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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Is Holmgrens return better than Dungy's?

Mike Holmgren announced today that he will return as the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks. He also made it very clear that this will be his final year. I have to wonder what that means for Shaun Alexander. Holmgren had said even before announcing his return that during the offseason Seattle’s running game would require “a major offseason fix”.

Holmgrens announcement followed a similar one made by Tony Dungy of the Indianapolis Colts. Dungy held a press conference Monday afternoon announcing he has decided to stay on and coach the team. Dungy mentioned the fact he takes a week at the end of each season to decide if he will return. He was surprised by the attention it drew this year. He also made no statements regarding next year other than the fact he plans to take the same week for decision making a year from now.

Both men explained the facts of their respective future plans. They told the truth and should have done nothing different. There is however a key difference in the two scenarios. The real difference lies in next years plans. Seattle finds itself in a win won for the Gipper scenario. Holmgren has , intentionally or not, created a Ra Ra scenario that players can rally around. Dungy and the Colts will face questions from around mid season on regarding whether or not the coach will remain and how each win and loss in the week will affect the outcome of Dungy’s possible decision.

Don’t misunderstand me, both teams are lucky to have these two men back. I just think the facts are what they are and happen to favor Seattle. Thankfully for Indianapolis talent still seems to favor them.


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Ladanian Tomlinson responds to Deion

Ladanian Tomlinson responded to Deion Sanders comments questioning the fact LT missed all but a handful of plays in the Chargers loss to New England. LT basically said “you weren’t a running back in this league and don’t know what it’s like.”

LT is right, Deion didn’t play running back. But now does ESPN have to fire half of the talking heads? A lot of them have not played the sport they are commenting on, or any sport professionally for that matter. I don’t know if I agree with Deion or not. But I definitely think he is paid to put his opinion out there, I would be disappointed if he didn’t.

As for LT playing or not playing, I think that is his call. But he knew more about Rivers situation (watch for my post on Rivers playing) than we did. If he didn’t think the comparisons would be there, I have to call that just plain naive.

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Superbowl Preview - New England Patriots

Posted Monday Jan 21:
I was going to roll out a paragraph or two about Tom Brady’s demeanor, in my piece on the New England Patriots. Looks like we might have an explanation. You know I go to TMZ for my sports news. And ESPN reports the entertainment gossip sight has a video of Tom Brady in a walking cast on Monday.

Posted Monday Jan 22:
So I posted about the walking boot TMZ caught Brady in yesterday. Now they have a picture of him in cowboy boots .All of my cowboy friends (count: 00) have told me that if he can hit a club in those boots, he ain't hurt that bad.

The patriots are masters of distraction. Actually they are masters at dealing with it. Make no mistake Randy Moss is part of that Patriot philosophy. The legal issues coinciding with his sub-par performance in the last two weeks are not actually related. Those games weren’t just against the Jaguars and Chargers. They were against Antonio Cromartie and Resheen Mathis; 6’2’’, 203 and 6’1’’, 200, respectively, versus Moss’s 6’4’’, 210. In the NY Giants he will match up against Aaron Ross 6’0 193 and Cory Webster 6’0’’ 203. Obviously Webster is close to Mathis but that inch is a big deal, and Webster is not nearly the athlete that Mathis is. Randy Moss has waited his whole career for this and he will deliver.

The Patriots defense will not want to here this. Unfortunately, the reality is, a few of these guys are making their last run at a championship. they probably know they need to get it done now, not to say their age is going to hurt them in this game , I don’t think it will. Belichick always has a scheme put together to make them very effective against the strengths of the other team.

It is interesting to note though that against the teams they have faced twice this year the Patriots have not had the results I expected. I figured with a mastermind like Belichick familiarity would breed greater success, however it was a mixed bag. Against the Jets the margin of victory dropped by two touchdowns in the second meeting, against Miami they were even, winning by twenty-one points each time. Against the Bills they saw a 15 point increase in the second game. No real definitive proof to be gained from that. I also think that while Coughlin doesn’t get the same press as Belichick (some of which I am sure Coughlin is glad to miss) I have some confidence in the him, knowing that he get’s the same two weeks as Belichick, in order to prepare.

One of the interesting angles to the meeting of the minds as far as the coaches go is the fact that Belichick and Coughlin are both old school Parcells disciples. Nothing really important but if you needed one more storyline to think about there you are.

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Canadians ask Tom Brady "what’s that all aboot?"

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Tom Brady walks into a bar an apartment building and the bartender supermodel says "why the big boot?"

Ok, the bad jokes are over

So I posted about the walking boot TMZ caught Brady in yesterday. Now they have a picture of him in cowboy boots.

All of my cowboy friends (count:0) have told me that if he can hit a club in those boots, he ain't hurt that bad.

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Al Davis seen crying in his Geritol

The Tampa Bay Bucs gave Jon Gruden a 3-year extension that will take him through 2011. You have to wonder what Raiders Owner, Al Davis, thinks every time he sees Gruden.

Davis who is notoriously cheap couldn’t keep Gruden who he consistently gave win or you’re out ultimatums. All the while paying him in the neighborhood of 1 million a year. Gruden left the Raiders to go to Tampa Bay who he promptly led to a super bowl victory over his team Davis has torn through 4 coaches in 5 years since letting Gruden leave.

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Albert Pujols takes his ball and goes home

According to an ESPN report Pujols was upset that A St. Louis television station, KTVI, had reported that he was a part of the Mitchell report in error. Pujols had the cameraman and reporter removed from a press conference Monday

Seriously!?, are you a 5-year-old. How long do you get put in the corner for throwing a tantrum like that. Why didn't you just shout "I am taking my ball, and going home" that's how the little kids did it in my nieghborhood, I mean until they hit about 7 and grew up.


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New York Jets Offseason

The Jets are in a good situation. The Jets are in a good situation. The Jets are in a good situation. Just keep saying it and it’ll start feeling true. Ok nothing is good, but we can find one good thing about that. The Jets can pretty much draft the best player on the board every time they come up, because they need to get better everywhere.

This extends to the sideline where the Jets recently hired Bill Callahan. I already posted about how impressed I am not by this move, so I wont go to far into it here.

I know the knee jerk reaction is to attack the quarterback spot on the Jets roster. They have a good starting quarterback, and they have a knowledgeable veteran to mentor and to back up if necessary. They need to accept the facts and put both guys in their appropriate place and stick with it. The musical spot under center game isn’t a road to success. Kellen Clemens is a good quarterback he just needs some time to build experience and confidence that he wont be sitting after the first pick. I love Chad Pennington, I do. But he just has no push in that shoulder anymore. As I watched him this last year, he is still a good quarterback. You can watch him make the right decision, use good mechanics, throw on time. Then as the ball comes out it looks like an 8-year-old girl threw it.

The Offensive line will see three starters return, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold and Brandon Moore, that is good, there performance this year was not. The should improve with the time together. My personal belief is that no matter the talent compiled on an offensive line, nothing is as important as time together building chemistry, timing, and communication. As far as replacing Adrian Clarke and Anthony Clement who both showed no potential for improving on their sub-par performance, the Jets will first look to free agency. Alan Faneca would be my first choice (I can’t believe the Steelers didn’t do something to keep him) I would then look at Max Starks and Floyd Womack

The other side of the line looks a little better. The linebacking core of the Jets 3-4 defense looks strong. They do need to shore up the 3 down lineman. They will not find much help in free agency on this one. Albert Haynesworth will likely be resigned by Tennessee, Terell Suggs is a little more likely to hit the Free Agency pool. If that happens though it will be because he doesn’t see Baltimore as a likely winner. With that in mind, New York (at least in Green) doesn’t seem like an upgrade. With those two out of the picture they are likely to look to the draft for these spots.

As far as the Corner position, I love Darelle Revis, but his strength just puts more and more focus on the fact that they don’t have anyone worth mentioning on the other side. The other team can pretty much attack opposite Revis unless they look to get someone the other team at least has to respect.

As for the draft, Vernon Gholston (DE-OSU) isn’t a perfect fit for the 3-4 defense. He was a Defensive End in college, but he could transfer to OLB in the Jets scheme. On the second round they could go with Jack Ikegwuonu (CB-WIS) or Brandon Flowers (CB-VA Tech) if they are looking to help Revis. If they are unable to find help for the Offensive line in free agency they may use the second round to look at Carl Nicks (OT-NEB) and Chris Williams (OT-Vandy)

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