Thursday, January 24, 2008

Favre to make his decision soon...

Brett Lorenzo Favre's legend was born with his first pass attempt with the Packers. On September 13th, 1992, Farve came in after Don Majikowski was sidelined against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Favre dropped back, looked downfield, and threw a bullet pass... which was promptly batted away by defensive end Ray Seals. In typical Favre-ian fashion, Brett grabbed the ball out of midair. Thus Brett Favre's first completion was to... Brett Favre.

Favre snatched that ball out of midair and ran with it. Though he didn't make it far on that play, he was tackled for a seven yard loss, Farve's momentum seems to have carried over into a career that has been replete with magical moments, from his first start, against the Bengals, which saw him take Kitrick Taylor, whom had no TD catches in his career, and hit him on a 35 yard frozen rope which snatched victory away from the 2-0 Bengals, and gave the Packers their first win of the season. That TD was the only one that Taylor ever caught, but it was just one of 442 that Brett Favre has thrown for the Green Bay Packers as he rewrote the record books, first those of the Packers, and recently those of the entire NFL.

Favre's magical run has taken him through 257 games, 22 playoff games, 4 Conference Championships, and 2 Super Bowls. It has seen him earn 9 Pro Bowl appearances, 7 division titles, 3 MVPs, 2 conference championships, and an NFL title. Brett Favre has set 6 career QB records thus far.

Of those records, by far the most impressive is his 237 straight games started. In a sport that will destroy a man's body like no other, Favre has been the constant fixture, an Ironman every bit as worthy of the title as Lou Gehrig or Cal Ripkin. Favre's ability to come back, despite all obstacles placed in his path speaks well of his love for the game, and that is what I like best about him. When Favre scores a TD, he's not one to "act like he's been there before" as Tom Landry once demanded of his players. Whenever he puts the ball in the endzone, he celebrates with the passion of a player who's scoring for the first time, and because of that joy, he's scored more than anyone else.
I'm bringing up Favre's beginnings, because he's about to make his decision about his future. Favre has gone on the record as saying that he will make his decision weather or not to retire within 7-10 days. I would love to see Favre sprint out onto the field next season. But if he decides to move on to the next phase of his life, I'd just like to wish him luck. And say Thank You.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Goodwin's Cowboy...

I found this on and found it to be hilarious. Doubly so if you're a fan of a team in the NFC East.

Prospect Rankings: QB

1) Andre' Woodson

Rankings: 4th

ESPN:3rd 3rd

At 6'5" and 230 lbs, Woodson already posseses the protypical frame that one wants to see in a franchise QB. His mechanics are solid, and he has the athleticism to allow him to escape the rush. He has a strong arm, and is capable of making every throw an NFL offense will ask of him.

He did operate mainly out of the Shotgun while at Kentucky. If he misses the placement on a pass, it tends to be high. Doesn't operate well on timed, blind throws, like a Peyton or Brady does. He tends to be streaky as a passer.

Unlike other rankings, I'm very high on Woodson as a QB. I believe he's the best QB available in this draft. His combination of mobility, size, and arm strength reminds me of Donovan McNabb. I believe his stock will rise after he completes his combine workouts. Look for him to run in the 4.7s, and throw the ball very well.

2) Brian Brohm

Rankings: 3rd

ESPN: 2nd 2nd

Brohm is by far the most mechanically correct QB in the draft this year. He's extremely intellegent, and a hard worker, both on and off the field. Reads a defense extremely well. Gets the ball out quickly. Played in a pro style offense at Louisville.

Brohm's biggest problem is staying healthy, he's undergone surgery for a torn ACL, torn ligaments in his hand, and to repair his non-throwing shoulder. Outside of the questions about durability, the only issue with Brohm is that his physical atributes are simply "good enough", not excellent. At 6'3", he's tall enough, but it's nothing to write home about, and his arm strength is adequate, but it's not on the same level as some of the other elite QBs in this draft.

Brohm is a fairly safe prospect, injury issues aside. He's not going to redefine the quarterback position, but it's very unlikely he'll be unable to perform at a solid level. He's essentially Phillip Rivers with better form, and hopefully less mouthy.

3) Joe Flacco

Rankings: 2nd

ESPN: 5th 7th

Massive frame, at 6'6", 237 lbs. Phenominal arm strength. Exceptionally durable.Has all the physical tools you want in a pocket passer.

Largely unproven against top teir talent. Pretty much completely immobile. Forces passes a little too often. Needs to streamline his throwing motion.

Joe Flacco is going to be this years, "Where did he come from?" player. He'll grade out very well at the combine, and soon all the talking heads will be discussing him. He's very similar to Browns QB Derek Anderson. questions still remain about weather he'll be able to perform like Anderson, though. His last minute invitation to the Senior Bowl gives him an opportunity to really raise his stock, by proving he can play against high level competition.

4) Matt Ryan

Rankings: 1st

ESPN: 1st 1st

Has experience in pro style offenses. Good mobility in the pocket, and throws well on the run. Excellent intangibles. Media Darling. Prototypical height. Displays good touch on passes.

Weak arm strength. 19 interceptions this season is a huge red flag, as is the 59.3% accuracy. Has a history of foot injuries. Needs to eliminate his windup in his throwing motion.

Matt Ryan went from a 4th or 5th round pick to a first rounder with his performance this season. However, unlike most other outlets, I don't belive he's the best QB on the board. A lot of his accolades had more deserving canidates. Ryan was good, but he wasn't 1st team All-American level, nor was he the best senior QB, despite his winning the Manning Award. The media has whipped up a frenzy around him that somewhat overestimates his abilities. This will work to his favor when it comes to draft position, but it won't assist him on the field. He's similar to Cowboys QB Tony Romo, but a little taller, with a weaker arm, but the style of play is very similar.

5) John David Booty

Ratings: 8th

ESPN: 6th 6th

Worked well in the Pro offense of USC. Reads defenses and goes through his progressions very well. Solid Mechanics. Very Quick Release.

Average arm strength and size. Durability is a concern. Will never be a rushing threat. It's debatable how much he was benefited by the massive talent differential between USC and other teams.

JDB isn't significantly better than other options at this point. Erik Ainge or Chad Henne would be almost as good. What seperates them is Booty's accuracy and experience in the offense. Booty's style of play is very similar to Jake Delhomme.

The Guy You've Never Heard Of
Josh Johnson: A product of the University of San Diego, Johnson is essentially a Dennis Dixon Clone, and with Dixon coming off a torn ACL, Johnson might be the better option. He's a little light for the position, but is a solid passer, and good runner. He posted a strong showing in the East-West Shrine Game. Think Jeff Garcia.
But What About?
Dennis Dixon: Solid QB prospect, but with his reliance on his mobility, combined with his recent ACL tear, makes him a shaky pick at best.
Colt Brennan: System QB. Lacks arm strength, and is far too light to survive the NFL.
Matt Flynn: Too short, makes some very questionable throws, and got by more on the talent of the team, than his own.
Teams That Will Likely Pick a QB:
  • Chicago
  • Minnesotta
  • Atlanta
  • Baltimore
  • Tampa Bay
  • Carolina
  • Kansas City

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

State of the Team: Vol 1.

Today, we're going to take a look at the Miami Dolphins. In 2007, the Miami Dolphins wrapped up a 1-15 campaign that will undoubtedly rank among mankind's most awful crimes.

QB: The Dolphins made their big move of the 07 off season by swapping out their young, injury-prone QB, Daunte Culpepper, for and old, injury prone QB, in Trent Green. While Culpepper found a new shot at mediocrity in Oakland, Green suffered a second straight season ended by a severe concussion. Green's done in the NFL, regardless of what he claims, we saw it with Aikman, we saw it with Young, we saw it with many a QB. Concussions beget more concussions which beget early retirement. No one's going to invest in a 38 year old concussion case.

Cleo Lemon came in after Green's shattered remains were carted off the field, and fared slightly better. Slightly better in the manner that death by drug overdose is better than death by radiation poisoning, in the end, you're still losing everything, but you get to see some pretty things before you shove off. Lemon's 71.0 QB rating was sandwiched between Vince Young and Tavaris Jackson, not great company for a passer. Lemon's 4 rushing TDs helped mitigate his weak passing, but still not enough to make him anything other than an average backup.

Which brings us to John Beck. Dolphins fans, John Beck is not the answer, he lacks accuracy, can't find the endzone, and has no positive rushing value to compensate for that. He's a little short, and his deep passes have a tendency to flutter. Normally, you might stash such a player as a backup for a few years behind an aging starter during his youth so that when the prior starter leaves, you can have a transition with relatively few bumps. Unfortunately, John Beck has no youth left, he's older than Phillip Rivers, who was drafted 3 years ahead of him. Typically at age 26, a team is deciding weather to keep a QB as their franchise, or dump him, with John Beck, that age has come and gone, the time he spend developing is now coming at the cost of his prime years.

RB: The lone bright spot of the early season was the great play of Ronnie Brown. Unfortunately, Ronnie Brown tore his ACL during the 7th game of the season. ACL tears usually take 2 years for a running back to fully recover from. Edgerrin James can attest to that. So the Dolphins won't be able to lean on Brown next season. With Ronnie Brown yet to complete an entire season, the Dolphins might want to consider looking for a good backup to take some of the pressure off him.

After Brown went down, the Dolphins brought out a cavalcade of mediocrity. Jesse Chatman, Samkon Gado, Lorenzo Booker, Patrick Cobbs, even the burnt out, smoked out, shell of Ricky Williams. None of whom should be anything better than a 3rd stringer at this point. Obtaining a decent backup is a must.

WR: The Dolphins had one decent WR at the end of the 06 season. That wide out had a monster season in 07, catching for 1,175 yards and 8 TDs. Unfortunately, in their infinite wisdom, the Dolphins management traded Wes Welker to the Patriots before the season began.

This left them with Chris Chambers, Marty Booker, and Ted Ginn jr. Chambers has been deceptively bad in Miami, making several highlight reel catches, but for every phenomenal catch he made, he dropped a dozen easy catches. In the management's one intelligent move in recent history, they managed to get decent value for Chambers in a trade with the Chargers.

Marty Booker is a decent slot receiver, but when you're playing a natural 3rd receiver as your no. 1 receiver, you've got some issues.

Ted Ginn jr, was drafted with the 9th pick in the 2007 draft, in a move that just oozed nepotism. Ginn is an unpolished project who was drafted essentially to be a return man. Apparently no one told the Dolphins that you shouldn't draft a return man with a top ten pick when a franchise QB is still on the board.

TE: The Dolphins had a decent receiving TE in Randy McMichael, but they jettisoned him in favor of Justin Peelle's superior blocking skills. Questionable call, but given Brown's explosive early season, one that is at least understandable.

OL: Vernon Carey might be a pro bowl caliber player at guard. However, because the rest of the line is so terrible, he's forced into service at LT, out of position. The rest of the line is unspeakably bad. This is evidenced by the the Dolphins averaging 5.05 yards per carry off left tackle, and less than 4 ypc up the middle or off right tackle. Throw in 42 sacks allowed, and you have nothing to write home about.

DL: The D-Line suffered under the Dolphins' schizophrenic 4-3/3-4 defensive alignment. Jason Taylor still made plays, but Keith Traylor and Vonnie Holliday looked lost when asked to rush the passer from the inside. Matt Roth had a weak showing too, notching a meager 3 sacks. Traylor is retiring, and Taylor is getting old, so replacements will need to be found for them. The depth is shallow, with Rodrique Wright looking like a capable backup, but marginal starter, and no one of note after him.

LB: Zach Thomas, the normally stalwart ILB, went down for the season in the 5th game. He'll be 35 this season. Channing Crowder has been decent when on the field, but seeing as the Dolphins are going to shift to a 3-4 under their new coach, two ILBs will be needed, and Thomas is rapidly approaching the end of his career. Ernie Miles is next in line, but he's undersized, and lacks Thomas' instincts. OLB Joey Porter was disappointing, but some of that could be chalked up to his playing out of position quite a bit when the Dolphins run the 4-3. Derrick Pope is extremely undersized, and is out of place in a 3-4, his inability to pressure the QB will limit his usefulness to Coach Sparano.

CB: Neither cornerback is a real playmaker in the Champ Bailey mold. They combined for 2 INTs, one each. Will Allen was targeted on 20% of opponents pass attempts, despite only allowing 4.5 yards per pass attempt. This becomes even more inexplicable when you realize that Michael Lehan is allowing 8.1 yards per attempt.

S: Jason Allen wedged his way into the starting lineup, and while he didn't play like a pro bowler, he played decently. Cameron Worrell also worked his way into the starting lineup,but didn't play as well, and certainly not living up to the potential he displayed as the man who filled in for Broken Mike Brown.

Overall: The Dolphins are a broken franchise right now. Every position needs to be upgraded more or less. They're at least three years away from contention. but hey, there's still a reason to be a Dolphins fan...

Senior Bowl Week Kicks Off

The Senior Bowl traditionally takes the top seniors from college football and puts them through their paces against each other. It's one of the few chances to see these players go against top level talent in a competative environment. This year's Senior Bowl kicks off on Saturday the 26th of January. It's website, with rosters, articles, and event times can be found at

This year, several of the potential top players have pulled out of the game. Notably absent this year is Brian Brohm, Glenn Dorsey, Craig Steltz, Mike Hart, John Carlson, Quenton Groves, and Mike Jenkins. Most of them are citing some sort of injury.

Some of the lesser known players to take a look at during this game are Delaware QB Joe Flacco, East Carolina RB Chris Johnson, Boston College OT Gosder Cherilus, South Florida LB Ben Moffitt, and Troy CB Leodis McKelvin.

Scott Wright, at, is on site at the Senior Bowl, and has started his own blog to give you up to the minute updates on the Senior Bowl. His blog can be found at

Norm Chow Returns to Los Angeles

Less than a month after being canned by the Tennessee Titans, Norm Chow has returned to the city from which his title of "Offensive Guru" sprang from. Back in Los Angeles, Chow is calling plays, not for USC coach Pete Carroll, but for UCLA's Rick Neuheisel. Chow will replace Jay Norvell as UCLA's offensive coordinator.

The hiring of Chow is the next step in the continuing overhaul of UCLA's coaching staff, beginning with Neuheisel replacing Karl Dorrell, on through Neuheisel's bringing in of former UCLA wide reciever Reggie Moore. These offensive coaches were brought in to fix an offense that finished 2007 ranked 9th in the Pac 10 in scoring offense and dead last in passing offense. The hope is that Chow, who mentored three Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks, will bring a turn around to the weak passing offense.

Here's my thoughts on this. Former mega recruit Ben Olson is jumping for joy right now. The prototypical Olsen posseses all the physical skills needed to be a top flight QB. He compares very favorably to Carson Palmer, who struggled his first few years at USC before Norm Chow was hired as offensive coordinator, before Palmer won the Heisman Trophy his senior year and became the first pick in the 2003 NFL draft.

The UCLA offense isn't in nearly as bad shape as the statistics from last season seem to indicate. They suffered from a brutal rash of injuries to their QBs and RBs. While most of their starting lineup has moved on, these injuries allowed their backups, and next years starters, to accrue valuable experience. RB Khalil Bell was more effective than starter Chris Markey when subbing in for the injured Markey. Bell's 5.6 ypc average is a good sign for Chow's offense, especially when combined with the potential players returning in the recieving corps. WRs Dominique Johnson and Terrence Austin, while nowhere near as good as the WRs Chow had with the Trojans, provide a good dichotomy of skillsets. Johnson is a 6'4" jump ball specialist, and Austin is a 5'11" speedster, who'll make the screen pass a more viable threat. Rounding out the skill position players will be TE Logan Paulsen, a 6'6" recieving threat who'll be seeking to rebound from a dissapointing 12 catch season in which he missed 6 games due to injury.
The weakest point of the offense is the Line. Chow is used to having phenominally talented blockers for his offense to go to work behind. That said, UCLA will only be returning 2 players with significant experience on the offensive line.
The matchups with the current talent is important, but another front that the Chow hiring makes progress on is the failing battle that UCLA has been fighting with USC for the young talent of California. Rick Neuheisel already has a good pitch set up, being able to sell kids on their joining him in reviving UCLA's "Proud Traditions", but now he has a another lure with which to land the big time recruits. Norm Chow has had three Heisman winning QBs under his watch, Ten 1st round draft picks have come out of his offenses, 3 of his QBs are currently starting in the NFL, one of his players is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Chow's resume exudes success for everyone who's willing to join him. Don't forget the fact that his offenses at USC are still fresh in our memory. This is going to be a powerful tool for UCLA's recruiters.
This is an excellent move for UCLA, it'd be a great move for almost any school, but UCLA is particularly well suited for him.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Opening Day

This is a blog about the important things in life. This means that there will be alot of posts about football here. Don't get me wrong, there are other important things that will be talked about here, but there'll be a lot of football.

Here's my plan. I intend to update this blog with at least one football related topic per week. Off topic posts will be put up whenever something tickles my fancy.