Archive for December, 2008
Just a quick heads up from an earlier post of mine. When I wrote about Singletary earning the job in San Fran, I also mentioned that he would probably replace Martz. It wasn’t rocket science, I didn’t predict the future, everyone saw that coming. The two guys had different philosophies and they were better off with Martz going in a seperate direction. However, there’s no doubt in my mind that Martz can succeed elsewhere in the league, his offensive play call ideas are a lot of fun to watch. Good luck Mike Martz.
Once I heard the report of Tom Brady proposing to super model girlfriend Giselle Bundchen, I was a little heartbroken. I mean Tom Brady already receives every great label a guy can get and now he’s going to marry the most beautiful girl on the planet (my top 10 would call for a seperate post)? How great of a life could this guy have?
Well now it is being reported that Giselle was NOT sporting a ring and that Tom Brady did NOT in fact propose to Giselle on a plane in front of a lot of family members, all of which was originally reported. Maybe Tom got down on one knee (his good one) and Giselle realized that his rehab wasn’t going too well? Maybe he won’t be playing next season?
Nonetheless, for me and every other wishful and ultra-confident male out there…we still gotta chance!
Good luck gentlemen.
What can a dynasty like the Patriots learn from an underachieving team like the Browns? Does anyone remember Derek Anderson? How about his 2007 season and the Browns’ decision to stick with him as their starter instead of rookie stud Brady Quinn? Well, I am not saying that there is an open quarterback competition in New England between Tom Brady and Matt Cassel, but with Cassel about to become a free-agent I would advise ALL teams to beware. Don’t fall into the “Cinderella-Derek Anderson” trap!
Derek Anderson came out of no where in 2007 and led his team to a playoff-like record, but the Browns just didn’t get in. His Pro-Bowl stats inspired the Browns’ front office (now fired) to sign him back and make him their starter. They made Anderson the starter over hometown rookie Brady Quinn – at which time fans probably didn’t mind too much. Then, after a horrible start in 2008, fans realized how bad he was. They realized how bad the front office was and so did the owners, which is why Phil Savage is now unemployed. But look at the stats:
Derek Anderson (2007) (15 G) 3,787 yds 56.5% 29 TDs 19 INTs 82.5 RTG
And in 2008 we saw Tom Brady go down in the first game and watch a guy named Matt Cassel come in and fill the HUGE shoes. Cassel’s background was short – very short. In fact, Cassel hadn’t started a game since high school, which lead to no type of confidence amongst fans or analysts. However, Cassel got better week after week, he started putting up huge numbers, and before you know it…Matt Cassel has Pro Bowl stats and in the final year of his contract. Sound familiar? Look at Cassel’s stats:
Matt Cassel (2008) (15G) 3,693 yds 63.4% 21 TDs 11 INTs 89.4 RTG
Both guys’ stats are extremely appealing, especially to people like Minnesota, Detroit, New York Jets (longer term), and maybe even San Francisco. But can Cassel really be trusted or is he another one-hit-wonder? Many people will tell you that any quarterback could succeed in New England’s system offense and that’s why they don’t buy into Cassel. Some people will say to look at Derek Anderson last year. But I would say to wait out for the playoffs. Matt Cassel may get an opportunity that Derek Anderson didn’t have and that’s to show what he can do in a must-win playoff situation. We must remember that even when a team loses an All-Pro quarterback, there is still 52 men that were a huge part of an undefeated season just months ago. Cassel, if lucky enough, will have a great opportunity to demonstrate some leadership and skill, all while having a strong supporting cast behind him. This is the one-time deal for Cassel to make the big dollars, no excuses.
You can make your own arguments and create your own “what-if” scenarios, but the “Cinderella-Derek Anderson” effect has to be in the minds of numerous GM’s in the league. And now with Tom Brady reportedly slow in his recovery, maybe the Pats resign Cassel and he ends up just fine. Or will he crumble? If he stays, starts, and succeeds – is it the system or is he really a good quarterback? No one will know until it happens, but Cassel should come with a ‘BUYER BEWARE’ label.
The New York Jets announced the firing of head coach Eric Mangini today after the team missed the playoffs for the second straight year. But was Mangini the problem in New York? I don’t think so. When Mangini first took over the reigns in New York, he took a team that was 4-12 a year before his arrival and made them into a 10-6 playoff team. His second season wasn’t so great, the team went 4-12. But after some slight offseason work, Mangini was able to lead this 2008 team to an 8-3 start – not too shabby. However, owner Woody Johnson believes that the team needs to turn in a different direction. A different direction after two winning seasons in three years with mediocre talent? How about your general manager, Mr. Johnson?
Mike Tannenbaum, the Jets’ general manager, will remain employed at the same position with the organization. Why? Because he brought in Thomas Jones who did nothing until this season? Because he brought in Brett Favre to win a Super Bowl? Because he signed veterans in hopes of making a championship team? I don’t know a whole lot about the Jets and their upper management, but I know enough to say that Tannenbaum is just as much to blame as Mangini. Better yet, how about Brett Favre?
Woody Johnson had said that the team had plans of changing coaches for about a month or so, which puts the decision right in the middle of the Jets’ second half landslide. Well is Mangini to blame for a team that can’t win on the West coast? He makes the trip, just like the players, and makes the same calls that guided the team to a 8-3 start. Whether the players have jet-lag or not is a personal problem for them, they still need to execute. Is it Mangini’s fault that, during the final 5 games, Brett Favre threw for 2 touchdowns and 9 interceptions? To me, the blame falls directly on Brett Favre for not being able to play a lick in the final games of the season – when backing up an 8-3 record is the most important. To me, Tannenbaum should receive some harsh criticism for bringing in a 39-year-old quarterback that was thought out to be the savior, only to lead the league in interceptions with 22. Is that Mangini’s fault?
Eric Mangini is and will continue to be a great mind in the NFL. He worked with what he was given in New York, and it wasn’t much. From the reports that I read, Jets’ players were mostly surprised and upset – which wouldn’t fare to well for the player/management relationship. Mangini should get another shot at head coach and hopefully he will be given the time he needs to form the dynasty he has the ability of forming. ESPN has reported that the Jets are looking for Mangini’s replacements and it includes the names Bill Cowher, Marty Schottenheimer, and Steve Spagnuolo. I’m not as concerned as to who the Jets will get as their head coach as I am with where Mangenius will end up. Also fired today was Rod Marinelli in Detroit and Romeo Crennel in Cleveland. Cleveland had also talked about pursuing Cowher but he has already declined. I can’t believe that Mangini would end up in Detroit because the Lions couldn’t give that job away to a Green Bay fan. However, Mangini in Cleveland makes for a good conversation. Mangini is part of the Belichick coaching tree and definitely appealing to most franchise’s eyes. Cleveland runs the 3-4 defense that Mangini prefers and the Browns have some young talent that could really turn out for them.
Where will the Mangenius continue?
Now that the Dallas Cowboys are finally eliminated from playoff contention, that’s another year that continues to prove one of my picks correct (see above). It may not have seemed like T.O. was the Cowboys’ dimise throughout those last few games, but he certainly didn’t help the situation. The Cowboys need to be reevaluated and Jason Garrett should be promoted tomorrow. Whether he can handle the egos on that team or not are undetermined but there is no hope with butterball Wade Phillips. Phillips may be a great defensive mind and a successful guy for 33 years in the NFL, but he is the epitome of a “players’ coach”. It has been reported that Phillips and owner Jerry Jones have had their face-to-face meeting and Phillips will remain the coach but there’s no foolin’ this guy. Of course I could be wrong, we all could be, but I don’t think Wade Phillips is the head coach at the beginning of the 2009 season. This 2008 Dallas Cowboys team was one of, if not the, most talented teams in the league and they can’t even make the playoffs. One could argue that Romo’s injury hampered the entire offense throughout the season but I would mention the other 13 superstars as a counter. The point is, Dallas had the tools and they failed to execute, end of story. As long as Jerry Jones continues to bring in egos along with coaches that can’t control them, the team will never fufill its expectations.
In other wonderful Cowboy news, Bradie James roughed up a fan outside the Cowboys training facility after their horrific loss to Philadelphia on Sunday. Apparently the fan was toting a sign that implicated ‘lack of heart’ and ‘Wade Phillips is an embarassment’ which James didn’t like. James asked for him to take it off but the fan refused. James then took it upon himself to remove the sign and wound up busting the guy’s bifocals in the meantime. James then went into the locker room and came back with a pair of Oakleys that he kindly gave the fan he accosted and ended it with a handshake. No charges were filed and the fan was unharmed.
Later on, when James was questioned about the non-meeting that Phillips had with players on Monday and the fact that Phillips said he would make the “necessary changes”, James replied, “If you know a person to be a certain way and then all of a sudden you have an extreme change, I don’t know how well that’s going to be taken. I don’t know what he means by that. Like I said, he didn’t address us, so I don’t know. … Whatever needs to be done, I’m all for it.”
Good luck Mr. Phillips.
The San Francisco 49er’s announced that Mike Singletary, the former interim head coach for the last nine games, will be the new head coach at the start of the 2009 season. Singletary coached the team to a 5-4 finish and established the leadership that the organization so desperately lacked.
With the promotion of Singletary, I would guess that the 49er’s will be in the market for a new coordinator for next season. Mike Martz is a damn good coordinator but it has been said that Singletary and Martz have their differences, most likely because Singletary prefers the run and solid defense game while Martz prefers a pass-happy offense. Whether Martz stays or not, I think the 49er’s will be a decent team next year and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make a run at the division in 2009.
I had said before, along with many others, that Mike Singletary was the coach that this team needed. I’m happy that the York family decided to go with the wise decision. Singletary brings leadership, fire, and intensity to a team that has some young talent and good veterans.
New York Jets’ defensive end Shaun Ellis was fined $10,000 by the NFL today after throwing a massive snowball at Seahawks fans after Sunday’s loss. The Jets had lost the game and Seahawks’ fans pelted snowballs at the Jets’ players as they left the field. Shaun Ellis had other plans. As Ellis left the field and approached the tunnel, he picked up a HUGE snow “clump” and threw it on at least four fans – priceless.
I know players shouldn’t interact with fans but then again, they started it. If you watch the clip you will see that Shaun Ellis’ snowball wasn’t actually a snowball at all, it was one of those huge clumps of ice and snow mix that you throw on the back of your friend’s neck during a snowball fight – the ones that kind of hurt. When asked about the incident Ellis said, “It was all in fun”….suuure.