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Old 06-30-2008, 11:50 AM    (permalink
bigbluedefense
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Default Some Offseason Thoughts

Meh, its moving real slow right now, nothing to talk about really. Thought id just share some random offseason thoughts. This is the time i usually look over roster changes, go over some old games and study the players and systems, and look at some oldies for fun.


- I was looking over some of the great MIKEs and some new tape of them and I have decided to reevaluate my rankings. Having sat down with a buddy of mine who's a 46 bear nut, we really broke down Mike Singletary well, and we also went over Butkus, and Ray Lewis as well, and i have some new opinions on these guys.

In short, my rankings are now:

1. Butkus
2. Ray Lewis
3. Lambert
4. Mike Singletary

Dick Butkus was LT before LT. He was the singular most destructive force in defensive football. We all know what kind of ballhawk and tackler he was in the run game. No one tackled better and more viciously than Butkus. But his most underrated aspect was his pass rushing ability and his coverage. Butkus was deadly on MIKE blitzes, and was near impossible to block. He couldve potentially changed the game the way LT did if they rushed him at the qb more often out of the MIKE position.

And his coverage was waaaaaay underrated. The man could cover. And cover damn well. He wasn't the fastest guy in the world, but he just knew where to be at the right spot at the right time. Im not sure if any you guys follow soccer, but some great forwards aren't necessarily great bc they can move with the ball, they just know how to locate their bodies in the right position to score. Butkus was like that in coverage.

Ray...Ray is #2 because of his dominance during his peak, and his versatility. How many great MIKEs have the resume Ray has? He was flat out dominant in the 4-3, and he's proven he can hang in the 3-4 as well, as is evidenced by his defensive MVP in the 3-4.

He was great against the run, just as good as any of the greats, and is probably the greatest coverage MIKE the game has ever seen. In 2000, he was so dominant it was ridiculous. He ate the whole middle of the field in coverage. It was amazing. And he layed wood in the run game. His leadership is unquestionable, he was a smart player, he has hardware, and at his peak there might not have been a better MIKE outside of Butkus. Now, his peak didn't span as long of a period as others (like Singletary), but it had a higher ceiling than pretty much anybody outside of Butkus.

Lambert was the Steeler's version of Ray Lewis, but meaner. He is slightly below Ray because he wasn't as good in pass coverage, although he set the bar for everyone else to follow.

Mike Singletary was the smartest defensive player to ever play the game. 2 things prevent me from making him #2 on the list

1. Most MIKEs play the run from Tackle to Tackle, Mike played it from Guard to Guard in their 46.

2. I overrated his coverage ability. Mike didn't have to cover much, and wasn't as good as Butkus or Lambert or Ray in coverage. He was arguably the most instinctual MIKE ever, and smartest MIKE, but as a whole package, #4 all time. He probably couldn't do what Ray did, which is play at a high level in the 3-4.

- Am I the only one who thinks the Redskins could have a damn good offense? Not necessarily this year, but moreso next year. It all depends on their rookies and how they pan out, and how long that oline can hold up for. They have potentially a very lethal offense. The question now will be however their defense, as I have no faith that their DC will do a better job than Greg Williams did.

-Dallas shouldve taken Chris Johnson. Now Im not saying that Felix Jones is a bad choice, because he can still be very good, but Chris Johnson looks better to me, and potentially special. Everyone is killing the Titans for that pick, but I don't know if we will still be doing that by the end of this year. He looks like a very good Ahmad Bradshawesque RB.

-The Patriots oline has taken a major PR hit after the SB. Its amazing to me how we don't consider them the best oline. Why? Because they played poorly in the SB? Did we all forget how they dominated the rest of the year? How Brady had like 5 seconds to throw almost all the time prior to the SB? That oline was flat out dominant, one of the best ive seen over the course of a season. They just chose to have a bad game at the worst time. But they still have the best in my eyes, closely followed by Dallas.

-Watching some tape of the Texans...let me tell you, I really like the coaching on that team. The offensive coaching is brilliant, and the defense will only get better. They just need a secondary. 2 coaches in my eyes that don't get enough credit are Mike McCarthey and Gary Kubiak.

-Superficially, Ken Whistenhunt looked like a great hire. But now with hindsight, Ive realized it was a match made in hell. Whistenhunt loves the vertical pass game and wants to run and throw it deep. Leinart....has a lollipop arm. And we should be surprised Ken keeps toying with him and trying to extend Kurt Warner? Its a terrible fit. Whissy is a great coach, but his system just doesn't match up with Leinart's strengths. Under Dennis Green, Leinart showed flashes of greatness. The WCO fit him perfectly, they have WCO WRs, a WCO running back, and a WCO qb. I feel Leinart could be solid in the WCO, but under Whistenhunt, I don't know. I was always worried how Coughlin would ruin the development of Eli Manning, and I'm now affraid of what Whistenhunt could potentially do to Leinart.

-It will be interesting to see which AFC East team had the better offseason, the Jets or Bills. If i had to put money on it, Id say the Bills had the better acquisitions. However, I like Mangini as a coach more, so this is gonna be close. Buffalo has more overall talent, but its going to come down to Mangini working his magic, coupled with the play of Kellen Clemens. One of those 2 teams could possibly see the playoffs with a little bit of luck. I love Trent Edwards, but he needs to open the field up more. Checks down too much.

-Javon Walker...you know what? Good. You needed an asswhoopin.

-How underrated is Mike Tice? Mike Tice might be on to something with his offense. He made Cullpepper look like a qb, he survived with Brad Johnson, and now he made David Garrard go from a solid qb to a great one with his system. Is that coincidence? I think not. This guy doesn't get the credit he deserves. David Garrard is the real deal, but I don't question how much Tice has helped with his development.

(btw, the Jags had a great offseason. best offseason in the league).

-Strahan might have been the last great bullrushing DE we're ever gonna see. I don't know if we'll see another Michael Strahan. Almost all the DEs in the league now and the ones coming out are built on speed, and some have the ability to bull rush but don't use it as their bread and butter. Strahan (and before him Reggie White) were the last of the great bull rushing extraordinaires. I can't think of any current DEs off the top of my head that use the bullrush the way Strahan did. And with the direction of the game currently, I don't know if we ever will.
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Old 06-30-2008, 11:58 AM    (permalink
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As far as Garrard goes, wasn't the offense more Dirk Koetter's rather than Mike Tice?
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:00 PM    (permalink
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As far as Garrard goes, wasn't the offense more Dirk Koetter's rather than Mike Tice?
I assumed it was Tice, if not, then i stand corrected to a degree. Can a Jag's fan confirm or deny this?
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:03 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by bigbluedefense
- Am I the only one who thinks the Redskins could have a damn good offense? Not necessarily this year, but moreso next year. It all depends on their rookies and how they pan out, and how long that oline can hold up for. They have potentially a very lethal offense. The question now will be however their defense, as I have no faith that their DC will do a better job than Greg Williams did.
It all hinges on Campbell. I like the kid but until he puts it together consistently for a season I won't buy that they'll be an elite offense. Also, like you mentioned, the ages are a bit of concern because a lot of the skill positions are young but the offensive line is older.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbluedefense
-Dallas shouldve taken Chris Johnson. Now Im not saying that Felix Jones is a bad choice, because he can still be very good, but Chris Johnson looks better to me, and potentially special. Everyone is killing the Titans for that pick, but I don't know if we will still be doing that by the end of this year. He looks like a very good Ahmad Bradshawesque RB.
I think the Titans reached on Johnson but that's the problem I have with the pick. If you see a guy you like, go out and get him, even if you have to reach a bit. The problem I have is that they're stockpiling RBs with high draft picks year after year. Let the position settle a bit unless they're already giving up on White and Henry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbluedefense
-The Patriots oline has taken a major PR hit after the SB. Its amazing to me how we don't consider them the best oline. Why? Because they played poorly in the SB? Did we all forget how they dominated the rest of the year? How Brady had like 5 seconds to throw almost all the time prior to the SB? That oline was flat out dominant, one of the best ive seen over the course of a season. They just chose to have a bad game at the worst time. But they still have the best in my eyes, closely followed by Dallas.
Yes, they are still the best unit in the league. It will be interesting to see if other teams can emulate what the Giants did and get a lot of pressure on Brady which is a necessity with Moss running routes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbluedefense
-Watching some tape of the Texans...let me tell you, I really like the coaching on that team. The offensive coaching is brilliant, and the defense will only get better. They just need a secondary. 2 coaches in my eyes that don't get enough credit are Mike McCarthey and Gary Kubiak.
Houston is a few players away from being a legitimate contender in my eyes. They have some special talent on both sides of the ball and now it's just a matter of solidifying a couple positions.

Didn't McCarthy win coach of the year, or am I misremembering?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbluedefense
-Strahan might have been the last great bullrushing DE we're ever gonna see. I don't know if we'll see another Michael Strahan. Almost all the DEs in the league now and the ones coming out are built on speed, and some have the ability to bull rush but don't use it as their bread and butter. Strahan (and before him Reggie White) were the last of the great bull rushing extraordinaires. I can't think of any current DEs off the top of my head that use the bullrush the way Strahan did. And with the direction of the game currently, I don't know if we ever will.
There are a couple bullrushing DEs still, but saying they will be as great as Strahan is obviously a stretch because he's a HOF player. Aaron Kampman is one guy that consistently uses the bull rush effectively. I think we'll see Mario Williams use it a lot in his repetoire. There are a few other guys as well, so I don't think it's really a dying technique.
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:10 PM    (permalink
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I agree about Washington and Campbell. If Campbell has a breakout year that offense will be tough to stop. They have a potentially great WR core if Thomas and Kelly pan out. And if they can throw that will make Portis look better.
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:11 PM    (permalink
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I think the coaching staff will hold back any chance of the Redskins succeeding...
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I don't have to watch it to know it was not interesting.
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:22 PM    (permalink
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Default

Too early to tell on the Chris Johnson Felix Jones debate IMO...

Leading up to the draft I really wanted Chris Johnson for the Cowboys, but after reading numerous articles it seemed like he was very inconsistent. He had a handful of big games with huge runs, which you can see on his you tube highlight, but then he also had a bunch of very average games against inferior competition. I also read a lot about how he might be better suited as a slot receiver given his slight frame and good hands.

Felix Jones on the other hand showed consistency and success in the SEC, and is a better between the tackle runner, although neither is built to go up the middle. He isn't as fast a Johnson, but still has very good speed. Early reports out of mini camps have been very positive. And In almost every interview I read, members of the offense mention Felix as a key addition to the team. They say Jason Garrett can use him in a lot of different ways that wasn't possible last year.

Of course we'll have to wait until the season starts to see who got the better deal, but I'm certainly not upset or doubting the Boys going after Jones at this point.

Edit: Also not sure about the Chris Johnson/Bradshaw comparison... Bradshaw is much more powerful as a runner and can legitimately take the ball up the middle. He is one of those shorter guys with the huge legs, whereas Johnson is built more like Reggie Bush.

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Old 06-30-2008, 12:37 PM    (permalink
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Didn't McCarthy win coach of the year, or am I misremembering?
this year it was Belicheck, last year it was Peyton, so I think you're misremembering.
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:39 PM    (permalink
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this year it was Belicheck, last year it was Peyton, so I think you're misremembering.
Oh right, I guess I was just predicting McCarthy would win it. I was surprised that Belicheck won it after that whole Spygate thing.

I don't really think McCarthy is underrated though, he seems to get plenty of accolades, at least in the Green Bay press. I think certain aspects of McCarthy are underrated, like how he changed the whole atmosphere in Green Bay. I think they probably have the best offseason program in all of professional football.
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Old 06-30-2008, 05:03 PM    (permalink
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He was the pro bowl coach for the NFC
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Old 06-30-2008, 05:09 PM    (permalink
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You are really into this defense stuff eh?
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Old 06-30-2008, 06:16 PM    (permalink
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-Strahan might have been the last great bullrushing DE we're ever gonna see. I don't know if we'll see another Michael Strahan. Almost all the DEs in the league now and the ones coming out are built on speed, and some have the ability to bull rush but don't use it as their bread and butter. Strahan (and before him Reggie White) were the last of the great bull rushing extraordinaires. I can't think of any current DEs off the top of my head that use the bullrush the way Strahan did. And with the direction of the game currently, I don't know if we ever will.

I couldn't agree more. There's no DE's at the college level who're taught to bullrush that aren't moved to an undertackle position of a 34 de position in the NFL.

Players like Peppers and Mario Williams are the few that have the size and strength to do it but their coaches seem to push them away from it.

That's always pissed me off.
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Old 06-30-2008, 10:22 PM    (permalink
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Great write-up as always. Nice to see breakdown's of players who were way before my time. I'd love to have the oppprtunity to watch tape of great's such as Butkus, Lambert and Singletary.

What really topped off the write up was...

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Javon Walker...you know what? Good. You needed an asswhoopin.
Haha, good stuff. And so true.
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Old 06-30-2008, 10:40 PM    (permalink
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-Javon Walker...you know what? Good. You needed an asswhoopin.
And you know what? You are a punk.
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Old 06-30-2008, 10:44 PM    (permalink
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And you know what? You are a punk.
Somebody hurt your feelings? Get over it.
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Old 06-30-2008, 11:23 PM    (permalink
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Somebody hurt your feelings? Get over it.
You get put in the hospital because you got jumped and have someone say that you deserved it. How is that right? By the same token, it's not cool for Javon Walker to get jumped and say "Good, he deserved it."
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Old 06-30-2008, 11:33 PM    (permalink
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Well, I mean. Yea.

Deserved it.
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Old 06-30-2008, 11:46 PM    (permalink
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You get put in the hospital because you got jumped and have someone say that you deserved it. How is that right? By the same token, it's not cool for Javon Walker to get jumped and say "Good, he deserved it."
I'd like to see your reaction if he wasn't a Raider.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:38 AM    (permalink
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You get put in the hospital because you got jumped and have someone say that you deserved it. How is that right? By the same token, it's not cool for Javon Walker to get jumped and say "Good, he deserved it."
This is the 2nd time his champagne spraying has led to someone getting seriously hurt. This time it was himself. Last time, someone died from it.

When is he gonna learn his lesson? So yeah, he did deserve to get his ass kicked. Maybe it will finally knock some sense into this fool before its too late. No one is gonna mistake Walker for Warrick Dunn anytime soon.

________

as for the rest, ill respond later when i have more free time.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:58 AM    (permalink
Ravens1991
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Interesting thoughts on Ray, I remember you having Ray lower in your rankings because of his supporting cast.
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:01 AM    (permalink
The Great Jonathan Vilma
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oh yay, another discussion on the champagne spraying. just stop there and agree to disagree with different opinions. He got what was coming to him IMO. Just like the people who steal a car and then get in an accident or beat up as a result.
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:23 AM    (permalink
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oh yay, another discussion on the champagne spraying. just stop there and agree to disagree with different opinions. He got what was coming to him IMO. Just like the people who steal a car and then get in an accident or beat up as a result.
Except what he did was legal. Do girls who dress slutty deserve to be raped? Come on.
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:43 AM    (permalink
The Great Jonathan Vilma
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do people minding their own business trying to have a good time and wearing expensive clothing deserve to be sprayed with an alcoholic beverage? come on

works on more than one account bud. its called paying for your actions
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:44 PM    (permalink
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You get put in the hospital because you got jumped and have someone say that you deserved it. How is that right? By the same token, it's not cool for Javon Walker to get jumped and say "Good, he deserved it."
Because not only is Javon Walker a has been with little to offer nowadays, he throws his team mates under a bus, he insults his coaching staff and his quarterback, while he fails to substantially produce on the field.

To top it off he's one of those douche bags who likes to throw money around like he has it to spare and sprays crowds with champagne.

It might sound cool but if you've ever seen it done, every one in the room is praying the douche bag who just pulled up in the porche cayenne with a scuaffer spraying the champagne gets hit by a bus.

Walker is a douche bag and a spoiled little brat at that, he deserves more than one ass whooping. Hopefully he's dumb enough to come wandering into chris harris' zone when carolina plays oakland this year. I'm sure Harris wants to add some more fumbles to his stats.
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:44 PM    (permalink
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I've tried to avoid the Javon Walker discussion, but I will say this. Everything I've read on the guy from people who actually took the time to talk to people who know him well, and not just the many articles written on him which make pretty bold and unfounded claims on both his character and the circumstances of his now infamous night in Vegas, indicates that he's in a place of mass chaos right now.

Now, BBD, if you think the best way for his chaos to be resolved was to get the crap beaten out of him by a bunch of thugs in Vegas, then I guess that's your opinion. But I think it's a silly one.
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