Wednesday, August 20, 2008

obligatory olympics post, phelps, et. al

So the Olympics have been going on, obviously, and I have found them more worthless than normal. First of all, the basketball games are like not on TV at all ever. Everything is on tape delay with the time change, and I understand why gymnastics will pull in a bigger target audienc over bball (women), but throw me a bone and give me a game at like 11 pm or something. I don't want primetime just show me SOMETHING. Ugh. Regardless, we have been destroying everyone and it looks like we will end our incompetence in international play is coming to an end. Finally.

I have watched several baseball games and I am a bit confused by the roster we put together. I don't know how it works or anything like if MLB teams can block certain guys from going (this must be the case, obviously I don't care enough to look it up) but we do not have a very studly minor league all star team at all. That being said, it seems we will medal, so that's nice. Couple quick notes on the team and things. First, Nate Schierholtz. I have no idea in any capacity of my mind why this kid has not been given an extended look by the Giants in their outfield. They play 40 year olds next to Fred Lewis and are going nowhere this year. He has nothing left to prove in the minors and could be a very solid big league outfielder. Dexter Fowler is a freak. Rox have a really really nice prospect there. Kids 22, freak athlete 5 tool outfielder. Power should develop and he looks like he can be a 30/30 guy if he keeps randalling. LaPorta is serious, part of the CC trade, he will be a big bopper for the Tribe hopefully at the beginning of next year. Casey Weathers will be closing for the Rox soon, he's got some electric stuff. Ok enough base.

Gymnastics. Watching this once ever four years I can deal with to some degree. I have been temporarily blinded at times from the glare off Nastia Liukins forehead when they show closeups of her, which is never good. Shawn Johnson's thighs are disgustingly massive. There is no chance that any of the Chinese girls have grown hair in places which we do not speak of. But watching these girls jump around and flip about is mildly entertaining. But sadly, my favorite part about the gymnastics is when they cut to Costas and that Eastern European guy and he loses his mind goes insane every time Costas asks him a question about anything.

Phelps. Phelps is a merman droughner. They have shown his mother a billion and a half times in the stands, and there is 0 chance that with half of his genes coming from that cow that the other half come from anyone not named Aquaman, I have decided. That being said, he is as close to a merman as you'll find. They showed the thing about his body like legs are such that he should be 6'0 and his wingspan is like 6'9 or something, just a freak. The announcer that did all the Phelps races also was a fucking genius. It would be like 10 seconds in and he was screaming and going crazy; I'm surprised he didn't have a heart attack or two during the course of the games. But Phelps won everything, world records, Lindsey Lohan texted him and wants his merdong, and he looks like Tim Lincecum on steroids. Win.

Misty May-Treanor is married to Marlins backup C Matt Treanor. That is great. Kerri Walsh, no relation to Adam Walsh. Olympics have too many worthless things in them for me to really like it. They are for girls, I have decided. Also, memo to NBC: never, ever, ever televise the marathon. Seriously, come on. Same with rowing. I guess this list could be way too long but eoh. I digress.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Being Alon Malkovich

As insomnia sweeps over me like the Mets vs. the Nats (yesss) here are some football things, in no order, that I've been thinking about (click More...):


  • Wait... the Saints still have Jason David as their #2 corner? Exsqueeze me? Baking powder? Jason David is so fun to watch because he is the most infamous defensive player of this generation and he actually lives up to it.
  • Reggie Bush is possibly the most athletic human ever created and he has the highlights to show for it (just check youtube). Unfortunately for Reggie and the Saints, he still only managed 3.4 yards per carry in 7 tries against the Texans.
  • Why aren't people higher on Michael Turner? The Falcons gave Warrick "3.2 yards per carry" Dunn 227 carries last season and Jerious Norwood 103. They clearly would've loved to run the football last season had it been an option... Well now it is! Since 2004, Turner's rookie year, in games where he has gotten 10 or more carries his totals are: 136 carries for 786 yards. That is an OUTSTANDING 5.78 ypc and if you don't think he is going to get at least 250 carries you are crazy. He is really sick. Look for the dirty birds to run the ball about 500 times this season. They didn't give "Burner" a six year deal for nothing.
  • Leinart and Warner are both NFL starting QB material. The Cards should go with Leinart because he is the future and they aren't going anywhere this season but if head coach Ken Whisenhunt starts getting pressured to win some games, watch out for him to frantically give the job back to Warner.
  • Edge looks determined to prove the critics that say that he is too old to be productive wrong, and I believe in him, however rookie Tim Hightower looks good too and may be stealing the goal line carries.
  • I haven't seen Larry Johnson much this season, and he did finish with good numbers in his last preseason game but in the few highlights that I did see he looked slow as hell. I don't know if I'm the only one, but from what I saw it seemed to me that he lacked the explosiveness that made LJ, LJ.
  • Steve Slaton not only ran the ball very effectively last preseason game but he also picked up blitzers like a vet. He's going to win the starting RB job, and he is going to be good.
  • It befuddles me how in 2005 we used a second round pick to draft Mike Nugent who is an average kicker at best.
  • I also cannot believe how strong Vernon Gholston (Geohlston) is as I now watch a replay of him shoving some Redskins player 5 yards out of bounds as if he was a 3 year old.
  • I've said it before and I'll say it again: Chad Pennington playing for the rival Dolphins against my Jets will test my fan-hood probably like nothing else ever will. Watching Chad carve up the elite Jacksonville defense was extremely pleasurable for me as I just want him to succeed.
  • Speaking of carving up the Jags' D, the Dolphins might have a very, very good running game this season if Ronnie Brown can make it back healthy. The reason I'm pointing this out is not just because Ronnie is so very sick, but it is also because Ricky Williams made the Jags' first team defense look like Swiss cheese. Ricky is back.

  • Their D can make anyone look bad, and a lot of teams look awful.
  • Hopefully we get to see Ray Rice lay out some high profile linebacker soon so people will stop posting clips of the Mo Jones-Drew + Merriman thing and because it would be awesome. I like him.
  • Oh yeah and their QB situation? Troy Smith looks extremely uneasy and flat-footed in the pocket to me, and Boller is Boller is Boller is Boller is Boller... if you know what I mean.
  • Man, I'm so sick of hearing about the new trendy pick for surprise team blah, blah, blah. The Bills suck. Marshawn is sick, but as a team they suck.
  • Trent Edwards' "dazzling" performance against the Steelers defense is overrated. He did most of it against their second team defense. I hope they go 0-16.
  • I love absolutely everything that I've read and heard about rookie WR Eddie Royal. The little bit that I have seen from Mr. Royal, I also LOVE (sleeperererereerererer).
  • Over/under on how many different teams Patrick Ramsey will have played on by the time his NFL career is over: 7.
  • Brandon Marshall is this years' Braylon (minus 2 games).
  • People get so obsessed with Jamarcus Russell's "nuclear bomb" arm (I couldn't think of anything stronger) that they forget about his 2006 LSU campaign. Russell finished '06 with 3129 yards, 67.8 completion percentage, 28 TDs, 8 INTs and 142 yards rushing in 13 games. He wasn't picked first overall to be a circus attraction, he was picked first overall to be a game-changing, franchise QB.
  • You know how in the Fifth Element the girl learns all of the world's history in a matter of minutes? I wish I could quickly do that right now so I could find someone to compare Chris Johnson to. He's the fastest kid alive.
  • Also rookie Lavelle Hawkins had a nice touchdown and I can't wait for his next blog post.

  • Richard Marshall's TD against the Eagles was the coolest thing ever.
  • Deangelo Williams is very underrated.
  • Their stadium is sooooooo cool and their fans are sooooooo loud. It's a shame that they will do nothing this year.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lebron gets a new friend! YAY! Mo to the Cavs

Another player with considerable talent was traded for absolutely no player of worth yesterday as we see the Cavs heist of PG Mo Williams. I don't care to look at the Bucks end of this deal. I hate the Bucks and I hate the continued and unflinching ineptitude of their front office. The Thunder (I can't tell if this is the stupidest worst fucking name for a team ever, or if I love it....I think I just miss the Sonics) get rid of Luke Ridnour which was VERY necessary for them so McMillan won't even get to think about sending him out to cut into the time of baby Earl or Rookbrook. Ridnour is also white, bad, unathletic, annoying, and stupid; I hate him very much. But anyway, the purpose of this post is to look at the Cavs. Since they won the Chosen lottery (get it? like, Chosen One, haha! YES) back in 2003 they have done a tremendous job of surrounding Lebron with horrible shit. Mo Williams will be the best player to wear a Cav uniform and share the floor with James. Even though those surrounding Lebron have sucked, he is the best player in the league, and was still capable of taking his team of scrubs and random parts to the NBA finals on '06 and one game within the Eastern Conference finals in '07. Adding Mo to the fold makes their roster significantly better.

Since the Cavs got Lebron they have not had a point guard. Trade rumors surrounding this team acquiring a PG have never been in short supply and even though Danny Ferry has proven to be a pretty bad GM thus far, you have got to give him some credit on this deal. First of all, he gave up nothing. Secondly, Mo Williams is a perfect fit on this team. Danny Ferry wins. But Ferry in the past? Nooooootttttttt so good. Not as bad as Shaq randalling him up the ass, but still, lose. This team is really, really, REALLY poorly assembled. It really is a testament to how insanely good Lebron is to see how far they have been going in the postseason these past couple years. But given the crap on this team, Mo improves them vastly.
Mo Williams is a true point guard, and not in the sense that Eric Snow is, but in the sense that he is actually good and is a true point guard. He put up 17-6 his last two years for the Bucks, can stretch the floor with his 3 point range, and can take it to the rim as good as any point in the league. His acquisition will allow them to slide Delonte West over to the 2/combo G where he belongs and also takes the ball out of his hands more on offense which will also improve this team. He can just focus on playing D and whatever he gives you on offense is gravy. It also allows them to bring Booby Gibson off the bench and use him strictly as a three point specialist and offensive threat. Booby will now never, ever be forced to run the offense again, which is also a tremendous bonus for this team. Whether he is on the floor with West or Mo, he can just run up and down the floor and worry himself with draining threes. West and Gibson can both be shifted into roles more suiting their skillset with the addition of Mo. Mo also gives opposing defenses a player to worry about. He is an all-around offensive talent who is capable of scoring in a mulititude of ways. Everyone else on the Cavs not named Lebron are entirely one dimensional offensive players, more or less. West is probably the best all around offensive threat on this club before Mo, and that is not saying much. Wally is a shooter and is good at wearing suits to games, Gibson is a shooter, Pavlovic shoots and is also good at getting hurt, Varejeo is just awkward, Z is huge and just does things on the block that they teach in Eastern Europe, and Ben Wallace doesn't know how to score anywhere but on the free throw line where he is like drainage on the Bandy tract. While most teams are trying to put together trios of genius, the Cavs now have theirs. Lebron, Lebron and Mo.

The addition of Williams assures the Cavs that they will be over the cap for next offseason but under the luxury tax. They will, therefore, not be able to add anyone through free agency. However, they do have Wally's massive expiring deal which they could trade to get someone who isn't worthless prior to this years trade deadline. Outside of that, their hands are pretty tied. Given how fucking bad Ben Wallace was for them last year, it looks like they won't be able to rid themselves of Z. But, mortgaging their cap space for a young talent like Williams looks to be ok. He is very, very underrated, largely because he plays in Milwaukee for a horrible team, and point guard was definitely the biggest hole on this team. So for Lebron's final two years with the Cavs, they are making a push at it now. I would be surprised to see them not be able to get some type of actual good player for Wally's contract to some team looking to relieve cap space once they drop out of contention as this season progresses. The only, ONLY conceivable way that the Cavs would be able to resign Lebron would be if they surround him with enough non-dead weight pieces of shit and he carries them to a championship. We'll see how far he can carry these humans now.

There is no doubt that Mo will fit in nicely with this club. He will score and stretch the D and all that good stuff, but I believe the one thing that this team needs more than anything is Ben Wallace. If (a HUUUGEEE if) his body isn't completely broken down as it appears, some for of the old Ben would be tremendous. They need the rebounding, defensive intensity, et. al. that Wallace is known to bring to the table. Now more than ever, with scoring at the 1,3, and 5 spots, defense at the 2 (which they already have in Delonte) and 4 is absolutely crucial. Z is an immobile huge ogre who gets boards only when the ball bounces off the rim and directly to where he is standing. Wallace, obviously, is one of the leagues best rebounders when healthy. He is a tremendously active defender and a fierce competitor. I do not think that Varajeo is the answer there and I think that 30 minutes per game of Ben Wallace is what this team needs to take that next step. Their team defense would be so, so much better. Lebron is an outstanding defender, as is Delonte, and between them they can more or less shut down any swing men / guards on the opposition. They need Wallace to be a similar force on the interior.

Points and scoring was never REALLY a problem for this team. I mean we all know what Lebron did in the Pistons series in '06, so obviously, he can score enough regardless of the incompetence surrounding him to beat some teams in the playoffs. Mo Williams will undoubtedly take some pressure off and make things easier for him on offense. What I'm trying to say is, is Mo really the difference maker that vaults this team into some new echelon in the East? No. Definitely, absolutely not. But, it is a step in the right direction and was badly needed. If Ben Wallace sees a resurgence of sorts this year and can stay somewhat healthy, then I think this team is serious. A starting 5 of Mo-West-King-Wallace-Z with Booby, Varajeo, Wally and Pavlovic off the bench would be a terrific rotation. Wallace, in my opinion, is the lynchpin and their team defense will be merely average if he is not in there. Mo will improve the fluidity of their offense but not really improve them defensively at all. But, if Wallace is right this year, their defense will be really, really good and the addition of Mo to improve the offense will prime the Cavs to make a deep run in the playoffs.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Super Bowl Champs: season preview, defense

Our defense was, like most things about us, is incredibly underrated. We were 2nd in the NFC in yards allowed per game. Bet you didn't know that. Before I get into the players, Steve Spagnuolo, our D coordinator (and former Eagles linebacker coach, thanks a lot), is unreal. He did a great job last year, was creative and aggressive with his game plans, and always put our defense in a position to succeed. He deserves a lot of credit in getting the absolute most out of our personnel. Ok, so on that note, let's get into it.

Defensive Line:
Our defensive line was very, very good last season. We consistantly got pressure to the quarterback and finished first in the NFC in sacks. However, the retirement of Michael Strahan was the biggest loss to our defense this offseason and his shoes will be tough to fill. But, his opening at the DEnd position will be filled this year by Justin Tuck who we just resigned to a fat deal this offseason. Tuck was lining up at end and tackle last season as there was no spot anywhere on the defensive line for him to start. But, he has a tremendous amount of ability. The new contract we gave him proves that our high ups think he is ready to start at DE for us and be an impact player. I think he will not make Giant fans miss Strahan too much. Osi does not need much introduction, he a premier DE in this league. At tackle, we return both starters from a year ago Barry Cofield and Fred Robbins. Both are huge and good. And neither get the notoriety that they deserve. With Tuck replacing Strahan, many who do not know the Giants well enough think that our defensive line will be hugely downgraded from a year ago, but that is not the case. This starting front will continuously pressure the quarterback and once again be a huge strength for our defense.

The other key loss to our defense was Kawika Mitchell who signed with the Bills this offseason. We brought in veteran Danny Clark to replace him on the weak side. Clark came to us from Houston and is just 2 years removed from a 113 tackle season with Oakland. He has been running with the first team in camp and has reportedly looked great. Of our starters on D, he is the only non-rookie to be entering their first seasons with the Giants and so he is still getting acclimated to a group of guys who all know each other very well. Antonio Pierce returns to the middle linebacker position and is the undeniable leader of this group. He said he has been impressed with Clark in camp so far and that's pretty much all we need to know to be satisfied with this guy entering the season. I have also taken a strong liking to Clark in reading about him since camp. He wants to prove that he belongs as a starter on this squad, and he is eager to earn the respect of our top defense. He will fit nicely at outside linebacker and I expect an 90+ tackle season from him. Pierce, already mentioned, is the leader and boss of our linebacking crew. he is a tackling machine and has never had a sub-100 tackle season since being with the Giants. He is a rock at MLB. I am very, very excited to watch Mathias Kiwanuka on Sundays. I was devestated when he went down with a season ending injury in week 11 last year. Last season was his first at LB as a converted DE and he really started to figure it out in the couple games prior to his injury. He gives us a legit blitzing option and I think can blossom into a special linebacker this season for us. I have high hopes for him this season and he gives Spags a lot of different options in terms of his versatility. Our depth at linebacker is also phenomenal. Kehl, DeOssie, and Blackburn are all very solid guys off the bench. Kiwanuka was a big question mark for this group entering last year, but he began to emerge as an impact player in the weeks prior to his injury. Clark, I guess, can be deemed a question mark because he is new, but if we absorbed Kiwanuka's loss with the same guys last year and won the super bowl, we obviously have capable reserves. A lot to love about this group this season.

Our secondary is easily the weakest unit on our entire football team both offensively and defensively, but I still believe it to be average. Basically, everything about our secondary pissed me off to no end last year. I hated everyone but Ross. They all sucked. They were old. They were just fucks. But for some reason they started to play very, very well as a unit in towards the end of last year and into the playoffs. So, individually, let's see. Our starting corners will be 2nd year man Aaron Ross and Corey Webster. Ross started basically all year for us his rookie season and played very well. We had no other viable options to start and I was pleased we just sent him out there and let him play through his mistakes instead of starting Dockery or some other asshole. With a year under his belt I expect him to take another big step forward. Opposite him is Webster. Webster was maddening last year. He was so, so, sooooooooo worthless for basically the entire year. He could barely make his way off the bench and everytime he was out there it seemed like he was either commiting a penalty or trying to get his head out of his ass. But he did manage to dislodge it on week 15 and started to droughn opposing wide outs. We left him in single coveraged on TO and Moss in the playoffs and he was absolultely amazing. Now, am I sold on him? Kind of. There is one thing I noticed that caused his transformation from bench fodder to shut down corner: his aggressiveness. I think he learned how to play cornerback given the constant and unrelenting pressure we put on the quarterback. He was jamming his guy at the line more and not playing so far back off of them. He has all the physical talents to be a good corner in this league but his mild form of mental retardation was preventing him from consistently seeing field time. I think he might have figured it out last year. He got more physical and looked like a different guy out there. Could it have been a mirage? Of course. That stretch he had for us in the playoffs last year was unreal. But he has been playing reasonably well in camp so far, as far as reports have been going. But he does seem to be prone to make poor decisions. He really is still an unknown commodity. I would not be surprised if he regressed horribly and is the same Corey Webster that we have grown used to or if he will build upon his immensely successful postseason play and prove to be for real. We'll see. This year, with Madison in a 3rd corner role, I love him. Webster and Ross can still learn a lot from him and as he will be relied upon less in a reserve role, I will not be screaming at the TV as much when he fucks up. Dockery sucks. Whenever he does something good, I need to be pinched. Whatever. Now, Kenny Phillips. This guy is serious. He is our first round draft pick rookie safety out of THE U. He has tremendous closing speed and great athleticism. He hits REALLY hard, and we already have had to tell him to ease up in camp and tackle softer. He has been recently running with the first team in camp and looks to have claimed the starting free safety spot. I can't wait to see the first time he unloads on some unsuspecting randall catching some crossing rout over the middle of the field. Maybe he can break TO's ribs or something. That would end his season right? We brought in Sammy Knight in free agency to compete for the other starting safety job but it looks like James Butler will start there. Butler is ok, I guess. A timeshare of Knight and Butler could be good, keeping them both fresh, and making them combined sort of like one averageish safety. Eh. But Phillips is the man, and he will be great for us. He has a great nose for the ball and he is one of the most exciting safeties we've had in a while. Michael Robinson also gives us further depth at the position. Secondary is ok.

So that's the team. A very underwhelming list of names on paper, but as a unit, these guys can play. I mean, 2nd in the NFC last season in yards allowed. Everyone says that we didn't improve enough, etc. etc. It's a joke and a poor argument when assessing this team. How much room for improvement do we have on this side of the ball? Our defense is stout and it will be good again this year. Again, nobody gives our defense much of a look, and for no good reason. Kiwanuka back will be huge for us. Even a suspect secondary can look great with the pressure we constantly put on the quarterback. This was surpremely evident last season.To this same effect, judging by what kind of ripping we have been taking around the football world, it is like returning largely -almost exactly- the same team that won the super bowl last year is a bad thing. The only signficant loss to our entire loss is Strahan, and we already have Tuck to slide into his spot. Shockey was wearing ripped jeans an ed hardy tshirt and a nascar trucker hat when we were beating GB, Dallas and NWE. The Giants are a good football team with the ability, as we saw last year, to be great.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Super Bowl Champs: season preview, offense

Look at that sexy beast. OOOKAAAYYYYYY GMEN. Your defending super bowl champs will be previewed henceforth. The Giants are an extremely well rounded team and are quite strong in mostly every facet. They are not the best team in their division and will not finish ahead of "America's Team", but I would be very surprised if they did not make it into the playoffs as a wild card team. They are getting just a small minutiae of respect league-wide, in the media, among pundits, and in the blogosphere. That being said, I could not be happier. The Giants are in camp and going about things with a business as usual attitude. Even though we won the bowl last year, we are hungrier than ever due to the lack of respect. Every last player on our roster is ready to prove this year that we are for real. There remain basically no starting positional battles on offense or defense, and with only one pre-season game done, that is a very rare and very strong luxury. Not very many teams can say that their offensive and defensive starters are all locked up and good to go this early, but we can, and I love it. I fully expect a second place finish, and while we are playing in the most difficult conference in the NFC, I would be surprised to see us miss the playoffs. So 2 parter here, O now and D later.


I'm sold on Eli Manning. I absolutely hated him and cursed him to the deepest darkest depths of hell pretty much every game during the '05 and '06 season. He just pissed me off. The inconsistency, the way he looked, the blase attitude, whatever. Everything and nothing at the same time. His numbers were largely the same both years and we were not even that bad, it was just like. ELI. GODDAMMIT. Alas, words escape me. But, after '05 and '06 passed and entering last season, I decided to just like him. Why not? We were stuck with him after all for a few more seasons, and we were going to live or die with him at the helm. So it was hard at first, er, very hard. But I slowly warmed up to it. We started off the season lukewarm kinda plodding along; Eli would gem and then suck a dong on alternating Sunday's depending on nothing of any consequence at all. And then there was a change on the field that made his personality (still unchanging) more acceptable and sort of sweet (no homo). He got better. I watched every single Giants game last year. When Shockey went down in week 12 and kinda faulked around for a couple more weeks until he was shelved for good, Eli looked like a completely different quaterback. He was more poised in the pocket, and finally looked to his slot receivers more. With Shockey, Eli would never consistently stay with the progression of passing plays and if his primaries weren't immediately available he would often panic and just dump down to Shockey or shit his pants. And if he did the latter, Shockey would give him an earful on the sideline. He never really spread the ball around before Shockey went down and he seemed to distract Eli both on the field and on the sidelines (I hated Shockey on the Giants). Eli started to just look better. His numbers were still very underwhelming last season as a whole, and they were pretty much right in line with what he did in '05 and '06. Regardless, he made tremendous strides towards the end of the regular season/playoffs and the maddening inconsistency from game to game stopped (sort of? enough that I was pleased, anyway). I am fully comfortable with him under Center for the first time since he came here. I am not expecting him to have some monster insane year numbers wise, because our offense is so run-heavy, but I do think that it will be his best yet as a pro. David Carr is a pretty boy scrub. He holds on to the ball forever in the pocket, looks like an asshole, and is just bad. Anthony Wright is Anthony Wright. I miss Jared Lorenzen :(. If Eli goes down, our season is undisputedly fucked. I do really like Andre Woodson though. Even though is has a pretty awkward throwing motion, I loved watching him compete at Kentucky last year. I was thrilled that we grabbed him late this year in the draft and hopefully he will turn out to be a capable backup for Eli and has the upside to be a starter in this league.

Wide Receiver:

We will be returning our 1 and 2 wide outs from last year in Plaxico Burress and the ageless Amani Toomer. Plax had a serious year last year despite being questionable every game and thusly driving his fantasy owners mad (WR version of Westbrook). But anyway, dude put up 70-1025-12 last year and was a monster. He and Eli really clicked in the red zone last year with their timings on fades and such things like this and Plax should total 10+ tds again this season. It remains to be seen if his contract disputes will be settled. Either way it is a win for the Giants, if it does settle, then he will have incentives to play for to get more cash and if they don't then he will want to compile a big year so he can garner a new fat contract. Even though he never practices, he is always a force come game day. Toomer is the perfect complementary receiver to Plax. He is a solid possession receiver for us, and although he did have some bad drops throughout last season, he's fine. He runs precise routes and is a smart player, he will have another solid yet unspectacular year. The most exciting thing about our wide receiving corps to me is Steve Smith. I was touting him very highly last year and his season ending injury killed me. I hate Sinorice Moss, and I hope to god that he is cut even though he probably won't be as his name keeps annoyingly popping up favorably on the practice reports during camp, but Smith's injury meant more time for that little fuck. Anyway, Smith is fully healthy and will be our slot guy. Toomer's days in the NFL as a starting wide receiver are numbered and I cannot wait to see Smith emerge this year as our future #2. He has great ability and he will give Eli another potent offensive weapon. Dominic Hixon, Michael Jennings, and Brandon London have also been both having great camps and nearly every interview with Coughlin they have been mentioned even though one or two are likely to be relegated to the practice squad. We have very good depth at wide receiver, and with my expected emergence of Steve Smith, it will only get better as the season progresses.

Running Back:

Brandon Jacobs proved two things last season: 1-he is a monster, beast, animal who loves destroying any human from D lineman to D back in his path and 2-he has a penchant for being in street clothes on Sunday. He played in only 8 FULL games last year, but when he was in there, he was a destructive force. Watching him run is truly a great thing; his combination of size, speed, and power is very exciting. He doesn't have that breakaway speed but there were games where he would just break off runs of like 8, 9, 7, 10, 8, 12 yards all in one series. He was a MAN last year for us running between the 20s and he will fill that same role for us this year. He averaged a ridiculous 5.0 yards per carry last year. His demeanor is also SERIOUS, which I obviously love. He is all business and all football. When reporters asked him about his contract situation and its current murky situation as he arrived at camp he rebuffed them said something along the lines of (Plaxico, are you listening?) "I just got to camp motherfucker. This is football time. I need to get reps in and get ready for the season. I don't want to be talking to my agent about contract bullshit. If I put up the numbers I am capable of over a full season I will get my payday." That's bad. Our fullback is Madison Hedgecock. Just wanted to mention his name, it's funny. He's pretty good. Continuing now. Early on in the season when Jacobs was largely banged up, we turned to Derrick Ward who proved to be more than a scrub. Weeks 1-5 he played great for us until he got hurt and was out until his triumphant 24/125/1 game in week 13, only to get hurt again and end his season. He finished the year with 602 yards and averaging 4.8 yards per carry. He was being used as our change of pace back with Jacobs in the early going, got that one game all to himself, and that was his year. He was very effective filling in for Jacobs last season when called upon. However, I hope that his role this year is greatly diminished, because when he did finally go down we got yet another droughner in his stead: Ahmad "I don't have to go to jail, bitch" Bradshaw. While Ward is a serviceable and capable back, Bradshaw has the ability to go get six every time he touches the ball. He will be our change of pace guy this year to couple with Jacobs. I hope Ward is reserved to like 2 carries a game because when we have both Jacobs and Bradshaw healthy, he should not be seeing the field. Bradshaw is the lightning to Jacobs' thunder in our running game-yes, this is the best analogy I am capable of. After Bradshaw's breakout game vs. Buffalo, I found myself wanting to see more and more of him. He is a far better receiving option out of the backfield than Jacobs. He looks to be our 3rd down back this season and will be given -hopefully- a few series' per game. If we can get these guys healthy all year (ok fine, 13 weeks would be UNREAL), our already run game will be very scary. And also, can we please cut Reuben Droughns? If he makes our roster I will be very pissed, and there is no reason why. He is SOSOSOSSO clearly the worst of our 4 backs, if he can even be called a running back still, and the one thing that he supposedly does "well" is goal line which he sucked so badly at when given those carries last year.

Tight End:

Enter Kevin Bossman. Shockey is finally gone; the circus that perpetually surrounded him has moved onto Bourbon Street where he can drink hand grenades until he passes out in a gutter and defecates in his pants. While I did love Shockey's competitiveness and overall genius personality, there was no doubt in my mind that we would be better off without him. Sluts at the Jersey Shore will lament his leaving / shotgun a beer in his remembrance for sure. His personality will be missed in the locker room and during practice - no doubt about that - but his loud mouth and constant displeasure with his offensive role will not be. Boss is obviously not the type of pass catching threat that Shockey is, but he is serviceable and is capable as he proved late last season and into the playoffs. Michael Matthews is also a good pass blocking tight end who I think will get more time this year as we do some more creative things with our wide outs. Given the structure of this offense, the decreased role that will be placed on the TE in terms of our schemes I think will work out fine. As I mentioned earlier, I think Steve Smith is primed for a great year. We will be lining up 3+ wide outs and spreading the field a lot more this season, I believe. This also lets us run some draws for Bradshaw which is one facet of his game in which he excels. I think Boss will be a fine TE for us this year. He is not as good as Shockey in terms of pass catching, but we don't need him to be. Boss has very good hands though, and obviously whatever he does for us fits because we won the grand dong bowl fest last year with him at TE, not Shockey.

Offensive Line:

Our O-line is the best in the NFL that nobody talks about. We are privileged enough to return all of our starting linemen: from left to right Diehl, Seubert, O'Hara, Snee, McKenzie. No sexiness, (none of these 5 were first round picks) no Hutchinsons or whatever, just a group of 5 very solid guys with great rapport. They are a GREAT run blocking offensive line, as evident by our dominating run game last season (4th in the NFL), and they are above average at pass blocking. We also signed former Pro Bowler Shane Olivea this off season, and while he has been missing in action at camp over the past several days, he was reportedly starting to really show flashes in his most recent practices. He will join Whimper, Goddard, and Ruegamer to give us great depth. Our linemen are all gritty, tough, and hard nosed football players; each earned their spots and they are a great unit. They really started to shine for us last season as we entered the second half. This group is very comfortable with each other out there and I fully expect a dominating season out them from week 1 to whenever our playoff run ends.

Rising and Falling Draft Stocks After Preseason Week 1

The preseason is often derided as inconsequential and unimportant; however, ignoring it will put fantasy owners at a disadvantage come draft day, as it serves as a sneak preview for players on the verge of break out seasons, especially rookies, who are seeing their first NFL game action. Well, the first week of the NFL preseason has come and gone, and there have been surprises and eye openers already that I think will effect upcoming drafts, especially the important and often league winning task of targeting which sleepers specifically are worth drafting and where. Here’s a list (in no particular order) of players who’s fantasy stocks are rising and falling after the first week of the preseason.



Jason Campbell QB-Wash: Jason has looked very good in training camp so far this summer, and he has continued to impress in his first two preseason games. He was perfect in the Hall of Fame game about a week ago and was 7-10 for 71 yards, leading the team on a 12 team TD drive against Buffalo in their second game. With Cooley, the addition of two rookie receivers with potential, and a healthy Santana Moss and Clinton Portis, Campbell has the weapons to be successful in the new west coast offense that was installed in Washington this season. With the increased attempts he has the chance to be a nice QB2 with upside.

Matt Leinart QB-Ariz: Leinart had a good outing in his first playing time in 10 months, completing 7 of 8 passes for 91 yards on a TD drive. Leinart has some value because he has some of the best receivers in the league to throw to, making him a sleeper QB2 with the potential to be startable if he can take this performance and roll with it. The Cards know that Leinart is their future and will give him every opportunity to start, despite the fact that they have the best back-up in the league in Kurt Warner. Draft Leinart as a back-up late and hope that he can play like this in the regular season in case your sugar daddy goes down at some point.

Larry Johnson RB-K.C.: 8 carries for 18 yds iiiiiiisn’t what you’re looking for from LJ in his first game back from a foot injury that knocked him out for the season in week 9 last year, but I believe that the fact that he’s playing at all is a good sign that he’s healthy. Plus, he scored a TD and is getting a chance to become assimilated with his o-line, which he didn’t have the opportunity to do last year in camp/preseason. He didn’t look great, but injuries would be the reason that I’d avoid LJ on draft day and this was a good first step to prove his health.

Chris Johnson RB-Ten: Tennessee took a lot of guff for drafting CJ in the first round in this years draft, as most experts graded him as a second round pick. They might have known what they were doing, however, as he has looked amazing in camp and showcased his mind boggling speed (he was the fastest player in the combine running a 4.24!!) in his NFL debut on a jaw dropping 66 yard run. This kid is not an every down back, so I don’t think that he’ll hurt LenOverWeight’s value that much. But if he gets 10 carries a game and a few receptions, he’ll have fantasy value because he has the chance to go the distance every time he touches the rock. I officially love him.

Felix Jones RB-Dal: Felix had 8 touches for 61 yards (6 rushes for 32 and 2 receptions for 29) against the Chargers on Saturday, displaying his explosiveness and elusiveness on a 28 yard swing pass and a 19 yard hand off. He’s described as a slippery runner with extremely good vision, and he showed these qualities, as well as showing that he can produce with limited looks as a complement to MB3. If the Cowboys run on average 30 times a game, Felix should get around 10-12 of those carries along with a few receptions, meaning that he’ll have value in fantasy, as he, like CJ, has the ability to break one off on every carry.

Calvin Johnson-WR Det: Caught 4 passes for 78 yards IN ONE QUARTER against the Giants first team defense on Thursday. Okaaaaaaay Calvin, that’s what we were all waiting after your freakishly athletic and talented self got drafted 2nd overall last year by a team that needed almost anything BUT another receiver. Dude could be ready to explode this year in Detroit, which I say not because I love their offense but simply because he’s practically unguardable (6-5, 240lbs with 4.35 speed--EW). He can be had for fairly cheap on draft day, as he’s going around rd 7 as a WR2/3; however, he has the potential to be this year’s Braylon.

Robert Meachem WR-N.O.: First round receiver plus Saints pass-happy offense equals chance to be amazing. Meachem pretty much redshirted his rookie year last season, as he was sidelined for its entirety due to knee surgery. The Saints are excited about what he can add to their offense this season, as he appears healthy and studly. He has a good chance to beat out Devery Henderson as the Saints third WR and could even push David Patten for playing time if he can show that his 4 receptions for 129 yards and a TD weren’t a fluke in week one. He has explosive, big play ability, which will allow him to fit in perfectly with the Saints offense, which he displayed on a sick 60 yd TD reception. I’d try to draft him late as a sleeper WR and try to trade him early if he has a big game, as he’ll probably be inconsistent throughout the year.

Santonio Holmes WR-Pitt: He’s essentially the number one WR in Pittsburgh now, which is a valuable commodity on an offense that should be even more potent than it was last year. He was used more as homerun hitter last season with Hines used more as a chain mover, but the Steelers want to get Santonio involved more in possession receiving, which should mean more looks. Also helping his case is the fact that it’s his third year in the league and the fact that he nearly broke 1,000 yards last season playing in only 13 games. He looked good in his limited time this weekend against the Eagles, scoring a 19 yard TD in his only series. That is the prototypical Santonio play and one that owners should expect to see a lot this season. I can see him gaining around 1,200 with 10 in 08.

James Hardy WR-Buff: This humongous rookie WR should have value this year as a red zone target for Trent Edwards (or whoever the starter ends up being in Buffalo), and we got a glimpse of his potential in that area this weekend, as his only catch was a 16 yard TD from J.P. Losman. The 6-6 Hardy had 36 TD’s in only 30 games at Indiana in his college career, as he clearly presents match up problems in that area. I expect him to continue his red zone dominance in the NFL and think that it’s easily within his reach to gain 650+ yds and 7+ TD’s this season.

Roddy White WR-Atl: Roddy had a very good season last year (1,202 yds and 6 TD’s) with scrubs Chris Redman, Byron Leftwich, and Joey Harrington getting him the ball. That kind of production from those asses is very impressive, as Roddy was able to display his first round talent and enjoy a breakout season in his 3 year. The big question is whether or not he can repeat that performance on a team that still has a questionable QB situation. Well, the fact that Matt Ryan not only had a very impressive showing in general (9-15 for 113 yds) but also threw a TD pass to Roddy is an extremely good sign for the fourth year wideout. This outing was a good indication that Ryan will win the starting QB job, solidify the position, and find Roddy, his best receiver, often in 08, helping to erase some of the doubt surrounding Roddy heading into the season.


Edgerrin James RB-Ari: Tim Hightower looked pretty solid (5-23 with a TD) and might steal some precious goal line carries from Edge this season who is 30 years old and might be on the verge of breaking down. Edge should still get the vast majority of the carries, but it’s concerning that it was it was Tim who got the goal line looks preseason week 1 and that Hightower might be emerging as a back up to push Edge for playing time. This is just another red flag in an increasingly alarming season for a RB who has to slow down eventually (right?).

Julius Jones RB-Sea: Honestly, can anyone possibly be surprised by this? He played pretty horribly this past weekend (4-15, 1-3), getting outplayed HANDILY by Maurice Morris (6-62). This backfield has timeshare written all over it, rendering both backs essentially worthless (surprise, surprise). If someone put a gun to my head and forced me to draft one, I’d take Mo Mo.

Jonathon Stewart RB-Car: I’m not sure if anyone’s draft stock fell any more than first rounder Stewart’s this weekend, as the RB that he was supposed to supplant easily for the starting role, DeAngelo Williams, looked sick (9-55), while Stewart’s toe prevented him from playing at all. His toe surgery was a concern for teams even before the draft and now it looks like it won’t be as easy as once thought to take the majority of the carries from fellow first rounder Williams. In fact, word from Panthers camp is that DeAngelo will actually get more carries than Stewart in 08, making the situation look like another dreaded committee. Let someone else draft Stewart and his hype.

Willis McGahee RB-Bal: Knee surgery a few weeks before the season starts on top of a second round RB, Ray Rice, that has looked very good at camp is not a combination that spells success for Willis in 08. He’ll be out 2-4 weeks because of the knee, meaning that there’s a chance that he misses time in the regular season. Factor in the Ravens poor o-line, as well, and Willis is simply not worth his second round average draft position. By-pass Willis in drafts but target Rice late, as he may be startable in fantasy sooner rather than later.

Ahman Green RB-Hou: If you needed any proof that Ahman is now a joke look no further than the fact that he hurt his hamstring on his first carry of the preseason. On top of this, he has looked slow and terrible in camp and should be avoided like plague on draft day. His back up situation is cloudy but, as Chris Brown is hurt and Darius Walker sucks, the front runner has to be 3rd round pick Steve Slaton, who now has fantasy value, especially since he’s not even getting drafted right now, so his value is incredible.

Monday, August 11, 2008

For the record...

With my Mets in a very tough battle for the NL East and the Giants underway in trianing camp with the NFL season rapidly approaching, I still find myself thinking about the NBA maybe too much. But regardless, I have been giving a lot of thought on the various offseason moves etc. and I have decided who I like to win the title this year

The Houston Rockets

They are so fucking good with Artest. The more I think about the Yao-TMac-Artest trio coupled with their already insane team defense which will be bolstered even more by Artest I just think this team is now the best in the West. Artest is truly a special player who has been given little attention for his game due to the fact that he is utterly insane. But, now finally on a good team and with plenty of national games on the docket, this will prove to be the best offseason move by any team in the NBA. The lack of a good point guard does not bother me very much because TMac largely dominates the ball on offense anyway. Their bench is very deep and very, very good. Artest in the locker room is a big question mark surrounding this team, in my mind. He is fucking batshit crazy berserk and nothing will change that. But I do think that playing with a TMac and Yao and with a legit shot at a title, he will not act out and do as many crazy things as normal. I think they will see the Celts in the finals this year and smite them. Yes there is significant injury concern, but this obviously is barring that none of these three miss any significant portions of time. I'm on the bandwagon, and I love this team this year.