When last we left no. 1 Husky fan, Peter King, it was two weeks ago when his brother passed away and PK was in Jim Kelly’s hospital room acting as the personal emissary of Twitter. It was all a very dour affair. But now Peter is back! And what about this week? Naturally, he’s dipping into his extensive file of off-the-record sources to bash players. Then he acts like he’s been a serious UConn fan all along. Never misses a beat! Now READ ON.
Five things you should know about the draft, 24 days before the first round begins:
1. Did you know the draft is later this year? WEIRD.
2. Johnny Manziel: short person or glory midget?
3. When Roger Goodell gives dap to a 10-top pick, it deals a lethal blow to racism.
4. Trent Baalke might be a draft warlock, but even he can’t make the Niners war room coffee sing!
5. I DON’T KNOW
1. You’d better go to the videotape if you want to see Jadeveon Clowney work out. Clowney won’t be doing any more individual workouts for NFL teams, apparently the result of Clemson tackle Brandon Thomas, a day-two NFL draft prospect, blowing out his knee in training for the draft two weeks ago.
That’s a perfectly understandable reason so no way tha…
/buried in avalanche of shitty comments by anonymous NFL front office personnel
I spoke to two general managers over the weekend about this, and one took exception to Clowney taking a pass on pre-draft team workouts and one didn’t.
Why, that’s almost useful information!
Haha, just kidding. That helps no one. Lofty sourcing.
Now, I don’t think this will prevent a team that loves him from picking him, but it might be a small factor in the decision by a team on the fence about Clowney. As one of the general managers said, “I’d want the guy who’s going to be coaching him to put him through some of our drills, and see how he responds.”
Because top five picks are usually players you’re on the fence about.
2. Ten players who touch the ball in the first round—and no runners. That’s how draft guru Gil Brandt sees it. Four quarterbacks and six wideouts in the top 32 for Brandt
Oh awesome, because I don’t care which players go where, I just want to know how specific position are represented in an arbitrary set of picks.
if he had to pick it today.
He’s not, which is why he’s doing this bullshit.
3. “I’m down to my 40th-ranked player, and I don’t have a running back picked yet.” That’s Brandt on this crop. It’s the diminished importance of the position, plus the fact that Trent Richardson looks like he should have been picked 103rd, not third, in 2012 based on his production so far.
Yes, that’s a fine commentary on how the running back position has been devalued in recent years, but then again, the first back didn’t go until the 37th pick last year, so not all that sweeping of a change.
4. Speaking of surprise players …
The stunner this draft season is a quarterback who threw 83 passes as a Rutgers sophomore in 2010, then didn’t play college football in 2011 or 2012 as he transferred from Rutgers to Arizona to Pitt. “The hottest guy in the draft,” Brandt of Tom Savage. How hot is he?
We’re talking T.J. Yates hot!
Late last week Savage’s agent, Neil Schwartz, had to tell two teams who wanted to set up a visit or meeting with the quarterback that he didn’t have any time left to do so.
Oh, well, he’s clearly the top pick, then. He’ll show up to every meeting, do all the drills teams ask of him and sign a waiver saying he’ll miss the birth of his children to make games. The undeniable hustle skyrockets him to spectacular up every asshole’s board.
The deadline for teams to host players or work them out is April 27, and by then Savage is scheduled to have either worked out for or had visits with 24 or 25 teams. That’s an amazing number of workouts and/or meetings … and when I say meetings with teams, I mean time with either the GM, coach, offensive coordinator or two or three of those.
“The anti-Clowney. One GM told me he’d draft an entire roster of Tom Savages because it’s better to lose with subservience then win with, hell, anything else.”
5. A few teams with quarterback needs have an interesting strategy. I’ve heard that at least four quarterback-needy teams — Houston (first pick), Jacksonville (3), Cleveland (4) and Oakland (5) — are strongly considering passing on quarterbacks with their first picks and waiting until their second or third selections. Simple reason: They’re not in love with any of the quarterbacks, and there are too many other good players who are surer things than a quarterback you have sincere doubts about. For that reason, there could be more quarterbacks taken in round two than round one. For instance, Jacksonville really likes Jimmy Garoppolo of Eastern Illinois, and he’d likely be there high in the second round when the Jags pick again, at 39.
You know, I want to joke but after the Gabbert disaster, I really can’t blame the Jaguars for being gun shy about taking a quarterback high in the first round.
One more thing: The great value in this draft will be from about 20 to 50. So guess what team is in great position to capitalize on the depth in rounds one and two? San Francisco, with the ability and the recent history of moving around so well. The rich-get-richer Niners hold the 30th, 56th, 61st, and 77th overall picks. If they want someone in the forties, they’ve got the currency to get him. The Browns are in good shape to do some damage too, with picks 26, 35, 71 and 83.
I’ll heard elsewhere that this is considered a deep draft, but when is it ever said that there isn’t good value available in the late-first to late-second round? If you did a NFL Draft second round drinking game, “there’s still great value available!” would be the center square.
Get to know Brian Rolapp.
Of the NFL Rolapps!
The chief operating officer of NFL Media is 41, a Mormon, a Brigham Young grad, checks Twitter before he does anything else in the morning, and you’ve probably never heard of him.
Do I need to know him?
But you need to know Brian Rolapp.
Rolapp is behind the invention of a new media tool the NFL will launch in August called NFL Now, which will be able to customize your NFL consumption to your favorite team, your fantasy team, your favorite NFL Films stuff from its vast vault—so that every day, multiple times, you’ll be able to check back and see the latest from all sources NFL.
That’s pretty cool for fantasy purposes, but otherwise, I’m not the kind of fan that wants to block out all other news except for the stuff that directly affects my favorite team.
Mostly, Rolapp seems exactly what Roger Goodell wants in his senior staff: a guy who respects tradition but isn’t married to it, loves new ideas and seeks new ways to keep the NFL on the cutting edge of how fans consume media.
Respects the shield and new revenue streams. A tried and true no-limit Goodell soldier.
To that end, Rolapp and Goodell take a trip each year, usually in August. They go to Silicon Valley to try to stay current with new technology.
“What’s that? Facebook just bought a virtual reality thing?”
/blows $600 million getting virtual reality masks into NFL stadia
The MMQB: How do you get your news?
Rolapp: My news source — and I’m just a focus group of one—my routine is I check Twitter first to figure out what’s going on. I look at that, then I look at some of the other news feeds that I have, and my email for things like ratings on the NFL Network, and then I get to the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times. It’s all on my tablet. The newspapers are delivered to my office, but essentially I put my feet on them. They serve different purposes. They’re coasters for my Diet Coke at lunch. Then there’s other sites that I’ll go to. There’s Tech Crunch for example. All Things D—which has become ReCode. Mashable I’ll do. I do the football things. I do your site a lot. I’ll look at Pro Football Talk.
Nice way to tell your bosses that they’re blowing thousands on newspaper subscriptions.
The MMQB: Will games on free TV ever go away?
Rolapp: Look, we have built a very good thing here by making NFL football available to as many people as possible. I don’t see free TV going away.
“NO NO NO THE ROG SAID DON’T TALK BAD ABOUT THE TV CONTRACTS! I’M A GOOD AND DUTIFUL ACOLYTE OF THE SHIELD!”
Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week
It’s about Peter traveling back to England for his brother’s funeral, so I’m going to leave this one alone. That is, save a photo PK included from 1978. Check out that chinstrap neckbeard!
Quotes of the Week
“We are disappointed to learn of the incident today involving Aldon Smith. As this is a pending legal matter and we are still gathering the pertinent facts, we will have no further comment.”
—San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke, who has to be at the end of his rope with Aldon Smith, his troubled Pro Bowl pass rusher.
I’m sure he is, but you could have easily conveyed that half-thought in a way that didn’t waste our time with the standard “team reacts to player’s arrest” statement.
Tweets of the Week
He actually started embedding them! PK has been doing this feature on his new site for almost a year now and he just figured out how to embed tweets though only because Greg Bedard did it last week. Of course, all that progress was immediately undone when PK featured another Eric Stangel tweet.
Cool! Today's date is a palindrome. 4/10/2014
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) April 10, 2014
They’re right: It was cool. It would also be a palindrome if you made it “4-10-14.”
So is every day through the 20th of this month, which makes this the most exciting week ever for people who like it when the numbers in the abbreviated date do interesting things.
Ten Things I Think I Think
2. I think this is the way Jacksonville could have forged a contract that Cleveland would not have matched with center Alex Mack: agree to pay him $15 million in the first year, fully guaranteed, with the option to quit the deal after one year. Many of you on Twitter have made the point over the past couple of days that Cleveland matching Jacksonville’s offer sheet means there couldn’t have been an offer to entice Cleveland to let Mack go. Well, there could have been, but the Jaguars didn’t go far enough in their offer to make Browns GM Ray Farmer blink.
Or they offered just about as much as they were willing without doing something so rash that even Cleveland’s front office would be shocked.
3. I think all three sides in this deal won.
Of course you do.
5. I think the same thing about the Colin Kaepernick incident in Miami—whatever exactly it was, and we don’t know exactly what it was yet—as I thought about the Ray Rice incident in New Jersey in February: I’ll make a judgment when all the information is in, when we know whatever the full investigations unveil.
That’s a nice way of preaching journalistic responsibility and patience, except you already speculated that Ray Rice is getting suspended.
6. I think the news nugget of the week—reported by NFL Media’s Albert Breer—was Johnny Manziel scoring a 32 on the Wonderlic test. That’s five points higher than Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson scored once upon a time, and probably goes a way toward confirming that Manziel could digest any offense.
Actually the Wonderlic doesn’t really indicate shit, but far be it from me to stop PK from saying something nice about Manziel for the first time.
7. I think the least surprising thing about the football world in the past few days is that Shawne Merriman has signed to do something with World Wrestling Entertainment.
UGH, Merriman would debase himself to work with an organization with a decorated history of concussions and former competitors dying young. How embarrassing for him!
Pro wrestling is certainly dumb, exploitative and occasionally racist, but no more so than the NFL. Fuck your disdain, PK.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
c. I am a Nutmegger.
More so than anyone has ever nutmegged before.
The first 18 years of my life I lived in Connecticut.
Native nugget nutmegger!
And so I have followed UConn sports closely over the years.
I saw none of either basketball championship game, but the Huskies of both genders did their state proud last week.
He was off mourning his brother, but this would have been the case anyway.
Congrats to the UConn men and women. Nine titles for the women now, and four for the men in the last 15 years. That is pretty amazing for a university in Storrs, Conn.
Of course PK is trying to claim UConn fandom now. He and Drake should hang.
d. Atlantic Coast Conference fathers must be so pleased about excluding UConn from the ACC. What a smart decision, listening to Boston College, which never wanted a rival as dangerous in recruiting and in games as UConn in the ACC. BC got its wish, and UConn now toils in some conference invented to give some athletic orphans a port in the NCAA storm.
Oh, so now you’re shit-talking ACC for wrongly spurning a school you hardly gave two shits about until they’re in the national spotlight. Fuck you.
e. Boston College men’s basketball in the past four seasons: 52-74, zero national titles.
f. UConn men’s basketball since 2009: 104-41, two national titles.
g. Well, BC sure has a pretty campus.
SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP. YOU DON’T EVEN LIKE BASKETBALL AND YOU DIDN’T GO TO UCONN. YOU WENT TO OHIO BECAUSE YOU PROBABLY COULDN’T EVEN GET INTO UCONN. STOP TRYING TO FEEL SUPERIOR ABOUT SHIT YOU DON’T EVEN CARE ABOUT!
h. Coffeenerdness: I couldn’t drink Starbucks while in the hinterlands of England. My brother worked for three decades for Whitbread, which bought Costa Coffee. So I drank Costa. “Starbucks had a chance,” Ken told me on our visit in March. “We went looking for a coffee company a few years ago, and Starbucks could have been it. But they drove too hard a bargain, and so we bought Costa.” Costa is at least on equal footing with Starbucks there now, and I had a few Flat Whites over there, with an extra shot. A Flat White is like a latte, with the espresso and milk mixed together better than a latte.
You hear that: the King family played a role in preventing global Starbucks hegemony! You were all right, Ken.
i. Beernerdness: Felt like a bit of an ugly American doing it, but had too much Guinness and too little of the local ales in England. Guinness was darn good, as always.
Peter King: alienating the countries of the world one hangover at a time. I bet he bragged that he put the Irish in their place by explaining how he told them they’re drinking beer wrong.
j. Read that a Red Sox fan booed Jacoby Ellsbury on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium and called him a traitor. Well, okay. I don’t see it that way, at all, as a follower of the Red Sox. Ellsbury grew up in Oregon, went to Oregon State, got drafted by the Red Sox, climbed the ladder in the Red Sox system, played seven years for the Red Sox, lived in Oregon every off-season, and his contract expired. He wasn’t nurtured in the Sox-Yanks cauldron of the northeast. As a free agent, why should he be allowed to sign with any team except the Yankees? I don’t blame him one iota for signing with the Yankees—I don’t like it, but I don’t blame him—if the Yankees paid him the most money, and they overwhelmingly did.
Even if Ellsbury grew up a block from Fenway, he doesn’t owe the Red Sox shit. Peter thinks he’s being high-minded here, but he still ultimately buys into the same deluded myth that the fans booing Ellsbury do, just a slightly less intense version.
m. I am a basketball doofus, but if you gave me a vote for the professional team of the century, I’d pick the San Antonio Spurs. Gregg Popovich and his guys are amazing. You can’t keep them down.
“Good job being consistently good at this game I don’t bother to understand! Way to thing the thing with the points! You’re the NBA team most likely to be admired by old white guys so here I go!”
o. Bubba Watson seems like the coolest of guys.
If you’re the kind of person who thinks homophobes are the raddest.
Congrats to him on a second Masters win. He celebrated by going to Waffle House with his wife. How awesome is that?
The Adieu Haiku
Bedard can’t Haiku.
But what a job last Monday.
I got Wally Pipped!
But Pipp lost his job
You’re still writing this shitpile
Peter can’t metaphor