Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New OT Rules

The NFL voted for a change in the playoff overtime rules. It passed. Now during tied playoff games, if the winner of the overtime coin toss scores a field goal, the other team has a chance to tie it with a field goal, or win with a touchdown. If the team ties it again with a field goal, the next team to score wins.

REALLY!?!?! Well I feel bad for all the field goal kickers out there, your job just became that much more meaningless, especially if this rule change extends to the regular season (which it could if votes pass in May).

For all you wannabe kickers out there, there's two ways to look at this change. One, it will force teams to try and win before regulation ends, eliminating overtime games almost all together making clutch kickers more valuable. Or two, kickers will become semi-obsolete because everyone will be trying to go for six at all costs to prevent any further gameplay, which could end up resulting in just more time spent slinging the ball all over the field, making that hard-to-come-by star quarterback all the more invaluable.

Will it make the game more exciting? Maybe, but I think the bottom line is that the NFL is forgetting one major part of the game...there are two sides of the ball, offense AND defense. If your team can't stop the other team from scoring regardless of a coin toss, I'm not sure you're good enough to continue on in the playoffs. Or I'm mistaken and maybe defenses are more of the focus in this new rule change. If your team can score the first FG, then it becomes the defenses job to stop the other team...hmm. So defense can still win football games, wow.

But hey, with names like Manning, Brees, and Favre making the headlines, who cares about top ranked defenders like...who's his face and....what's his name...Jay Lewis? And people wonder why we have a pass happy league now...But then I'm reminded of the most recent Super Bowl, the top two offenses  set to battle it out, and how was it decided? A crucial interception TD return? Hmm...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Weekend Update

Well it certainly was a busy weekend...for the NFL at least, not for me, I spent most of it on the couch watching movies...which was outstanding. Anyway it's time to catch up on what we may have missed...

Cleveland Browns sign Jake Delhomme and trade Brady Quinn to Denver Broncos.

Well, Holmgren has cleaned house and the Browns are now looking at an entirely brand-new "questionable quarterback scenario". While I agree that Cleveland needed a serious QB overhaul, I'm not so sure that they're doing it the right way. Delhomme is far from the Super Bowl caliber quarterback he was 6 years ago and Seneca Wallace hasn't proven himself to be a franchise quarterback yet. But this deal could revitalize both players as such a change has done in the past (see Kurt Warner). As for Quinn, perhaps his destiny lies in Denver where he (while likely serving as backup to Kyle Orton) could be thrust into a do-or-die scenario and come out on top...at least Quinn's probably thinking that...

LaDanian Tomlinson agrees to a 2-year deal with the New York Jets.

The Jets are certainly making some major off-season noise, their second, no third year in a row. Last year, if you recall, Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez made headlines, and the year before Favre...and this year we add to the list LaDanian Tomlinson. Brought on to support/compliment rising star Shonn Greene, Tomlinson should fill the void left by Thomas Jones, but the question is: how well? Jones had his best season ever last year, while Tomlinson's production has been declining. I have no doubt that the Jets intend to feature Greene as the premier back, but I'm still wondering how much gas LT has left in the tank. Maybe that "revitalizing" thing will come into play here as well. My honest reaction? Both New York and Tomlinson should be very happy with the arrangement and, as the off-season progresses, I'm becoming more and more convinced that "Gang Green" will be the undisputed AFC East favorite heading into the season...


I texted the Tomlinson news to my brother (huge Jets fan). My text read "LT is a Jet". I later found out that he did not understand its meaning because he's in the Air Force. 'LT' and 'Jet' mean completely different things to him...shows you how different our worlds actually are. Lesson learned...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ravens Re-Sign Mason

Ravens give WR Derrick Mason his requested two-year contract and keep him in what is starting to look like a potent Baltimore passing offense.

With the addition of Anquan Boldin, Mason is now looking at the #2 receiver spot. Nevertheless, having both receivers on the field, along with the options of Stallworth, Clayton, Heap, and any new receivers acquired in the draft, the Ravens should be more than capable of airing the ball out. Baltimore proved last year that the run game is still the foundation for the Ravens success, but with young Joe Flacco showing signs of excellence and still developing, you can bet Baltimore will look to pack a punch both low and high in 2010...

For more, check out Baltimoreravens.com.

Jake Delhomme to visit Browns

Former Carolina Panthers QB Jake Delhomme is scheduled to meet with the Cleveland Browns on Thursday.

First Seneca Wallace, now possibly Delhomme, how many Quarterbacks might we see in Cleveland over the next few weeks? Maybe we'll see the QB hoarding I mentioned earlier (link). Regardless, Cleveland should certainly keep all options open...

Bengals say N-O to T.O.?

Cincinnati Bengals sign Free Agent WR Antonio Bryant.

I'm not surprised here. The Bengals met with both Bryant and Owens and went with the receiver who is seven years younger (makes sense). Bryant is a welcome addition to the Bengals' receiving core, which has suffered losses and struggled as of late. ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted that the Bengals didn't even make an offer to Terrell Owens. As I mentioned before, the market for T.O. has gotten much smaller and the question now is (with Baltimore and Cincy out of the mix): Where else can he go?

The teams I see that could still go for someone like Owens would be Oakland, Tampa Bay, Cleveland and maybe St. Louis because, let's face it, they need everything.

For more of this discussion check out the buzz on twitter.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Free Agency/Trade Thoughts - AFC North

Just a couple of tidbits...

With Seneca Wallace joining the Browns, it's less likely that Baltimore's Troy Smith, who seems more than eager to play for Cleveland, will find a new home there...unless Holmgren starts pulling a Gruden-esque/Tampa Bay hoarding of QBs, which might not be a bad decision for the Browns. It's time for Cleveland to get a quarterback that the team and management can rally behind. Having a host of new QBs to analyze could be the right start...

There has been more and more talk of Terrell Owens joining the Cincinnati Bengals. As we progress through the off-season, Owens' likelihood of landing with the Bengals seems much more plausible. He's an aging receiver that has shown some decline in production, but a small one year deal in Cincinnati might be just what both parties are looking for. I don't see T.O having much more value anywhere else, Baltimore was an idea but the Boldin acquisition put those thoughts to bed. Owens will find a home somewhere before the season (I'd be surprised if he didn't), but it will most likely be for a short deal (similar to Buffalo's in 2009) and this time for a #2 receiver spot. Add players like Derrick Mason hitting the market (with far better stats to back them up) and we start to see just how "past-tense" T.O. sounds...hope he can handle that...

The Steelers seem to quietly continue their tradition of working in-house and managing their current players. They've just re-signed S Ryan Clark and re-acquired Antwaan Randle El, but one thing worries me about Pittsburgh (well not really since I'm a Baltimore fan): Are Mike Tomlin and the management really thinking about the future? Or are they just trying to change as little as possible and squeeze every last ounce out of their recent Super Bowl champs, all the while ignoring QB Ben Roethlisberger's offseason blunders (they do seem to be piling up, don't they). This team can quickly show just what problems they're facing, regardless of what they've previously accomplished. And clearly the strategy has worked for them in the past (sarcasm). Isn't this the third time they've won the Super Bowl and failed to make the playoffs the following year? (correct me if I'm wrong)...hmm. With six titles though, maybe the Steelers actually know what they're doing...maybe...

That's all for now. Stay tuned as we get closer to the draft!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ravens and Bears Headlines

Bears sign Julius Peppers and Chester Taylor.

Peppers is arguably the biggest move of the day. The Bears Defense was severely lacking in 2009, but the addition of Peppers will offer the Bears much needed pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and obviously improve their overall defense. Chicago also adds veteran RB Chester Taylor, who has been seemingly a career second back. With Forte struggling, Taylor has the opportunity to make a big splash as the Bears premier back.

Ravens trade third and fourth round picks to Cardinals for Anquan Boldin and a fifth round pick.

This is clearly the best move for Baltimore right now. Not only do they get a top receiver in Boldin, who will help develop young QB Joe Flacco even further, but the Ravens can take a breath and evaluate their options. With Derrick Mason looking at free agency or  possibly retirement, the Ravens don't necessarily have to be concerned with resigning them. If they do keep Mason however, the Ravens will have a more than solid receiving core. I would expect the Ravens to focus their early picks on young defensive players, but the thought of adding a versatile Tight End also has promise, especially with the draft being very "defensive back heavy". A good young Corner, which the Ravens also need to improve their secondary, could be picked up at a much later round.

And what does Coach John Harbaugh have to say about acquiring Boldin? Simple, "The Ravens just got better..."

Friday, March 5, 2010

Revis AND Cromartie?

Hey everyone,

I'll be tweeting news/reactions on free agents (as well as big trades and other transactions) as we progress through the offseason, leading up to the 2010 Draft. And I'll blog as much as possible for more in depth reactions so stay tuned! Here's one to kick things off...

New York Jets acquire Antonio Cromartie from the Chargers for a 2011 third (possibly second) rounder.

Holy Crap. If the Jets defense wasn't scary enough last year with the emergence of Darrelle Revis in the secondary, it's going to be even more intense in 2010. In what has become a pass happy/friendly league (see 2009 AFC and NFC Champions), the Jets might remind everyone of the old adage: "Defense wins football games."

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