Friday, July 22, 2011

Durant's Tattoos

Looks like Durant is aware of his clean cut image and is trying to protect/keep it.  You won't be able to see any of those tattoos when he is wearing his jersey.  It can also be pointed out it is definitely time Durant is introduced to the weight room.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

James Harrison the Diplomat

James Harrison was interview by the Mens Journal and really showed his friendly likable side.  The issue comes out this Friday.  Here are some of the better quotes that have already been released.

On Commissioner Roger Goodell:
"If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn't do it," Harrison told the magazine. "I hate him and will never respect him."  His other descriptions of the commissioner include an anti-gay slur, "stupid," "puppet" and "dictator."  If the Steelers had defeated the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl, Harrison said, he would have whispered in Goodell's ear during the trophy ceremony: "Why don't you quit and do something else, like start your own league in flag football?"
On Ben Roethlisberger:
“Hey, at least throw a pick on their side of the field instead of asking the D to bail you out again. Or hand the ball off and stop trying to act like Peyton Manning. You ain’t that and you know it, man; you just get paid like he does.”
On Troy Polamalu:
“He’s the one guy in football I respect absolutely, ‘cause he’s spiritual and lives it like he talks it. You know, he gets more flags than anyone on our team but never gets fined for nothin’. He’s so polite and talks so softly that he could tell he could tell Goodell to kiss his ass, and Goodell would smile and say thank you.”
On Black vs. White QBs
“Clay Matthews, who’s all hype — he had a couple of three-sack games in the first four weeks and was never heard from again — I’m quite sure I saw him put his helmet on Michael Vick and never paid a dime. But if I hit Peyton Manning or Tom Brady high, they’d have f*cked around and kicked me out of the league.” And: “I slammed Vince Young on his head and paid five grand, but just touched Drew Brees and that was 20. You think black players don’t see this shit and lose all respect for Goodell?”
On 2004 season:
“I should have another ring. We were the best team in football in 2004, but the Patriots, who we beat during the regular season, stole our signals and picked up 90 percent of our blitzes [in the AFC title game]. They got busted for it later, but, hey, they’re Goodell’s boys, so he slapped ‘em $500,000 and burned the tapes. Was he going to rescind their Super Bowls? Man, hell no!”
On High Hits:
“I get dinged about three times a year and don’t know where I am for a little minute. But unless I’m asleep, you’re not getting me out of the game, and most guys feel the same way. If a guy has a choice of hitting me high or low, hit me in the head and I’ll pay your fine. Just don’t hit me in the knee, ‘cause that’s life-threatening. How’m I going to feed my family if I can’t run?”
Other random attacks:
Also on the receiving end of Harrison’s ether were other NFL execs, Patriots-turned-commentators Rodney Harrison ("dirtiest player ever, a steroid cheater") and Tedy Bruschi (an idiot, straight-up simple.), Houston’s Brian Cushing (”juiced out of his mind”),  and teammate Rashard Mendenhall ("a fumbling machine) .
How to stop Head Injuries:
Harrison believes the solution to prevent a head injury is to shorten the season to 14 games, delay the start time for offseason workouts and trim the length of training camp so “we’re not bangin’ heads so much in August; that’s where the brain trauma comes from.”
Okay, can't really say much about the last quote, he is probably right.  Mendenhall replied to the attack on twitter by linking rushing statistics from last year where he ranks fourth in carries with 324 and only fumbled twice.  (He did fumble twice in the playoffs.).

One random side note though, does his quote about Polamalu remind anyone else of this great commercial?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Passing on Ingram and Most Overrated position in Football

 Ever since the NFL Draft I have heard on the radio, internet, and everywhere else how the Pats messed up to pass on Ingram.  Having a great running back at this point should be almost last on every teams list of needs.  Before you get carried away, I am not saying a running game does not matter, but rather having ONE great running back is vastly overrated.  Ever since major rule changes started happening in early 00's, like Brady rule after his knee injury and Manning's rule after Pats DBs roughed up Colts WRs in a Pats playoff win, football has steadily tilted more and more towards a heavy passing and a high scoring game.  This is being even taken further with concussion rules and how the defense can and can not hit a 'defenseless' receiver.  The end result is higher scoring games where teams need to be able to pass the ball and put points on the board to really compete. 

To add on to this, which already devalued a RB greatly, there are less and less teams who haven't caught on to the back by committee approach.  By my count, there are only 10 teams left who go with a single back, ATL, STL, HOU, PIT, CIN, TEN, MIN, CLE, CHI, SF.  Only 3 of them made the playoffs last year.  It is easier on the team financially, and easier in general, to find a backs who can fit one specific need (Power, 3rd down, etc.) and have a them form a two or three headed monster in your backfield instead of overpaying or using high draft pick on top RBs.  Although there is no RB who will admit it, the committee approach is probably better for their career as well.  They might not get as much credit, money, or playing time as they want, but this approach will lengthen their careers, and maybe even their life.  This is taken from a ESPN article where it was looking at what Chris Johnson from Tennessee, one of the ten teams using single back approach, new contract would be worth on the open market. 
Last year, no NFL quarterback took more hits than Jay Cutler, who was hit 92 times, according to the league. So consider this: Chris Johnson ran 316 times and caught 44 passes. He was hit presumably four times as much as Cutler, and that's before he threw a block.

This is why the average NFL running back doesn't last three full seasons, the shortest average career of any position group. These are the basic facts from the NFL Players Association, with 2.57 years cited in a recent study.
While 2.57 years is extremely short, it should not be too surprising.  How many elite RB have we seen rise and fall since '00? Also, how many elite RB since '00 have have actually won a ring?  While it may not be fair to put that entirely on their shoulder, it is interesting to look at.  Here is my own list of the top RB since 2000.  All players listed had multiple seasons going over 1200 yards rushing.

Adrian Peterson, LaDainian Tomlinson, Maurice Jones Drew, Chris Johnson, Curtis Martin, Ahmen Green, Tiki Barber, Thomas Jones, Ricky Williams, Clinton Portis, Preist Holmes, Jamal Lewis, Shaun Alexander, Edgerrin James, Steven Jackson, Corey Dillon, Jamaal Charles, Marshall Faukl

Of the 18 top backs only 3 have rings.  Corey Dillon with the Pats, Jamal Lewis on the Ravens, and Marshall Faulk with the Rams.  Almost every back on that list has been on a losing team at some point in their prime.  So is it really worth using such a high pick or huge contracts on a player who, odds are, will have a short career and even if they do pan out to the best RB in the world, won't automatically make you a contender?  By comparison, every elite QB since '00 (Brady, Manning, Rivers, Rodgers, Brees, Favre, Big Ben, Warner) now has a ring, except for Phillip Rivers, and they all almost always were on a winning teams.

So for all the people who are mad the Pats passed on Ingram and let him slip to 28th, don't be.  Be mad Pats didn't get anybody for their pass rush and be happy Pats aren't overpaying or reaching for a RB, and would rather improve O-line and plug in right players to fill the needed roles in the backfield.

QB > Defense > O-line > WR/RB