31 August 2009
Posted by David
Quarterbacks taken in the first round of the NFL Draft are paid millions in guaranteed money and expected to become a team’s franchise quarterback. In 2009, we saw three quarterbacks go in the first round: Matt Stafford, Mark Sanchez and Josh Freeman. Today I want to talk about whether or not rookie quarterbacks should be thrown into a starting role immediately, or if they should be eased into the position over the course of a few years.
Decades ago, it was common for teams to groom quarterbacks into the position over the course of a few years. It was very rare to see a rookie quarterback start on opening day. However, over the last 15-20 years, teams have been paying 1st round quarterbacks so much money that they are pressured to start the players immediately. Why pay someone $40 million in guaranteed money only to watch them ride the bench for a few years?
Generally, teams that select quarterbacks in the first round are hurting at that position and may not have other options. Recently, we’ve seen players like Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Ryan start for their teams on day one with great results. But we’ve also seen other first rounders like David Carr, Joey Harrington and Alex Smith start right away and completely fall a part.
So what should teams do? Go the route of Peyton Manning or ease a QB into the position like the Bengals did with Carson Palmer? I think a lot of it has to do with the team’s current quarterback situation and the player’s mental strength. Some players can go in there, take a beating and still walk away with confidence.
The New York Jets have already named Mark Sanchez the starter for opening day. The Detroit Lions haven’t made up their mind on Matt Stafford and the Tampa Bay Bucs decided not to start Josh Freeman. Do you think these teams have made the right decision? Would you do anything different?
27 August 2009
Posted by David
Week 3 of the NFL Preseason kicks off tonight with three games, including the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Philadelphia Eagles. But I’m not going to talk about Michael Vick’s first game back or the quarterback situation in Tampa Bay (who happens to be playing Miami tonight as well)… no, today’s blog post is about the two remaining rookie holdouts: Andre Smith and Michael Crabtree.
Andre Smith was selected as the 6th overall pick in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Smith was regarded as the most talent offensive lineman coming into the NFL, but he definitely had some character issues causing him to drop a few slots. The same can be said about San Francisco’s first round (10th overall) pick Michael Crabtree. Most scouts pegged Crabtree as the top wide receiver prospect, but he also had character issues coming out of college.
Is it a surprise to anyone that these two guys haven’t signed yet? I don’t know all the details of the contracts offered to each player, but generally teams are pretty good about offering a player a contract that fits their slot in the draft. A player will receive more money than the player selected below him and less money than the player selected above him in the draft. If there is a huge gap between those two numbers that’s where the issues come in.
Holdouts are the worst thing about football. On one hand, the players look greedy to the fans when they will hold out because $20 million isn’t enough money. On the other hand, the team can look cheap to the fans when they aren’t willing just to pay a guy an extra $1 million to bring him in camp. It’s a lose-lose situation. The rookies who hold out never have good seasons. Their growth is stunted and they have a great chance of getting injured on the field.
Do you think we will ever see these two guys sign? Crabtree has threatened to sit out the entire 2009 season if he doesn’t get the contract he wants. My guess is we’ll see both of them sign two days prior to the final preseason game. It will be too hard for them to watch their friends cashing NFL paychecks while they’re sitting in a hotel room waiting.
26 August 2009
Posted by David
We are only eight days away from the start of college football. After months of recruiting, spring games, and summer practices the wait is almost over. What I love about college football is that fans get premier matchups every single week. Rivalries are what make college football great and boy do we have some awesome games already in Week 1.
Must see games for week 1 include:
No. 13 Georgia at No. 19 Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State surprised a lot of people in 2008. They have an up and coming head coach who is looking to make a name for himself and his program. Georgia lost Stafford and Moreno to the NFL, but still hope to contend for the SEC East.
Prediction: Georgia 31 – Oklahoma State 28
No. 20 Brigham Young at. No 3 Oklahoma
BYU is always one of those schools that will go undefeated or only have one loss and argue that they deserve a shot at a BCS game. Well, this is as close as they’re going to get. Oklahoma is a premier football team capabale of beating anyone.
Prediction: BYU 13 – Oklahoma 56
No. 5 Alabama vs. No. 7 Virginia Tech
This is the game I’m looking forward to the most. Two top 10 teams battling it out. A loss here will seriously hurt either team’s chance at making the BCS Championship game. Virginia Tech is the class of the ACC and Alabama wants to prove their 12-2 record last year wasn’t a fluke.
Prediction: Alabama 24 – Virginia Tech 34
Miami at No. 18 Florida State
This game might not be what it once was, but Miami vs. FSU is still one of the best rivalry games in college football. Every year they kick off the season against each other. Miami has a horrific quarterback situation and they have to travel into Doak Campbell Stadium.
Prediction: Miami 10 – FSU 24
Did you know Football Fanatics carries face-off tees for the best rivalry games of the week? For Week 1, we have tees for Miami vs. FSU, Alabama vs. Va Tech, and Georgia vs. Ok. State.
Check it out:
25 August 2009
Posted by David
Twitter has been having all the fun lately with the poll questions, so today I asked our Facebook Fans, “If you had to pick a current college QB to play in one game, who would you pick and why?” Surprisingly, not everyone picked Tim Tebow! There were a variety of response. Let’s take a look:
Michael W. – “I don’t know his name, I would pick the QB from University of Nebraska!!!!!”
Melissa W.H.N. - “TEBOW- He’s the best!! GO GATORS!!”
Louie U. – “Paulus……Orangemen”
Joshua D. – “Tyrod Tylor or Logan Thomas for Virginia Tech hokie hokie high VPI”
David L. – “Tommie Frazier! Oh, you said CURRENT qbs….hmm….Tebow then. I hate him but the man has skills.”
Amy R.L. – “Who could possibly hate Tebow?!!! Go Gators!”
Eric J.R. - “Sam Bradford. Because he is NOT Timmy Tebow!!!!”
Raymond S. - “Not a Gator fan but I’d go with Tebow. Did I just rhyme?”
Dustin C. – “McCoy all the way.”
Mark M. – “i would pick Jimmy Clausen, because he has the most pressure on him, and I think that he will pull thru, and gold and blue will go undefeated!”
Kenneth J.S. - “Sam Bradford of Oklahoma cool as they get.”
Alex W. – “McCoy. unmatched accuracy, excellent on his feet, handles pressure well. even without any standout receivers he has led the Longhorns to tremendous seasons.”
Raegan W. – “Tebow no brainer”
The response that sticks out the most to me so far is Jimmy Clausen. He’s a good quarterback and has the physical tools to be a great college QB, but at this point there are quite a few QBs I’d pick ahead of him. I was also surprised not to see anyone reply with Jevon Snead. Do you want to submit your answer? Post a comment here or become our fan on Facebook.
24 August 2009
Posted by David
Football fans everywhere are holding Fantasy Football drafts this time of year. Whether you’re in a keeper league or a redraft, the one thing you’re looking for in a draft are SLEEPERS. In today’s blog post I’ll go over my sleeper picks for each position. I’m evaluating sleepers based on past performance, average draft position, strength of schedule, injury to the starter potential and gut instinct.
Quarterback – My quarterback sleeper for 2009 is Cincinnati Bengal Carson Palmer. Palmer is currently the 11th rated quarterback and being selected behind guys like Matt Ryan and Matt Schaub. Just 3 years ago, Palmer was arguably the second best fantasy QB in the league. The Bengals brought in Laveranues Coles and Chris Henry should play all 16 games this season. Couple that with an improved running game and a much improved defense and Palmer could be a top 5 QB in 2009.
Running Back – My running back sleeper pick for 2009 in Kansas City Chief Larry Johnson. Larry Johnson is still the No. 1 back in Kansas City and one of the few backs remaining who doesn’t split carriers. Johnson has the ability to rush for 1,100+ yards and double digit touchdowns. The Chiefs can’t be any worse than they were in 2008 when Johnson averaged 4.5 YPC.
Wide Receiver – My wide receiver sleeper pick for 2009 is Chicago Bear Earl Bennett. The Bears brought in Jay Cutler in the offseason who brings in a gunslinger mentality. The Bears will look to put up points and Cutler will need someone to throw to. Look no further than Earl Bennett – Cutlers go to receiver at Vanderbilt. Bennett is currently rated as the 53rd best WR in most drafts, behind guys like Justin Gage and Miles Austin!
Tight End – My tight end sleeper pick for 2009 is Oakland Raider Zach Miller. Miller is going into his third year and caught 56 balls in 2008 – probably leading the Raiders. His touchdown numbers lacked, but he did put up 778 yards. We can’t expect a whole lot out of the Raiders offense again in 2009. I’m guessing Miller will put up similar yardage numbers but 3-5 total touchdowns… making him worth a lot more than the 14th ranked TE.
Who are your fantasy football sleeper picks for 2009?
24 August 2009
Posted by David
To celebrate College Colors Day 2009, Football Fanatics is giving away two $500 e-gift cards. Imagine all the team gear you can buy with $500. Are you a Gator fan, Longhorn fan, or Buckeye fan? With $500 you can buy an authentic jersey, a handful of tees, hats and more all at Football Fanatics. We have team gear for over 500 colleges. So how do you win?
Visit http://www.fanaticssweeps.com/ccd09.html for all the details.
Step 1: Follow @FFanatics on Twitter
Step 2: Tweet This: #WinGear4Year @FFanatics is giving away two $500 Football Fanatics e-gift cards to celebrate College Colors Day 2009 http://bit.ly/ghm8N
That’s it! Once you follow those two steps you are entered to win one of two $500 e-gift cards.
Not on Twitter? There are other opportunities to win! Become a fan of Football Fanatics on Facebook for a chance to win $100.
21 August 2009
Posted by David
Can you believe the hype surrounding the Florida Gators as we head into the 2009 college football season? Every program you turn on, every magazine you read, every talk show host you listen to will all tell you the same thing. The Florida Gators are unbeatable and will be BCS Champions. Mark Schlabach of ESPN said it best: “Should the SEC East even bother playing games this season?”
As a Gator fan myself, all this hype scares me. The Florida Gators dominated the Oklahoma Sooners in the BCS Championship game back in January. They are returning all 11 defensive starters and have the best college football player, Tim Tebow. So why does all this scare me? It is so hard for a football team in the NCAA to go wire-to-wire. The Florida Gators are ranked No. 1 in all the major preseason polls and rightfully so. But when everyone expects the world from you, it’s harder to deliver.
Odds are the Gators will lose one game. No Florida team has ever gone undefeated. Two games on the schedule that scare me are at LSU and vs. Georgia (in Jacksonville). Sure Tennessee, Arkansas and Florida State are all going to be tough games but the Gators play them in the Swamp, giving them a significant advantage.
I do predict that the Gators will be in the BCS Championships again, fighting for a chance to win back-to-back titles. But I won’t predict the outcome of the game… anything can happen in college football. What do you think of the Gators chances in 2009? Do you think all the No. 1 preseason rankings are justified?
Comment here or tweet me and let me know.