||11-17-2008 11:01 AM
Some Things I Want To Get Off My Chest
i don't usually do these, i know we have some regulars who do it every week and i don't want to step on anyone's toes, but i just wanna discuss some things. I don't post as much as I used to so I figure once in awhile is ok. I apologize in advance to the guys who do this every week, Im not tryin to step on your toes.
-Am I the only one who thinks Jeff Triplett is by far the worst ref in the league? I can't stand this guy. He's terrible. He made some terrible calls for both teams yesterday, and there are always an inordinate amount of penalties called when he refs a game. Especially a nationally televised one. I remember a sportswriter saying once (don't remember who), that Jeff Triplett just loves getting his face on TV, and wants to get as much facetime as he can get. I wouldn't doubt it. Why does his crew always call so many penalties? And why is his crew and himself wrong half the time? Even Madden said once last night (not exact quote) "only Jeff Triplette can make that call"
So I guess Madden feels the same way.
-Kerry Collins is the real deal. He's proven in the past that with a good defense and a solid run game he can be a very good game manager who can make plays when you need him to. All the doubters, I never understood why its unfathomable to believe that Collins can get it done in the playoffs. Why not? He's already proven in his career that he can. Collins is a winner when put in a good situation. He's in a good situation right now. And he's clutch. Yes. I said it. Clutch. He's made plenty of clutch plays for the Titans. His stint in Oakland was what it was: who can succeed there anyway?
As for the Titans, everyone compares them to the 2000 Ravens. I strongly disagree. We have short term memory as fans. This titans defense is good, but its not nearly as good as that Ravens defense. In fact, I personally believe that Pittsburgh is the best defense in the league, and they have the best front 7 in football, not Tennesee.
A more accurate comparison would actually be the 2000 Giants. People forget, the 2000 Giants had the 2nd best defense in the league that year. Strahan that year was very comparable to Haynesworth on that dline. Both defenses are built the exact same way. Even the offenses were similar. The 2000 Giants had a dominant run game, led by Tiki (Chris Johnson) and a disappointing pudgester in Dayne (White: although White is lightyears ahead of Dayne). The passing game consisted of short passes to move the chains, with an occasional deep ball (by the same qb none the less). Same TE by committee approach. To me, the Titans are a mirror image of the 2000 Giants.
-Ive been one of LDT's biggest crtics this season, but I have to admit, its not all his fault. Their FB is absolutely terrible. I never seen a FB whiff more than the one they have. The holes are there, but the LDT of today doesn't hit them with the same speed or cutting ability that the one we used to know did. The holes aren't as big as they used to be, but the old LDT squeeks through those cutback lanes. He doesn't do that anymore. It could be his toe, and we could blame it on the injury. But he's an old RB now, and has been injured for the past 1.5 years. Can we use injuries as an excuse at this point in his career? Chances are he'll always be a little banged up from now on.
But forget the running game for a second. What made LDT great was his duel threat nature. He's still a great pass catcher. But Norv Turner with his Air Coryell has for the most part, taken away his abilities in the pass game. They are very uncreative with how they use him in the pass game. He can be so much more dangerous than he is, they just use him terribly.
-Ive read a lot about the Matt Cassell hype, and I wanted to comment on it but never had the time, so I'll say my thoughts here. Matt Cassell is not Tom Brady and will never be Tom Brady.
I know some ppl want to say that Brady was similar when developing, but thats just not true. First and foremost, even when Brady was developing, his deep ball was much better than Cassell's. Cassell's deep ball is downright atrocious.
Secondly, people want to compare their similar dink and dunk game managing styles. But let's compare the teams for a second. Matt Cassell is operating with talent that Brady wished he had when he was developing. This is the same exact team that was the most explosive offense in NFL history. Thats what Cassell has to work with. Brady had a pathetic offense around him when he was developing. Who would stretch the field when brady was young to begin with? Troy Brown? Please. And remember he didn't even have a credible RB until 2 years later. The Pats RB the first 2 seasons of the Brady era wouldn't even start for 28 of the 32 teams in the league. So not only did Brady have similar if not better numbers than Cassell, he did it with infinitely inferior talent.
3rdly (if thats a word), Brady started in his 2nd season in the league. This is Cassel's 4th year in the league. He had plenty of time to sit and develop like Rodgers did, even with the lack of experience in college. Brady had to learn at a much faster rate. And speaking of experience, Brady was a proven winner the few times he was given a chance in college. Cassel didnt even play.
I know everyone wants to discredit Brady as much as they can, and a lot of people hate the guy, but let's be real. Brady is the ****. Cassel is not. Whoever throws a bunch of money at this guy in the offseason is making a terrible mistake. A lot of back up qbs can do decent with that explosive offense, having been in the system for 4 years. Cassel is not special.
-I honestly believe, that if Bill Cowher was still coaching the Steelers, they would be the best team in the NFL. The offensive design of this team under Tomlin is terrible. With that defense, they should pound the rock 50 times a game like Cowher did, and make Ben a game manager. Ben is a great game manager, let him be that. Whats wrong with being a game manager? I never understood that. Its all about winning, Ben is at his best when he's a game manager, let him do what he does. He's not the type of qb that can spread you out and score 30 points on you. He's not. And the team isn't built to do that anyway.
Where are the screen passes? PA passes? 3 step drops? The Steelers have a terrible offensive system that doesn't compliment their defense at all. This team should be a lot better than it is. Cowher knew what Ben was, and used him the right way. Tomlin is trying to make him into something he's not. Its not about fancy points, its about winning. Just win. Tomlin needs to go back to Cowher power. If they do that, this is a SB team. Their defense is ridiculous. They have more talent collectively then they ever did. Coaching is holding this team back. For all the praise Tomlin gets...i don't see it.
-You know who needs more love? Darrell Docket. This guy is amazing. He's the best 3-4 linemen in the league (apologies to Aaron Smith), and he's so versatile its ridiculous. He's a monster, he has the speed and pass rushing ability of a 4-3 DE, the strength of a 3-4 NT, and can play any position on the dline in both a 3-4 and 4-3. Justin Tuck and Haynesworth get all the popularity for their versatility, but this guy is just as good if not more versatile. Its a shame he doesn't get the attention he deserves.
-We all know that Ware and Merriman are the 2 best rushbackers in the league, but both Harrison and Woodley are slowly and surely entering the same level as those 2 guys. Both of Pittsburgh's rushbackers are amazing and can do it all. What a sick defense. Add in a blitzing Timmons at ILB, who is almost a rushbacker in his own right, and its impossible to block this front 7 up front or predict who's coming and when theyre coming. I can't say enough about this Pittsburgh defense. Its just freakin awesome. Thats the only word I can use to describe it. Its just awesome.
-I don't get Philly. I really don't. Before the start of the season, I was more affraid of Philly then any other team in the NFC, including the Cowboys. But this team is just an enigma to me. The only thing I can think of is the fact that McNabb and Andy Reid collectively are chokers. Thats my only explanation. McNabb is more talk than substance these days. And stop blogging McNabb. Just shut up and get it done.
-As odd as it sounds, the Jets might be the most complete team in the AFC. And an interesting fact: the Jets coming into this week have the 3rd most sacks in the league. And this is without bust to be Vernon Gholston seeing any playing time. If they can just motivate that guy and get his worthless ass to do something that defense could be special. And if they continue to commit to the ground game, who knows what could happen.
I lack faith in Brett Favre as a playoff quarterback though.
-Jason Taylor is proving to be a worthless pick up for the Skins. He hasn't improved their pass rush by any stretch, and if he's on the field on 1st and 2nd down, he's a liability in the run game. Teams will run offtackle on him if he's on the field on any other play other than 3rd and long all season long.
-Roy Williams should be Dallas's #1 WR, not TO. He just looks a lot more explosive and dangerous out there. TO is still a dominant WR, but he's starting to regress a tiny bit. Roy is the future at WR on that team.
-I loved the 2 TE sets they used with Bennet and Witten out there. That could be a very dangerous duo. The Cowboys have so much explosion on offense its not even funny. I was actually shocked they only scored 14 points. The oline isn't what it used to be, but they should still score more than 14 points. And give Choice more touches. He's a good player.