Thursday, November 27, 2008

Day of Thanks

It is easy to be thankful each and every day for many, many things living in America, but because this is a football website, let's count just a couple of QB blessings.
1. Thankful for football on Thanksgiving--even if it is the Lions.
2. Thankful that the Heisman race is all about the QB this year.
3. Thankful for offensive linemen (for without them, there would be no QB's).

God bless you and your families!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Vick Pleads Guilty Again

Michael Vick was back in a courtroom Tuesday, pleading guilty to state dogfighting charges in hopes of getting out of jail faster and back on the football field as soon as possible. I'm no apologist for Michael Vick and his life of deception regarding illegal activities and the Joey Porter's of the world need to keep quiet trying to justify his actions, but Vick should not be treated more severely than his former NFL chums that ran afoul of the law. He has been suspended from the NFL since August of 2007--that's already two full football seasons. I'm not sure what team is going to jump in and take the public outrage over signing him, or the coaching staff that wants to change their team's offense to fit his style, but let's not hang him from a higher horse than the rest of us. Upon release he will have paid his debts as the state and federal government laid before him. He has taken responsibility and apologized to the public for his crimes and as long as Commissioner Roger Goodell doesn't try to go even further, he should be reinstated and given a second chance just like everyone else in the NFL, because that is "The American Way."
God bless you and your families this Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oklahoma Unstoppable with Bradford

There is a nationally ranked high school team here in the Tampa area that is undefeated and looks to be unstoppable on their way to another state title. The Oklahoma Sooners looked like national champions against the overmatched Texas Tech Red Raiders Saturday night, but what bugged me was the similarity between the Tampa high school team and the Sooners.
Both teams come up to the line of scrimmage on offense and get ready to snap the ball, then everyone on offense stops, looks to the sideline, the QB backs away from center and calls another play and then they go. Unfortunately both of these teams are extremely successful right now, so what can you say other than more teams are going to start doing it and that is a terrible thing for the game of football at any level.
Players play and coaches coach, but when the coaches coach right up to the snap of every play, it is a bit much. It takes away the players' abilities to think for themselves and most coaches probably want that, but I hate how it stops the flow of each play. Call me a purist, but when the whole team looks to the sideline to be told what to do, its just not a game anymore. We all know the plays come in from the sideline and the NFL put headphones inside the helmets of its QB's to stop the sideline signs or the running in of plays, but even they cut off the signal with 15 seconds to go before the snap, so the coach can't talk all the way to the snap.
On Saturday night, Sam Bradford had a wonderful game, but there once was a rule that the QB could not put his hands under center and then take them back out or else it was a penalty. Don't know when that was taken out of the rule book, but he does it every play. I may be the only one right now that cares, but wait until a few more teams do it (and you know they will because of the copycat clause in sports) and you too will be pulling your hair out like me. Thank goodness I still have plenty to yank on!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Grothe Taking Look at NFL Draft Status

I had to chuckle to myself this week when a story in The Tampa Tribune reported University of South Florida quarterback Matt Grothe saying he forgo his senior year if he was projected to be drafted in the NFL by the third or fourth round. He plans on exploring that option after the season.
I chuckled because not only is Grothe not close to being an NFL quarterback (yet), his team has greatly underachieved this year, is barely bowl eligible and he has been far from stellar. What does it say for an undersized, underarmed, running QB from a disappointing team to want to leave his school for the fourth round of the draft?
Head Coach Jim Leavitt must be scratching his head about his team's signal caller trying to get out early when he has no shot of success at the next level.

McNabb Lost in OT

There haven't been many ties in the National Football League, in fact 17 in all, but there have been plenty of games get to "sudden death". First team to score wins, everyone knows that, but what only about half the league knows is that if no one scores in the extra 15 minute period, it is a tie.
I was completely blown away that Donovan McNabb didn't know what would happen after the extra period or that there was no discussion on the sideline with the coaches. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised as the Eagles are the same team that in the Super Bowl a few years ago, acted like they didn't know the object was to score more points than the other team. That performance prompted Terrell Owens to make derogatory comments about McNabb and got him to Dallas. The fact that long time veteran receiver Hines Ward agreed that he didn't know the rules either is also befuddling, since he played in the last game that ended in a tie! Ben Roethlisberger circled the wagons for Donovan as well, but it doesn't do much for the image of the league for some of its biggest stars to admit they don't have a clue about their rules that most couch potatoes do.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Standout QB's at NFL's Halfway Point

Kurt Warner's heyday was last century with the Ram's Super Bowl win! He had some other pretty good years in this century as well, but was written off in Arizona as Matt Leinart was thought to be their future. The Phoenix arose from the ashes and is putting together a memorable year for himself and giving the Cardinals hope in the second half of the season and that is something we can all get excited about in this climate of doom around the country regarding the economic mess.
Tyler Thigpen has also ignited some excitement in Kansas City. Too early to tell if he will become a great one, but his athleticism at QB and quick release give hope in a city that has none on the football field.
Brett Favre! Holy cow man. Down here in Tampa, I wasn't too hip on the idea of him coming in for a year with Jeff Garcia coming of a good year and already building good comrarderie with his club. But after Thursday night's OT win over the Patriots and a couple of other superb performances, he has won me over again. His 39 year old enthusiasm is contagious and the Jets have caught it!
Although they lost a thriller to the Jets, Matt Cassel (first QB in NFL history to throw for 400 yards and run for 60 in a game) has filled in admirably for Tom Brady this season and while the Pats are 6-4 at this point, they can beat anybody.
Matt Ryan has surpassed everyone's expectations! Well, maybe not his own, but regardless, the Falcons are a team to be reckoned with down the stretch. Even if they don't finish well, he has allowed the Atlanta area to forget about what's his name.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Culpepper Back With The Lions

Daunte Culpepper has been a non-factor in the NFL for a few years now, was out of the league this year until the winless and hapless Detroit Lions came calling. Culpepper was ready for the right price and his shot to start, who cares about his shot to win a game.
When Brett Favre was being shopped this summer, some wondered about his ability to digest the playbook in a few weeks. Not to worry for Culpepper as he signed and started inside of a week. The outcome of the Lions game didn't change with their "just off the couch" and expensive new signal caller. Don't look for it to get any better either, as Daunte hasn't been able to get anything going for the Dolphins or the Raiders without Randy Moss in his prime.

2008 Heisman Watch Update

Colt McCoy continues to impress even with the loss to Texas Tech. He is the most NFL ready arm in school, but that doesn't always make you the Heisman Trophy front-runner, since it is an award for the nation's most outstanding college football player.
Graham Harrell of the still undefeated Red Raiders is making it look too easy, but his short and soft throws don't impress me very much. Not taking anything away from him, but no one has figured out how to get to him before he gets rid of the ball and they are putting up unreal numbers. I think he is better than Ty Detmer for BYU back in the day, but I don't think he is the best in the land.
Tim Tebow isn't being asked to carry his team on his back this season, but as far as football player's go, he is still the best football player at the college level. He doesn't have the biggest upside for being an NFL signal caller, in fact, he has a bigger chance of playing a fullback/tight end hybrid than QB, but his toughness on the ground allows his reciever to get wide open through the air and the Gators are in position to win another national championship if they beat Alabama in the SEC title game. The lefty won't have the numbers of last year, but he should walk away with the same trophy in December.