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I would have guessed the '85 Bears, and the 2000 Ravens. Those two were the best I ever saw. I think the Ravens didn't make the list because they had a few games mid-season where they got beat without question, and they finished 11-5. But in December and January, they were unbeatable. That 85 Bears team was 15-1 and the only team to do anything to them was the Marino/Schula Dolphins, other than that, they were unstoppable.

The Steel Curtain definitely had some of the best defenses ever. But so did the 1973 Dolphins "no name" defense, that people forget about, and were undefeated.

Not much info on Skins from here. There are four NFL teams between my house and them (NYG, NYJ, Eagles, Ravens). I'm sandwiched between Giants and Patriots territory. Two teams I don't like. Ugh. Don't like the Jets either, but they are entertaining in their dysfunction. Being a fan of mostly west coast teams, people out here find me rather neutral, which is good.

That Bountygate thing has gotten real ugly. Vilma is a nut if he really thinks he can just point out paradoxes between the report and video tape and that will somehow clear him. He's lucky he wasn't suspended indefinitely. A lot of these players and coaches should follow Greg Williams; just accept it, apologize, and shut up. Opening your trap and denying it is only going to make you look like an idiot and make it worse.
 
If I was on the east coast it would be hard for me to pick a favorite team, but right now I'd have to pick the Skins. Then the Falcons and Titans, which are not really true east coasters, but being a west coaster that seems close enough for me.

Vilma is denying bounties existed, but Saints have already owned up to their existence. Vilma now is just damaging the credibility of his case, which is based on the fact the players were not allowed due process to be heard. But this bounty thing is not really a legal matter that belongs in a court of law. This whole bounty thing is a business dealing, so I don't see how he has any legs to stand on. The ledger is going to make Vilma's case harder to win.

But yeah, he should just clamp it and accept it.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Should have been Ravens vs 49ers, or vs Bounty Hunters, I mean Saints.

Wonder if I can get tickets to a Ravens game? It's a little over 3 hours from here.
Absolutely! 'Should have' been the Ravens.

I'm delighted to hear that I will be getting more informed input about my old, original team, as well as about my more recently (four years ago) 'adopted' Ravens. My gf lives half an hour north of 'Balmer', her entire extended family are Ravens fans, so I kind of adopted them, especially since they were a lot more fun to watch than the Skins.

Let me know well in advance what games you might be interested in Alpe, I may be able to help with a Ravens ticket.;)

What's the deal with the officials? They're refusing to sign a deal and may all be fired to be replaced by 'newly trained' officials?:confused: Sounds like a recipe for potential disaster, replays notwithstanding. Thoughts?
 
Alpe d'Huez said:
Should have been Ravens vs 49ers, or vs Bounty Hunters, I mean Saints.

Wonder if I can get tickets to a Ravens game? It's a little over 3 hours from here.
I'd do it more than once... see Ravens play that is. Waterfront area nearby the stadium has a lot of attractions... museums/aquariums, USS Constellation (rebuilt Civil War frigate), WWII Submarine USS Torsk (afloat), plus there are some other naval ships docked in the area within walking distance, all available for tours. And then Gettysburg is not that far off in Penn.
 
Amsterhammer said:
What's the deal with the officials? They're refusing to sign a deal and may all be fired to be replaced by 'newly trained' officials?:confused: Sounds like a recipe for potential disaster, replays notwithstanding. Thoughts?
The officials now feel they deserve more pay because they are the first responders when it comes to player health in game situations... you know, helping prevent concussions by enforcing the rules related to that. Here's a short summary of the situation: http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8006771/nfl-hire-replacement-officials-talks-stall
This includes some data on salaries earned by the officials. They seem pretty well compensated. It seems they are just trying to take advantage of certain rules to leverage pay increases. I'm not sure I buy that arguement.

But the breakdown in talks between the refs association and league may have resulted because the refs retracted certain contractual concessions that they previously agreed to. I don't know if the refs actually retracted any prior verbal agreements or not, but that is what's being said.
 
Today the refs were saying they'd be willing to "play" through it, and it's not a strike. Well, maybe.

About a decade ago the NFL used scab refs, with poor, though not disastrous results. Mostly using some college refs, but several of them refused to break the picket line, and the same will happen here. When that strike ended, many NFL players were pleased to see "their guys" back on the job, and supported the referees union.
 
If refs played through it that would be refreshing.

Just heard another sticking point... the refs want a pension or 401K plan. I don't know what they have now, but it sounds like nothing at all.

I also heard one good argument for their case. That being they may now be called upon to make a judgement call about whether or not a player has been concussed on a play. In other words, make some sort of medical judgement on the field about whether or not a player can continue or must head to the sideline. That would be asking them to play the role or doctor or trainer. Often a concussed player does not show outward signs other than what could be recognized by people on the field... like the guy not being able to remember his blocking assignment, or appearance of their pupils. Other than that, the affected player may look and act otherwise normal. So if the refs are going to be asked to play that role as well, let's put it this way, it is asking them to do more than what they are currently doing, and to perform that sort of medical judgement will require some extra training to be able to recognize the symptoms. They probably deserve something extra for taking on that role in addition to officiating games.

OTA news:
- Browns Weeden took about 70% of the snaps with the first team offense today. And no mention of any injury or explanation for this that McCoy is injured (I take that omission to mean Colt is not injured). I would not read too much in to that yet though. More likely this is just part of the process of sorting out the QB situation.
 
Jamison Hensley, columnist for ESPN wrote about Weeden:

"...after 40 days and 10 practices with the Browns, there is one assessment of Weeden that everyone can agree upon: The rookie first-round pick has the look of a franchise quarterback.

It only takes one practice to see how Weeden has the size and the arm to live up to that billing. The building excitement with Weeden comes from the fact that his potential extends beyond physical gifts.

He has the comfort level to tell quarterbacks coach Mark Whipple about a couple of red-zone plays he "wasn't a big fan of." He has the courage to throw a deep touchdown pass to Travis Benjamin after nearly getting picked off."


Weeden apparently also won over some fans after being recently seen wearing a Cleveland Indians shirt (remember that Weeden played minor league baseball for 5 years).

Problem is, the Browns have plenty more problems than QB. As we discussed leading up to the draft, a QB can only do so much. I think Weeden can play, and this assessment is probably correct, but Browns fans would be lucky to see a 7-9 season I would think, especially in that tough AFC North.
 
Yes, everything I have read about Weeden - accuracy & arm strength - indicates he has the upper hand now and it looks to me like it is his job to lose.

I am curious about how BSU's Kellen Moore (undrafted free agent) is doing in the Motor City. Any news on him?
 
One of the more striking claims made in that Bleacer report was this:
Lions coach Jim Schwartz isn't interested in handing Moore a spot and said as much following rookie minicamp where Moore didn't exactly look like he would be earning one. Moore misfired on numerous throws and (at times) was outplayed by Arena League-tryout R.J. Archer.
But they at least acknowledged his intelligence, which could earn him a roster spot at least until someone with more ability becomes available. Like this summer when cuts are made. Maybe even Tavaris Jackson. But I think if TJax goes somewhere else it will probably be to a team in more of a dire need for a starting QB.

Slap me if you want for changing to this sport, but I must say the NBA MVP finally showed up tonight and played like a true MVP in the mold of Jordan. I have never seen LJ more focused. The only difference between LJ tonight and the Jordan of old is consistency. Jordan was always putting out that kind of performance. If LJ can stay focused like that all the time we might see someone one the same level or planet as MJ was.

On perpetuating posts: we're sportsaholic dolts, remember? :)
 
Who's LJ? Meanwhile, back to the sport that matters...

I'll be really surprised if Weeden doesn't start at least 10 games this season. But the Browns still have many problems, and RG3 should end up ROY.

The Patriots cut Chad Ochocinco, which is no surprise. They should have signed Randy Moss, who apparently is looking quite fit and good in SF. Pats also signed Gronk to a new deal.

Santonio Holmes apparently picked up right where he left off in NYJ as a petulant problem child.

Good article by Jon Siddoway on why accuracy is the most important trait among QB's.
 
Alpe d'Huez said:
Who's LJ? Meanwhile, back to the sport that matters...

I'll be really surprised if Weeden doesn't start at least 10 games this season. But the Browns still have many problems, and RG3 should end up ROY.

The Patriots cut Chad Ochocinco, which is no surprise. They should have signed Randy Moss, who apparently is looking quite fit and good in SF. Pats also signed Gronk to a new deal.

Santonio Holmes apparently picked up right where he left off in NYJ as a petulant problem child.

Good article by Jon Siddoway on why accuracy is the most important trait among QB's.
LOL... LJ? Agree NBA <<<<<< NFL.

ROY could very well go to a QB this year, and RG3 appears to have the inside track on that. Especially after these comments posted in this report (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1210305-washington-redskins-why-robert-griffin-iii-will-be-2013-nfl-rookie-of-the-year?search_query=nfl rookie of the year):
Griffin is already an upgrade from Grossman. The Redskins have already named him the starting quarterback for next season and he is impressing his veteran teammates with his knowledge of the playbook and leadership qualities.
But Weeden (and Luck too) have a chance as well. Pre-draft I thought Weeden had all the tools, but that his biggest detractor to being drafted higher was his age. Now that the draft is over, nobody talks much about his age because it is a win now league. The edge that Weeden has over RG3 for ROY honors is a double edge sword. He's on a team that is not as good as the Skins, and he's on a team that is not as good as the Skins. It will be more difficult for him to be named the ROY being on a team that is not as good. But if he puts up numbers that are equal to RG3's, then who do you vote for to be ROY? Because performing as well on an inferior team has to count for something. The progression of all 3 of these QBs will be interesting to watch next season.

OhNoCinco and Sandbagger Holmes are two players I would not keep around or bring in. If not careful, TO might have some new company.

Speaking of sad stories, here's one that started out bad but is starting to turn out much differently for Brian Banks, who was recently exonerated for being falsely accused and incarcerated for kidnapping/rape charges. http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/brian-banks-offered-minicamp-tryout-seattle-seahawks-pete-carroll-060712
 
I heard about that Brian Banks story.

Your ROY comparison is true. Cam Newton had a slightly better year than Andy Dalton, better numbers, but less wins. But he was on a weaker team, and that stood out.

RG3 is sometimes compared to Michael Vick. But former Eagle and Vick teammate says no, and that RG3 is already ahead of Vick. I would also like the comparison to stop because of personality and off-field issues. RG3 was an honors student who graduated in 3 years, was considering law school, and a former class president. We all know about Vick's past. Even on the field I don't see them as the same. RG3 simply won't run that much. There are plenty of other comparisons to make. And it always bothers me when people do these match-ups and race is a parameter. RG3 is arguably as close to Matthew Stafford or Drew Brees in playing style as Michael Vick. Arguably.
 
Besides personality/off field issues, it is like comparing apples and oranges when comparing a vet to a rookie. So, yeah, I agree there.

OK, so we have a couple ROY (offensive) predictions in the books here (RG3, Weeden, Luck). Any predictions on the NFL 2012 defensive ROY? Broncs LB Von Miller took that award for 2011. Below are all of the 2012 first round draft picks:

1st ROUND DRAFT PICKS (DEFENSE ONLY):
6. Morris Claiborne DB Boys
7. Mark Barron S Bucs
9. Luke Kuechly ILB Panthas
10 Stephon Gilmore DB Bills
11 Dontari Poe DT Chiefs
12 Fletcher Cox DT Eagles
14 Michael Brockers DT Rams
15 Bruce Irvin OLB Hawks
16 Quinton Coples DE Jets
17 Dre Kirkpatrick DB Bengals
18 Melvin Ingram DE Bolts
19 Shea McClellin OLB Bears
21 Chandler Jones DE Pats
25 Dont'a Hightower ILB Pats
26 Whitney Mercilus DE Texans
28 Nick Perry DE Pack
29 Harrison Smith S Vikes

2nd ROUND DRAFT PICKS (DEFENSE ONLY):
3. Courtney Upshaw DE Raves
4. Derek Wolfe DT Broncs
6. Andre Branch DE Jags
7. Janoris Jenkins DB Rams
14 Mychal Kendricks ILB Eagles
15 Bobby Wagner ILB Hawks
16 Tavon Wilson S Pats
17 Kendall Reyes DT Bolts
19 Jerel Worthy DT Pack
20 Zach Brown OLB Titans
21 Devon Still DT Bengals
26 Lavonte David OLB Bucs
27 Vinny Curry DE Eagles
30 Casey Hayward DB Pack

My picks I put in bold blue text. Maybe the Pats Hightower could take it. But my main picks are based on potential and teams that have a chance to improve on last years record... meaning those guys could have a real impact and chance to get noticed. If I had to pick just one guy, I'd say the Cowboys Claiborne because he is an elite athlete who will really upgrade a bad secondary. My dark horse picks are the Hawks Irvin and Wagner. Wagner is an athlete and will get a real chance.
 
About every third day on NFL.com or Bleacher Report there is something on RG3, and pretty much everything said about the guy is quite positive, or very encouraging for beloved patriot fans.

As far as defensive ROY, I think either Claiborne, Mark Barron in TB, or Stephon Gilmore in Buffalo. The reason being because the teams they play for will see an upgrade in defense and playing overall (or they should). Kuechly, Hightower, Upshaw and Wagner are possibilities. They all showed versatile athletic talent, but how good they'll be on their teams remains to be seen. I'll be really surprised if Irvin ends up ROY. He's going to be used in specialty situations as a blitzer, and 2nd and long or 3rd and long plays. He could make some hi-light reels, and I like his attitude, but ROY is a stretch to me. Though the Hawks may have gotten a steal in Wagner, as they were looking at Kuechly, who may have gone too early, when Wagner may have dropped too far.

The fact you hi-lighted two Seahawks was just a co-incidence, right? ;)
 
A few more items:

Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin said there's no clear-cut difference in camp between Tjax and Matt Flynn. But is there? Baldwin is reportedly friends with Jackson. And this report from Pro Football Insiderseems to indicate Flynn is headed to be the starter once he gets the playbook and rapport with receivers down, and is already looking better than Jackson (or Russell)

The Baltimore Ravens have to have one of the best owners in sports in Steve Bisciotti. While there have been talks that Terrell Suggs could lose his $4.7m salary if he hurt his Achilles playing basketball instead of running NFL drills, Bssciotti says he doesn't care and is paying Suggs anyway because it would send a terrible message, and hurt morale.

"I would be more upset if he hurt himself sleeping on the couch all offseason...If our players are engaged in activities that get them in shape, then I'm proud of them for doing it...I'm proud of Terrell. It gets pretty boring in the weight room. He wasn't kite boarding. If he's playing basketball, that's great."

What remains to be seen is when Suggs comes back. He thinks by Thanksgiving, but some experts say January is on the early side. Even a partial Achilles tear takes months to heal. But if he can come back healthy in January, and the Ravens are playing well, he could make a huge impact for them right when they need him. Having an owner like Bisciotti giving his support also has to give a nice mental boost which should help his morale as well.

President Obama gave the Giants a greeting on the White House lawn, and Tom Couglin took a swipe at Congress when he spoke.

Ben Roethlisberger became a father today. I know, seems odd that he found a woman to marry him, but he did and now he's a dad. Hopefully for Steerler fans maybe he can now keep his life in order. This could be a pivotal year for the team. They have some older players, but also filled draft needs well.

Finally, for you beloved patriot fans, here's a photo/tweet on RG3's arm strength burning holes in receivers gloves (Kirk Cousins too, but this is about RG3, so...)

You guys have to be serious geeks if you're following the links I'm giving. I mean, really. This is a cycling forum, in the football off season.
 
Alpe d'Huez said:
The fact you hi-lighted two Seahawks was just a co-incidence, right? ;)
Ha! I love that remark. TBH, it is not coincedence. Part of the reason I tagged them is that they really might surprise and outshine everyone's expectations. Except the expectations of Hawk talent scouts and draft team. Hawks have had horrible draft grades and have been criticized most of the last 3 years. Example, their 2011 first and second rounders were called reaches. But by mid-season following the player lockout those two were starting to click (Moffit & Carpenter). That is impressive considering it was a short preseason. Irvin this year was considered a reach because of off field issues, which noone really understood. Anyway, it is just a prediction. We'll see what really happens. But I like those guys you mentioned too.
 

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