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Q-o-t-D 8/16/14 Tags: NFL Fanatasy Football


Are you ready for Fantasy Football Season?


I'm not!

Sports Friday with Hal: Back in Time 2009
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL NFL Draft Football 2009 NFL Draft






Happy Friday!


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.


Pick Team Name Pos College/Univ Star/Solid/Bust Comments
1 DET Matthew Stafford QB Georgia Solid 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.
2 STL Jason Smith T Baylor Bust 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!
3 KAN Tyson Jackson DE LSU Solid 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. 
4 SEA Aaron Curry LB Wake Forest Bust Out of the league. 5.5 career sacks. Super bust. Historic bust. He could not even catch on in Oakland!
5 NYJ Mark Sanchez QB USC Bust 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.
6 CIN Andre Smith T Alabama Solid 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.
7 OAK Darrius Heyward-Bey WR Maryland Bust 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! 
8 JAX Eugene Monroe T Virginia Solid 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.
9 GNB B.J. Raji DT Boston Col. Solid 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. 
10 SFO Michael Crabtree WR Texas Tech Star 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. 
11 BUF Aaron Maybin DE Penn St. Bust 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. 
12 DEN Knowshon Moreno RB Georgia Solid 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.
13 WAS Brian Orakpo LB Texas Star 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.
14 NOR Malcolm Jenkins DB Ohio St. Solid 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 . 
15 HOU Brian Cushing LB USC Solid 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.
16 SDG Larry English LB Northern Illinois Bust 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. 
17 TAM Josh Freeman QB Kansas St. Bust 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.
18 DEN Robert Ayers DE Tennessee Solid 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.
19 PHI Jeremy Maclin WR Missouri Solid 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.
20 DET Brandon Pettigrew TE Oklahoma St. Solid 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.
21 CLE Alex Mack C California Star 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. 
22 MIN Percy Harvin WR Florida Solid Injuries, sure. But when he plays? WOW! He is a playmaker. The injuries and inconsistencies are all that keep the star label off him. 
23 BAL Michael Oher T Mississippi Solid 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. 
24 ATL Peria Jerry DT Mississippi Bust Without Googling him, does anyone remember Peria Jerry? That's what I thought and why he's a bust. 
25 MIA Vontae Davis DB Illinois Solid 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.
26 GNB Clay Matthews LB USC Star 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.
27 IND Donald Brown RB Connecticut Bust 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. 
28 BUF Eric Wood C Louisville Solid 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. 
29 NYG Hakeem Nicks WR North Carolina Solid 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. 
30 TEN Kenny Britt WR Rutgers Bust On field talent was never an issue for Britt. It was the off field problems. Just a waste of talent.
31 ARI Beanie Wells RB Ohio St. Bust 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. 
32 PIT Evander Hood DE Missouri 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. 


OK, that's a wrap!  Have a great weekend!

OH Thursday with Shorty
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL season predictions


OH Thursday with Shorty


With the NFL pre season games and team joint practices well under way we visit the West today and then sum up Shorty’s season prognostication.


Final standings from 2013

Denver                 13-3                        5-1

Kansas City       11-5                        2-4

San Diego           9-7                         4-2

Oakland                4-12                       1-5

Denver is loaded up for another run at the ring. This may be Peyton’s last best chance to get ring #2 and the Bronco’s are ready to ride him again. Manning set a few passing records last season with the most prolific offense in NFL history. His post season troubles looked like they were behind him until the SB and Seattle’s D shut them down.

Peyton should throw for another 45TD’s and 5000 yards and the Bronco’s should cruise to the AFC West title. The only thing that could derail them is an injury to Peyton.

Kansas City started fast and maintained momentum until the cold weather set in. The playoff loss to the Colts 44-43 showed that this team was just a pretender. They have a journeyman QB in Smith and the best RB, Charles, in the game. Keeping the run going late in each game as well as the season is a must, they need to finish.  Shorty sees the Chiefs taking a step back this season and missing the playoffs.

San Diego made a late run to the last wildcard spot in ’14 and wants to build on that. Rivers wants that ring and knows the clock is ticking.  

RB Danny Woodhead, TE’s Antonio Gates and Ladaris Green and WR’s Keenan Allen, Malcom Floyd and Eddie Royal  should provide a respectable offense.  The addition of 1st round pick speedster CB Jason Verrett should help the secondary. The schedule finds the Chargers starting off with tough games vs Arizona and Seattle before getting a seemingly easy load of Buffalo, NY Jets, Jaguars and Raiders over the next 4 weeks. Another wildcard in not out of the question and an injury to Manning would put them in position to win the division


Oakland is Oakland…simple to say and easy to believe. Matt Shaub isn’t the answer, there really is no answer for this team which will again be the 4th best in the division. How many wins? Shorty is inclined to ask, will they win any? This team is definitely in the running for 1st overall pick in 2015 and they will most likely take the fastest guy at the combines


Denver                   13-3

San Diego               9-7

Kansas City            6-10

Oakland                 2-14


Final standing 2013

Seattle                       13-3                  4-2

San Francisco             12-4                 5-1

Arizona                       10-6                 2-4

St Louis                       7-9                 1-5


Seattle will find defending their title an insurmountable problem. Teams in the NFL just don’t repeat. (NE in SB 38 & 39 was the most recent)

The Seahawks play in a tough division and are hated by all. They have the best loudmouth CB in the game in Richard Sherman. They led the NFL in overall penalties in 2014. The categories they were best at was unnecessary roughness on receivers and late hits. The NFL has instructed the zebras to re emphasize these infractions in particular…that doesn’t bode well for the Champs. They are a talented and deep team and should make the playoffs.

San Francisco is in a quandary. They have a brilliant young QB and a terrific run game.  The TE is one of the games best. Some high quality WR’s.They can light up the scoreboard on anyone.  The 49ers have a tough road ahead with a nightmare schedule. After opening the season on the road in Dallas they face:  Chicago,  @ Arizona, Philadelphia, Kansas City, @ St Louis, @ Denver,  bye,  St Louis, @ New Orleans,  @ Giants, Washington, Seattle, @ Oakland, @ Seattle,  San Diego and Arizona.

Arizona missed the playoffs at 10-6 the last team to manage that was the Bradyless, Matt Cassell led ’08 (11-5) NE Patriots. Arizona, led by the rejuvenated Carson Palmer could put a damper on Seattle’s and San Frans playoff hopes. The talented corps of receivers: Larry Fitzgerald, Ted Ginn and Michael Floyd are as good as any. RB Andre Ellington averaged 5.5 ypg This team went 6-2 over the second half last season with two 3 point losses to the Eagles and San Francisco as the only losses. Watch out for the Cardinals to surprise the powers that be. Arizona can play defense too, they are on the verge of being an NFL power.


StLouis would love to transfer to the NFC East for a season or two; they would be the best team. But fate has it that they play here in the West and have six games that will be tough to compete in let alone win.

Unfortunatly for the Rams the NFC West is home and it's a rough road to becoming respectable here...once again religated to a spoiler...too bad.

Shorty will piss you off with these  predictions:

Arizona         11-5

Seattle         10-6

San Fran     10-6

StLouis        5-11


AFC Playoffs

Division Winners

East                       New England            12-4

North                     Pittsburgh                   10-6

South                    Indianapolis                 11-5

West                      Denver                         13-3


Wildcard #1           Cincinnati                     9-7

Wildcard #2            San Diego                   9-7


Denver and New England get the byes


Indianapolis beats San Diego

Pittsburgh beats Cincinnati


New England beats Indianapolis

Pittsburgh beats Denver


NFC Playoffs


Division winners

East                        Philadelphia              11-5

North                      Green Bay                 11-5

South                     New Orleans               11-5

West                        Arizona                     11-5


Wildcard #1          Seattle                         10-6

Wildcard #2          San Francisco              10-6


Arizona and Green Bay get the byes


New Orleans beats San Francisco

Philadelphia beats Seattle


New Orleans beats Arizona

Green Bay beats Philadelphia


Shorty brings us to his  FINAL FOUR

Pittsburgh at New England

New Orleans at Green Bay

No big surprise here, these teams represent 7 of the last 13 SB winners.

The starting QB’s for those 7 winners are all still here for this one.

Who will win it all...

you just have to watch.

Shorty is heading back to the Tavern to take his rightful place at the end of the bar next to the pickle jar ready for some Fred Lites and some football





















Musings From The Hoodwood 8-12 NFL Preview Pt.1
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NFL


Greetings from the Hoodwood where the locals are ready for some football.


Im flipping the script, no Im not going back to videos. Im going to take the next four weeks and preview the NFL. Im going to pick a direction and go. The teams are listed in order of predicted finish

2014 AFC North Preview

Cincinnati Bengals

2013: 11-5 Division Champs lost to San Diego in Wild Card Round

Coach: Marvin Lewis, 12th season 90-90-1 all in Cincinnati (90-95-1 overall)

Man on the Hot Seat: Andy Dalton, a $115 million contract looks a bit suspect with an 0-3 playoff record

Fast Facts: The Bengals current run of 3 playoff years is the longest in team history

Marvin Lewis hold the team record for wins and losses

Queen City Info: The Bengals are a team that is hard to figure, increased win totals over the last three years, but playoff futility in all three. They come into the season as a surprising favorites in the division and have to take the next step. With a bit of a transition after losing both coordinators to head coaching  jobs, the onus will be on Dalton to shine, if he doesn’t the most senior coach in the division might be in hot water if he gets to 100 losses before he gets to 100 wins

Pittsburgh Steelers

2013: 8-8 missed playoffs

Coach Mike Tomlin 8th Season 71-41 all in Pittsburgh (76-44 overall)

Man on the Hot Seat: Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley he’s got to come up with a scheme to take the onus of Big Ben who aint exactly a spring chicken any more

Fast Facts: Mike Tomlin has yet to have a sub .500 season in the Steel City but has yet to win a playoff game since the 2010 AFC title game

Steel City Stuff: The Steelers started the season horridly but under Tomlin’s steady had fought back and went 6-2 in the back half of the season and were in contention for a playoff spot on the final day, the team is still weak in the running game and the defense seems to continue to age with no real solid replacements in sight, the Steelers are still the Steelers and will hang around in contention. They will also continue to bully the Bengals and keep them from running away with the division


Baltimore Ravens

2013: 8-8 missed playoffs

Coach: John Harbaugh 7th season 62-34 all in Baltimore (71-38 overall)

Man on the Hot Seat: Gary Kubiak, he has got to jump start a shaky offense in Baltimore and get Joe Flacco to put up the numbers to justify that huge contract

Inner Harbor Gridiron: The Ravens never seemed to get on any kind of roll last year, they got blown out in the season opener and all their champions veneer was gone, baby gone. They pulled out some close wins and looked like they were going to make a run with a four game win streak in late November-Early December but took a pair of frightening beatings at the hands of New England and Cincy  to stumble out of contention. The Ravens didn’t need to be under the gun but with Ray Rice sitting out the first two games on suspension they put even more onus on Flacco, another slow start would not be good. The proud but aging defense is going to be leaned on even more, I just cant see them pulling miracles out here.

Cleveland Browns

2013: 4-12 missed playoffs

Coach: Mike Pettine 1st season

Man on the Hot Seat:  Brian Hoyer, he will be hearing the chants of “We want Johnny” with every incompletion

Lakefron Football: The Browns have a ton of optimism with the acquisition of the publicity of Johnny Manziel, but Pettine insists that he will be brought along slowly. Hoyer who’s a Cleveland kid faces the mounting pressure to win now to keep the media circus down to a low roar, but with a brutal schedule to start Hoyer had better hit the ground at full speed or the natives will want run on of their own out the door quick in favor of the flashy Manziel. The Browns will stay in plenty of games with a quietly tough defense but the offense is further weakened by the loss of Josh Gordon and a weak offense in this division is a tough burden to bear.


2014 NFC North Preview

Green Bay Packers

2013 Record: 8-7-1, lost to San Francisco in Wild Card Round

Head Coach Mike McCarthy 9th season 82-45-1 all in Green Bay, 88-50-1 overall

Man On The Hot Seat: Dom Capers packers defensive Coorndinator, the Packers allowed 428 points last year that number has to come way down

Fast Fact: The Packers allowed 30 or more points 6 times in 2013, going 2-4 in those games

The Pack were a tough team to figure last year, periods of solid play led by the brilliant Aaron Rodgers (6-3) countered by futile play when he was injured (2-4-1) the Packers nearly gave away the division and needed a late score in the season finale against the Bears to win the division. The Pack goes as Rodgers goes, if hes hale they are the team to beat, still. If hes hurting, they will struggle and the margin for error is getting too close now.

Chicago Bears

2013 Record 8-8, Missed Playoffs

Head Coach Marc Trestman 2nd Season 8-8 in Chicago overall

Man on the Hot Seat: Jay Cutler, the laconic quarterback comes under increasing fire for his leadership and the Bears have too many weapons on offense to waste with indifferent play.

The Bears were in the drivers seat after a pair of shootout wins against Dallas and Cleveland in December they then got blown out in Philly and gunned down by Aaron Rodgers and the Pack in the season finale. This team is too talented to be at .500, they shine in some games (rallying to beat the Bengals and Vikes, thrashing the Steelers and Cowboys, outdueling the Pack) and look oafish in others (losing to the Browns, Rams and Vikings and taking a horrific beating by the Lions) The Bears are the true defintion of an enigma. They could very well win 12 games this year can lose 10. Their passing game can be topnotch wiht Jay Cutler when he shows a pulse. The defense gains an aging yet still effective Jared Allen, so its a tossup. I still dont think they have enough to get by the Pack though

Minnesota Vikings

2013: 5-10-1, missed playoffs

Head Coach; Mike Zimmer 1st Year

Man on the Hot Seat: Matt Cassel, he has to keep the starting seat warm for QB of the future Teddy Bridgewater but another slow start could get him the gate faster than expected.

Mike Zimmer was the hot coordinator everyone wanted and he lands in MInnesota. The defense needs some work and the offense beyond All-Everything Adrian Peterson is spotty at its very best. Peterson's prime years are being wasted behind a roughshod offense that every defense knows who the ball is going to.The Vikes are not going to be scaring anyone anytime soon.

Detroit Lions

2013: 7-9 Missed Playoffs

Head Coach Jim Caldwell 1st Year in Detroit, 28-24 in 3 years overall

Man on The Hot Seat: Ndomakung Suh, the high potential high strung lineman has got to cool his temper, his attitude is poisoning the team

The Lions were rolling along at 7-5 and looking like a playoff team when after they hammered the Pack on Thanksgiving when they blew a tire and lost four straight. The sprial cost JIm Schwartz his job and Jim Caldwell now steps in the breech to try to make the Lions respectable. He has a big time QB-WR combo to work with like he did in Indy but the undisciplined defense has got to improve and in a winnable division it could happen. But I dont see it happening this year. 

Phat Dap

To the NBA for staying the course. The NBA finalized the sale of the LA Clippers to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and ends the tragic reign of Donald Sterling. The sale was upheld in a California Court of Appeal and we can now have peace in city of Angels...

Head Slap

Though Hoodwood is saddened by the senseless death of Kevin Wade Jr, the 20 year race car driver killed after being hit by NASCAR driver Tony Stewart on Saturday Night. I have a hard time making sense of why Wade ran out on to the track. If one has beef go after the driver post race, what was he trying to prove? The hotheaded move cost that boy his life.


Quick Hits

Has it been 20 years since the MLB strike? Whoa

Who are you getting more sick of hearing about Manziel, Romo or Tebow?

Are the Royals really in 1st place or are the Tigers swooning that badly

I think Durant stepping down from the National team was a smart move

Thanks for your patience. Until Next Post Fellow Sports Fans!




Monday Moaning...On a Tuesday
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Cleveland Browns Johnny Manziel Tony Stewart Kevin Ward Jr Brian Hoyer Shark Week Husker Du Robin Williams The Media


It's "Shark Week" people....And I'd rather watch that over pre-season football!

Saturday the Cleveland Browns had their first, uneventful pre-season game, against the Lions...What a steaming pile of crap...And the worst part...All the Cleveland media, and most fans could talk about during the game (via Twitter) was when is Johnny Manziel getting in...

When the coach says so assholes...And Cleveland sports media, you better stop calling yourselves journalists when you are openly rooting for one guy over another to win the starting job...They wrote and spoke and tweeted of his 7 for 11 completions, for 63 yards as if it was somehow amazing, and so much greater then Brian Hoyers 6-14 for 92 yards...Manziel played against 2's and 3's...Hoyer had a couple drops...But the Play calling stood out to me...When it was timing playing, 3 steps and the ball is out, Hoyer looked great...When the Browns called a read-option on 3rd and 2 with Manzile in there, it was just so completely predictable, that the Lions ate it up...

The biggest thing that stood out was the Browns yards per pass average...5.2...That shows they weren't trying to stretch the field...Or just dumping off to the check downs...

I did like a lot of what I saw from the defense...Then again, it was the Lions, in pre-season...It was what I expected...A boring, meaningless, pre-season game...

The Big Story from Saturday night came from auto Racing when Tony Stewart ran over and killed Kevin Ward Jr.....It was a fucked up situation...

I'm not willing to speak on this topic...I know nothing about auto racing...I never wrote about it before...I'm not starting now...Although, I will say, if you're going o get out of your wrecked car and try to start a fight with a guy in a moving car, you're probably suffering from Cranial-Anal-Insertion...And you're gonna lose...

Big news that broke Monday, Actor/Comedian Robin Williams committed suicide....It's sad...Very sad...He was amazingly talented...But many people suffer with the same things as him, and no one talks about it...I loved his work as an actor, but I have a hard time going on and on about some one who killed themselves...Even worse, networks like CNN completely stopped all news coverage and just talked non-stop about Williams...Kinda makes me sick...

Here...Enjoy a depressing song while I go watch "Shark Week"...



Have a week...

The Beeze.

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