Posted on: January 5, 2010 4:11 pm

The Grass Tripped Me!!

So Bill Bellichick is saying that the conditions of the playing field are to blame for Wes Welker's injury, and honestly I just have to shake my head.  It's a well known fact that I've never been a fan of Bellichick, but even so, I find it hard to imaginine this as anything more than a way to cover his bum about his star receiver blowing out his knee in a meaningless game.

To blame Welker's injury on the field conditions is ridiculous; it was a non-contact injury that could have happened in practice or even drills.  So all you grieving Pats fans need to lighten up on the Texans .  The field may have been bad, but I noticed that 105 other players had no problem with it.  I remember a game a few years ago between the Dolphins and the Steelers on what had to be the worst field conditions ever seen.  How many people suffered a knee injury?? Zero .   There will always be freak injuries; they're just a part of the game.

Bill, own up.

Posted on: July 4, 2009 10:52 pm

R.I.P. Steve McNair

You didn't have to be a Titans fan to love Steve McNair.  Back when my Steelers and the Titans (and even the Oilers) were in the same division, you could never call those games until the clock hit 0:00.  No matter how well the Steelers played, there was #9 out there keeping the Titans in the game, leading his team to victory more often than not.  I cheered for him despite the divisional rivalry--here was a true football player, no one could deny that.  I was heartbroken when the Titans so unceremoniously let him go, and cringed when he went to another division rival.  But through it all, I rooted for the Ravens in the playoffs because Steve deserved a ring.  Sadly it was not to be, but out of it all, I cheered for a player regardless of my personal team loyalties.  He brought that out in many people.

McNair was one of the toughest, most determined quarterbacks ever to grace the NFL.  I know it has been said many times, but there is a reason for it.  He never complained, and if he could play, you damn well better believe he was out there on the field giving it his all.  He brought the Titans to heights the franchise had never seen before, including their only Super Bowl birth (and one yard short of a title).  He brought stability and leadership to the quarterback position that had been lacking it since Dan Pastorini and Warren Moon.

He was always one of my favorite players, and I was devastated when I heard the news.  Steve--I will always remeber you, both for what you meant to the game of football and to me personally; rest in peace...
Category: NFL
Posted on: March 3, 2009 4:35 pm

King Cassel?

So I'm seeing headlines like "The Matt Cassel Era" and all sorts of praise for him, and I honestly wonder why.  He was undrafted out of USC (which I realize means very little) where he never started a game (which should make you think).  He's been a career backup until this last season where he filled in for Tom Brady.  He played well, and should be given credit for that. 

However, what doesn't cease to amaze me is how all of a sudden he's the greatest thing since sliced bread.  His numbers last season were good for someone in his position, but at best just above average overall.  I'm always wary about one-hit wonders, especially QB's (see David Garrard, Derek Anderson).  You could (and should) ask yourself: self, was he a product of an excellent offensive system? was he a product of the easiest schedule in the NFL?  I remember when everyone was crying for Cassel to make the Pro Bowl after throwing for 400 yards and 3 TD's in 2 straight games against sub-par teams.  Then Pittsburgh happened.  The Steelers routed the Patriots for their worst loss in years, and what's more, Cassel threw 2 INT's and coughed up 2 fumbles.  Yes, I realize the Steelers defense was one of the best in recent years, but look at what Kurt Warner did in SBXLIII (and before you go off on your Larry Fitzgerald speach, I say to you: "Randy Moss"). 

What is happening to Cassel in the free-agent market (yes, he was traded, but for the purposes of this time frame, it is irrelevant) is very similar to Matt Schaub a few years back.  He was supposed to be the next Steve Young, playing behind then-unsuspended Michael Vick.  The Texans nab him, and, when healthy, he's solid and nothing more.

So I guess overall, to quote Denny Green "If you want to crown [him], then crown [his]"--I'll stop there...  I, however, want to see far more proof that he is who you think he is before I decide.  And don't think I'm hating on Cassel, I want him to succeed as much as any other fan of the game.  I just am stubborn and want to be convinced by more evidence.

Posted on: February 3, 2009 4:56 pm

Unsung Hero of Postseason, SBXLIII

So, two days after the big game, I'm sure if you think back on what transpired throughout this postseason, these names (from the SBXLIII participants) will come to mind pretty quickly, in no particular order:

Now if the Cardinals had won the Super Bowl, I'd be writing this about one Darnell Dockett, the anchor of the Cardinals' D-Line and truly an outstanding player.  However, they did not manage to grasp victory from the jaws of defeat, rather the opposite was achieved by that same defensive unit (and I ask you, where was Dockett on that last drive?).

So instead, my so-called 'unsung hero' is none other than Steelers OLB LaMarr Woodley.  Even though he plays opposite DPOY James Harrison, Woodley still gets a fair amount of attention from the opposing offensive line.  Why?  He had 11.5 sacks, an INT, 2FF, and a DTD in only his first season as a starter (and, in my opinion, was a Pro Bowl snub).  But, as good as he was in the regular season, he was even better in the playoffs.  Woodly recorded an NFL-high 6.0 sacks and a FF in 3 games, tallying 2.0 in each game.  I'm not 100% sure about this, but I think this is the first time a player has recorded multiple sacks in 3 consecutive postseason games.  And even when he didn't make any sacks, he was usually applying at least as much pressure as the aforementioned Harrison.  Yet he's not mentioned among the postseason's top performers, and that's unfair.

So here you go LaMarr, I am giving you your well deserved praise: congratulations on a terrific postseason and enjoy that Lombardi trophy; you were an integral large part of that championship.

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