Archive for the ‘Guest Writer’ Category

AFC EAST: PREDICTIONS

July 11, 2012


Well, everyone else has done it, why not me?

NE Patriots –

Good schedule, not especially tough.  Texans, Ravens, and Broncos are  their biggest challenges, besides the usual mud wrestling of the AFC  East.  They upgraded a little, but who cares.  They’ve been on their  pedestal a while, and no one has the stuff to knock them off so far.   Don’t see a change quite yet.  13-3.

NY Jets – 

They’ve got everything you could ask for in a contender  except for one teensy tinsy thing … solid QB play.  Add a QB  competition and it could be even more dangerous.  I just don’t see  how they think Tebow helps Sanchez, except as a bench press spotter.   Should Sanchez throw a couple of picks, the Tebow chants will start.   Sanchez being the sensitive guy he is either turns it on out of  spite, and plays angry, or tanks.  I’m betting on tanking.  Tebow  takes over mid season and we have a strange new bird.  This mess  continues on through next off-season, and viola!  .. we have a Jets  tire fire.  For them to succeed, one of those two QBs needs to go.

I do agree that the Tebow package will pay dividends during games,  but guess what… it’s the same reason the Broncos won.  Yes, the  formation works when done correctly.  I just think the in-fighting  and media mess will kill any progress the Tebow package will create.

In the end the Jets could go full belly up, or win out of sheer  anger.  Really not sure which.

But you’re as good as your QB play, so since I think Sanchez is only  a step above average, I’ll go 9-7.

Miami Dolphins –

How good is Joe Philbin?  Hopefully amazing because  the Dolphins talent level isn’t.  But they’re also not the Sisters of  the Poor.  Solid pros on many levels, all capable of winning games,  and doing their job.  Just no stars.  Yes, yes, I know that the 1972  Dolphins had no stars on defense (they say).  Bush is probably the  poster boy and the defacto star, and he has the best chance of  putting up some serious #s.  He’ll be the busiest guy on the team.   Should Ocho and Naanee work out, then we have a viable WR corps that  can execute Philbin’s offense.  On a shearly professional standpoint,  the Fins have improved their system, and ability to run plays to beat  teams.  That in itself should get them a few more wins.

But the old adage holds true for me.  You’re as good as your QB.   Garrard looks poised to win the job, and yes Garrard has had some  good years.  But his career is still average, new system, and he’s old now, so  not improving.  Even though the 2012 Dolphins are going to look and  be much better than the 2011 Dolphins, their schedule is not easy, and  their record will not quite match the potential.

Either 7-9, or 8-8 is my prediction based on Philbin’s system being  executed well by adequate but not special players.  I do expect this  to drastically change upwards once we have QB solidity.  On the right  track, most definitely.

 

Buffalo Bills-

They made a big splash by adding mario Williams.  They have up-and-comers on offense like Stevie Johnson.   Their the new IT team, and confident and full of teenager-y excitement.  And yes, they have a lot of dangerous players, and are a solid team, that works really hard.

Well he Dolphins team last year worked really hard.  Next.

Going once again to the well …you’re as good as your QB, and Fitzgerald is Feidler.  Gives 100%, but that’s because anything less would not qualify for an NFL QB.  His limitations are the Bills limitations.  Admirable, but in the end, fatally flawed.

The good news for them is their schedule isn’t a monster.  Even though the Fins will be better than them, their record will be close.  I’ll go a solid 6-10.

Bad news for the rest of the league is when the Bills get their QB situation fixed, they’ll be multiple games better.

_______________________

**Overall, I expect the Fins and Bills to fix their QB questions within the next year or two.  Assuming the Jets waffle on Sanch-bow for a while, and Brady actually gets old … might be a power switch soon.

Sooo, I stuck my neck out here with my predictions.  Now it’s your turn.

 

Guest Writer:  Jeff Schanz

 

 

 

 

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Expect Tannehill to Start This Season

May 4, 2012

Crazy.  The coaches shouldn’t start him.  He’ll be a mental wreck.  He’ll get hurt.  Scarred for life.

Ok, time to move past these thoughts, and perhaps it’s against the accepted grain, but read on and it just may make sense.

Starting with his relationship with the coaches.  Well, first off he’s Sherman’s man.  Nothing gets you on the field faster than being the guy the coach is most comfortable, trusted and most dependant upon for future success.  Don’t think this is accurate?  Henne was Sparano’s guy.  You couldn’t get him off the field regardless of how Henne played in games or practice.

Same idea more detailed:  When there’s a route to describe, or a pattern to exemplify, who  do you think will get called over to be the example boy?   Tannehill has the ability to showcase both the receiver route and the QB pass.  Need an example of a “Dino”?… Ryan please show BJ how it’s done…So he’ll be called upon a lot to be the example of Sherman’s plays.  He’ll end up being the defacto coach’s assistant.  And in the end, who would you, the coach, trust to be on that field running your plays than the guy who’s had already several years to absorb it?

But here’s the biggest reasons of all.  Protecting a QB’s ego is tantamount to trying to save a nymphomaniac’s virtue.   No football player anywhere wants to be handled with kid gloves.  And if given a choice to play or sit, no healthy football player will EVER choose to sit.  Tannehill WANTS to start.  He’ll willingly accept every interception, goof, sack, and incompletion to be on that NFL field.  It is inherent in their DNA to believe they will eventually succeed given the chance.  Is it in his best interest to wait?  Perhaps, but not in their own ego.  Tannehill will compete to start, ask to be on the field, do his best to convince the coaches he’s ready, and they will want nothing more than to see him on the field.  It all adds up to playing time, sooner rather than later.

So what’s the hurdle?  Moore and Garrard.  If Tannehill can show enough skill in practice (which is like a workout routine – he’ll master), look better than Moore and Garrard, and can put up some decent showings in pre-season, then look for him to take the reigns somewhere mid-season.  Maybe Philbin even gets a few Tebow style packages in games once in a while, Tanny shows some flashes, fans get excited, he stays in for a series, then two… viola!  Bob’s your uncle.  Bye Week sounds about right if I’m a coach looking for my best window.

Absorbing as much film on defenses as possible, and implementing his newfound (hopefully) knowledge on how to recognize and react to defenses is the key.  That learning curve is the biggest for everyone.  Henne couldn’t get it right in 4 years.  It took Manning 2, Aikman 2, Elway 2 etc. to figure out NFL defenses enough to be successful enough to win.  But all those guys started year one, took their lumps, lost many games, tossed plenty of picks, and lived through it just fine.  So will Luck.  And Griffin 3.  So will Tannehill.

If he can’t handle the hits to his ego, then he’s in the wrong business.  And at least we’ll find out sooner than 5 years.

He’ll play.  This season.  Just watch.

Written by:  JS_in_LA   (Jeff S.)

Ramblings of a Die-Hard Fan

May 1, 2012

Written By:  JS_in_LA  (Jeff S.)

Well folks, we all have our fantasies about the draft, our disappointments, and triumphs.  Inevitably we find names we’ve never heard of and are told these are hidden gems that will become stars someday.  Maybe next year.  Maybe in 5 years on someone else’s roster.  Maybe eventual shoe-salesmen with a great NFL stories.  Anyway, there’s a whole lot of dreaming that happens both before and after.   But the reality is also interesting.

Take a step back with me, away from our Dolphin adorned socks, and Fins #1 foam fingers.  Definitely put down that Cleo Lemon jersey.  Lets see what we’re facing in this next season.  See, improvements don’t happen in a void.  Everybody else improved too.  Obviously it’s advisable to improve more than the other guys.  And it’s always the tongue biting biotch when the guy you wish you could grab later goes to someone you have to play.  Miss drafting ’em?  Now ya gotta guard ’em.  So we’ll scan our schedule that we all had our opinions on BEFORE the draft.  See if you like our chances more or less after reading, and I’ll do my best to clear the mud for a fair glance at our new competition.

1 Sun, Sep 9 @Houston 1:00 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS=  Mercilus (DE), D.Posey (WR), B.Brooks (OG), B.Jones (C), K. Martin(WR)
*Assuming Shaub is healthy, Posey and Martin are two dangerous weapons.  Jones is solid and Brooks is a freakish project.  Mercilus I wasn’t impressed with, but if he lives up to rating, he replaces M. Williams.

2 Sun, Sep 16 vsOakland 1:00 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS= T.Bergstrom (OT), M. Burris (OLB), J.Crawford (DE), J. Criner (WR)
*Bergstrom is supposed to be nasty, Crawford and Burris sound like competition not stars, but I love Criner.  He’ll terrorize us underneath while the the fast guys (they have several) occupy the corners and safeties.  Criner is also a tough red zone threat.

3 Sun, Sep 23 vsNew York 1:00 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS= Coples (DE), S. Hill (WR), D.Davis (OLB), J.Bush (S), R. Griffin (OG) *Coples and Hill alone have me in awe.  Bigtime upgrades.  Hill is potential superstar (or bust).  Davis sounds project-y, Bush is probably nickel/dime, Ganaway back-up, And Griffin is a monster in size.  If he has any skill, he’ll be solid.  If not, he’ll be back-up.
And, oh yeah… they have Tebow now.

4 Sun, Sep 30 @Arizona 4:05 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS= M. Floyd (WR), J.Fleming (CB), B.Massie (OT), S.Kelemete (OT) *Yet another awesome receiver for Kolb to play with , and two solid tackles.  Massie was rated top-round, but picked round 4 (*tell me again why we HAD to draft our tackle round 2?).  Fleming sounds like a project that goes special teams unless he wins out in camp.  If Kolb can throw it far enough, he’ll have time and receivers open.

5 Sun, Oct 7 @Cincinnati 1:00 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS= D.Kirkpatrick (CB), K.Zeitler (OG), D. Still (DT), M.Sanu (WR), B.Thompson (DT), O. Charles (TE), M.Jones (WR) *Except for Kirkpatrick and Sanu, they loaded up on beef.  Very good beef.  Three top playmakers and a lot of tonnage sounds like a decent draft for playoff caliber additions.  Kirkpatrick will be solid, if not scary.  Sanu is a home-run threat with the ball, but I wasn’t impressed with his hands or body positioning.  But them other fellas have him rated very high.  Charles was supposed to be solid, but I haven’t seen any film. M.Jones I like, and is a shifty, hard to tackle receiver.

6 Sun, Oct 14 vsSt. Louis 1:00 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS= M.Brockers (DT), B.Quick (WR), J.Jenkins (CB), I.Pead (RB), T.Johnson (CB), C.Givens (WR), R.Watkins (OT) *Rams pretty much drafted an all-star roster, and whenever these guys peak… bad news for everyone else.  If Bradford lives up to billing, Rams have the makings for conference champion in a few years.  Scary good picks.  I love every one of these picks.  Quick and Givens are stars, Jenkins is a nightmare for QBs, Brockers is inside pressure, Pead is a threat from the flat, Johnson sounds solid, Watkins keeps Bradford standing.

7 BYE WEEK

8 Sun, Oct 28 @New York 1:00 PM
**see above**

9 Sun, Nov 4 @Indianapolis 1:00 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS= Luck (QB), C.Fleener (TE), D.Allen (TE), TY Hilton (WR), J.Chapman (DT)
*Luck, plus two quality TEs, plus a nasty fast/shifty receiver in Hilton equals eventual success.  Add some defense with Chapman, and a solid beginning.
Not enough yet, but a very good start.  Hilton was a fave of mine.

10 Sun, Nov 11 vsTennessee 1:00 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS= K.Wright (WR), Z.Brown (OLB),M.Martin (DT), C.Sensabaugh (CB), T.Thompson (TE), M.Martin (FS)*OK overall draft.  Wright may be a star or solid, Brown is boom or bust.  The others are starter competition.  D and running game was already good, so
Locker/Hasselbeck gets a couple of weapons upgrades.

11 Thu, Nov 15 @Buffalo 8:20 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS= S.Gilmore (CB), C.Glenn (OT), TJ Graham(WR), N. Bradham (OLB), R. Brooks (CB), Z. Sanders (OT) *Solid corner, solid RT, project WR, project OT (Sanders plays both sides?) and starter competition the rest.  OK.  Definite upgrades, but nothing for
sportscenter.

12 Sun, Nov 25 vsSeattle 1:00 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS= B.Irvin (DE), B.Wagner (ILB), R.Wilson (QB), R.Turbin (RB), J.Howard (DT), K.Toomer (ILB)  *Big and fast – all of them.  I sense a pattern. Except for Wilson.  That one is weird, but just in case Flynn is fool’s gold ..ok.  But I’d assume retread would’ve been more sensible than project rookie.  Good core draft, but nothing scary.  If Flynn works out, then they’ve improved well.  If Flynn sucks, they’ll be a top picker next year.

13 Sun, Dec 2 vsNew England 1:00 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS= C.Jones (DE), D.Hightower (ILB), T. Wilson (FS), J. Bequette (DE), N.Ebner (DB), A, Dennard (CB) *Hmmm, wonder what area needed improvement?  D?  Well, it just got it.  Jones, and Hightower fit well, Wilson is a tweener but that fits, and a bunch of
possible “hidden gems”… we call them acorns.  I like Hightower.  D leader, winner, and solid all-around play.  So solid MLB and a pass rush to add to superbowl runner-up?  Yep.  Bad news.

14 Sun, Dec 9 @San Francisco 4:05 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS= AJ Jenkins (WR), L.James (RB), J.Looney (OG), D.Fleming (OLB)
*Well, a little more O felt right to ask for, and Jenkins and James are fair bets.  I’m not a Jenkins fan, and I think James will be proven a more effective college runner, but others say different.  If I’m right, SF didn’t improve enough.  If I’m wrong, they did.  Alex Smith is still their barometer.  Their D is still great though.

15 Sun, Dec 16 vsJacksonville 1:00 PM
KEY DRAFT PICKS= J.Blackmon (WR), A. Branch (DE), B.Anger (P), B.Marshall (OLB)
*Blackmon and Branch were great starts,  both possible stars.  Then the punter.  Ah well, everyone needs what they need.  Considering Gabbert is still a puss, Anger management will be necessary… see where I went there? Marshall is competition.  Once they find their QB, they’ve got some definite talent.  Maybe Blackmon is enough to keep the diapers off Gabbert.  IMO, still a cellar team, but only because of leadership.

16 Sun, Dec 23 vsBuffalo 1:00 PM
**see above**

17 Sun, Dec 30 @New England 1:00 PM
**see above**

All information, only slightly skewed, and barely paraphrased.  Discuss as you like.  I’ll try to keep up.

Special Thanks to JS for being my first guest writer –    Jon  (Ohio)


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