Discussion in 'Big Shotz Sports' started by Sluggo, Feb 28, 2012.
From what I read from Aaron Schatz on Twitter, Gronk plays on the XP team. Don't know why.
The Patriots always leave their players in when games are out of hand. I personally hope Brady's career ends on some sort of injury sustained in garbage time.
Well, he is a good blocker...
Sorta like LeSean McCoy being in at the end of the Skins-Eagles game. With 1:45 left in the game, and his team down by 25.
He got a concussion on a nasty hit. Later on, in the locker room, he was walking around in a daze and had to be led out of the stadium by a team official.
When Andy Reid was asked why he was in the game at that point:
Having been near Philly for the past 3+ years, I understand why the fanbase can't stand the guy. He's unbelievably arrogant. See example 1, above. Or example 2; hiring Juan Castillo to run his defense, even though the guy last had a defensive job 20 years ago.
Andy is just smarter than everyone. He's got a bit of Brian Billick in him...he's just not as flamboyant about his egotism as Billick is.
Yeah, he's been a blocker on every XP the Pats have kicked. It seems to have been a freak injury that could have happened on any blocking play. So the calls of greed or bad karma are just from morons who don't understand football. Just idiots think that a coach can ask players to play 100% until the final whistle but then pull players whenever a lead gets comfortable. Plus the redzone slurping brainless muppets who echo the arrogant claims don't actually watch the games in question and have only highlights and box scores to form their distorted reality.
yeah, that's right bitches. anyone really want to start this shit again? I double dare you.
Anyhoo, the question of why Gronk is a blocker on XPs and not a backup TE is a legitimate one. Apparently a lot of teams put their primary players on these XP kicks. In a case like this it feels like a poor use of the roster, but I suppose it allows for flexibility in going for one or two point conversions. It sets the mindset that no play is trivial. Plus experienced players are not just less likely to make mistakes on a point scoring play, they also be the ones that are less likely to injury themselves on such a play. Still it seems that if you have the back up players, why not put them to use?
You could have a hybrid of every good QB ever under center for the Cardinals at this point and they'd still look horrible behind that o-line.
I get why you have Gronk out there blocking on every XP and/or field goal (you want him out there in that situation all the time in case you want to go for it without tipping your hand). And you are correct; it's a freak injury.
However, if you want to bitch at Der Sweatshirt about leaving Brady in for as long as he did, that's a more logical argument IMO. There was literally no reason for Brady to be out there the last five minutes of that game at least.
I had a similar bout of shouting at the TV during the end of Redskins/Eagles with RG3 still in the game for some reason, especially after an earlier attempt by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to be the dirtiest player in the game.
He's not even trying to tackle him, he's trying to take him out. One of the most egregious dirty plays I've ever seen, and fortunately RG3 was getting tackled already so he didn't his head taken off. DRC is a punk.
That's a legitimate argument. A 28 point lead with 7:38 left to go and Brady returns for another drive on a short field (Edelman returned the punt to the Colt's 39.) Football is a fickle game and that was illustrated well in this match with pick 6s and punt returns for TDs. But it's not that fickle. Logically there isn't a compelling reason other than there is no statistical numbers for player removal and injury rate to point at, just anecdotes. It would be nice to have numbers on how much replacing a starter with a backup increases the chance of injury to the replacing backup. Obviously there's no choice between an injury to a starter over an injury to a backup, but if the risk of injury for inserting a backup is significantly higher than the continued risk of injury for a starter then that could be a logical argument to keep starters in the game and not treat your backup players as cannon fodder.
Keeping the starter in is doubly stupid. First, because an injury to your starter hurts the team way more than an injury to a backup. Second, because if you never play your backup, then when your starter does get injured you have to start a guy with zero game experience.
Basically, the Patriots are one play away from being last year's Colts. But maybe that's their strategy--if Brady gets hurt, be so bad that you're only bad for one season and then draft his successor.
Saints put in Chase Daniel yesterday. That's not a guy that will get a lot of snaps in his career. (Hopefully.)
Except for the backup QB, players that are backup guys, don't exist solely to do the job of a specific starter in the event they can't play. I should call them substitutions instead. They have roles on the team, usually in special teams or non-base packages. Active players almost always have playing time on the field and somehow fit into the scheme and that scheme is developed in practice over the course of a week. Game experience only matters for executing plays in anger, so better to fit in substitutions in the middle of the game rather than at the end of a lopsided match when your opponent might not be as interested in competing. In other words the backup isn't someone that has no experience doing what he has been assigned to do, he's just not the best option on the team to do it. That doesn't change if you give them some extra garbage time snaps, and if their risk of injury is higher going in 'cold,' then your increasing the net risk of injury to your players.
Almost every case of 'he should have been pulled' is hindsight. Before you can make that argument, you have to draw your line of when someone should quit in a non-blow out. 28 point lead in the 4th seems like a good line to draw for Brady, but what about the rest of the starters? Do you pull Welker with a 21 point lead because he might get hurt and then transfer that risk to Edelman? Do you pull Wilfork who has a very clean injury history and substitute with Brandon Deaderick who has a worse history of injury? If you've got a fragile player, someone who keeps collecting injuries, do you give them less snaps even in a close game?
I think where you draw the line is based on the question "How screwed would we be if this guy got hurt?" For Brady, the answer is "completely." Just about every team in the league except the Eagles and Patriots seems to know where to draw the line.
At the end of the Niners' blowout of the Bills, they had the backup QB handing the ball to the third string RB. Most of the backup OL was on the field too. Now Colin Kaepernick has to start on Monday Night against one of the best defenses in the NFC. I'm glad this isn't the first time he's taken a snap in the regular season. I'd even go so far as to say that the time he played in the Bills game and others might be the difference between a tie and a loss last week.
I believe a lot of it is also the stars themselves keeping themselves in. I know Brees and Brady are the kind of players who are looking at their legacies - they're well aware of their records and want to set as many as possible. So there's that too. Brees didn't look very happy about being pulled yesterday, for instance. He kept his helmet on.
Smart decision or no, I think you'll find that a lot of teams (read: all) have marquee guys on the field in situations you don't expect them. There just aren't enough active players on a team to have the luxury of swapping out the entire team for PATs and kickoffs, not to mention a lot of other types of bad things can happen if you tried (such as blocked kicks and bad blocking or tackling on kickoffs, etc.). I am not saying the situations discussed here fall into that category (NE has enough TEs to not need Gronk out there, and McCoy being in was more about Andy Reid desperately trying to keep his job by some miracle).
Aside from that, what the fuck is the NFL's deal this season? Nobody wants to see the same division matchup 2 or 3 goddamn weeks apart. Yet a bunch of retread games are cropping up all within a month's time. it's weird.
I was tickled when blue-chip #3 overall pick Matt Kalil took a break from being a top-3 left tackle to block a PAT in week one (two? I don't remember that far back).
See I find this almost silly. First, Kaepernick is a little different than most backup QBs in that he probably figures into the game plan week to week. The only other non-injury sub, Tebow, had only about 10 more offensive snaps than Kaepernick before the St. Louis game. Saying that the one pass and bunch of hand-offs in the Bills game made Kaepernick a better substitution QB is far fetched. I don't want to suggest that there could be a QB controversy in SF, but well... Kaepernick obviously has a bigger role than other backups. It's not like Fitzpatrick was subbed before one minute left in the 42 point blow out, nor did Eli ever get subbed in the Giants game. If you want to argue that Kaepernick benefits from field time, ok, but not from garbage time play. He got snaps when the game was still in the balance. He scored the first points in SF's destruction of the Jets, not the last.
After seeing promising flashes his rookie year, his performance in the preseason, and the intense defensive focus on Megatron across the field from him, I was hoping for a breakout year from Titus Young. Uh...
When he showed up for practice, they told him to go sit at home for the week instead. They didn't go quite so far as to cut him; although given that this is the second time he's been sent home this year (he was banned from OTA's back in May for sucker-punching a DB), you can't help but figure it's gonna happen verrrrrrrrry soon.
Ton of potential, too bad he seems unable to grow past age fifteen.
That's certainly true; Brees, Brady, many of the great players of any era, of these guys are serious competitors that literally want to be out there every snap of every play that they can be out there for either up by 30 or down by the same. That's very admirable from their perspective. However, the coaches and GM have a responsibility to the organization as a whole and to the team. The Saints are probably not a playoff team this year but there is next year to look at, and the Greatroiots are in a good playoff position that isn't going to be improved by running up the score.
Take Kaepernick and Tebow out of it for the sake of argument; he and Tebow are special cases that really are more of 'change of pace' QB's in their respective setups*. What are you losing by putting in, for example, Mallet at that 7:00-ish minute mark? Nothing other than some evaluation time. And you're probably gaining something considering he's not seeing any reps in practice during the week. Just getting snaps from the center in a for-real game is worth it, not to mention you can evaluate in a pretty safe environment whether or not you need to look for another backup QB or if he can run the offense in a reasonable manner respective to the current guy.
Also, you can look at it from this perspective: Brady and Brees are like Fetushead in that they make their teams much, much more than the sum of their parts. Take Brees out of Naw'lens at the beginning of the season and tell me what game they would have won. Brady gets a broken arm at 4:58 or so in this game and tell me with a straight face that they'll make it past the wildcard game in the playoffs. We've got good evidence to show that, when you go balls deep in on someone and they get seriously hurt, the whole team just doesn't work anymore and the house gets cleaned afterward. It's better to plan for something happening and preparing for that rather than winning by an extra 7 points when you were already up by a lot.
*Both are probably getting some double digit percentage of snaps in practice any given week. Not so much for most any backup QB in the league
While I agree in this last instance of a Patriot lead that the coach should have pulled Brady, I'm still not in the position to argue against it, especially since we all know it's the standard operating procedure. If Belichick asks his players to play a full sixty minutes each week no matter what, he probably wants that to be more than pep talk. If he pulls his best player, what does that say about the importance of every other player's performance? I'm not in the position of an NFL coach so I don't have to reconcile the need to make every snap important with protecting high value players. All I can suggest is that injuries don't happen in a predictable pattern and there's probably no one with a better idea of what a specific injury means to the Patriots than Belichick. I think the kind of coach that's all about preparation and game planning and not gut instincts isn't going to be swayed by 'what if's and worst case scenarios. I don't believe he thinks one can game plan injuries away. They are something you condition to prevent and prepare for the inevitable, but otherwise out of your control. Not something where you need to play the odds.
Let the QB controversy begin!
I been on the Kaepernick train since Day 1. But I also like Alex Smith and always wanted him to succeed too just to rub it in the face of those fans who chanted "We want Carr." Either way it's a good problem to have.
It's amazing how young QBs are always better when they're drafted by a team with a good offensive line.
Conversely, how are the Bears tied for first in their division even with a healthy Cutler? Does he just get rid of the ball in under a second?
Clearly he's a sleight-of-hand artist.
That ball was never in his hands to begin with; it was behind Brandon Marshall's ear the whole time.
I'm not ready to hop on the Kaepernick train just yet, but he made some darn nice passes and could probably have a heigher ceiling than Smith. Harbaugh doesn't seem committed to either guy at this point.
Does anyone think this game would have played out much differently with both starting QBs in? I don't.
Kaepernick looked good but hot-diggitty-damn is that defense all kinds of great. Just plain old dominant is what I'd call it. What's their worst showing this year? I need to see it. It's going to be a wonderful rough night in the Superdome this weekend. Followed by the Saints traveling to Atlanta three days later.
The Niners' worst showing? The Giants game, no question.
Roger that. I need to watch it so I can tell myself that we have a chance going up against no2 and no3 in four days.
Steelers sign Brian Hoyer and Plexico Burress to fill roster slots. Man, is that team beat up...3 All Pros are hurt and another 3-5 starters out.
I'd normally think the Steelers are going to fall out of playoff contention with all those injuries. But the rest of the AFC is so weak at this point that they might just be able to survive it. The team to watch is probably the Bengals since they are only a game back at this point, but everyone else is two games behind the Steelers and Colts for the AFC wildcard spots. Not impossible with six games to go, but not exactly easy.
The NFC could end up with a bunch of teams fighting for those two wildcard spots, though. I'm not convinced that 10-6 will be enough this year in the NFC. Right now there are three 6-4 teams fighting for that last wildcard spot with two 5-5 teams right behind them.
Either way, Saints are the team that's gonna decide who goes to the playoffs in the NFC. Our next five opponents are 49ers, Falcons, Giants, Buccaneers and the Cowboys (and Carolina). That's one helluva schedule.
I think the Bengals are going to the playoffs this year.
Steve Young, among others, sure seem to think Harbaugh mishandled things last night with his less then definitive answer to who his QB is now. But Harbaugh does things his own way so I'm not going to rely on conventional wisdom about how he should have handled it.
Harbaugh definiitely opened up a can of worms with his ambiguous "we're going to go with the hot hand" answer, but with Harbaugh, who knows? He seems like a wild card so far, and it wouldn't shock me if he was trying to light a fire under Smith or maybe even both QBs.
I'm more thinking he doesn't want the Saints to know who they're playing? What you say in public or to the media doesn't matter, not when it comes to having two players who've both shown they can play.
Lighting a fire under a guy that has a concussion?
The Arizona defense will be taking the QBs out back tomorrow and shooting them.
Which shows whats wrong in Arizona. Even Peyton Manning couldn't succeed behind that offensive line.
That's my read. The word out of SF all week was that Smith took the majority of the first-team snaps in practice, but the way Kaepernick played I don't believe for a second that he only worked with the first team on Saturday. I think Harbaugh knows exactly who he's starting and is using Smith's injury as a smokescreen. And I'll be very surprised if the guy getting the start isn't Kaepernick.
Wait, so on the one hand you're saying teams don't need to play backups at all, and on the other hand you're saying that the fact the Niners have found ways to get their backup in the game more than just garbage time somehow makes it unfair? Which is it? Because it sure seems to me like the Niners are doing it the right way. They had a second year guy make his first start yesterday and slice up one of the best defenses in the league with his arm, not his running. He was able to do that because he was prepared. Part of that preparation was getting him on the field to experience the speed of the NFL game.
The absolute worst example of the reverse is the Colts last year. They had so little confidence in their backup that they actually went and signed Kerry Collins out of retirement. If you don't believe your backup can play, he's not really a backup, is he? It'd be like having a bike tire in your trunk as the spare. If you can't use it when you need it, you're just carrying dead weight.
Would you believe the line played better that game than it had been for weeks?
I think Peyton would succeed. He'd read the defense, make the adjustments, and get off quick throws.
While the line is one of the worst in the NFL, the one Warner had when he was here wasn't one to write home about, either. He was just really good at reading defenses, making adjustments, and getting the ball out quick.
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