Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

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02 Jan 2008

2007 Every Play Counts All-Pro Team

by Michael David Smith

After a year of watching tape, it's time for the annual Every Play Counts All-Pro Team.


Tom Brady, Patriots
Any arguments?

Running back

Brian Westbrook, Eagles
I agonized over this selection. When you consider the circumstances, I actually think LaDainian Tomlinson had a better season in 2007 than he did in 2006. Tomlinson lead the league in rushing and became the first player since Barry Sanders in 1994 to finish a season with 300 or more touches and zero fumbles, and he did it with a new coaching staff, a weaker offensive line and a quarterback who regressed.

So why do I choose Westbrook? Mostly because of his consistency. Westbrook had a better Success Rate than Tomlinson, and there were a couple of games this season when teams figured out how to stop L.T., whereas Westbrook had more than 90 total yards from scrimmage in all 15 games he played.


Lawrence Vickers, Browns
Vickers is a very physical blocker, and he's also a smart player who knows where to find holes and where he'll need to be to pick up blitzes. He's only 24 and in his second season, and most people haven't heard his name yet, but recognition is coming.

Tight end

Antonio Gates, Chargers
A fairly easy decision. Gates leads all NFL tight ends in DPAR. The next best guy, Jason Witten, had a better quarterback passing to him, and a much better No. 1 receiver drawing coverage. Nobody else is close. I'm amazed to find myself saying this about a 27-year-old who didn't even play college football, but Gates is the best tight end of his generation and a serious injury is the only thing that will keep him out of the Hall of Fame.

Wide receivers

Terrell Owens, Cowboys
Randy Moss, Patriots

I considered picking someone, like maybe Pittsburgh's Santonio Holmes, who played in an offense that wasn't as conducive to the No. 1 receiver putting up gaudy numbers. But ultimately, there's just no way not to pick either Owens or Moss, who had amazing seasons even though they're on the wrong side of 30.


Joe Thomas, Browns
Jason Peters, Bills

This is the second straight season that I've chosen a rookie tackle for my All-Pro team. Last year it was Marcus McNeill of the Chargers, and this year I've been disappointed in McNeill's effort. I don't think Thomas will have a similar sophomore slump though. Thomas has everything you look for in a tackle: strength, toughness, good technique and a mean streak.

If there was any doubt how important Peters was to the Bills' offense, that doubt was completely erased during Week 16 against the Giants, when Peters was lost with an injury and the Bills' offense completely fell apart.


Chris Snee, Giants
Logan Mankins, Patriots

These are easy choices. I was skeptical of Snee in 2004, when the Giants drafted him, because he's Tom Coughlin's son-in-law. But he's as close to a perfect run-blocking guard as I've seen. Mankins struggled when the Ravens ran a lot of stunts and twists, but in terms of just lining up and blocking the guy in front of him, he's phenomenal.


Dan Koppen, Patriots
I don't think there's a great center in the NFL right now, but Koppen is the closest thing because he's a good pass blocker and has the strength to push the middle of the line in short-yardage situations.

Defensive tackles

Kelly Gregg, Ravens
Albert Haynesworth, Titans

I vacillated on the Haynesworth choice. Yes, he missed three games and was playing at less than 100 percent in a few others. But when healthy he was the best defensive tackle in football by such a large margin that I felt I had to include him in the All-Pro team.

I didn't have any trouble choosing Gregg, who had his best season. The Ravens' defense has declined against the pass, but it was as good as ever against the run this year, and Gregg was the biggest reason for that.

Defensive ends

Jared Allen, Chiefs
Trent Cole, Eagles

I don't feel great about choosing Allen, who missed two games because he was suspended for repeated drunk driving arrests. But the fact is, when the guy is on the field he's just plain awesome.

I'm extremely surprised that Cole, who had 12.5 sacks and has stepped up nicely to fill the void created by the decline of Jevon Kearse, didn't make the Pro Bowl. In fact, my second-favorite NFC defensive end, Marques Douglas of the 49ers, didn't make the Pro Bowl either.

Allen and Cole were the only defensive linemen in the league with more than 30 Defeats, a stat combining turnovers, plays for lost yardage, and plays that prevent conversions on third or fourth down.

Inside linebacker

Patrick Willis, 49ers
Willis, the 49ers' first-round draft pick, is a great athlete and a sure tackler, and as the season wore on I thought he got better at fighting off blocks on running plays up the middle. There aren't many reasons for optimism on the 49ers' roster, but Willis is the kind of player a defense can be built around.

Outside linebackers

Michael Boley, Falcons
DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys

One of the things I like about Boley is that on passing plays, he's about equally effective either blitzing or dropping into coverage. That makes it awfully hard for opposing offenses to game-plan for him.

Ware is mostly a blitzer, but I'm really amazed by his speed, his ability to track down running backs from all over the field. I can't remember the last time I watched a Cowboys game and didn't see Ware catching someone from behind.


Bob Sanders, Colts
Jermaine Phillips, Buccaneers

Is there anyone left who thinks Dwight Freeney is the best player on the Colts' defense? Last season the Colts were without Sanders and with Freeney for most of the year. The defense fell apart when Sanders was out and was a totally different unit when he returned. This season the Colts were without Freeney and with Sanders for most of the year. The defense has been great, with or without the league's highest-paid defensive player.

Phillips doesn't make as many highlight-reel hits as Sanders, but I love the way he shuts down opposing tight ends in pass coverage, and the way he helps out in run support.


Rod Hood, Cardinals
Asante Samuel, Patriots

I thought Hood was going to be my sleeper pick, but he's less of a sleeper now that the FO game charters have pointed out how good he is. Hood is a great athlete and a ballhawk, and although interception returns aren't exactly the kind of thing a defense can count on year after year, I love the way he immediately begins to look like a running back when he gets the ball in his hands. (He had five interceptions and 196 return yards, with two touchdowns.)

Samuel, of course, is going to get ridiculously rich this off-season. He'll be one of the most sought-after free agents in league history.


Rob Bironas, Titans
It was a tough year to pick a kicker, but Bironas gets the nod based on the best overall combination of kickoff distance, field goal distance and field goal accuracy.


Andy Lee, 49ers
Lee has the strongest leg in the NFL, and he also does a fairly good job of keeping his punts out of the end zone, with 42 punts inside the 20-yard line and 13 touchbacks. The 49ers just hope that in the future, they won't have to use him so often.

Kickoff returner

Joshua Cribbs, Browns
Cribbs is speedy, but it's not his sheer athleticism that I love, it's his field vision and intelligence. A college quarterback, Cribbs is probably the best I've ever seen at fielding a kickoff and using that first 20 yards or so before the opposing kickoff team gets downfield to read the coverage and find openings. Although I think the Bears' Devin Hester is a better pure athlete than Cribbs, on kickoffs I think Cribbs does a slightly better job of making plays.

Punt returner

Devin Hester, Bears
Any arguments?

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 02 Jan 2008

148 comments, Last at 13 Jan 2008, 9:40pm by brandon


by Jason (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 1:54pm

So, NO Colts on Offense? NONE? Not even a token offensive lineman? I mean Koppen over Saturday? Really?

You're kidding right? This is some sort of elaborate hoax isn't it?

How many sentences can I write as a question in one post?

by Richard (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:01pm


Worst. Comment. Ever.

Or maybe I'm just being a particular kind of curmudgeon today.

You can make an argument for Saturday at center, but Koppen's not a ridiculous choice. Beyond that one position, which we'll call a toss-up, are there any real arguments you can make?

Wait. I've already devoted too much time to your critique.

by Rusty G (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:02pm

I have no problem with sticking to DPAR as a metric for filling an FO all-pro roster, generally speaking. I mean, it IS the website.

But I think some serious consideration should have gone into the selection of the All-Pro tight end. You give Gates the edge, despite very similar DPAR, because of the lack of a #1 receiver and the impact of Rivers vis a vis Romo, but seem to give no consideration whatsoever to Witten's dominance as a blocker, a vital area of tight end play where Gates is woefully inept and, therefore, rarely if ever used as such.

If you're going to give such credit to Westbrook for being versatile and consistent, why ignore these factors completely for tight ends?

by Otis Taylor 89 (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:04pm

Never thought I would say it, but I don't think Gates had a better year than Jason Witten (and I'm no Cowboby fan). Gates is a receive period while Whitten actually blocks some.
I also don't understand why Trent Cole doesn't get more love - is it because he is undersized and not a beast?
I don't think we will be seeing a Joe Thomas dropoff next year like McNeil this year.

Why are people still picking fullbacks for All-League selections?!? Most teams hardly use them, some don't even have them.

Other than that I can't complain about the picks.

by Jimmy (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:05pm

I still think Tommie Harris is the best deensive tackle in football when healthy.

Now if the Bears can just find a way to get him healthy......I wonder where Rodney Harrison gets his 'magic potion' from?

by ebongreen (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:08pm

I'm a little surprised by no Packers. Charles Woodson? Nick Barnett? Aaron Kampman? Their skill positions on offense all run second (or later) to the big guns mostly from the AFC, but I'm a little surprised that no-one from the defense cracked the list.

by lionsbob (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:10pm

No Lions anywhere? What! 7-9 and they almost beat Dallas!!!

OK whatever. I was on the Peters bandwagon last season and suddenly feel right about something once in my life. I wished the Lions would have traded down for Willis, but that is neither here nor there.

2 players I do wonder about who I like, but never got a ton of chances to see play and wonder how they did: Michael Roos and DeMeco Ryans...can anyone help out on those 2..

by Michael David Smith :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:12pm

Re 1, I don't believe in selecting "token offensive linemen." I believe in evaluating each of the offensive linemen to the best of my abilities and choosing the five who I think were best. Just because the Colts have a very good offense doesn't mean any one of their 11 starters is the best at his position. A team with 22 starters who are the third-best player in the league at their position would be both the best team in the league and a team without a single player who deserves to be chosen as an all-pro.

Re 3, I think you're overstating the extent to which Witten is a better blocker than Gates. Is he better? Yes. Is he so much better that it negates the fact that Gates is a much better receiver? No.

by Purds (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:14pm

#1 - Hey, the Colts offense epitomizes "team." There are no stars there, no stat-boys, just a group of guys willing to take less-than-market-value contracts but working together as one. It's a beautiful thing.

by Michael Rutter (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:16pm

and there were a couple of games this season when teams figured out how to stop L.T.

You could say that, or you could say that there were a couple of games where teams completely dominated the Chargers O-line, specifically when they knew when Norv was calling run plays. What I saw was a lot of times when LT was stopped, it was in situations where no running back could have been successful.

by B (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:18pm

1: Modern offenses use 3WRs sets more often then they use a FB, so we need a 3rd WR, and Reggie Wayne is the obvious choice there. Happy now?

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:22pm


AK really tailed off the last month. I don't know if his legs were tired or he was nursing an undisclosed injury. He also started slow. But for the middle 8 games he was a force of nature.

by Vitor (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:23pm

MDS pretty much described the Jaguars at #8 above.

by dryheat (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:24pm

Rashean Mathis was the best CB I watched this year, and it wasn't particularly close (Samuel being number two). There are arguments to be made for a lot of players, but other than Mathis, I think the selections here are pretty much bulletproof.

by Jacob Stevens (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:25pm

MDS, you are awesome as always, a great judge of talent. I'm unconvinced about Patrick Willis, though. Is he really the best ILB/MLB this year? All-rookie team, DROY, sure, but all-pro ILB? I don't think he is.

But he's probably close to deserving, so it won't ruin my day. I love the list.

by Karl Cuba (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:26pm

Normally I'd shout at MDS for not picking a right offensive tackle, but you have give all the All-pro voters a pass this year because there hasn't been one ROT who has been close to dominant.

I really hate the Rod Hood pick, the FO stats will occasionally throw up strange results and this is probably one of them. You could call them 'Ken Lucas outliers' or KLOs.

by Purds (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:26pm

Okay, I couldn't write #9 with a straight face.

Good picks in this list. I like them (even as a Colts fan).

And, it seems like the 49ers, for all their problems, had a pretty good first round last year in the draft.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:27pm

As with Pro Bowl picks, I'd need to watch a minimum of nine or ten games a week, instead of my usual two or three, to have an informed opinion regarding All-Pro selections, especially with linemen, so I have no basis to disagree. I wonder; how many people not employed by an NFL team's personnel department actually watch enough football, in detail, to really know who the best players are, especially in regard to teams with losing records?

I'll put on my Captain Obvious hat again to note that evaluating football performance, especially on the individual level, is really, really, really, hard. Baseball performance evaluation is child's play by comparison.

by Independent George (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:28pm

I always ask the exact same question each year with regard to the pro-bowl team: 4-3 or 3-4 on defense, and 3 WR, Ace, or I-formation on offense? I don't really disagree strongly with any of the choices here, but it seems like you could pick mostly different teams (on defense, anyway) based on the package you select.

Offense doesn't get affected as much, but since there doesn't seem to be a single 'base' formation on offense anymore; you could make a good case for selecting a 2nd TE or 3rd WR in lieu of the FB.

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:30pm

For MDS:

Word is that the Lions fired Martz.

by Jacob Stevens (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:31pm

C'mon, Karl, Ken Lucas has had two really good years in Carolina, with a bad year sandwiched in between. After having his very good contract year in 2004 with Seattle. The guy's good, and forgotten except in 2005 when Dr. Z and others were giving him all-pro consideration. He's not worthy of all-pro this year, but he's a good corner.

And so is Rod Hood. I was impressed with him. I wouldn't have said, the FO numbers probably will show this guy is the best in the league this year, when I watched him, but I thought he was pretty good. If MDS said he was already leaning towards Hood before that article was published, it sounds more like confirmation of what he was seeing than presuming that the success rate and yards per pass rate automatically made a guy an all-pro.

by Purds (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:34pm

Re: Sanders and Freeney.

I know Freeney's loss doesn't look like it hurt the Colts much right now, but these are the QB's the Colts faced in the second half of the year, after Freeney went out: Croyle, Harrington, Garrard, Boller, McCown, Rosenfels, Young. It's not exactly an all-star list of 4,000-yard throwers. Garrard is #5 in DPAR, then the next is Rosenfels at #18.

In other words, the lack of a pass rush might not have hurt Indy after Freeney left because those teams can't throw the ball anyway. I think his loss will be a huge one in the playoffs. The Colts will need to commit more than 4 to get to the passer, and that's not a good thing with DB's not used to man-to-man coverage.

by Basilicus (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:35pm

Count me in for arguing against Owens. I'd rather have Reggie Wayne in there. Owens had a great season, but Wayne had his best thus far. Owens may have more touchdowns, but Wayne had a ten percent higher catch rate than Owens: 67% to 57%. He also gained 160 more yards, played in a far more injured receiving corps, and didn't have Jason Witten (who was the best TE last season) as a safety valve. Personally, I think Owens received way too much credit this season just for staying quiet.

by Jacob Stevens (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:37pm

19 - The 3-4 or 4-3 argument is kinda valid, but think of the all-pro team as a roster more than an alignment. This is the starting lineup, more than a formation.

Versatile teams that employ both 3-4 and 4-3 fronts still have starters that technically won't start a game, if they go with the "other" front to start off a matchup. If you check the gamebooks, you'll see guys not publically named as starters listed as the starters, because they started the game.

by Jacob Stevens (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:40pm

The advertising around here sure has made this place borderline-NSFW recently. Count me in on the side of those who'd prefer it to remain just a tad more tame.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:42pm

Fom the games I saw, it seemed like Moss dictates terms to opposing coordinators more than Owens does. I think it is possible that the stats understate Moss' performance and value.

by B (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:44pm

23: Wayne also had 15 more pass attempts, a 10% lower DVOA and Peyton Manning throwing the ball to him.

by Arson55 (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:48pm

I am a Cowboy fan that I will not hesitate to say that Witten should be the all-pro tight end. That he didn't get it is disgusting. I'm not going to deny that Gates is the better reciever, but Witten is vastly better as a blocker.

Linked to a FO related artice to further expand on my point. Scroll down to Tight Ends and read the better than his standard statistics made him look.

by Richard (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:51pm


How about all of the above? Why don't we shift from thinking as All-Pro Team as the All-Pro Starting Lineup and start recognizing that three wide receiver sets are common if not modal. Let's include a blocking tight end in the mix. Let's have 4-3 and 4-3 personnel. With three receivers, we should also make a nickel package and a third corner part of the team.

This may sound dumb to some, but I'm serious. Does anybody have a problem with more people having great years being recognized? If it got to where we had close to two teams of players being "All-Pros," that would obviously dilute things. But if we're talking about one more front-seven player, one more player in the secondary, and a couple more on offense ...

Is that a bad thing?

by BlueStarDude (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:54pm

MDS - Thanks, I always look forward to your all-pro teams; of course, there are going to be disagreements here and there, such as . . .

I can understand taking Gates over Witten, but I don't understand how it could have been "a fairly easy decision." Witten is not flawless as a blocker, but he was so much improved this year that I would take that plus his overall production over Gates.

And Trent Cole over Aaron Kampman? Really? Cole is better at playing the run than I thought he would be, but it's nothing to get overly excited about, and his pass rush numbers get at least some benefit from playing in a more creative pass rushing scheme than Kampman does.

There has to be at least a half dozen better choices for MLB than Willis. In a couple of years maybe he’ll be there, but he still makes enough mistakes that I really don't see him as in the conversation for anything other than the all-rookie team.

The Giants O-line deserves more recognition than it gets, so good for Snee, but did he really have a better season than Steinbach in Cleveland? That’s a sincere question: I watch a lot of the G-men, but didn't get to see too much of the Browns. Maybe I have a bias of just having seen more of Snee's mistakes? Even within the NFC East I'm not so sure I wouldn't still put him behind Andrews (even though I know Andrews didn’t dominate like he did last year) and possibly even Davis.

by Richard (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:57pm

"That [Witten] didn’t get [MDS's All-Pro nod] is disgusting."

Disgusting? As in, you found the choice of Gates offensive, revolting, or otherwise unpleasant?

"Linked to a FO related artice (sic) to further expand on my point. Scroll down to Tight Ends and read the better than his standard statistics made him look."

Aaron saying Witten's stats don't accurately describe his season as a receiver doesn't say much about MDS's choice. MDS outlined his logic. Even if Witten's traditional statistics fail to accurately describe his value, a.) he still trailed Gates in the advanced metrics, and b.) statistics are only one part of the picture.

Witten's a defensible choice. But you're acting as if Gates is not. I find it difficult to believe anybody can be "disgusted" by a Gates pick.

by Jacob Stevens (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:58pm

29 -- it's a good suggestion, but to make it better you should still go and specify "1st team, 2nd team," etc., like in college. Let's not forget the objective is first to give accolades to the achievements of players, not to provide a theoretical lineup or roster for us all to argue over. So, by that virtue, we'd come right back to the same questions/arguments that #19 brought up.

I wouldn't have a problem with it. But the point is to say, Brady had the best year at QB, and so on. If that gets lost in translation for the sake of building a more realistic-seeming roster or lineup to theoretically field, then it's self-defeating. If it's just for the sake of giving additional, but lesser, kudos to other deserving players, then that is great.

by Kyle (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:58pm

"I was skeptical of Snee in 2004, when the Giants drafted him, because he’s Tom Coughlin’s son-in-law. But he’s as close to a perfect run-blocking guard as I’ve seen"

That perfectly summarizes everyone's thoughts on Chris Snee, except for Snee and Coughlin themselves. He went from 100% nepotism jokes to 50% nepotism jokes, 50% respect for his game, to where now people watch in awe of his run-blocking. He's so good because he is equally comfortable pulling and operating in space and lining up to just maul the man in front of him.

Also love choices like Lawrence Vickers, Michael Boley and Roderick Hood. Vickers I did not know existed, Boley I criminally underrated it seems, and Hood's success this year comes as a wallop of a surprise, considering he had to shop his wares in the offseason as a nickel corner.

In short, this article is very educational.

by Richie (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 3:00pm

#18, I wonder how anybody can honestly evaluate DB's and LB's by watching games on TV. Even linemen can be difficult. TV cameras just don't show enough of what a CB is doing to say whether he's going a good job or not.

Watching the NE-NYG game, there were a couple of plays were Wes Welker was getting wide open, but the TV angle never showed enough of the field (even in replays) to understand why Welker kept getting open. Surely somebody was making a mistake, but I have no idea which player it was. And I guess it's even possible that the problem was the defensive scheme.

by Joon (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 3:02pm

re: 17
yeah, just think what they'll be able to do with their 1st-rounder this year.

oh wait.

as for the selections, i can't really figure out why an all-pro team has to be only 11 guys. the pro bowl, sure, because they actually suit up and play (or at least "play"). but if you're just going to pick the best players at every position, there's no reason not to have a FB, a 2nd TE, and a 3rd WR. heck, throw in 2 RBs and 2 QBs as well. why not? you already have 2 LT's. the same goes for defense--you can pick 2 DE's, 2 DT's, and even a 3-4 NT if you want. then pick a bunch of linebackers. seriously, why not?

by Kyle (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 3:04pm

Re: 30

Great points, but as the mini-debate above regarding the Colts not having anyone on the list brought up, the Giants offensive line is more of a unit than a collection of dominant players. Diehl, Seubert and O'Hara are workmanlike in their approach, none of whom are in the top 5 and perhaps not even the top 10 at their respective positions (you can list Diehl as an LT or an LG, still holds true). Snee is top 5, though I would not argue that Andrews is at least his equal and perhaps his better on an individual basis. McKenzie, I do not know enough about RTs around the league to evaluate, but I would think he is top 10, not top 5.

So while individually, only Chris Snee should come up more in discussions of great offensive linemen, the line as a whole deserves much more recognition. Definitely a sum-greater-than-its-parts unit. They quietly dominate in run blocking (#2 by DVOA standards, and NE's #1 ranking is dubious at best due to the absurdity of their passing attack) and provide very good (not not great) pass protection. An excellent, top 3-5 unit, but only Snee is truly great.

by langsty (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 3:04pm

26 - Agreed. Welker's a good receiver, but a lot of his big games were made possible by the way Moss dictated coverage.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 3:05pm

Re: Def/Off Alignments

Personally, I don't know why these kind of things need to conform to one particular alignment. I'd be all in favor of selecting a FB, 3 WRs, and 2 TEs (1 pass-catching and 1 blocking) for offense. And for defense selecting 5 DL (2 DEs, 2 DTs, and 1 NT) and 5 LBs (2 OLBs, 2 ILBs, and 1 MLB).

That would only increase the number of selections by 2 on offense and 3 on defense. So it would still be fairly limited, but would be much more encompassing.

by Kyle (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 3:05pm

*would not argue AGAINST Andrews


by Karl Cuba (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 3:06pm

Bluestardude: "There has to be at least a half dozen better choices for MLB than Willis."

Well go on, name six guys.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 3:09pm

Crap, beated by 14 minutes. Damn you Richard!

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 3:10pm

Repeats from last year's team:
DeMarcus Ware, OLB
Devin Hester, returner (MDS only picked 1 last year)

Tomlinson would have been another repeat if MDS had chosen him. The other guys are all new from last year, though I haven't gone back and checked how many made it in 04 and 05.

by Mr. Beefy (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 3:12pm

#25, it's all good. That advertising gets me UP in the morning. :).

by Nathan (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 3:14pm

I think there are way too many good players in the league to do a single list.

At least go NFC/AFC

by Nathan (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 3:16pm

Oh, and Ugoh should have made the list for not being Charles Johnson alone.

by panthersnbraves (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 3:27pm

You messed up by including an NFC South player.

Besides, you left out the Panthers. No list of top one or two players at a given position would be complete without ... um, hrmp ... never mind ...

by Independent George (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 3:28pm

#29, 38 - it seems like 13-on-13 would most accurately reflect the NFL - 4 DL, 4 LB, 5 DBs on defense, and 2TE, 3WR, 1 FB on offense, but something seems just plain wrong about that arrangement. I don't have a rational explanation for it, but it just doesn't feel right. What if we took a page from fantasy football and have 11 starters plus 1 'flex' position? That actually sounds worse to me.

I don't really have a good answer here - I'm not even sure there is a good answer. My favorite aspect of football is the myriad tactical adjustments that can be made to personnel and scheme; it makes for entertaining viewing, but also for very subjective debates & analysis.

by Flounder (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 3:37pm

Re: 12 perhaps it's just the sheer number of snaps he plays wearing him down? I assumed that's why McCarthy deactivated him against Detroit, to really give him some time to recharge.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 3:38pm

I don't really see the need to include a nickel DB. After all, a nickel DB is really only the 3rd best DB on a particular team not a completely different skill-set. I'm sure if you took the 3rd best CB in the league and made him the nickel back that he'd be just fine. The same can't be said for moving the best 4-3 DT to 3-4 NT.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 3:46pm

#17 Purds, NOOOO! I thought #9 was high art and notice how nobody quibbled with it?

#45 Nathan, funny, but by that standard, Garrard makes it for not being Leftwich, Schaub and Rosenfels make it in Houston for not being Carr, Kerry Collins makes it in Tenn for not being Vince Young.... Too many guys to lambaste by elevating their replacements. Though your idea is a pretty good one for the "all-replacement/substitute team," a team of guys whose worth to their teams is monstrous based mainly on who they are NOT.

I think the readers here could assemble a pretty credible list. The godfather of all would probably be Brady replacing Bledsoe. And in Indy, a sock puppet with a hole in the toe replacing Gilbert Gardner.

by Otis Taylor 89 (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 3:51pm

I forgot one more - why not Pat Williams over Kelly Gregg? Gregg had a great year and BAL had a lot of injuries in the secondary, but everyone stopped running on MIN (OK, until Portis week 16).
Actually, were BAL and MIN the same team this year? Off the charts run D lead by two dominate D lineman, bad play at QB, good RBs. Throw in BAL injuries and harder schedule and they probably would have the same record.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 3:51pm

Richard #29, Independent George #19:

But shouldn't additional guys getting recognized actually play those positions, rather than it simply being a make-up pick of someone who got excluded from first team?

The theoretical All-Pro third wideout should be a real slot receiver/#3, like Wes Welker, not a third #1. Same for the nickel corner.

I could also see an arguement for recognizing a Nose Tackle as an All-Pro, since a number of 4-3 teams employ Nose Tackles alongside the 3-4 teams. The remaining D-Tackle spots could be debated between 3-4 Ends and 4-3 3-Technique Tackles. Then the D-End spots could be debated between 4-3 ends, and 3-4 OLB's.

Thinking along these lines

by B (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 3:54pm

52: Do you really think that Welker wouldn't be a better slot receiver than Wayne? It's like using the second best LT as an RT.

by Yaguar (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 3:55pm

I'm going to go ahead and say this since nobody else has so far:

Steve Hutchinson was snubbed big time. I've never seen an interior lineman like him.

by Yaguar (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 4:08pm

53: Actually, yes. Wayne's body type and receiving style are basically slot receiver-like. It's actually true for all Colts receivers. Tom Moore really likes guys who make quick cuts and get open, as opposed to physical guys or burners.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 4:12pm

Re: 52

I don't see why you'd have to select a true slot receiver of a true nickel back. The skill-set of the third WR isn't very different than the other WR positions. The same is true of the 3rd CB. The only thing that really distinguished them from the #1 or #2 guys is that they aren't as good. What would be a better WR unit, Moss/Owens/Welker or Moss/Owens/Wayne? The problem is leaving off guys with different (but not necessarily inferior) skill-sets.

BTW, I just talked myself out of wanting a WR3 selected.

by Tom (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 4:12pm

choosing a certain number of players based upon what types of sets people use doesnt seem to make much sense. Like, just becuase 2 TE sets get used doesnt mean that twice as many starting TEs should get chosen to the pro bowl than...say... QB... I mean, the second tight end is a backup in the same sense that the second QB is a backup, just the second TE sees the light of day on occasion, although so does the backup QB, Field goal holder!!!

I think that the number of players chosen should either be based upon one general set (such as how they have it right now. and in re 3 WR vs 2 WR and 1 FB, it would be silly to not have ANYONE from one position), or they should have it based upon the total number of viable candidates, which i personally would think would put us at the same number, except you could make a case for a 3rd WR (and maybe one for 3rd CB, although honestly on most teams, the nickle back is a backup, just a more valuable one than at most other positions)

by Independent George (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 4:14pm

#50 - I love this game!

How about this:

QB: Derek Anderson
WR: Anthony Gonzalez, Vincent Jackson
RB: Jerious Norwood
T: Tony Ugoh, Tra Thomas

by jonnyblazin (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 4:17pm

re: 51

After a few games into the season, after Kurt Warner and Kellen Clemens ripped through the Ravens pass D, I realized with horror that in fact the Ravens D had morphed into the Vikings D. Throw in the purple uniforms as well.

Kelly Gregg is a great D-lineman, but I wouldn't say he's better than Ngata. Likewise, Pat Williams is likely aided by Kevin at his side. Tough to evaluate these guys when they play next to a great player. Gregg was obviously very good before Ngata came around, but it's not a coincidence that he had his best season the same time Ngata took a step forward.

by AndyE (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 4:25pm

I'd rather have Wayne over TO as my number 2 to keep Welker as my number 3. Haven't you noticed how he dictates terms to defenses, forcing them to leave open lesser receivers? The Giants would rather give up a TD to Moss than a first down to Welker. That's some talent, folks.

Purds: #9 was high art, you shouldn't have retracted it :)

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 4:33pm

Re: 57

Actually, pass-catching TE and blocking TE are two completely different and useful skill-sets, so I'd definitely be in favor of selecting one of each. FB is it's own unique (although not as prevelantly used) skill-set, so I'd be in favor of selecting one of them.

There are guys in the league that could be considered prototypical slot WRs, but personally I don't think they're unique enough to be seperated from the other WR positions (although I could be swayed).

Nickel CB is almost always just the third best guy on the team with the only difference being that his desired skill-set is identical but inferior to the other guys.

I guess I wouldn't argue too much that MLB and ILB are similar enough to lump them all together. But DT and NT should definitely be seperated.

So I'd be in favor of:

2 TE (1 catching / 1 blocking)
2 WR
5 OL

2 DE
2 DT
1 NT
2 CB
2 S

That a grand total of 2 extra selections.

by Stuart Fraser :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 4:34pm

For the all-not-somebody-else special teams, you can have P Daniel Sepulveda (who isn't Chris Gardocki-has-never-had-a-punt-blocked) and K Nick Folk (isn't Mike Vanderjagt).

Various Indianapolis linebackers may well make the cut for not being Cato June. Any free agent CB the Saints sign will automatically be added to the roster for not being Jason David.

by Richard (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 4:35pm

58: Vincent Jackson?

by Herm? (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 4:40pm

if you're unsatisfied with your Panthers roster, would you allow our friend Mr. Pioli to relieve you of that burdensome Steve Smith guy for, say, a 4th round pick?
/better than Moss and Owens combined?

by Mikey (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 4:41pm

I would also jettison the fullback position and add Welker as a third WR. His conventional numbers this year are eye-popping and he's a murderous blocker.

I can see the appeal of tabbing Patrick Willis over the more boring choice of Brian Urlacher, but personally if I had to win one game and could have any ILB in the league I'd take Urlacher.

I didn't see enough Atlanta games to comment on Boley so I won't knock the choice. I will say this: As a lifelong Steeler fan I think James Harrison just had the best year of any Steeler linebacker since Greg Lloyd and that includes some big-time players. He would sure have my vote.

by FullmoonoverTulsa (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 4:44pm

62 - Folk replaced Grammatica, who replaced VdJ.

by Herm? (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 4:45pm

Wayne as the Number 2 makes sense since he seemed to stay in his #2 position on the left in most sets even with Harrison out. MDS makes a case for Santonio Holmes for what I assume are similar reasons.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 5:01pm

I saw enough of the Bears this year to suspect that Urlacher's play receded significantly, I'd guess largely due to his back condition, although Tommie Harris' health may have played a role as well.

by panthersnbraves (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 5:01pm


Actually, no. I'll keep number 89 - just that he was not able to perform at a "Top Two at that position" level.

It's kind of funny anyway. Having Steve Smith as your receiver will turn you into an All-Pro QB, but not having a consistant QB will turn an All-Pro WR into a spectator.

Matt Moore for ROY!

by bubqr (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 5:01pm

Arguing for Kampman against T.Cole, while the stats backs up T.Cole is quite questionnable. T.Cole had no other threats on his side to prevent him from getting constant double teams(Which he gets), while Kampmann had some people drawing attention on the same DL.
And the production is there. Have you watched the number of tackles too ?
Plus you have to love watch him play. Lots of starting DEs in this league are more fast, more strong, have more technique, but few has a motor and an energy like him.
Clearly my favourite player and a model for me.
On another side, does anyone has a track record of the percentage of players from the NFC/AFC in the past All Pro teams ?
Here it's 15 AFC 11 NFC if i'm not mistaken.

by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 5:03pm

#66: I don't think Grammatica would've been the Cowboys second choice after Vanderjagt. Folk's a major upgrade for the Cowboys because he's not Mike Vanderjagt nor an emergency replacement for Vanderjagt once they realized that he does, in fact, suck. (I'm ever so proud to be able to retire the Fire Mike Vanderjagt petition.)

by Fan4Life (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 5:07pm

It is a farce to claim that Tom Brady is the best QB in the league. Granted, he is part of the best QB/WR combo. But then Culpepper had that distinction when he was throwing to Moss, too, didn't he?

by Jimmy (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 5:12pm

#68, Will Allen

Urlacher finished the year as strong as ever, and he ended up with five picks and five sacks. He had some serious back issues from week 2 to week 8 or 9 and since then has been his usual All Pro self. As a Bears fan this was a massive relief as I wasn't sure that we would ever see #54 back to his old form again.

Harris started to look healthy again in the last couple of weeks which bodes well for next year too. If Brown and Vasher come back 100% the Bears D will be a force to be reckoned with again.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 5:13pm

Re: 72

You're an idiot. Arguing between Manning and Brady's careers is one thing, but arguing that Brady isn't the best this year is depressingly stupid. I feel pity for you and for any child unfortunate enough to share part of your genetic code.

by Purds (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 5:17pm

Joon: #35 "yeah, just think what they’ll be able to do with their 1st-rounder this year.
oh wait."

Although you're joking, I think you're off base here. SF took Staley by trading their 2008 #1 and 2007 #4 to NE. To get a year with Staley, who by all appearances will be a foundation for them for many, many years, with the trade of a #4 and a delayed #1? It's a no-brainer win for SF. (The fact that NE turned the #4 pick into Randy Moss has nothing to do with SF's decision -- Moss wasn't going to SF for a #4, a #1, or a #1 & #4!)

I think the Colts did the same with their 2008 #1, trading for a #2 in 2007 and getting Ugoh, a guy they thought was Round 1 talent (and could be signed for Round 2 money) and would help them now, not next year.

In regards to trading future picks for late first-round/early second-round stud O-Linemen? I am all for it.

by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 5:21pm

Is there anyone left who thinks Dwight Freeney is the best player on the Colts’ defense? Last season the Colts were without Sanders and with Freeney for most of the year. The defense fell apart when Sanders was out and was a totally different unit when he returned

Aaron said that during the regular season last year, the Colts allowed more rushing yards per game when Sanders was in there.

by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 5:33pm

I thought Hood was going to be my sleeper pick, but he’s less of a sleeper now that the FO game charters have pointed out how good he is.

He was great as a nickel corner on the Eagles, too. It was no surprise. The Cardinals got a steal in free agency.

By the way, I like being right, just like most people, and I'm pretty sure I was right about the fact that the Colts gave Freeney too much money.

by Roadspike (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 5:38pm

Patrick Willis over Lofa Tatupu? I'm all for giving a young guy a shot at some glory, but I think that Tatupu outshines any of the other ILBs in the league by a good margin. Urlacher and Ray Lewis have been playing (or not playing) hurt, but Tatupu is exceptional game in and game out.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 5:45pm

Jimmy, the season is 16 games long, which was my point. I also suspect the Bears' defense next year will be more in line with years previous to this one. I'd be tempted to say that adding the Bears' receivers to the Vkings o-line and running backs would make for a formidable offense, except for the fact that it still leaves us with Kyle Orton and Tavaris Jackson.

by Nicky P (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 6:09pm


I was getting all fired up to write about your comment in #9, until you TOTALY REDEEMED yourself in #17. lol.

I do have a question though - as we all know, the Colts have had such a disruptive pass rush because they can get to the QB with 4 and drop everyone else into coverage.

You are worried about the impact of Freeney's loss in the playoffs, because the Colts will theoretically have to rush more than 4. However, since they haven't been doing this in the regular season, do you think that they can/will devise some new blitz packages that other teams haven't seen on film?

I'm guessing this will be one of the key things they'll address during their bye week.

As a Pats fan, I hope not. But I'd be interested to hear your take.

by Chris (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 6:12pm

What would this team look like if it had to be under the cap?

by Independent George (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 6:16pm

Does anybody remember which discussion thread it was which wound up creating a 'misfits' team? I think it might have started as a hypothetical All-Bay Area (OAK/SF) team vs. unsigned free agents?

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 6:34pm

One thing Dungy used to do with some success with the Bucs was blitz Ronde Barber from the edge. Have the Colts been stunting with their current crop of corners this year?

by MJK (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 6:50pm

Nice selections.

One question--at DT did you consider Vince Wilfork at all? I know you already have a lot of Patriots, and I don't watch enough Ravens to know how good Gregg is (I know Haynesworth's reputation), so I'm not claiming he deserves to be ahead of these two, but Wilfork is the one Patroits defender other than perhaps Samuel that really stands out. He regularly commands double teams that Seymour used to, and he is amazingly tough against the run. Plus, he occasionally gets good pass pressure as well, which is something most 3-4 NT's don't do.

Or is this just another case of all-pro teams being biased against 3-4 D-linemen...

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 6:52pm

Re #82
I want to say that was an XP thread sometime late summer, before the regular season started, and took off from one of those (frequently ridiculous) player ranking things.

I feel like I should start bookmarking notable comment threads for when requests like these come up.

by Rusty G (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 7:01pm

Re 84:

I'm not sure I'd disagree that most such lists have difficulty spotting 3-4 NTs, but I don't know that I'd really characterize Wilfork as having had that dominant of a year, even among NTs. Casey Hampton and Jay Ratliff have both been more effective for stouter run defenses and better on pash rushes (although the Pats 3-4 is probably more to blame than Wilfork himself).

I don't really recall Wilfork blowing that many backs up at or behind the line, which is where I want my NT to be most effective. New England's stuffed rank is among the lowest, and they were ravaged by runs to the middle, relative to Pittsburgh and Dallas.

by Jimmy (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 7:02pm


It began with someone demeaning the quality of individual players in the NFC North, which I took a little exception to as even the Lions have Pro Bowl quality players.

If you do the trick of comparing the relative merits of all-division teams if I remember correctly the two leading contenders were the NFC North and the AFC North with the AFC South running a close second.

by Jimmy (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 7:05pm


I think it was about week four or so, but that seems to clash with what someone else has written.

by brian c (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 7:09pm

re: Willis is the kind of player a defense can be built around. With the play of the rest of the team the answer would be must be built around. Team also

by patriotsgirl (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 7:31pm

82: I think you may be thinking of something more recent than the other posters. Check out the Week 10 DVOA thread, linked in my name (Nathan's posts at 47 and 88 are the jumping-off points).

And yes, it is sad that I remembered it on the first try.

by Purds (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 7:34pm

#80: Colts pass rush/blitz:

The Colts definitely have been blitzing more this year, but I am not sure how much.

I don't have any blitz stats really, other than this: just over 20% of their sacks this year come from LB's and DB's (6 of 28). Last year, only 1 sack by a LB of 25 total (4%). None by DB's. In 2005, 4 of 46 (less than 10%).

In short, sack % by DB/LB's for Colts:
2007: 21%
2006: 4%
2005: 9%
2004: 2% (1 of 45!)
2003: 24% (7 of 29 -- Marcus Washington!)

Now, is 2007 a higher number because Freeney got injured, or not? I don't know. Might be because the CB's are better tacklers, and Dungy feels he can let the dogs loose once in a while, and if the opponent makes a play, those CB's will tackle the guy for a 10 yarder, not let him get by for a 50 yarder.

by vrz (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 7:38pm

Anyone want to make an All-Suck team, as was done last year?

by Electrogasm (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 7:51pm

There has to be a better way to quantify the worth of a Punter. Gross yards? If your team doesn't move the ball, then you're always going to 'let it fly.' Net yards? It goes hand in hand with your coverage team. Inside the 20 and Touchbacks factor in this equation but what else? For QBs, they factor Completion Percentage, Yards Per Attempt, TDs Per Attempt and Interceptions Per Attempt and then added, divided and multiplied. Complicated but it touches most every facet of the position. But not so with the Punter.

With the exception of SD - Scifres and DAL - McBriar all of the Top 10 Net Average Punters play on teams with anemic offenses. Scifres, in fact, has a higher percentage of Inside the 20 punts and a much lower Touchback percentage to boot. He employs the Australian Rules (taught to him by former teammate Darren Bennett) style of killing the ball forward motion better than any other Punter.

If I needed a punt to go 70 or to be downed inside the 10, I know who I'd call - Mike Scifres, of the Chargers.

by RickD (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 7:57pm

re: 72
Culpepper's best season was 2004 which, unfortunately for him, was also Peyton Manning's best season, and Manning was a notch better than Culpepper that year. Certainly Culpepper should have been in any discussion about the All-Pro QB in 2004, though.

The comparison with Brady doesn't work because Brady is far ahead of the field this year, and that has never been the case for Culpepper. Even die-hard Colts' fans concede that Brady has had a spectacular season this year.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 7:58pm

Re #90(82)
Wow, I totally missed that thread. I guess combining the Raiders and 49ers to make a single better team is a perennial FO topic.

by AlexSmithJoe (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 8:21pm


Are we talking about devising a "punter rating" formula now? We could use ROBOPUNTER as the upper bound for a perfect score, which, like passer rating, must be some extremely bizarre number. Then ten years later, someone will make a convincing argument that the cherished "punter rating" formula is flawed because it overvalues one component relative to another. No one will really understand the "punter rating" formula, but every announcer will tell you "100 is a good rating" and "so-and-so gets a rating bonus for never having a punt blocked." If a punter punts a single time and it doesn't go for a touchback, he could get an automatic 39.6 (passer rating joke). The formula will revolutionize the punting position. There will be more to talk about during those low scoring, punt-dominated games (wow, that Andy Lee has a 140 punter rating today). The term "franchise punter" will become commonplace. Punters will never be looked at the same...

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 9:00pm

Re #93
Hangtime would be nice. It'd also be nice to have something like a measure of how far a punt normally travels in X conditions from the Y yardline, and is normally returned for Z, though of course it's pretty danged hard to separate punt coverage from the punter in measuring punt returns. Paul Brown supposedly wanted a high 40-43 yard punt every time, because he believed his team could tackle the returner after 2-3 yards-it's a fool's game. Men have driven themselves mad trying to find it, and there's no Abbe Faria somewhere who's figured out where the treasure is and is willing to teach it to you.

by Nathan (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 9:05pm

That thread was epic. Street Free Agent team scores more wins than the Dolphins.

by Nathan (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 9:08pm

Reposting Street Free Agent team for fun

QB: Doug Johnson
Backup: Rob Johnson

RB: Kevan Barlow
Backup: Shaud Williams

FB: Cory Schlesinger

WR: Mike Williams
WR: Antonio Bryant
WR: David Boston

TE: Ernie Conwell
TE: Jermaine Wiggins

LT: Zach Wiegert
LG: Toniu Fonoti
C: Cory Raymer
RG: Marco Rivera
RT: Adam Meadows

Kicker: Mike Vanderjagt
Punter: Dirk Johnson


DE: Grant Wistrom
DT: Dan Wilkinson
DT: Johnathan Sullivan
DE: Kenard Lang

OLB: Ed Hartwell
ILB: Al Wilson
OLB: T.J. Slaughter

CB: Ahmad Carroll
CB: Lenny Walls
CB: Derrick Strait

SS: Donovin Darius
FS: Tony Parrish

(In my all something teams, I actually pick a defense.)


QB: Rohan Davey or Aaron Brooks
RB: Wali Lundy or Stephen Davis
WR: Corey Bradford, Doug Gabriel, or Charles Rogers.
TE: Courtney Anderson
O-Line: Chukky Okobi, Jeno James, Rex Tucker, Kenyatta Walker

D-Line: Jason Fisk, Willie Whitehead, Seth Payne
Linebackers: Rocky Calmus, Ronald McKinnon, D.D. Lewis, Hannibal Navies
CBs: Rumph, Tory James, Tyrone Poole
Safety: Willie Middlebrooks, Bahwoh Jue

by Jon (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 9:24pm

Am I correct in saying that Cromartie is a shutdown corner? I know he has 10 picks, but that doesn't neccessarily mean he's a great cornerback. Also, does anyone know what is going on with McNeil? Vanden Bosch abused him in the Titans game and I'm worried that it's going to happen again in the playoffs. Rivers is a disaster when the O-line isn't blocking well.

by MJK (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 9:34pm

The problem with rating punters is that their perfromance is indeed closley linked to the performance of the coverage teams.

A fast, disciplined, well-tackling coverage team can make up for a punter having poor hang time, while a punter with awesome hangtime can help out a weaker coverage team.

Plus, different types of punts are used for different things. You want one kind of punt out of your own endzone, another kind between your 30 and the opposing 50, and still another kind (or maybe one of two other kinds) on the opponent's side of the field, and maybe even another kind when facing Devin Hester.

by Otis Taylor 89 (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 10:00pm


How 'bout an All-Suck MVP? Or would it be just Suck MVP?

Any way you slice it, it's Jason David.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 10:08pm

94, Rick D, Your last statement is a ridiculous bit of Brady lap-dancing, kool-aide drinking, stat-whoring, non-euclidian, quasi-sado-masochis.... uh, where were we again?

Oh, yeah. Monumental season. Damn him to heck anyway. What I wonder is how it all really fits together--whenever I have seen the Pats it looks like TB has had 6 seconds in the backfield (at least the first half of the season); the line seems to be playing insanely well. Add in Moss and Welker and... could Joe Replacement have had the same season? No. But could Joe R have had a 35 TD/15 INT/4,200 yard season that would get him some MVP talk? Maybe. Would TB have had the same season without that OL or Moss of Welker? No, I don't think so.

He had a magnificent season and I hope you appreciate it. From a Colt fan perspective (and probably Fins fans from 1984 can relate), after 2004, I figured Manning was a lock for at LEAST 35/10 every year. Jeez, it's 14 fewer than 2004, surely he can rack that up in his sleep! Uh, no. It is an amazing, rare thing. Lightning doesn't usually strike the same place twice. Enjoy.

There. That wasn't too painful. I am actually bummed that this happened for a rival because I couldn't quite enjoy such an amazing spectacle, like I enjoyed watching Purple Jesus run over the Chargers, for example. Oh well, nobody suffers from that bias but me.

by Yakuza Rich (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 10:09pm

Andy Lee strongest leg in the NFL? I think that belongs to Matt McBriar, who didn't have the luxury of being able to boom them every kick given Dallas' offense.

by panthersnbraves (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 10:23pm

Is David Carr eligible for a Lifetime Achievement Award on the All Suck Team?

by Purds (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 10:48pm

#102: "How ’bout an All-Suck MVP? Or would it be just Suck MVP?
Any way you slice it, it’s Jason David."

Another example of a starter winning a SB with the Colts and then leaving because the Colts wouldn't overpay for him, and what happens to him when he plays for another team and coach? He's not as good. Happens all the time. Just tells you something about the Colts Way.

And, just plain good cap management by Polian.

by seth (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 11:11pm

re 54-
i totally agree that steve hutchison is as good as any guard i've ever seen. to me he's on his way to being a first ballot hall of famer.

i think MDS per his intro to last season's list, tries to go with younger and less hyped players whenever there's any question. that is what makes this list the most interesting one anywhwere...because most lists lean toward the established player whenever there's a question, while MDS leans the opposite way.
by the way, it's nice to see chris snee get some recognition, but we should remember that last year he appreared in the "most penalized" article at FO (does anyone remember that or have the link?) and i belive he's had a few penalties this year, too.

by Nathan (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 11:18pm

All Suck team?

LT: Charles Johnson Colts

by seth (not verified) :: Wed, 01/02/2008 - 11:27pm

re 100-
i don't think cromartie is a "shut down corner" in the way that maybe only champ bailey is today, but he's still young and still subject to make mistakes, and that encourages offenses to throw some at him. i do think, however, that his good hands and exceptional return skills will end up discouraging throwing his way, because there is a legit fear of his abilty to A. make the interception because of his athletic abilty (and height)and B. return it for a touchdown.
as for marcus mcneil, he has not played as well this year, and it's hard to say why. everything that goes wrong with the chargers is blamed on norv, but i don't see that a slip in mcneil's play can be blamed on coaching. i did notice that early in the season the whole line seemed to struggle, both individually and as a group...and that was before the injuries to hardwick and olivea. in this era when a whole group takes a step back it does make you wonder why...

by Chris (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 12:02am

18- I watch as much football as humanly possible for a guy with a 9-5 gig. Baseball has a lot better stats and their Saberetrics guys are light years ahead. Football in general is harder to cap because of less games, and 11 variables working together as opposed to baseball where they can more easily be isolated.

RB- LT over Westbrook, I like Westbrook and all but LT is still the best RB.

FB- Take out the fullback and give me Reggie Wayne as a 3rd receiver with Moss and Owens. I like to throw the ball in the "Bill Polian" era.

G- Logan Mankins is good, but I'd take Hutchinson at LG and Snee at RG. No Patriots Bias for ME!

DT- No Kevin Gregg there are a bunch of better DTs. Gimme Tommy Harris when he's healthy. Harris' strength, speed, quickness and gap control are riddulous. I also like John Henderson, Pat Williams, Kevin Willians, Wilfork, Jamal Williams etc.

DE- Jared Allen deserves it as does Trent Cole but they play on the same side. Cole is a relentless pass rusher but not perfect against the run, give me Julios Peppers to bookend with Jared Allen.

Tackles- Joe Thomas is still a rook, gimme Jordan Gross to play on the right side and I can't think of a better RT off the top of my head with so much talent on the left side.

ILB- I like Willis and all but there are honestly bunch I'd take before him. I probably wouldn't even take him as my top rookie with David Harris in his class. Gimme Mike Peterson in the middle. If I had to identify the #1 LB in the game THIS year I'd take Peterson.

OLB- Demarcus Ware is a beast, but give me a roided up Shawn Merriman to flank the other side instead of Boley. Julian Peterson gets consideration too.

S- Are you kidding me? Troy Palamalou please. I'd still take Ed Reed and Briak Dawkins over BOTH your choices too and certainly over Phillips but I think Palamalou is the best safety in the game.

CB- I'd take Rasheed Mathis next to Asante or a healthy Champ Bailey. I think Rasheen Mathis is my top cover corner.

Head coach- Bill Billicheck
OC- Jason Garret
DC- Dick Leabeau
GM- Scott Pioli
Scouting dept - Minn had a good draft
ROY- All Day Peterson " AKA Purple Jesus"
D ROY - David Harris
Cheerleaders - Dallas Cowgirls
Stadium - Seattle
Color Commentary - Troy Aikman
Announcer - Al Michaels
Weight Room coach- John Lott ( Arizona)

by Chris (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 12:08am

I will also say this about Marcus Mcneil. Going into his senior year I had read about him and didn't really get to see to much of him. I guess he had some injury concerns but I watched the entire lineman segement at the Indy scouting combine and I can tell you that he was head and shoulders more athletic than any lineman in his class.

I can still remember him shuffeling from side to side in the way that a receiver should. The guy was light on his feet, quick and just long. Then I had the thoughts of how he was supposed to be a top 5 pick going into last year.

It didn't suprise me at all of the successful rookie year he had. I liked Eric Winston as the 2nd best T, but he wasn't even close to the athleticism that Mcneil had. This guy should be a household name for YEARS to come.

Also, interestingly it looks like AJ Smith has a little appetite or risk tolerence for high round draft choices.

Mcneil slipped down in the draft and even Antonio Cromartie was an injury concern in the late first round. Both guys have worked out so far in their young careers but would AJ Smith be such a genius if they were hurt.

ALSO remember that Luis Castillo was a "steroids" concern. It looks like AJ Smith was looking to find the "injury market discount" and it worked.

by Thok (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 12:10am

Isn't the obvious thing to try for a punter rating to calculate for each attempted punt a punt ratio of gross yards/"good distance", (where good distance is something like the minimum of 50 yards or the distance to the goal line), and then compute the average punt ratio for a punter?

So for example, if a punter gets a touchback from the 40 yard line, he'd get a .5 ratio for that punt (20 yards gross/40 good distance), and if he had a punt blocked and returned for a touchdown, he'd get a negative score.

OK, this ignores hangtime and coverage abilities, but it seems like a good first start for analyzing punters.

by seth (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 12:11am

maybe this is a quibble, but i have to go with your 2006 pick of punter brian moorman over andy lee. i understand that lee has an amazing leg, but he had 13 touchbacks compared to only 3 (!) for moorman (and lee had only about 20% more punts than moorman). also, i think that the "inside the 20" stat has become outdated in this era of higher-level punting. i don't know what the stat is, but i'm almost sure moorman would have a great ratio of punts downed inside the 5, which obviously has an amplified value becasue those punts very easily lead to points (again, real statistics on this would be great). i recall that in the bills- dalls game, i think, he had 2 downed inside the 2 or 3 yard line. finally, moorman had 7 punts in that crazy bills- browns blizzard game that ended up an 8-0 browns win. in that game moorman's 7 punts averaged only 29 yards net, which obviously brings down his averages unfairly.

by Raiderjoe (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 12:14am

Troy Polamaloo not good in 2007 season. Dont know what you were watching

by Arson55 (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 12:31am

...Richard (#31) my saying I was disgusted by the Gates pick is a bit of an exaggeration sure. But I still feel like Witten's superior skills as a blocker, and his better than acceptable abilities as a reciever more than made him the equal of Gates this year. Normally, I would agree that Gates is the better player, but Witten put together a great year this year, and it should be acknowledged rather than simply dismissed by saying that choosing Gates was a 'relatively easy decision.'

Hey, I have to defend the best offensive player on my favorite team (Yes better even than Owens). Especially since my team's best defensive player was slowed by injuries this year (I'm a member of the often times unheard 'Terence Newman is the best corner in the league club').

And thank you so much for calling attention to my typo...

by Raiderjoe (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 12:35am

welcome to club. posters make fun my of typing all the time

by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 12:43am

I think an All-Suck team should exclude players whose coaching staff never believed they would be starting for the rest of the season. I don't require that guys played every game - if they got benched for sucking that's fine, and if the guy they backed up went on IR before about Week 10 that's fine too. But someone at some point has to have thought they were the best answer they had, medium term. So no Charles Johnson and no Winston Justice.

With that in mind:

QB - Trent Dilfer (SF)

Honourable mentions to David Carr and Alex Smith. Special small sample size award to Billy Volek, for his mind-boggling 4/13 for -3 yards and an interception, DVOA -177%. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you suck.

RB - Rudi Johnson (CIN)

When you are that much worse than a mediocrity like Kenny Watson playing in the same offense, something is very wrong. Honourable mention to Shaun Alexander, for similar reasons.

FB - God knows. I didn't notice any bogglingly awful full-back play this year, I don't think, but I wouldn't consider myself qualified to comment on anyone other than Vonta Leach, who's good (though not as a reciever). Suggestions?

WR - Reggie Brown (PHI), Drew Bennett (STL)

TE - LJ Smith (PHI)

Donovan McNabb may have played poorly this season, but he could really have used some help. Honourable mention to Bubba Franks.

LT - Alex Barron (STL)

RT - Todd Weiner (ATL)

G - Chris Gray (SEA), Terrence Metcalf (CHI)

C - Todd McClure (ATL)

That'll do for now - it's my bed-time. CC Brown and friends will follow tomorrow.

by Chris (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 12:57am

I forget to give "best fan" to Raiderjoe. No matter how hard his team sucks, he still buys the company line and believes in his team. The Raiders could be 2-14 and he's still running his mouth.

Reggie Brown on an all suck team? He might not be Randy Moss but he's average at worst. Have you watched Aaron Moorehead? What about a Brandon Lloyd SIGHTING. The 20+ million dollar rapper/unused receiver Brandon Lloyd getting on the field is like a freaking big foot sighting.

I think any Giants fan would gladly take Winston Justice on an Island to start at LT against Osi Omenyouri.

Speaking of the Giants our kicker suuuuucks and Reuben Droughnes sucks. He could have stoped a lot of Giants/Eagles arguments by getting caught from behind by B.Dawkins in the 2nd match up. Was he jogging or is he that slow?

by Nick B (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 2:44am


Lee netted considerably more yards per punt than Moorman despite kicking more than half of all his punts within range of a TB (I'm assuming all punts within the 20 are within range of a TB). Having a few extra TBs doesn't matter when the net yards are still so much better.

Plus, Lee broke the all-time punting yards record.

by Theo, Holland (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 9:28am

James Harrison, Steelers eats Michael Boley, Falcons for breakfast.

by Jimmy (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 9:33am

#111, regarding McNeil

I think everyone thought he was a top ten value player but when the doctors got their X-rays of him they spotted that he had a narrowing of the spine and 99% of the team doctors shook theor heads and said no. He only allowed one sack in four years of starting in the SEC, I don't think it was a case of him ever flying under the radar. AJ Smith has said it was his doctors who told him he was probably going to be OK, so credit for the pick should go to them.

As for his performance decline from last year to this year, I think it is to do with his hands. Last year he was playing with casts on both hands (I am pretty sure he had broken them), at the time everyone was raving about how well he was playing as a rookie with casts on both hands. If you think about it though if there is a position in the league you can play with casts on both hands it is probably OT. You should still be able to punch with your hands and would need to have a pretty blatant arm hook to ever get called for holding. This year though I suspect he is really struggling wiht his hand sterngth, it takes a long time to get power back into hands after you suffer broken bones and sometimes it never comes back to 100%. He might never be the same player if he cannot get his hand strength back, or he might be back to his rookie form next year. Unless you are one of the Chargers' doctors or conditioning coaches you can only guess.

by AmbiantDonkey (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 11:33am

Re 102
For my money the all-suck MVP(LVP?)is Adam Archuleta.

by Independent George (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 11:45am

#90 - Bless you, girl. You just made my day.

#92 - Your suggestion intrigues me. What are the rules of the all-suck team? I assume that it has to include starters only, otherwise we'd just have a team full of third stringers. But what counts as a starter? Injury replacements? Guys who were expected to start at the beginning of the season? Guys who started 3 or more games?

#99 - continuing your theme, how about the All-Johnson team? We probably can't fill an entire roster (maybe we should expand it to include guys named 'John', too), but I think this is a pretty good start:

QB: Brad Johnson, z
RB: Rudi Johnson, CIN
WR: Chad Johnson, CIN
WR: Andre Johnson, HOU

DT: Tank Johnson, DAL
LB: Derrick Johnson, KC
DB: Todd Johnson, STL

by vrz (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 11:55am

Click my name for the rules taken from a post from last year. Basically the worst starters who started at least 8 games, but I guess exceptions can be made, like 5-6 games instead.

To get started, some nominees:

David Carr
Joey Harrington
Trent Dilfer
Alex Smith

Rudi Johnson
DeShaun Foster
Cedric Benson
Shaun Alexander
Warrick Dunn

Darrell Jackson
Arnaz Battle
Keary Colbert
Mark Clayton
Marty Booker

Add your own..

by Jimmy (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 12:20pm


According to the NFL website there are 42 players named Johnson in the league. With the odd exception (there are two Jensens and one Jansen) you haave a game day roster.

First names only as all are named Johnson (I am ignoring Jensens and Jansen as they aren't Johnsons).

QB-Doug(dal), Doug(cin)
RB-Larry(kc), Rudi(cin)
FB-Jeremi(cin), Kyle(den)
TE-Eric(no), Teyo(den)
WR-Chad(cin), Andre(hou), Calvin(det), Antonio(ari)
OT-Charlie(ind), Chase(min)
OG-Bryan(buc), Marcus(min)
C -Al(ari)

DE-Charles(car), Trevor(stl)
DT-Tank(dal), Ed(ind), Spencer(min), Travis(hou)
LBs- Jarret(bal), Derrick(kc), Landon(cin)
DBs-Todd(stl), Travonti(nyg), Derrick(mia), Chris(oak), Jovon(pit)

A bit weak on the offensive line, defensive end and in the secondary (only two players with a registered tackle and I hadn't heard of half of them). QBs not the greatest, but offensive skill positions are strong and it has decent tackles and linebackers on defense. Three excellent WRs, two good tailbacks, two good fullbacks and decent TEs.

Not bad for a load of Johnsons.

by Jimmy (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 12:21pm

Bugger, the first Doug of the QBs is supposed to be Brad.

That was me getting my Johnsons confused.

by Jimmy (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 12:29pm

There is also a Spencer Johnson who plays for the Giants, he would start (as I say the secondary is fairly poor).

So the starting safeties would be Todd and Spencer and the rest of the DBs can be rotated through the CB spots to see if any of them can cover worth a damn.

As for coaches, I haven't a clue but I have spent too long looking for Johnsons and have to stop.

by Independent George (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 12:38pm

#125-126: You're right - that team might win 7+ games with the right schedule.

Given the weakness of the OL and the strength of the receivers, I think the offense would have to run a lot of 2-TE formations, and let the receivers run short routes and try to make plays after the catch. Looks like the Johnsons are running a Tampa-2 defense.

Now let's try an All-Smith team, and see how they compare.

QB: Alex Smith, SF
RB: Kolby Smith, KC
WR: Steve Smith, CAR
WR: Rod Smith, DEN
TE: L.J. Smith, PHI

DE: Aaron Smith, PIT

That's all I can come up with from memory, but it looks like the Johnsons already have the advantage.

by Independent George (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 12:42pm

Of course, it was during last year's draft thatI really started to ponder the possibility of an All-Marcus team, led by a young nucleus of JaMarcus Russel, DeMarcus Ware, Marcus Spears, and Marcus Truffant.

by Independent George (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 12:47pm

#127: Surely you jest - we would call up Jimmy Johnson from retirement! Obviously, you've just become distracted by spending too much time staring at Johnsons...

by Yeech (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 1:23pm

You can separate all this year's list of All Pro selections into two categories:

1) Those who were blindly filling out their "All Pro Pats quota" and selected Logan Mankins

2) Those who didn't.

MDS at least gets points for pointing out the MASSIVE flaw in Mankins' game:

"Mankins struggled when the Ravens ran a lot of stunts and twists, but in terms of just lining up and blocking the guy in front of him, he’s phenomenal.

But he still takes the bait with the selection.

Ye Gods.

by Jimmy (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 2:05pm

The Smiths have quality and depth at a few spots;

QB-Alex(SF), Troy(bal)
RB-Musa(bal), Kolby(kc)
WR-Steve(car), other Steve(nyg), Rod(den), Brad(nyj)
TE-LJ(phi),other Alex(buc)
OT-Marvel(pit), Wade(nyj)
interior OL-Myniya(nyg), Nick(nyj), Rob(kc)...I have never heard of these guys

DL-Justin(cin), Aaron(pit), Will(no), Antonio(ari), Robaire(cle), Shaun(cle), Corey(det)
LB-Daryl(jac), Derek(sf), Raonall(stl)
DB-Keith(det), Dwight(min), Eric(nyj), Antony(pit), Antonio(ind)

Head Coach-Lovie

I have never heard of the intereior three OL for the Smiths, so it is just as well that both QBs are quite mobile, but they do have bookend tackles, I would also hope that Musa and Kolby get used to blocking.

On defense there is a plethora of talent on the line, a precipitious drop off after two LBers and only four DBs worth playing - and I doubt any of them could cover Johnson, Johnson and Johnson. I would seriously consider playing five linemen as DE is clearly the strength of the team and there are a couple of big NTs to 2 gap on the nose. You might be able to use Corey as a blitzing backer on passing downs, considering the Johnsons' weakest point is the OL and their QBs are statues the best policy would have to be to try to flatten the QBs before he can get the ball off.

by jonnyblazin (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 2:31pm

re: 84

"Or is this just another case of all-pro teams being biased against 3-4 D-linemen…"

Gregg plays NT in a 3-4, officially. 84 tackles for a NT in a 3-4 is ridiculous, and blows the rest of competition away statistically.

re: 110

I'm not sure I can trust your evaluation of Kelly Gregg's play considering you don't even know his name.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 4:32pm

"Last season the Colts were without Sanders and with Freeney for most of the year. The defense fell apart when Sanders was out and was a totally different unit when he returned."

Didn't Aaron totally debunk this myth like 5 times? Wasn't the colt's defense just as bad when sanders was in, as when he was out? IIRC, it was one of the LBs who made a difference.

"I considered picking someone, like maybe Pittsburgh’s Santonio Holmes, who played in an offense that wasn’t as conducive to the No. 1 receiver putting up gaudy numbers."

The patriots historically ARE an offense not prone to the #1 putting up gaudy numbers. Moss (and owens for that matter) are just so good that they put up guady numbers everywhere (except oakland, I guess). Holmes doesn't put up as gaudy numbers not because of Pitt's offense, but because he just isn't as good.

by Paul (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 5:52pm

Bobman, you're funny:
"whenever I have seen the Pats it looks like TB has had 6 seconds in the backfield"
Then you obviously didnt watch the Pats-giants game.The g-men blitzed the hell out of brady and, it seemed, hit him in excess of 20 times. It very much reminded me of the type of pressure the Steelers put on Peyton Manning in the 05-06 divisional round. While the steelers' rush reduced manning to a beaten whiny blubbering heap (evident both during and after the game), Brady simply made plays under duress. That is the difference between the two qb's. Brady deals with pressure better. Remember, the colts comeback last year was facilitated by a totally gassed pats defense that mounted no pass rush in the second half. In the first half, they actually put pressure on Manning and...well, he pretty much looked like crap.

by Independent George (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 5:58pm

Now, if we could just get Gumbel to do the play-by-play on the Johnson-Smith Bowl, we'd be set for an afternoon of hilarity.

by MC2 (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 6:16pm

#117: As bad as Johnson and Alexander were, I think Warrick Dunn is a no-brainer as the starting RB on the All-Suck squad, given that his backup averaged over TWICE as many ypc as Dunn did. I can't ever remember seeing that kind of disparity between 2 backs on the same team. I know Norwood is a better back than Watson or Morris, but not THAT much better.

by Chris (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 9:25pm

133- I know Kelly "Buddy Lee" Gregg , it was just a typo. The guy is a classic overachiever. He isn't a massive mauler in the mold of a John Henderson/Pat Williams and he isn't the athelete that a Tommy Harris, Kevin Williams is but the guy gets the most out of himself that he can.

He as I recall was a highschool and maybe even college state champ wrestler and seems to be good with leverage. I do like his gap control and believe he flew under the radar for years. He is also a solid tackeler.

2nd team All Pro
QB- Peyton Manning
RB- B. Westbrook
WR- Hoosh, Bee Easy Edwards and a healthy Andre Johnson for trips.
TE- Jason Witten
T- Flozel "hotel" Adams, Matt Light
G- Brian Watters, Larry Allen
DE- Osi, Kampman
DT- Pat Williams, Jamal Williams
ILB - Brian Grrrlacker
OLB - Mike Vrabel, Jason Taylor
CB - Charles Woodson, Shawn Springs
ST- James Thrash
HC- Dick Jauron
OC- Josh Mcdaniels
DC - Monte Kiffen
GM- AJ Smith
scout dept -
ROY- M. Lynch
DRoy - P. Willis
Cheerleaders - Tampa Bay
stadium - Arizona
Color Commentary - Rich Gannon
Announcer - Jim Nance
Weight room - no replacement for J. Lott
Best Fan - Raiderjoe
Best Fans - Seattle
Worst fans - Washington Pigskins
Worst commentator - Bryant Pipsqueek gum ball

by fromthisdesk (not verified) :: Fri, 01/04/2008 - 12:32am

Hard to argue with the choices but like everyone else I have my favorites..Witten being the one I feel most deserves a nod. Definitely drop the FB and add another RB - Tomlinson. Not including any Colt's is ok...watch them come playoff time. I can see a repeat in the making regardless of the Pat's regular season. I would love to see the 12 Cowboy pro-bowlers face the "Anonymous" Colts but the Patsies and Packsies may have something to say about it...

by Jerry (not verified) :: Fri, 01/04/2008 - 5:04am

Willis over Tatupu is an absolute travesty here. Tatupu is possibly the most instinctive defender in the NFL, IMHO.

by panthersnbraves (not verified) :: Fri, 01/04/2008 - 12:19pm


I see you have 3 Panthers on your candidate list. All are well deserving.

by Hank (not verified) :: Fri, 01/04/2008 - 1:59pm

so true 18, so true
also making it worse is having so little access to complete game footage (as a fan). I can't buy complete games, and dvd packages are one step above espn highlights.
I have a better idea of individual plays reading an old book like Instant Replay than most postgame video.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Fri, 01/04/2008 - 2:46pm

Re: 142

I still don't understand why the league doesn't sell coach's tape. They already have all the film, so all they'd have to do is some rudimentary packaging and then print off a couple thousand DVDs. I doubt it'd be a tremendously significant stream of income, but it'd require a minimum of effort. Hell, in this day and age they could offer it as a downloadable rental (ie Netflix) and have almost zero overhead.

by panthersnbraves (not verified) :: Fri, 01/04/2008 - 6:43pm


Make it a paid download, with bulk subscriptions available, and you don't even have to stamp out the disks.

by MC2 (not verified) :: Sat, 01/05/2008 - 5:00pm

#143, 144: You could have the option to pay for individual games, or have a monthly fee that would allow you to download as many games as you want. They could call it "football porn".

by jbrown (not verified) :: Sun, 01/06/2008 - 5:18pm

Yeah I really don't see how Tatupu or Demeco Ryans didn't top Willis for MLB. Even if this list is really the best players this year with a slight edge towards young guys, Ryans and Tatupu are still so young that I would have to give it to them. Maybe in a few years (or less, the kid is pretty good) it will belong to Willis, but he's not the complete player, reader of offense, and leader that those other two are yet.

by Mac Speedie (not verified) :: Sun, 01/13/2008 - 3:29pm

Vickers as FB? Now that's a great pick that proves that, indeed, this All Pro team was scouted well. He's not a household name; he plays for a team that is, for now, underneath the mainstream radar (vis-a-vis the Colts, Pats Cowboys, etc.) and doesn't get the ball often. In fact, before this year, Vickers was actually a bit of a pariah in Cleveland, thanks to ex-D Coordinator Carthon's obsession with using him on short yard situations (once on a FB pass...).

Of course, there will be disagreements for any All Pro team selections - a great example is at Guard, where Eric Steinbach is as plausible a pick as the others. Of course I'm a Browns fan...

And thanks for giving Cribbs some love as a KR. You've mentioned his vision as being the secret to his success - I agree. As for the comparison to Hester, Cribbs is certainly not as quick and explosive; but his pure speed is, in fact, close to Hester's; and there is one other quality that makes Cribbs the superior KR: - his powerful running style...he's a bull in a china shop on K returns; he also, not coincidentally, led the Browns' KR unit in tackles this year. So while Cribbs succeeds with his brain, his power should also be cited as a key component in his KR abilities.

by brandon (not verified) :: Sun, 01/13/2008 - 9:40pm

when do the final game charts come out for the cornerback metrics?