August 18, 2009
Tuesday Morning QB - To Be A Raiders Fan
BY: Ian Logue/PatsFans.com
Just once I think it would be fun to be a Raiders fan.
I mean let's face it, it's pretty boring here in New England. Other than winning championships and just winning in general, we don't get to enjoy much else. The players buy into Bill Belichick's mentality, so there's no interesting quotes or anyone questioning a defensive or offensive call after the game. There's no backlash against the coach where the owner talks to the media after a loss, leaving him to wonder if this is the week he could be fired. Come to think of it, there's actually very little that's dysfunctional here in New England.
After all, last season was probably the most excitement we've had in recent memory with this team. After watching Tom Brady go down in week one, all bets were off and there was plenty of doubt as to what direction the season was headed in. Instead, we watched the development of Matt Cassel, and were left with nothing but the wonder of what could have been after an 11-5 season wasn't enough to get into the postseason. Now Cassel's out in Kansas City and will get to play Oakland twice this season. Lucky guy.
We're actually pretty deprived when you think about it. We don't get to see major scuffles between players where a guy rips off another player's helmet and punches him in the face. Better yet, we don't get to see Belichick rip-roaring mad and going on a tirade in a press conference. I'd love to hear the guy really get angry and go off -- I think it would be great. Don't lie, you think the same thing. Listening to, "It is what it is" gets old after a while and you're a liar if you can look a fellow fan in the eye and say you wouldn't love to hear what he really thinks. Better yet, can you imagine Belichick punching Dante Scarnecchia in the face? Those are moments that are only enjoyed out in Oakland. Let's face it - being happy and content doesn't give you much to talk about. Think about the last time you sat around for any length of time talking with a group of friends about how happy you were about something that happened to you, compared to the times you've spent talking about something that occurred that really aggravated you.
See? There's no comparison.
Winning gets old after a while, and let's face it - we're used to it here in New England. It's been that way each year since '01 and only twice have we had our Januarys free to do other things rather than watch football. Give me Al Davis over Bob Kraft, and while you're at it I'll take a set of season tickets (strange - no waiting list there) and give me the face paint, the spikes, and everything that goes along with it. After all, you can't compare what we have with that, and here's to any of you hoping to see Tom Brady punch Wes Welker in the face in practice in the not too distant future.
Top 5 Thoughts After Thursday Night
1) So far so good with Brady
Watching Brady Thursday night was a breath of fresh air for any fan who was looking forward to seeing #12 back on the field. He looked sharp and decisive, and save for an under thrown deep ball to Moss, it was hard to find anything to criticize. Considering how stacked they are on offense at what seems like nearly every position, I'm looking forward to this week's matchup against Cincinnati to see if they can build on last week's performance.
2) Julian Edelman Looks Impressive
I enjoyed watching his punt return for a touchdown and am certainly excited about the prospect of him joining Moss and Welker on the field this season. He looks like a guy with a propensity of getting open, and it definitely looks like he's going to make it difficult for opposing defenses to stop him. Add in Joey Galloway, along with the stable of tight ends, and it's a definitely a pretty dangerous group that should put up some great numbers this season. So far so good -- and I'm looking forward to seeing more from him Thursday night.
3) So far -- Not So Good for Laurence Maroney
After one preseason game, there's actually very little to feel good about with the Patriots running game -- so it's hard to pick on Maroney too much. Unfortunately he's battling against a deep group and really needs to establish himself. His 6 carries for 14 yards isn't going to impress anyone too much, and it's frustrating because he's young (he's only 24), with a tremendous amount of potential. So far Benjarvus Green-Ellis and Sammy Morris were the standouts in game one, with game two against Cincinnati coming up. Maroney needs to show something this week -- otherwise it appears that he could potentially find himself battling for a roster spot.
4) Watson the Odd Man Out?
It's hard to imagine that a former number one pick could be on his way out. Dropped passes, his injury history, along with his inconsistent play has made Watson's future in New England questionable and he's battling for a spot against Alex Smith, Dave Thomas, and Chris Baker (who caught two TD passes Thursday night). While it's a bit too early to write him off, time is running out for the former number one draft choice. To make matters worse, Watson's also in the final year of his contract. A contract year tends to bring out the best in a player. Hopefully we'll finally get to find out what type of player he really is.
5) So Far, So Good From Chung
Patrick Chung gave fans a reason to be optimistic after one preseason contest. He joined Jerod Mayo for a total of 5 tackles (4 solo, 1 assisted) and was tied for the lead in combined tackles. He showed good instincts and played well, and fans have to be encouraged with what they've seen thus far as we look for someone to fill Rodney Harrison's shoes. It's just one game -- but count me in as someone who can't wait to see him take the field again this Thursday against the Bengals. He may not yet be the leader that Harrison was, but he was in the right place at the right time on more than one occasion during Thursday's win over the Eagles. I'd love to see him build on that.
Vick in Philadelphia -- What Were They Thinking?
I guess count me in as someone who is glad Michael Vick is signed, just so we don't have to hear his name thrown around here in New England anymore. However, if I'm an Eagles fan, I'm not sure I get the mentality behind this one.
So far the word out of Philadelphia is that fans aren't exactly thrilled with this move, and I wouldn't be either. This is a recipe for disaster for two reasons. The first is the negative public perception that will accompany having Vick on the roster. I'm guessing you'll see protests each week throughout the season, that's probably a given. One fan is even already petitioning sponsors and team officials regarding the move, and regardless of whether or not it's successful it's grabbing enough negative headlines to make you wonder if the risk is worth the reward.
Secondly if McNabb has one bad game, fans will be clamoring for Vick to get a shot at taking over his spot at the quarterback position. Call me crazy, but Andy Reid seems way too smart to have really felt this was a good idea. With his job on the line this season he has enough to worry about, and having the distractions that Vick will bring won't exactly help that situation. Needless to say it will be interesting to see what happens there -- but count me in as someone who doesn't see this working out too well. Eagles fans booed McNabb when he was drafted, and they'll probably boo him again if he struggles. I just can't find anything positive with it -- and will be stunned if this doesn't backfire.
Orton Hears a "Boo"
Speaking of boos, I can't take credit for that headline -- that one goes to "farn" in our fan forum. However, watching the mess that former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has created for himself now that he's the head coach out in Denver is enough to make anyone feel even a little bad.
I don't blame him for wanting Matt Cassel and discussing the possibility of getting him, even if it did involve trading Jay Cutler. I blame him for not making absolutely sure that the word wouldn't get out about it. Now instead he's not only left with some of his players secretly not liking him, but he's also stuck with Kyle Orton, who appears to be the master of driving down the field and throwing a critical interception not once, but three times in a preseason loss against the San Francisco 49ers. McDaniels had Brady, Randy Moss, and Welker among others to run his plays back in New England. He doesn't have guys like that out in Denver. He does have former Patriots Jabar Gaffney and Daniel Graham, but he'll need more than that to get anywhere near the type of production he did here.
The good news is that Chris Simms played well and looked good Friday night. That in itself should be enough for anyone following the Broncos to have a reason to be somewhat optimistic. Count me in as someone who felt bad that getting hit so hard he ruptured his spleen more or less cost Simms his job back in Tampa Bay, and I'd love to see him flourish under McDaniels. I think it would be a great story, and I'd love to see him get rewarded for his toughness.
I don't know about the rest of you but I think it's kind of fun to have a couple of other interests in Cassel and McDaniels to follow this year. It should definitely be an interesting year.
It's Time for Favre to Hang It Up
I loved "There's Something about Mary". To this day I still emphasize the "v" in Favre whenever I say his name, the exact same way that Ben Stiller did in that movie. At the time Brett Favre was endearing, and an interesting character. I cursed him in 1997 when he beat us in the Super Bowl, I rooted for him after his dad died, and I quietly hoped he'd take the Packers deep into the playoffs on other occasions.
But enough is enough.
He said he was going to retire and he was done. I actually gave him credit for taking a stand and deciding enough was enough, with Favre telling the Vikings recently that he didn't have enough left to come back for one more year.
I thought, "Good for you Brett for finally realizing that it's time to hang it up."
Now FoxSports.com reported on Monday that he's still possibly thinking about coming back. Each time I read anything having to do with him coming back I think of "Any Given Sunday" where Dennis Quaid's character is forced to keep going by his wife who can't deal with being married to someone other than a football player. Seeing Lauren Holly's character in that movie makes me wonder if Deanna Favre can't deal with having him home full time and is forcing him to come back when he's made it clear (or so he says) that he just doesn't have it in him.
He's an intelligent guy who should be smart enough to know that it's time to call it a career. Reading about Barry Sanders' story this week where he decided to hang it up at the age of 30, it's just amazing. This is a guy who was so close to the all-time rushing record, and just decided he was done and retired at the top of his game. It makes me shake my head when I think of all the drama surrounding Favre that has just been dragged out because he can't let go.
He already made the right decision the first time -- it's too bad he didn't stick to it.
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