Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

18 Dec 2006

MMQB: No Joking Matter

Peter King, like everybody else on the planet, wonders what Jim Mora Jr. was thinking when he blabbed to a Seattle radio station that he'd love the University of Washington head coaching job.

Posted by: P. Ryan Wilson on 18 Dec 2006

74 comments, Last at 21 Dec 2006, 9:09pm by Mr Shush


by Al (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 1:07pm

My favorite line from the article:

"8. New England (10-4). A 40-7 win would imply all is well in Patland. All is better. But 230 yards of offense? Against the league's 28th defense? Good thing the Pats had incredible field position all day."

I think those sentences are out of order.

by Bill Cowher (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 1:18pm

Cmon, the best line HAD to be "11. Jacksonville (8-6). More turnovers than a Betty Crocker cookbook."

Also, I like the bit where he contrasts two opinions on QB roughing calls... one of which being from Tom Brady, who argues QBs don't get enough calls. That's not going to do much to improve on Brady's reputation as a bit of a whiner.

by cd6 (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 1:20pm

Ooops, I forgot to change my name from Bill Cowher...

In case Bill happens to read these threads, apologies for putting words in your mouth. Or in your keyboard. Uhhh... nevermind.

by Evan D. (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 1:24pm

#1 - Yeah, I'm pretty sure my brain melted from the stupidity of that statement.

by Josh (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 1:26pm

His comments on CIN and IND rankings are insanely idiotic. Last week he has IND ahead of CIN, now he has CIN ahead of IND because of what he thinks will happen tonight.
Mr. King, I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 1:27pm

Jake Scott story linked in name. It's ok, but not great.

by Jeff (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 1:28pm

12. New York Giants (7-7). Last six weeks: 1-5. Doesn't it seem like every week -- I mean every single week -- the Giants are playing the most important game in the NFC? Well, check out the Christmas Eve sked: Saints at Giants, 1 p.m.

Only because you make it seem that way Peter. A team thats 1-5 in its last six is not playing in the most important NFC game

by Josh (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 1:30pm

" If there was a better two hours of TV last week than the two-hour House episode with Foreman near death, I didn't see it. Of course, I didn't watch much TV other than that."

I wonder if PK watched the new episode of House last week, and not just the two-hour repeat he liked so much

by Mark R (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 1:31pm

My favorite has to be ranking the Saints in front of the Bears. I'll admit, Chicago hasn't looked that good of late, but their last 3 games? W to clinch a playoff berth, W to clinch a bye, W to clinch home-field. That would seem to indicate that the Bears are doing something right. The Saints were at home with a chance to clinch a playoff spot, and they laid an egg.

by Sophandros (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 1:39pm

OK, I'm a Saints fan, but the Saints laid an egg and lost to a bad Washington team, while Chicago just beat a bad Tampa team, yet the Saints are ranked above the Bears?

Pete, is there crack in your latte these days?

by Tighthead (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 1:44pm

10 - if there is crack in it, you have to admit that that is less sweet and sugary than some of the crazy drinks PK reports women ordering.

by Michael David Smith :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 1:48pm

I agree with Peter that Gregg Williams had a great game plan against the Saints, but I disagree with his description of that game plan. King writes, "His plan: never let Brees get comfortable, make sure Reggie Bush doesn't have any lanes to motor forward in the screen game, and beat the crap out of the Saints' receivers."

The first two aren't really a game plan at all, they're just playing defense. Of course you don't want the opposing QB to get comfortable and you don't want the fastest player on the other team to have any lanes to run through, but how is that a "plan"? As for the third, my feeling was that the best thing the Redskins' defensive backs did was keep the Saints' receivers in front of them. That's not about beating them up, it's about backing off and only allowing them the short stuff underneath.

If others who watched the game have thoughts on Williams' game plan, I'd be curious to hear them.

by Sophandros (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 1:50pm

13: I think by "not letting Brees get comfortable", he meant "mixing coverages and blitzes in order to confuse him", which is what it looked like to me. Brees looked very hesitant in several of his passes, and sometimes he looked as if he expected a rush that wasn't there.

by Dennis (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 1:54pm

Re #7: This is the NFC we're talking about. The important games are the ones between all the teams who are around .500 because that's where the jockeying for playoff spots is.

by PackMan (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 2:03pm

Anyone know off hand who has the tiebreaker between all of the 6-8 teams in the NFC?

by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 2:09pm

"I think I have never seen a team that needs a quarterback more than the Raiders. It's still incredible to me that they passed on Leinart and Cutler to draft the great Michael Huff. (Note to every scout who ever filled out an expense account: when you need a quarterback desperately, you never, ever, ever take a safety instead). And, for the future, let's hope they've learned their lesson. If Brady Quinn's off the board when the Raiders pick very high in the first round next April, they absolutely have to take JaMarcus Russell (if the LSU junior comes out), Ohio State's Troy Smith or Michigan State's Drew Stanton."

Yes, the Raiders quarterbacks suck. But if they draft some guy at the top of the first round and throw him out there behind that offensive line, the guy is a surefire bust no matter how talented he is. Quinn, in particular, looks to me like the kind of guy who could develop into an MVP-calibre player if he's consistently given time to throw, and set an all-time interceptions record if he plays behind a crummy line. Crummy does not even begin to encapsulate how bad the Oakland line is. Mr. Davis, take it from a Texans fan: you want to draft Joe Thomas.

On the subject of the Pats' offensive performance against Houston, I have to say I'm with King. Wierd as it is to say this in a game where they gave up 40 points, the Houston defense actually played one of their best games of the season. The Patriots' average drive started around the Houston 35, thanks to a combination of Carr's turnovers and terrible punt coverage. It was Houston's O and special teams that were responsible for giving up those points, aside from the 50 yard Faulk screen touchdown, which was just a perfect playcall. Houston blitzed 6, overloading the offensive right side, and rolled the coverage across that way. Brady threw the screen left, leaving a powerful convoy to steamroller a couple of DBs (probably Faggins and Simmons) and Faulk went in untouched.

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 2:11pm

"never let the QB get comfortable" certainly isn't a game plan, but how the defense attempts to never let the QB get comfortable would be. So either King is just stating the obvious, or for whatever reason he leaves out what was in the game plan to make the QB uncomfortable.

by Travis (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 2:11pm

Anyone know off hand who has the tiebreaker between all of the 6-8 teams in the NFC?

Right now, Green Bay (beat Minnesota head-to-head, and has a better conference record than Carolina and San Francisco.) Looking forward, Minnesota has the best potential tiebreakers of all the current 6-8 teams, because of their 6-4 conference record. Green Bay has the next best, while Carolina and St. Louis have almost no chance.

by Just Another Falcon Fan (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 2:11pm

"Those penguins are heroes". Wow, that's got to rank high on the Ridiculous Anthropomorphism scale.

by primantis (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 2:12pm

"You know what I liked about the Redskins in the win at New Orleans? Everything."

"Gotta play better than that, Matt Leinart."

Thanks for bestowing your vast wisdom upon us, Peter.

by MJK (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 2:22pm

Mr Shush,

That was my first thought as well. However, it's hard to judge. Thanks to the great field position, they jumped out to an early 20-0 lead, and it was up to 27-0 at the half. With that kind of lead, there's no sense in running an aggressive offense, especially when the defense has put the thumbscrews on your opponent. It's far far better to run 3 times and punt, taking 2 minutes off the clock, than it is to throw an interception. Not that that's what the Pats were doing, but they certainly weren't pulling out the stops. I'm sure they would have been a bit more aggressive had the score been close. Can't say if that definitely would have led to a more impressive offensive day, but it certainly could have.

by sippican (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 2:29pm

In today's episode, MMQ discovers that the Patriots stop running when they get over the goal line, even if they start out on the opponent's ten -- instead of running through the band and into the runway like Forrest Gump or an SI writer would to get those sweet, sweet, statistics. Heath Evans dive left up 35 points. Heath Evans dive right up 35 points. Uninspired, is what it is.

I'm surprised he didn't draw any conclusions for his fine fifteen from Vinny Testaverde's line from the game. According to the stats, all the guy does is go backwards one yard and fall down over and over again.

Luckily, Belichick pulled old greenhead out of the game and benched him because he wasn't gaining any yards. That, and the game was over; but still, that was pure Belichick. And pure MMQ.

by PackMan (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 2:31pm

Thanks, so Thursday's game will decide which team (if any) could get in at 8-8.

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 2:36pm

It's going to take me a while to understand why those penguins are "heroes." I just deleted a semi-rational response because I didn't think usuing reason was an adequate way to respond to this statement. It's best to let the statement sit as it is, and we should just stare in awe at it.

by MJK (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 2:45pm


I think King was trying to draw a contrast to emphasize that there are differing opinions on the QB protection issues.

And to be fair, even though I am firmly in the "they baby the QB too much" camp, I have noticed that Brady (and probably most other QB's, although I watch the Pats the most so I've noticed it with Brady) gets pushed around a lot when refs aren't looking. In last year's playoff game against Denver, the Denver players were knocking him down practically every play after the ball was thrown, or rough-shouldering past him, and in general trying to knock him around and shake him up as much as the rules allowed (kind of like what the Pats did to Marshall Faulk in 2001). I thought at the time it was borderline, but the refs let it slide and since then, with certain crews that don't throw a lot of flags, I've seen other teams (plus Denver again this year) doing the same thing. So I guess there is room for both opinions.

The biggest problem with roughing the passer, like with PI, is that it is not called consistently. One game Vince Wilfork gets called for lying prone and letting Harrington kick him in the head, the next game you see players practically leveling a QB, but getting away with it.

by hector (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 2:49pm

Don't the scouts all think Matsuzaka's a can't-miss guy? Maybe not can't-miss ace, but at least can't-miss 15-game winner.

King's ignorance on baseball, underscored by the win comment.

Chris Liss compared Nash and Brees on Yahoo last week. I wonder if King happened to read that - or see the tease - and conveniently forget. Okay, it could be a coincidence. At least Ken Powers wasn't second in line on this one.

by Ray (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 2:53pm

Having seen 'March of the Penguins', I can see what made King call them 'heroes'. Not that I necessarily agree mind you, but I can see why HE would say that.

by Marko (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 3:13pm

Does anyone else think Mora made his comments because he wants to be fired? He'd have to be quite stupid to think that his comments would not cause a negative reaction in Atlanta. Perhaps that's exactly what he wanted.

It seems pretty clear that Arthur Blank is committed to Michael Vick, and that Vick is incapable of leading a team to a championship. In that respect, Mora's father was right - Vick is a coach killer. Maybe Mora just wanted to hasten his own demise so that he could move on to a different job, with a realistic chance of winning a championship, without having to quit. That way, the Falcons would still be on the hook for the remainder of his contract, and he would not be perceived as a quitter.

by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 3:27pm

Things I think, not numbered because I don't want to be one of those people who shoehorns 17 things into a 15-item list, or who knows how many into a 10-item list, and then criticizes other people for running over (and I know I think these things):

-- Why on earth would Cam Cameron even consider the Atlanta job? Hmm ... push pieces like LDT and Gates all over the board, or figure out what to do with Vick? And it's not like his previous (NCAA) head coach experience is that good. Then again, at IU, he did coach Randle El, so the situation will be a familiar one.

-- Cedric Houston is one of the top 30 backs in football. Is that a compliment?

-- If the Raiders draft Drew Stanton, I will pee my pants. One thing I will say about him is that he does have the deer-in-the-headlights look that will come in handy behind Oakland's OL, if they aren't able to upgrade it for next season.

-- If McNair's injury is bad, I don't think anyone will be worrying about the Ravens' defense. They'll just punt and let Boller win it for them. (And if we're suggesting that the Bears can't win the Super Bowl with Grossman at QB, can the Ravens win one with McNair/Boller at QB?)

-- Mark December 18th, 2006 on your calendars: PK says something negative about Brett Favre.

-- Someone's been feeding PK knowledge about football, and it shows in his paragraph about the Colts (no, they didn't miss Edge much; yes, they are missing those other guys). If this keeps up, will we be able to make it to Tuesday without mocking a national columnist?

by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 3:29pm

So if the Giants keep failing in these "big games", why do they continue to retain their relatively high ranking (#12) when they're tied for the 14th-best record in the NFL with 5 other teams, with 4 of those teams residing in the superior AFC? If the Giants win another game but still fail to make the playoffs do they vault into the Top 10?

by Bad Doctor (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 3:34pm

Not to pile on poor PK, but did he really refer to the fifth place vote on his imaginary MVP ballot as an "incredible honor?"

by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 3:38pm

Not a bad theory on Mora looking to get fired, especially when you consider that he has three years left on his contract. Yes, his comments were clearly over-the-top and not to be taken completely seriously (I finally got the "joke" when he stated that he'd leave in the middle of the playoffs or after a Super Bowl win), but I think that behind any facetiousness the sense of dissatisfaction came shining through nonetheless. I do think though that Mora now sincerely regrets the comments, and not just because he pissed off Arthur Blank, but also because they made him sound unprofessional at best and idiotic at worst, which is not exactly something you want on your resume in this line of work.

by calig23 (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 3:40pm

i. The Bears have horseshoes in their shoes.

Am I the only who is unsure of what this comment is supposed to mean, exactly?

by MRH (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 3:47pm

The problem with Michael Vick is, he can pad his stats with 4 TD games, but he just doesn't KNOW HOW TO WIN.

And he has no swagger. Although that may be herpes-related.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 3:48pm

Re #32
Good luck charms. Most teams can't give up 31 to TB and win, particularly when you lose the coin toss in OT.

Re #28
There's always at least a piece or two of wheat among the chaff that is most of MMQB.

by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 3:51pm

I was thinking that maybe Mark Brunell would crack that Top 5 MVP list...

by Richie (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 3:57pm

I think Mora wants the Washington job, but obviously he wouldn't leave in the middle of the playoffs. If he got the job, he would finish his Falcons season to the best of his ability.

I don't really see a problem with his comments. Coordinators interview for other jobs all the time. Why is it so bad for a head coach to express interest in his dream job?

by Richie (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 3:58pm

With regards to Marty Schottenheimer. If the Chargers win out this year, and then lose their first playoff game, does Marty keep his job?

by pcs (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 4:06pm

When penguins walk across Antarctica to hatch their damn eggs, it's not heroic, it's instinct. If a penguin wanted to be a hero, he'd figure out how to hatch the damn eggs without having to walk back and forth across Antarctica and WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING? THANK YOU FOR NOTHING, PETER MUSHMOUTH.

by Independent George (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 4:10pm

I normally don't jump in on the bash-PK bandwagon, but this deserves comment:

The more I see of Cedric Houston, the more I think he's one of the top 30 backs in football.

Given that there are 32 teams in the NFL, I'm really not sure how much of a compliment this is. Granted, many teams use multiple RBs, but even if he's counting fullbacks, he's still basically saying that Cedric Houston is in 53rd percentile. Huzzah.

by Independent George (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 4:12pm

Damn you zlionsfan.

by DB (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 4:14pm

RE #30 : I'm fairly sure that he meant that as a sarcastic joke - pointing out that fifth place kind of stinks.

by CA (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 4:22pm

Re: 16

I completely agree with you, and disagree with King, with regard to Joe Thomas v. a quarterback. If Thomas is available when the Raiders pick (and if they don't pick first, that may not be the case), the Raiders will be in the enviable position in which the best prospect in the draft is at their biggest need position, which just happens to be one of the most important positions in the game, and a position at which there seems to be a relatively low bust rate among high picks. How could the Raiders possibly reach on a QB if such a player is available? Well, it is the Raiders, so anything is possible.

by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 4:34pm

I guess he's saying that Houston is good enough that he should be the clear #1 RB for the Jets. I don't know that I agree, but it's not a big deal. He just decided to phrase it in a weird way.

by Travis (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 4:34pm

If Thomas is available when the Raiders pick (and if they don’t pick first, that may not be the case), the Raiders will be in the enviable position in which the best prospect in the draft is at their biggest need position, which just happens to be one of the most important positions in the game, and a position at which there seems to be a relatively low bust rate among high picks.

In 2004, the Raiders drafted a Big Ten offensive tackle with the #2 pick in the draft. How's that working out?

I'm not convinced that high-drafted offensive linemen succeed at a significantly higher rate than other positions. We remember Pace, Ogden, Boselli, and Jones (all drafted 1997 or before), but what recent top-10 lineman can be described as an unquestioned success?

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 4:51pm

As much as I want to see Joe Thomas have a great career, I don't think he is as good as folks are stating in the popular media. Joe can be beaten by quicker D-lineman as evidenced by his struggles against Michigan and Penn State.

Honestly, I don't know why he is being touted as a top five pick. I haven't seen every collegiate O-lineman play (obviously) but if Thomas is the "best" then it's a very ordinary year for offensive line.

He's good. Just not dominant.

He's Chad Clifton. And Clifton was a second round pick in his day.

Side comment: The Ravens defense is multiple? WTF???

by Craig (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 4:54pm

CA: The bust rate on 1st round OLs may be low, but look at the Raiders' high round OL draft picks: Gallery, Stinchcomb, Grove, Collins, Walker.

Still, I'd agree: absent an OL fix, any QB will suck. I'd rather see them spend a fortune on OL, and try to get by with a cheap QB option, than get an expensive QB crushed mentally and physically.

by CA (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 5:16pm

Re: 44-46

The fact that Gallery has been a disaster has no bearing whatsoever on the likelihood of success or failure for Thomas, although it does mean that the Raiders still are in need of a franchise left tackle.

As for BadgerT1000's comments, I have to say that I completely disagree. Thomas has been utterly and consistently dominant during the last two seasons, despite tearing his ACL less than a year ago. He is the main reason for the Badgers' success in the running game despite starting a freshman running back and success in the passing game despite having no name WRs (well, they were no names heading into the season, anyway). He was superb against Michigan, so I'm not sure what you are referring to there, although you may be remembering the fact that the rest of the line struggled, and he dominated Anthony Spencer, perhaps the conference's best pass rusher, in the Purdue game. I'll go so far as to say that Joe Thomas is the best football player in Wisconsin history and one of the most talented linemen to whom I've paid attention at any level (granted, I've been paying close attention to offensive line play only for a couple years, so this is not a hugely extensive sample). In contrast to your assumption, from everything I hear it's a deep and top-strong year for offensive line prospects, and Thomas is nonetheless firmly at the head of the class.

by Joe (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 5:30pm

Re: 37

I think I speak for a lot of Charger fans when I say that they have to at least reach the AFC Championship game for Marty to keep his job.

by Yaguar (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 5:31pm

44: "what recent top-10 lineman can be described as an unquestioned success?"

Levi Jones, LT, Cincinnati, 10th overall in 2002.

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 5:38pm


Spencer is the collegiate version of Dwight Freeney, undersized with a complete reliance on beating guys off the snap.

Look, I don't LIKE stating that Thomas is overrated, but the facts are facts. He has NOT been consistently outstanding and when he has had his best games it was against 255 lb defensive ends.

He got his *ss handed to him in the Penn State multiple times along with the rest of the Badger offensive line. That shouldn't happen to a guy who is a top five pick in the draft.

As for the Michigan game, Thomas HIMSELF declared his performance to be awful and took full responsibility for John Stocco twice getting absolutely creamed. Which was still better then the rest of the line that day.

Thomas played MUCH better last year. One can hope the knee will continue to improve and he has a great career.

I will be rooting for him.

As for the best football player in Wisconsin history I will ask my grandad for his opinion. He played back in the 50's and has been a Big Ten loon ever since.

by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 5:58pm

What is it with Big Ten offensive linemen and being overrated? Levi Brown, the OT from Penn State, is also frequently mentioned as a first-round pick, and he is not first round quality. No way. He's physically capable, but his decision making has been flaky for the past two years. If some team picks him up expecting him to start right away... yeah, that ain't happening.

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 6:07pm


I can understand folks getting somewhat enthused about Thomas because LAST year he was very, very good. And Wisconsin has a pretty decent history with O-line in the pros (Aaron Gibson notwithstanding).

But THIS year it's a different story. And for folks to ignore guys beating Thomas to the edge or giving him a swim move on the way to the qb is inappropriate.

I hate writing this stuff because it reads like I am trashing Thomas. That is NOT the intent. Just stating that while the guy is good he's not GOOOOOOOD. If that makes sense.

by mike (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 6:19pm

g. Congratulations, Chad Pennington: 29 of 39 for 339 yards against the Vikes. That was one heck of a job against a good front seven in the Metrodome.

Yea, good job Chad. You threw for 339 yards against a defense ranked 29th against the pass per game! They might have a good front seven, but the Vikings have an horrible "back four."

by Glenn (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 6:37pm

OK, here's a PK gripe that shows that either he, his editors, or both are still woefully out-of-touch with how this internet thing works:

You need to read South Florida Sun-Sentinel columnist Dave Hyde's superb piece, a couple of weeks old now, on the seriously reclusive former Super Bowl MVP, Dolphin safety Jake Scott, now living in Hawaii. One of the best newspaper stories I've read in a long time.

If you somehow get a chance, read a transcript of Carl Banks' searing Q&A on Sirius NFL Radio with Mora about his death-wish comments regarding the University of Washington job.

Uh, would it be too much to have a link to these recommended transcripts and articles?
Thanks, Pete.

by Kal (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 6:57pm

I still think that Oakland is where you send good linemen to an ignominious fate. I think that it is likely that offensive linemen need some of the most coaching in their position from coming out of school, and Oakland...has bad coaching.

by Sean (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 7:10pm

Re 43: And Houston is and will continue to be. Right up until the team trades for Michael Turner this offseason.

by Richie (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 7:28pm

I think I wouldn't mind having Jake Scott's life.

by Jonathan (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 8:05pm

** Didn't it just seem like King was trying to "show off" his knowledge of how to get to Indy from Cincy while explaining why he believes the Bengals are better than the Colts?

** How do LaDainian Tomlinson and Quentin Jammer not make it on his best Offensive/Defensive players of the week lists, at least in comparison to Mark Brunell and DeMarcus Ware?

** How does Drew Brees still get his nod for MVP above LT?

** How does he tie his own shoelaces every morning?

by Bjorn (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 8:45pm

j. Sunday in the desert, Jay Cutler finally looked like the Jay Cutler Denver drafted.

Yep. Denver sure had to wait a long time for a good game from their rookie.

Is it just me, or would that comment be much more applicable to J.P. Losman?

by andrew (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 9:03pm

5. Jason Taylor, DE, Miami. Edges Gore and a cast of others for this incredible honor.

The incredible honor of being # 5 on Peter King's MVP watch?

by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 9:07pm

Sorry, I. George! :)

Richie, for one thing, I'm not sure they (coordinators) interview during the season, and if they do, they (have to) get approval from their bosses first. They generally don't tell "everyone" how they're looking for a job, either.

For another, coordinators are usually applying for jobs that are a step up. I don't think any college job is viewed as a step up from any pro HC job. (Yeah, the USC job might be better than the Lions job right now, but that's because Carroll has maxed out the prestige of his job and Mr. Ford has minimized the prestige of the Lions' HC job.)

I look at it this way: if my boss heard me on a local radio show (okay, it would have to be a podcast that only six people downloaded to keep the scope the same) talking about how I'd like to be an entry-level programmer for someone around here, he'd probably ask me what the h-e-hockey-sticks I meant, even if it sounded like I was joking. And then the problem is that sometimes, when you're joking, you're really not joking.

So IMHO, it comes back to saying Yeah, I want out of here, but don't tell the old man, he doesn't know. But the old man heard.

by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 9:31pm

How does Drew Brees still get his nod for MVP above LT?

Drew Brees could not play another snap this season and I think he's MVP.

by hector (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 10:12pm

Don't worry, King will have a tie for MVP when it comes to it. He's the king of the split ballot.

by DWL (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 10:42pm

27 (and 31), concur. And perhaps Papa Mora's comments about Vick are part of the plot as well.

by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Tue, 12/19/2006 - 1:01am

Re 50: Hey Badger, grandpa ought to say Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch--a great nickname and I, who pay no attention to Wisconsin football, thought of him as soon as I read your comment (i.e., he must be pretty good if even I have heard of him.)

by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 12/19/2006 - 1:14am

But THIS year it’s a different story. And for folks to ignore guys beating Thomas to the edge or giving him a swim move on the way to the qb is inappropriate.

It's actually funny - with Brown, it's similar, but a bit different in timescales. Brown looked good at the beginning of last year, then meh down the stretch, culminating in a god-awful Orange Bowl, and a horrible start to the year. He settled down as the year went on, but people constantly were touting him the entire past two years.

And the thing is, I noticed it last year when it was happening. People were touting Levi Brown as a top draft pick for this year last year (incidentally, I think this talk coincided with his play declining. Hmm...), and they kept touting him even as he played worse and worse.

by CA (not verified) :: Tue, 12/19/2006 - 12:12pm

Re: 65

Hirsch played only one year with the Badgers before the Marines forced him to transfer to Michigan. He did come back to be a long time A.D. at Wisconsin, and he is a Madison legend, but his limited tenure as an actual Wisconsin player to me disqualifies him from the honor of "best football player in Wisconsin history."

by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Tue, 12/19/2006 - 12:34pm

I don't watch all that much college ball (I don't have NASN, and my friend who does has spent most of the season in the States), but the impression I get is that the posters who see Thomas as over-rated are essentially saying he had an excellent junior season, but was slightly slow footed and hence got beaten by the better edge rushers in his senior year. Correct me if I'm wrong, but does that not sound like exactly what one would expect of a player coming back from an ACL injury? I thought the received/Will Carroll wisdom was that it took between one and two years for a player's quickness to return after an ACL tear.

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Tue, 12/19/2006 - 12:45pm

Mr. Shush:

That may well be true and many around the Badger program have suggested that very fact. Thomas has insisted he is fine and refuses to use the knee as as an excuse for his lapses.

I hate writing stuff that reads as if Thomas is a Tony Mandarich type who will fail miserably at the next level. Nothing could be further from the truth. I think Thomas will be a solid player.

But based on his performance THIS YEAR I think the awards and accolades are misplaced. I cannot reconcile someone being the dominant linemen in the country when he has struggled against D-linemen who will be lucky to play in NFL Europe next year.

Thomas has been lights out on run-blocking. But pass-blocking his first step and punch aren't always there.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Tue, 12/19/2006 - 2:47pm

Re: Mora Jr's comments

I forget who it was, but someone in the media was saying that Mora and three or four other guys from his day in Washington (including the guy that was interviewing Mora when he made the comments) have always talked about all of them going back and coaching Washington together. Like they've already decided that Mora's the headcoach, and one guy is the DB's coach and another one is the d-line coach...etc. After hearing that, I really can't fault the guy for his comments. He should know that he can't say stuff like that on the air, but I really don't think it some grand conspiracy to get out of Atlanta. Besides, when they miss the playoffs this year, that will probably be more than sufficient.

by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Tue, 12/19/2006 - 5:30pm

re 67: thanks for the info, the transfer was something I wasn't aware of--guess I identified Hirsch with Wisconsin more because of his career as AD. You're right, one year does not a "greatest ever" make.

by Brian (not verified) :: Wed, 12/20/2006 - 3:29pm

Isn't Brian Westbrook at least as good an MVP candidate as Jason Taylor or Frank Gore?

by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Thu, 12/21/2006 - 9:09pm

As Frank Gore? Maybe. He's been more productive, but in a better situation. As Taylor? Um, no. Not even close. An elite pass-rusher who's also an excellent all-around player is worth far more to his team than a very good running back.