Wednesday, February 22, 2006

NFL Offseason Thoughts, Questions and Concerns

-The Star Tribune, a legitimate publication, has posted multiple articles about the Vikings trading Daunte Culpepper. So far the only source cited is A paper with beat writers and team access can not unearth any information of their own? They have to resort to a rumor website that is referred to as the Enquirer of Football.

-Why would the Vikings want anything to do with Jamal Lewis? His obvious off field problems aside, he is on the downside of his career. Once a running back declines it is absolutely over, they don’t age gracefully. He had two 100 yard games last year with a 3.4 yd/carry. Michael Bennett, who is a consensus failure in Minnesota, had one 100yd game, a 3.8 yd/carry, and 126 less carries. With so many running backs available, it is especially insane to consider Lewis.

-People always mention how Ricky Williams is a different type of guy, and how intelligent he is. If he is so intelligent why does he keep failing drug tests? And if so many people care about him, why don’t they get him some help? -The knock on Reggie Bush is his size. He played at 198 pounds in college and supposedly has bulked up to 207 for the combine. Other running backs’ weights: Barry Sanders 205, Tiki Barber 200, Warrick Dunn 180, Brian Westbrook 205, Julius Jones 205. He’ll be fine. Remember in December when everyone said he was the number one pick in the draft? It is still true and will be in April. Besides, would you rather have a less skilled back that weighs five to ten pounds more or a touchdown threat from anywhere? Barber is rugged as any back, no one questions him carrying 20-25 times a game.

-Vince Young is from Houston, but that is no reason for the Texans to give him extra draft consideration. Many athletes have wanted to play in their hometown only to find extra pressure and expectations. Young is not going to be a superstar as a rookie quarterback, especially for a team with holes everywhere. What happens when he struggles?

-What are the Chargers doing? They are considering letting Drew Brees become a free agent in favor of Phillip Rivers. Brees is an established quarterback and a large part of the Chargers offensive success. With another receiver, the offense would be one of the league’s best. Rivers has never started a game in two years. Rivers could turn out to be a good quarterback, but it is doubtful he will be considerably better than Brees. To me the risk is too great.

-The Terrell Owens derby will soon heat up. I realize teams are simply hoping for one monster year from Owens and then accept the cost of a blowup. Mike Shanahan thinks Denver is close enough to a Super Bowl to gamble on Owens. I can’t see this working, even in the interim. The playoffs proved Jake Plummer as a poor decision maker. This looks to similar to Owens and Jeff Garcia in San Francisco. Plus Denver is not a clear cut favorite with or without Owens. Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and New England are all better bets.

-Did anyone see Jerome Bettis with Bob Costas at the Olympics? It was the most forced and unnatural conversation ever. The result was Costas announcing Bettis will join NBC for football coverage and both attempting to act surprised. And yes Bettis’ parents were there too.