Archive for the New York Jets Category

Diner morning news: picking the right 14

National Football Post

QUOTE: “When power leads men toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truth which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment.”

—John F. Kennedy

This is a regular-season week for teams in the NFL in terms of how they practice, how they prepare and how they game plan. Most teams have broken camp, and the regular routine of the season is in place. However, with each team carrying 80 players after this weekend, cuts will be made, rosters must be trimmed and these weekend games will determine who stays and who ultimately goes.

So building a roster is the critical element to this weekend, most notably how to make your team effective in the three essential areas of the game—offense, defense and special teams. This notion of who makes the decisions on the final roster is overblown. The head coach, with some input from his assistants, should make the final decisions, but the personnel man should have control of the 50th through the 58th players. Teams can dress only 45 players, and the head coach needs to have the authority to make those decisions—but in turn, the personnel man needs to protect the future of the franchise. There has to be balance between helping the team today and helping the team tomorrow. The fight over control of the roster is a needless one. The discussion should center on the back end of the roster, allowing the personnel department to work hard at improving the team. The head coach controls who dresses, the personnel man improves the future talent base. So let the coach have final say on the roster—just define the number.

AP Tarvaris Jackson

For example, the Vikings, my favorite team, have added a soon-to-be 40-year-old quarterback, and everyone assumes they will trade or release Tarvaris Jackson, who is now the backup. But where would this put them next year? With a 41 year old who might or might not retire again (alert Scott Hansen of NFL Network and Rachel Nichols of ESPN to position themselves at the end of Brett Favre’s driveway), or with Sage Rosensfels or maybe John David Booty and possibly Jackson. So based on signing Favre, they should carry four quarterbacks this year. All teams carry four quarterbacks on their 58-man roster, so the Vikings, instead of risking losing a potential player for their 2010 team, should carry the four on the main roster, supplementing the other areas with a player on the practice squad. From 46-58, those players don’t dress anyway, so it doesn’t matter where they are on the team as long as they’re on the team.

Going into this weekend’s games, the makeup of most teams should be right around 44 players: 20 on offense, 20 on defense and four who would impact the kicking game. A few years ago, Bill Parcells wrote this about his methods for choosing a roster: “The remaining 10 guys were comprised of players who I felt could make a significant contribution in the special-teams area or were young developing players that weren’t quite ready as training camp ended, but I felt could make a contribution by the time the season was in full swing. If we had a position on the team that was shaky because of inexperience or by virtue of the health of the players playing it, maybe I would keep someone at that position as insurance.”

AP Bill Parcells

The back end of the roster must be players who can develop or need additional development. And there has to be great honesty in making sure you’re keeping a player on the roster for his developmental potential, not for his draft status (e.g., Vernon Gholston of the Jets).

This weekend, the starters will play into the third quarter, mixing in players whom the coaches and personnel men need to evaluate in a competitive setting. Which players take the final 14 spots on the roster will be the essence of the evaluation from these games. Teams need to make sure they stock their practice squad (players 53-58) with those who have a chance to develop, not with players that are familiar with the system or people they’re comfortable having around. Comfort is not the concern; finding talent is the main concern.

Special teams will be a key area for fans to evaluate this weekend—the players who line up on first-team coverage are the players still in competition for a roster spot. Finding the right 14 players for the team is what this weekend’s games are all about.

RIP Sen. Edward Kennedy (1932-2009)

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Brett Favre: Inductee to The Hall Of Shame

When I look at the picture above, I think to myself, “Yeah Brett, what the Hell are you doing to the NFL and it’s fans?”  The answer is simple: Ticking them off.

As I searched for pictures of Brett Favre in a Packers jersey, it reminded me much of what he actually has become in Green Bay: An afterthought.  Aaron Rodgers is the present and future, and although Brett brought a Lombardi trophy back to Wisconsin, I believe he’ll never get his respect back.

Recent ESPN fetishes for Favre have showed that he wants to play again in 2009, not for the Jets, nor the Pack, but for the Vikings?  Any Kraft cheese helmet wearing fan’s jaw dropped at this abomination of a report.  Sure it was in the works last year, and it has been a possibility this entire offseason, but for it to manifest in to truth would be unfathomable, like Phil Mickelson actually sinking a meaningful putt or Dane Cook actually telling a joke he wrote.

Fans are telling Brett to do what Rosie O’Donnell should’ve done years ago, which would be to let it go and quit already.  Where’s Donald Trump when you need him?

As a general fan of football, I would be OK with Barry Sanders, Daryle Lamonica, or Jack Kemp making a comeback and coming out of retirement, but Brett, we’ve seen it before, and you’re done.  Going to the enemy will further sully your career and make you more hated than the $5.00 footlong commercials.

Sure, Brett still loves the game.  At soon to be 40-years-old, who wouldn’t love playing America’s favorite game?  It’s been done before, Brett, so please, ride off into the sunset rather than add to your career interception records.

If he comes back, expect another mediocre season and pure hatred in Lambeau, and an induction in to the, “Hall of Shame”.


Why the Brett Favre Addition Legitimizes the Vikings

After glancing at the above headline, one may be inclined to ask how a 39 year old quarterback could legitimize an NFL team, especially considering that same 39 year old quarterback failed legitimize another team the prior year.

Well folks, there really is no comparing The Jets and The Vikings here.

When Brett Favre went to the New York Jets, he joined the team in mid-August after training camp had already gotten underway. While in camp, he had to learn an entirely new system of plays and signals.

For a guy who had 17 seasons already under his belt, learning a new system isn’t that big of a deal, football is football. Even at that though, Favre struggled at the outset of the season while getting accustomed to his new surroundings and system.

In Minnesota, Favre won’t have to worry about any of that.

Word on the street is Favre will be signed before August, and the west coast offense Brad Childress runs is near identical to the one Favre used for over a decade in Green Bay. Childress is a student of Andy Reid, who was a student of Mike Holmgren.

Needless to say, Favre’s transition may be a bit easier.

Even with Favre stumbling out of the gates, The Jets started 8-3 and handed unbeaten Tennessee their first loss of the season. After that, The Jets stumbled to a 9-7 finish and Favre looked like he no longer belonged in The NFL.

But, (and this is a big but) the Jets don’t have Adrian Peterson.

The Jets attempted to ride Favre down the stretch in 2008, but should Favre begin to stumble in Minnesota, Peterson is more than capable of carrying that team down the stretch.

The Vikings already have one of the league’s best defenses, best offensive lines, and best running backs. It isn’t so much a matter of Favre being a stellar player that pushes Minnesota over the top, it’s the simple fact that the Vikings have everything in place except a quarterback.

Throw Favre into the mix with a stellar line, Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin and Bernard Berrian, and you have a recipe for a stellar offense.

All Favre needs to do is throw check-downs and bombs, he won’t be asked to do much, just distribute the ball and get out of the way.

Lastly, Favre now has revenge in his sights. It is Ted Thompson who Favre wants to spite, and if he keeps that in the back of his mind he will be motivated.

Should be an interesting 2009.


Can Brett Favre Lead Vikings to Postseason Success?

Three consecutive AP MVP Awards, seven division championships, and a Super Bowl Trophy—those are only some of Brett Favre’s accomplishments in his 18-year Hall of Fame career.

He holds eight NFL records:

Most career touchdown passes (464)

Most career passing yards (65,127)

Most career pass completions (5,720)

Most career pass attempts (9,280)

Most career interceptions thrown (310)

Most consecutive starts among NFL starting quarterbacks (269 regular season starts and 291 total starts, including playoffs)

Most career victories as a starting quarterback (169)

His last few seasons in Green Bay, before his first retirement and then comeback with the New York Jets, were an indication that Favre’s level of play was diminishing.

In 2005, he had 20 touchdowns to 29 interceptions.

In 2006, he had 18 touchdowns to 18 interceptions.

During those two years, talk of Brett Favre’s retirement increased. Many critics argued that Favre was slowly weakening his legendary status by continuing to play

2007 was a whole different story. Favre threw 28 touchdowns to 15 interceptions and led the Cheeseheads to the NFC Championship.

It all slipped away in the blink of an eye when Giants cornerback Corey Webster intercepted a bad pass from Favre deep in Green Bay territory.

The Giants won and advanced to the Super Bowl, where they would defeat the New England Patriots.

Favre must have relived that moment over and over. He retired and then chose to come back. The only problem was that the Packers were already building their offense around former first-round pick Aaron Rodgers.

The drama ensued as there was a back-and-forth dialogue between Favre and the Packers until he was eventually traded to the Jets.

Favre led the Jets to an 8-3 record by Week 12, but his shoulder started to trouble him, and the Jets lost four out of their last five games as Favre came up short once again.

Then, he retired again…and now he’s looking to make another comeback. It is being reported by a Minneapolis television station that Favre has already signed a deal with the Vikings.

The anticipation to another comeback is over.

He’s playing again, and for the Packers’ arch-nemesis, Minnesota.

You can bet Favre wants revenge. It will be somewhat sweet for him because he knows Minnesota’s offensive scheme to an extent.

Given that Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was Favre’s quarterbacks coach in Green Bay from 2003-2005, Favre should be comfortable in the Vikings’ offense.

Here’s the question though: Can he not only win, but also get another team besides the Packers to a Super Bowl berth? Or can he get past the first round of the playoffs?

Favre’s shoulder must be feeling good, since the health of his shoulder was said to be the basis for his decision. He has a playoff-ready team with the Vikings.

He’ll have All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson to take hand-offs to take the pressure off him and vice versa.

He will also have a good set of receivers to throw to in Bernard Berrian, Sidney Rice, and newcomer Percy Harvin (who can outrun just about anyone).

That’s a potential All-Star offense to go along with the best defensive line in football. Favre is in a great position to make the playoffs.

The Vikings and Brad Childress are going all in here, much like Eric Mangini and the Jets last year.

If the Vikings come up short, you can bet there will be a similar outcome for Childress.


Circle your calenders for Oct. 5 this year. On Monday Night Football, the Vikings and Brett Favre host the rival Green Bay Packers in what should be one of the most anticipated and viewed games of all time.