Tuesday, September 18, 2007

NFL Not-So-Quick Hitters

After two weeks, the experts are deciding which 2-0 teams are pretenders and contenders. I’ll spare you the regurgitation of 15-minute ESPNEWS loops and provide comment on the major goings-on in the National Football League.

I’m avoiding talk of the “declining” Donovan McNabb, because I intend to rail on that issue tomorrow.

1. First things first. Randy Thomas suffered torn left triceps during last night’s game against the Eagles. According to the AP, Thomas will have surgery to repair the tear, which will require him to wear a splint for at least six weeks followed by rehabilitation for several weeks afterwards. He’s likely headed to the injured/reserve list. That means the right side of the undefeated Redskins line is out of commission (Jon Jansen out for the year). Normally, it would be panic time in Washington, but Joe Gibbs has faith in longtime Jets guard Jason Fabini and fellow veteran Todd Wade. Additionally, Washington is high on rookie tackle Stephon Heyer, who excelled in training camp. Don’t be shocked if Keydrick Vincent enters talks with Washington. His run blocking quality fits the two-back system employed by the Redskins.

2. The Jets season of woe continues. No, there is no QB controversy, but they lost their sole Pro Bowl player CB/KR Justin Miller for the year. In this league where you now need 15 corners to endure a season, Miller possessed added value. As an aside, for the Madden ’08 heads, use Miller as the third player from the right in the punt block formation. He has nine blocks for me this season. Yes, nine. On top of that, I suck at Madden, so a real player who can actually force the computer to punt would get at least twenty.

3. Lord Byron has landed in Lukewarm-lanta. With that poor excuse for an offense, I refuse to call it Hotlanta unless when referring to the Braves. Leftwich's deal lasts two years and is worth $7M. He will be there “to compete with” Joey Harrington. Reading between the lines, Leftwich will be starter after a successful second-half showing prior to the bye and named starter thereafter, or he will be the starter after the Week 8 bye. I guess Bobby Petrino is not serious about drafting Brian Brohm. Side note: What kind of slap in the face would it be to Brohm if the Falcons drafted Kentucky’s ‘Andre Woodson?

4. The Pokes signed suspended and embattled defensive tackle Tank Johnson. NFL teams think they’re so brilliant when they sign players the week before their team plays their new signee’s team. Honestly, what can Johnson tell them? They like to blitz a lot. They play Cover 2. Urlacher is good. Let Grossman throw a pick-six. Anyhow, Dallas can look forward to Johnson contributing from Week 9 onward when his suspension is over. In that time, he will have to become accustomed to the switch from his role in a 4-3 Cover 2 defense to being a nose tackle in Wade Phillips’ 3-4 setup. Starting nose tackle Jason Ferguson was ruled out for the year after their Week 1 shootout with New York.

5. Kevin Curtis is tarrible [sic]. He was a bad signing and has shown signs of one Todd Pinkston. He can still be good, but why sign a player to a lucrative contract with a similar skill set to your new #1 wide receiver Reggie Brown (who should not be a WR1 but that is another story for another day)? Until Philadelphia signs an impact player who can catch the ball over the middle, Donovan McNabb will continue to be marginalized by a limited playbook. Expect Philly to consider speaking with free agent misfit Antonio Bryant or a player on the block who’s not afraid to be a possession receiver.

1 comment:

Armin said...

Goodell recently lifted suspensions from several players. Antonio Bryant was one of those fortunate ones. Look for a team to sign him this week. The short-list of teams that could go for them: Jags, Giants, Eagles. Don't rule out the Redskins, as they've been on the lookout for a possession receiver who can compliment Moss and Randle-El in a way that Brandon Lloyd has failed.

Tank Johnson isn't your typical Nose Tackle, as he just tips the scales at 300 pounds. But, at this point, he was the best the Cowboys could have done. I'm surprised they didn't take a flyer on Jimmy Kennedy. He could fill in this week.