Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Colts In Precarious Position

Writing on Saturday about ABQB's of the year, I mentioned my concern for the Colts decision to carry a rookie QB as their backup. The post wasn't even warm before Peyton Manning had put Indy in the lead against the New York Jets Sunday afternoon and inserted Curtis Painter to finish the job. A sack, fumble, touchdown moments later left the home crowd devastated and it looked like the Hall-Of-Fame QB on the sideline was as well.
Manning has worked as hard this year as any year I've watched to will his team to victories and keep them perfect, only to watch it disappear so quickly. Now, Jim Caldwell and the rest of the team will say that winning the Super Bowl was and is the goal, but this team had a chance that only the New England Patrtiots had before them and would set them apart from every other team in the history of the NFL. The Patriots missed it by the "stick-um" on David Tyree's helmet, but the Colts should have tried for history.
Now this team that was so close to regular season perfection and quite possibly football immortality, is now stuck with a loss and final regular season game to play before taking off for their bye week. Can Indy win with Painter in at QB? I'm sure they can, but what if they don't? And what if Manning were, God forbid, actually to get injured? I don't think the decision to pull Manning was the correct one and I think failing to carry an experienced backup QB could be the biggest mistake of them all.

Gator's Coach Not Only One At Risk

I'm not a doctor, but I have played one in a commercial. Football coaches probably work more than any other profession and many probably work more than they need to, but the peer pressure to continue to look under every rock for that piece of the puzzle that will lead to a win is ever-present.
I don't know what Urban Meyer's diagnosis is for his heart ailment, but what every American, but especially what all coaches are in danger of is high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attack, stroke and death. Sleep and rest in a laying position allows your blood pressure to normalize, but if you are upright for 18-20+ hours a day, everyday and the additional stresses of the job as well as home will not allow the blood pressure enough time to normalize, so it runs high on a regular basis.
This issue needs to be a concern for the Coaches Association's to keep their members healthy. There are other health related problems that are associated with not getting enough rest and while grown men should have the right to work as much as they want, there should be mandatory health screenings to catch any chronic and serious issues before there has to be emergency procedures and press conferences and retractions and interim coaches named.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Manning, Brady ABQB's of the Year, Decade

Peyton Manning has led the Indianapolis Colts to so many regular season wins in the 2000's that their current run of 14-0 is almost boring. He is the single most important player to his team in the NFL. I and I'm sure every Colts fan shudders to think what their team would be if he went down with an injury and am surprised that they are risking so much with a rookie backup.
For his phenomenal effort this year, willing his team to a number of close shootout wins, Peyton Manning is ABQB's 2009 QB of the year.
As I watch, read and listen to sportscasters around the nation, there seems to be a consensus the Manning is also the QB of the decade and maybe the history of the NFL. I beg to differ. Based on the most important wins of them all, Super Bowl victories, Tom Brady is ABQB of the decade. Brady won 3 Super Bowls in the decade, reached another with an 18-0 team which probably should have won another if it weren't for Eli Manning and David Tyree's heroics at the end. And, in Peyton Manning's only appearance in the title game, he and his Colts had to make an amazing comeback in the AFC Championship to reach the Super Bowl. Brady quite possibly could have five rings instead of three. But for these unbelievable achievments Tom Brady is the QB of the decade.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

QB's Shut Out of AP Player of the Year

Maybe it is a sign of a weak 2009 QB class or a standout performances for other positions, but rarely does a season go without a quarterback in the top 3 of the AP Player of the Year Award.
Former Heisman winners Tim Tebow and Sam Bradford didn't have outstanding numbers (Bradford injured for most of season), but you would think that Colt McCoy would have done enough in completing over 70% of his passes while leading his Texas Longhorns to an undefeated season and a shot at the national title.
The AP gave the nation's best defensive player its award, naming Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh it winner, followed by Stanford RB Toby Gerhart and this year's Heisman winning running back Mark Ingram from Alabama came in third.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Colt McCoy Sweeps QB Awards

Colt McCoy left the Heisman Trophy presentation empty-handed once again, but he was good enough to sweep all of the QB specific awards including the Davey O'Brien, Maxwell, Johnny Unitas and has repeated as the Walter Camp Award winner as Player of the Year.
As you've read this blog throughout the season, it is obvious that he has been the best QB in the nation this year. Sure there were other guys putting up big numbers, even in his own state of Texas, but it wasn't the same environment or pressure to perform and get to the national title game that he has the Longhorns playing in come January.
For that, Colt McCoy is also America's Best Quarterback for 2009 collegiate class.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Great Mechanics At Any Age

The organization that my 7 year old son plays for here in Tampa used a photo of him for promoting their wares.
For you dads trying to help your own kids out, he is in almost perfect position. Obviously he is on the run, which can throw things off, but his throwing arm is in great position, with only a move of the ball's tip in the air, but almost perfect. His right arm is at a 90 degree angle--perfect. The only improvement to be made is in his left arm. If his hand was above his elbow, pulling down to his side, he would be picture perfect. Since he is my son, he is perfect regardless, but kids can learn proper technique very early if they want to.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Best QB's in 2010 Draft?

After a tough finish to the 2009 season for Notre Dame, QB Jimmy Clausen has decided to take off for the NFL, following his former coach's advice, citing he has learned all he can through his junior year at the school that plays on national TV every week.
He now joins a growing field of signal callers expected to be top prospects in next year's draft.
Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow will be in New York this weekend to see who will be named the winner of the Heisman Trophy, with McCoy and Alabama's Mark Ingram seemingly atop the list of favorites.
If I was a NFL personnel executive, I would list Sam Bradford as the #1 prospect, but he missed virtually all of his junior season, reinjuring his throwing shoulder the first game back in the lineup after missing the first half of the year. A thorough medical examination needs to be combed through to find out what his durability would be moving forward.
Colt McCoy would be #2 on my list. He throws and moves and makes plays and also has played on a pretty big stage each week.
I haven't seen enough of Jake Locker to give him an informed grade or evaluation, but after seeing Clausen play many times, I would agree with Todd McShay of ESPN.com, that he is a second tier QB for the NFL. As I have written here previously, I think his mechanics will break down at the pro level.
Unfortunately for Tim Tebow, his mechanical flaws in this throwing ability are obvious and will not be corrected in time to enhance his draft stock. He is a true gamble for any NFL team and will be a hybrid player as far as I can see. Right now, Pat White, Josh Johnson and Michael Vick or hybrid QB's and none of them are getting much playing time.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Classy QB's in Win and Loss

Saturday was an emotional day for many in college football, probably not more than for Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators and the Nebraska Cornhuskers last second loss to Texas after thinking they had won the game moments earlier.
What I took from those two games was the classy reactions of both Tebow in their loss and Colt McCoy in their win. The two record setting QB's had different outcomes to their evenings and seasons, but they treated the answers to the media's questions with dignity and respect.
Tebow said what everybody else saw during the game. Alabama was the better team and congratulations to them. McCoy, on the other hand, had to explain his decision-making process as the clock was winding down to :00 and throwing it out of bounds as the clock was expiring on his national championship hopes and maybe even the Heisman Trophy as well. Although, Mark Ingram may have wrapped up that trophy with his performance in the SEC Championship game before the Big XII Championship ever kicked off.
McCoy explained that he had everything in control (I couldn't believe they rolled out with that little time on the clock), but if there is no instant replay, his team's title chances go up in confetti for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Regardless, he did get the ball out of bounds with time on the clock and the kick was good.
Both of these senior college players showed great leadership, one in victory and the other in defeat.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bearcats Win Wild Finish Against Pitt

Heralded quarterback Tony Pike threw three interceptions on the day, but equaled that number with touchdowns and saved the his best for last. With 33 seconds left in the game and moments after Pittsburgh's QB Stall had given the Panthers the lead, Pike threw a perfect fade down the right sideline for the game-winning score 45-44.
The win caps a great comeback for Pike, who missed 3 games earlier in the season with a non-throwing arm injury and gives the Bearcats their first 12-0 season, setting them up for a BCS bowl bid.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Hines Ward Questions His QB

Ben Roethlisberger sat out last week's game with complications related to head trauma. This has been a frowing top of conversation for years and has increased dramatically this season, with many top players having some sort of concussion-like hits.
It was surprising to me that with all of the concern about long-term effects of these types of hits, that Hines Ward would call out his star quarterback for not making it back into the next game after getting dinged the week before.
Has Big Ben's toughness been questioned before? Not that I can remember. I always thought of him as a guy that stood in there and took the shots and got back up to play again.
You can see how quickly these guys turn on their "boys" when something doesn't go the way they want or expect it. Ward and Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes, who also spoke to the media about Ben sitting out, both retracted their statements, probably after getting taken to task by the team's management.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Brees Bests Brady In Monday Night Battle

Going into the big Monday night showdown in the Big Easy, I thought the New England Patriots would be able to knock off the undefeated New Orleans Saints, thinking the Pats needed it more and the Saints could afford to drop one and still have a comfortable lead in the NFC South.
Wrong I was, as Drew Brees and the offense proved how powerful and "quick-strike" it was and also shed light on the Patriots weaknesses in the secondary.
Brees piled up stats on Bill Belichick's defense and answered every call from Brady, Moss and Welker with a huge pass play of their own, leading to a perfect passer rating on the night for new front-runner for NFL MVP! Peyton Manning and Brett Favre may have a say in that race, but right now, the New Orleans Saints are undefeated and don't look to be challenged all that much down the stretch of the regular season.