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Not going to happen. People were saying the same thing back in the mid-80's when Joe Gibbs 'Skins were winning games with nice guy Joe Theisman, while the Cowboys stunk. And they were saying it again when the Packers were really good with Favre that the Packers were really America's team. But it's not going to happen, at least as far as "branding" goes. The Cowboys have that monicker, and it's going to always be that way.

Bleacher Report has a good write-up on how rookies are performing at OTA's. Irvin is on their top list. And we both left out Trent Richardson off our list of potential ROY. As I said when he was drafted, this guy will play well in the NFL. He has an Emmit Smith like build. He also can run, catch the ball, and pass block already. Something NFL backs need to do. Maybe he went too high in the draft, but maybe not.
I can still hope for a moniker change. Maybe the Texans will have enough success to sway the south away from Dallas. But there are still a lot of die hard Dallas fans outside Texas. I never liked the America's Team thing anyway, which is why I would like to see a shift. It's like how the Lions always played on Turkey Day, but at least now the Lions deserve to.

I agree Trent should be very good. I don't know if being on the Browns will help or hurt though. How is their O-Line? If he can get blocking then he definately will be in the mix for ROY. Irvin's biggest detractor will be if he is just used as a situational player who does not get enough reps. Nice summary there on the Bleacher Report.
I did notice the Sacramento Kings won the Stanley Cup, even though they had a losing record (as Foxxy pointed out). That's like the 3rd time in major league sports history that it's happened. And we thought the NY Giants were a lucky, or a weak team to win with their 9-7 season.

Meanwhile, I saw a poster of Tom Brady in town yesterday, and I can't wait for football. Just over six weeks until the pre-season, and I'm ready. :)
You got to love the NFL. About an 8 month off season that the draft, draft buildup, and this forum manages to cut down to about 1 month.:)

A couple threads ago we were talking about how we forgot to mention Trent Richardson for the ROY. I discovered later that Jim Brown thinks Trent is just a very ordinary running back. ( There was some logic to Brown's comments when he suggested that
...if Richardson couldn't start ahead of New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram at Alabama (another guy that bores him), there's no reason to believe he'll be a better player than Ingram in the pros.
I'd tend to believe that assessment a bit more if it wasn't the chippy ex-Brown Brown making that comment about the newest Brown RB.

Two words for Trent's success or failure: O-Line. Browns had some injury problems on the OL in 2011, but return 4 starters including 1 Pro Bowler (Joe Thomas). They have added depth in the offseason. ( Still, Browns have some question marks on the OL according to the Bleacher Report ( The keys for them: stay healthy and get improvement out of the younger starters on the OL. The QB play should be improved, which should help the running game.

We will get to see for ourselves soon enough though.
Bleacher Report posted the latest power rankings (
32. Vikes
31. Colts
30. Fins
29. Browns
28. Cards
27. Jags
26. Rams
25. Titans
24. Raiders
23. Skins
22. Bucs
21. Chargers
20. Hawks
19. Bills
18. Falcons
17. Chiefs
16. Raves
15. Panthers
14. Jets
13. Broncos
12. Bengals
11. Bears
10. Boys
9. Lions
8. Texans
7. Saints
6. Niners
5. Steelers
4. Giants
3. Packers
2. Eagles
1. Pats
No disagreement on many teams, and I can see why the Pats are on the top of the list. I mean, had Welker caught the ball...

Here are teams I think are too high or too low:

2. Eagles - Too high. I don't have that much faith in Vick. I'd rank them about 10. They should win the NFC East, maybe.

4. NYG - Too high. Around 12 I'd say.

7. Saints - Wow. Could belong around 4, could belong at 17. Will be an interesting season, that's for sure.

Jets, Panthers, Raiders all ranked too high.

Ravens (despite losing players), Cardinals, Chiefs too low.

11. Bears - A bit low. Should be around 9. I really like their depth and what they did in the off season, as noted in the article.

13. Denver - Too low. Belong around 10. But Manning is a question mark, no?
Jun 22, 2009
As a mere amateur, I find that ranking list both bizarre and incomprehensible.:confused:

Blissful as I am in my ignorance of the intricacies of statto world, I will continue to cling to the dream that RG3 will lead the Skins out of the wilderness this season. I don't actually expect to make it all the way to the promised land, but it would already be a huge bonus if we stopped being the NFC East whipping boys and laughing stock.

I'm kind of thinking 'surprise' like the Nats are continuing to surprise all the pundits this season. Absolutely no one saw this Nats season coming. I apologize for even mentioning the 'other' sport in this hallowed topic.;)
@Amsterhammer: in regard to :confused:, if you are referring to why I started at #32 is because it was a countdown from worst to best... like the Bleacher Report article. :)

@Alpe: I agree with most of your tweaks, or at least in general. Here's my spin:

1...Pack... 2 ...Lost at the wrong time
2...Pats... -1 ...Should not have made the SB
3...No-Saints.. 4 ...Not enough credit
4...Niners ... 2 ...Tough D and good all around. QB?
5...Steelers... 0
6...Giants... -2 ...Still have the best clutch QB in Eli
7...d'Lions... 2 ...positions 7-12 really up for grabs
8...Texans... 0
9...da Bears... 2 ...Cutler improving
10...Raves... 6 ...Is it Flacco or Flake-o. Still a good bunch
11...Broncos... 2 ...Won't take long to see if #11 is too low
12...Falcons... 6
13...Bengals... -1
14...Eagles... -12 ...head cases
15...Redskins... 8 ...ROY to the rescue
16...Panthers... -1
17...C-Boys... -7 ...I'm not sold on them at all (R-o-m-o)
18...Chiefs... -1
19...B-Bills... 0
20...Hawks... 0 ...too many new faces, not enough time
21...Bucs... 1 ...could be scary with off season pick-ups
22...Bolts... -1
23...Jets... -9 ...major head case Holmes
24...Colts... 7 ...may be bit too high? May need bit more luck
25...Titans... 0
26...Cards... 2
27...J-Jags... 0
28...Browns... 1 ...could grade out better depending
29...Rams... -3
30...Fins... 0
31...Raid?rs... -7 ...Why replace the coach? Young Davis ASO'd it.
32...Vikes... 0

that was one interesting Pats tactic near the end of regulation time in the SB. Pats did not want to play D so the Giants could not run down the clock, and then give the Brady Bunch another shot at it.
Jun 22, 2009
on3m@n@rmy said:
@Amsterhammer: in regard to :confused:, if you are referring to why I started at #32 is because it was a countdown from worst to best... like the Bleacher Report article. :)
No 3man, I understood why the list looked as it did, I just found some of the placings incomprehensible. Your changes make more sense!:)

I found the following little piece from the Washington Post mildly amusing.

Can the Redskins win the NFC East? Hell if I know. I mean, they haven’t done it much lately, nor have they won a heck of a lot of games in recent seasons. They have a rookie quarterback who’s never thrown a real pass, who will be relying on a couple receivers who have never worn a Redskins uniform in a real game.

On the other hand, strange things happen every NFL season. Plus, it’s mid-June. Space goblins could capture Michael Vick, Eli Manning and Tony Romo next month and replace them with pickled turnips. (Yes, it’s possible a pickled turnip would be more clutch than Romo, but that’s a different argument.)

In other words, can the Redskins win the NFC East? There are only two real answers: “I mean, I guess so,” or “That’s a clown question, bro.”

But it’s June, and the NFL Network needs content, so they asked Warren Sapp and Heath Evans if the Redskins could win the NFC East.

“Oh, they will definitely compete, but they will not contend, not at all,” Sapp said, in much the same way you might tell your kid that he can definitely have dessert, but he can’t have anything to eat after dinner, not at all.

“They’ll compete, but they won’t contend,” Sapp later said, in case you missed it.

And believe it or not, he made a better case than Evans.

“I say not a chance, and here’s why,” Evans said. “When you’re talking about Mike Shanahan as a head coach, here’s what you’ve got. As a head coach, two Super Bowl wins. As an offensive coordinator, ’94 with the Niners, another Super Bowl. These coaches get stuck in their ways. They want to do things their way.”

(And thus, the proof of Shanahan’s deficiencies is the fact that he’s won three Super Bowls.)

“When you look at the success that other young quarterbacks have had — look at Tebow last year, look at Cam Newton — their offensive coordinators made them comfortable,” Evans went on. “My time with Tom Brady, my time with Drew Brees, Sean Payton and Bill Belichick, what do you like, what don’t you like? What do you want to do and won’t don’t you want to do? That is huge.

“And so when you talk about the comfortability [sic] factor for a young quarterback, this offense, the way Mike Shanahan is coaching offense, it’s not gonna be conducive to RGIII being comfortable down-in and down-out,” Evans decided, based apparently on the ratio of the temperature in Topeka to the weight of the strawberry-rhubarb pies at a supermarket in Fort Wayne.

“Cam Newton, Tim Tebow. These guys got comfortable. And then if you look at the NFC East,” he went on, “think about the pass rushers this young man’s gonna be facing. Every team in that division has two guys he’s gonna be running from his life (sic). Maybe three....This is a tough, tough division.”

And so there you go. Not a chance.
Gotcha. Well, I think Sapp has the right idea. They will definately be competitive... especailly against the Eagles and Boys. I actually look for them to do better than the Boys. But I think the Giants will take the NFC East. Sapp may think the Boys will take the East. But whoever ends up taking the East is probobaly who Sapp thinks the Skins cannot contend with. I actually do not prefer words like compete and contend because they can kind of overlap, or are a bit vague. I prefer an order of who's going to finish 1-2-3-4. And then discuss from that point of view. In the NFC East, my ranking has the Eagles, Skins, and Boys so close together that during the season anything could happen... just like last year the Boys had the inside track to win the division but choked and the Giants just made a strong run at the end.

edit: p.s. - Unlike Foxxy, who probably would study last year's stats before making a ranking, I did mine more by gut feeling.
Good list Onmy3m. I agree more with you than BR's expert.

Love that other article. That was great. The reality is, we don't know. It's often easy to look at the creme of the crop and pick general winners, and teams that will stink. But to look at the big fat middle and say things like "Andy Dalton will lead the Bengals into the playoffs..." if you had said that last year at this time, people would have laughed at you. So maybe RG3 can do that in DC?

As to the Nats and MLB, there were several people who did say they would contend, because they have a terrific pitching staff. Will they be there in September? Who knows. Philly can't play this bad, but with so many injuries...
Well, thankaveramuch.

Will the Browns move McCoy or Wallace? Earliest rumors were that McCoy's time is getting short and that the Browns are shopping McCoy around. Not sure if it was ESPN or Bleacher that named some teams they felt would be a good fit for McCoy, and the 3 teams they named all had solid starters at the QB position... the Packers was one of the teams, but I forgot the other two. The Giants may have been one of the others. Anyway, one Bleacher analyst seems to think the Browns should move Wallace, not McCoy. And I think she's right. The Browns will not get much in return for McCoy, and I don't think McCoy is starting material just yet. He would be much better off at a team with an established solid veteran like backup to Rogers in Green Bay. However, the Browns are never going to use Wallace. At least not enough to justify keeping him. The question is, if both Wallace and McCoy were backups on the Browns who would they start if Weeden goes down with injury? I'd guess McCoy. If the Browns end up moving McCoy it could be more a matter of cap space than anything else.
Just wanted to give thanks that the Godawful NBA season is finally over. Even with it's lockout, the thing went on forever and ever. Now airwaves and web bandwidth can stop being wasted so the world can concentrate on meaningful sports. And just in time for the most meaningful sport of all that starts in just six short weeks.
Not to mention the Olympics and Tour that start in a few weeks.

In hindsight, to me, this past NBA season was a failure in one way. I've often said the NBA gets lackluster play out of many players throughout the early to middle part of the regular season because they play too many games and fatigue is a factor. Only near the end of the season do we see real passion by players of teams who are in contention. The disappointment to me is the shortened season did nothing to correct that. Once the shortened season started they played the same number of games per week and got the same lackluster play. The only way to correct that is to reduce the number of games per week. But I'd be a fool to think that will happen anytime soon because that would mean the league and teams would face reduced revenues. And they, particularly David Stern and the owners, are not going to accept that. The league and Stern have to come to grips with whether or not they want full season fans, or are just happy with playoff fans. Right now, I am just a playoff fan, and a poor one at that if measured by time watching games. I am a complete non-fan when it comes to the regular season. If increasing fan base is important to Stern & Co., then maybe a reduction in the number of games played per week could happen. But I'm not holding my breath.
Well, the NBA did actually have a somewhat compressed schedule, but many teams still had normal weeks, so your theory holds true. It really is practically a year-round sport, where there's an extremely long "regular season" followed by an extremely long "playoff season". And yes, it's all for money.

Back to the NFL... Here's a good article from Bleacher Report on current players chances of ending up in the Hall of Fame. Three names immediately came to my mind that are absolute 100% locks first ballot, no question. I'll let you guess before looking. (Hint: Michael Vick and Eli Manning aren't either of them).
Jun 22, 2009
Cool link, Alpe!

Considering that my level of knowledge is pretty superficial, certainly compared to you lot, I was quite pleased to see that the first three were the same names I came up with after thinking about it for 10 seconds.:D
Brady, Peyton, and Lewis immediately came to my mind, in that order. Complete, no-brainer 1st ballot locks.

I have to say, I completely agree with their list. I wouldn't really push anyone up or down very much on there. I also liked their "on track" section. I mean, at the rate he's going Aaron Rogers is going to get there. But he just turned 28, and is heading into the prime of his career. Same with Patrick Willis. Though neither have the numbers now, it seems a near certainty.
Okay, here's one for you. Bleacher's top 6 teams to surprise in 2012. These are a list of teams on the rise.
- Bills
- Seahawks
- Eagles
- Chiefs
- Bucs
- Cowboys
On the flip side, there could be a list of teams who could surprise in a negative way (e.g. do much worse than expected). Kind of like the Eagles and Jets of 2011. Even then, Phil and the Jets were really not all that bad at 8-8. But if you could pick a team to underperform in 2012, who would that be? I am not talking about teams who are expected to fail, like Miami and the Vikes, but teams who really fall off the expectations for them.
- Bears (may not do as well as expected. Why? I dunno for sure. Just a hunch.)
- Denver (not the plethora of receivers like Peyton had in Indy)
- Bengals (Dalton's sophomore slump?)
- Saints? (you know why)
Bills - Much improved on defense...right?
Seahawks - Defense could be quite good. Healthy OL. Matt Flynn?
Eagles - Should finish about 11-5, but can Vick lead them in big games?
Chiefs - Talent across the board. But Matt Cassell?
Bucs - Improved at several spots, new coach. But Josh Freeman?
Cowboys - Don't buy it. I see 9-7 and missing playoffs.

Bears - Good off-season. But still have to deal with Packers and Lions.
Denver - Solid D, but Manning still a big question mark.
Bengals - Could have a sophomore slump.
Saints - Could finish 11-5, or 8-8.

Others who may slip.

49ers - Alex Smith's new receivers mean..?
Ravens - Every year they bounce back from injuries and losing players. This year too?
Giants - Post SB slump. I see them finishing about 10-6, maybe.
Houston - Is their D that good? Was Schaub the reason why lost down the stretch?
Detroit - Didn't improve much on defense in off-season. Or did the players they have just need to mature?
Pittsburgh - Everyone says they filled holes in the off season. But they still have several aging players.
Jun 22, 2009
I notice that both the Skins and Ravens are conspicuously absent from both of your lists. What fortunes do the stars foretell for them?:confused:
Amsterhammer said:
I notice that both the Skins and Ravens are conspicuously absent from both of your lists. What fortunes do the stars foretell for them?:confused:
I'll take a shot at this. First, those lists were "surprise" teams, meaning teams that could do much better or worse than expected. Doing much better than expected is different than teams on the rise or already at a pretty high level.

That said, the Ravens are a team already at a pretty high level. Also, I really don't expect them to fall off much. They should be able to continue performing like they have, and in fact, could do much better. If not for a few plays that they'd like to have back last year, they could have done much better in 2011. So the Raves don't really fit those lists.

I view the Skins as a team on the rise. Certainly, nobody expects them to decline enough to make the list of "surprise" failures. A few posts ago we had them finishing the 2012 season at roughly upper-middle of the pack in the NFL, and still not quite ready to crack the list of elite teams. They are not expected to do much better. BUT, if they go 13-3 and make it deep into the playoffs that would be a surprise, but probably not as much of a surprise as one of the 6 other teams selected for the "good" surprise list. Each of those 6 teams has some bigger question marks than the Skins, especially at QB. Just look at Alpe's post of team shortcomings:
Bills - Much improved on defense...right?
Seahawks - Defense could be quite good. Healthy OL. Matt Flynn?
Eagles - Should finish about 11-5, but can Vick lead them in big games?
Chiefs - Talent across the board. But Matt Cassell?
Bucs - Improved at several spots, new coach. But Josh Freeman?
Cowboys - Don't buy it. I see 9-7 and missing playoffs.
To add to Alpe's comments:
Bills - Ryan Fitzpatrick carrying them to playoffs? With backup QB Vince Young?
Seahawks - Still have OL and QB question marks. Sure they have improved competition within the team, but can they compete for a title?
Eagles - But can Vick lead them in big games?
Chiefs - But Matt Cassell?
Bucs - But Josh Freeman?
Cowboys - Don't buy it. I don't buy it either with Romo.

Notice the thing in common? QB, which a descent Skins team with promising rookie RG3 rate higher with. So the Skins did not make the mega-surprise list.
I actually did list the Ravens in one of my list. They are more of a question mark as they lost five players to free agency, and Terrell Suggs is out until December, maybe longer. Plus, Ed Reed and Ray Lewis are getting towards the end of their careers. Though I have to say I don't doubt either's ability to play at or near a Pro-Bowl level still.

Having just written that, the last two years the Ravens lost players one way or the other, but were very good at having new players there ready to step in, and they did. So who knows what's going to happen this season.

While the QB is the top dog in the NFL, he is still only as good as those around him. Matt Flynn will maybe be the biggest question mark, especially as he has two new OL players that missed all of last season, not to mention he's on a new team, and hasn't started many games, period. The Seahawks aren't exactly the Packers when it comes to offensive support for the QB.