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Game #3 at New Orleans Saints Review

September 30th, 2006 Comments off

I was a bit afraid of this game when looking at the schedule due to the emotion that would be in New Orleans and hoped against hope that we wouldn’t see what we saw Monday Night. In a word–Ugly.

Here’s what I saw:

Offense:

Running game: Dunn (13/44), Vick (6/57), Griffith (3/16) and Norwood (1/0). Numbers are inflated by a late Vick run for 30 yards. Largely inconsistent running game due to the Saints defending the option very well. Dunn had some good runs but also had just as many 2 yards or less. Falling behind early also limited the amount of run opportunities as well.

Breakdown of passes:

Vick: 12/31, 137 yards, 0 TD/0 INT. Breakdown of incompletions are: 6 bad throws, 6 pass defended, 6 drops, 1 throw away. Unless someone was wide open off camera, I didn’t see any bad decisions. Bad throws were limited to 20% of attempts and that’s the goal number. The drops were very crucial in this game. Had some of these been caught it could have certainly changed the complection of the game. There’s a problem with either the routes being called, the routes being ran by the WR or Vick waiting too long to throw, or any combination of the above with coaching at different levels included. What’s clear to me is that something has to improve.

Drops (6): Crumpler 2 (2), Jenkins 3 (3), R. White 1 (2). One of the Jenkins drops, Mora might not have called a drop that I did (one of the deep balls that touched his hands and no one else’s).

Sack responsibility (5): First sack was on the Vick run that resulted in a fumble. Why this is a sack, I don’t know. I call it a bad rushing attempt. Second sack goes on Beverly as he gave up the escape lane. Some would put in on Lehr but Lehr slid to pick up Fujita. If Beverly gets his man, Vick has running room to the left. The third sack was a run attempt for 0 yards (again, I don’t call this one a sack but a busted running attempt). The fourth sack goes on Forney who whiffed which forced Vick into the Charles Grant who Weiner was “holding”. The final sack gets shared by Wayne Gandy (who let Smith go by unimpeded) and Justin Griffith (who picked up Smith but did a horrible job of blocking).

Pass blocking: It has got to improve, especially the interior. No one should be complaining about Gandy and Weiner at this point, they are doing their jobs for the most part.

YTD Sacks (9):

Vick 4 (3 rushing attempts that went for negative yards)
Lehr 1
Forney 2
Beverly 1
Wayne Gandy 0.5
Justin Griffith 0.5

Defense:

Run defense: We got gouged pretty good. The Saints o-line did a very nice job of opening up holes and getting to our linebackers.

Pass Defense: Not a lot of yards allowed and minimal pressure. HOWEVER, the Saints were able to eat up tons of clock by taking what Donatell’s soft zone scheme allowed. I think we have enough talent in the secondary to man up a lot more than we do and play press coverage. I think it’s sad that the Saints secondary was able to cover us like a blanket and we couldn’t return the favor.

1 sack: Mathis got it on a blitz. Why we don’t blitz more often (especially with out Abraham) I’ll never know.

Special Teams:

Rossum had 3 kickoff return for 24, 23, and 21 yards. 4 punt returns for 6, 3, 14 and 1 yard. Nothing overly impressive.

Norwood had 2 kickoff returns for 35 and 34. Great returns and better results than Rossum.

Koenen had 6 punts (7 attempts-1 blocked). The block was due to the Saints opening up a hole by moving Stutz and no one there to pick up the block. The other 6 punts (gross-Net): 56-36, 52-32, 33-33, 50-50, 35-35, 39-28. Only 1 inside the 20. Gross average of 44.17 with a net average of 35.67. Very mediocre.

Kickoffs: Koenen had 2 kickoffs: To the 3 (returned to the 17) and 1 to the endzone which was returned to the 25 (Omare Lowe missed a tackle). Very good job overall.

Special Teams leading tackler: Lowe, Schaub, McCrary, and Jamison all had 1 each.

Things that really need improvement:

1. Taking advantage of scoring opportunities. We’ve got to score when we get the chance. This one stays from the previous two weeks
2. Better blocking on FG attempts and now punt attempts (5 blocks in three games)
3. WR’s getting better separation and making plays.

Offensive MVP: None
Defensive MVP: Michael Boley (11 tackles, 1 pass defended)
Special Teams MVP: Jerious Norwood (2 very good kickoff returns)

Goat of the Week: Wide Receivers and special teams.

Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:

Next up: Arizona Cardinals in the Dome this Sunday, October 1st!

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A Feeding Frenzy

September 28th, 2006 Comments off

With all the things surrounding Terrell Owens with his alleged suicide attempt, I have to say I’m glad we didn’t get him.

I’m not really going to go into whether he really did or did not commit suicide, because A) I don’t care all that much and B) I don’t want to jump to any conclusions prematurely.

And speaking of prematurely, God must really hate me. My little spiel about Steve Hoffman must not have sat well with the Big Guy Upstairs, because our special teams really sucked this past Monday Night, which obviously sours me on the guy that I have been continuously praising the past few months: Joe DeCamillis.

And of course it was the Lord’s doing that caused our special teams to suck, because after all it was Him that supposedly healed Shaun Alexander’s broken foot in 2 days. I used to think when football players praised Him for helping them win the football game, it was a crock thinking “Yeah, sure, if by him you’re referring to your offensive coordinator or the fact that Bryan Scott missed another tackle, etc.” But obviously, I’ll have to change those beliefs.

But back to Terrell Owens. There was a time in the not too distant past where I would have advocated that the Falcons acquire a receiver like T.O. or Randy Moss. Guys that are lightning rods to media attention, but at the same time damn fine wide receivers. But now I see wrong. Even if T.O. or Randy is on their best behavior, they cause such a media feeding frenzy that they create a distraction whether they want to or not. Seriously, when it comes to players like these, T.O. particularly, what we view as quality media institutions such as ESPN, the New York Times, or the Dallas Morning News, are nothing more than tabloids. It really is sickening. Every little thing that these players do, good, bad, or neutral makes front page headlines across the nation. Terrell Owens can never have a season like he did in 2004, where he was far more boon than bane. Why? Because the media won’t let him. Everything he does is undermining the team. So regardless of his alleged suicidal tendencies, I feel sorry for Terrell Owens in that way, because the media is aiding in the limiting of his playing career. I know many of you reading this could care less about T.O. and think that he deserves everything he gets, but I do have a bit of compassion in me.

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Pudge’s Power Rankings – Week 4

September 28th, 2006 Comments off

Another week in the bag, and not much difference in terms of the predictions. Missed all 3 of my blowout predictions. You’ll notice that the power rankings look a little odd with the movement. That’s because this week I decided to adjust the schedule rating to reflect ease of schedule. I’m not sure if I’m going to do this every week, every other week, or at another interval. It’ll probably depend on how lazy I’m feeling given the week. The higher the rating for the schedule, the easier I perceive their competition to be. That’s why based on the overall grade (which roughly corresponds to overall talent or how they look “on paper”), the Falcons are the 8th best team, but factoring in what I view is the 4th hardest schedule in the league doesn’t bode well for their power ranking.

Week 3 Results
Predictions: 10-4
Blowouts: 0 of 3 correct (if Redskins had scored 1 more point I would have gotten one)
Non-blowouts: 10 of 11 correct

Season Totals
Predictions: 28-18
Blowouts: 4 of 12 correct
Non-blowouts: 28 of 34 correct

Week 4 Predictions
Falcons over Cardinals
Ravens over Chargers
Vikings over Bills
Panthers over Saints
Dolphins over Texans*
Chiefs over 49ers
Colts over Jets
Cowboys over Titans*
Rams over Lions
Bengals over Patriots
Browns over Raiders
Redskins over Jaguars
Bears over Seahawks
Eagles over Packers*
* indicates a blowout

RNK TEAM (W-L)        OVR  SCHED  RTG   PREV 1. Bears (3-0)       7.07  8.81  7.56    - 2. Jaguars (2-1)     7.30  7.50  7.36   +5 3. Chargers (2-0)    7.27  6.87  7.15   +1 4. Broncos (2-1)     7.23  6.52  7.03   +5 5. Panthers (1-2)    7.50  5.57  6.95   +5 6. Ravens (3-0)      7.27  5.92  6.88   -1 7. Seahawks (3-0)    6.67  7.41  6.88   -4 8. Bengals (3-0)     7.33  5.57  6.83    - 9. Dolphins (1-2)    6.40  7.88  6.82   +1 10. Vikings (2-1)     6.83  6.79  6.82   +911. Redskins (1-2)    7.10  5.89  6.75   +412. Eagles (2-1)      7.33  5.28  6.75   +213. Cowboys (1-1)     7.30  5.19  6.70   -714. Patriots (2-1)    6.30  7.69  6.70  -1215. Steelers (1-2)    7.10  5.31  6.59   -416. Falcons (2-1)     7.23  4.84  6.55   -317. Bills (1-2)       6.13  7.59  6.55   +618. Jets (2-1)        5.80  8.36  6.53   -119. Colts (3-0)       6.63  6.15  6.50   -320. Saints (3-0)      7.20  4.39  6.24   +621. Rams (2-1)        6.33  5.98  6.24   +322. Cardinals (1-2)   5.87  6.99  6.19   -423. Packers (1-2)     5.43  7.80  6.11   +224. Giants (1-2)      6.87  4.15  6.09   -325. Chiefs (0-2)      6.37  5.27  6.05   -326. Lions (0-3)       5.33  7.31  5.90   +127. Buccaneers (0-3)  6.60  3.88  5.82   -728. 49ers (1-2)       5.13  7.00  5.67    -29. Browns (0-3)      5.73  5.16  5.57    -30. Titans (0-3)      5.30  6.24  5.57    -31. Texans (0-3)      4.50  6.98  5.21    -32. Raiders (0-2)     4.80  5.71  5.06    -
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Steve Hoffman Experiment = Failed

September 23rd, 2006 1 comment

Well, I’m saying it, the experiment has failed. I believe Hoffman was brought in here for one major reason and that was to develop a cheap, young kicker. With the Falcons signing veteran Morten Andersen this week, it means that Hoffman’s biggest contributing factor to the team has been wasted.

Sure Hoffman’s help should make Michael Koenen a better punter. Hoffman helped Koenen last spring before he joined the Falcons and it showed during the 2005 season. But developing Koenen as a punter was a distant secondary duty to finding that diamond in the rough at kicker.

I’m not out to say Hoffman is a crappy coach. But just that his reputation as a “guru” is not reflected in the results on the field. Sure, he has three Super Bowl rings, but I think most would agree those have more to do with the half dozen future Hall of Famers that were on those Cowboy teams than anything Hoffman did.

The situation with signing Morten Andersen is analogous to the team hiring Bill Musgrave to help Vick learn the West Coast offense, and then scrapping Greg Knapp two weeks into the season and deciding to install a different offense.

If Andersen comes out and is great, then most people will agree it’s because he still has some mojo left in his 46-year old body. If he sucks, then it will because he’s too old. Morten’s perceived success will not rest on the shoulders of Steve Hoffman. The team will basically ask him, “Play like you did 10 years ago” and it will be up to Morten to live up to that command, not Hoffman. Although interesting enough, Hoffman was a camp body with the Saints in 1985 when Andersen was entering his 4th year. Hoffman was a punter, so they weren’t competing, but they played together one summer. I don’t think it has any impact on their potential relationship, just that Andersen was a burgeoning veteran when Hoffman was doing his Tony Yelk thing.

Now, if Morten is cut in a few weeks, and Koenen bounces back and manages to finish the season well, then I’ll back off on HOffman. Or if the team finds another young kicker with little to no experience and he comes in and flies away with the job.

But until a young kicker comes in here and looks better than Jay Feely, then I will continue to criticize our guru, Mr. Hoffman.

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Week #2 vs Tampa Bay Bucs

September 22nd, 2006 1 comment

What a home opener! Sure, there were some negatives as always but it’s quite obvious that there were more positives that outshined the negatives.

Here’s how I saw the embarrassment of the Bucs vaunted defense–

Offense:

Running game: Dunn (21/134), Vick (14/127, 1 TD), and Norwood (9/45). Are you sure this is the Bucs defense that was tops in the league last year? Wow. Great scheme and great run blocking.

Breakdown of passes:

Vick: 10/15, 92 yards, 1 TD/1 INT. Breakdown of incompletions are: 3 bad throws, 1 pass defended,and 1 absolutely horrid non-call by the refs. There was really only 2 bad decisions (the throw that Barber almost INT’d and the Brooks INT). Bad throws were limited to 20% of attempts and that’s the goal number. The 1 INT could have been extremely costly had it not been for a bad call by the refs. HOWEVER, I think it’s all even when Vick drops a bomb on Lelie’s head and the only reason it wasn’t caught was because Barber was all over him like a cheap curtain.

Drops (0): None.

Sack responsibility: First sack is on Vick (1). Line held for 4 seconds, delayed LB blitz came and Griffith may have been out of position but the ball has to get out quicker than that. The second is called a sack by Bolden for 0 yards and Vick simply took off. Not really a sack in my opinion. The final sack was on Forney (1). White stunted and caught Forney completely off guard.

Pass blocking: Gotta give big time props to Wayne Gandy. Simeon Rice had 1 tackle and nothing else. Great job. I’d still like to see less pressure but a very solid job done.

Defense:

Run defense: Last season Cadillac shredded us. This year, the Cadillac looked like a beat up Pinto. Great job.

The pass coverage was better than the stats show. There were a ton of tipped passes and of course, the 3 INT’s (Two by D. Hall and 1 by J-Web). I still wish we didn’t play so much zone but it’s hard to argue the results when you haven’t given up a TD yeet.

D-line got 1 sack: Coleman got the lone sack and without Abe there was an obvious lack of consistent pressure. However, the d-line tipped a lot of passes and definitely made an huge impact on the passing game.

Special Teams:

Rossum had 1 kickoff return for 23 yards. 1 punt return for 15 yards. Not a lot of opportunities to make any sort of real assessment.

Koenen missed 4 FGs two of which were blocked and 2 that were just missed.

Kickoffs: Koenen had 3 kickoffs: 2 and 2 to the endzone with 1 TB’s. None of the returns resulted in getting past the 19 yard line of Tampa. Excellent.

Punting: Koenen had 2 punts (55 and 30). Both were inside the 20. Only 10 return yards as well for a net average of 37.5. Excellent job.

Special Teams leading tackler: Beck, Leake and Lowe all had 1 each.

Things that really need improvement:

1. Taking advantage of scoring opportunities. We’ve got to punch it in the endzone more. This one stays from last week
2. Better blocking on FG attempts (3 blocks in two games)
3. Getting and staying healthy

Offensive MVP: Michael Vick
Defensive MVP: Deangelo Hall (4 tackles, 2 INT, 4 pass defended)
Special Teams MVP: Michael Koenen (kickoffs and punting)

Goat of the Week: Michael Koenen (field goals)

Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:

Next up: at New Orleans this Monday, September 25th!

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Pudge’s Power Rankings – Week 3

September 21st, 2006 3 comments

The world returned to its axis. It seemed my Week 2 performance was much better as far as predictions went. I went 10-6 this past week. 3 of the 4 predicted blowouts were, while only 2 of the remaining 10 managed to be blowouts as well. That brings my season record to 18-14, with 4 of 9 blowouts properly predicted, and missing 5 of 21.

This week’s predictions are:

Bills over Jets
Lions over Packers
Redskins over Texans*
Colts over Jaguars
Dolphins over Titans
Bears over Vikings
Bengals over Steelers
Panthers over Bucs
Ravens over Browns*
Cardinals over Rams
Eagles over 49ers*
Seahawks over Giants
Broncos over Patriots
Falcons over Saints

* indicate blowouts. A hint to you gamblers, I’m meaning that they should win by at least 17 pts or 14 pts if the opponent is held to single digits

RNK TEAM         OVR   RTG   PREV 1. Bears        7.03  7.44   +3 2. Patriots     7.07  7.38    - 3. Seahawks     7.30  7.35   -2 4. Chargers     7.27  7.25   +3 5. Ravens       7.33  7.10   +4 6. Cowboys      7.80  6.96   -1 7. Jaguars      6.97  6.96   +1 8. Bengals      7.53  6.91  +10 9. Broncos      7.23  6.90   -610. Panthers     7.50  6.85   -411. Steelers     7.30  6.80   -112. Dolphins     6.33  6.76   +113. Falcons      7.50  6.72   -114. Eagles       7.33  6.66    -15. Redskins     7.10  6.59   -416. Colts        6.70  6.57   -117. Jets         5.83  6.43   +418. Cardinals    6.23  6.41   -119. Vikings      6.03  6.30   +320. Buccaneers   7.27  6.28   -421. Giants       7.27  6.25   -222. Chiefs       6.37  6.13   -223. Bills        5.77  6.06   +224. Rams         6.03  6.02   -125. Packers      5.03  5.86   -126. Saints       6.57  5.78   +227. Lions        5.13  5.65   -128. 49ers        5.13  5.65   +229. Browns       5.57  5.58   -230. Titans       5.30  5.32   -131. Texans       4.67  5.19    -32. Raiders      4.80  5.04    -
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Week #1 at Carolina Panthers Game Review

September 16th, 2006 1 comment

Opening week was HIGHLY successful so this will be a very fun upbeat blog to write but there will be a dash of salt here and there to keep us objective about things.

So after the destruction of the Panthers, away we go–

Offense:

Running game: With as many rushing yards as we had I thought we borrowed Georgia Southern’s offensive playbook. The offensive line did a GREAT job opening holes while Dunn (29 att, 132 yds) and Norwood (10 att, 66 yds) took advantage of them. Great job!

Breakdown of passes:

Vick: 10/22, 140 yards, 2 TD/0 INT, 7 rush for 48 yards. Breakdown of incompletions are: 8 bad throws, 1 pass defended, 2 throw aways, and 1 drop. There was really only 1 bad decision (the throw that Peppers should have INT’d and ran in for 6). This is what I would call a well-managed game. I’d like to see more accuracy and lower the number of overthrows, etc to a max of 5 in an average game.

Drops (1): Roddy White (1).

Sack responsibility: Only one and it goes on Matt Lehr (1). Damione Lewis abused him, McClure tried to help but was late getting there and Warrick Dunn failed to pick him up. In my opinion, this is a play that Alex Gibbs and Tom Cable will have a field day because while it’s easy to charge Lehr with the fact, someone could have and should have picked him up.

Pass blocking: Way too much pressure and Matt Lehr had a horrible 1st half. He was hands down the worst linemen of the day. I want to mention that Todd Weiner had to have done a great job because his name was never called and Julius Peppers was a virtual non-factor.

Defense:

Run defense was drastically different than last year’s games against Carolina. Foster had 15 carries for 54 yards. He had some good gains but more often than not, didn’t get much. Carolina had 65 net rushing yards which was 5th best of the weekend league-wide. HUGE improvement (no pun intended Mr. Jackson). Demorrio Williams made several very good plays against the run. Very impressed.

The pass coverage was very solid. Even with the “bend don’t break” philosophy towards the end of the first half and a lot of the 4th quarter, Delhomme still had less than 200 yards passing and a net of 150 which was 10th best league-wide.

D-line got 4 sacks: Abraham had 2 and also caused 2 fumbles with those sacks. Shropshire and Coleman each had 1. I hope the rest of our defense notices the swiping the ball while tackling technique Abraham uses.

Special Teams:

Rossum had 3 kickoff returns (38, 20, 29). Very nice job by Rossy and it seems that he is back to his old form. 3 punt returns (12, 13, 4). Pretty good on returns and their was one that bounced at the 11 or 12 that got downed on the 5 and you could see that Rossum knew he should have fair catched it.

Koenen missed 2 FGs pushing the first 50 yarder just wide right and then had one blocked because Austin King got trucked by Peppers. He had 5 kickoffs: 2, 6, 3 to the endzone with 2 TB’s. None of the returns resulted in getting past the 28 yard line of Carolina. Very good job.

Punting: Koenen had 4 punts (43,41,32, and 51). 2 of those were inside the 20. Only 13 return yards as well for a net average of 41.8. Very good job.

Special Teams leading tackler: K. Mathis, Norwood, Koenen, Leake, J. Williams all had 1 each.

Things that really need improvement:

1. Taking advantage of scoring opportunities. We’ve got to punch it in the endzone more.
2. Pass protection (wasn’t horrible but wasn’t perfect)
3. Closing the deal tackling

Offensive MVP: Warrick Dunn
Defensive MVP: John Abraham (5 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 pass defended)
Special Teams MVP: Michael Koenen.

Goat of the Week: Matt Lehr

Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:

Next up: vs. Tampa Bay this Sunday, September 17th!

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Pudge’s Power Rankings – Week 2

September 14th, 2006 1 comment

For those curious how I did on my “predictions” last week based on the power rankings, I was an exceptional 8-8. Of the 5 games that I thought would be blowouts, only 1 was (Bears vs. Packers). Of the 11 other games that should not have been blowouts, 3 were (Falcons-Panthers, Bucs-Ravens, & Chargers-Raiders). Well, here we go again with another bout of predictions, although I must again warn that these rankings are not designed to predict which teams will have the best records, thus whether or not a team wins/loses individual games, but rather designed to predict which teams are in the best shape to win the Super Bowl. Based on Week 1′s results, I’m going to bet that by the end of the year, the overall record is going to be sub-.500.

Week 2 games:

Colts over Texans*
Saints over Packers
Bengals over Browns
Bears over Lions*
Ravens over Raiders*
Falcons over Bucs
Eagles over Giants
Panthers over Vikings*
Dolphins over Bills
Seahawks over Cardinals
Rams over 49ers
Chargers over Titans
Patriots over Jets
Broncos over Chiefs
Cowboys over Redskins
Steelers over Jaguars

* indicate expected blowouts

RNK TEAM          OVR  RTG   PREV 1. Seahawks      7.47 7.47    - 2. Patriots      7.17 7.46   +2 3. Broncos       7.90 7.38    - 4. Bears         6.77 7.24   +3 5. Cowboys       8.07 7.15   +1 6. Panthers      7.87 7.11   -4 7. Chargers      6.87 6.96   +2 8. Jaguars       6.83 6.87    - 9. Ravens        7.00 6.86   +110. Steelers      7.30 6.80   +511. Redskins      7.27 6.70    -12. Falcons       7.40 6.65    -13. Dolphins      6.13 6.62   -814. Eagles        7.27 6.61   +415. Colts         6.70 6.57   -116. Buccaneers    7.53 6.47   -317. Cardinals     6.23 6.41   -118. Bengals       6.70 6.32   +119. Giants        7.20 6.20   +120. Chiefs        6.37 6.13   -321. Jets          5.40 6.12    -22. Vikings       5.57 5.96   +323. Rams          5.93 5.95   -124. Packers       4.93 5.78   -125. Bills         5.10 5.58   -126. Lions         4.97 5.53    -27. Browns        5.40 5.47    -28. Saints        6.07 5.42   +129. Titans        5.30 5.32   -130. 49ers         4.57 5.25   +231. Texans        4.67 5.19    -32. Raiders       4.90 5.11   -2
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TGI…Monday?

September 13th, 2006 Comments off

Well, after the first official broadcast of the new Monday Night, I have to say, in truth, I thought the trio of some guy (I could look up who the play-by-play guy was but I’m too lazy), Vermeil, and Jaws was in fact better than the real crew of Tirico, Theismann, and Kornheiser.

I was at first tentative about Kornheiser being in the booth. I enjoy PTI immensely, but his greatness on that show does not translate easily to MNF booth. But I have to say after the few preseason outings and this regular season one, I am pleasantly surprised. Now, Kornheiser isn’t great by any means, but his journalistic background is refreshing to hear on the broadcasts than Theismann’s mundane brown-nosing. And thank goodness Paul Maguire is gone, who perhaps was the dumbest human being alive. Tirico, I can live with, although he seems to be trying too hard if you ask me.

Theismann was only acceptable in my opinion because he shared a booth with Maguire and Mike Patrick on Sunday Night football in past years. Now, he must go.

I’m not a huge fan of Jaws, because unless someone is Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, IMO he’s way to critical of the QBs. Yes, Jaws we know you’ve “spent hours in the video room” breaking this guy down, but most fans really don’t care about who is the best QB in terms of decision making and mechanics, as long as the Ws keep stacking up.

So if it were me, and I was ESPN, I’d at the very least trade in Theismann for Vermeil. I get the impression that Kornheiser and Theismann don’t exactly get along. Kornheiser is one to swallow Joey’s BS like Maguire and Patrick did so easily. I’m positive both WILL NOT be back next year. I think Kornheiser and Vermeil would work great together. Vermeil IMO is the ideal guy in the booth. They should have a color commentator who can in fact relate to the modern game and players. Vermeil’s expertise became apparent to me as he knew both the Raiders & Chargers players very well due to his several years of experience game-planning against them. He would know several other team’s players very well too because of his experience as a coach. Instead with Theismann you get him just saying the same old crap we’ve heard over and over from all the other talking heads.

So as one MNF fan says to ESPN, dump Joey and get Dick. Who the play-by-play guy is relatively irrelevant since they are all practically the same. Dick & Tony would be a great pair in the booth.

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A request for the new stadium

September 9th, 2006 3 comments

I’ll be honest, I’ve only seen 2 live games in the Georgia Dome. One in 2000 vs. the Bucs, in which 30,000 Bucs fans showed up and Chandler was kicked in the head by Warren Sapp, and the 2nd being last year’s loss against New England.

I’m a little tentative about going to a 3rd game in the near future due to my 0-2 record. But I’m also a little tentative because although I really like the atmosphere of the Georgia Dome, there is a part of me that doesn’t really enjoy the experience.

Nothing against the fans, but every time I’ve seen an indoor football game, I’ve gotten a massive headache by game’s end. It’s not just the GA Dome, but it also occurred at Ford Field this past February when I was at the Super Bowl. I’m guessing it has something to do with the acoustics.

So with Blank continuing his quest to get a new stadium in Atlanta in the near future, my vote is for an open-air stadium.

It’s my understanding, but the draw of the dome (or otherwise indoor stadium) is for two reasons: 1) environmental protection and 2) increase oppportunity for secondary venues.

Well considering it’s Atlanta, the environment is relatively pristine. I know December and January in Atlanta isn’t exactly warm, and it’s not quite Florida, but for most of the football season in a typical year you are going to get temperatures above 60 degrees.

And I’m not sure about the secondary venues issues. My assumption is that the city of Atlanta has plenty of other arenas that can support the various concerts, events, etc. that the city plays host to (if you haven’t figured out by now, I don’t live in Atlanta). But I guess the question becomes is this money that Arthur Blank is willing to give up or have taken out of his pocket.

Then you think of the competitive advantages the dome offers on the field. Obviously, dome teams tend to be oriented towards speed. With Michael Vick it makes a lot of sense now. But come 2015, Vick will be 35, and I don’t think having a fast surface is going to be that important.

Who knows what the team will be shaped like 9 years from now. One would guess that nobody currently on this team would be around come ’15, perhaps maybe 1 or 2 guys. The front office will probably be under new management. We may have gone through 2 different coaches by then as well.

So in my mind, if the Falcons start making plans for a stadium that probably won’t be open to play until 9-10 years from now, I would assume Blank would plan for the most versatile option: a stadium with a retractable roof. Currently I believe there are only two retractable-roof stadiums (Houston & Arizona). Within the next few years, I know the Cowboys (2009) and Colts (2008) will be getting theirs. The Saints had earlier discussions about building one pre-Katrina. But we know by the time that the Falcons complete their new stadium, there will be at least 4.

It seems that is the new fad, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Blank go with one. I wouldn’t have a problem with that. I’d just have to plan my future visits to Atlanta around games that would be played when it is likely that the roof would be retracted.

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