Category:NFL
Posted on: March 5, 2009 1:12 pm
 

Looks like once again T.O. is on the 'g.o.'

***This is just a transcribed version of SportsHead: A Blog with Balls. For the original blog, please visit sportsheadblog.blogspot.com and suscribe***

 

I'm pretty sure the gods of sports disapprove of my March Madness bracket projections because everyday I plan to post them, the sports world gives me something better to talk about. Can you really blame me, sports gods, for thinking Maryland will make it?!

Nevertheless, today's distraction is T.O. I use the word distraction because it's a word both us bloggers and T.O. are used to hearing in sentences with his name in it. And it looks as thought the walking, talking, neverending sports story is at it again. Although no official announcement has been made, it appears T.O. is done in Dallas.

While I would never want Owens on my team (I don't care how good he is or is not, he seems to do more harm than good wherever he goes), I actually disagree with Dallas' move here, from a logical perspective. If you're going to cut T.O. at this point, there's only two real reasons why you would cut him; one, you need some cap room to go shopping this offseason and, two, you want the on and off fields distractions gone.

Considering Chris Canty just left for the Giants, I'm guessing it's the former. But this year, as far as T.O. goes, Owens was on relatively good behavior. Or maybe Adam 'Pacman' Jones just overshadowed his shenanigans. Either way, I think ridding themselves of the Jones drama was enough for one offseason. Combine this with the fact that there seems to be a glass cieling when it comes to Dallas and advancing at all in the playoffs, and suddenly the move doesn't make sense. When you're struggling as much as you are to get to the super bowl why would you let go of anyone with any legitimate talent, especially if you're willing to hold on to the coach who has so far failed miserably to get them over that hump.

So the question is now, where will T.O. go? And that, is a very good question indeed. Everywhere he goes, he seems to taint the franchise he plays for, which is why I don't see him returning to either of his former teams. He won't be in Dallas next year, and now I just ruled out an Eagles return. The Giants just took Canty so I don't seem them dropping the dough for Owens and the Redskins just gave six figures to Albert Haynesworth, so I think it's safe to say T.O. will not be in the NFC East, either. Could we see a Parcells-Owens reunion in Miami? Unlikely. Perhaps Al Davis and his struggling Raiders would be willing to take a chance on him, if they could afford him. Wherever he goes, it's going to have to be someone he can overlook a laundry list of negatives in exchange for the sometimes forgotten talent Owens possesses. And with a growing history of tainted franchises, the number of teams willing to do just that is dwindling, and dwindling fast.

 

Posted on: March 3, 2009 3:47 pm
 

Off-the-wall Offseason!

We're a month removed from the Super Bowl and the NFL headlines seem to be just as exciting. Why? Because there seems to be as many superstars taking Jets and hiring movers as there are journeyman players this season. Usually, the NFL junkies of the world get one hit in the offseason in the form of a big name player. Favre retires, comes back to the Jets. McNair to Baltimore. A story here and a story there. For someone on the Jones, one good story isn't a good enough fix for the long almost half-year those junkies must go without football.

But this year is quite different. There's almost too many big moves being made to digest. And with the state the economy is in now, the amount of money being thrown around is laughable. However, it just wouldn't be right to rant on the moves...

Matt Cassel, Mike Vrabel traded to Kansas City for 2nd Round Pick
As much as you can commend the Patriots for quietly resolving what could've been a huge quarterback controversy, credit also has to be given to the Chiefs. As much as we've seen from Matt Cassel the best guess on him seems to be that he's a starter-caliber player. Vrabel may not be the linebacker that he once was, but he can still play and his mentoring value is significant. So how much do you pay for a starting QB and veteran linebacker? The Chiefs paid for it with a single second round pick. That's certainly more than I wrote down. Back to the Patriots, kudos to them on avoiding controversy and clearing some cap room. Now even the star-studded Patriots can go into the free agency market with a little spending money.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh signs with Seattle
Yeah, sure, you might scratch your head at this one at first, but put yourself in T.J.'s shoes. Your star QB was out all last season which precipitated a team-wide downfall. Furthermore, the rest of the receiving corps. your in is comprised of a lesser known Henry who, while having enormous potential, has yet to burst onto the scene and the walking, talking clown that is Chad Johnson. Wouldn't you take your first ticket out, even if it was to a team in full rebuilding mode? At least in Seattle, T.J. can know he is the go-to guy and doesn't have to share the spotlight with a guy who seems to be more and more suited to be a halftime show than a professional wide receiver.

Albert Haynesworth signs with Washington
This one looks like it will have to be one of those "wait and see's". Haynesworth could be the most talented player on the market, but going to a struggling Washington offense, his impact remains uncertain. However, the Redskins have made a few other smart moves like resigning DeAngelo Hall. Perhaps one or two more sleepers in the draft, and Washington's defense is on the road to recovery. If they can reattain that Top 5 defense they once had, there will be 4 legitimate threats in the NFC East.

Chris Canty signs with New York Giants
It's almost always a risk when you leave one NFC East team for another. In this case, however, leaving Dallas was probably a smart move for Canty, even if his destination isn't the most desirable for him. The Cowboys are still reeling from the bad P.R. tsunami that was Pacman Jones (No, Adam, you're back to being called Pacman) and many still believe leaving Wade Phillips in power there is an error in judgement. Whatever the deal is, the Cowboys, however good, have struggled to go very far in the postseason in almost a decade, leaving many to believe there is some sort of glass ceiling in Dallas that has yet to be broken. Even if you leave for a conference rival like New York, at least you know a team that has recently gone past that glass ceiling and is never out of the running to do it again.

Posted on: February 25, 2009 3:37 pm
 

Blue and White 88 no more

 

The once quintessential triple-threat in the NFL is now officially disbanded. While Edgerrin James left Indianapolis a couple years ago, we still had the pleasure of watching the tandem of Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison. Now, even that, however, is history.

The Colts, stuck between a rock and a hard place, were for all intents and purposes forced to release Harrison Tuesday. Comprised of several former first round picks that have not disappointed the eternal bending of the salary cap finally snapped, and as any logic would follow, the veteran got the boot.

On Tuesday, when they announced the release. The press conference turned into a tribute of sorts to the career Harrison had with the blue and white. A tribute where the same men releasing him were at times choked up with emotion. Such a scene made a shocking story mix with a pinch of bizarre. Watching the likes of an NFL owner red-eyed over his own decision was kind of like seeing a boyfriend crying over his ex-girlfriend (no offense, Marvin) when he initiated the break up. Hopefully they'll skip the awkward "not returning each other's calls" phase.

But as wierd as yesterdays events were, they should be remembered moer for their significance. With the era of trades and free agency that we're in. It's rare that we see such a vivacious anchor on a team. A superstar that rarely complains about money, never has off-field issues, and year-in-and-year-out wears the same jersey. Only a handful comes to mind in recent history: Brett Favre, Mike Alstott, Donovan McNabb, Ray Lewis, Zach Thomas, Emmitt Smith, Steve Young.

What do all of these guys have in common? When they left a team, it made headlines. Not because they were stars (I mean, sure, there's that) but because they were icons; icons for a franchise not just on a local level, but on a national level. They went beyond the Rock Cartwright's (if you don't get the reference, you're only furthering my point), they represented their team on a national level. It doesn't take much a fan to know who Marvin Harrison is, and to picture him in the Colts' blue and white I guess is what I'm trying to say.

So what does this mean for Harrison? Will he retire? Will he go and learn the ins and outs of the free agency market? My guess is that he's not done. Guys like Harrison feel that they always have more in the tank than they tend to show. Unfortunately however, chances are his days on SportsCenter are past him.

If there was a person you could most closely compare him to, it might be Jerry Rice (another one of those home-team-favorite-superstars). A future hall of fame receiver who felt that his career with his primary team was cut short, and that he had more to offer the league. So he goes to Oakland and plays there for a few years. When his short shelf life in Oakland ran out, he tried Denver. But when he was told he'd be the number three wide receiver, he opted to hold onto his pride and retire.

If I had to bet, I would say that that is what will happen with Harrison. Play another three or four seasons with another team, someone looking for a veteran who not only can still play, but can mentor their young receiving corps., and then ultimately retire.

It'll be strange next season, if Harrison plays, that is, to see him in anything but that painfully tame royal blue and ivory white jersey. But if we learned anything from las toffseason with the Favre fiasco, it's that these things have to happen at some point. And for Marvelous Marv, that time was now.

Posted on: September 27, 2008 9:03 pm
 

NFL Week 3 In Review (Transcribed from 9/25 post)

I know, it's Wednesday but it has just taken me so long to digest what exactly happened this weekend. The Bills are 3-0. The Patriots were swallowed whole by the Dolphins. Brett Favre played like the last Jets QB. And, no, say it ain't so...Gus Frerotte won a game. If the NFL was in any way like Wall Street, there would be analysts leaping to their deaths right now.
Let's start with Monday night. The last time Favre and Rivers met, Favre showed his legendar status. This time? Not exactly the same story. Rivers was slinging passes left and right, up and down. Favre, on the other hand, slung passes to the Chargers. But it wasn't all Favre's fault out there two nights ago. In fact, I have a bone to pick with his coach, Eric Mangini. Despite how much I wish it were so sometimes, I am, sad to say, not an NFL coach. But I'd like to think I would know what to do in some situations. Like if I was going for a two point conversion and, after three Charger penalties, the ball was exactly 9 inches off the goaline. Would I line up 5 receivers with my QB in the shotgun? No, I don't think I would. And like I said, I'm not even a coach, so Mr. Mangini, why did you do such a thing? I mean, for crying out loud, Brett Favre could've blown the ball over the goaline from where it was sitting!
But Monday night's game was only the awkward period at the end of a very confusing sentence that was the third week in the NFL. The Patriots lost 38-13 to the Miami Dolphins, the team that has won as many game as the Patriots have lost since the start of last year: one. But five Ronnie Brown TD's later, the Patriots looked like they were on the receiving end of the second Boston Massacre (On side note: If you started Ronnie Brown this weekend and picked up those points in your Fantasy League, you should know you have wisdom beyond your years).
So with the traditional dynasties falling left and right, there is however, one prediction holding true: the beast that is the NFC East. I have not seen a more impressive division in such a season in recent history. Two losses among all four teams, and the two losses were within the division. Sure we expected the Cowboys to be 3-0, but the the Giants? And the Eagles and Redskins at 2-1? Based on the way they've played so far, I would go so far as to say if these four teams were spread out through the four NFC division, we would have our four division winners. We knew this year that the NFC East would be a monster division, but this early domination over the league is unheard of.
And while we're talking about impressive divisions, it's just as easy to talk about the unimpressive ones. Say the AFC North? Cleveland's 0-3. Cincy's 0-3. Baltimore has a win, but it came over Cleveland. In fact the only silver lining on this gloomy cloud are the Steelers, and they were handled this week by the Eagles. The Steelers undoubtedly will wint he division but don't expect an AFC wild card out of the remaining three and I don't see the Steelers going very far in the playoffs.
Now don't get me wrong, there are dangerous teams in the AFC. The Colts? No. The Patriots? Not anymore. No, how about the Bills? Or the Titans? Even the Broncos? All three are undefeated and looking to stay that way. But can the three early Cinderellas stay dancing past the stroke of midnight. I wouldn't go that far. The Titans should win their division. I mean, who's going to stop them? The Colts? It doesn't appear that way so far. And the Jaguars and Texans have even less of a chance. But can the Bills finish on top of the Patriots. Why not? So far they have handedly destroyed team after team, while the Patriots squeaked by the Jets and lost to the Dolphins (at home, mind you). Buffalo is fast, sleek, and exciting while it seems like the Patriots have yet to do anything impressively, much less win. So then about the Broncos? They are certainly exciting so far and there is no doubt they have one hell of an offense. They may even pick up a wild card, but I don't see them winning the division. While the Denver is 3-0, San Diego should be. They lost on one good pass to Carolina and they were cheated out of a win with Denver. Now that they're back to their winning ways, I don't see them stopping anytime soon.
So, as the pieces fall, the picture so far looks nothing like what we expected. But it is, of course, only Week 3. We have 14 more weeks to go. The only question is are those weeks going to be ones of normalcy or chaos?
Posted on: September 16, 2008 11:48 am
 

NFL Week 2 In Review

Wow. What a way to end the week with that Monday Night Game. It was a shootout for sure! You had Tony Romo slinging TD's, Donovan McNabb hitting his targets, DeSean Jackson shooting himself in the foot. There was all kinds of gunslinging action going on last night.
But Tony Kornheiser was right, it was the kind of game where you have to appreciate what you are watching. In fact, the only people upset by that game are probably those who had either Philadelphia or Dallas as their starting fantasy defense.
But as good as that game was, the rematch looks to be even better. Last night, you had two offensive megaweapons bruising and bashing each other over the course of 60 minutes to a point where the two teams finished within four point of each other. The are the same two teams that by and large everyone expects to finish one and two in the NFC East, a division that is super close year in and year out. So when do these teams meet again? The answer is the last week of the season. Not only could it be a potential playoff matchup, but it could be a Week 17 game to decide the division, one in which whoever wins is automatically included in discussions of a Super Bowlappearance. Could that be hyped up anymore with 4 months to go?
But last night's game wasn't the only action that is noteworthy for this second week. There was Shanahan's semi-psychotic-flash-of-genius decision to go for two. But after the call they got on that botched throw from Cutler, Shanahan must have thought there were some forces of nature behind his team. And with the way Cutler threaded the needle on that conversion after failing to even throw the ball forward just a few plays prior, I'm not one to disagree. There really must be angels in Denver's backfield. Just don't expect Danny Glover to play Mike Shanahan.
Speaking of supernatural forces, how much bad karma does Norv Turner have? He's now lost two games he was favored to win right at the end. And this is the team that everyone was saying could be raising the trophy in February. Actually, though, given last year's champ, maybe starting 0-2 is the right way to get to the Super Bowl. Now all we need is for Turner to have his head in the guillotine as his team makes an 8-play goaline stand next week to win the game (Don't ask the Redskins to make an encore appearance for that, though.)
But that wasn't all that happened in Week 2. The Patriots won with Cassel, the Colts redeemed themselves from that Sunday night blunder, and Buffalo Bills are 2-0. Yeah, the Bills. I know. Forget the Jets could Buffalo be the team to challenge New England for the division. It'll take me a fe wmore weeks to be convinced, but with Brady down, the Jets having Favre and the Bills winning, it seems pretty clear that anything this year is possible.
Posted on: March 7, 2008 11:58 pm
 

Career Advice for Brett: Stay Retired!

Congratulations Brett on 17 mostly spectacular seasons. But may I suggest a little advice? Don't come back. You got chewed out by the press in the last years of your career by the press for being too old, past your prime. This season you shut everyone up, don't go back and give them something to talk about. And really, Brett, you can't go back. Not after that teary-eyed farewell. I think that's the secret to Roger Clemens and his endless going back and forth like Anne Heche on her sexual preferences: He was never dramatic. You made a point to leave, so stay left.

For references on this advice, see Jerry Rice. A man who didn't quit when he was ahead. He didn't leave at the end of a great season. He left when the Broncos, who picked him up, told him he wasn't going to start. His old teammate Steve Young knew when to hang up the cleats. The result? Steve Young made it as a talking head and Jerry Rice went on Dancing With The Stars. You decide Brett what's best for you?

And I know there's pressure for the greats like you to come back, but seriously, don't. It's decisions like that that make us remember two Michael Jordans best summed up in two images. The first Michael Jordan: MJ mid air ball over his head and in his palm, appearing to be in flight like a legend. The second MJ: An old man playing for the Washington Wizards walking around after games with bags of ice strapped to his knees. Don't paint a second picture, Brett, stick to what you've got.

But I understand that you love the game and you'll want to be strapping up in the fall when everyone else is. Football is a part of you, but there are ways to handle that love without coming back. The past greats have all done it in different ways. John Elway-he bought himself a football team. Granted, an AFL team, but nonetheless a football team. Cal Ripken did the same when he got himself his own minor league team. The logo was a jet with his orange #8 and characteristic deep blue eyes. Come on Brett, doesn't Green Bay need an AFL team? But if that doesn't float your boat, you could do the more practical choice and land yourself a sweet job as a commentator with one of the football crews. Who can't see Brett knocking Jimmy Johnson into television retirement?

But whatever you do Brett, stay retired. Make sure a bad day for you is getting stuck in the water hazards, not being sacked ten times. You are a textbook case of quitting while your ahead. Make sur eyou keep it that way.
Posted on: March 4, 2008 5:25 pm
 

Fire Sale in New England

About 10 or 11 months ago, a perfect storm was forming in New England. An acqusition here, a trade there. Finally, when Randy Moss got sent to the Patriots during the NFL draft, it became clear: A new dynasty was in the works.

From there, most people know what happens. Not to be a spoiler, but they lost the Super Bowl as they were stunned by the wild card team that some argued wouldn't break .500 that season.

For a second, the world held their breath. What happens after 18-1? Do we just wait for next season? Is it wrong to laugh at this point? Then about a month ago, talk began. Talk about Patriots leaving. People wanted out of New England. Was there a bad taste in their mouth still? Was the bad PR of Spygate enough to drive them away? No one really knows. One thing's for sure, they didn't leave for a better team. If a free agent wanted to sign with a team that had the best chance to make it to the Super Bowl, it seems clear the Patriots were just that. Yeah, they had lost the Super Bowl, but guys, shit happens. And the fact of the matter was no one was retiring, no one was leaving, and they had a top pick in the upcoming draft. They were in prime shape to make another run at the title. But alas, players, critical ones at that, began to bail.

Asante Samuel got the ball rolling, as he left for the Eagles. Than Randall Gay and Stallworth. Names that defense and offenses of the NF: feared in New England were leaving, and in record pace. It was a fire sale, all acquired talent must go. For a time there was a real scare that they would lose Randy Moss.

Yes, Moss stayed, but is that something to celebrate? Whose gonna line up opposite of him? Wes Welker? Please. The guy is a slot receiver, nothing else. And whose left to scare people into not passing the ball? Rodney Harrison? A beast sure, but the old veteran defensive backs are a dying breed. The young, potent weapons are what the Patriots needed to hold onto, and they couldn't.

Alas, the once high-octane, high-powered football vehicle that was the New England Patriots crashed just short of the finish line. And now, instead of salvaging it, it is being stripped for parts. Parts named Samuel and Stallworth and Gay. Parts that, while not the biggest, most beautiful pieces of the Patriots, will be sorely missed come next season. That much is for sure.
Category: NFL
 
 
 
 
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