The Monday Afternoon Backup Fullback (9/29/08)


Posts from Handicappers on hiatus

The Monday Afternoon Backup Fullback (9/29/08)

Arizona Head Coach Ken Wisenhunt is this week's Boner.

A lot of people have columns called "Monday Morning Quarterback." I was trying to come up with something different and decided to settle on the position I dominated in high school: Backup fullback. No one could block a guy two times a game like the powerful (but painfully slow-footed) Tommy Rider. So now that the NFL season is in full swing, here is the debut of the "Monday Afternoon Backup Fullback." I hope you enjoy my inane observations.

Best Coaching Decision of the Week: This isn't just for the week but I'm going to give it to Falcons coach Mike Smith for having the balls to start Matt Ryan right away. I had the Panthers on Sunday so I watched most of the game and this kid is the real deal. Did he have a great game? No. But he showed a strong arm, good pocket presence and the ability to look off receivers, something very few young quarterbacks do these days. Plus, his receivers dropped about five balls in that game. I was joking with Matty that no one even knows who the head coach for the Falcons is right now but so far, I think Mike Smith is doing a solid job in Atlanta. They are definitely a team on the rise.

Worst Coaching Decision of the Week: Andy Reid's conservative play-calling late in the game against the Bears. First, let me say that I'm not piling on here. I agree with the people that argue you should be able to get a yard in that situation. However, my belief has always been that with the game on the line, you put the ball in the hands of your best players. If this were Dallas or San Diego, I would have run the ball every time as well. However, without Brian Westbrook in the game, I really think Donovan McNabb should have faked the hand-off on either third or fourth down and rolled out. If the Eagles had called a bootleg on fourth down, McNabb walks in untouched. I think Andy Reid is a darn good coach but that play-calling was a little too conservative for my liking, especially when you aren't a power running team to begin with and your best back is in street clothes.

What's Good for the Goose...
All I've been hearing since the Jets rolled the Cardinals is how it was a huge mistake by Ken Wisenhunt to keep his team on the East Coast all week
. If that's your opinion, that's fine. However, just know that Bill Belichick and the Patriots will be doing this twice. They play San Fran and San Diego over the next two weeks and then Oakland and Seattle later in the year and they are staying on the West Coast both times. One thing I really hate about the media is they will criticize one coach for doing something and then let another slide for doing the exact same thing. If you think it was a mistake by Wisenhunt, then you think the Patriots are making the same mistake. Besides, I really don't think the Cardinals staying on the East Coast had anything to do with Jets receivers running through Arizona's secondary uncovered all afternoon.

Do the Bengals and Browns Really Have to Play Again?
Apparently, the Browns and Bengals will meet in Cleveland on Dec. 21 for a rematch of yesterday's snoozefest. I watched some of that game yesterday and at no point did I see anything that resembled NFL football. The play calling was atrocious, the quarterback play was awful and even though the score was only 20-12, both defenses stunk. First of all, I see no reason for the Browns not to turn to Brady Quinn. Derek Anderson is struggling badly and now he and his receivers are getting in fist fights on the sideline. I actually think Quinn is going to be one heck of a player and the Browns are just wasting time by having him sit on the bench. As for the Bengals, remember when Marvin Lewis had this team on the rise? This is what happens when you constantly bring in bad character guys. It destroys a locker room and eventually, the entire team. I can't wait for this rematch. Talk about a Christmas present coming a few days early. I wonder if Quinn will be playing by then.

Player of the Week: Statistically, it's Brett Favre but my POW isn't just based on statistics. I'm going to give my Player of the Week to Jason Campbell. Granted, he was throwing against the Cowboys "prevent" defense all game but Campbell really showed me a lot. I was never a big fan of Campbell in college or his first couple of years in the NFL. However, I was really impressed the way he was looking off his first read and getting the ball to the right receiver. Washington has a strong defense and running game. Now if Campbell can continue to improve, this Redskins squad is going to be tough. As disappointed as I was with the Cowboys' performance, I was equally impressed by the Redskins.

Quote of the Week: "I told them they needed to motivate themselves." - Wade Phillips on what he told his players at halftime. That's the kind of motivational speech that could win Bum Jr. Coach of the Year. Since the players are motivating themselves and Jason Garrett is calling all the offensive plays, can anyone tell me why Wade is collecting a paycheck? Just curious.

Boner of the Week: Ken Wisenhunt. There is something too many coaches do that they never get called on. They keep their starters in when the game is out of hand. Does anyone want to tell me why in the hell Anquan Boldin was in the game with 33 seconds left down 21 points? That's just plain stupid. Boldin got rocked in the head and had to be carted off the field. Luckily he was fine but what if his season had ended there? Sure, the Cardinals got blown out but they have a very good chance to win the NFC West. Why risk losing one of your top players in a game that is way out of reach? I see coaches do this all the time and it makes no sense to me. There is a difference between giving up and being smart. The only thing that can happen in that situation is bad. Wisenhunt got lucky because Boldin wasn't seriously hurt but his stupid actions earn him my Boner of the Week award.

  • Thanks Gback, I appreciate it. I went 4-5 on Saturday and 3-1 on Sunday. I'm doing well in the NFL but I've started off slow in CFB. I love the card on Saturday so hopefully I'll get that turned around this weekend. Again, thanks for the comments. Good luck this weekend my friend.

  • Sorry on the missing word

    I meant to say I really LIKE your style !!!!

  • Tommy I have been following you for a while now and you really seem to have it going on in the NFL and being a sport writers and having the inside information has really helped. I really your style and honesty.  Especially on how much information you put out and why. I looked for you Sunday to see what you had going but  for some reason I could not find you on the web site. It may have been an error on my end. Just curious if it was me or you just did not have a play this week?  

  • Drop your old prof an e-mail Tom. Curious about the career change.

  • Hey Carl, Mendenhall fractured his left shoulder and is out for the rest of the season.  The Steelers were down to their fourth-string running back.  That's not an excuse, but it's a fact.  Still, we had a shot in the fourth quarter and fell short.  Bad pick.

  • Great rants Matt and Goodfella. There is nothing like reading a good rant. Carl, good luck to you. I'm doing well in the NFL and if I can get going in CFB, I think we will still have a huge year. Sorry you won't be around. Take care.

  • Carl....bothersome post in response to the original post.  You do what you must my friend, I totally understand frustrations in this arena.  BEAR IN MIND:  Wagering sports, which I have done for 17 years as a pro bettor and capper has its peaks and valleys.  And the valleys suck!

    The process is not a 100 yard dash but a season long 25 mile marathon.

    I lost my ASS on Denver this weekend..a personal and professional embarssment...but the furthest thing from my mind was quitting.  I fired right back with half that loss on the Over on Monday Night...keeping it in perspective and using a disipline with a bankroll is crucial.

    Sorry you lost this weekend, it is part of the process of gambling....and you may be is for some poeple and not for others......

  • After 20 years I have decided to quit betting on football.

    Thanks to you.

    Becuase if you cant win with inside info and contacts.

    What hope is there ?

    Thanks for showing me the light.

    If we cant win with that info.

    Then why ever buy another play.

    I bought Mattys play tonight on the Steelers...

    It lost.

    After saying how good of a college back Mendenhall was i thought we had it.

    Because Big 10 and the Ravens defense = same thing.

    So with that and inside info and we cant crack 50%...

    Why bother !

  • Locally, I got the epic battle between Cleveland & Cincy on CBS, cuz they think ALL of us Pacific NW katz actually GIVE A SHIT that Derek Anderson (who cant count to 21 BTW) went to Oregon St. So they throw us teh Browns about every other week,......They did the same shit when Joey Harrrington was with Detroit!!!! Between this MYOPIC programming & ME BEING STUCK getting the Seattle Chickenhawks EVERY DAMN WEEK....I need to bail on my digital cable and go SATELITE!!!! Atleast for the NFL season!!! Ok, Im done   Solid post Tommy thanks!

  • Speaking of players getting hurt, can someone tell me what the hell is going on with players' helmets getting knocked off during games?  It's happening in both college and the NFL and it's become an epidemic.  I remember when you used to see a players helmet come off (usually when they were hit by Chuck Cecil) and everyone would oooh and ahhh.  Not anymore.  Now it happens on just about every play and on a few occasions I have seen where two different players' helmets have come off on the same play.  Pretty soon someone is going to get hurt very seriously and then it will be a real problem.

    Wasn't it just about a year ago that the league was so concerned about concussions that there were threats to make major changes to the game (i.e no head contact) if something wasn't done.  Apparently they have forgotten about that and just taken the air out of the helmets instead.

    Good post Tom and sorry about the off topic rant.