Welcome to Week 2 of my new weekly Random NFL Thoughts installment. Feel free to join in the conversation in the comments, even if to tell me how completely wrong I am.
If you have the pleasure of following Indianapolis Colts GM Jim Irsay on Twitter, then you know two things – 1) He’s a huge music fan, and 2) He’s possibly a lunatic. Irsay has a tendency of Tweeting random song lyrics in a way that the average person – and especially the average Twitter user – might not catch on to very well, if they even get him at all. In the case of the latter, he comes across as a complete psychopath.
But in between those lyrical Tweets, he openly talks about Colts football with fans, and since the lockout ended, the only topic regarding Indy football has been Peyton Manning’s neck. By all accounts, the guy who just signed a contract that guarantees him close to $100 million over the rest of his career will not be ready for Week 1. Manning hasn’t seen a snap in the preseason, but that should’t really be a problem for one of the game’s elite QBs if he’s actually going to start the season opener. He can just kick off the rust and run with it. Either way, Irsay wants to f*ck with us.
Jim Irsay’s bad Brett Favre joke
The Tweet above, of course, references Brett Favre. As Pro Football Talk points out, Irsay could either be making his joke clear by calling Favre “Brad,” or he could mean former Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress. Either way, it’s not funny. As fans, we’ve had to put up with 5 years of this bullsh*t now. The Favre rumors are infuriating and the jokes are not funny. If Irsay seriously wants to bring in Favre because Manning isn’t ready and Curtis Painter sucks, then it’s his first game to lose. If he’s just joking because he thinks we appreciate the humor or he knows that it pisses us off, then he’s just not funny.
I know, I know, I’m getting too fired up over nothing. This will settle me down:
Why do we care about Terrelle Pryor?
Looking at the NFL now, after Week 2 of the preseason – and keeping in mind that I am just a fan and do not proclaim to be a NFL expert – I would say that 11 teams absolutely need a better QB (Miami, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Oakland, San Francisco, Seattle, Carolina, and Washington). Some of those are certainly up for debate, and I know that some teams have rookies that they’re very high on, but not one of them is ready to play right now. And some of those teams are also just flat out terrible – San Fran and Oakland (more on them next).
With that in mind, I do not understand why any team in the NFL gives a crap about Terrelle Pryor right now. From a QB standpoint, he proved nothing in college. Tim Tebow at least won something, so I can understand people crying that he should be a starter in the NFL. Even as a developmental pick, though, the teams that are taking serious looks at Pryor – most of them listed above – have bigger problems to address, and they begin in the front office.
Alternately, I have no problem with a team taking a shot on Pryor as either a receiver or tight end, if they’re fine using a third round pick on that. Even a team that already has a legit franchise QB (like the Packers or Steelers) would make sense taking a chance on him for his athletic skill. I just think it’s a waste of time for teams with such incredible histories of terrible quarterbacks to believe that he’s a solution or worthy of development. Trust me, I’m a Miami Dolphins fan.
Oakland and San Fran need serious help
Let’s ignore Saturday’s insane violence and pretend for a moment that we live in a world where we can just enjoy sports. San Fran and Oakland have to be kidding. I’ll give the 49ers some credit – at least they drafted a potential franchise QB… again. But Alex Smith is done. And Oakland’s hope is Jason Campbell? If Roger Goodell is actually telling free agent QBs which teams to play for, why doesn’t he throw a bone to the bay area already? Or at least send a SWAT team.
Who is going to win the NFC West?
I’ve always had a hard time trying to understand the NFC West. Ever since the Greatest Show on Turf ran out of gas, the division has been wide open, yet not one team has been able to take advantage of the other three teams’ suckiness for the past decade. At one point it seemed like the Seattle Seahawks had it locked up, and then it seemed like the Arizona Cardinals had it figured out. Yet neither of them was able to take advantage of it and establish consistency. Why is it so hard for these teams to make good decisions?
If I were a gambling man, I’d have to believe that the St. Louis Rams poised to take over. Am I crazy for thinking that? Probably. That’s why I don’t gamble. I’d be living behind an Arby’s, giving tuggers for bus fare.
Larry Fitzgerald deserves every penny
Upon first glance, Larry Fitzgerald’s new 8-year, $120 million contract made one of my testicles explode from shock. But after reading the details, it’s a pretty smart contract for both sides. Fitzy deserves the $45 million in guaranteed cash, because he’s been spectacular for each of his 7 seasons in the NFL (save for that one injury season). He’ll make more money over the next two seasons than most athletes will make in a career, and you can bet that he’ll produce without hesitation. The genius, though, is in the back end of his contract, with the money depending on his receptions total. I can’t believe I’m commending something that the Bidwell family did.
Of course, this is already leading to some humor, as disgruntled Philadelphia Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson loves Fitzy’s new contract. It’s going to be fun watching him ask for the same contract.
The Jets looked awesome… against the Bengals
We got a good laugh out of Rex Ryan’s assertion that Mark Sanchez is an elite QB based on his playoff record, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not possible. Sanchez looked fantastic in preseason action this weekend, thanks to a great TD catch by Plaxico Burress and another solid TD from Santonio Holmes. Sanchez could actually be very good this season…
If the New York Jets play Cincinnati every week.
The Bengals are going to be historically bad
Andy Dalton was a good college quarterback and he certainly looks like he has the build and mechanics to be a good NFL QB. Too bad the poor guy is going to be murdered on the field this season. The Bengals are going to be gloriously awful on offense this season. It’s a shame, because there’s so much potential in that young offense, but it will take a miracle for this team to win games.
Also, I feel like people in Cincinnati don’t hate Carson Palmer nearly as much as they should.
Todd Haley is a colossal crybaby
We were first introduced to Kansas City Chiefs coach Todd Haley’s tough guy, take-no-sh*t attitude when he snubbed Josh McDaniels for a postgame handshake when the latter was still coaching the Denver Broncos last year. We didn’t really know why Haley was pissed at McDaniels, but we didn’t care because most of us didn’t like McDaniels very much.
This weekend, Haley also snubbed Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh because he thought that the Ravens running up the score was disrespectful. Harbaugh responded:
“I want to apologize to the Chiefs if they feel like we were not doing the right thing at the end of the game,” Harbaugh said. “That wasn’t the midset, OK? The mindset was – this is the preseason. If this had been the regular season, we would’ve been on a knee. The idea in that situation is to give those young guys who work hard and who are trying to make a football team – this football team or another football team – to play the whole 60 minutes and give them a chance to show what they can do. Offensive line, running backs, everybody.” (MASN Sports)
Um, yeah, what he said. It’s preseason, dude. Guys have to play 100% because those guys on the second and third teams are fighting for jobs. Lighten up, Haley, and quit signing guys who are going to steal touchdowns from Jamaal Charles.
Poor Tim Tebow
After poor play, it looks like Tim Tebow will begin the season at the third spot on the Broncos’ QB depth chart. Only two weeks ago, Teebs was crying about how he had the starting job stolen from him by Kyle Orton, who was the starter and had never been released or traded to make anyone else but him the starter. Then Tebow regressed in his complaints, and now his play.
As I’ve said before, I like Tebow. I don’t have a problem with the guy other than him being a Gator, but I want to point out that his success makes Merril Hoge look foolish, and I’m all for that. That should make us all Tebow fans.
Chris Johnson and Frank Gore trade rumors
New 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh called trade rumors involving Frank Gore “water cooler” talk. What would a team offer for a guy who hasn’t played a full season since 2006? Better yet, what would San Fran ask? I just want to know so I can rent a plane and fly a banner over Miami that reads: “DON’T YOU DARE!”
It’s hilarious to me that people think that the Tennessee Titans would even consider trading Chris Johnson because he won’t accept their invitation to attend camp and become the “highest paid running back in the history of the NFL.” Even if he continues to hold out, the Titans would still demand an entire draft in exchange for CJ. I wouldn’t go as far to say that no teams are that desperate for a RB, but I don’t think that teams would be willing to pay such a ridiculous price for Johnson, even for as good as he is. Although, I could see the New England Patriots sending 5 or 6 of their 20 draft picks in 2012 to Tennessee in exchange for Johnson. Crap, let’s forget I even brought this up.