You’re Kidding, Right?

Former journeyman player and right-place-right-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Trent Dilfer recently ranked the NFL QBs. While shocking, the results were not unexpected.

Peyton Manning and Tom Beardy are in a category of their own?  Fine.  They have stats galore and rings.  Never mind that Ben Roethlisberger earned two rings in less time than it took Manning to win a playoff game.  No, forget that.  And totally neglect to point out that in practically every category of QB measure, Ben is around top 5 all time, nah, that’s not important. Only Peyton and Beardy are Elite.  What’s funny about that is Dilfer mentions how those evil “fantasy football” numbers have skewed how we value QBs, then in the same fucking article ranks those QBs with the highest FF #’s at the top!  WTFF!?

But how can he put Phillip Rivers and Drew Brees ahead of Roethlisberger?  They’re the only two Superstars!?

    There’s no game plan these guys can’t beat.

Really!?  Guess it was the Chargers who swept the Steelers last season then and not the other way around.  Damn, my memory must be faulty.  I wonder how Silverback remembers those SD games?

    They are a championship ring away from joining Manning and Brady among the elite.

JHC.  So, a ring would make Brees and Rivers elite huh?  But Ben’s TWO rings don’t get him into their group?  WTF is Dilfer talking about?  (And as an aside, where would he rank himself?)

Star QBs

    … have overcome small holes in their games to produce in a big way and enjoy big-game success. These are consistent prime-time performers, with very little separating them from Superstar status.

No, Ben and his two rings will have to be happy languishing as a mere star with the likes of Dumbface and Matt fucking Hasselbeck.

I like the 4th category, Knocking at the Door:

    Quarterbacks with immense talent and potential who haven’t won anything of significance yet. Playoff success will launch them into a higher category.

That sounds more like a fit for Rivers and Brees.  You know, as players who haven’t won anything of significance yet.

What an idiotic article.  Can’t say I’ve come to expect any better than that from the world wide purveyor of suck and their professional “analysts.”

The Last Few Roster Spots

After watching the Buffalo game replay on the NFL Network I’m convinced that training camp served it’s purpose and there’s nothing more to learn from the final preseason game than who gets the last few roster spots.

Big Ben seemed in mid-season form as he completed over 75% of his attempts in a very Roethlisberger-like performance. It’s what we Steelers fans have come to expect and generally what is delivered.

I’m ready to declare that one Limas Sweed is, indeed, getting it. He is ready to replace Nate Washington without the Steelers missing a beat. Plus, Sweed has an upside that was missing from Washington’s game; he’s more than a run-down-the-sideline-3rd-option. What role he’ll eventually grow into remains to be seen. For now he waits behind the veteran Ward and superstar Holmes, but when it’s his time smart money says he’ll be ready.

A bright spot in the running game, Isaac Redman again lobbied hard for a spot. He’s doing it all: short yardage back, outlet receiver and every-down player. I don’t know who gets booted to make room, but it’s clear that Redman has to make the squad.

We can also put to rest any competition for the punt return slot. Stephan Logan has it wrapped up tight. Steelers fans won’t be asking if he can return one to the house, they’ll be asking “When and how many?”

On the other side of the ball the aged (in NFL years) among the front seven proved there’s no need to rush the young guys into the lineup just yet. The 3-man line still gets a push and eats up blocks and James Farrior still knows what to do in the middle. Farrior dropped back in coverage, stepped in front of a Troy Edwards throw and took that sucker to the house. Look for the Steeler defense to contribute on the scoreboard again this season – not only putting up zero’s for the opponent but 7’s on the Steelers’ side of the slate.

Can September 10th get here soon enough? No, it really can’t. Bring on the Titans and let’s see if they feel like stomping towels.

By then we’ll know the last cuts, who made the practice squad and who nabbed those last few slots.

A First Cut at the Final Roster

Who’s making the cut? Who’s on the bubble? Who’s pushing for a roster spot that wasn’t on our radar a month ago?

QB

Key Departures: Byron Leftwich (TB)
Competition to Watch: Dixon v. Batch for the #2 spot

Locks: 1. Ben Roethlisberger, 2. Charlie Batch, 3. Dennis Dixon
On the bubble: None.
Cuts: Mike Reilly

The two spot still belongs to Batch, but Dixon is looking more comfortable. If Dixon can’t win the two outright, he is at least progressing well. Dixon will get a LOT of work this preseason, and needs better timing on deep routes and outs.

Possible Practice Squad Material: Mike Reilly. Reilly could fit as the #3 next year.

RBs

Key Departures: Gary Russell.
Competition to Watch: Redman vs. Davis vs. Summers for the 4 and 5 spot.

Locks: 4. Willie Parker, 5. Rashard Mendenhall, 6. Mewelde Moore
On the bubble: 7. Carey Davis, 8. Isaac Redman, Frank Summers
Cuts: Stefan Logan, Justin Vincent

While some fret over Mendenhall not meeting expectations after one exhib game, those tend to be the same folks who are ready to give Redman a roster spot after beating up on the Cardinals scrubs after that same one exhib. Two things: Mendenhall will be fighting for time against an again-healthy Parker, and that story may play out slowly over the course of the season, with Mendenhall’s proportionate workload increasing gradually.

But Redman has certainly opened some eyes at camp, and has gotten quality time against the Steeler D first team. Carey Davis, who can grind out two tough yards when the team needs three, is by all expert accounts a roster lock, presumably because no rookie could conceivably do as well on teams. Summers, only a month ago heralded as the next next-Bettis, seems to be caught on the outside looking in. Redman, Davis, and Summers all need to show that they can lead block, get the short yardage, and contribute on teams. If Summers doesn’t make the cut, he will likely be a PS priority.

The Arians-era schizophrenia over the role of the FB does confuse the issue as well. If RBs 4 and 5 are supposed to have some FB ability, what about the TE3, presumably Sean McHugh or David Johnson? How much traditional FB cattle-clearing will we actually see? Are the hybrid backs mostly going to be needed to catch dumpoff passes and get the short, brutal yardage?

Possible Practice Squad Material: Frank Summers.

WR

Key Departures: Nate Washington.
Key Additions: Shaun McDonald.
Competition to Watch: Wallace vs. MacDonald for the WR4 spot.

Locks: 9. Hines Ward, 10. Santonio Holmes, 11. Limas Sweed, 12. Mike Wallace (KR) , 13. Shaun MacDonald
On the bubble: None.
Cuts: Dallas Baker, Martin Nance, Steven Black, Brandon Williams, Tyler Grisham.

Sweed looked an awful lot like Plaxico, sans lead to the thigh, on the underthrow by Batch. Still battling inconsisteny, Sweed could really turn it on in weeks to come and become much more than Nate Washington ever was for us. His second year needs to be a big step up. Meanwhile, Mike Wallace isn’t showing many first year yips, and is just begging to be used as a kick returner, trick play specialist, and fourth wideout in the spread. This guy can kill. Shaun MacDonald looked like a guy who could play a niche role, the Ced Wilson sort of thing, but Wallace is pushing him hard. Wallace and Sweed still have work to do, but wow. Just wow.

Baker’s no longer PS-eligible. Nance won’t make it.

Possible Practice Squad Material: Steven Black, if they want size; Tyler Grisham, if they want moxie and sharp routes.

TE

Locks: 14. Heath Miller, 15. Matt Spaeth
On the bubble: 16. Sean McHugh, David Johnson
Cuts: Sherrod Dezmond

Miller and Miller Lite get the lion’s share of the action in the Arians playbook, including the fabulous 2-TE sets. McHUgh and Johnson have to show they can block effectively (questionable), and possibly contribute as hybrid TE/FB lead blockers for the RBs.

Possible Practice Squad Material: David Johnson.

LT

Key Departures: Marvel Smith.

Locks: 17. Max Starks
On the bubble: 18. Tony Hills, Jason Capizzi

Hills and Capizzi are both listed on the Steelers site as LTs (and only Colon is listed as a RT), but both are trying to stick as swing tackles. Both have shown some improvement, but neither looks particularly ready to guard the blind side against top talent, and both might be better situated at RT. LT depth is a concern, and Starks ain’t exactly Robinson Crusoe, a guy who can make it on an island.

When Stapleton returns, Essex becomes the top LT backup as well as an OG swingman.

Neither Hills nor Capizzi has PS eligibility remaining.

Possible Practice Squad Material: None.

LG

Locks: 19. Chris Kemoeatu
On the bubble: 20. Ramon Foster
Cuts: Jeremy Parquet

Foster is actually listed rather generically as “OT” on the official site, but he’s been the talk of the OL thus far. He’s making a strong push to make the roster, and may have a better shot at this point than Urbik, who needs to step up. Foster can likely backup either OG spot and RT. A good sized player with a streak of mean.

Possible Practice Squad Material: None.

C

Locks: 21. Justin Hartwig
On the bubble: 22. Doug Legursky, A.Q. Shipley
Cuts: None.

Legursky and Shipley have both looked pretty decent thus far. Stapleton can also fill in at C in a pinch.

Possible Practice Squad Material: Doug Legursky, A.Q. Shipley.

RG

Key Departures: Kendall Simmons.

Locks: 23. Trai Essex
On the bubble: 24. Darnell Stapleton, Kraig Urbik
Cuts: None.

Essex hasn’t exactly dominated as a RG, so he will likely be forever consigned to backing up all positions save C. Stapleton, who switched from C to RG last year, looks like a guy who has position flexibility without dominating anywhere. Call it a gut feeling, but I think the emergence of Foster, coupled with strong play from Legursky, could actually put Stapleton on the bubble. But in the end, he’ll win a spot.

Crazy prediction of the week: The starting OL will be Starks, Kemo, Hartwig, Stapleton, and Colon to begin the season, but somewhere along the line Foster will displace Stapleton.

Possible Practice Squad Material: Kraig Urbik.

RT

Locks: 25. Willie Colon
On the bubble: None.
Cuts: None.

Essex, Hills, and Foster (if he makes it) will provide depth at RT as well.

Possible Practice Squad Material: None.

Offense: 25 players.

NT

Locks: 26. Casey Hampton, 27. Chris Hoke
On the bubble: 28. Scott Paxson
Cuts: Steve McLendon

Last year, the Steelers carried their NT depth 3-deep, with Scott Paxson in as well. Age is a concern with Hampton and Hoke, but I don’t see us going 3-deep here this year.

Possible Practice Squad Material: None.

LDE

Locks: 29. Aaron Smith
On the bubble: 30. Travis Kirschke, Ra’Shon “Sonny” Harris
Cuts: None.

Travis Kirschke has been a solid role player, but he’s 35, has been troubled with back issues, and has a higher cap number. Ziggy Hood’s gotten reps at LDE, but Harris looks like the better fit, and has had a surprisingly good showing in exhib. Still hard to believe the rook will unseat the moldy oldies, though.

Possible Practice Squad Material: Sonny Harris.

RDE

Locks: 31. Brett Keisel, 32. Ziggy Hood
On the bubble: 33. Nick Eason

Ziggy will get some situation playing time, and Eason may be kept for vet depth. Neither Eason nor Kirschke fill one’s heart with joy, but the rookies will have a learning curve until they can fill in for any stretch.

Possible Practice Squad Material: None.

LOLB

Locks: 34. LaMarr Woodley
On the bubble: 35. Arnold Harrison, Bruce Davis, Patrick Bailey
Cuts: None.

Davis is starting to show some signs of life, but is it too little too late? Arnold Harrison is a capable backup, and carrying 3-deep may not be feasible. Bailey is a special teams guy who needs to show much more than he has to be worth anything as a depth guy.

Possible Practice Squad Material: None.

LILB

Locks: 36. James Farrior, 37. Keyaron Fox
On the bubble: None.
Cuts: Andy Schantz, Tom Korte.

Fox has shown ability on STs, but could turn out to be a decent LB in his own right. SChantz and Korte are generic ILBs with zero shot of making this team. Camp fodder.

Possible Practice Squad Material: None.

RILB

Key Defection: Larry Foote.

Locks: 38. Lawrence Timmons
On the bubble: 39. Donovan Woods
Cuts: None.

Woods may be the best bet for additional depth behind Timmons. He was the starting QB at Oklahoma St. before transitioning to safety, and while his biggest contribution has come on STs, he could benefit from sticking to a position and learning another year under Coach Butler. Woods has been around the ball a lot and has good awareness.

Note: The Ravens picked up UDFA ILB Dannell Ellerbe out of Georgia. I had Ellerbe rated pretty highly, but character concerns apparently dropped him. He’s been pushing Tavares Gooden hard for the LB spot vacated by Bart Scott. If the Ravens were to try sneaking Ellerbe onto the PS, I would think very seriously about putting Woods on our PS and signing Ellerbe to the 53-man roster to back up Timmons.

Possible Practice Squad Material: None.

ROLB

Locks: 40. James Harrison, 41. Andre Frazier
On the bubble: None.
Cuts: None.

Dre Frazier looks to be the best of the OLB depth right now.

Possible Practice Squad Material: None.

LCB

Locks: 42. Ike Taylor
On the bubble: 43. Keenan Lewis, Anthony Madison
Cuts: Roy Lewis

Lewis has had a rookie learning curve, and will need some time in this system. I still think he may be better suited to a switch to FS, where we are very thin. Madison is a teams guy who can back up corner, but won’t ever be the quality guy McFadden was or Gay was when they were in the role. Roy Lewis was another guy I thought might get some action at FS, but it looks like he’s considered strictly CB, and he may have hit his ceiling. On the upside, despite being on the 53-man for a few weeks last year, Roy Lewis has PS eligibility.

Possible Practice Squad Material: Roy Lewis.

RCB

Key Departures: Bryant McFadden.
Key Additions: Keiwan Ratliff.

Locks: 44. William Gay, 45. Deshea Townshend, 46. Joe Burnett (PR)
On the bubble: None.
Cuts: Keiwan Ratliff.

The guy from CBS loves Ratliff and says he’s a lock. I don’t see it. Deshea is still a solid vet depth and role guy, and Burnett is a lock IMO based on big upside as a PR and some nice heady play at CB. In fact, Tomlin’s referred to Burnett (jokingly) as Deshea. He’s in.

Possible Practice Squad Material: None.

FS

Key Departures: Anthony Smith.

Lock: 47. Ryan Clark
On the bubble: 48. Ryan Mundy
Cuts: Derrick Richardson.

Mundy is a little disappointing so far, and if either S starter gets dinged we are in huge trouble. I still don’t buy that Townshend will switch to S, though. If that happens by some chance, Mundy is still PS-eligible.

Possible Practice Squad Material: Ryan Mundy.

SS

Locks: 49. Troy Polamalu
On the bubble: 50. Tyrone Carter
Cuts: None.

Carter is old and slow, but we need vet depth. Ugh.

Defense: 25players.

PK

51. Jeff Reed

Reed is in a contract year.

Thanks for Coming to Camp: Piotr Czech.

P

52. Daniel Sepulveda

The punting game should see an immediate improvement over the nightmare of Berger and Ernster.
Thanks for Coming to Camp: Dirk Johnson

LS

53. Greg Warren

Special Teams: 3 players.

So that wraps it up, check back in a few weeks and we’ll see how this matches up to reality.

Fav-ruh to the Vikes

Hey, when you’re right, you’re right.

Favre to the Vikes, (photo from faniq.com)

Favre to the Vikes, (photo from faniq.com)


So, The Brett has decided he’ll play this season after all. And for the Vikings, no less, the ultra-arch enemy of his old employer. Should make for a fun season. Now the question is, will he get boo’ed in Green Bay? I say, “Yes!”

And another question is, “How badly will the Steelers hammer his lame arse?”

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-08-16

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Backups Make Their Statements

Does anyone doubt that Isaac Redman made Coach Tomlin’s version of The News today? You punch it in twice from on the goal line in as many tries and people take notice. I sure did. The UDFA from Bowie State certainly gave us fans something to think about until the next game.

Pound the rock!

Pound the rock!

Thanks Reuters!

Six!

So far the worse thing anyone can say about him is, “All he does is score touchdowns.”

Veteran wide receiver Shaun McDonald did his best Wes Welker impersonation. The diminutive receiver caught balls all over the field and, if there was any doubt, secured a roster spot. The question remains, will it be the #3 spot?

Not if Limas Sweed has anything to say about it. While Sweed did drop a 3rd down pass which would have yielded a first, he made two other impressive catches, one for 45 yards. The competition should be fierce as the Steelers appear to have assembled a fine WR corps.

Thanks Getty!

I caught it! I caught it!

And what a difference a punter makes. Daniel Sepulveda made his triumphant return and boomed a half dozen balls for a 49.5 yard average with two landing inside the twenty. He was sorely missed last season. Just consider how much better the defense will look when offenses have to travel the length of the field to score!

Dennis Dixon proved effective in the second half. He finished 10/19 for 112 yards and lead one 80 yard TD drive in the 4th quarter. His favorite target was McDonald but he also hooked up with rookie Mike Wallace on two occasions, including a 22 yard play down the middle of the field.

Thanks USA Today.

Dixon surveys the field.

The defense picked up where they left off, nabbing a couple of picks and sacking the QB four times. While they gave up a few yards, they managed to keep the points to a minimum. Rookie Ziggy Hood logged a sack and showcased what the Steelers saw when they made him their #1 pick last April.

Of course, it was the preseason, but would you rather your team win or lose? We won’t really know what this year’s version brings to the table until the Steelers host the Titans next month.

It was enjoyable to see the draft picks and new players suit up and show their stuff last night and it will be fun to learn more about these prospects as the preseason continues.

Let the (Pre) Season Begin!

It’s finally here, the first preseason game of the year. Those Red Birds from Arizona travel to Pittsburgh for a little backups-and-practice-fodder on backups-and-practice-fodder action. No holds barred and no camp body spared.

We should get a look at Dennis Dixon tonight. There’s been much said regarding his progression since last season and he may have a shot to supplant Charlie Batch as the backup.

And it will be fun to see if Rashard Mendenhall looks as good coming back from injury as reports from camp claim.

Given recent reports of nicks and scrapes, there may be a few starters who never see action, and that’s fine by me. Let’s see what those bottom-of-the-roster guys have to offer. That’s really what the preseason is about anyhow.

Ask yourself, “What is there to improve on a Super Bowl champion?” Basically, the bottom of the roster and depth. The starters should be squared away and looking to a strong start in game one versus the Titans.

Enjoy the game my fellow Steelers fanatics.

The Lazy Guy’s Occassional NFL Updates

A couple of months have gone by, and what’s really changed? Scanning over the news stories from the past 60 days, the entire world stopped on its axis when Michael fucking Jackson croaked. Seriously, Obama has turned this country into the United States of Marxism, the economy is like a clogged airport shitter where the bowel rafts and paper are floating right up at the rim in some fetid murk (so, is it merkin?), a new Harry Twatter movie came out, and all the press can talk about is Jackson. Fuck, I’m clicking around the channels last night and Larry King, who by all accounts did himself die at least 10 years ago, has on Jackson’s manager and some other douchebag, I kid you fucking not, and this is how long after the addled diddler finally rang up some dead pool points? And I’m in a state of disbelief, because I swear they’re moving King with strings but they have somebody doing his voice perfectly, and because his manager is continuing the post-mortem propaganda that Jackson never did any shit with kids. He knows this because… he slept in Jackson’s bed with the kids? Our media and our society, much like that airport clogger, is just shit a-swirlin’.

But at least Otis called dibs on Jackson’s nose.

Now in a box in Otis's porno room ...

Now in a box in Otis

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!

That the media is fucked up should be evident to anyone with two ragged brain cells to scrape together. The Michael Jackson frenzy is one example, but the Brett Favre brouhaha is almost as disturbing. Other, more relevant stories cry out for coverage, and the talking heads are going after Favre like coked up laboratory monkeys masturbating. Remember that Brady Bunch episode when Jan, the lesbian middle daughter, has her twat in a twirl because hot oldest daughter Marcia gets all the attention? Well holy Eve’s ignored Plum, there were other stories to report on besides Brett Favre.

I mean, God bless Favre. Great QB in his day, all due respect, but he stopped being relevant… probably about the time he had that great game when his daddy died. Seriously, he’s been a fucking playoff embarassment since before Ben even hit the league, and what did he accomplish after Holmgren left? The gunslinger made plenty of great plays, plenty of shitty plays, and racked up a ton of numbers. But guess what, he still has one fewer ring than Ben, and I’m looking at his stats and he’s the only QB to have beaten 31 other teams, and the only other guys to do that are Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Well, you chimps, Ben has beaten 30 and will likely tie you both this year (Raiders). Not only that, but after Ben’s rookie year, Favre threw 88 TDs to 84 INTs, with an average passer rating per year of 80.08, while Ben threw 84 TDs to 58 INTs for a passer rating of 89.55. Ben and Brett are both guys who can make exciting plays happen, magical plays, plays you think can’t be topped until the next time they come out and top them. But unlike Ye God Favre, Ben doesn’t shit the bed in the playoffs.

Favre is five years younger than me. I’m wearing black socks and sandals, and I forget important things like It’s your anniversary! and It’s your wife’s birthday! and It’s Christmas! and Take the pants off before you shit! I can’t remember where I left the AARP paperwork, and if I eat dinner after 4:30 I get gassy. My point is, what… what… Oh, fuck me, I can’t remember.

Just shut the fuck up.  Seriously.

Just shut the fuck up. Seriously.

Look, even if Favre did un-retire and go to the Vikings, they win maybe one or two more games and still lose in the playoffs and then the whole Brett Favre retiring saga would start over. But don’t worry, he’ll change his mind mid-season when the Vikings are third in their division and coach Brad Childress sees the guy with the hook at the edge of the curtain. Then we get to do the whole mess over again. Someone check on Madden, I think he’s locked himself in the bathroom with some prescription pills and a bottle of Smirnoff.

Oh, well, here is the point.

One of the other stories crying for attention was the passing of Jim Johnson. The same day the news that nothing was changing with respect to Favre broke — the non-news that was news — Johnson lost his 7-month battle with cancer. Johnson, like fellow defensive coordinators Dick LeBeau and Monte Kiffin, deserves much of the praise for the success of his organization under his tenure. Second in sacks, fourth in points allowed, blitzing like mad, Johnson unleashed hell on earth for poor Ben last fall when he was sacked six times in one game. You could argue that McNabb and Reid choked away playoff opportunities that Johnson provided them. The Eagles certainly would not have been one of the top NFL teams of the past decade without him, and he had a storied career that included stops at Notre Dame, the Arizona Cardinals, the Indianapolis Colts, and the Seattle Seahawks.

God forbid Dick LeBeau dies and ESPN doesn’t carry the story for shit because, oh I dunno, Kurt Warner can’t decide whether to un-retire for the second time. The whole thing was just another stellar example of how ESPN loses the stories that really matter in favor of knobbing the stars. They’ve moved on to new obsessions — whether Plaxico Burress will go to jail for one year or two, and whether an NFL team will sign Mike Vick or whether he will go to the USFL — but they missed the memo: these stories are largely irrelevant.

Plaxico Burress has never been a dominant receiver, not as a Steeler, and not as a Giant. After he left, Ben won a Super Bowl, and Eli turned to warm oatmeal, but that’s a whole other story. He’s been a good player, a big target, but not a great player, and not exactly a team kinda guy with an exemplary work ethic. Since Plax’s rookie year, he’s played 116 games, averaged 946.5 yards and 6.88 TDs per season. Over that same time period, Hines Ward — not the “big target,” not the “receiver defenses fear” — played 122 games, averaged 1028.0 yards and 7.63 TDs per year. That doesn’t account for lead-blocking, intangibles like leadership, or anything else that makes Hines Hines. But it does look like the Steelers kept the right receiver.

Plax will be 32 next week (Happy birthday, and enjoy some key lime pie!), and by the time his prison stint is over, he’ll be 33 or 34 and out of football for a year and a half, two and half years. Sorry, but wide receivers are pretty replaceable, especially with younger, faster, hungrier, and harder working players. Ton of ‘em roll into the league every year. Your time in the NFL goes quickly. Plax is done in the NFL. Done. Done done done. He is no more.

Give me all your key-lime pie.  NOW!

Give me all your key-lime pie. NOW!

Michael Vick is even more done. Here’s a guy with phenomenal talent at the collegiate level, who just has been spun beyond all recognition. His career was basically one of dumpoff passes to Alge Crumpler, and running the ball. Take that away and picture the Mike Vick highlight reel. He’s a career 53.8% completion percentage passer, with no year from 2001-06 over 56.4%. That’s plain fugly. 75.7 career passer rating. Oh, and also? It’s 2009. So, the guy never clicked as a passing quarterback, never adept at reading defenses or really developing as anything more than a guy who could scramble. So spending time in jail and getting out of shape, that should all add up to a guy who can contribute to any team in the NFL? First of all, he’ll spend his suspension just getting back to football shape, but even then, whose playbook is he going to be able to digest? The last thing this guy read was the words “Zig-Zag” on a package of rolling papers. The Miami Dolphins have one season of success running the Wildcat offense (until they were humiliated by the Ravens, with an actual defense, in the playoffs), ergo Mike Vick is a guy whose personal issues pale next to god-like talent.

Wow, so very worth all the media adulation.

Should I fold?

Should I fold?

Ben Roethlisberger, Bargain Basement QB

Does this bathing suit make my face look dumb?

Does this bathing suit make my face look dumb?

Eli feels like he’s won the Miss America contest!

Quote from: Pro Football Weekly
Various outlets are reporting that the Giants and QB Eli Manning have come together on a long-rumored extension that will pay him more than $15 million annually and make him the highest-paid player in the NFL.”

The Giants and Manning’s camp have been discussing an extension for months, and they have been ironing out some final details in the first few days in camp. Although the deal has not been announced or finalized as of Wednesday morning, it is expected to become official at any time.

It is a six-year extension with a total value of $97 million. The guaranteed portion of the deal is around $35 million.

So let me get this straight.

Eli has the third-worst completion percentage aside from Vince Young and Derek Anderson over the past three seasons. Plax leaves the Steelers, Ben wins a Super Bowl. Plax leaves the Giants, Eli turns into dicknoodles.

I realize the Giants either have to give Eli an extension or let him walk, and maybe extending him is an OK idea. It would thrill me about as much as trying to find the tapeworm in my bowl of udon. Eli is nowhere near the talent Peyton is. He’s nowhere near the talent fellow draft-mates Ben Roethlisberger or even Phillip Rivers are. Eli is, by all stats and methods of measure, a middle-of-the-pack QB. In fact, if the Giants front office could stand to admit that, they might lowball Eli, trade him, or let him walk and try again. Hey, that commercial where he asks the kid Did you just burp in here? is heart-warming and redolent, but it doesn’t change the fact that he’s a grossly overpaid, pedestrian player.

Eli will be paid $16.17 million per year, comparied to Ben’s $12.75 million per year. Is Ben only 78.9% as good as Eli? Is Eli’s career 76.1% passer rating worthy of all this money? Well, kids, let’s chew on some statistics! According to Pro-Football-Reference.com, Steve Young’s career rating of 96.8 leads the pack. Peyton Manning and Tony Romo are tied for second at 94.7. Kurt Warner comes in fourth at 93.8. Tom Brady and Phillip Rivers tie for fifth with 92.9. Joe Montana, seventh, 92.3. Chad Pennington, eighth, 90.6. Ninth is Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger at 89.4. (And just for shits, if you take away the nightmare season when Ben was playing with a brain scrambled like albumin after a Ronco In the Shell Egg Scrambler’s done its work, Ben has a 94.01 rating, good for fourth. Give him time, and that rating will come back up again.)

Oh, but where is the most highly remunerated player in the NFL on this list? Better than Jeff Garcia at 13 (87.50)? Better than Brian Griese at 29 (82.7)? Dave Krieg, 39 (81.5)? Damon Huard, 43 (80.6)? Jason Campbell, 46 (80.4)? Elvis Grbac, 56 (79.6)? Bobby Hebert, 64 (78.0)? Jon Kitna, 75 (76.6)? Fuck no, I already told you Eli’s career rating is 76.1%, good enough to come in at 79th best, just ahead of Stan Humphries for the love of all things holy. Hey, here’s an idea: Jason Campbell has a better passer rating than Eli, trade Eli to Danny Snyder for Campbell and a bunch of draft picks, can’t be any damned worse. Snyder will think he’s pulled off the greatest deal ever.

Eli, respected team leader.

Eli, respected team leader.

He’s just … not … that good.

Ben May or May Not Have Fucked a Horse

OK, there’s not much more blood to squeeze from this rock, but again, much like coked up lab chimps, Mike Florio of noted gossip-fairy site Pro Football Talk Weekly was ejaculating with every new opportunity to bash on Ben. Or, as it turns out, to bash on ESPN for not giving the story the airtime that conventional news media were. ESPN opted not to run what they considered a civil suit without substance or merit, instead of running their operation like, well, Mike Florio. All this would just add up to the usual conclusion that Florio’s a fucking cancre sore, except that I turn on NPR this morning and Frank Deford is bitching about the same damned thing.

All I can say is that if someone brings a civil suit against Frank Deford because some guy who looks like a cross between Alex Trebek and fucking Dracula lures them into a room to change their colostomy bag and then allegdly rapes them, well I hope ESPN drags that shit through the mud like it was a story about Brett Favre and Mike Vick’s love child being shot in a nightclub by Plaxico Burress.

Hey Frank, shut the fuck up!

Hey Frank, shut the fuck up!

Hold Your Breath

As the word remains out on Darnell Stapleton, it seems that other teams are racking up early injuries at breakneck speed. Bengals TE Reggie Kelley, ACL. Eagles LB Stewart Bradley, ACL. Bears CB Charles Tillman, back/disk operation. Panthers DT Ma’ake Kemoeatu, torn Achilles. Ravens OT Adam Terry, knee.

Seasons are in the balance here, and all we can talk about is Mike Vick, Plaxico Burress, and Brett Favre. Who’s taking over for Bradley? Will losing him, and the veteran Dawkins, and coach Jim Johnson drop the Eagles from possibly being division favorites to also-rans?

Can the Panthers rebound from losing big Kemo in the middle of their line, and will Josh Delhomme receover from his six-turnover season ending debacle?

Will Charles Tillman be ready for the season opener, and if not, how does that change the tighter-than-a-virgin NFCN race?

It’s not like these stories would be interesting or anything. Fucking douche-lappers. ESPN and the 212 drop months of Kiper and Mayock on us, and then when the players they’ve picked apart like Thanksgiving turkey carcasses actually hit camp and start practicing, there’s not even a shart of info about who’s looking good or any team scuttlebutt. Sure, you hear contract information, because that’s more meaningful apparently. Well, thank God for the Internet, because turning on the TV is a waste of time.