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Old 08-24-2008, 02:28 AM    (permalink
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Default 2008 Brass Deep Balls

NFL Truths are so last year. Please read and share your own thoughts.

2008 BRASS DEEP BALLS

Houshmandseeya
Bengals’ veteran wide receiver TJ Houshmandzadeh, a crafty route-runner who can line up anywhere, lives in the Los Angeles area during the offseason. His contract runs through 2008, and he’ll take this opportunity to finally cash in big for the first time in his career and sign elsewhere. Will Houshmandzadeh be signed by the close-to-home Oakland Raiders, for Al Davis to give his young quarterback and the receiving core a veteran to lean on and learn from? No, Davis will instead sign Michael Jenkins (Atlanta Falcons) and Michael Clayton (Tampa Bay Bucs). Meanwhile back in Cincy, the Chad Johnson situation is over. He was drafted by the team, developed and excelled with the team, and will remain with them for some time. With TJ gone, he’s now the man in Cincy again and the Bengals will develop a young receiving core behind him. And after two injury-plagued seasons in ‘06 and ‘07, young players had the chance to develop such that this season we could see the best Bengals’ offensive line since ‘05.

Head East, young man
The Cowboys’ offensive line has managed to avoid injury the last two years, but that luck will run out this season. However they will still make the playoffs along with two other NFC East teams like last year, except this season the Eagles will get in instead of the Redskins. The Eagles should be back in the playoffs, Jim Johnson is doing as good a job as he’s ever done and now he has more playmaking talent to work with to hopefully generate more turnovers. Donovan McNabb needs to stop flapping his gums and just get it job done, he has the offensive line and the weapons to do the job else next year starts the Kevin Kolb era. However do not overlook the Redskins offense that new head Jim Zorn is building, it’s going to something as young receivers Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly, and Fred Davis develop. Jason Campbell’s best years are ahead of him, as he grows with these big and talented players.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner
So if the big, bad NFC East rules the playoff roost, who are the other NFC teams to make the playoffs? Seattle wins 11 games, New Orleans wins 10, and the post-Favre Packers get into the playoffs with 9 wins. So yes Kool-Aid drinkers, the super sexy Super Bowl pick Minnesota Vikings don’t even make the playoffs - they still can’t pass enough and defend the pass enough to get it done, I‘m afraid. The defense under Leslie Frazier is a year away. But they won’t be the only Vegas hot pick to be at home come January, the New England Patriots will not be in Super Bowl XLIII. Homefield advantage won’t be enough to make up for their roster deficiencies, most notably in the secondary.

Better get the resume ready
Not Bill Belichick of course, but rather turn your attention to the NFC West. Expect some turnover but not in terms of the standings. Despite the Seahawks being so weakened receiving-wise, Arizona won’t dethrone Seattle if Cardinals head coach Ken Wisenhunt doesn’t start the best quarterback on the roster in Kurt Warner. Warner is a turnover machine, but at least he can attack opposing defenses well beyond that. However Coach Wiz isn’t in desperate need of keeping his job like Rams head coach Scott Linehan and 49ers head coach Mike Nolan are, and unfortunately for both, they come up short this season and get the pink slips.

Lamest Show on Turf
I like Nolan, but the team has not drafted well enough under him, and right or wrong he‘ll be the one to pay for results like Vernon Davis never being worth his draft pick. Same deal with Linehan, most if not all of the front office should be fired along with him. They’ve been nothing more than average, especially when it comes to the Draft (Brian Leonard is a bust, scottyboy). This has played a big part in the Greatest Show on Turf being a distant memory. Marc Bulger cashed in for a major payday, and when I see him now I wonder about his heart and his spine - his best years are behind him. Torry Holt is gone after the 2009 season, he‘s not worth extending at 34 years old and with his ever-constant knee issues, plus in his ever-inflated sense of ego has an eye towards leaving already. The brightest spot on the offensive line is Jacob Bell, who the team signed as a free agent this past summer from the Tennessee Titans, as everyone else needs to be upgraded. At least stud runningback Steven Jackson has been re-signed to a top-dollar contract, so that’s good that they’ve locked him up. Still, the Rams regime that hired Linehan deserves to be replaced by others who can hopefully do a better job to get this team back on top. Though Jim Haslett, defensive coordinator of the Rams, is doing the best defensive coaching job that no one unfortunately knows about.

You don’t know Jack? No need to get defensive
Speaking of defensive coordinators, the addition of Gregg Williams of Jacksonville won’t help much - if anything, it could hurt the team. Williams is an idiot who doesn’t make the most of the talent in his employ, and the Jacksonville Jaguars are Jack Del Rio’s team and his alone, defense most assuredly included. Too bad for the team, because the defense is progressively getting worse with each passing year. It didn’t help that money was wasted on Drayton Florence in free agency, as he’s not any good, meanwhile Rashean Mathis is degrading with each passing year the last two years. And up front, the once two-headed monster of the interior is no more with the trade of Marcus Stroud to Buffalo. Linebacker stays strong though, thanks to strong draft picks like promising 2007 2nd round pick Justin Durant, such that the team will let veteran Mike Peterson walk this summer after his contract is fulfilled.

Sticks out like a Vince Young
However as the Jaguars defense gets worse, the offense is getting better. I really like David Garrard, he was paid monster money this summer like the aforementioned Marc Bulger but Garrard’s best years are definitely ahead of him. He can make his reads and deliver the ball anywhere with accuracy and touch, he just needs to stay healthy and make sure he continues to limit his turnovers (more ’07 than ’06). I also really like fellow AFC South quarterback Matt Schaub. I think he has a great arsenal of weapons even if they aren’t well known beyond stud Andre Johnson, but a receiving core of Kevin Walter, Andre Davis, and Owen Daniels brings a lot to the table. Especially for Schaub who can make his reads, has good pocket presence, and quickly release the ball with great accuracy. He just needs the protection up front, and Houston signed offensive line guru Alex Gibbs to set things straight. I loved the Steve Slaton pick in the Draft, he was great value in the third round and fits the zone-blocking run scheme very well: we could be looking at a poor man’s Clinton Portis in Houston if Slaton gets the opportunity and makes the most of it over some veteran backs who can‘t stay healthy.

Better get the resume ready II
The last wild card spot in the AFC will be a battle between the Texans, Bills, and Jets. While the Carolina Panthers may miss the playoffs by a bit and a good many are already expecting John Fox and company in Carolina to get the axe, and personally I would have already fired them some time ago, I think the team does well enough to spare them. Although how tempting will it be with Bill Cowher out there, if he’s ready to coach again? That would be a huge story, to see who would court him. Maybe even Detroit comes into play, because Matt Millen will finally be fired after this season. Oh yes Lions fans, it will finally happen.

Remaining last but not least, the Colts
Three big items for the price of one: (1) Dwight Freeney, after an injury cut his ‘07 season short, in turn delivers a great ‘08 season that not only gets him back to Honolulu but wins him Comeback Player of the Year as well; (2) Head coach Tony Dungy will not retire after this season; (3) Neither will Marvin Harrison, but he won’t be in a Colts uniform come September 2009.
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Last edited by Geo : 08-24-2008 at 02:58 AM.
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Old 08-24-2008, 02:55 AM    (permalink
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I can't fathom any reasoning why Carolina misses the playoffs at this stage of the game. Its a solid unit in a weak schedule and conference.

On the other stuff:

Houshmanzadeh I agree with, he's going to bail and bail big time. Question is where he ends up, maybe one of the older elite will get cut by their team and he'll get signed. Personally, I'm not ruling out a big fat franchise tag so they can gather trade offers come draft time.

I like Jacksonville but they traded some firepower away this year and didn't exactly get a guy who's been lighting it up thus far in his rookie career in the draft.

I think that the 49ers can be competitive if O'Sullivan (who I personally don't think is the right choice) can pull a Kurt Warner and be the nobody who becomes the somebody. Really, all he needs to become imo is the manager that a lot of coaches crave. He's got a couple of decent inside targets and Gore and co should be a good enough run game to keep them competitive.

I think that the 49ers have gone the wrong way about building that team and they could've been far more successful if they built through the offensive line and the defense before taking a QB and a TE.

If they had another first round talent excelling at one of the tackle spots and on the interior of the defensive line they'd be worlds better than they have been even with VD and Smith.
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Old 08-24-2008, 03:16 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by BlindSite View Post
I can't fathom any reasoning why Carolina misses the playoffs at this stage of the game. Its a solid unit in a weak schedule and conference.

On the other stuff:

Houshmanzadeh I agree with, he's going to bail and bail big time. Question is where he ends up, maybe one of the older elite will get cut by their team and he'll get signed. Personally, I'm not ruling out a big fat franchise tag so they can gather trade offers come draft time.

I like Jacksonville but they traded some firepower away this year and didn't exactly get a guy who's been lighting it up thus far in his rookie career in the draft.

I think that the 49ers can be competitive if O'Sullivan (who I personally don't think is the right choice) can pull a Kurt Warner and be the nobody who becomes the somebody. Really, all he needs to become imo is the manager that a lot of coaches crave. He's got a couple of decent inside targets and Gore and co should be a good enough run game to keep them competitive.

I think that the 49ers have gone the wrong way about building that team and they could've been far more successful if they built through the offensive line and the defense before taking a QB and a TE.

If they had another first round talent excelling at one of the tackle spots and on the interior of the defensive line they'd be worlds better than they have been even with VD and Smith.
I don't think there is a shortage of people on NFLDC who think the Panthers won't make the playoffs. The majority actually has the Saints and the Buccaneers ahead of the Panthers.
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Old 08-24-2008, 03:24 AM    (permalink
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I can see both the Bucs and Panthers missing the playoffs by not much, I don't think any team in the division will win it going away.
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Old 08-24-2008, 03:50 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by 24cadillac24 View Post
I don't think there is a shortage of people on NFLDC who think the Panthers won't make the playoffs. The majority actually has the Saints and the Buccaneers ahead of the Panthers.
I can't fathom it, it doesn't mean others cannot, no where did I imply that either.

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I can see both the Bucs and Panthers missing the playoffs by not much, I don't think any team in the division will win it going away.
I still don't see the saints as a better unit than the Buccs.
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Old 08-24-2008, 06:48 AM    (permalink
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meanwhile Rashean Mathis is degrading with each passing year the last two years.
Two years ago he was All-Pro, and last year he had a lingering injury that, well, hurt him. He's not regressing.

Quote:
And up front, the once two-headed monster of the interior is no more with the trade of Marcus Stroud to Buffalo.
Marcus Stroud will not be a big loss. He has played injury hampered the past two or three years, not close to his 2003-2004 Pro-Bowl form (he made the Pro Bowl in 2005, but Jaguars fans will tell you that Henderson was better that year).
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Old 08-24-2008, 07:00 AM    (permalink
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I don't know why people think Whiz is attached to Leinart, he isn't his QB, he was not HC when he was drafted, if Matt starts to turn the ball over as much as Warner then im sure he will just go with the better player, but as of right now Matt is a better fit for what he is trying to do with keeping the offense on the field, establishing the run and not putting the D in bad positions like much of last year.
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Old 08-24-2008, 08:40 AM    (permalink
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idk why Whisenhunt is trying to get a power running game with that WR Corps
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Old 08-24-2008, 09:42 AM    (permalink
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the panthers suck, they're not making the playoffs

and Geo, come on , how the hell do you call Leonard a bust after rhis rookie year? He's a FB and is the lead blocker. He blocked VERY well last year and is an EXCELLENT weapon out of the backfield
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BTW, if it's 3rd and 97... I'm throwing a screen pass to Brian Leonard and he will convert.
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Old 08-24-2008, 10:19 AM    (permalink
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idk why Whisenhunt is trying to get a power running game with that WR Corps
I think it's an identity/philosophy thing. Being from Pittsburgh and all. Plus there's the matter of pass-first vs run-first teams and their relative successes in the history of the NFL.
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:09 AM    (permalink
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ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that the Cardinals will name Kurt Warner their starting quarterback to open the season.

Got your wish eh?
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:15 AM    (permalink
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I don't know why people think Whiz is attached to Leinart, he isn't his QB, he was not HC when he was drafted, if Matt starts to turn the ball over as much as Warner then im sure he will just go with the better player, but as of right now Matt is a better fit for what he is trying to do with keeping the offense on the field, establishing the run and not putting the D in bad positions like much of last year.
He's not married to Leinart, but I think he owes it to the franchise to really see if Leinart can be the guy. And maybe Leinart can be the guy, but right now, I'm not liking a lot of what I'm seeing (coming into his third year). Most especially the speed with which he makes his reads and delivers the ball, I wish he would get it out quicker.

I can see Stevie Breaston continuing to be his fave receiver though, because he'll be there for him over the middle and that might be his easiest read to make. Of course, that means minimal gain compared to studs Boldin and Fitzgerald.

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the panthers suck, they're not making the playoffs

and Geo, come on , how the hell do you call Leonard a bust after rhis rookie year? He's a FB and is the lead blocker. He blocked VERY well last year and is an EXCELLENT weapon out of the backfield
If Delhomme goes down, then they will lose a number of more games than win. They need him to stay healthy, and it absolutely doesn't help that the first two weeks of the season, Delhomme needs Muhammed, Hackett, and Jarrett to get separation against the Chargers and the Bears. He could be holding the ball too long every time he drops back, and with a rookie tackle in Otah to boot.

Leonard isn't a bum, he'll be a servicable special teamer and maybe a back too, but he is not worth a 2nd round pick. Doesn't have the speed to be a successful runner or receiver, and his blocking probably isn't better than average at best although you probably did pay more specific attention to him than I did. I do expect him to get better as he focuses on fullback only, especially in his run-blocking, because he's a pro. But you don't draft a fullback in the 2nd round.
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:18 AM    (permalink
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Got your wish eh?
Hah, I suppose so. Leinart holds the ball too long for my liking, Warner gets rid of it, is more accurate, and gives Boldin and Fitz better opportunity to shine. I hope Leinart improves for the better though, I don't hate the guy or anything like some people.
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:21 AM    (permalink
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So Geo, does this mean you don't think Cowher will end up on the Skins next year?

:P
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:24 AM    (permalink
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I've never really hated Dan Snyder, he's done what he thinks will help his franchise and he aggressively wants to get to the top.

But if Snyder gives Zorn the axe after this season, I'll hate him. Stick with Zorn, he'll make Jason Campbell into a stud.

Cowher would have been a fit before, but they've got talent at receiver now and it's only good business to make the most out of what you have. Hopefully Snyder sees that, look at how much better the 'skins have been in the Draft the last few years. Admittedly, because their trades for Lance Briggs and Chad Johnson have thankfully been turned down, lol.
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:27 AM    (permalink
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Geo, I'm surprised. Leonard's speed is MUCH better than advertised. Coming out of the backfield he's an excellent recieving weapon. He'd be an excellent 3rd down and goal line back as well(although SJax is a tough and big mofo). His hands are superb. He won't have huge runs and doesn't have that "game breaker" speed like other talents ala LDT, run DMC, MJD etc. He's not just a FB for them as his versatility helps any offense. Easily worth a 2nd rounder IMO, and that's homerism aside.

but you're right, I did focus in on him all last year! :D
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BTW, if it's 3rd and 97... I'm throwing a screen pass to Brian Leonard and he will convert.
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:33 AM    (permalink
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Sorry but I just don't see the quickness whenever he gets the ball, I think the Rams have it right by making Antonio Pittman their back-up to Steven Jackson.

Ray Rice on the other hand will be worth a 2nd round pick, though. He'll be the starter in Baltimore come September 2009.
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:35 AM    (permalink
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Sorry but I just don't see the quickness whenever he gets the ball, I think the Rams have it right by making Antonio Pittman their back-up to Steven Jackson.

Ray Rice on the other hand will be worth a 2nd round pick, though. He'll be the starter in Baltimore come September 2009.
yea, he's not very elusive or quick, but has good enough speed to catch it in the flat and tur up field to outrun LB'ers(not all, some are freaks, but still)

and yes, I even think Ray Ray takes over before '09. he's a studmuffin
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:39 AM    (permalink
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I don't think Brian Leonard was 2nd round value... but maybe early third round especially since Jacob Hester was drafted in the late third, and IMO
Leonard >> Hester. Leonard will be a very versatile and very good fullback in the league, especially with teams who want to utilize a receiving type fullback, but he will be a good blocker, but probably never will be an excellent blocker.

About Ray Rice, I see as like an Emmitt Smith type running back, but with way more power. I see Ray Ray becoming an excellent back in the NFL.
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:43 AM    (permalink
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I have several bones to pick with your analysis of the Jaguars, one being that Marcus Stroud has done nothing for us but get injured and/or suspended for the last two years. Tony McDaniel, meanwhile, has ALL the physical tools and has had an outstanding preseason. He'll make us forget about Marcus.

INT dealt with your analysis of Rashean. When he's healthy, he's a top-5 corner in the NFL. He's healthy now.
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:47 AM    (permalink
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All I know is that I'm seeing average guys beating Mathis out there these days, it's a far cry from 2006. The defense is coming down from it's once elite status from a few years ago, but the offense is much better from those days and will continue to improve. Jones-Drew is great of course, but I am a believer in David Garrard.

If the Jags are lucky, they will get huge contribution from their two rookie pass-rushers in Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves. Of course that would mean signing Harvey first.
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Old 08-24-2008, 03:01 PM    (permalink
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And here I thought the Marvin thing was going to be him winning Comeback Player of the Year. I doubt if Marvin is playing in 2009, that he'll have anything but a horseshoe on his helmet. Regardless of who you have in the wings, it's not easy to replace Marvin Harrison if he's still producing like Marvin Harrison.
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Old 08-24-2008, 03:04 PM    (permalink
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Harrison will be 37 years old in August of 2009, and has a base '09 salary of 9M. Unless he and his agent get smart and restructure, he's not worth it. I'd rather spend that money on re-signing young playmakers.
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Old 08-24-2008, 03:39 PM    (permalink
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idk why Whisenhunt is trying to get a power running game with that WR Corps
it's very simple

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Old 08-24-2008, 03:41 PM    (permalink
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Harrison will be 37 years old in August of 2009, and has a base '09 salary of 9M. Unless he and his agent get smart and restructure, he's not worth it. I'd rather spend that money on re-signing young playmakers.
Marvin has restructured before, I see no reason why he wouldn't again if the team approaches him.
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