Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

25 Oct 2005, 12:26pm by Michael David Smith

Giants Owner Wellington Mara Dies at 89

Giants owner Wellington Mara, one of the most important figures in the rise of professional football, has died. In 1925, shortly after his father bought the Giants, 9-year-old Wellington sold tickets on Red Grange's barnstorming tour, which helped the NFL go from a locally popular sport in the Midwest to a sport that garnered national attention. In the 1960s, he agreed to share revenues from television contracts with small-market clubs, a decision that helped make the NFL more competitive and more popular everywhere. Mara is survived by his wife, 11 children, and 40 grandchildren.

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5 comments, Last at 26 Oct 2005, 12:13am by ChrisFromNJ

25 Oct 2005, 11:22am by Michael David Smith

32 Teams, One Chart

Build a better power ranking and the world will beat a path to your door. Using something called "unambiguous beatpaths," FO reader Tunesmith has an interesting way of ranking all 32 teams. I like the way the chart gives an extremely simple way of seeing the entire NFL season, and I like how Tunesmith cheerfully describes his power rankings as "a vastly inferior system" to DVOA.

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52 comments, Last at 13 Nov 2005, 12:27am by tunesmith

25 Oct 2005, 10:45am by P. Ryan Wilson

McCrary on J. Lewis: Contract is the Issue

So what's worse: being less productive this season because of rust, past wear-and-tear, and indecisiveness, or being less productive because you don't have a new contract and to avoid injury you're mailing it in? I'll go with the latter. To be fair, it wasn't Jamal Lewis who said this, but former Raven, Mike McCrary, doing his best Curt Schilling impression. I don't know how Baltimore can give Lewis a new deal when they have a better, cheaper alternative in Chester Taylor. (free registration/bugmenot required)

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18 comments, Last at 26 Oct 2005, 8:23am by lafcadio

25 Oct 2005, 09:40am by P. Ryan Wilson

Miller Gives Rare Production at TE

For a team that throws the ball something like eight times a game, having a pass-catching tight end only makes Ben Roethlisberger's job easier. Heath Miller is Pittsburgh's first real threat at the position since Eric Green played in the mid-90s. With the departure of Plaxico Burress, Miller now provides Roethlisberger a big target, but with the added benefit of also being able to block.

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10 comments, Last at 25 Oct 2005, 8:07pm by jeff

24 Oct 2005, 04:35pm by Michael David Smith

Martz Blocked from Calling Plays

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Mike Martz called a team official during Sunday's Rams-Saints game and instructed him to give a play to offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild. But president of football operations Jay Zygmunt blocked the team employee's attempts to get to Fairchild in the coaching booth. That Rams front office sure seems disorganized.

Update 3:45pm: The Rams now say Martz will not be back all season.

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12 comments, Last at 25 Oct 2005, 8:36pm by Zac

24 Oct 2005, 12:15pm by Aaron Schatz

MMQB: The Bus Is Still Rolling

Jerome Bettis in the Hall of Fame? Peter King says yes. The remarkable thing about Bettis' career is that he was burnt out with too much usage and yet came back with big seasons not once but twice -- first in 2001, then again in 2004. There's a lot of work ethic and intelligence involved in that kind of longevity. Peter's also got his "Fine Fifteen." Like our DVOA ratings, Peter refuses to give up on San Diego.

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73 comments, Last at 26 Oct 2005, 5:44pm by Michael David Smith

24 Oct 2005, 10:17am by P. Ryan Wilson

Good Enough

Jeff Garcia and Steve Mariucci are together again, which means that Joey Harrington is currently out of a job. But now what? At 35, Garcia's obviously not the long-term answer, so what do the Lions do going forward? Trade Harrington? Give Orlovsky a chance to win the job in 2006? Draft another QB?

In the meantime, all Detroit needs to do is go 8-8 and they'll probably win the division. And from some of the comments in this article you get the impression that Lions players feel they have a much better chance of getting to the playoffs with Garcia instead of Harrington.

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21 comments, Last at 25 Oct 2005, 11:26am by JonL

21 Oct 2005, 03:14pm by Michael David Smith

Pro Bowl Balloting has Begun

Have I ever mentioned that I don't think the fans should vote for the Pro Bowl? I'd love to see each team's personnel director, or the assistant coaches, make all the decisions. But if they are going to let fans do it, I have some suggestions for improvement. For one, don't start so damn early. The season isn't even half over. For another, put a little thought into who belongs on the ballots. Is there any reason that Justin Fargas should be on the ballot, but not Kelly Holcomb?

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34 comments, Last at 25 Oct 2005, 12:00pm by James

21 Oct 2005, 02:10pm by Aaron Schatz

Eagles Expect Better Play on Special Teams

FO ranks the Eagles special teams from 2000-2005: 6, 1, 4, 3, 3, 32. Which number does not belong? It's not just about Akers being injured and then absent -- the entire Philadelphia special teams has imploded with the exception of punter Dirk Johnson. The shuffling of players better work, because here comes Darren Sproles.

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17 comments, Last at 24 Oct 2005, 4:40pm by Pat

20 Oct 2005, 01:44pm by Aaron Schatz

Chiefs-Dolphins Moved to Friday

Because of Hurricane Wilma, the Kansas City at Miami game has been moved to 7pm on Friday night. TV details still being worked out, but I assume the game will be on CBS in those two cities and unavailable elsewhere. I seem to remember complaints that Sunday Ticket did not show last year's two hurricane-affected Miami games.

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32 comments, Last at 23 Oct 2005, 11:53am by Zac