows how it will go—each side could appeal to the United State Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, also in New York. There, a three-judge panel would hear an appeal (an expedited one, most likely, if Brady playing in the opener is at stake) and rule. 

I know most people want this to all be over at this point. Even Peter King wants it to be over, which is why he thinks the NFL should agree to drag it out and check the PSI of every football that is used in a cold weather game and have some resolution on Brady's possible suspension sometime after the new year. How is making sure this story stays in the forefront of the news for the next six months a bad idea?

I can't get over Peter King not liking how long resolution has taken, while also wanting the resolution to take much longer. I can't come to terms with his solution to the problem.

Seen here on The MMQB for the first time, here's the trailer for “Concussion,” the Sony movie starring Will Smith due out on Christmas Day:

I watched “Concussion” with several staff members of The MMQB recently. It’s the story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, the Nigerian-born neuropathologist and veteran of scores of difficult autopsies. Omalu was the first doctor to ferret out the existence of specific brain trauma in football players after he did the autopsy of several deceased Steelers, among them Mike Webster. The film follows Omalu (played by Smith, with a quite good accent) as he tries to convince the football establishment that the game is hazardous to the brain. The football establishment, as we learned in “League of Denial,” has little interest in listening to Omalu.

The NFL isn't in business to listen to anyone. Roger Goodell laughs at the idea he would listen to some random neuropathologist when he has scores of his own doctors paid by the NFL who are coming up with some much different results.

I watched 16 first halves over the weekend, to see how 32 teams are faring entering cut-down time. My game-by-game observations:

Peter reminds his readers how irrelevant preseason games are until he needs to churn out some content around these games. All of a sudden, they become slightly more relevant when it's the third game of the preseason. I'll apologize in that I only watched one preseason game (and then I didn't watch too intently in the fourth quarter), so I probably have more specific commentary about Peter's comments in the New England-Carolina game since I actually watched it. But hey, his comments were super-stupid, so feel free to point out other dumb shit he said I may have missed.

The headline: NaVorro Bowman is playing out of his mind.

Last week Peter said Bowman took two hours to get ready for a game. Well, Bowman said later in the week this wasn't entirely true. Peter is even having trouble these days with people who aren't anonymous sources giving him accurate information. 

Notes: The Kubiak offense is struggling. “I’d be crazy to not do what Peyton Manning does well,” coach Gary Kubiak told me in training camp. In other words, Kubiak probably won’t call many sprint-outs for his 39-year-old quarterback. But Manning has to play better. He threw a wobbler that Niners safety Eric Reid deflected on the first series, and missed Thomas in the end zone in the second quarter, getting picked by safety Kenneth Acker

Maybe Manning is just dehydrated again and that's why he isn't playing very well. Yeah, that's the ticket. Dehydration.

Stat of the day: The Niners had three first-half first downs. Protection is a definite worry, particularly right tackle Erik Pears.

Yeah, thanks Anthony Davis. Feel free to come back to the NFL when you want. The 49ers will be waiting.


The way Vick was firing the ball around Ralph Wilson Stadium (5 of 6, 106 yards), Rex Ryan must have wished he’d signed him in the off-season. 

I'm sure Rex Ryan is so sad he didn't sign Mike Vick. Because we have never seen Vick play really well as he competes for a starting job, only to fall off once he's won the starting quarterback job. How many times are head coaches going to fall for this? Vick looks great! Give him the starting job and watch him not look as great.


The key for New England is depth, and versatility with that depth—so many of the defensive linemen who will make the team will be able to play inside and outside. Easley, for instance, the first-round pick from a year ago.

This last sentence is a sentence fragment that's on par with some of the worst sentence fragments I have ever written.

For Carolina, tackles Dwan Edwards and Colin Cole played big, and will have to, for Carolina.

I'm guessing Peter doesn't know that neither Edwards or Cole are the defensive tackles that will get the most snaps at that position this year. I'm pretty sure Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short will get the majority of the snaps at the defensive tackle position, seeing as they are the de facto starters. I wouldn't expect Peter know this.

Notes: Garoppolo wasn’t as sharp in Carolina as in the previous two games. He had two interceptions dropped by Panthers.

Yeah, he wasn't. Garoppolo was only 13-17 for 126 yards, 1 touchdown and a 116.3 QB rating. He has definite room for improvement on that shitty performance.

Carolina’s got a major problem with a receiver Ron Rivera really wants to make the team, undrafted Corey Brown. He dropped one sure touchdown, and another ball popped off his chest inside the New England 10-yard line with no one pressuring him.

Not a good night for either starting quarterback. Meh … 

Even with 4-5 drops of catchable balls by his receivers, Cam Newton was 17-28 for 160 yards and a touchdown throw. Peter mentions how Corey Brown dropped every pass his way from Newton, yet doesn't seem to indicate how this affected his "meh" performance. Newton's rating was 88.4 and Tom Brady had a really nice final drive at the end of the first half. It wasn't very Brady-esque, but I'm not sure what game Peter was watching if he thought Garoppolo wasn't sharp and Newton didn't have a good night.


I clocked how fast Bradford ran the offense on the second series. After the first play, a run, he took successive snaps with 24, 22, 23, 24, 14 and 22 seconds left on the play clock. That is precisely how Chip Kelly wants to play, and for Bradford to have picked that up this fast, coming off ACL tears in two straight seasons, is damn impressive.

Everything Sam Bradford knows he learned from Jeff Fisher.


If it’s possible to go 15 of 19 and have a “meh” day, Ryan Tannehill did.

Peter King is all about quarterbacks having "meh" days. I would say 15-19 for 145 yards, 116 QB rating and a touchdown in a half of work isn't exactly a "meh" day. I think a lot of NFL teams would like to see their starters do that. Peter has described three quarterbacks who had a total of 19 incompletions, 3 touchdown passes, 0 interceptions and no QB rating below 88.4 over three halves of football as being "meh."

Stat of the day: Josh Freeman sighting! He hit four of five for 35 yards in relief for Miami.

I don't understand why Peter King hates Josh Freeman so much. I'm not sure I will ever understand. Matt Schaub steals money from the Raiders and is now a backup in Baltimore, yet Peter lets him off the hook entirely.


Cousins finished 20 of 27, and he played well. But there’s a reason his trade value has plummeted around the league. I’m not sold by one impressive preseason show.

Cousins' performance was "impressive" and he played well. He had a 190 yards passing, 1 touchdown, 1 interception and a 90.0 rating. I don't think Peter is the best at evaluating how quarterbacks have performed. If Cousins had completed two fewer passes or maybe not thrown an interception, I'm guessing Peter would describe the performance as "meh."

Injuries: The status of Robert Griffin III is … no one knows. He said he felt fine last week, but an independent neurologist held him out of the game. Then ESPN reported the team had decided already to play Cousins in the first game of the regular season, against Miami, which the team denied.

They denied it, then named Cousins the starter for the entire 2015 season. Of course.


Fitzpatrick looked in unison with Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall and showed that when he’s not under pressure he can make the throws he needs to make to win. He was just nine of 14 for 127 yards, with two touchdowns and no picks.


Injuries: The lingering calf issue that has prevented Victor Cruz from playing in preseason games isn’t going away.

Hence why Peter himself called the calf injury "lingering." It couldn't be lingering if it went away could it?


The headline: A good day for Andrew Luck—and you won’t see it reflected in his numbers.

Andrew Luck could never be "meh." His line looked bad, but his greatness can't be contained in simple numbers, so you have to be the brave soul who looks past the numbers at Luck's greatness.

Nick Foles was 10 of 11 at St. Louis, better-looking than Luck’s 12 of 21. And Luck fumbled on the first snap of the second half, leading to a Rams' score. But Luck wasn’t sacked, and by my count, he was pressured significantly only three times in his two quarters and a play.

But despite not being sacked, not facing significant pressure but three times and committing a turnover, Luck's greatness still shone through to Peter. Not like that asshole Jimmy Garoppolo, who didn't commit a turnover and only threw four incompletions. He wasn't sharp.

Now, that doesn’t mean the line—which has been a question mark almost from the day Luck was drafted—is in great shape; Indy ran for just 2.0 yards per attempt. But keeping the franchise clean is where it starts and ends for that group. it's a good day for Andrew Luck because he wasn't sacked and didn't get injured? Apparently most other NFL teams can afford to have their starting quarterback get injured, because wouldn't any preseason game where the starting quarterback didn't get injured be described as "a good day" for that quarterback?

Adam Vinatieri, 42, will be kicking field goals when he’s 72.

Well, I guess Vinatieri doesn't have the option of deciding when he's retiring like Peter gave to Bill Belichick. Vinatieri will be kicking in the NFL for the next 30 years, as decreed by Peter King. 

Jeff Fisher is ticked off at the Rams’ 29 penalties in three preseason games. As well he should be.

Look, the lack of discipline isn't Jeff Fisher's fault. He can only do so much with this group that he had someone else throw together for him. He's gotta get some more time to turn this thing around. Maybe give him a contract extension and see what happens from there.


The headline: The Ray Rice Watch is officially on in Cleveland. The fit’s a good one. Rice is desperate for one more NFL chance. His former position coach in Baltimore, Wilbert Montgomery, is the Browns’ running backs coach and a mentor to Rice. You can be pretty darn sure Rice wouldn’t screw up this opportunity. If I’m Cleveland I’m taking the week’s worth of bad publicity and bringing in a player who will show a strangely entitled back, Terrance West, what football hunger is like.

Ray Rice will show West what it's like to be hungry for an opportunity. If West acts entitled and isn't hungry enough, then Ray Rice is just the guy to knock him around a little and drag him to where he needs to be. If West doesn't understand at that point, well, he needs to just examine his own actions and the part they played in his situation.

Stat of the day: Jameis Winston: 48.9 percent completions, no touchdowns, two picks in three games. Work very much in progress.

Now, THAT is a "meh" line. It's also the line of a rookie and the preseason doesn't really matter much anyway, so there are no conclusions to be drawn.


Notes: Amazing to see the highest-paid guard in the game just two years ago, Andy Levitre, being phased out by Tennessee. Byron Bell moved from right tackle to left guard to replace Levitre, while rookie third-rounder Jeremiah Poutasi moved outside to right tackle and played mostly well against the Chiefs’ excellent edge rush … 

Yes, Titans fans, keep counting on Byron Bell. That's a good way to get Marcus Mariota killed. But remember, nothing is ever Bell's fault and if you think he's not good at his job then you are just being a hater.


Notes: Don’t imagine defensive boss Rod Marinelli would have been a very happy breaking down the tape from this game. The Vikings completed 24 of 27 passes, with just one pick and two sacks … Mike Zimmer, correctly, was excited about Teddy Bridgewater’s seven-of-seven night, and not just because of the numbers. You can see Bridgewater processing his progressions with patience …

But...but...Bridgewater has small hands. Plus, he did have one bad workout that caused Mike Mayock to move him down in his rankings as the best quarterback in the draft to being tied as the fifth-best quarterback in the draft. Not that Mike Mayock just randomly makes his rankings up or anything. It must have been a horrible workout.


The headline: Repeat after me, Seahawkers: Preseason doesn’t count … Preseason doesn’t count. Russell Wilson has led 12 offensive drives in three practice games. Zero touchdowns. Good for Pete Carroll for admitting Saturday night: “We’re all a little frustrated with it.” Six catches, 75 yards for Jimmy Graham—that could be better. But I’ll make this point in defense of the Seahawks for now: They’ve faced three of the best pass-rush teams in football (Denver, K.C., San Diego) so far. You have to remember that over the last 11 seasons, heading into this one, New England has the best record in football in the regular season and was only 20-24 in the preseason.

Peter King: "Here are my observations based on the third preseason game that means the most of any preseason game. I'll spend 40-50% of MMQB on these observations and conclusions I've come to for each team."

Peter King when the Seahawks struggle on offense in the preseason: "It's just the preseason. It may mean absolutely nothing at all. Plus, the Seahawks faced some really good teams in the preseason, but don't mention the fact these teams didn't play their best players for the majority of the game. That needs to be irrelevant. Hey, the Patriots aren't good in the preseason and they are a great team in the regular season. So really, the preseason means nothing. Now here are more of my observations and conclusions about the preseason that I want you to take seriously, even though I just pointed out results in the preseason probably don't mean much."

Second-round Seattle defensive end Frank Clark, the controversial pick after being kicked off his Michigan team under a cloud of domestic violence, ticked off the Chargers with what two of their linemen said was extra physicality against Philip Rivers at the bottom of a pile in the first half of the game …

Again, this last sentence doesn't make sense at all. Peter's editor seems to have dropped the ball twice in the initial posting of this MMQB. Also, it's interesting that Peter meant to say Clark was "extra physical" against Philip Rivers immediately after mentioning Clark was kicked off the Michigan team due to a domestic violence accusation. It seems he's just extra physical throughout his life.

Peter should ask Frank Clark if he's ever killed anybody.

In July, looking for candidates for the fan network that The MMQB is launching this season, I asked readers to send in a short essay on why you love the team you do. We were overwhelmed by the number of responses—and by the nature of the submissions. Your stories were poignant, powerful, pained and funny. We heard from fans all over the country and all over the world, men and women of all ages, who told us about their passion for the team they grew up with, or adopted, or came to love in some crazy way. Because of the quantity and quality of responses, we’ve rethought our approach to the project.

The new approach is that you will just keep talking about the project and how great the submissions are rather than ever publishing the responses you received?

The new plan: We’re organizing the submissions we’ve received and grouping them by team allegiances. As we plan stories throughout the 2015 season and beyond, we’ll draw from that pool based on our contributors’ backgrounds.

We might ask a single contributor to write a story on a particular topic; we might call on a group of fans of one team to participate in a roundtable, or fans of various teams to debate league issues. Contributors might be asked to share photos or videos from their NFL experiences.

We might ask a single contributor to write a story on a particular topic; we might call on a group of fans of one team to participate in a roundtable, or fans of various teams to debate league issues. Contributors might be asked to share photos or videos from their NFL experiences.

No one is covering the NFL through the eyes of fans, other than Twitter, Facebook, and talk radio. Other than those mediums, the average fan has nearly no voice or way to share their opinion in a public fashion.

“Leave Tom Brady alone! He is a champion and a winner. Leave him alone.”

—Donald Trump, a fund-raiser in Norwood, Mass., Friday night, according to the Boston Globe.

Well, no one can accuse Donald Trump of not knowing how to play to a crowd.

This is low-hanging fruit, and I do not mean to bum out fans of the Browns this morning.

Repeat after me...and now Peter will bum out fans of the Browns this morning.

In April 2011—two coaches and two general managers ago—the Browns traded the sixth pick in the draft to Atlanta for two first-round picks, a second-round pick and two fourth-round picks. Atlanta picked wide receiver Julio Jones, who caught 104 passes for 1,593 yards last year, and earned a five-year, $72-million contract extension Saturday with the Falcons.

From the five picks in that trade, there is one player left on the Browns: backup defensive tackle Phil Taylor (who played 11 snaps as a backup Saturday night in Tampa). Cleveland drafted Danny Shelton in the first round this year, and Shelton has made Taylor, riddled by injury and unimpactful as a Brown, obsolete.

Then Peter points out the Browns traded up to get Phil Taylor in the 2011 draft and gave up the 70th draft in addition to the 27th pick to move up to the 21st pick. That 70th pick turned into Justin Houston.

With the 70th pick in the 2011 draft, Chiefs GM Scott Pioli chose Georgia linebacker Justin Houston.

Houston led the NFL with 22 sacks last year.

Here is the issue though: The assumption is the Browns could have had Justin Houston and Julio Jones, but this is assuming the Browns were smart enough to draft these two players. Did the Browns under Tom Heckert show the ability to recognize talent like Jones and Houston? I would argue they did not show this ability to be smart enough to draft these guys anyway. I can't assume the Browns were smart enough to draft Houston and Jones, even without making a trade, when they couldn't get any of the other five picks in that trade to make an impact on the team.

Of course, Peter called Taylor "the best nose man in the draft" and said he was a fit in a 3-4 or 4-3 defense, so I guess the Browns had the same foresight that Peter did.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

One more reason why living in Manhattan, and exercising there occasionally, is so good.

Whaaaaaaaaaaat? Peter has never mentioned exercising and living in Manhattan is so good before. This is completely out of left field that Peter would dare mention he enjoys exercising in Manhattan. He's never talked about this before, unless you want to count how mentions how he loves exercising in Manhattan in MMQB as much as possible. In fact, Peter of late has LOVED just talking about how much he exercises. He's the guy on Facebook who just started exercising and can't wait to tell everyone how much he does it and wants to humblebrag about his accomplishments.

On Saturday morning about 7:50, I entered Central Park to run the perimeter, which I do many weekends.

Peter has never talked about running in Central Park before. This is too much new information being thrown at me in such a short span of time.

One other note to depress you weekend runners (and me too): As I passed the marker for mile one on the road through Central Park, the first group of runners was just passing. The electronic time read “4:42.” And six or eight guys to my left sprinted past, not even breathing hard.

Please tell me more about your exercise regimen. I wonder if Peter has been featured in any running magazines lately? I need to know this information. Thousands of people exercise and don't feel the need to tell everyone else about it. It's almost like they do it for their own purposes and don't require the attention of others to feel good about exercising.

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think it’s always a highlight of the summer when the Football Outsiders Almanac lands in the mail, or the inbox, with previews on every team, and much more. You’re always a smarter football fan (or media member) when you read the annual Aaron Schatz-edited tome. Some highlights to educate you:

d. The average NFL quarterback throws his average third-down pass 1.4 yards past the sticks. Since 2011, Alex Smith has thrown his average third-down pass 1.7 yards SHORT of the sticks. He's the only quarterback with at least 300 attempts on third downs since 2011 whose average throw is short of the sticks.

Having Alex Smith as your quarterback is like eating at Panera Bread. It's more expensive than you would like, but you never really have a bad time, yet you constantly get the feeling you could spend that money somewhere else. Still, it's good enough to enjoy, but you always aren't totally satisfied with what you got. It's too expensive for what you get, but sometimes there just isn't a better option available. That's Alex Smith.

e. Want to affect Peyton Manning? Blitz him from the secondary. Manning struggled against defensive-back blitzes even though Denver opponents almost never used this strategy. Manning faced DB blitzes on just 6.8 percent of passes—only Matthew Stafford faced them less often—but had just 5.7 yards per pass on these plays.

Maybe Manning struggled on these plays because he wasn't blitzed from the secondary often, so it took him by surprise. Perhaps if NFL teams start blitzing Manning from the secondary more often then he will start to expect it and be more successful against blitzes against this strategy. Sometimes things work at the rate they do work because they aren't used often, and if they were used more often, the success rate would fall.

h. San Diego used play-action on just 8.0 percent of plays, the lowest figure of any team in FO’s game-charting data since the 2008 Arizona Cardinals. Yet when they did use play-action, the Chargers had a league-high 9.6 yards per pass.

The exact same principle could apply here. It's possible the Chargers used play-action so little that when they did use it, then it was highly successful due to opposing teams who study film seeing their tendency to not use play-action often.

3. I think if I were Jay Gruden, I’d be starting Colt McCoy, not Kirk Cousins, right now.

Peter King is not Jay Gruden. If Peter's name was Peter Gruden, then perhaps he could be like Jay Gruden and get an NFL head coaching job because teams are enamored with his last name.

4. I think I’m a Bill O’Brien believer, at least in how he handles the team, after watching “Hard Knocks” the other night. Last week was the first chance I’ve gotten to see the series this summer—this just in: J.J. Watt’s intense—and the last bit of the show was O’Brien telling his quarterback room (Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, Tom Savage) who’d won the quarterback competition between Hoyer and Mallett. This was 100 seconds of decision-making and good communication, not overly dramatic but decisive, telling each player exactly where he stands. I liked it. 

O'Brien handles his team and communicated so well to his team that Ryan Mallett shut down after not being named starter and did not attend practice. It's not O'Brien's fault that Mallett acted like a baby when he wasn't named starter, but I find it interesting the very decision that Peter credits as "good communication" and an example of how well Bill O'Brien handles his team is the decision that so far has caused the most discord among the members of the team who were told the decision. Great timing, Peter.

5. I think, by the way, that was brilliant cinematography to close the show in a very “Sopranos” kind of way. O’Brien walks from the room, closes the door, then is shown walking down a hallway in the Texans offices, clearing his throat, walking, walking, opening another door, walking, having the door close … and fade to black. End of show. Very, very cool.

This should be a part of topic #4 since Peter isn't switching topics, but instead has another thought about topic #4. So the brilliant cinematography should be a part of the same topic that Peter discussed where Peter discusses how O'Brien told the quarterbacks who the starter was going to be.

Here's the funny part though...

a. ... Here's a spoiler for this week's episode: Cornerback Charles James—who has been doubling as a Texans running back in camp—plays Odell Beckham Jr., in “Madden ’15.” That's cover man Odell Beckham Jr.

Peter puts a thought that is about "Hard Knocks" but not at all about the person or subject of topic #5 as "a" to topic #5. So talking about how great Bill O'Brien communicated to his quarterbacks about who the starter is and then commenting on the cinematography being great as O'Brien walked down the hall after he broke this news to his quarterbacks are two separate topics. Great cinematography and which two NFL players participate against each other in "Madden '15" are part of the same topic #5 though. Obviously.

6. I think if you read this column last week, you read a pensive John Elway feeling bad about cutting Peyton Manning’s base salary from $19 million to $15 million this year, and putting the $4 million into incentives, and then Elway saying he hoped Manning understood that he was going to use the money to make the team as solid a Super Bowl contender as possible. So … the Broncos signed a Pro Bowl guard, Evan Mathis, for $2.5 million this year, with an extra $1.5 in incentives. So if Mathis plays 16 games and plays at least 85 percent of the snaps—and if both happen, the Broncos will certainly be getting their $4 million worth—

There you go. The math adds up.

My gut feeling is Manning is still stung by taking a pay cut he did not deserve. But at least he knows the money went to some good use. 

That's very unselfish of Peyton Manning to make a decision to cut his salary for the benefit of the team and then stew over it for a few months. Though it wouldn't shock me if Peter's gut feeling is wrong. If Peter's gut feeling is as accurate as his sources are, then Manning is probably thrilled he took a pay cut.

The Eagles don’t play at home when the Phillies are playing across the street, so that eliminated Weeks 1 and 4 of the NFL season. And the Archdiocese of Philadelphia requested the Eagles not be at home in Week 3 either. On that Sunday, Sept. 27, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. outside the Philadelphia Art Museum, some 2 million are expected to participate in a mass celebrated by Pope Francis. “The Pope did influence the NFL schedule,” NFL senior vice president of broadcasting Howard Katz told me back in April, on the night of the schedule release.

Roger Goodell was probably pissed that the Pope influenced the NFL schedule. The Pope speaks to God, but Roger Goodell is above God in the universe's pecking order. So it would have been nice if the Pope could have spoken to God and then had both of them defer to Goodell's wishes. Show some respect.

I just thought of this: The Eagles play the Jets at 1 p.m. on the 27th. Team buses will leave the Meadowlands about 5:15 p.m. (best guess) for the 85-minute drive (normally) back to Philadelphia. Imagine driving into the teeth of 2 million people leaving the city when you’re arriving. That’ll be a fun evening for the KYW traffic reporters.

I understand Peter's point, but not every person that is coming to the mass on that Sunday will be leaving the city. Some of those people attending the mass probably live in the city. So 2 million people probably won't be leaving the city at the same time.

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

a. I’m not advocating taking away anyone’s guns.

The exception to the rule. Usually, Peter would immediately advocate taking away guns. In this case, Peter is actually NOT advocating taking away guns. He probably wants to, but he's not advocating for it.

But in the wake of the point-blank murders on live TV in Roanoke this week, and the unprovoked and outrageous slaughter of a Harris County sheriff’s deputy while fueling his car Saturday (the 23rd killing by gun of a law-enforcement officer in the United States this year), it is inexcusable in this country if we do not have a national discussion on gun violence.

The only people who can do something about this is Congress. "We" can only do so much, but hands become tied when the legislature refuses to take this conversation and turn it into action. It's going to take something bigger, somebody more important getting killed before Congress wants to take action on the conversation "we" should be having.

I do know we’re being irresponsible if we simply roll over, throw up our hands and say there’s nothing we can do about it.

b. Act, people. Act!

There is only so much acting that can be done when "we" don't have the ability to legislate and change laws. Congress could act, but they are choosing not to. Maybe that is the will of the people...or at least Congress thinks it is.

c. Looking more and more like a Toronto-Kansas City ALCS. That’ll be fun.

Wait, why is it looking more and more like a Toronto-Kansas City ALCS? Peter does realize the MLB playoffs haven't even started yet and the "best" teams lose all the time in a short playoff series, right? If the NLCS was decided by what it looks like on paper right now would happen, then the NLCS would be St. Louis-Pittsburgh and I doubt that is how the NL playoffs will shake out.

i. Seen some bad bullpens in my life. This Red Sox bullpen. Yeesh. Arsonistas.

Try being a Braves fan and having a bullpen with an ERA of 4.63 (29th best) and not a Red Sox fan with a bullpen ERA of 4.26 (24th best). Who I am kidding though? Statistics can't measure how tortured Peter King (and probably Bill Simmons...though I don't care because I don't miss him at all) is by the Red Sox bullpen, so I'm sure the 4.26 bullpen ERA the Red Sox have is much worse than the bullpen ERA of the six teams in the majors below them in ERA. 

j. Boston trailed the Mets 2-0 entering the seventh inning Friday night. Boston’s bullpen walked eight men the rest of the way … and the Red Sox won 6-4 in 10 innings.


Try giving up 38 runs in a three game series. It's fun.

The Adieu Haiku

Preseason ends Thurs.
The end can’t come soon enough.
Two games max, owners.

Two preseason games and the Adieu Haiku goes away forever. That would be the elimination of three totally useless and pointless things. 


Eric C said...

Drew Brees is the QB New Orleans deserves, not the QB they need.

Bengoodfella said...

Eric, he's like the reverse Batman.

Chris said...

In my opinion what's more indefensible is that Peter insists that "we" need to have a national discussion on gun control, yet he just ends the discussion immediately . So Peter wants their to be a discussion but he doesn't actually want to contribute anything to said conversation. You can't just get on a soapbox and complain about a problem, or insist that "we" have a discussion about the problem, and then not bother to contribute or offer any kind of solution whatsoever. I get the feeling with Peter's social leanings that he likes to champion popular causes but only as long as it doesn't inconvenience him in any way.

Slag-King said...

Chris, not only that, but Peter talks about the "fun" thing about the potential upcoming ALCS showdown between Toronto and Kansas City. He is excited about the fact that the fans could go "bonkers". I think it is akin to Peter getting on the soapbox and wag his fingers at everyone and then jump into the crowd to go crowd surfing, yelling for fun times.