Friday, December 19, 2014

The Top Four: Alabama

Welcome fellow football fanatics! We have made it to the first ever playoff in college football which was full of controversy and now full fledged conspiracies (I'll get to that later in the article). It was pretty easy to see the top three teams that made it, but it really wasn't until the time it was revealed that anyone could definitively say who the fourth team was going to be. Ohio State, Baylor, and TCU were all in contention, but ultimately the committee decided that Ohio State was the most worthy much to the ire of the Big 12 and those two respective teams. Baylor and TCU do each have some legitimate gripes with the committee, but the lack of a championship game in their conference is what really sunk them. I know that Baylor is really pissed off considering they had beaten TCU head to head, but their out of conference schedule is absolutely pathetic (SMU, Northwestern State, and Buffalo....). TCU had a more convincing overall resume, but as the case with Baylor their lack of a chance to make a final impression while playing Iowa State killed them. So now you have it all set for New Years Day. Alabama will play Ohio State in rematch of Urban Meyer and Nick Saban while former Heisman winner Jameis Winston and Florida State will battle likely recipient Marcus Mariota and Oregon in the other game. I'm not going to do a rundown of the top ten since a lot of them didn't play. Rather, I'll just recap the games that brought these lucky four into the fold.

1) Alabama Crimson Tide
Championship Game Result: Beat No. 16 Missouri Tigers 42-13
Alabama receiver Amari Cooper

Alabama is playing like the best team in the country right now and I think that they were properly rewarded with the first seed in these playoffs. Since their loss against Ole Miss and some close games mid season, they have been lights out. I know they gave up a ton of yards and points against Auburn, but Auburn tends to do that to even the best of teams. The Tide came into this game as big favorites and didn't have too much to fear from Mizzou other than a pass rush, and what they did is exactly what you would expect out of a team that is lacking offensively and defensively. They caught a huge stroke of luck when one of Mizzou's best defenders, Shane Ray, was ejected in the first half for targeting Blake Sims. Despite the huge shot that Sims took on the play which clearly rattled him, Sims had a tremendous day through the air. He stood calm in the face of pressure and hit his guys when called upon. His job is made so much easier by the presence of Amari Cooper who is head and shoulders above the rest of the receiving class. In this game, Cooper just completely abused the Tigers' secondary to the tune of 12 catches for 83 yards. That might seem like a modest total, but consider the fact that he sees some double coverages and is one of the only true reliable targets for Sims. He made a lot of crucial catches on third downs to help keep the chains moving and made some big ones to make second or third and manageable. DeAndrew White also had a big game, catching four passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. White is a solid compliment to Cooper but doesn't always get consistent targets from Sims. That really isn't his fault as Lane Kiffin's system calls for a premier wide receiver to consistently beat his man and be the recipient of most passes. Cooper has caught exactly 50% of Sims's passes this year and is one of the most unstoppable players this year, a big reason why he is a Heisman candidate. Alabama is just as dangerous on the ground with the tandem of Derrick Henry and TJ Yeldon. Yeldon is a very talented running back but has started to lose some time to Henry who has proven to be unstoppable at times. In this contest, Henry carried the ball 20 times for 147 yards and two touchdowns. He has regularly ran well against the best defenses as his 5.6 yards per carry average and 12 total touchdowns would indicate. Yeldon has been hampered by injuries which is why he hasn't played quite as well this year, but he has still come up big in a lot of games. He scored two touchdowns on the ground as well, but only ran for 47 yards on 17 carries. Saban rides the hot hand, so it really doesn't matter who is getting most of the carries as both are easily capable of carrying the offense.

Alabama safety Landon Collins
Defensively, Alabama still boasts one of the best overall units in the country. They are fourth in the country allowing only 16.6 points per game and 312 total yards per game. Saban has built a dominant program by recruiting and building up an insanely talented and athletic defensive line. They have 29 sacks and often play much better than the sack total indicates. But where they really earn their keep is in the run game. They have only allowed opponents an average of 88 yards per game at a grueling 2.8 yards per carry. They are able to hit their gaps early and dominate the line of scrimmage to force running backs to alter their route. So far this season, Auburn has had the best success against Alabama which is really nothing new when Malzahn has been coaching. The best way to beat Alabama's defense is to have an athletic quarterback that keeps the defense guessing and can gain first downs through the air or with their scrambles. The back end of the defense has really come together after a shaky start to the season. Alabama had a lot of youth and inexperience at both linebacker and defensive back, but leave it to Saban to get these guys to gel by midseason. The two most impressive players in the secondary are safety Landon Collins and cornerback Cyrus Jones. Both of them are impressive players against the pass who can make plays on the ball. Collins is a terrific defender as a fifth man in the box against the run, but he has shown the ability to go sideline to sideline and pick of quarterbacks. Jones isn't as good as some of the recent defensive backs to come through Alabama, but has really been able to go toe to toe against some of the best in the conference. Both of these players are a big reason why Alabama had a great game against Mizzou and numerous other teams this season.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pay Day

By Justin Rasile

Dez Bryant has been a polarizing figure ever since he appeared in his first NFL game back in 2010.  Now Dez’s contract is up and he wants to get paid just like he saw his teammate Tyron Smith ink an 8 year and $110 million dollar deal.  Dez, love him or hate him, is one of the best receivers in the league and deserves to be paid like it.  If you take him away from that receiving core, all you have is the inconsistent Terrance Williams and Jason Witten, who is trying his best to run away from father time.  The problem with Dez is not his on the field abilities; it’s his off the field boneheaded and immature decisions that have the Cowboys organization teetering on the edge of what to do with him.  Obviously they are going to pay him but it seems like they are attempting to low ball the man that has led this team’s receiving core over the past couple years.  So what is this man worth?  Dez does not seem like the type of guy who would take a hometown discount so I believe he will try and squeeze as much as he can out of Jerry Jones’s pocket.  Calvin Johnson currently has the richest contract for all of the receivers and his contract was for over $113 million and Bryant will most certainly want to surpass that amount.  So how much is Bryant worth?  I believe he is looking for a 7-year deal that will be worth $120 million.  His ego and his signing with Jay-Z’s Rocnation agency will definitely give the Cowboys a run for their money. 

Well, it looks as though the Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick $100 million contracts are ill-advised and stupid deals.  Dalton’s deal was for 6 years and $115 million dollars but only $17 million of it was guaranteed.  Likewise, Kaepernick’s deal was 6 years and $114 million but he is guaranteed $61 million dollars.  The Bengals could easily move on from Dalton after this season and not suffer too much of a cap hit and dead money but the 49ers are stuck for a little while.  That $61 million could likely end after his third year into the contract and if San Francisco decides to cut him then, they would still owe roughly $7 million in dead money.  I give credit to the Bengals for making a deal like that.  This year was a prove it deal for Dalton and he hasn’t exactly met expectations.  They could take one of the top quarterbacks in the draft and develop him for a year while Dalton takes the brunt of the hits and damage.  The 49ers have to deal with Kaepernick for a couple of years.  Hopefully whoever comes in to replace Jim Harbaugh can fix Kap’s mechanical and mental errors and make him into a student of the game (He NEVER audibles at the line of scrimmage.  Either he wholeheartedly trusts every single play call exactly how it was designed or he has no idea what the hell is going on).  Who knows, maybe these two quarterbacks will pan out to be something but only time will tell.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Championship Weekend

It's hard to believe that this season of college football is almost over. There have been some serious surprises with the rise and fall of teams, Heisman contenders, and coaches. It is actually also really interesting to see how the polls look in comparison to the preseason. Out of the top ten teams from the AP Poll at the start of the season, six of them are currently still in the top ten with much of the very top looking the same. But most of these teams must face one final test in their bid to gain entry into the first college playoff. Here is a preview of those games and what to expect this weekend.

No. 4 Florida State Seminoles vs. No. 11 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
8:00 PM on ABC

The Seminoles have to be feeling the pressure by this point. For the second time in as many weeks, the playoff selection committee dropped them down another spot, putting them right on the fringe of the top four. This means that despite their spotless mark on the season, the committee has not been impressed by their wins and barely views them as one of the best teams in the country. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech has all the momentum in the world after defeating rival Georgia in overtime last week on a wild finish. Their offense will provide an interesting test for Florida State as they are one of the few teams that runs the triple option in college football, and also run it to great effectiveness. This is dangerous because Florida State has had trouble stopping the run all year. They have terrific talent and athleticism on their defensive line, but they haven't played with consistency to shut down running lanes. The bigger problem has been their lack of experience at linebacker. Despite the athleticism there, they don't always follow their gap assignments which leads to big plays between the tackles. That is not a weakness that can be easily masked when going up against a triple option offense. Yellow Jacket quarterback Justin Thomas has commanded this offense very well this year knowing when and who to hand the ball to. He is also their most effective runner when he decides to keep the ball. The Seminole defense is going to have to make crucial stops on first and second down to get Georgia Tech into obvious passing situations. Although Thomas is a good runner, he has only completed 50% of his passes on the season. However, 16 of his 81 passes have gone for touchdowns. He is going to have to throw the ball here and there in order to keep Florida State honest and not stacking the box on every play. The Seminoles secondary hasn't been quite as effective this year, but there are tremendous athletes who can make a quarterback pay for an errant throw. 

This could end up being a shoot out if Florida State's offense can play up to their potential. I don't have to tell you that it all starts with Jameis Winston, who had the worst game of his college career last week against the Gators when he threw four picks, three in the first quarter. He has struggled to see the field clearly and his ball placement has been really bad at times. A lot of it comes from his terrible offensive line which just continues to allow ungodly amounts of pressure every week. That will be difficult going up against a Georgia Tech front that has garnered 20 sacks on the season. He should expect to see a lot of blitzes in this game and will have to be on his mark or else the ball hawking secondary, which has 17 picks, will make him pay. If he is able to get into his rhythm early, Winston should have a good day. He has three young receivers who are still adjusting to the game and aren't always running good routes which hurts Winston since he likes to anticipate routes and make throws before breaks. I think he is going to have to take advantage of one on one matchups with his tight end Nick O'Leary early to open up his receivers a bit. O'Leary was the deciding factor against Florida last week and is as good a safety valve as a quarterback could ask for. Jimbo also needs to get the running game going early on. You cannot ask Jameis to do it all, even though he probably can and has for most games this season. But again, a lot of that comes from an offensive line that has just looked like a high school squad out there. They don't get much of a push and force the running backs to bounce it outside where linebackers are already swarming to the ball. Georgia Tech's defense has been allowing almost 170 yards on the ground at 5.1 yards per carry. The Seminoles need to give the ball to freshman Dalvin Cook and allow him to make plays as he is a much better back than Karlos Williams.

Prediction: 34-28 Florida State Seminoles

No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. No. 13 Wisconsin Badgers
8:17 PM on FOX

Ohio State might have the worst luck in the world. They are now down to their THIRD string quarterback after losing B1G record setting quarterback JT Barrett to an ankle injury last week. Now enters Cardale "We ain't come to play school" Jones who has a week to prepare against one of the staunchest defenses in the country.  They have only allowed a opponents to post 260 yards per game and are very strong against the run and the pass. One of the only things going for Ohio State right now is that they have better athletes at the playmaking positions and Jones is a complete unknown. He has come in for relief of Barrett in blowouts, but has primarily run the ball on read options. He seems to have a good understanding of the system that Tom Hermans has implemented and is a surprisingly agile runner for checking in at 6'5, 250. He isn't going to blow past anyone, but he is big and powerful enough to pick up extra yards after contact and can convert third/fourth and shorts with ease. The offensive line is going to be key in this game. They are going to have to give him time to throw and open up lanes for Ezekiel Elliot. Elliot has become the feature back this year and is making the most of his opportunities, but will have a real challenge against a front seven that allows just over 100 yards a game on the ground at three yards a carry. Ohio State has better athletes at receiver and in the backfield than Wisconsin does in their secondary, but that doesn't mean that Cardale will air it out with ease in this one. Wisconsin has only six picks on the year but has a whopping 37 sacks on the year. Consistent pressure is a bigger reason why opponents have completed less than half of their passes against the Badgers. Ohio State's receivers are going to have to get open and not commit stupid, drive killing drops. With the receivers' speed and Cardale's big arm, I expect a lot of shots down field.

For Wisconsin, you know that the offensive strategy in this game will begin and end with Melvin Gordon. The best running back in the country, he is a threat to take the ball to the house anytime it is in his hands. He has averaged eight yards a carry this season to go along with 26 rushing touchdowns. He has everything you want in a running back: vision, patience, strength, and most of all, acceleration. His attributes are greatly enhanced by his offensive line which continues its tradition of mauling defenses at the point of attack. This does not bode well for an Ohio State defense that has been gashed by some of the better running backs that they have faced this year. They have given up a lot of yards to Jeremy Langford, Tevin Coleman, and David Cobb, none of which are as good as Gordon. Ohio State doesn't always get the best push in the run game from their defensive line, and the linebackers can be streaky at times. Their weakness isn't so much athleticism as it is learning a slightly new defense under Kerry Coombs which causes breakdowns in gap control. I don't expect Wisconsin to throw that much considering their duo of Tanner McEvoy and Joel Stave has been anywhere between average to terrible. For as bad as Ohio State's rush defense can be, their pass rush is fantastic. One of those quarterbacks would have to constantly worry about Joey Bosa and Michael Bennett on every pass. They also have a very athletic secondary that has been generating turn overs and playing much better since the beginning of the season. They should be able to convert some passing plays for first downs, but they will be out of their comfort zone if they aren't in third and short. Still, I think that MG3 is good enough to carry an offense against a team without a very deep defensive rotation.

Prediction: 31-20, Wisconsin Badgers

BIG 12
Iowa State Cyclones @ No. 3 Texas Christian Horned Frogs (12:00 PM on ABC)
No. 9 Kansas State Wildcats @ No. 6 Baylor Bears (7:45 PM on ESPN)

These two teams playing at home don't have a title game to look forward to like normal conferences, but this is basically a de facto game for each team. If they both win, then Baylor is the winner by having only one conference loss this year. However, the playoff committee has spoken by placing TCU ahead of Baylor AND undefeated Florida State. Baylor has to be praying to every conceivable god out there Iowa State pulls a miracle victory at TCU. Baylor ultimately has the tougher challenge against a sneaky good Kansas State team. It sucks for Baylor, but they should have played a better out of conference schedule to appease the committee.

Prediction: 45-13, TCU Horned Frogs
                    35-27, Baylor Bears

PAC 12
No. 7 Arizona Wildcats vs. No. 2 Oregon Ducks (9:00 PM on FOX on Friday Night)

Championship weekend gets started early in a good way with probably the best game. Arizona is the only team that has handed Oregon a loss this year. However, this time the game will not be at Eugene since they are playing in the new 49er's stadium. In rematches, the upper hand tends to go to the initial loser, but Arizona definitely has the ability to pull the upset. Remember, Arizona also torched Oregon last season to end their title hopes. Rich Rodriguez has this team firing on all cylinders offensively as they average 480 yards and close to six touchdowns a game. Quarterback Anu Solomon is a pass first quarterback with just enough athleticism to make him an effective scrambler. He has passed for over 3400 yards and has 27 touchdowns to only seven interceptions with most going to receiver Cayleb Jones. Jones will likely see at lot of Oregon defensive back Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, a smaller but very agile and athletic back who can cover almost any receiver despite his height. But similar to the previous matchup, you can expect Arizona to run a lot in order to keep Oregon's offense off of the field. They ran it over fifty times last game with a mix of keepers from Solomon and Nick Wilson, who has almost 1300 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground. He carried it 13 times for 92 yards and two touchdowns and is going to have to be the workhorse to power Arizona. But with them having nothing to lose and everything to gain, I can see them giving Solomon opportunities to make a lot of throws and keep the defense off balance. 

Oregon obviously played their worst game of the year against Arizona, but they are much a better team now that they are fully healthy again. Their offensive line had multiple injuries which created havoc for Mariota since he really didn't have a lot of time to throw. Despite his line being healthy now, he is going to have his hands full with Arizona's dangerous pass rush. Mariota has been almost flawless all season however and is the leading Heisman candidate due to his absolutely incredible season. He has accounted for 48 total touchdowns and 4000 yards on the year at 69% completion. Despite injuries to a lot of his players and no one with any real experience at receiver coming into the season, Mariota has performed above expectations all year long. He doesn't really have any favorite receiver, but this team has been a running team all year long. Freshman running back Royce Freeman accounted for 1300 yards and 17 touchdowns, stealing the spotlight from upperclassmen on the team. With a healthy offensive line, he should be able to continue his season average of six yards a touch. To win this, one of their receivers is going to have to step up. Overall, they are the better team but it is by a slimmer margin than you'd think. They are going to have to score a lot of points to keep up with Arizona but they are definitely capable of it. If Mariota does have time to throw, they should be able to sustain yards and generate big plays on keeps. What he can't do is have a fumble on the last drive in the fourth quarter. He has been great when throwing, but he has a tendency to fumble which has cost them or put them in bad positions late. If he avoids critical turnovers, the Ducks will have a great shot as always.

Prediction: 38-34, Oregon Ducks

No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. No. 17 Missouri Tigers (4:00 PM on CBS)

Alabama comes into championship weekend number one in the country by the committee's rankings. Their game against Auburn wasn't their greatest display defensively, but their offense has really been clicking with the emergence of Amari Cooper. Cooper is easily the best receiver in the country and can completely dominate a game as he has demonstrated multiple times this year. He already has 103 receptions for just under 1600 yards and 14 touchdowns. Kiffin dials up his number almost every other play and challenges him to beat one on one or double coverage. Missouri has a pretty good pass defense because of their edge rushers, Markus Golden and Shane Ray. Both are lightening quick and powerful and have generated pressure all season. Pass protection has been solid for Blake Sims all season, but it helps that he has good mobility to pick up yards with his feet. Sims has been up and down all year, but when he is on he can be very difficult to stop. He had a rough game against Auburn by throwing three picks, but he was able to make up for it with four touchdown passes. Outside of Sims and Cooper, the biggest offensive weapons on this team are in the backfield. Derrick Henry and TJ Yeldon have combined for a lot of yards and touchdowns this season. The offensive line has overcome inexperience to provide a lot of running lanes for both backs. Both average over 5.5 yards per carry and have eight touchdowns while combining for over 1600 yards. With the threat of Ray and Golden, I think that they will be called upon to really carry the team. Cooper is almost always open, so Sims is going to air it out at times. But I would be surprised if Henry and Yeldon didn't combine for 40 carries in this game.

I'm not sure I see how Missouri can stay in this game against a team that really outmatches them at most levels. Quarterback Maty Mauk has been wildly inconsistent all year, ranging from dual threat to just dismal. It doesn't help that he lost one of the best receivers in the country, Dorial Green-Beckham, to a dismissal from the team. Bud Sasser leads to the team with the most receptions and touchdown catches, but he hasn't gone up against defensive backs of Alabama's caliber. Quarterbacks have barely completed over half of their passes against Alabama, thanks also in part to a ferocious pass rush that provides pressure on every snap. Against the best defense Mauk saw all year against Georgia, he had a terrible day throwing four picks against only nine completions for less than 100 yards. As usual, Missouri will probably also struggle to run the ball against a staunch front seven that has held opposing rushers to 2.9 yards per carry. I really just don't see how this team is able to muster the fire power to keep up with Alabama. Auburn did and nearly came out on top except that a terrible defense cost them the game. Mizzou is not at the same level offensively and it will show in this game.

Prediction: 42-20, Alabama Crimson Tide

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Week 14 Top Ten

I hate to do this two weeks in a row, but I am just giving you guys my top ten for the week without any insight since I am running really far behind. I promise that my championship preview will be well worth the wait.

1) Alabama Crimson Tide
Week 14 Result: Beat No. 15 Auburn Tigers 55-44 at home
Last Week's Ranking: 2

2) Oregon Ducks
Week 14 Result: Bear Oregon State Beavers 47-19 in Corvallis
Last Week's Ranking: 1

3) Florida State Seminoles
Week 14 Result: Beat Florida Gators 24-19 at home
Last Week's Ranking: 3

4) Texas Christian Horned Frogs
Week 14 Result: Beat Texas Longhorns 48-10 in Austin
Last Week's Ranking: 4

5) Baylor Bears
Week 14 Result: Beat Texas Tech Red Raiders 48-46 in Lubbock
Last Week's Ranking 5

6) Ohio State Buckeyes
Week 14 Result: Beat Michigan Wolverines 42-28 at home
Last Week's Ranking: 6

7) Michigan State Spartans
Week 14 Result: Beat Penn State Nittany Lions 34-10 in Happy Valley
Last Week's Ranking: 8

8) Wisconsin Badgers
Week 14 Result: Beat No. 18 Minnesota Golden Gophers 34-24 at home
Last Week's Ranking: 10

9) Arizona Wildcats
Week 14 Result: Beat No. 13 Arizona Sun Devils 42-35 at home
Last Week's Ranking: Outside Top Ten

10) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Week 14 Result: Beat No. 9 Georgia Bulldogs 30-24 in Athens
Last Week's Ranking: Outside Top Ten

Monday, December 1, 2014

What Does Loyalty Get You?

by Justin Rasile

What have you done for me lately?  That seems to be a common saying in the world of sports, but especially in the NFL.  With upcoming contract expirations and off the field/ locker room disputes, this topic of loyalty has become a point of interest.  It is quite an anomaly how quickly fan reaction can change.  One minute a player is beloved by the whole fan base, then after a few bad performances or a poor season the love quickly turns to hate and fans start calling for the player or coach’s job.  I also believe it is extremely hypocritical that team personnel and “experts” call for players to play out and honor their contracts when in reality, those players can be cut the very next year.  I took a few topics that have been pointed out in recent weeks and I figured I would add my two cents.

Marshawn Lynch is at the forefront of this discussion.  Since arriving in Seattle, Lynch has been a polarizing figure, not by his off the field antics but by his magnificent on the field play.  The man who occasionally goes by Skittles has had over 1200 rushing yards in each of his 3 seasons starting for the Seahawks and now he wants to get paid again.  We have seen the recent signing busts for older running backs with not much tread left on the tires but who knows how much Lynch has left.  Everybody was writing him off in the offseason claiming he was going to get cut or that Robert Turbin or Christine Michael was going to overtake him for the starting role (YEAH RIGHT).  The Seattle running back is once again on pace for over 1200 rushing yards and looks to set a new high in receiving yards.  Does he deserve a new contract?  Absolutely.  He has not showed any signs of slowing down and will once again have to carry the team on his back to try and get the defending Super Bowl champions back to the postseason.  Now if there are locker room issues that I do not know of, then that may change things a little bit but for now please pay the man.  He has been loyal to you, be loyal back to him.

Keeping on the topic of loyalty, there is another issue that will have to be figured out.  The Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning conundrum.  These two have teamed up to win 2 Super Bowls for the New York Giants and nobody can take that away from either of them.  But as this team is staring at a top ten pick in this year’s draft, fans are questioning as to whether it’s time to move on from the Coughlin/ Eli era.  I don’t mean to sound like an ass when I say this, but these two guys did win you 2 fucking SUPER BOWLS.  Most recently in 2012.  Maybe that is just the New York market overreacting because they aren’t winning despite a somewhat talented team.  The defense is old and the offensive line is horrible. If you fix that then maybe the Giants can turn things around quickly.  The team is going through a transition as Eli Manning is going through his first change in offensive coordinators and has been playing average at best.  Manning had been playing very well up until two weeks ago when he threw 5 picks, but if you take away the game against San Francisco his stats are 20 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.  That’s not a bad stat line at all considering the offensive line has been pretty terrible and the running game is non-existent.  The emergence of Odell Beckham Jr. has been a lone bright spot on a lackluster team as he has the ability to add a spark that this team has desperately lacked since Victor Cruz went down with an ACL injury.  During the game against the Cowboys, Eli looked like the Eli of old and was zipping the ball to his targets and putting it in places that nobody else could get them.  He has amazing ability, but he just has some off games where he has a massive brain fart and decides to take a dump all over the offensive game plan.  Eli has already matched his touchdowns from last season.  So I still believe that he can remain this teams quarterback but they must draft a quarterback relatively soon and develop him so that when Eli is done, they will be able to seamlessly transition to the next era.  Coughlin on the other hand may have his days numbered.  From everything that I have heard and seen with my own eyes, players don’t respect/ fear him as much as they used to.  He has two rings but when your team stops listening to you it’s time for a change.  It could be an age factor or it could be the way he leads with authority as a dictator.  Players are adamant in their telling that they don’t want to play for hard ass coaches anymore (Belicheck is the exception).  They are adults and professionals and they don’t want to be constantly screamed at and treated like college kids.  Players want to play for “player” coaches like Pete Carroll.  He is a man that treats his players with dignity and respect and will fight for his players.  So maybe it’s time for the 68 year old to hang it up and move on.

The dumpster fire that has been the RG3 situation has been fun to watch but it is incredible how far he has fallen and how quickly fans have turned on him.  He has just been benched for the enigmatic Colt McCoy, possibly ending Griffin’s tenure in the nation’s capital.  The Redskins traded away 3 FIRST ROUND PICKS for this guy.  15% of the Rams roster came through the Griffin trade (8 players in total).  He was the quarterback of the future and the man who was supposed to lead Washington to the promise land.  He was assumed to be a better version of Michael Vick with his amazing downfield accuracy and ability to extend plays and pick up huge chunks of yards with his legs.  He was named to the pro bowl his first year and led his team to the playoffs but was injured in the process.  He ended up tearing his ACL, which normally takes away the explosiveness from athletes when that happens.  And that could not have been worse for RG3 because he relied on his legs when the pocket broke down.  Now he can’t do that, even though he tries.  The Redskins fired Mike Shannahan and hired Jay Gruden to adapt his pro style type offense to RG3’s skill set and capabilities.  This requires being a quick decision maker, which Griffin is not.  Now fans are starting to turn on him and have been calling for a change at quarterback.  Even team owner Daniel Snyder agrees with Gruden’s decision to bench the quarterback.  It is amazing how far this pro bowler has fallen and how quickly the love for him was lost.  It’s time for a change of scenery for him.