21 Apr 2005, 02:11pm by Aaron Schatz
Somehow between writing and editing chapters for Pro Football Prospectus 2005, I found time to put together this article for ESPN Page 2 on the best one-team draft classes since the combined draft began in 1967. Clearly, I am insane. As I note in the article, I could have just done this as "top Pittsburgh Steelers draft classes since 1967" and the list would have been about as good. Pittsburgh's ability to snag great players with both early and late picks is just remarkable.
20 Apr 2005, 01:49pm by Aaron Schatz
Alan Greenberg of the Hartford Courant on how draft preparation has gone from guys picking college players they read about in magazines to a year-round stew of video study, workouts, staff meetings, and statistical analysis. As Gil Brandt tells it, "Guys would come in with their Street and Smith's football magazine, the Billings Gazette, and a roll of quarters. Reason they had to have the quarters was for the phones, because there were no credit cards in those days."
19 Apr 2005, 01:01pm by Aaron Schatz
Our man TMQ is back with his mock draft that mocks the draft, along with some complaints about basketball and science fiction and the projection of the seventh round. Look out for that run on punters!
13 Apr 2005, 02:47pm by Aaron Schatz
Here you go, the 2005 schedule has officially been announced. I mentioned when this was first posted that the league had set things up so the Steelers would need to beat the Patriots in order to match their regular season record of 18 straight victories. It turns out this is slightly wrong. New England travels to Pittsburgh in Week 3, which would represent Pittsburgh's 17th straight regular season win, one short of the record. Then the Steelers get a bye and, assuming they are 3-0, would try to tie the record in San Diego on Monday Night Football.
11 Apr 2005, 04:40pm by Aaron Schatz
Time to take a look at the draft needs of the AFC East. The Patriots and Jets have specific needs, the Bills could use general depth, and the Dolphins could use an extra ten or twenty draft picks. Aaron also goes over recent draft history, looks at receivers similar to David Terrell, and plays that game that's sweeping the nation, or at least the New York Metropolitan Area: Guaranteed RB Decline Trivia.
11 Apr 2005, 10:53am by Aaron Schatz
I think Mike Reiss of the Metrowest Daily News may have competition for the title of "local NFL writer most deserving of national exposure." While most local beat guys are rehashing the same ideas over and over, Paul Kuharsky of The Tennessean always seems to come up with an angle that isn't really new, just woefully under-covered. Today the issue is college running backs transitioning to the NFL and the difficulty they have with far more complex blitz pickup schemes in the pros.
01 Apr 2005, 11:06pm by Aaron Schatz
Not an April Fools' Joke. Now we'll really see if the Denver line can make anyone into a great running back. In other running back news, Antowain Smith is going to New Orleans to back up Deuce McAllister, and Najeh Davenport re-signed with Green Bay, a good piece of news for them.
30 Mar 2005, 12:45am by Aaron Schatz
Well, Denver wins the award as the team that managed to actually trade a running back despite the current glut of available running backs. We'll get to see if Reuben Droughns is a creation of the Denver line or not. Meanwhile, the Broncos seem to have decided that the best way to upgrade their team is to re-create the 2004 Cleveland Browns defensive line. Which was, let's all admit, hugely successful.
28 Mar 2005, 11:24am by Aaron Schatz
Nick Saban's challenge in Miami is the lead on MMQB this week, although the notes are less about the Dolphins and more about Saban himself. I think the most important thing about Saban in Miami is that he's going to tear the whole thing up and start over, which means that fans should not expect an immediate turnaround. In other news, King compares Matt Jones to Mike Mamula, Ty Law needs a diet, SI.com puts this column on around 37 different pages, and apparently our very own Michael David Smith now works at a coffeehouse in Maui. (Read last item.)
21 Mar 2005, 01:58pm by Aaron Schatz
Peter King in Hawaii for the owner's meetings, where not much is going on. But he does have some comments from Tony Dungy about how Indy will finally beat the Patriots this year. ("Don't do anything different" seems to be the answer.) Also, why does nobody want Najeh Davenport, why does everybody want David Pollack, and the Thursday night opening game will likely be Pittsburgh at New England. (Which, um, it turns out is not the case. The opening game is Oakland at New England.)