A Reminder On Who The Real Face Of The NFL’s Domestic Violence Problem Should Be

Greg Hardy.

Remind me again why Rice is considered persona non grata in the NFL, while Hardy will be welcomed back with open arms on Sunday.

For quite some time, I’ve been disturbed that Ray Rice has received the lion’s share of blame in this department.  What Rice did was unquestionably wrong, but he has also done about everything that could be expected to show remorse for his actions and work on making himself a better man.  In contrast, Hardy has continued to show no shred of such decency.

Christine Brennan’s closing question quoted above is a bit rhetorical, but I think it’s still deserves an answer:

  1. Rice was caught on video, and Hardy wasn’t.
  2. Still, there is a defensible football argument to be made that Rice’s skills were prepped for a decline after six years of heavy duty with the Ravens, particularly his 3.1 average on 660 yards in his last season there.

It will be interesting to see how Hardy performs in Dallas, and what happens after his one-year deal there expires.  Will memories of his past fade away? I’m not thrilled to discover what the answer will be.

PFF: Two Broncos Among Best FA Signings

Pro Football Focus ranked Evan Mathis and Vance Walker among the top 10 free agent signings of the 2015 season/offseason.

The best thing about Mathis is he was a street free agent, so the Broncos got a quality player that won’t affect the compensatory draft picks they could get in 2016.

Throw in Darian Stewart, who has been a quality player, and the Broncos have three free agents that proved good value signings.

There have been misses (Shelley Smith, for example), but as always, it’s important to hit more than you miss, and when you hit, get the best value you can. That’s what John Elway continues to do with most of his FA signings.

Do We Need More Reviews Or A Rule Change?

I am sure most of you know that the Monday Night Football game between the Seahawks and the Lions ended in controversial fashion.

Long story short: As Calvin Johnson ran to the end zone after catching a pass, Kam Chancellor knocked the ball loose. It landed in the end zone, where K.J. Wright knocked it out of bounds. It should have been a penalty but the line judge didn’t throw his flag.
Continue reading Do We Need More Reviews Or A Rule Change?

Bennett Blames Stafford for JFK’s Assassination

Following the Seattle Seahawks’ controversial victory over the Detroit Lions last night, Seahawks’ defensive end, Michael Bennett, blamed the assassination of John F. Kennedy on Lions’ quarterback, Matthew Stafford. Bennett’s basis? The fact that Stafford grew up in the Dallas, Texas area. Considering that Stafford was born twenty-five years after JFK’s assassination and how many current and former NFL players grew up in Dallas, Bennett’s commentary should be considered one of the most asinine ever uttered by an NFL player.

New York Times: Insider Trading Going On In Daily Fantasy?

Well, this is something:

A major scandal is erupting in the multibillion dollar industry of fantasy sports, the online and unregulated business in which players assemble their fantasy teams with real athletes. On Monday, the two major fantasy companies were forced to release statements defending their businesses’ integrity after what amounted to allegations of insider trading, that employees were placing bets on information not available to the public.

Last week, a DraftKings employee admitted to inadvertently releasing data before the start of the third week of N.F.L. games, a move akin to insider trading in the stock market. The employee – a midlevel content manager — won $350,000 at rival site FanDuel that same week.

The incident has raised questions about who at daily fantasy companies has access to valuable data, how it is protected and whether the industry can — or wants — to police itself.

The entire article is worth the read, and it will be curious to see if other media outlets follow up, especially those connected to a network broadcasting NFL games. When I first approached this topic, Yahmule had a good comment on how entities like the Nevada Gaming Commission root out scandals related to gambling, and how things could come “back to bite [FanDuel and DraftKings] in the ass”.  Looks like that biting may come quicker than we anticipated.

Vikings at Broncos: The 10 Things I Liked and the 10 Things I Didn’t

All of the media discussions were focused on Adrian Peterson and his god-like ability to run and whether or not the Broncos defense could stop him. No one discussed other factors such as Teddy Bridgewater, who played well, or the Broncos offense. We discovered a few things throughout the game that are highlighted below:

Continue reading Vikings at Broncos: The 10 Things I Liked and the 10 Things I Didn’t

Dolphins Fire Joe Philbin

The Miami Dolphins fired Joe Philbin four games into his fourth season.

Along with this news, I bring to you Michael Tanier’s Monday Morning Hangover, in which he says the Dolphins need to stop alternating between changing either the coach or front office, while keeping the other, and just clean house after the season.

A neat executive-coach-quarterback/core arrangement guarantees nothing. But a situation in which a coach who wasn’t hired by a general manager tries to lead players who were not selected by either of them guarantees failure. Sometimes, it’s a dull failure like the Dolphins have endured for years. Other times, it’s the spectacular 2015 Eagles situation: The coach ousts the general manager and moves mountains for a quarterback, and everything comes unglued quicker than a no-huddle offense.

There are instances in which a GM hires a coach, then fires him later for a new hire, has worked out, but it hasn’t worked out so much when the GM was fired and the coach retained under a new GM. Just ask the New York Jets (fired Mike Tannenbaum, hired John Izdik, kept Rex Ryan, both gone two seasons later) or the Chicago Bears (fired Jerry Angelo, hired Phil Emery, retained Lovie Smith, Smith later fired, Marc Trestman hired, he and Emery fired two seasons later).

Even worse for the Dolphins is they are stuck with Ndamukong Suh through at least 2017 thanks to a poor contract structure and could be stuck with him longer if the Dolphins decide to restructure his deal to gain cap space next season.

In The Matter Of DeMarcus Ware v. Elvis Dumervil

If you take a look at the sack list this morning, you’ll be quite happy with who is up at the top. Unless Michael Bennett has a monster game tonight, DeMarcus Ware will likely hold the sack title for a full week.  It’s evident that the Broncos and their fans are quite happy to have him in Denver right now.

But there has been a line of thought that suggests that, instead of sinking $10 million per year on a 32-34 year old Ware, the Broncos would have been better off if their misadventures between Elvis Dumervil and a fax machine never happened, as they could have had a pass rusher that was two years younger for somewhere around half the APY.

This morning, a recent quick take by Pro Football Focus contained an excellent point that compelled me to take a further look at this comparison.

Continue reading In The Matter Of DeMarcus Ware v. Elvis Dumervil

Gut Reaction: Broncos 4-0 And We Are Loving It

So the Broncos are 4-0 to start the season.

Sure, we can point out the deficiencies in each game. We know the offense has been merely adequate, that Peyton Manning is living life too dangerously and it’s costing him plenty of times (as was the case today on those two interceptions), and that it would be nice to see the Broncos regularly churn out rushing yards throughout the game.

And we could point out that Josh McDaniels did the same thing in his first season in Denver — heck, he went 6-0 — then things unraveled. And the Broncos schedule won’t get easier.

But this team looks different from that McDaniels team. This year’s defense is vastly better. Peyton may not be what he was in his prime, but he’s smart enough to know he can’t rest on his laurels. And the offensive line is getting better, rather than regressing like it did under McD.

Yes, I think this team has a much better chance of following up a 6-0 start with a good finish, even if it’s not 10-0. It doesn’t need to be, though. All it needs to be is enough games to win the division, maybe get a first-round bye, and then turn them loose in the postseason.
Continue reading Gut Reaction: Broncos 4-0 And We Are Loving It