Friday, September 7, 2007

Uninteresting Journalism 102

Here's an article from Fox sports writer Jay Glazer, who is most certainly not a blogger, making his predictions for certain outcomes in 2007. Notice how utterly banal and unenlightening it is:

2007 MVP: Drew Brees. Just didn't want to go along with everyone else and say Peyton Manning. Manning is clearly the league's most effective player but that's too easy of an answer. In sticking with my reasoning, Brees and head coach Sean Payton have had a full year to figure out how to use Bush, McAlister and Co. even better. Better? Scary thought. LT will also get votes because one thing the man does is work his butt off. Tomlinson is always looking to improve, despite being on his way to becoming the most productive rusher in NFL history. But in the end, Brees should light up the skies over Louisiana again.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily think any of these players are bad picks (although Brees isn't exactly looking like a genius guess after last night). But what's the point of, in an article about going out on a limb and making predictions, merely mentioning the three top vote getters last year? I'm surprised he didn't list Tiki Barber. Gee what a shocking prediction--Drew Brees will probably be good, but if not LT or Manning will be.

THE NEXT GREAT THING AWARD: Rams RB Steven Jackson. Looks more like a linebacker than a running back. Rams coach Scott Linehan will move him around a bunch to get the plethora of mismatches awaiting defenses. Jackson has the size, speed and is a better receiver than he's given credit for. He's about to explode on the scene folks.

Steven Jackson is "The Next Great Thing"? Steven Jackson the 4th year player who had a very good 2006? He's "The Next Great Thing"? I mean, even if we are to buy into the idea that this is his "breakout" season, everyone pretty much knows how good Jackson is. I haven't seen a FFB rankings that has Jackson out of the top 5 picks. I'm just shocked he didn't pick Frank Gore here. Or Larry Johnson!!!

COACH WHOSE BUTT IS HOTTEST ON THAT HOT SEAT: Tom Coughlin. Mr. Coughlin is already mired in controversy and the season hasn't even started. He nearly lost his job a year ago but saved it with a playoff berth. The Giants have more soap opera plots than the best show in the universe, Flavor Of Love.

FANTASY SUPER SLEEPER AWARD: Cadillac Williams. Man, how much have we forgotten about this guy? Last year he was a sure-fire top 10 pick. But now Williams is way down on most team's draft boards because of a subpar 2006. Williams is healthy again and worked his butt off this off-season and could be one of those sleepers who make fantasy owners rev their engines.


PRESSURE COOKER AWARD: Rex Grossman. Is there a guy who gets questioned more in this league than Grossman? He took his team to the Super Bowl and still fans were asking "When is Rex going to the bench?" questions after half the team's wins. Those questions will only subside if Grossman doesn't make ample mistakes in losses ... as well as wins.

Oh goody. You mean there's pressure on Rex Grossman? I hadn't heard....

COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Donovan McNabb. He's healthy but for how long? If he can last the season without injury he's primed to light it up for the Birds.

I think this one is my favorite. A previously injured superstar, if he can stay healthy this year, will be comeback player of the year. Wow. What hubris! I wish he would have done the same for the MVP: "Drew Brees is my pick for MVP, provided he has a better year than Peyton Manning or LT". Oh wait--HE DID!

COACH OF THE YEAR: Lovie Smith. This team has lost its starting RB from a year ago and can they really rely upon Devin Hester for a million TDs again? Plus, Rex is still at QB (see Pressure Cooker Award above). But despite these questions, the Bears will be a force again and Smith should lead them right back to at least the conference championship.

Not much to say here but "I doubt it."

SAVING HIS BUTT AWARD: Brian Billick. Although his act is tiring, his defense and the addition of Willis McGahee should be enough to get this team to be a bona fide powerhouse and thus, keep Billick at the helm for yet another season. If this team somehow falters, I could definitely see ownership finally sweeping him and his perennial sluggish offense out the door.


Jamal Lewis's 2006 stats: 314 carries/1132 yds/3.6 ypc/ 9 TD/ 2 fumbles lost (AGE=27)
Willis Mcgahee's 2006 stats: 259 carries/990 yds/ 3.8 ypc/ 6 TD/ 2 fumbles lost (AGE=25)
Steve Mcnair's 2006 age: 33
Steve Mcnair's 2007 age: 34

I know the general consensus (for whatever reason) is that Lewis is on the downswing and Mcgahee is on the upswing...but I guess I don't see how Mcgahee's 2007 is going to be such an upgrade over Lewis's 2006 to make a mediocre offense with an aging QB a powerhouse. Baltimore may or not be a great team this year, but don't you suppose that will have more to do with their exceptional defense than the judgment on Mcgahee by the same scouting team that thought Kyle Boller wouldn't be one of the bigger 1st round QB busts in recent history?

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (offense)/ Falcons DE Jamaal Anderson (defense). Peterson is set up to get a major load of carries and has the explosion to wrack up big numbers. Anderson has an abundance of potential as a pass rusher and in the end, sacks helps get notoriety.

NEXT HOT COACHING CANDIDATE: Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan. Interviewed for San Diego's gig last year> And as long as the Ravens don't make it to the Super Bowl, Ryan is ready to take his take-no-prisoner's defensive scheme to a squad sorely in need of help on that side of the ball. Last year our pick for the next hot coaching candidate was Mike Tomlin so we're at least 1 for 1.

POISED FOR STARDOM AWARD: Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware. With Wade Phillips' attacking defensive scheme coming to town, Ware should explode. He's already been rising in the eyes of people inside the NFL but this is the year everyone else will realize he's primed to be a dominating player.

SUPER SOPH AWARD: Reggie Bush. Now that he knows more of what he's looking at out there, it spells major trouble for defensive players and coaches league-wide. Despite being all over the place in ads, Bush has stayed remarkably grounded and during the season he's all business. I think we're all about to see a season full of highlight runs and catches we haven't seen since Barry Sanders.

These all seem plausible, if mundane. Two of the higher profile first round players in the draft for ROTY, the defensive coordinator of the best defense in the league for next big head coach, last year's ROTY for future superstar, and Reggie Bush. Nothing wrong here, but anyone who follows football even reasonably close would have probably picked the same...

So, like, snooze.

BIGGEST LETDOWN TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD: Terrell Owens will be a choir boy. We won't have the weekly soap opera like we did a year ago. Not sure if TO will make it healthy through a whole season but he's been such a team player to this point combined with Wade Phillips demeanor, in my opinion, will spell a relief from all the garbage we've had to talk about the last two years.

What a dumb
a.) category
b.) prediction

BTW: TO has already ruffled some feathers by mentioning two non-Romo QB's as the one's he wished he played for. I guess that's sort of like a choirboy saying that the two deities he wished he worshipped were Neptune, god of the sea, and Baal the pagan god. And, you know, choirboys do that all the time, so I guess technically Glazer's not wrong.

UNDER THE RADAR AWARD: Patriots WR Wes Welker. With everyone talking about the addition of Randy Moss, Adalius Thomas and even Donte Stallworth to a point, Welker may have the biggest year out of all of them. He'll be huge for Tom Brady in red zone situations and is a standout on special teams.

Frankly, I heard a lot of analysts talking about how Welker was the Patriot's best acquisition of the offseason (and I agree with them)...but I guess I can get down with this pick in principle.

My diagnosis: adequate babysitting....I mean...prognosticating.

BIGGEST DIVISIONAL TURNAROUND: NFC West. Every team in this division has gotten better and each team now has a true stud (or stud in the making) at QB and bona fide Pro Bowl-caliber RB. While the offensive attacks will help outside the division, the defenses in this division should decide the winner. Still, the NFC West should no longer be sneezed at.

BIGGEST QUESTION MARK: Cedric Benson. With all the attention centered on Grossman, has everyone forgotten about replacing a guy with 2,545 yards rushing over the past two years? The task falls in the lap of Benson, who also has to deal with replacing one of the locker room's most beloved members. If he can't justify his draft selection, not only will Grossman have a rough year, the Bears will need to find other answers as well.

SOLIDIFY HIS PLACE IN HISTORY AWARD: Ravens LB Ray Lewis. When players get old people tend to talk about them losing a step. They've said Lewis has lost a step for years. This year, I bet he finds all the steps he supposedly lost and uses them to run right back up to the top.

BIGGEST LETDOWN: Randy Moss. Once the Pats signed him the entire NFL universe crowned the Pats. Why even play the season? Why? Moss won't be nearly as effective as was predicted. Not even close.

Snooze. This article was enthralling.

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