Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

Last year, Philadelphia Eagles backup quarterback Vince Young proclaimed the Eagles to be a “Dream Team” before they even lined up for a single snap. That so-called Dream Team struggled out of the gate, and even with four straight wins to end the season, the Eagles still had a mediocre 8-8 record. That would be akin to the real Dream Team losing the Bronze medal game to Lithuania at the ’92 Olympics. The Eagles were appropriately bashed by most media outlets for crowning themselves before proving themselves, thus leading them to be humbled by the experience.

There’s no way they couldn’t have learned from their mistakes. They were totally humbled…right?

Well, I guess not. Last week Michael Vick was talking about a possible Eagles dynasty, and in a recent interview with WIP radio in Philadelphia, he didn’t not backing away from those claims.

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I wonder if Lauren is going to be on Hard Knocks...

Ryan Tannehill is a highly-touted rookie quarterback who was a top 10 pick, and therefore, confidence is inherent. Every movie about high school or college football that I’ve ever watched tells me that quarterbacks land hot girls, get special treatment from teachers, and they’re generally pampered and told that all the greatest things in this world can be theirs.

They also say lines that make people who enjoy teen movies yell “booyah!’ or something, and their characters have accents that aren’t clichéd whatsoever…

A truly rich cultural experience.

Tannehill isn’t nearly as good looking as James Van der Beek, but that hasn’t stopped him from wanting to start all of the games. Tannehill missed the first two days of Dolphins training camp due to a brief contract holdout before he had his first full practice yesterday, and he told ESPN’s James Walker that despite his absence and the two veterans ahead of him on the Dolphins’ QB depth chart (David Garrard and Matt Moore), he still thinks he can start.

“I feel like I’m in it,” Tannehill said. “Maybe I am being naïve, but the coaches haven’t given me any indication that I’m not, so I’m going to go out there every day and do my best to get better every day and hopefully win the job.”

No, you’re not being naive, Ryan. You’re just being confident, and that’s the kind of thing that gets the narrative creators frothing with delight as they drool over another young quarterback who can win, or probably knows how to win. Tannehill may be a fine quarterback sometime very soon, and he can and should do everything in his power to win the Dolphins’ starting job.

But if new head coach Joe Philbin and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman have any sense whatsoever, they won’t let Tannehill anywhere near a football in Week 1. Seriously, no footballs. Ban him from the mere possession of the one item that makes playing a game of football possible.

We could linger over concerns about Tannehill’s lack of starting experience after he completed just one full season as a starter at Texas A&M. But that’s a crumbling bridge over rough waters that’s long since been crossed. If the Dolphins were confident enough to draft Tannehill at eighth overall when others had him as a late-round pick at best, they’re also confident enough to cast him as the quarterback of their offense for the next decade. Hopefully.

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I understand that the quarterback position in the NFL is hard, and it’s probably difficult to throw a pass with pin-point accuracy when you’re being pursued by a jacked-up 260 pound monster who wants nothing more than to give you the old “LT on Theismann” (not for the squeamish) treatment.

Still, though, if the objective of the quarterback is to make sure that the pigskin ends up in an eligible receiver’s hands, Blaine Gabbert is failing at his job. In his rookie season last year, Gabbert started 15 games and only completed 50.8% of his passes; that was good for the second worse percentage in the league for quarterbacks who attempted at least 14 passes per game. The only quarterback who took regular reps and had a worse completion percentage was Tim Tebow, and everyone knows Tebow can’t chuck.

This year is a fresh start for Gabbert, but according to a tweet from Jacksonville.com writer Vito Stellino, he’s still not finding his receiver’s mitts.

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Mike Wallace is talented, and quite fast, and in the highly unlikely event that he misses regular-season time due to his contract holdout, he’ll be missed. But not much, because the Steelers have two other blossoming young receivers, one of which produced much more than Wallace during the second half of last season, and overall had a breakout year in 2011.

His name is Antonio Brown, and he was given a five-year contract extension worth $42.5 million today, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. So hey, Mike, feel free to sign that $2.7 million restricted free agent tender and re-start the negotiations that you’ve stalled.

It only makes sense. Maybe too much sense.

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If the Tim Tebow infatuation wasn’t enough to make us talk about the Jets and only the Jets until they inevitably disappoint us once football that matters is played in September, now in addition to possibly trotting Tebow out on special teams, Rex Ryan has another experiment he’d like to try.

Antonio Cromartie at wide receiver.

I’m not making this up. Honest. Ryan told the assembled human locusts of the New York media that we “shouldn’t be surprised” to see Cromartie used as a wide receiver on occasion, according to Newsday’s Bob Glauber.

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Two years ago, Brian Price was deemed worthy of second-round pick. Now, he’s only worth an undisclosed pick.

The Tampa bay Buccaneers have traded the defensive tackle they drafted with the 35th overall pick in 2010 to the Bears for a mystery pick that will likely turn into a late-round pick. It’s another move by new Bucs head coach Greg Shiano as he shapes his roster, tailored to his style and his scheme, and it’s also a testament to Price’s failure to justify his lofty draft status, largely because of injuries.

Price bounced back somewhat last year, missing only one game while finishing with three sacks and 20 tackles. Seeing any life whatsoever from the former UCLA standout who had seven sacks and 48 tackles during his junior year was encouraging, but far more than merely the act of breathing is expected from a defensive tackle selected in the top 40.

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If I were to list the most unsurprising news items of the day, that list would probably be led by something about RIM sucking, then something about Kim Kardashian wearing very little, why she’s wearing it, and her infatuation with the sarong. However, why she’s been allowed to exist will not be examined, despite the obvious hypocrisy of her poking fun at Paris Hilton for a sex tape.

See what you’ve done, society? I’ve outed myself. I’ve read the very garbage that’s the root of my snark, because it can’t be avoided, and it can’t be stopped. Useless smut consumes us, and poisons our thoughts.

Today’s Maurice Jones-Drew development is far less poisonous, but equally expected. He won’t be reporting to training camp, and while that’s disappointing and it sets the stage for the bitter death match where no true winner will emerge, Jones-Drew’s decision should surprise absolutely no one.

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