Welcome back to another episode of NFL Lucubration's. This time we are going to review things after week 7 of the NFL 2008 season.
Please allow me to spew over a few :
BENEDICT ARNOLD IN PADS
As some of you may know, there is a story circulating that Brett Favre gave the Detroit Lions insights on how the Packers system operates. This is really a non story blown up into more because of it involves Favre. Hopefully no one is naive enough to think Favre is innocent, as he claims he is. The truth is, players have pulled this stunt for decades. Teams have signed guys just for insights into their rivals playbooks. What Favre did was not unusual at all. Then you have a little thing called game film. Teams hire guys to just break down and study film. There are hundreds of stories where legends would tell their opponents what was coming play by play in games. Jim Brown would let people know he was getting the ball. Did they stop him? No! There are few surprises coming at teams. It is the execution of the plays that makes them work. So, IF Favre did this...it didn't help. The Packers won. Let's move onward and forward.
I respect Carson Palmer for trying to get it going, but it appears something is more seriously wrong with his right elbow than anybody in the Bengals organization is telling. If there is ligament damage, the Bengals should shut him down instead of risking him to a Tommy John procedure. A "sore elbow" is a vague description. Cincy is 0-7. Shut him down, get some good draft picks and try again next year. Carson, hopefully, will be ready then.
SET HIM FREE
Vern "Duke" Davis is on the wrong team. The 49ers are squandering this mans immense talents. A Tight End as fast as a Wide Receiver , and who can jump through the roof. I thought Mike Martz would follow through on his promise of using Davis much like Shannon Sharpe was used : in the slot. Well, Martz was recently quoted to having admitted he is using Davis like he used Ernie Conwell in Saint Louis. Conwell was a lumbering guy who was used to the best of his abilities, but Martz is screwing up Davis. The Niners Tackles have been so bad, Martz keeps Davis in to help block most of the time. Factor in having a terrible journeyman at Quarterback in J.T. O'Sullivan, and you see a no win situation for Davis. Duke is a quiet and thoughtful man who doesn't put himself first and rarely complains. I think him, or his agent, needs to demand to the 49ers brass that he must be traded. Now that Mike Singletary is the Head Coach, maybe things will change in time. The NFL does not guarantee a long career. By the time San Francisco gets a decent QB, Davis may be out of his prime. Many teams would love to have his services, and would know how to use him correctly.
DON'T BLAME THE HEAD COACH OR QB
It is easy to blame Wade Phillips for the Cowboys swoon. That really is the lazy approach. If you follow this blog, then you know how I've pointed on the real Achilles heel of the Cowboys. They are getting dominated on both sides of the ball in the trenches. Steven Jackson was barely averaging 3.6 yards on 96 attempts behind a mediocre Rams line until they played Dallas. Jackson averaged 6.4 yards on 25 carries in the Rams dominating win. Dallas did sack Marc Bulger 5 times, but all came from their linebackers. Then you had Brad Johnson getting pummeled virtually every time he dropped back to pass. No, it isn't Wade's fault. He is just the figurehead to easily scape goat. Jason Garrett has been horrible calling plays, but he isn't the reason either. Blame the G.M. Jerry Jones. Jerry got lots of talented ball handlers, but you can't handle the ball if your not allotted enough time to succeed. Jerry neglected the trenches, which is confusing considering the division rival Giants, just won the Super Bowl because they won in the trenches.
QUARTERBACKS NEEDED = EXPERIENCE NOT NEEDED
Matt Cassell reminds me of Jay Schroeder, albeit without the arm strength. Schroeder, as some of you may know, spent his college career on the bench just like Cassell did. Schroeder did lead the Redskins to an NFC Championship game once, and earned a Super Bowl ring in another season. Cassell has Super Bowl rings without having to play. Now he is on the field after Tom Brady was lost for the season. It wouldn't be a total shock to see him at the helm as the Patriots reach the playoffs. I have long said the QB position is vastly over rated by todays media, and all you need is a team to work in unison. Joe Gibbs showed this by having 3 QB's pilot the Redskins to Super Bowl wins. Schroeder came close to being the 4th. The Patriots can certainly show my theory to be true, no matter how much of a long shot it may seem to the casual fan.