The Everyday Man's Sports Blog

Follow Mike Patton aka The General as he puts his thoughts in on sports.

Archive for the month “July, 2010”

NFC West Preview

Well, I know you have been waiting on it, so here it is!
My preview of the NFL, Division by Division. We’re going to start with the NFC West.

Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals will be a team that will definitely be down this year. Kurt Warner retired, Carlos Dansby Left for the weather in Miami and Anquan Boldin left via trade for the Baltimore Ravens. The Cardinals still have offensive talent without Warner and Boldin with Larry Fitzgerald and Beanie Wells still being there, but there is uncertainty at the quarterback position. Do you go with Matt Leinhart, a first round bust who has yet to show anything, or do you go with Derek Anderson, a guy who had one good year and then forgot how to play quarterback the rest of his time in the league. Their offense from the outside looking in looks like a nice sports car with a jacked up engine. Until they solve the quarterback issue, the offense will struggle.
On defense, the Cardinals have a playmaker on the defensive line in Darnell Dockett and a playmaker at safety in ultra-talented Adrian Wilson, but the main cog that made that defense go, Carlos Dansby, has left the team. The two questions for this defense are:
1) Who is going to replace the production and leadership of Carlos Dansby?
2) Who is going to play the corner beside All-Pro Antonio Rodgers-Cromartie?
In the kicking game, Neil Rackers needs to have a flashback to a couple years ago and not a repeat to a dreadful year of kicking that he had last year.

Saint Louis Rams
There are all kind of problems with this team. Let’s start with the offense. Stephen Jackson is a horse, but he needs some other playmakers around him. Donnie Avery is the best that St. Louis can put out there at receiver and he would be a good number 3, but not a number 1 on a good team. Other than Avery, I can’t think of any other receiver on the Rams’ team that any team would have to gameplan for. Sam Bradford is going to have a long year, if he can even stay healthy.
On defense, I cannot think of one playmaker that they may have. James Lauranitis maybe? Chris Long can’t be considered a playmaker because I haven’t heard his name called since he got drafted. That’s enough time wasted on the Rams’ defense.
Finally, whoever they decide on to kick field goals may be busy because I don’t see many touchdowns happening in the Lou this year.

San Francisco 49ers
This team is by far the toughest team in the division. Coach Mike Singletary won’t settle for less than than. On offense, you have weapons like Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis and u sprinkle in some Ted Ginn as well. The key to this season for the 49ers on offense is Alex Smith. The team will be effective running the football, but for them to take the next step as an offense, Smith will need to step up or get ready to step out after this year.
On defense, the 49ers will continue to play a tough, physical brand of defense led by Patrick Willis. This unit still has room to grow in pass coverage, as Nate Clements get worse by the day. Their success depends on the success of the offense. If the offense has a lot of 3-and-outs, then this will be a long season for the 49ers on defense.
On special teams, Ted Ginn should be electric here. Look for big plays in the return game. There is the possibility that there could be a lot of field goals again though.

Seattle Seahawks
There isn’t really much to say about this team this year. On offense, this may be Matt Hasselbeck’s last time around as he has struggled with injuries and inconsistencies the last couple of years. In the backfield, there is also a conundrum as to who is the running back. I’m scared to say that it could be Julius Jones starting(YIKES). And at receiver, there is T.J. Housmanzadeh and then a bunch of injured guys( see Deon Branch) and rookies(see Golden Tate). This could (a long season on offense.
On defense, the Seahawks still have Leroy Hill, Aaron Curry and Patrick Kierney. I know that trio doesn’t sound great, but hopefully they will do something for them because they are the playmakers on this team.
On special teams, I look forward to Chris Berman and his referenses to Olindo Mare again. Other than that, nothing else to say here.

Predictions
Division Winner: San Francisco 49ers
Best Rookie: Golden Tate
Division MVP: Patrick Willis

In the end, this division is the 49ers division to win or lose.

Stale Popcorn

Is it just me or are you all out there not sold on the T.O. And Chad Ochocinco combo at receiver? I for one am not sold on them as a tandem, at least not at this time in T.O.’s career. Here are a few reasons why I don’t think this pairing will work.

First, I don’t think T.O. Can get off the ball anymore. If anyone has recently watched T.O. play, one thing has been glaringly obvious: he cannot get off of press coverage. In the last couple of years, more and more teams have used press coverage on him. Despite how physical a receiver he may appear, apparently its just a facade. The times when T.O. has been most effective is when he has been in the slot or when the opposing team has played off of him. With the Bengals and the roster of receivers that they have, they may be able to put T.O. in the slot a little bit with Antonio Bryant being there, but Bryant has to stay healthy, which has been a problem for him since he had knee surgery a year or so back when he was playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Other than Bryant, all the other receivers on the Bengals’ roster are slot receivers.

Secondly, no matter what T.O. and Ochocinco say, they both want the ball. And looking at the Bengals offense last year, their isn’t going to be many chances for both of them to get a ton of catches. The Bengals offense last year was powered by Cedric Benson, not the passing game. Sure, they may pass a little bit more this year, but I just don’t think they will become a pass-happy team and scrap the whole model for success they built. This will create for some very animated sideline conversations.

And last but not least, the numbers don’t lie. T.O.’s numbers have been declining for the last few years. Matter of fact, last year he didn’t even reach 1,000 yards receiving. You can say it was because of the system in Buffalo, but when you are the number 1 receiver on a team, you get plenty of chances and I still remember T.O. having “alligator arms” from time to time and dropping sure catches. After all, he is in the top ten in dropped passes almost every year.

In closing, I look forward to seeing how this science experiment works out. There may be some exciting times, but I think there will be more lows than highs. Maybe one of the high points will be all the attention will be on Ochocinco and T.O. and Pacman will be able to fly under the radar. Maybe that’s wishful thinking too.

Another Bad Move

I’m starting to wonder was Al Davis right. For years I have thought that Al Davis was one of the craziest, aloof owners in the NFL, but I have to give him credit on one thing he got right: the firing of Lame, I mean Lane Kiffin.

It seems like every time we start to forget about him, he finds a way for us to start talking about how terrible he really is.
First, it was him talking about Florida and the illegal things they were doing when they were doing nothing wrong. Next, it was all the secondary recruiting infractions. Then comes Lane bolting for USC and just hanging the University of Tennessee out to dry and putting Ed Orgeron up to the task of calling all the recruits that were going to Tennessee and telling them not to show up.
Just when u thought he was done bringing his negative vibes to Tennessee and to the world, he strike again, this time on the pro level. Is it just me or is the world trying to figure out what is so special about a guy who has never really been successful unless he was under Pete Carroll. And from the looks of it, they weren’t exactly doing things right back then either.
If u don’t know the story by now, Lane Kiffin called Jeff Fisher and left him a message to tell him that he was hiring Kennedy Pola to be his offensive coordinator at USC. One problem: He never asked for permission to interview him, nor did the Titans even know Pola was leaving. And to add more fuel to the fire, it is being rumored that Pola had been talking to Kiffin about the job since January. The next problem in this whole situation is that Pola has it written specifically in his contract with the Titans that he or the team or organization pursuing him has to notify the Titans organization when another job is being discussed so the Titans can give him permission to be interviewed.
The Titans are now taking USC to court over this move. Although I think they should be suing Pola and not USC, I understand the move by the Titans. I feel that somebody has to teach Lane how to follow the rules, if he even knows how to do that.
Personally, I think Lane Kiffin’s career is known more for all the trouble he stirs up then for what he get paid to do, coach. At this rate, Lane Kiffin better get all he can out of this coaching job because the way things are going, all the bad choices in judgment and with all the people he has angered and upset along the way, he may not get another chance when he fails at USC.

AgentGate

I’m sure by now many of you have heard about the big party in Miami where several NFL prospects like Wesley Saunders from South Carolina, Mario Austin from North Carolina and Marcel Dareus from Alabama attended supposedly by request of an agent or a runner for an agent. I have one question in all of this for America: Why are people so quick to judge and down the kids and the universities and not the agents?
All I see on the TV is that this kid did this and this university should of did this or did that. Some of what is being said may be true, but the agent(s) knew what they were doing too. I’m so sick of this happening and I think that the media needs to get some guts and start outing these agents for even presenting these types of things to collegiate athletes. In my opinion, the reason the agents do these things are simple: no consequences.

So, here is my proposal for how these issues should be handled now and in the future. First, the kids should be in trouble and be suspended for a length of time determined based upon the level of involvement in the issue at hand. That already is probably going to happen already. But here is where the punishment goes to the next level. The agent or agents involved should have their privileges taken away for a period of time. Six months for the first offense, a year for the next and on the third strike, they should be done! And in this punishment, they can’t have any contact with any collegiate athletes nor have their runners contact them on their behalf either.
I’m tired of the agents always getting off scott free and everyone else taking the blame. Enough of this foolishness.

Let The Madness Begin!!!!

Have you all out there been waiting on a blog that you could get on and discuss sports with the everyday man that may be the guy next door or the guy across the country? Well, sports fans, now we have it. THIS IS THE EVERYDAY MAN’S SPORTS BLOG. Every week I will be updating this blog and talking about things from who are the top teams in college and pro football to what are the issues affecting sports.  This will be a year-round blog, unlike other blogs that focus on a specific sport. I will be addressing as many sports as possible, starting with football obviously, because its about to be football season.

I will also be taking suggestions on what you would like to see on the blog as well, so also feel free to put your suggestions as to what you would like to see written or talked about on the blog and I will do my best to address that topic.

Now, to the houserules of the blog.

1) There will be no use of profanity on this blog. You should be able to express your sports views without using the “s”, “b”, “d” or “f” words on this site. You got to remember, not everyone is an adult that can see this site.

2) There will be no place for the “n” or “c” words on this blog.  I am trying to create a platform for all races and creeds and there will be none of that tolerated. PERIOD!

3) If you are not bringing an opinion on here and bringing it in general on here, then stay away. There will be some strong opinions voiced on this blog. If you feel as if you cannot bring your opinions as some of the other visitors of the blog can, then just stand on the sideline because it won’t be pretty.

4) Remember that this is just for fun. I don’t want people threatening each other and things like that on this blog. If you get offended that easily, then maybe you should not be on here.

Now that the houserules are out of the way, you can now look forward to plenty more fun discussions.

Post Navigation