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American Football lounge

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Re: American Football lounge

#201

Post by blocho » January 22nd, 2020, 10:49 pm

Happy trails, Eli. Other people will remember you for the super bowls, but I will always remember you for that time you didn't write about how your interceptions are a cry for help.

If he makes the hall of fame, there is no point in having a hall of fame.

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#202

Post by GruesomeTwosome » January 22nd, 2020, 11:09 pm

blocho wrote:
January 22nd, 2020, 10:49 pm
Happy trails, Eli. Other people will remember you for the super bowls, but I will always remember you for that time you didn't write about how your interceptions are a cry for help.

If he makes the hall of fame, there is no point in having a hall of fame.
Ah, Kissing Suzy Kolber, that brings me back...loved that hilarious blog.

And yeah, fuck Eli as a Hall of Famer.
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#203

Post by maxwelldeux » January 23rd, 2020, 12:30 am

Eli ruined Brady's perfect season. For that alone, he's a HoF'er in my eyes.

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#204

Post by blocho » January 26th, 2020, 9:02 pm

As a Packers fan, I hate hate hate the Vikings. But I recently discovered "96 Questions," a man-in-the-locker-room interview series hosted by now retired Vikings defensive end Brian Robison, and it's pretty funny. Basically, in every video, Robison goes around the locker room and gets his teammates to make fun of each other. That's it. Check out this video in which he rags on safety Harrison Smith. If you watch a bunch of these videos, you'll see two themes emerge: Everson Griffen is endearingly wacky, and everyone on the Vikings thinks Stefon Diggs is a jerk.

And speaking of player-produced videos, I also really love this video featuring now retired guard TJ Lang (he retired with the Lions but spent most of his career with the Packers) giving Matthew Stafford a tour of a nut roasting factory. The innuendo is just as mature as you would expect.

...

Can you tell I don't know what to do with my time on a Sunday without football?

Well, no real football. I always enjoy the pro bowl skills showdown (though not, obviously, the actual pro bowl). Check out the precision passing contest, in which Lamar Jackson was a less accurate passer than two receivers.

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#205

Post by blocho » January 28th, 2020, 1:51 am


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#206

Post by GruesomeTwosome » January 28th, 2020, 2:17 am

That Mozart, hell of a painter.
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#207

Post by blocho » January 29th, 2020, 6:13 pm

RIP Chris Doleman, 15-year NFL veteran and Hall of Famer.

He spent most of his career with the Vikings, but I remember him mostly from those strong late 90s San Francisco teams, where he played on a scary defensive line that also featured Bryant Young, Dana Stubblefield, and Junior Bryant. The 49ers went 37-11 in the regular season with Doleman. In fact, Doleman only had three losing seasons in his 15 years.

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#208

Post by blocho » January 31st, 2020, 7:02 pm

I really have no clue how this game is going to go. Niners or Chiefs, high scoring or low scoring -- it all feels possible. I think the only unexpected result would be a blowout. I give the Niners a slight edge, but I think it's going to come down to something like one fumble or missed field goal at the wrong time.

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#209

Post by maxwelldeux » January 31st, 2020, 11:16 pm

Last year was the first SB I missed since I was single-digits in age, so I'm pretty excited to just watch something interesting this year. I have zero stake in the game, so I just want a game that's interesting.

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#210

Post by blocho » January 31st, 2020, 11:21 pm

maxwelldeux wrote:
January 31st, 2020, 11:16 pm
Last year was the first SB I missed since I was single-digits in age, so I'm pretty excited to just watch something interesting this year. I have zero stake in the game, so I just want a game that's interesting.
This will be the 25th consecutive super bowl for me. I imagine there are a few around here who can beat that streak, though. More impressive was that I watched every playoff game from 1996 to 2007.

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#211

Post by GruesomeTwosome » February 1st, 2020, 12:31 am

maxwelldeux wrote:
January 31st, 2020, 11:16 pm
Last year was the first SB I missed since I was single-digits in age, so I'm pretty excited to just watch something interesting this year. I have zero stake in the game, so I just want a game that's interesting.
Well you picked a good year to miss the Super Bowl, since last year’s Patriots-Rams game might have been the dullest/worst SB that I’ve seen.
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#212

Post by maxwelldeux » February 1st, 2020, 7:47 pm

GruesomeTwosome wrote:
February 1st, 2020, 12:31 am
maxwelldeux wrote:
January 31st, 2020, 11:16 pm
Last year was the first SB I missed since I was single-digits in age, so I'm pretty excited to just watch something interesting this year. I have zero stake in the game, so I just want a game that's interesting.
Well you picked a good year to miss the Super Bowl, since last year’s Patriots-Rams game might have been the dullest/worst SB that I’ve seen.
Well yeah - it was a deliberate choice. Zero interest in the Rams, Negative interest in seeing Tom Brady's smug face.

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#213

Post by blocho » February 2nd, 2020, 2:39 am

No big surprises from the NFL awards.

For the hall of fame, I don't really understand Edgerrin James making it. I know he racked up a ton of yards in his career, but I feel he's similar to Jerome Bettis in that the career yardage indicated durability more than excellence. James had a 4.0 yards/carry average in his career. If you take away James' last four, less-productive years in Arizona and Seattle, he averaged 4.2 yards per carry during his prime in Indianapolis, a time when he was playing in perhaps the most explosive offense in the league. I'm also not sure Jimmy Johnson should have made it given that he only coached nine years in the league. He won two titles, sure, but then why isn't Tom Flores in the hall? Including this year's inductees, the hall overall has 155 offensive players and 104 defensive players (not including special team players and two-way players from the early days). A lot of that imbalance is because there are plenty of good-not-great quarterbacks and running backs in the hall.

One more thing: Steve Harvey is weirdly good at hosting the NFL awards show.

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#214

Post by maxwelldeux » February 2nd, 2020, 3:16 am

James surprises me a bit, but not a lot - tons of yards, which certainly speaks to durability, but my initial reaction is that he was not just a formidable running back, but a really solid receiver out of the backfield (he averaged a little under 4 rec/game in his Indy years) and a pretty good blocker. He's the sort of guy that didn't come off the field because he didn't need to - run or pass, he's an asset. I might go so far as to say that Peyton is not Peyton without a guy like James.

Johnson doesn't surprise me at all - what he did in Dallas was brilliant. From the H. Walker trade to taking a 1-15 team to the SB within a few years to building such a good team that Barry Switzer somehow managed to win a SB with it, all in the shadow of a legend in Landry who probably didn't have to buy a meal in Dallas since the 70s, and you have someone important enough to the game of football that you can't tell the story without him. Miami years were forgettable, and he arguably could have qualified for the HoF without them.

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#215

Post by blocho » February 3rd, 2020, 1:14 am

First half reactions:

- I don't think anyone could have predicted Mahomes running three speed options (all to the right) during the first half. I don't remember the speed option being a part of the Chiefs offense before. They must have seen something on tape that convinced them it would work.

- Way back when the Niners curb-stomped the Packers for the first time this season, I said Garoppolo was a weak point on this team. He's a good quarterback with a tendency to make 3-4 dumb passes per game, and we saw that on the interception. By the way, two former Packers involved on that interception: pressure from Pennel and pick by Breeland. Pennel is on his fourth team in last four years, and never struck me as an impactful player, but he was big in the AFC championship and again today.

- Shanahan somehow both overthought and underthought that last possession. Just baffling decisions from him, and an almost LaFleur-like conservatism. Even the end was dumb. He had six seconds, which was enough time to get a quick 8-yard sideline completion, and then a hail mary. Very unlikely, admittedly, but I've seen it happen before.

- Did anyone notice Mathieu with an opportunity to make the stop on the goal line during Juszczzczyk's touchdown, and stepping away from the hit?

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#216

Post by GruesomeTwosome » February 3rd, 2020, 3:17 am

Congrats to the Chiefs. Mahomes was kinda “off” much of the night, but made enough plays towards the end to make the comeback. And as an Eagles fan, it’s nice to see Andy Reid finally get that elusive Super Bowl ring. He’s now a sure Hall of Fame coach.
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#217

Post by blocho » February 3rd, 2020, 3:51 am

Wow! What a game. So much to think about.

- The two most dangerous situations in sports are (1) holding a double-digit lead against the Chiefs in the playoffs and (2) having a double-digit lead in the Super Bowl when Kyle Shanahan is your coach.

- When the Chiefs got the ball back down 10 with about 9 minutes left, I thought of the Super Bowl 15 years ago, when the Eagles got the ball back down 10 with 6 minutes to go. Back then, the Eagles infamously showed little urgency. This time, they immediately went to no huddle.

- Garoppolo overthrowing Sanders late in the game was equivalent of last year's incompletion by Goff which was broken up in the end zone. One play that would have changed everything. For the Chiefs, the play that changed everything was Mahomes going deep on 3rd-and-15 with 7:30 to go. If they don't get that play, they might punt on 4th-and-15, and the Niners would have won.

- I said Garoppolo was weak after the first half, and then he made me look like an idiot by being nearly perfect through three quarters aside from that interception. Meanwhile, Mahomes was awful until the final nine minutes. He looked like he was coming apart in the third quarter. One really bad interception, another interception where he threw behind the receiver, two incompletions on throws to open receivers, and one throw that went directly to a defender and should have been picked. And then, Mahomes turns into a playoff god again.

- Wes Welker, who is receivers coach for the Niners, is now 0-4 in super bowls. Steve Spagnuolo is now 3-0 in Super Bowls.

- I give the Chiefs three months until I find them intensely annoying.

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#218

Post by tirefeet » February 3rd, 2020, 4:54 am

Congrats to Reid, Mahomes, Kelce & co.! This was in the making for quite a long time as Chiefs have been consistently above average since Reid took the helm.

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#219

Post by blocho » February 3rd, 2020, 8:50 pm

How about that bizarre first-quarter play the Chiefs ran last night near the goal line, the one where the entire backfield shifted in unison? I thought about writing about it last night, but I wasn't sure I believed my eyes. Chiefs offensive coordinator claimed he got the play from the 1948 Rose Bowl, which is just bonkers but also apparently true. I'm also impressed that the person who wrote the link above not only immediately tracked down video of that play but also excerpts from the 1947 Michigan playbook.

The play is basically run from a single wing formation, a formation that vanished from the NFL for 50 years before being revived as the "wildcat." Remember when people briefly said the wildcat would be a big part of everyone's playbook, and that in fact NFL teams should draft players specifically for the wildcat? I never understood that. The wildcat suffers from the deficiency of taking a player who is really good at passing and rendering him irrelevant by making him into an end (most quarterbacks are not receivers for a reason). It's basically playing 10-on-11 football. One place you can still see the single wing a lot is high school football, and when the Chiefs went into that formation, I suddenly heard my old high school coach shouting "Unbalanced!!" from the sideline, which he did every time an opponent moved into a single wing formation because the offensive line becomes unbalanced and the person snapping the ball is no longer the center. Our defensive line had to shift one man down as a result.

Anyway, the play the Chiefs ran was ultimately not as exciting as learning about its historical roots. Single wings are fun because there's often all sorts of misdirection in the backfield, but the Chiefs ran a straight ahead dive, with one-on-one blocking across the line. I suppose the backfield shift before the play was meant to confuse, but I don't think it did. By making an offensive lineman into an end and Mahomes not the ballhandler, the Chiefs heavily indicated a run, and the Niners seemed to know this because they sold out for the run. The play worked because Chiefs linemen Austin Reiter and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif made strong blocks, and 49ers cornerback Emmanuel Moseley missed the tackle.

Anyway, sorry for the long post on something minor. Sometimes I just really get drawn in by a single play.

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#220

Post by blocho » February 3rd, 2020, 9:21 pm

One more thing I thought of today (can you tell I'm not ready for no football for seven months?):

I was in Philadelphia the day the Eagles announced they would not offer Reid a new contract. I was down there for a New Years Party, and I remember listening to sports talk radio while driving around Philly, and hearing radio hosts just taking Reid apart. Very, very negative stuff. Of course, talk radio hosts are always jerks, and the final two years for Reid in Philly had been disappointing, but it seemed like immense overkill. The people who called in were also very hostile to Reid. I know a lot of Eagles fans are happy for Reid today, and some (like my two closest buddies in Philly) are sincere in those sentiments. But in 2012, it seemed like Philadelphia never wanted to see him again.

Reid's resurgence makes me rethink how I felt about Mike McCarthy by his late years in Green Bay (I was sick of him). McCarthy's and Reid's records were nearly identical in their first head coaching jobs, except McCarthy was even better. He had a higher overall winning percentage and won a Super Bowl. Maybe it's better just to be happy with overall positive results, not get bogged down by the really annoying things like NFC championship game screw-ups, and have faith that a title will come eventually. I guess the counterpoint is that sometimes a coach has been with a team so long that a change of personnel is necessary just to bring a new attitude and new ideas. I'm not sure which theory is right.

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#221

Post by blocho » February 4th, 2020, 5:50 am

RIP Willie Wood, Hall of Fame safety who played for the Packers from 1960 to 1971. Wood won five titles with the Packers and was first-team All-Pro five times. All this after barely playing defense in college and going undrafted.

Following the deaths of Bart Starr and Forrest Gregg and Zeke Bratkowski and Doug Hart, it's been a tough year for Lombardi-era Packers.

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#222

Post by tirefeet » February 11th, 2020, 11:10 am



So I'll get to cheer for a new team next season. I wonder how the Chargers will fare in the new stadium if they don't bring Brady.

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#223

Post by GruesomeTwosome » February 11th, 2020, 1:58 pm

I guess the Chargers must like one of the non-Joe Burrow quarterbacks coming out in the draft this year. I mean, I assume they intend to draft a QB in the first round, anyways. They're at #6 overall, maybe they want Tua if the Dolphins don't get him first.
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#224

Post by sebby » February 12th, 2020, 2:19 pm

I just assumed they'd sign Brady + draft Tua.

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#225

Post by blocho » March 13th, 2020, 3:10 am

The NFL-NFLPA showdown has been interesting: https://nyti.ms/3cXCI8z

Obviously, I'm always on the side of the players in these disputes, and I hope they reject the current contract offered by the owners. It's insane to me that MLB players get lifetime medical coverage, but NFL players who destroy their bodies in service of the game, only get medical coverage for five years after they retire. And that's only if they put in three years of service, which many players do not.

Unfortunately, the history of NFL labor relations usually involves the players getting steamrolled by the owners.

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#226

Post by funkybusiness » March 13th, 2020, 3:24 am

MLB players not only get lifetime health insurance after any big league service time (a single game!) they also get a pension after only 43 days.

wasn't it the whole replacements thing back in the (90s?) that really screwed NFL players?

isn't the average NFL career shorter than the time needed to qualify for benefits?

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#227

Post by blocho » March 13th, 2020, 4:00 am

funkybusiness wrote:
March 13th, 2020, 3:24 am
MLB players not only get lifetime health insurance after any big league service time (a single game!) they also get a pension after only 43 days.

wasn't it the whole replacements thing back in the (90s?) that really screwed NFL players?

isn't the average NFL career shorter than the time needed to qualify for benefits?
The average NFL career is a little over three years, although that's the mean. Since some players do 10+ years, the median is certainly lower. That means half or more of NFL players do not even qualify for that 5 years of medical coverage after their playing days are done. When those players lose their jobs (and if they lasted less than three years, it's almost always because they got cut and not because they want a career change), they're suddenly unemployed with no medical coverage and a lifetime of future medical issues. It shouldn't surprise anyone to learn that the NFL has tried to fudge these numbers as a PR strategy.

The failure of the 1987 Players strike was devastating to the players union. And no one should forget that people like Sean Payton were willing to be scabs during that strike, while some actual players like Joe Montana and Howie Long were willing to cross the picket line (Bill Walsh actually tried to talk his players out of crossing the line). Incidentally, here's a ludicrously enjoyable video about that strike.

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#228

Post by blocho » March 13th, 2020, 8:19 pm


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#229

Post by blocho » March 15th, 2020, 4:13 pm

The NFLPA voted to accept the owners' offer by a very narrow margin. The new CBA will be locked in through 2030. I'm kind of shocked. For years, the player reps, especially union president Eric Winston, has been promising a long fight for more benefits and a strike if necessary.

There are a ton of elements in this deal. The headline changes are that the regular season will expand to 17 games. The preseason will shrink to three games. And 14 teams (7 in each conference) will make the playoffs, with only one team in each conference receiving a first-round bye. The player share of revenues will increase from 47% to 48%, with the possibility of a small further rise based on the next round of TV contracts.

There are also changes to the discipline process and drug testing. But what stood out to me is this: Players who retired before 1993 had to have played four seasons to receive retirement benefits. That's not trimmed to three seasons, so more former players are now eligible for those benefits. At the same time, the monthly payout for disability benefits for retired players will fall because those players who receive social security will have that amount deducted from their payments. In other words, more people get benefits, but the benefits will be smaller. A nice fuck you from the owners (and the players) to retirees.

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#230

Post by blocho » March 17th, 2020, 1:35 pm

Brady ... wow.

I 98% expected him back with the Pats.

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#231

Post by GruesomeTwosome » March 17th, 2020, 3:16 pm

Brees will be back with the Saints though. But yeah, curious to see where Brady and Philip Rivers wind up.

I’m still stunned by what Bill O’Brien and the Texans did with that DeAndre Hopkins trade. I’d be incredibly pissed if I was a Texans fan...and also if I was DeShaun Watson.
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#232

Post by blocho » March 17th, 2020, 3:22 pm

GruesomeTwosome wrote:
March 17th, 2020, 3:16 pm
Brees will be back with the Saints though. But yeah, curious to see where Brady and Philip Rivers wind up.

I’m still stunned by what Bill O’Brien and the Texans did with that DeAndre Hopkins trade. I’d be incredibly pissed if I was a Texans fan...and also if I was DeShaun Watson.
O'Brien the GM seems to hate O'Brien the coach. Eventually, the former is going to get both of them fired. He seems like a textbook example of why coaches should not be GMs.

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#233

Post by GruesomeTwosome » March 17th, 2020, 3:44 pm

blocho wrote:
March 17th, 2020, 3:22 pm
GruesomeTwosome wrote:
March 17th, 2020, 3:16 pm
Brees will be back with the Saints though. But yeah, curious to see where Brady and Philip Rivers wind up.

I’m still stunned by what Bill O’Brien and the Texans did with that DeAndre Hopkins trade. I’d be incredibly pissed if I was a Texans fan...and also if I was DeShaun Watson.
O'Brien the GM seems to hate O'Brien the coach. Eventually, the former is going to get both of them fired. He seems like a textbook example of why coaches should not be GMs.
Hehe. Yeah, are there many notable exceptions to that besides Belichick? It almost always seems to go wrong pretty quickly when the coach is also the GM. I remember instantly having a bad feeling when Chip Kelly was handed those responsibilities before his third season with the Eagles...and no surprise, it was a shitty year and he was fired before the season ended.
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#234

Post by blocho » March 17th, 2020, 3:55 pm

GruesomeTwosome wrote:
March 17th, 2020, 3:44 pm
blocho wrote:
March 17th, 2020, 3:22 pm
GruesomeTwosome wrote:
March 17th, 2020, 3:16 pm
Brees will be back with the Saints though. But yeah, curious to see where Brady and Philip Rivers wind up.

I’m still stunned by what Bill O’Brien and the Texans did with that DeAndre Hopkins trade. I’d be incredibly pissed if I was a Texans fan...and also if I was DeShaun Watson.
O'Brien the GM seems to hate O'Brien the coach. Eventually, the former is going to get both of them fired. He seems like a textbook example of why coaches should not be GMs.
Hehe. Yeah, are there many notable exceptions to that besides Belichick? It almost always seems to go wrong pretty quickly when the coach is also the GM. I remember instantly having a bad feeling when Chip Kelly was handed those responsibilities before his third season with the Eagles...and no surprise, it was a shitty year and he was fired before the season ended.
Besides Belichick, I can't think of anyone in the modern era who has pulled it off. In a different era, it was fairly common. Paul Brown and Vince Lombardi were both coach/GM duos. Lombardi was even president of the organization and had to manage non-football operations like ticket sales! In our current era, we've seen Mike Sherman, Chip Kelly, and now Bill O'Brien try it and fail. It should be noted, by the way, that O'Brien also just gave a fairly rich contract to the Texans' very mediocre kicker.

Still, better to have a coach as your GM than an owner.

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#235

Post by blocho » March 17th, 2020, 4:29 pm

One interesting thing to note about free agency is that I've read that a lot of players only want 3-year deals because they are timing their contracts to be up right after the next NFL TV megadeal, which is scheduled for 2022. Some other reactions to NFL moves:

- I think the Titans overpaid for Tannehill, but I guess they had to. Tannehill was going to command a lot of money on the market. It's just very risky to give that much money to a player based on a half season of production. On the other hand, the Titans franchise tagged Derrick Henry. Assuming this isn't the prelude to a long-term deal, as franchise tags sometimes are, I think that's the right move. Giving any running back, especially one with a lot of carries, an expensive, long-term deal is a mistake.

- I think the Bills gave away too much to get Stefon Diggs. He's a good player, and still young, but this is a WR-heavy draft right now. Diggs is also expensive and never had more than 1,130 receiving yards in a season. A very win-now move by the Bills.

- The Texans-Cardinals trade was jaw-dropping. It should be noted, by the way, that the Cardinals GM has long had a reputation as being one of the worst in the league. It's scary that he fleeced the Texans here.

- As a longtime Anti-Cowboys partisan, I love how they are spending themselves into oblivion. They handed a stupendous contract to Amari Cooper and more modest but still overpriced deal to tight end Blake Jarwin.

- The Dolphins spent an enormous amount of money yesterday, and it's not clear they got good players as a result. They gave $30 million contracts to Shaq Lawson and Ereck Flowers, both of whom have been big busts.

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#236

Post by GruesomeTwosome » March 17th, 2020, 4:45 pm

I’m glad the Eagles didn’t sign Byron Jones. The Eagles obviously do need major CB upgrades and I kept hearing they were strongly in the mix for Jones, but I don’t think he’s worth that kind of price tag. And besides, whenever the Eagles sign a former rival Cowboy, that player always seems to disappoint when they come to the Eagles (there’s a reason it’s a rarity that the Eagles do this; DeMarco Murray is the most glaring recent example). With that signing and those others you mention, blocho, I don’t think the Dolphins will be a playoff team anytime soon, lol.
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#237

Post by GruesomeTwosome » March 17th, 2020, 10:50 pm

Certainly nothing confirmed, but Tom Brady’s most likely destination according to Adam Schefter appears to be...Tampa? M’kay...well, they do have a really good WR tandem in Evans and Godwin. But...Tampa, can’t quite get my head around that.
Last edited by GruesomeTwosome on March 18th, 2020, 1:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#238

Post by blocho » March 17th, 2020, 11:47 pm

GruesomeTwosome wrote:
March 17th, 2020, 10:50 pm
Certainly nothing confirmed, but Tom Brady’s most likely destination according to Adam Schaffer appears to be...Tampa? M’kay...well, they do have a really good WR tandem in Evans and Godwin. But...Tampa, can’t quite get my head around that.
My brother, big Pats fan that he is, called me this afternoon to say the exact same thing ... he just couldn't picture it. I reminded him of how quickly he jettisoned his affection for Drew Bledsoe once Tom Brady started winning back in 2001. He didn't seem to appreciate the reminder.

It also looks like Philip Rivers is headed to Chargers. And Teddy Bridgewater signed for good money in Carolina, which means Cam Newton should be available.

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#239

Post by GruesomeTwosome » March 18th, 2020, 1:17 am

I’ll be interested to see how Rivers fares with the Colts.

As for Cam Newton...wouldn’t that be wild if Belichick and the Pats snagged him? Or, I dunno if Ron Rivera has said anything about committing to Dwayne Haskins, but maybe he reaches out to his ol’ QB and he goes to the Redskins? We’ll see.
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#240

Post by blocho » March 18th, 2020, 9:56 pm

The Jaguars traded Foles to the Bears for a fourth-rounder. That might seem like a low price to pay, but it's not when you understand the Bears are taking on the last three years and $50 million of Foles' contract. That's a contract the Jags were desperate to get rid of, and by doing so, they will take a cap hit this coming season of nearly $20 million in order to avoid bigger payouts in later seasons.

I kind of understand the trade for both teams. The Jaguars wanted to get out from under a major contract, and now they can commit to Gardner Minshew over the next few years. Because Minshew will likely be the cheapest starting QB in the league, the Jags can commit money to other areas. On the other hand, much as we all love Minshew Mania, there's significant reason to think he's not a long-term solution at QB.

As for the Bear, well Foles has got to be an upgrade over Trubisky. I'm guessing they'll be thrown into a straight-up competition for the starting job.

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