Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bucs Release Offensive Coordinator

Tampa released offenseive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski this morning. Yeah, he's the guy who was in the news for interviewing for the N.Y. Jets job while he was still a coach at Boston College. Kind of funny how he lost his BC job just for interviewing elsewhere, and now he doesn't have a job at all.
So far, it appears that personality issues might have been the cause for Jagodzinski's release. I'm wondering if it had anything to do with the fact that he's just plain got a weird name.
The Bucs have promoted quarterbacks coach Greg Olson to the job of offensive coordinator. This answers my first question, which was...I wonder if they'll go after Chan Gailey, who was just released by Kansas City.
I just wonder if there will be any hard feelings now within the organization between Olson and head coach Raheem Morris. Morris could have originally promoted Olson to the job of offensive coordinator, after he had spent a few years with that same title in St. Louis. Instead, Morris chose to go with Jagodzinski, and he left Olson at the QB coaching job. Now, it's likely that this promotion for Olson is a move from ouside Morris's reach. Remember, Raheem Morris got the head coaching job without ever even being a coordinator. He was promoted from a position coaching gig.

Things are definitely strange in Tampa these days. This move definitely won't have me changing my last prediction that the Bucs will finish last in the division this year.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Worst-to-first in the NFC South

The NFC South's "worst-to-first" pattern had an amazing streak going earlier this decade. From 2003-2007, the team that placed last in the division went on to win it the following season. Also, it seems that division winners tend to struggle the following season.
Carolina finished last in 2002 and won the division in 2003.

Atlanta finished last in 2003 and won the division in 2004.

Tampa Bay finished last in 2004 and won the division in 2005.

New Orleans finished last in 2005 and won the division in 2006.

Tampa Bay finished last in 2007 and won the division in 2007.

In 2008, Carolina hit a last second field goal to defeat New Orleans. If the Saints could have won that game, then the Falcons would have won the NFC South after finishing last in 2007. Still, Atlanta earned a playoff spot in 2008. So, if you are a believer of patterns or trends in sports, then you must be a believer in the Saints for the 2009 NFL season.

After watching a lot of preseason games so far this year, I really believe that 2009 will be no different than the past six years in the NFC South. I think the Saints will win the division, and the Panthers will really struggle.
Sure, Carolina has an outstanding running game to go along with one of football's greatest receivers. I just think they'll have to put up a ton of points to compete this year, considering how poor their defense will perform.
Replacing defensive tackle Maake Kemoeatu with a guy like Louis Leonard just might still leave a little left to be desired on the defensive line. Also, the Panthers are experiencing very poor secondary production right now, not to mention the fact that Pro Bowl linebacker Jon Beason could miss a few games.
As for the Saints, I really see their defense picking it up a little this year. They've gotten better where they needed help, and their offense will still be just as strong as it was last year. I could even see Mike Bell and Robert Meachem stepping up this year to give the new offensive coordinator a few more options.
The Bucs will likely struggle in 2009, and I don't see the Falcons winning the division. Atlanta may finish second this year, but they will struggle defensively just like Carolina this season.
Here's how it will shake out for 2009:
Don't worry Tampa fans. 2010 is your year!

Monday, August 31, 2009

I'm a Fraud!

I'm very embarrassed to admit it, but I recently went against everything this blog stands for. I was picking in my fantasy football league at work, and I was just too weak to pass up Roddy White in the fifth round. Several receivers rated below (worse than) him had already been selected when it was my turn. In all honesty, he was a steal at the place I got him in my draft. Still, I feel sick!
I drafted a Falcon. The Falcons Suck!!! How could I do this? I've beating myself up over this for a few days, and all I can come up with is that I was greedy.
We give a nice trophy to the fantasy football winner every year, and it was right there in front of me...just taunting me as I was up to make my selection. I could have taken a less proven wide-receiver, but I turned my back on all of my principles just for the chance to win a stupid trophy.
I've tried to make myself feel better by saying, "at least I didn't take Michael Turner or Matt Ryan", but I know I'm just letting myself off easy there. I should be ashamed of myself. Maybe I'll trade him. But then I'd still be benefitting from the speculation that a Falcon might actually live up to their potential. How many Falcons can you think of that have actually lived up to their potential in the NFL?
I'll understand if you want to bash me for my cowardice. I deserve it.

I apologize if I've let you down.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"What the hell is Brett Favre Doing Here?"

By now, I'm sure you've heard that Brett Favre has signed a two year deal with the Minnesota Vikings. Personally, I never believed him three weeks ago when he said he wasn't coming back, but still, I guess this is newsworthy. What it means to the NFC South is very little, considering the fact that there's now way that the Vikings will compete for a playoff wildcard spot this year, and they only play one team from the division. Sure, they could make the playoffs, but they'll have to win the North to do that. I'd be willing to bet just about anything that the wildcards will come out of the South or the East again this year.
The one team in the division that will face Favre this year is the Panthers. Great news for Carolina fans...they don't play them until late December. That means that Favre will either be banged up and on the bench by then, or he'll be tired and throwing tons of INTs. Still, the Vikings were able to beat the Panthers last year without a solid quarterback even on the roster.
I'll definitely pick Carolina to win this game, I just hope they pick up a veteran defensive tackle before then.
Carolina looked rough at times in their first preseason game on Monday Night Football this week. It looks like Nick Hayden just won't be the guy to fill the hole at defensive tackle. He was getting pushed around like he was some high school player out there. Granted, the Giants have a strong offensive line, but still...that performance was a little ridiculous. I did however really like what I saw from linebacker J Leman. He could turn out to be a solid special-teamer for Carolina.
On another note from that Panthers/Giants game, I really liked what Coach Gruden was able to bring to the broadcast booth. I'm pretty sure someone told him to talk more during the games, because last week he seemed very nervous, while this week he wouldn't shut up. I especially liked when he called DeAngelo Williams the NFL's best running back.
I enjoy the football knowledge he brings to a broadcast, and he just reminds me of how much I couldn't stand listening to Tony Kornheiser. I do enjoy PTI, I just don't want to hear about American Idol while watching Monday Night Football.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fantasy Rankings: Quarterbacks

Deciding when to take a quarterback is pretty difficult in most leagues. Most fantasy draft tips suggest that picking a running back is the way to go with your first two picks. I actually disagree.
If you can pick up one of the top four quarterbacks this year, I'd definitely go that route before taking a middle-of-the road running back. The reason is because lots of running backs fit into the middle-of-the road category, and if you miss out on one guy, you'll probably be able to get someone fairly comparable in the next round. With the top-end quarterbacks, the points are just too hard to make up if you pass on them. For instance, last year, only five other quarterbacks scored within 100 points of Drew Brees (in my Yahoo league). Also, the fantasy team with the most successful quarterback has won my league, each of the last four years.
Then again, my league gives six points for a passing touchdown. Still, you should consider at least my top four guys earlier than the "expert" lists might suggest.
This is my QB list for 2009. Picking up a backup is necessary, so I'll list 24 (helpful for leagues of 12). As always, my list was made by looking at projections and last year's fantasy totals.

1. Drew Brees
2. Tom Brady
3. Peyton Manning
4. Aaron Rodgers
5. Phillip Rivers
6. Kurt Warner
7. Donovan McNabb
8. Tony Romo
9. Jay Cutler
10. Eli Manning
11. Carson Palmer
12. Matt Cassel
13. Matt Shaub
14. Matt Ryan
15. Jake Delhomme
16. Chad Pennington
17. David Garrard
18. Trent Edwards
19. Ben Roethlisberger
20. Kyle Orton
21. Jason Campbell
22. Matt Hasselbeck
23. Kerry Collins
24. Joe Flacco
Other backups to watch: Brady Quinn, Sage Rosenfels, Matt Stafford)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fantasy Rankings: Running Backs

This is the big one. RB is the most important position for almost all fantasy leagues. Who is going to be this year's LT? Who is going to be this year's DeAngelo Williams. One of those guys was taken as a first pick in most leagues, while the other was picked as a bench player. LT was sort of a let-down, while Williams had more fantasy points than any other RB last year.
It's tough, but fun!
Here's my list of RBs for 2009. As always, I made my list by looking at "expert" opinions, last year's point totals, and a little intuition. I'll list 36 since I'm sure I'll pick up at least 3 in my fantasy draft. Enjoy.

1. Adrian Peterson
2. Matt Forte
3. DeAngelo Williams
4. Michael Turner
5. Clinton Portis
6. Brian Westbrook
7. Maurice Jones-Drew
8. LaDainian Tomlinson
9. Brandon Jacobs
10. Steve Slaton
11. Steven Jackson
12. Chris Johnson
13. Marion Barber
14. Thomas Jones
15. Frank Gore
16. Ronnie Brown
17. Ryan Grant
18. Marshawn Lynch
19. Larry Johnson
20. Jonathan Stewart
21. LenDale White
22. Willie Parker
23. Kevin Smith
24. Le'Ron McClain
25. Tim Hightower
26. Reggie Bush
27. Joseph Addai
28. Derrick Ward
29. Sammy Morris
30. Felix Jones
31. Jerious Norwood
32. Knowshon Moreno
33. Jamal Lewis
34. Julius Jones
35. LeSean McCoy
36. Leon Washington

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fantasy Rankings: Wide Receivers

Now we are getting into the good stuff. Quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers are always the most exciting and anticipated picks in a fantasy draft. This year, to form my list for WRs, I printed out an "expert's" list, and compared it to the how many fantasy points each receiver scored last year. Throw in a little intuition, and that's how you form a solid rankings list.
Since my league requires a team to start 3 receivers, and there are 12 people in my league, I've got 36 WRs on the list. Enjoy.

1. Larry Fitzgerald
2. Andre Johnson
3. Randy Moss
4. Calvin Johnson
5. Steve Smith
6. Reggie Wayne
7. Roddy White
8. Terrell Owens
9. Greg Jennings
10. Anquan Boldin
11. Antonio Bryant
12. Roy Williams
13. Wes Welker
14. Vincent Jackson
15. Brandon Marshall
16. Lee Evans
17. Hines Ward
18. Braylon Edwards
19. Bernard Berrian
20. Dwayne Bowe
21. Santana Moss
22. DeSean Jackson
23. Devin Hester
24. Kevin Walker
25. Marques Colston
26. T.J. Houshmandzadeh
27. Santonio Holmes
28. Donald Driver
29. Lance Moore
30. Jerricho Cotchery
31. Chad Ochocinco
32. Anthony Gonzalez
33. Torry Holt
34. Laveranues Coles
35. Muhsin Muhammad
36. Patrick Crayton
37. Justin Gage
38. Domenik Hixon
39. Percy Harvin
40. Steve Breaston
41. Chris Chambers
42. Ted Ginn Jr.
43. Derrick Mason
44. Eddie Royal
45. Isaac Bruce
46. Steve Smith (NYG)
47. Nate Washington
48. Michael Jenkins
Okay, so I got a little carried away. As I was finishing my list of 36, I realized that I'll definitely need at least one backup WR. I'll do rankings for RBs and QBs in the next couple of days.