Okay Gabbers...the draft is set for this Friday at 7:30pm EST. Everyone as far as I know is in, if you haven't gone into the league and clicked on your team to activate it from the invite I sent you then you need to do so, my adding your team does not activate it, you must click the link in the invite to get in...if you don't have it, or can't find it under SEARCH in your inbox from ESPN then comment below and I'll resend it so you can do so. Everyone that played last season is in this league, all I did was email you all invites to the new league since we didn't do a keeper league. Does anyone have any interest in doing a keepr league of one or two players? If so, let me know and I'll change it before the draft, but you must chime in for me to do so.
Any questions put them down and I'll get back to you!
There, that’s it. Not talking about those idiots anymore. They’re taking away from this fantastic football season and that is a shame.
So many great games to date, so many great games to come:
Matt Ryan is back to being elite. No he’s not. Wait, maybe he is. Tune in next week because with Julio Jones, Harry Douglas, and Roddy White that offense SHOULD be putting up sick numbers. Heck of a performance in week one and now week three (as it is on in the background) tearing apart Tampa Bay. Breakout star tight end Jordan Reed has been hurt and 2011 fifth round draft pick Niles Paul (who had four receptions last year, eight the year before, and just two in 2011) pulls down eight passes in week two for 99 yards and a touchdown. Crazy!
That RGIII injury? OUCH. My ankle hurt just seeing the replay. How about Kirk “Kissing” Cousins stepping in and the offense playing better without Griffin? Robert Griffin III looked efficient but not spectacular. Cousins had a big-game kind of day and just looks right for the role sitting in the pocket and finding everyone EXCEPT DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon seemingly. Yes, it was Jacksonville (why oh why did I go on record about the “huge improvement on defense” for the Jags?) but impressive none the less.
Speaking of the Jaguars, owner Shad Khan (cue the William Shatner cue the Star Trek II “KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNN!” clip) fired manager number three in just over a year across the pond as disappointing Fulham was relegated last year and losing to Nottingham Forest (yah, that’s as bad as it sounds...being beaten by the merry men!). I would not want to be head coach in Jacksonville with that track record for an owner. The Jags are 0-2, scored 27 total points in two games, have given up 75 points, top wide receivers Justin Blackmon and Ace Sanders are suspended, tight end Marcedes Lewis is on injured reserve, second-round draft pick Marqise Lee is out with a hamstring injury, and week one star receiver Allen Hurns is doubtful to play with an ankle injury. Current top receiver Cecil Shorts has not played yet after pulling down 66 catches last year and is still questionable for Sunday. That is rough. At least they’re sitting first-round pick Blake Bortles rather than run him out with no receivers to throw to on Sunday.
Super Bowl rematch in week three? Yes! Denver looking shaky but still winning both games...Seattle losing to San Diego as the Chargers picked apart the defense. Did not hear much in the offseason about Seattle’s losses on the defensive line, but Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett can’t do it all every week. Bruce Irvin needs to show up--he’s skated as a first round pick in 2012 for the Seahawks due to their other great personnel moves. Irvin is on the hot seat now. Chris Clemons and Red Bryant in Jacksonville, Clint McDonald in Tampa Bay … that’s a lot of players lose in the middle of the defensive line. Tony McDaniel and Brandon Mebane are run-stuffers, linebacker K.J. Wright does not rush the quarterback, and youngsters Jordan Hill, O’Brien Schofield and veteran Kevin Williams have not contributed much in the pass rush. Are there cracks in the defense in Seattle? Stay tuned.
Speaking of Thursday Night Football on CBS...
I LOVE IT!!! Nothing better than primetime football on free TV.
The commercials for Tea Leoni in “Madame Secretary”?
Not so much of a fan. I predict six episodes and it is never seen again.
The Cincinnati Bengals have been the most complete team looking strong on defense (shutting down the Falcons last week looks even better with the Falcons destroying Tampa Bay Thursday Night) and doing enough on offense without wide receiver A.J. Green and tight end Tyler Eifert hurt last week. Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard are a dynamic duo at running back and getting back to health makes Cincinnati a favorite...up until the playoffs when Andy Dalton will find a way to lose the game. That said, the Bengals--in week three--and being 2-0 are already having trouble getting to the 85% threshold to avoid a blackout? Seriously? Thumbs down, Cincy...not like anyone is going to watch the Reds trying to hold off the Cubs for last place in the NL Central these next few weeks!
OK, that’s all for today. Have a great weekend, all!
Busy night with yet another fantasy football draft (trying to limit the number of fantasy football leagues this year to single-digits) and then the Patriots-Giants preseason game to watch and note (and get all Twitter-chatting about the game as well) while flipping between the college football action. I do not know where the SEC Channel came from on my cable package, but I love it.
The NFL updated their domestic violence policy after their wrist-slap on Ravens running back Ray Rice. With a second offense leading to banishment, it is a harsh penalty. Hitting a woman is wrong, especially when it is a professional athlete who spends hours in the gym getting ready to deliver bone-rattling hits on other freaks of nature with extreme speed, strength, and athleticism. Nice to the see the NFL did something right.
Loved seeing that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is “very upset” about the Logan Mankins trade. He needs a chip on his shoulder. Mankins is gone because he did not want to renegotiate his contract. That’s fine, it’s his right as a player. But the Patriots are not paying a 32-year-old guard a contract costing over $20 million combined in 2014 & 2015 as he has clearly declined since 2011. Getting a move tight end (Tim Wright) and a 4th round pick is a steal for clearing cap space. Second-year guard Josh Kline should be ready to step in unless the Patriots go with veterans Dan Connolly and/or Ryan Wendell at a guard spot. Better a year early with Mankins than a year late!
Cleveland All-World wide receiver Josh Gordon is out for the year with his suspension. I really expected that he would be able get his sentence reduced, but he apparently went for all or nothing and paid the price. He indicated interest in playing in the CFL this year, but the Browns nixed that opportunity. Gordon did not hit a woman. He did not drink and drive (well, he wasn’t suspended for that!) and put innocent lives in danger, nor did he take drugs designed to give him an unfair advantage over his opponents. Nope, just smoked some weed (or, as he contested, inhaled second-hand smoke) and got busted on a drug test.
Denver wide receiver Wes Welker has yet to be cleared to play, but with 3 concussions in his last 10 games for Denver he has to be careful. Yes, he has the right to earn a living, but his health is too important to put in jeopardy. Concussions are not a joke. Welker is in the last year of his contract and is likely wanting to look good for potential suitors, but rushing back from a concussion is a bad idea.
Finally, ESPN reached a new low as “reporter” Josina Anderson wrote an article on openly gay St Louis Rams player Michael Sam and his showering habits in the locker room and if other teammates are uncomfortable. I refuse to click on the article or anything talking about it. The man is a football player. His sexual orientation should not be the story, but rather his play on the field. Leave the kid alone and see if he makes the team before getting into any other crap that floats around the league.
The NFL season is getting geared up as there are just two weeks left in the preseason and much to talk about. Time to get right to the notes (before I import any tables and crash the site again--whoops!).
In Philly, the big news last night was running back LeSean McCoy’s thumb on Thursday night. Initially what could have been a break was released as a sprain and should shut him down until opening day. Huge positive news for Philadelphia and fantasy football owners. McCoy is one of the best running backs in the NFL but the fear of injury is always a concern.
Their opponents Friday night was Pittsburgh and their pair of “Dopes” in the backfield. Former Bucs and Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount and last year’s top back Le’Veon Bell were arrested on Wednesday after a police officer on a motorcycle noticed the smell of marijuana and both were arrested after a traffic stop. The duo may now face discipline from the league and Pittsburgh may be shorthanded come opening day against Cleveland. Some nice preparation for the game, for sure.
Number one overall pick defensive end Jadeveon Clowney left practice Wednesday as he suffered an undisclosed injury but rumors were bouncing around it was a neck injury but not serious. That said, the kid has been fantastic to date. Moving from end in college to outside linebacker in the 3-4 under defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel’s three time Super Bowl ring defense, Clowney has been explosive and disruptive to date. For Houston, they need to protect their investment and not rush him back. Clowney and J.J. Watt look like a dynamic pass rushing duo this season and beyond.
In Indianapolis, the Colts have to be wondering when running back Trent Richardson is going to break out. After trading a first round pick to Cleveland for the former #3 overall pick, Richardson did nothing but lose his job last season. With Vick Ballard injured and just a washed-up Ahmad Bradshaw behind Richardson, the Colts have a gaping hole on offense. They traded for Eagles back David Fluellen this week, but the undrafted free agent is likely just a depth option for the practice squad. The Colts are running out players like Zurlon Tipton, Deji Karim, and Daniel Herron at running back. Expect Indy to scour the waiver wire for some backs at cutdowns. Whoever thought Donald Brown would look so good and be missed?
The New York Jets lost their third and fourth round draft picks this week as cornerback Dexter McDougle and receiver Shaq Evans landed on injured reserve. The Jets were expected to lean on their rookies this season and losing two already does not bode well. Oft-injured former Dolphins cornerback Dimitri Patterson has been out and the cornerback position has been so thin that safety Antonio Allen was moved to slot cornerback. For a team that had one of the best duos in football at cornerback in Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, they now have flotsam and jetsam at the position. Wide receiver is not much better. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg (sorry Detroit fans to bring up that bad memory!) now has Eric Decker and...well, no one any good at receiver. David Nelson, Jeremy Kerley, Jacoby Ford, Greg Salas, and Stephen Hill look like a cutdown list, not a depth list.
In Arizona, the Cardinals lost a key cog in their strong defense when veteran nose tackle Darnell Dockett went down with an ACL injury during a non-contact drill. He is out for the season and backup Frostee Rucker is just not comparable to Dockett in the middle of the defense. The Cards also signed veteran Isaac Sopoaga last seen being beat out by undrafted free agents for playing time in New England. Big loss for Arizona.
A 2012 second-round draft pick was released this week as the St. Louis Rams dumped oft-injured running back Isaiah Pead after he tore his ACL last week. Pead has had injuries, suspensions, crappy play, and sixth-round pick Zac Stacy making him obsolete in St. Louis. The question becomes whether anyone wants to take a chance on him and stash him for a year and see if he can bounce back next year. Quite the long-shot, though.
Of course, the biggest news (as far as ESPN was concerned) was Johnny Football was told he will ride the pine week one. Of course, a quarterback who played in the shotgun, had no playbook, and was late for practices and looked terrible all preseason really should have had no shot to play at all. Great news for career backup Brian Hoyer as he gets a shot to play at last. For Johnny Manziel, hopefully he gets his head on straight and buckles down and gets himself ready to play in the NFL. Of course, I said all along this guy is just another Tim Tebow...he has time to prove me wrong, but I am not counting on it.
Finally, in Cincinnati the Bengals signed linebacker Vontaze Burfict to a four-year $20 million extension paying him $7.6 million this year. Burfict was an undrafted free agent who signed for a $5,000 signing bonus as no other team wanted any part of the troubled and slow linebacker coming out of college. The Bengals got two fantastic seasons from the big run-stuffer at NFL minimum contract level before re-upping him wisely now. If Burfict played again at the minimum contract this year he would likely have been looking for a new address as a free agent this offseason.
Yours truly is back to Pawtucket to check out the Boston Red Sox prospects tonight. Hope to have some pics up next week. Gonna be hard to top seeing Joey Votto in a rehab stint, though.
So I was reading about free agent outside linebacker/defensive end Larry English finally catching on with a new team as he signed on with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The article mentioned him as part of the 2009 NFL Draft and how it was a mixed bag of a draft. It got me thinking about the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft and how now that it has been five years it is a great time to check back and see just how it really turned out.
2009 NFL DRAFT - ROUND ONE REVIEW
Stafford is tough to figure out here. He puts up some great numbers, but is he a top quarterback? He seems like he is knocking on the door each season and puts up some great numbers with Megatron for fantasy football, but the wins and playoff appearances do not follow. Whether fair or not, quarterbacks get measured by wins--especially in the postseason--and are not considered elite when they post guady numbers and double-digit losses.
From cornerstone left tackle with $33 million guaranteed in St. Louis to all but out of the league. As big a bust as any in the draft, Smith is right up there. Aaron Curry, Aaron Maybin, or Larry English may have been busts, but Smith was the most highly paid!
Jackson was allowed to leave Kansas City without much resistance. #3 overall picks usually are not shown the door. Jackson is borderline bust, but he has slowly improved.
Out of the league. 5.5 career sacks. Super bust. Historic bust. He could not even catch on in Oakland!
Butt-Fumble. 'Nuff said. Some solid moments early in his career riding a strong defense, but Sanchez was never the Sanchise he was supposed to be.
Smith was intended to be a cornerstone. Instead he is a solid right tackle. Not the best, not the worst. Drafted a bit high, but he has been solid.
Oog. This pick is often used to sum up what was wrong with Oakland at the end of the Al Davis era: Just suck, Baby!
Monroe is a solid left tackle in the NFL. Jacksonville traded him to Baltimore for draft picks where he was a shot in the arm for Baltimore filling the role Michael "the Blind Side" Oher was meant to fill after he was picked in the 2009 draft. Maybe it is bias for hms being stuck on a bad team so long, but Monroe is borderline star at the position.
Raji looked like a star but he has fell off in a hurry. From penetrating nose tackle to big waste of space. He is teetering on bust.
Crabtree is a tough player to figure. He started slow in San Francisco but by the second-half of 2011 and into 2012 was the number one receiver on a Super Bowl team. Last year he had an Achilles tendon tear that slowed him most of the season. He is ont he borderline of a star/solid player. Since he gets under Richard Sherman's skin, he gets the benefit of the doubt.
Maybin was a major flop in Buffalo. He landed in New York and had six sacks in 2011 and seemed on the comeback road. Nope. A down year led to a release, a year in the CFL, and now retirement.
Moreno rescued himself from bust status last year as he bounced back from two years of almost no production and topped 1,000 yards for the first time. Of course, Denver let him walk and the Georgia back is now in Miami. He is still a bit of a question mark, but he can change that positively or negatively in the next few years.
Orakpo is a sacking machine. Other than an injury taking out almost all of 2012 he would be in the conversation for the best first-round pick in the 2009 draft. A three-time Pro Bowl player, Orakpo is a solid pick at #14 overall.
Jenkins is a solid starting free safety. He is far from a star. He is above bust, but not by much. He left New Orleans for Philadelphia this offseason, so maybe a change of scenery is what he needs .
Cushing is a borderline star, but he played only 12 of 32 games for Houston the past two years. When on the field, he is a playmaking tackling machine. A bounce-back couple of seasons and Cushing is back in the star category.
English is the inspiration for this article. He was supposed to be what Clay Matthews has been. Instead, he flamed out in San Diego after multiple chances.
Josh Freeman is still unsigned and not in a training camp. That means he ranks outside the top 3000 players in football right now. That is insane. A huge 2010 season led to optimism but he self-destructed and played his way out of Tampa Bay last year. Now he is on the outside looking in.
Ayers is borderline solid/bust. He is a run-stuffer, but a top twenty first round pick? He can look like a solid pass rusher than disappear for a month. He is inconsistent and really seems to be teetering on slipping to bust in a hurry.
Maclin is the definition of solid. A number two receiver. 55 to 70 catches for 700-900 yards. Maclin missed all of last year so that is an issue, but he should bounce back. Definitely a solid pick.
How the heck do you rank Pettigrew? He is not in the Gronk-Graham group of tight ends but has topped 70 receptions and 700 yards twice. Is he elite? No. Solid? Sure, he was. But his star is showing tarnish the last two years.
Mack probably challenges Clay Matthews as the best player in the draft. Centers do not always go in the first round but Mack has been superb since coming into the league and earned a big money contract this offseason. A great all-around blocker and great pick.
Injuries, sure. But when he plays? WOW! He is a playmaker. The injuries and inconsistencies are all that keep the star label off him.
Sure, he had a movie made about him, but his play has dropped off big time the past few years. He was up-and-down but looked like a future cornerstone left tackle by the end of 2010, but since then he has been steadily getting worse.
Without Googling him, does anyone remember Peria Jerry? That's what I thought and why he's a bust.
Vontae Davis was a washout in Miami but seemingly turned his career around in Indianapolis. He may not be elite, but he has embraced the top role in the secondary in Indy and 4-years $39 million shows he has the respect of his team and could turn the corner to even better things.
Arguably the best draft pick in 2009, the Packers got a steal trading up to snag New England's top pick for a bunch of picks that turned into…nothing spectacular. Matthews is a legitimate star and a steal at #26 overall.
A first-round running back has significant expectations. Brown would be a value pick if he had been taken in the fourth or fifth round, but he has never been a regular starter and topped out at 645 yards in a season.
Wood was a solid guard for two seasons for Buffalo and then switched to center in 2011. Injuries have slowed him a bit, but he is solid in pass protection and a nasty run blocker.
Nicks left New York this offseason without much of a battle. Four seasons over 750 yardsr eceiving including two over 1,000 yards makes Nicks a solid pick. At the end of the first round the Giants got good value on his rookie contract. Definitely a solid pick.
On field talent was never an issue for Britt. It was the off field problems. Just a waste of talent.
2011. That was when Beanie topped 1,000 yards. He has not played in a year and a half now and his career is in jeopardy. That is a bust.
The Ziggy man is not the dominant defensive tackle many thought he could be in Pittsburgh. Hood was solid as a rookie but quickly dipped to mediocre and has stayed at that level. Picks like Hood are why the Steel Curtain defense that was a title contender most of this decade has fallen off.