Holy squashed bear balls, this is one of Gregg's worst (or best?) performances ever. He outdoes himself several times on several familiar topics. Man. Whew. (Larry B slowly runs hand over top of head while puffing cheeks out) This reads like a "best of" clip column. I almost don't know where to begin.
• Great players:
WHOA! TED THOMPSON, YOU'VE BEEN EXPOSED! BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD, THE CAT IS OUT OF THE BAG!
All championship teams must have a few. Rodgers and Charles Woodson will be Hall of Famers. If they continue to perform at their current levels, Clay Matthews and B.J. Raji could be, too. Donald Driver and Chad Clifton have had great careers, and Greg Jennings is getting into that territory.
• Undrafted players:
The only surprise is that he didn't list this ahead of "Great players."
The Packers have 16 on their roster --
I'm not going to look it up, but I'm going to guess that's just about par for the course for most teams.
Jarrett Bush, Tom Crabtree, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Ray Dominguez, Rob Francois, Brett Goode, Ryan Grant, John Kuhn, Jamari Lattimore, Tim Masthay, Brandon Saine, Sam Shields, Shaky Smithson, Vic So'oto, Tramon Williams and Frank Zombo. Football is a team sport,
And most of those guys contribute to the team by making four special teams tackles a year while high-drafted megabucks glory boys Rodgers, Jennings, Raji, and Woodson (all first rounders besides Jennings) make all the plays.
and for team sports, little-known role players are as important as great players.
In the sense that you need some on your roster to make special teams tackles so your star players don't get hurt covering punts, yes.
Unlike highly drafted crybabies who think the rules don't apply to them -- Exhibit A, the Detroit Lions --
How predictable. How fucking predictable, you know? Didn't hear a lot about the Lions and their highly-drafted crybabies when they were tearing shit up earlier this season. Now that they've hit a rough patch he's right there to tell us all about it. Gregg Easterbrook : the Lions :: Jay Mariotti : every team in Chicago and everywhere else.
undrafted players listen to the coaches and give you what they've got.
Shoot me in the fucking eyeballs.
Largely irrelevant. Good players are good players are good players. Building through the draft is sometimes cheaper than using free agency, and always a source of pride for the fans (especially mouth-breathing bulldozers like Packer fans) but no more a secret to fielding a championship team than "having a historic stadium" is.
Many Green Bay players were late choices, selected by a point in the draft where many teams were just winging it.
No need to justify your point with examples! That takes lots of work.
• Green Bay won the Brett Favre mess: Had the Packers not shown Favre the door, Rodgers would have departed. Offloading the franchise's most accomplished player was wrenching.
Sure. Still not a secret. "Hey, they traded away a legend because he was getting old and there was a capable replacement waiting in the wings. Maybe if the Rams could figure that out for themselves they wouldn't be so terrible!"
Leaders make decisions for the future rather than the present -- if only those in Washington, D.C., thought this way --
Look at those clowns in Washington, clowning everything up with their clowniness LOL
and Green Bay made a smart decision for the future regarding Favre.
• The only NFL roster with five tight ends, as TMQ has noted before: Green Bay has five tight ends, and has won 18 straight games. Why don't other NFL teams notice this rudimentary fact?
Because simply signing more tight ends won't make your team better unless those tight ends are actually good? The Lakers won titles in 2009 and 2010 while starting two 7 footers- WHY CAN'T OTHER TEAMS NOTICE HOW SIMPLE IT IS?!??! Just sign two tall guys, sit back, and collect your ringzzzz
Multiple tight ends allow for multiple offensive sets that confuse defensive game plans. All contemporary defensive coordinators have some experience dealing with multiple wide receiver sets. Most don't have experience dealing with multiple tight end sets.
If by "multiple" you mean two, you're patently wrong. If you mean three or more, you're still wrong.
• Aaron Rodgers:
Already listed, and the opposite of a secret.
Plus Rodgers is handsome. Just as the football gods are propitiated by cheerleaders with sex appeal, the gods also smile on handsome quarterbacks. Rodgers, Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Drew Brees -- it may not be fair, but this seems to be the way it is.
Explain John Elway then.
There are two other big factors:
• Mystique: The Packers have won four Super Bowls, 13 conference and/or league titles. Green Bay has the oldest consistent winner in football. The place is Titletown. Vince Lombardi is looking down. The Packers exist in a college-town atmosphere -- they are even the sole NFL franchise with college cheerleaders, not professional cheerleaders, on the sidelines. The aura around the Packers is unmatched by any other NFL organization.
The Saints just won a Super Bowl. The Cardinals were two minutes from winning one. Who gives a shit?
• Bicycles: Packers players ride bicycles to the opening of camp, an annual summer ritual attended by thousands of children. Cheesy? Well, it is Wisconsin. Corny? Gets the season off on a fun note.
In his seven weeks of starting, Tebow has committed just three turnovers. Eagles quarterbacks Michael Vick and Vince Young have 13 turnovers in the same period; Ryan Fitzpatrick has 12 turnovers in same period.
That's undrafted all effort no glamour Harvard alum (chip chip cheerio I have a cleft asshole!) Ryan Fitzpatrick to you, buster.
Sour Play of the Week: Godfrey Daniel, what happened at the end of regulation in Arizona? Game tied, Dallas completed a pass to the Cardinals' 31 with 26 seconds remaining, holding two timeouts. Then Garrett appeared to ice his own kicker by calling timeout just before his team's kick was launched -- good, but wiped out by the coach's timeout. Dallas kicked again and this time missed; Arizona prevailed in overtime. Godfrey Daniel!
Any clue as to who or what Godfrey Daniel is? Me neither. So I Googled. Topical.
Several times during the contest, Newton ran the zone-read option play. Considering Newton and Tebow, this action is advancing from gimmick to standard NFL strategy.
Two out of thirty two teams (the only two with big QBs who ran as much as they passed in college) are using it? Sounds commonplace to me!
So when big-college sports programs hire coaches, appeal to the TV audience may mean a lot more than technicalities such as having players in class and getting their degrees. Ohio State just hired Urban Meyer, who has proven TV marketing appeal. According to the News-Suns of Springfield, Ohio, Meyer's contract includes maximum annual bonuses of $550,000 for victories and $150,000 for players' academic achievements. This suggests that football is 3.7 times more important than education at Ohio State.
Are you kidding me? Only 3.7 times? If I were dean of students at tOSU and the university officially announced that figure I'd pop some champagne. I wouldn't be surprised if they shut down their entire academic arm (except student athlete support services) within the next ten years and just focused on sports. How much money does the chemistry department bring to the university? Thought so.
Stop Me Before I Blitz Again! St. Louis blitzed seven; San Francisco threw a 56-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Williams for the icing score. Arizona blitzed seven; Dallas threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant.
There's your weekly anecdotal evidence that blitzing never works and should be discarded.
Sure, the blitz sometimes produces a big play for the defense -- New Orleans got a sack against Detroit by rushing seven.
Whoa! From out of nowhere! What's with this new fair and balanced approach?
But on the big blitz, a big play for the offense is as likely.
It's a 50/50 proposition, folks. Close the book on that one. No further research need be done. Well, maybe one anecdote just to really get the point home.
The 36-yard late third-quarter catch by Tony Scheffler that put Detroit back into its game at New Orleans came against a mega-blitz.
Washington has not only put the younger generation on the hook for at least $14 trillion in debt -- now young Americans may end up on the hook for money squandered in Europe. TMQ asks again: Why aren't voters under age 30 outraged about this?
They're too busy being enraged about minor changes to Facebook?
/shakes fist at damn neighborhood kids playing on his lawn
Manly-Man Play of the Day: Tennessee led Buffalo 17-10 midway through third quarter, Flaming Thumbtacks facing fourth-and-1 on the Bills' 18. Tennessee went for it and converted. The result of the drive was still a field goal, but Titans coach Mike Munchak sent his players a message that he was challenging them to win, as they did.
And there's your weekly anecdote that going for it on 4th down is a great idea no matter what every time. Even when you do it from your own 29 in overtime and fail. If the Falcons make the playoffs, you can bet your house, dog, and savings that Gregg will attribute it to that loss against the Saints. If they don't make the playoffs, you can bet those same items that Gregg will fail to mention it but will also continue to point out that cheer-babes are mega hott (especially when they don't wear much clothing!).
Arkansas finished sixth in the BCS, ahead of Boise State, is a megabucks insider school, yet didn't reach the BCS either. In the Razorbacks' case, because LSU and Alabama made the title tilt, by BCS rules no other SEC school could enter. But that shows the BCS isn't entirely rigged -- Arkansas, an insider, is out.
I cannot think of a stupider conclusion to draw from those facts. Not one. You could use them to conclude that it was actually space aliens who assassinated JFK and you'd still be closer to right than Gregg.
Skins-Jets note: Pass rush specialist Aaron Maybin, who had zero sacks in two seasons at Buffalo, has six sacks in his first nine games with Jersey/B, leading Rex Ryan's pressure-obsessed defense in the category. Maybin hit Rex Grossman to force the fumble that turned the game in the Jets' favor.
Buffalo used the 11th overall selection of the 2009 draft on Maybin, then rarely let him on the field, criticized him relentlessly in public, then waived him early this season. Nonsensical? Not if Buffalo's new front office, which took over shortly after the Maybin choice, is more concerned with protecting its high-paid jobs than with winning.
1) And there's your weekly reminder that Gregg actually thinks coaches do things besides try to win.
2) I love when he has to grapple with the resume of a player like Maybin, who was a mega-bucks first round pick but was also waived.
The Bills are 5-7 and last in the NFL in sacks. If everything about their season was the same except they'd simply kept Maybin, the Bills might be in the playoff hunt.
But to the coach and general manager, lining up excuses for losing was the first priority.
Undrafted Quarterback Plays of the Day: Undrafted Miami quarterback Matt Moore threw a touchdown pass
Undrafted because he transferred, got hurt a lot, and only had one quality college season.
to undrafted Miami receiver Davon Bess
Undrafted because he's tiny and not that fast. Although I admit that that shouldn't have been the case.
versus Oakland. Undrafted Tyler Palko threw a touchdown pass against Chicago.
And what an artful touchdown pass it was! I'm sure he planned to throw it off Brian Urlacher's hands and into the waiting stomach of Dexter McCluster. Just a few paragraphs later, in his "Hell's sports bar" bit:
They endlessly re-saw Kansas City getting its sole touchdown on a fluke Hail Mary on the final snap before the first half.
YOU CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS GRRRRRRRR
In the Carolina-City of Tampa game, undrafted quarterback Rudy Carpenter, called up from the practice squad just hours before the contest,
And now we're congratulating undrafted QBs for successfully handling snaps.
handed off to undrafted tailback LeGarrette Blount.
Who went undrafted because everyone thought he was too small and untalented to make it in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE. Or perhaps everyone realized that he was incredibly talented but was also a loose cannon asshole who punched an opponent in the face on the field after a loss. (Not that that Boise State guy didn't deserve it. I'm sure he did.) One or the other.
Class of 1983, Meet Class of 2012: Sports touts, and Indianapolis Colts faithful, are focused on the destiny of Andrew Luck in the 2012 draft. Landry Jones will be available too.
Landry Jones is fucking terrible. I'm pretty sure Oklahoma State's good-not-great defense made that clear on Saturday.
Matt Barkley may come out of college, and this season he's looked like he was expected to look when he was the most sought-after prep player in the country. Don't forget Case Keenum,
Probably not NFL material
Probably not NFL material
and Robert Griffin,
OK, he rules
all of whom have spectacular touchdown-to-interception ratios.
That's six quarterbacks with a legit shot of going in Round 1, plus a realistic shot of at least one Hall of Famer among them.
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That's great. There are 23 QBs in the HOF from the modern era, only 11 of whom entered the league during the Super Bowl era and only 9 of whom took a snap after 1980. Luck seems pretty awesome. Those other guys could be anywhere from pretty great to Alex Smith to Matt Leinart. Happy hunting, teams with a QB vacancy next spring. Gregg realistically likes your chances.