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Football: Looking into the post season and beyond

FortKnox (169099) writes | more than 10 years ago

User Journal 13

The Steelers. Everyone asks me whats wrong and what would you change...
Its pretty simple. WR, DL, LB are all in good shape. Everything else needs looked at.
RB - Bettis is running on empty and his legs can't take very much more. Zeroue can't break an arm tackle and has seemed to slow down from his last year roadrunner-like speed. Drop Zeroue, -maybe- keep the bus around for one more year. Draft a good back (Chris Perry?)
TE - Jay Reserisma (or however you spell it) was far tooThe Steelers. Everyone asks me whats wrong and what would you change...
Its pretty simple. WR, DL, LB are all in good shape. Everything else needs looked at.
RB - Bettis is running on empty and his legs can't take very much more. Zeroue can't break an arm tackle and has seemed to slow down from his last year roadrunner-like speed. Drop Zeroue, -maybe- keep the bus around for one more year. Draft a good back (Chris Perry?)
TE - Jay Reserisma (or however you spell it) was far too expensive to be injured for more than half the season. Toss him. If you want to be a running team, pop Bruener in there (or consider switching him to T)
OL - Chukki Okobi should finally get his start at C, Faneca is definately worth keeping for the rest of his career. Everyone else should be looked at. MAJOR reconstruction needed on the O-line.
QB - Tommy Maddox would be a much better QB if he had time to throw and no fear of the incoming blitz through the porious line. But he is older, so grooming a new QB may be in order (If they get a high enough pick, I'd -love- to see Eli Manning in a Steeler outfit).
DB - Putting nickleback Deshea Townsend into starting Corner was a good first step. Ike Taylor, who is rough, but still has potential as a shutdown corner could start opposite Townsend. Put in Chad Scott as the nickle back, drop Washington like a bad habit, and replace both safeties with the backups (Polymalu is starting to get into his own, and Chris Hope is a HELL of a safety). Drafting isn't necessary here, just keep Logan around for a dime back, and recruit low picks or vets for depth.
And lastly, switch to 4-3. I'm a huge believe in the Cowher 34 package, but Jason Gildon is losing a step, so they should either put him in as DE and move Kendrell Bell to strongside LB, or find a replacement for Gildon (switching a college LB or DE to the 34 package just takes too many years to work).
That means a rather large pruning and drafting to get in order. Perhaps they can weasel NE out of half their draft picks (hell, they have something like 30 picks next year!!).

Who Dey? Bengals in the postseason baby! Yeah, there is a good chance they'll lose, but just as good a chance that Baltimore will lose to either Cleveland or Pittsburgh (those division games are doozies).

I can't wait to see Warren Sapps face when they ask him why the Super Bowl champs aren't going to the post season this year.

My predicitions? Cincy over Tennessee. KC over Denver, NE over Cincy, Ind over KC, Ind over NE, and Ind over St Louis (who cares about the NFC postseason?) ;-)

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You think Manning can come into Foxboro (1)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 10 years ago | (#7737086)

...and win?

Other than that, we agree on the AFC bracket.

NE won't trade their draft picks. Pioli/Belichick's strategy is to hoard as many picks as possible.

Re:You think Manning can come into Foxboro (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 10 years ago | (#7737170)

I think its Indy's year. The cover-2 can handle most passing attacks, and the D-line is solid enough to face the run head-first.

Manning has the talent to win over Belichicks D schemes.

And NE can't keep all its draft picks. They won't have enough cap room to sign all those rookies (don't they have like 3 first round picks??).

Re:You think Manning can come into Foxboro (1)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 10 years ago | (#7737562)

Indy's also a turf team that's built around speed. You're not going to be able to use speed in Foxboro in January, blizzard or not.

Belichick and Crennel will come up with something to mess Manning up. I wouldn't be surprised to see a return of the 0-7 defense which flustered Bledsoe last year. Having all eleven defenders moving around will mess with Manning's mind and force him into stupid audibles.

They're $4 million under the cap for next year already (before making a single cut or restructuring). Cut some veterans and restructure a contract or two, and they should be at least $10 million under cap for next season. The Patriots can definitely handle two first round picks. They'll probably trade one of the first rounders down for a second, third, and fourth or for a second this year and a first next year.

And with this bombshell... (1)

Rudy Rodarte (597418) | more than 10 years ago | (#7737461)

about my favorite team here [iwon.com] and here [sitemason.com] you gotta hope Neil O'Donell is still around and Steve McNair takes some morphine to make it through the rest of the season. Now is not the time to test out Jason Gesser. There is too much on the line at this point.
If the Titans lose to Cincy in the post season....I shall not speak it.

Re:And with this bombshell... (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 10 years ago | (#7737585)

Don't think of Cincy as 'those old bungles.' Teams that did that, paid the price (KC... Baltimore... etc...)

So don't feel humiliated if they do beat the Titans. They are REALLY in bad injury shape right now...

Remember the Titans, dude, remember the Titans... (1)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#7741117)

Bengals beat the Titans in the playoffs? Yeah, well, you can see what I think of that prediction here [slashdot.org] .

As banged up as the Titans are, they'll find a way to beat the Bengals in the playoffs, no doubt about it. (And, biy, do I hope it's the Bengals; if they had to visit the Ravens then I would be keeping everything crossed and making live sacrifices to the Football Gods.)

Lastly, even though I'm a Titans fan, I can't help but laugh ironically at Billy Volek being lost for the season. I mean, here's a guy replacing Steve McNair as the starter because McNair finally sat out a game.

In 45 straight starts since recovering from mid-season back surgery, McNair's played through chronic turf toe, toe surgeries, knee surgeries, a bone spur and infection in his right shoulder, a bruised right clavicle, a bruised right elbow, countless bruised and pulled ribs, plus this season's collection of injuries that include and a injured knee, a dislocated ring finger on his right (throwing) hand, a strained right calf and a cracked bone spur in his left ankle. He's not a QB, he's a tank.

After the half-time x-rays in the week 14 game against the Colts (a game that he would have won for the Titans if even one of the four fumbles by the WRs/KRs hadn't had occured) he played the entire second half knowing that both his legs were seriously injured and yet he still managed to put up great numbers - 16/28 passes for 158 yards and 2 TDs, 2 rushes for 18 yards, and a two point conversion on a QB draw option. Now that's a competitor!

So after all that, after 45 games of hell, McNair finally sits one out and Volek gets his first NFL start. How long does Volek manage to stay on the field without being knocked out for the season? One measly game! In the immortal words of Greg Easterbrook, Ye Gods!

Time for the the Titans to switch to Plan C (Plan B having lacerated his spleen) and sign up Neil O'Donnell for the rest of the season. O'Donnell's a great guy (as well as a good QB), and he was unlucky not to be snapped up by someone else when the Titans cruelly cut him late in the pre-season in favour of Volek as McNair's understudy, so I'm certain he'll be in a Titans uniform very shortly if they want him.

In a league where loyalty is a four-letter word, O'Donnell telling the Titans to go take a running jump would be the norm, especially after the team shafted him so badly only a few months ago, but the guy's far too classy for that. Even if he doesn't play a single down, just signing his name on the line will elevate O'Donnell to my personal Titans' Hall Of Fame.

Re:Remember the Titans, dude, remember the Titans. (1)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 10 years ago | (#7741588)

Jeff Fisher has employed the blueprint the Eagles of the late 80's - early 90's had:
Strong D
Strong-armed QB (although McNair is so much smarter than Cunningham, I won't belabor the point)
Decent back and receivers
And no 'O' line.
Randall ran because he couldn't get 3 seconds in the pocket.
McNair isn't getting all of those injuries from lineman bumping into him in the huddle.
Having said that, you have to like the Titan in the post-season. Except, of course, for the Super Bowl. ;-)

Re:Remember the Titans, dude, remember the Titans. (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 10 years ago | (#7745464)

O'Donnell's a great guy (as well as a good QB), and he was unlucky not to be snapped up by someone else when the Titans cruelly cut him late in the pre-season in favour of Volek as McNair's understudy, so I'm certain he'll be in a Titans uniform very shortly if they want him.

You forget. I'm a Steeler fan. You titan guys may not know the past that is Neil O'Donnell. He was a starter in Pittsburgh... took'm all the way to the superbowl. Then what did he do? Threw two picks that most fans will tell you was him throwing away the game. He threw the ball and there were NO RECIEVERS there. He literally threw them into two DBs. O'Donnell is a decent QB, and if you think riding him into the postseason is a good idea... well, I'll just sit around to tell you "I told ya so" ;-)

Re:Remember the Titans, dude, remember the Titans. (1)

EggMan2000 (308859) | more than 10 years ago | (#7746551)

Also recall that as a Steeler fan, you would never like a player that went to the enemy. Steeler fans simply don't get along with Oiler/Titan Neil O'Donnell despite the fact he threw those riduculous passes in the Super Bowl (that they still hate him for)

My prediction is that the Colts win the whole enchilada this year. I just wish they would get out of the dome in Indy and play in a real football stadium.

Neil O'Donnell, INTs in general... (1)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#7746666)

Yeah, I remember O'Donnell in a Steelers' uniform. After all, for most of the 90's, the Steelers and the Titans were the only two real teams in the AFC Central (especially after the Browns ditched Bernie Kosar; the Bengals, of course, never were in it).

O'Donnell was a decent QB, it's just that one of the few truly bad games in his career happened to be the biggest game of his career. Shit happens.

I remember seeing an interesting statistic a few of years ago while watching a Titans game. At that point, Steve McNair was the least inteception-prone QB in history. Ie, of all those that had met the NFL's lifetime mark qualifiers, 1,500 pass attempts to be exact, McNair had the lowest interception percentage. Second on the list? His backup, Neil O'Donnell.

Now that situation has changed (after 1999, the Titans let McNair off the leash a bit more) but I doubt it's changed that much. Hmmm, now that I've type that sweeping statement, I'm curious to see just how much. So, in true sabermetric fashion, let's look at the numbers together.

Here are the up-to-date career numbers (including this season's first 15 weeks):

S. McNair: 3144 ATTs, 130 TDs, 82 INTs = 4.13 TD PCT, 2.61 INT PCT
N. O'Donnell: 3202 ATTs, 118 TDs, 67 INTs = 3.69 TD PCT, 2.09 INT PCT
P. Manning: 3322 ATTs, 166 TDs, 109 INTs = 5.00 TD PCT, 3.28 INT PCT
D. McNabb: 2058 ATTs, 83 TDs, 47 INTs = 4.03 TD PCT, 2.28 INT PCT

I was curious about TD percentages too, and how they compared with some of their modern peers, so enter Peyton Manning and Donovan McNabb.

McNair's figure has risen a bit, but he's still pretty good at avoiding picks. O'Donnell, once relegated to second best has reclaimed his all-time crown from McNair (NFL.com lists him as being the NFL's all-time leader in career interception percentage), whilst McNabb also looks very stingy when it comes to INTs but Manning just about average.

Considering Steve Young's career interception percentage is 2.53%, Joe Montana's is 2.58%, Troy Aikman's is 2.87% and Dan Marino's is 2.94%, McNair and McNabb look like they're in pretty good company, and O'Donnell looks like he's a God.

Yes, the guy threw a couple of bad passes in a Super Bowl. Yes, those passes hurt his team and arguably cost them the game. But he also threw far few interceptions than his peers throughout his career, and you have to give Neil O'Donnell some credit for that.

Is he ever going to make the Hall Of Fame? I seriously doubt it. But, playing most of his career for perhaps some of the most conservative coaches of the modern era (Bill Cowher, Bill Parcells, Jeff Fisher), he was arguably one of the best QBs of his time, and for that the Steelers fans should be thankful.

I Care about the NFC (1)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 10 years ago | (#7737878)

And if the Rams have to go through Philly, well, they'll be heading right back to St. Louis the day after.
Philly's offense is just getting warmed up. If the D-Line continues to improve, we're looking at a Super Bowl.
And, outside of the Patriots, nobody over there scares me.
NOBODY.

Re:I Care about the NFC (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 10 years ago | (#7739953)

A-fuckin-men. The AFC is not Scottish. It's crap.

Nobody (and this pains me something fierce to say this) can keep up with the iggles in either league.

Bleh. Come join the darkside, the NFC.

Re:I Care about the NFC (1)

dmorin (25609) | more than 10 years ago | (#7741257)

And, outside of the Patriots, nobody over there scares me.

Yeah baby. Go Pats!

ooooooo Boston you're mah home...

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