Monday, April 26, 2010

Weekend Hangover - Love/Hate


- I love the folly of people “grading” the team’s NFL draft within 24 hours of the draft ending. It is entertaining to see which teams were winners and losers in the mind of journalists, but the reality is that there is no telling who had a good draft for the next 3 years. There is no telling whether any of these guys are going to live up to expectations and where the sleepers will come from. You wouldn’t judge a movie based purely on reading the book it was based on, right? You need to see the movie and then make a decision. So, yes, as of right now it looked like the Raiders had a successful draft (especially if you include the trade for Jason Campbell to play QB), but then again, it looked like they had strong drafts when they took JaMarcus Russell or Darren McFadden right after they were drafted. Speaking of the book-movie reference, I read the book Up In The Air and saw the movie and there is almost no correlation between the two. I understand that there are always some differences when they make the movie, but it seemed that the only thing the movie and book had in common was a guy who was traveling constantly and going for 1 million frequent flyer miles. I actually liked the movie better than the book, and it wasn’t just because of Anna Kendrick or Vera Farmiga.

- How impressive has Jim Schwartz been in remaking the Lions, at least on paper? Their offense is ready to explode with Matthew Stafford maturing and already having one of the best receivers in the game in Calvin Johnson. They signed Nate Burleson to play opposite Megatron and traded for Tony Scheffler to be the tight end safety for their young quarterback. Then they added Jahvid Best for some explosiveness out of the backfield and if their line can give Stafford some time, they should be able to put up points. Then defensively they drafted Suh to go with recently signed veteran Kyle Vanden Bosch (who excelled under Schwartz with the Titans) to anchor the defensive line. They have the potential to be the third best team in the NFC North, behind only the Vikings and Packers, but well ahead of the Bears. Maybe it’s the new logo that’s changing everything?

- Can someone please get an ice pack for Dwyane Wade’s back and shoulders? He is single-handedly carrying the entire Heat franchise to keep them alive in the playoffs. His performance on Sunday was absolutely incredible in staving off elimination for at least another couple of days. At one point during the game they put up a stat that he had scored 1/3 of his teams total points in the series and was shooting almost 60 percent from the floor….as a guard!! I mentioned it before, but if you’re Wade, how in the world can you resign in Miami this summer? His teammates are worthless. I don’t want to see it, but Wade in Chicago would be a nice landing spot next to Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah. If LeBron James is Superman (and he put on his own impressive showing Sunday with a ho-hum triple-double), then Wade must be Batman.

- Even though Colt McCoy slid even further in the draft than Jimmy Clausen, I think McCoy is in a better situation. McCoy has only a veteran turnover machine in front of him in Cleveland, and will get to be tutored by Mike Holmgren who has a tremendous record with quarterbacks. Clausen, on the other hand, goes to a Carolina team that will be starting a young guy in Matt Moore and will be coached by a lame duck coach, John Fox in the final year of his contract. While Clausen may be able to beat out Moore, his situation reminds me of the situation his former Notre Dame buddy Brady Quinn went through in Cleveland. Quinn came in only having to compete with Derek Anderson under a coach in Romeo Crennel that had already used up all the slack in his leash. So Crennel didn’t have the ability to be patient to allow Quinn to mature and when they brought in a new coaching staff, there was no reason to keep someone else’s pick.


- The Lakers effort against the Thunder this weekend was laughable. Kobe only took 12 shots in game 4, almost like he decided to take the night off knowing they only had to win their home games. Kevin Durant was the real deal, posting 21 points and 19 rebounds in game 3 and then another impressive outing to tie the series 2-2 on Saturday. Can the Thunder win the series? It’s still about as likely as Big Ben getting an endorsement deal from Disney. More importantly it has shown that the Lakers are extremely vulnerable to be beaten by an experienced team in the later rounds.

- Taylor Mays pretty much solidified why Pete Carroll didn’t draft him. I’ve never had a hard time taking shots at Carroll for being a jag off, but in this instance, I think he’s in the clear. Mays was drafted by the 49ers and claimed that Carroll lied to him about wanting to draft him and complaining that he was let down by his former coach. Listen, Taylor, maybe if you put as much effort into improving as you do to whining, you would have been drafted earlier. However every report out there said that Earl Thomas (and others) were better safeties than you because you don’t wrap up, you don’t have great closing speed and your footwork is lazy. Mays’ complaints carry about as much weight as if J-Woww would whine that she only gets attention for her chest. Well, duh.

- It was really hard to watch the ABC halftime reports with Rick Reilly watching the Nuggets game with George Karl as he goes through treatment for throat cancer. Karl looks like he has aged about 15 years since he was last on the sidelines and you can see the pain as he watches the game. Karl is a fighter and continues to do battle against the illness, and I have no doubt that he will persevere, but it was difficult to watch him struggle to take his shots, medication and then have to sit there helplessly watch his team play disjointed and fall to the edge of elimination by the Jazz. Keep fighting and get better George.

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