Tag Archives: NFL

Packers: New Year – Same Defense

This was the Packers chance, the 49ers had lost the Super Bowl, they did not have the same team and the Packers had worked on the defense, but all that was just a dream last Sunday. The same old Packers defense reared it ugly head with close loss in the Bay.

I can only sum up the game and team like this:

Linebackers = Still Slow

  • Corners = Take too many chances
  • Safeties = Sound rename themselves the “Un-Safeties”.
  • D-Line = They do not exist, we rush one person in the middle and two linebackers on the side

One position I would like to hit on is the D-Line, Ted Thompson has made to no attempt to replace this position since the Super Bowl run. We continue to run one person on the line with two linebackers which leads to no pass rush and no pass defense. This is a clear attempt of sabotage by Ted not to see this issue and correct this issue.

The scheme of Dom Capers did get us a title, but it does not work any more. We can not continue to play the big yard zone defense games and continue to win. It is time to get rid of Dom and start a new era of the man to man defense and turn this team around. The time is now, not when we have the 4-12 record.

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NFL Draft Four Days Away

Can you believe it, time for another NFL draft? And due to another no free agent signing year from Packers GM Ted Thompson, we once again rely on the lifeblood of the NFL draft to resupply the team and fix a defense that looked non-existent against the running of San Francisco.

You never really know what you are going to get with Thompson, sometimes he gets the it right (2005, 2010), sometimes he gets it wrong (2006). It is funny watching him explain why he takes some of the players he does. For example, in 2007 with the pick of Justin Harrell Thompson stated that he had to take the best player available regardless of position, but yet Brady Quinn was still available at the time (Granted that too would have also been a bad pick).

Who are we going to pick? Only Thompson knows.

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The NFL takes one step closer to more confusion

The NFL, the game that relates that relates to more people in America than any other sport has taken a minor step back during the annual meeting this year in Phoenix, AZ. A series of rules were passed to “enhance” the safety and the game overall. A listing can be found here.

These are my thoughts are the rule changes:

  1. Illegal challenges – Of all the rules, this is the only one I agree with changing. The was no reason to no right the wrong in the play no matter how stupid the head coach can be from time to time. If this rule would not have changed, I would have wondered if Bud Selig and his take 10 years to make a rule easy rule change crew was running the show.
  2. No overloading on XP and FG’s – The game of football is a rough game, but changing rules like this is watering down the game and stop creativity. This is just another one of Roger Goodell’s don’t let the players sue the league 30 years from now policy rule changes.
  3. Tuck Rule – This rule had existed for years upon years without it causing any trouble, but one snowy day in New England changed that in the most replayed example of this rule. Anytime any play even came close to the tuck rule, we saw a replay of Tom Brady, whenever Tom Brady played on TV we saw the reply, whenever there was a game played in snow we saw a replay. Only one of two things was going to happen to stop everybody from talking about the tuck rule, one… Delete the tuck rule or two… Send Tom Brady off to an unnamed remote island in the Pacific and strike his name from all records in a Moses in the Ten Commandments style kind of banishment.
  4. Allowing 40’s range for Backs and Tight Ends – And why is this an important rule change? Why doesn’t football just say that all offensive linemen are in a certain number range and everybody else is eligible? End of problem.
  5. Peel Back Blocks – Please see point #2
  6. No leading with Crown of Helmet – Why do we play with helmets? What is the point anymore? You can not touch anybody in the helmet, you can not have helmet to helmet hits from the defender and now running backs can not lead outside the magic 3 yard box. So why do we play with helmets? If everybody plays within the rules, you should not need helmets

To me, these additional rules/changes are another step towards a more complex, more NBA rule like structure. The NFL game is no longer a game that anybody can just start watching and understand. The game is filled with all these complex exceptions that make the game hard to watch and even harder for officials to officiate.  All you need is the teams to pass a rule allowing a mid-level salary cap exception and we can start calling this the NB&FLA(National Basketball and Football League Association).

With more complexity, you create the potential to drive away fans or future fans. That is what you have with the NFL, the rules have been watered down and people want to the game to be exciting but not watered down. I personally think this could be the opportunity for Soccer to breakout in America. The game is simple (minus offsides) to understand, no goofy rules, and the players are not actively suing the league.

Whatever comes of the rule changes this year, the fans will continue to show in the short term, but too many rules too soon just might de-throne the game and vilify whoever is driving the bus for going off the cliff.

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Flacco should get a raise, but how much?

Just a short thought today about the Flacco contact situation. Flacco received a ~$20 million a year deal to make him the highest/top paid Quarterback right now, but it begs the question in my head, is he really worth it?

Now I understand that he did just lead his team to Super Bowl victory, but does he really deserve top flight money just due to a hot run in the playoffs? Everybody these days thinks that if a player is on the championship winning team that he automatically should be the top paid player. The passing game this year was not the best in the NFL. The Flacco led passing game was mid-pack in all passing stats, but yet he should be paid better than a Rodgers, Brees, or Brady?

It is time now to reel in the insanity, and pay Flacco what he is really worth, as a high mid-pack QB which only should be around 10-12 million a season, maybe 14 with incentives. Not everybody should get what they want, even in success. NFL players are one play away from injury, a bad play or the bench, don’t let the high of the Super Bowl cloud against reasonable judgment.

I know the current deal with Flacco is a done deal, but I hope that reasonable judgement will finally kick in just like with the rookie contracts issue and teams will wait until they come off the cloud and make sound choices on how to spend their money.

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My Predictions Wrap-up

Super Bowl XLVII is finally over with the Baltimore Ravens defeating the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 34-31. With that being said another NFL season is in the books. In one of my previous posts, I predicted some things for the game, lets see how I did…

  1. Manti Te’o will be seen at the game with his girlfriend Incorrect!
  2. Tebow will be mentioned at least once. Incorrect!
  3. Phil Simms will say Lawrence Taylor’s name at least twice Incorrect!
  4. Total number of times the Harbaugh family will be shown by CBS: 8 Incorrect! Only showed them 1 time.
  5. A head coach with the last name of Harbaugh will win the Super Bowl Correct!

My serious predictions…

  1. Number of commercials during the first quarter including the end of quarter commercial: 5 Correct!
  2. Rushing yards by Colin Kaepernick: 80 Incorrect! Only 62 Yards
  3. Halftime Score: San Francisco 17; Baltimore 10 Wrong! Baltimore 21; San Francisco 6
  4. Missed FG’s by Akers: 1 Incorrect! Did not miss a FG (Thanks to some luck)
  5. Final Score: San Francisco 31; Baltimore 20 Incorrect! Baltimore 34; San Francisco 31

Some final thoughts on the Super Bowl XLVII:

  • I was very shocked to find out that the second quarter interception of Kaepernick was the first pick in any San Francisco Super Bowl appearance
  • Bold move by John Harbaugh with the fake Field Goal. He put his trust in the defense and it paid off in the end.
  • Flacco looked very good in the first half going 13 for 20 with 3 passing TD’s, Flacco was able to throw the ball downfield (With a little bit of luck)
  • Based on the halftime show from Beyoncé this year and the way everybody was dressed, I clearly see everybody has gotten over the Janet Jackson fiasco from Super Bowl XXXVIII, not that I minded 🙂 .
  • What a kickoff return by Jacoby Jones to start the second half!
  • Power Outage during the biggest game of the year. I’m guessing the conspiracy theorists will say a convenience store group pulled the power so people would go out and buy more snack/beer.
  • Good comeback for the 49ers in the third quarter into the fourth, but it was not enough.

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MLB losing touch with fans

A couple of days ago MLB approved a couple of rule changes for the upcoming 2013 season as explained in this article.Normally when I hear about rules changes, I’m ready to jump right into the article and update my knowledge of the rules in the sport. With this article, I was also struck by a sense of disappointment as MLB once again proved to me that they are out of touch with the fan’s and their expectations of the game.

Frankly, I don’t care about banning the third to first move or adding the seventh coach to the dugout during the game. Along with the on field interpreter rule, if those are the only rules that MLB could come up with this season, they are more out of touch than I ever thought. There are so many other problems that are holding up the progression of the game in America to worry about the assistant hitting coach being in the dugout.

We have been for about five years that MLB continues to look into the use/expanded use of instant replay, but yet we continue to hear week after week during the season about blown close calls that could have been easily and quickly reversed with replay.

The NFL went through the same kind of issues with incorrect calls on close plays back in 1997. The NFL was able to implement an “experimental” system for the preseason in 1998 with full implementation in 1999. It only took 1 year to put in a replay system, yet we are waiting year after year for MLB to get their act together to modernize the game. This modernization of the NFL coincided with major increase in popularity of the game while baseball continue with their slow downward trend.  Most every other sport in the world uses some form of reply in their top tier professional league with the exception of soccer, but they are even investing in goal line technology. The young and middle aged people now a days know that these game are judged by the human element and that nobody is perfect, but if the technology exists to quickly correct the play/call, it should be used.

The main argument against instant replay from the anti-replay people is “The game is already running long, this will make the game run longer”. My reply to that is, the game is already being held up by the manager auguring the call, replay would take 2 minutes or less to correct the call which would be far less than the time the manger spends yelling at the umpire.

Another argument against instant reply is that “It will interrupt the flow of the game”. That is another weak comeback as the flow of the game has already been ruined when the player or manager is arguing the call.

Proponents of instant replay are not talking about stopping the game every five minutes to use instant replay. We are talking about 1-2 calls a game at most that need to be reviewed. Just give each manager 1 challenge per game just like in Little League. MLB seems like they would rather save 2 minutes during the game from not using replay and would rather receive negative publicity for 2 days on all the major sports cast shows.

People who are against replay do not truly care about the game and its future. They care about a past vision of the game, they are trying to hold onto something from their past and not look into the future. They want to remember the game for the black and white images that they see from time to time, but those images are in the past and can never be recaptured.

Another rule that needs to be changed is the DH rule between the two leagues. Most people want the DH to be used in both leagues, but personally I don’t care how MLB want to address the issue as long as the rule is consistent between the two leagues especially since there is an odd number of teams now in each league.

It is time for Bud Selig to step down as commissioner. The game has passed him by, he is dragging the progress of the game down while other sport continue their rise in popularity. It should not take to genius to make the needed rule changes in a quick manner to help the game.  He always says there are logistical and financial issues with these types of changes, but it has not stopped other sports from quickly put in similar major rule changes. If your focus is on the first to third move or how many people are in the dugout, the game has passed you by and you need to past the reigns to somebody else.

This will not be the last time you will hear me talk about MLB rules, instant replay or Bud Selig, as long as the game continues to fall behind other sports. All I can do is hope that someday baseball will wake up and listen to the fans as they walk away from the game.

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End of an Era for the Packers?

After the 45-31 loss Saturday to the San Francisco 49er’s, I came to the realization that what I was watching was the end of an era in Green Bay Packers football from the Super Bowl winning team in the 2010.

The way the NFL works now in the salary capped free agency era and the way players change teams, you have a 2-4 year window to win the Super Bowl before players either retire, sign bigger contacts or their skill diminishes below a useful capacity and are released. Also other teams start to figure out how these players skills which reduces their impact. After the 2-4 years have passed with no Super Bowl, the team can no long win the Super Bowl without an overhaul on the team. Since the early 90’s, this is how the NFL works.

I would like to to cite the example of the 1996 Green Bay Packers who won Super Bowl Super Bowl XXXI. During the lead up to the Super Bowl winning season the Packers were able to acquire or draft many key players in forming a championship winning team. But after the 1996 season the pieces to the puzzle started to go missing:

  • Keith Jackson retired
  • Edger Bennett got hurt in the 1997 preseason and never played for the Packers again
  • Andre Rison bolted for Kansas City
  • Desmond Howard bolted for Oakland, did return to Green Bay a couple of years later, but it was too late
  • Chris Jacke bolted for Pittsburgh, got hurt, then signed for Washington
  • Reggie White was plagued with injuries in the coming seasons and left Green Bay after the 1998 season.
  • Sean Jones final game was in the 1996 season
  • Eugene Robinson bolted for Atlanta after the 1997 season.
  • Coach Mike Holmgren left after the 1998 season for Seattle
  • OC Sherman Lewis left after the 1999 season
  • Andy Reid left after the 1998 season

All these key people left mainly after the Super Bowl loss to the Denver Broncos or the following season and until a whole new system was implemented, the Packers did win, but could not go all the way to the Super Bowl. Once all the players from the 1996 team era had left, we were able to succeed. Another example of this you are currently seeing this with is the Pittsburgh Steelers who last won the Super Bowl in 2008 and have now surpassed the 4 year window. They finished the last season 8-8.

Based on what I saw Saturday, this is it for Green Bay, major changes need to be made on Offense and Defense to turn over to another era. We are in need of:

  • TE
  • LT/RT
  • DT
  • LB
  • FS/SS

In addition to these changes, some defensive changes are needed after watching how we planned for Kaepernick. I even knew that this guy could run the ball going back to his college days, but we had nobody marking him all night. When this occurs, it is time for a change, not once we hit a 4-12 season, but now while we still have time.

All in all, it will be interesting how this off season will go for the Packers and what changes are made (or not made) and if the Packers are able to continue this streak of success, but I fear that last night was the end of an era and now we begin the slow decline to our final destination …. Failure.

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