Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"Tuesday" FauxCast: Pre-Season Edition

Sitting at my day-job cubicle, I scroll through sports related sites fairly regularly (it helps get my mind off of the horrid stench emanated by the woman who sits to my right). Aside from the Olympics fiasco (I wonder if the judges were threatened with human rights abuses?), my focus has been primarily on the stories coming out of the NFL Pre-Season. Thus, I figured, why not get into pre-season form myself and bring back the FourCast a couple weeks early? (And since everyone is missing a step in the pre-season, I decided to be a day off). Let’s take a look at what’s been hitting the No Fun League over the past few days (and hopefully protect me from Stinky McGee for a few more minutes).

1. Tony Dungy changes his last name to “Belichick”

Okay, so he really didn’t change last names, but given the Belichick-esque routine with regard to Peyton Manning’s condition, he should get an award. So often Dungy gets praise from the “media” and fans for being a class act, while Belichick has his name dragged through the mud (even before spygate). Dungy himself has even seemingly accepted the pedestal on which he’s been placed, chastising the Pats Head Coach for his questionable methods. However, throughout last season, Dungy never once properly addressed the injury to Marvin Harrison, letting opposing teams (not to mention countless fantasy owners) prepare for no reason. Wait … doesn’t everyone (legitimately) give crap to Belichick for doing that with regard to Tom Brady’s “shoulder injury”?

This pre-season, Dungy seems to be acting coy with regard to Peyton’s knee and its, now missing, bursa sac. Could Peyton’s knee brace be this year’s version of Brady’s boot?

2. You’re doin a heckuva job there, Brownie

Ronnie Brown began the pre-season as the top running back for the Miami Dolphins. Sure, everyone assumed he’d be splitting the carries with Ricky Williams, but we also figured he’d get most of the touches. Now we know (thanks to the folks at that Brown is listed as the #2 back on the ‘Fins depth chart. The #2 overall selection in the 2005 NFL Draft came out of Auburn with lots of hype. Unfortunately, his injury plagued career has only seen him get 1,000 yards rushing once and has yet to see him play all 16 games. Maybe he just likes being #2?

3. Depth at Wide-Receiver is for pansies

While Peyton limps around (or “limps” around, we don’t know … friggin Dungy), the “other Manning” continues to show us that he really doesn’t need much in the way of teammates. A season after winning the Super Bowl without the help of the talented (but loud-mouthed) Tiki Barber and Jeremy Shockey, Eli is showing us he really doesn’t need depth or talent at the wide-receiver position (Note: Somewhere Donovan McNabb is taking notes). On Monday night, Eli shredded the Browns secondary for 2 touchdowns to Domenick Hixon, in all completing 4 of 7 passes to only Hixon and Sinorice Moss. Those stats, of course, do not include a 53-yard pass interference gain on a pass to Moss that set up the first TD to Hixon.

All-in-all, the G-men only needed to complete passes to five different receivers, none of whom were named Plaxico, Amani, Mario or Steve Smith.

4. The Truth?!? Al Davis can’t handle the truth!

Al Davis has forever been the scorn of head coaches. He bring them in, has them do his bidding without complaint and then disposes of them. Kinda sounds like Dick Cheney and his hunting pals. Well, maybe the Vice-President should think twice before inviting Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin out to hunt geese. Kiffin, long rumored to be a lame-duck coach this year, has forgotten all about the “thou shalt not bemoan Al Davis” motto of the Oakland Raiders (yeah, the “Commitment to Excellence” line is just a farce). In comments to reporters earlier this week, good ole’ Lane whined about the lack of depth on his team and further bitched about the management’s lack of play in the waiver/free agent market this pre-season.

Is Kiffin just trying to pass the buck so as to not scare away potential future employers? Probably. But hey, I give the kid (yes, “kid”) credit for having the testicular fortitude to give the finger to Davis . If Brett does run for president, Kiffin can be his renegade/maverick veep choice.


Clement said...

I like the saltiness in this post.

1) Dungy has been put on a pedastool for several reasons, maybe some aren't fair. Perhaps it's his relgious convictions, his frank nature (before the Manning-injury), or his son's suicide. But let me make this clear: he isn't becoming Belichick-lite or Diet Cheater. Belichick has been caught cheating (or misinterpreting the rules, as Karl Rove likes to say as well) and enjoys being sour grapes on the sidelines. He's also the best coach in the NFL. Nobody's going to ever compare his character or personality to Dungy. At least I hope not...

2) Miami isn't going anywhere with either of them at RB. Ricky will either get hurt or wear down, he's taken off too much time. While he was injured, Brown's stats pre-injury last season were #1-overall in fantasy (except for Superhuman Brady for overall) at his position on a winless team. He has talent, but his team DOESN'T. His got it spot on there.

3) Eli still has Plax. Look at what McNabb did with TO (especially in a Super Bowl with a broken foot). While McNabb maybe strings himself up on the cross at times too often; imagine if he had a target like Plax (even if he's never "healthy" and practicing).

4) Spot on. Spot on.

Favre sucks. But he now sucks as a Jet.

Paymon said...

Were you sniffing glue when you wrote item #1? I know you are a fan of the Patsies, but this is a stretch.

Belichick is not hated (not liked either) by the media/fans for his methods of concealing injuries. He's hated (not real hate) by the fantasy football owners who take the leap of faith and draft non-essential Patriots who sit out games with mystery ailments.

In all seriousness, Belichick (and not Dungy) is hated because he unabashedly breaks the rules. We all know about Spygate. It's one thing to get caught red-handed (and yes, I realize the Pats aren't the only guilty party - they're just the most successful of the cheaters). It's another entirely to get caught red-handed and have the nerve to call it a "misinterpretation".

Also, haven't the Patriots under Belichick's rule been accused of using players on IR in practice (which reduces reps for other players)?

Sum said...

i LOVE it :-) See, if I didnt have the balls to make the outrageous title in #1, we wouldnt get this.

Obviously, I don't think Dungy is as cold as Belichick ... however, at least Bill is upfront about it and doesn't hide behind an air of infallibility (like a certain presidential candidate ... and like a certain current President ... funny how similar those two are ... and no, they're note of the same party).

As for your IR issue, I might be wrong, but I believe several ex-players have outed several times about "allegedly" using players on IR in practice.

Obviously I'm not a proponent of cheating ... however, I don't like dishonest a-holes being treated so differently :-p

Sum said...

Oh, and Clement, on #3, I didnt say Eli didn't have Plax ... just saying that he did pretty damn well without his superstar WRs on Monday night. Not sure if that'll happen again in the regular season, but it was pretty impressive.

Paymon said...

Several former Patriots have come out about the IR issue, but I'm almost certain it's league-wide. As mentioned earlier, the teams with the most success (i.e. "the best cheaters) will receive the most criticism. Ultimately, who benefits most from this?

Your usage of "Bill Belichick" and "upfront" in the same sentence is illegal in 44 states.