Monday, November 8, 2010

Dumpsville in Dallas

First, I just wanted to mention that the reason I haven’t been posting frequently is because life has me incredibly busy. I don’t expect that to change any time soon, so while I have the time…

Here are some quick thoughts –

So as I guesstimated, Wade Phillips is out in Dallas, and Jason Garrett gets the rest of the season to see if he’s the man for the future. I think he’s going to have a tough time earning the full time gig because the team’s energy vanished when Tony Romo went out with his injury. If we’re to take the league’s MVP award literally, shouldn’t Tony Romo win it? The Cowboys quit on Wade, and I don’t see them turning things back on for the in-house promotion. Next year, if not Gruden (I’m still not convinced he’s coming back to coaching next season), my top pick would be Brian Billick. I remain a huge fan of his football intellect and think he would be a great fit for Dallas. He could certainly co-exist with Jerry Jones, and he’d bring respect and continuity to the position. I haven’t heard/read any rumors about a Billick/Dallas connection, but it would make a lot of sense to me.

Patrick Peterson is still my favorite college football prospect. You could suit him up today in the league, and he’d shut down the majority of the wideouts. A Ronde Barber replacement is needed in Tampa, but EJ Biggers has been impressive in his first full season on the active roster. If he continues his development, I’d be surprised if the Bucs spent their first selection on a corner, but he’d give the Bucs a tremendous 1-2 starting corner duo with Aqib Talib. Talk about playmaking ability.

Andrew Luck (Stanford) is easily the NCAA's top QB prospect in my mind. My favorite parts of his game are his in-play decision making and the control he has over the offense at all times. Conversely, I don’t think anyone’s stock has dropped as substantially as Jake Locker’s. Talk about a blah season by a guy projected by many to be the potential #1 overall pick in the next draft.

Justin Blackmon (WR, Oklahoma State) looks like a future top 5 pick. Assuming he gets his head on straight and doesn’t can behave off the field, there’s no limit to his potential. He exhibits tremendous body control for a guy his size, is strong with long arms, and has elite RAC skills. He makes highlight plays every week. I’m high on AJ Green (Georgia) but not much at all on Jon Baldwin, the big dude from Pittsburgh. Another guy I really like is Greg Childs (Arkansas). He’s another impressive RAC guy. There is no wasted movement in his game. He realizes his size and uses his strength and aggressiveness to get extra yards. Dwayne Harris (ECU) and Jerrel Jernigan (Troy) are a couple of lesser known talents who make a ton of plays in the open field.

Da’Quan Bowers (Clemson) was in my preseason top 3 at DE (with Adrian Clayborn (Iowa) and Robert Quinn (UNC)), and he might leap to the top of the list if he continues his dominant junior season. The beast has 12 sacks through 9 games and is exhibiting all of the skills necessary to become a prime time NFL player. Bowers has ideal size/speed for the position and has a really aggressive style of play. He uses his hands, leverage, and upper body strength well in shedding blocks. I’m also impressed with is run defending ability from the RE position. His consistent strong and quick first step stand out. Big fan of this guy.

Marcell Dareus (Alabama) would be my #1 interior guy if the Bucs needed one next year. The guy is an athletic bowling ball. His plus explosion and lateral quickness make him an elite talent. I think he has the potential to be a dominant line of scrimmage defender.

So far, I’m not terribly impressed with the potential class of linebackers (inside or out). I still think Barrett Ruud needs to be replaced for this defense to take the necessary step to the next level, but I don’t foresee a ton of options for the job next year. One guy I like is Nate Irving (NC State). He has a big motor, impressive range, and likes to attack the line of scrimmage, something we’re not getting from our current MLB. Irving missed last year due to a serious car accident, but he’s coming back strong.

Way to go Buster Posey! As a Dodger fan there are 29 other teams I’d rather see win the World Series than the Giants, but I’m obviously happy for the former Nole. Buster hit the ground running in San Francisco upon his call up; seamlessly taking over the pitching staff and establishing himself as a key piece of the middle of a championship lineup. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t win Rookie of the Year. Carlos Gonzalez made me look good with a huge second half and should be front and center in the MVP discussion. I think Joey Votto will get it, but Gonzalez should finish second at worst.


  1. I like this entry, because with a five year old and a six year old, I could read each self contained blurb before they asked me to fetch them a juicebox or turn on Lazytown.

    ‘So as I guesstimated, Wade Phillips is out in Dallas, and Jason Garrett gets the rest of the season to see if he’s the man for the future.’

    I cannot believe this is a good idea. Owner Jones needs to clean house and start anew. I never took them seriously as a contender; I thought they had a too many questions on the offensive line, and I’ve never been a believer that Tony Romo is a next level quarterback. My issue with Billick is that in the decade plus he was at Baltimore, he never did was his resume’ suggested he would do; develop a quarterback and put together a good offensive team. Much like our beloved Bucs, the Ravens probably left a second Super Bowl victory on the field between 1999-2004.

    ‘Patrick Peterson is still my favorite college football prospect.’

    A couple of times this year, the networks have run replays of him isolated on a receiver. My goodness, he isn’t having to try very hard to blanket guys, and the guys are generally the big guns on solid teams in the best conference in the country.

    ‘Andrew Luck (Stanford) is easily the NCAA's top QB prospect in my mind.’

    The best quarterback prospect in the country is whoever is playing FSU this week. They’re making everyone look like Philip Rivers right about now. On a scale of 1 – 10, the Jake Locker plummet ranks about an 8.5. Jevon Snead was a 13.

    ‘I still think Barrett Ruud needs to be replaced for this defense to take the necessary step to the next level, but I don’t foresee a ton of options for the job next year.’

    See, this is really depressing, because while I am happy to see the Bucs win games, we are situating ourselves somewhere between picks 14-18 in April, and that’s way too deep for Peterson or Bowers, but still where you can get a topnotch inside linebacker. AND NOW YOU TELL ME THERE IS NONE TO BE HAD! Mark my words: best available guard/center.

    Re the Bucs, I did my best to spin things as positively as I could because, well, I am a fan, when it developed that McCoy was there for us and Suh was not. Now, Mr. McCoy will probably end up being pretty good, but, we all will have to wait to find out. I do not think we have to wait to find out if Suh is going to be o.k. He already looks like the best defensive tackle in football and maybe one of the NFL’s ten best defensive players. Crikey! WE HAD TO WIN A FEW MEANINGLESS GAMES IN 2009??! FOR WHAT?!?!


  2. Tell me about it. I’m barely able to spend any time doing this stuff nowadays with two of my own to keep track of.

    There are a few similarities between the strong Ravens and Bucs eras – dominant defenses, do enough not to mess up QBs, and offensive-minded head coaches who weren’t able to obtain/create franchise QBs are the first three things that stand out to me. The Cowboys are playing better football for Jason Garrett, but his two wins aren’t extremely impressive upon further review. The Giants looked horrible last night against the Eagles, and Detroit is still a bad football team led by a backup QB and a rookie RB with turf toe problems. Garrett may still earn the full time gig, but I wouldn’t base it on being 2-0 so far.

    Patrick Peterson is a beast who, like Suh, will make an instant impact as a rookie. Sadly, he’ll be long gone before the surging Bucs make their first pick.

    Ha ha to the FSU-QB thing. That theory will be put to the test this weekend as John “my gawd he’s awful” Brantley comes to town. I think very little of his abilities to improvise and elevate the play of those around him, so losing to a shoddy Gator offense led by him would be disappointing to say the least. Locker’s had a horrible year; extremely inconsistent and looks like he couldn’t give less of a damn about it. He’s nowhere near the top of the draft IMO and looks like he’ll be lucky to go in the first 32 picks.

    The Oklahoma boys – Trey Lewis and Jeremy Beal – are among the best LBs likely to declare, and while Mark Herzlich is a tremendous story, I don’t think he should necessarily be on the radar. You mention G/C, but I wouldn’t be shocked if a guy like Anthony Castonzo (OT, Herzlich’s BC teammate) gets consideration if the Bucs pick in the 20-25 range as it looks as if they will. A lot will depend on how they address Trueblood’s situation and whether or not Donald Penn has become too massive to remain at LT. Rodney Hudson, Mike Pouncey, and Stefan Wisniewski (C, Penn State) appear to be the top of the interior line class, and they’re on my radar given the Bucs’ situation there. At DE, Bowers, Quinn, Clayborn, and Kerrigan should be gone before the Bucs pick, so JJ Watt (Utah) is someone who might be in Tampa’s range.

    Aside from the unobtainable Peterson and Bowers, I’m not in love with any of the likely-to-be-drafted talent.

    The Suh/McCoy fallout (so far) has been a bitter pill to swallow. Imagine how much better this 7-3 team would be up front with the eventual defensive ROY lining up in the middle instead of Gerald “got my first sack 10 games in, woohoo!” McCoy. I’m not writing McCoy off, but it seems obvious that those who saw Suh the clear #1 were right.

    I love the possible talent pool of receivers (Green, Blackmon, Floyd, Jones, Broyles, Childs, Jernigan, Harris, etc.), but does anyone really expect them to spend an early pick on the position? Maybe next year if Alshon Jeffrey comes out. Wow! For what it’s worth, he’s my #3 receiver in all of college football, behind AJ Green and Justin Blackmon. Right now I’m looking for the Bucs to emerge from R1 with a pass rusher, MLB, FS, or offensive lineman. The problem, as I see it, is that the OL, as I project it, is the only area with real value where the Bucs are likely to be picking (20-25).

    I’ll try to get some more draft stuff up soon.