Sunday, August 15, 2004

Football season is almost here

My initial football thoughts:

Does Dave Wanstadt get a free pass this year? Sure he's won 40 regular season games in the last four years, but he's missed the playoffs and the heat is on. With Ricky Williams's sudden retirement and David Boston's blown out knee, Wanstadt can say a 6-10 season isn't his fault.

The Patriots look ordinary. Of course, they looked ordinary last year, and look where that got them. They got Corey Dillon who will give them the running back they've never had. For his part, right now Dillon is saying the right things and if Tom Brady throws 50 times a game and they're winning, I think he'll shut the hell up and not worry about getting his carries. Not being on a perennial loser makes even the most selfish players team guys.

I think Andy Reid needs to rein in Terrell Owens. I think Owens has a big mouth and I think he's a lousy excuse for a human being. The Eagles certainly will be a better passing offense with him, but he drops a lot of balls and the only guy in the league who is more "me-first" is Keyshawn. I don't think the Eagles will make the NFC Championship this year. The NFC is easily the most competitive (and arguably the best-coached) division in football.

Philip Rivers needs to get into camp.

Kellen Winslow, Jr. needs a trip behind the woodshed.

Gunther Cunningham will instantly make the Chiefs's defense a middle of the pack defense without changing much by way of personnel. With Trent Green, Dante Hall and Priest Holmes, middle of the pack gets you 12-4 and a first round bye.

Teams on the rise: Dallas, Washington, Jacksonville, and Cincinnati.

Teams on the slide: Miami, Tennessee, San Francisco, and Oakland.

Coaches in the hot seat: Jim Haslett, Dave Wanstadt, Bill Cowher, and the 3 Mikes: Holmgren, Tice and Martz.

Carolina's o-line is a mess. I think Jake Delhomme looks like an ordinary joe again this year. I'm 50-50 on them even making the playoffs.

The most valuable player in the NFL is Michael Vick. Without him, the Falcons have exactly squat. Two other guys whose teams would suck without them: Brett Favre and Ray Lewis. The Packers's reliance on Favre is more psychological than actual; they've got good receivers and one of the three best all-round backs in the league (Holmes and Tomlinson being the other two now that Ricky Williams is gone) and the Packers could put a good game manager in as QB and go deep into the playoffs. Now if only they could find a way to not give up 4th and 26 and lose in overtime . . .

By the way, I'd like to say for the first time this year: I love parity and the BCS sucks.