Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

30 Jan 2006

MMQB: Pittsburgh's Best Signing

Peter King says the Steelers were very smart to keep coach Bill Cowher around this long.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 30 Jan 2006

91 comments, Last at 01 Feb 2006, 2:46pm by White Rose Duelist


by Michael David Smith :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 12:12pm

BTW, if someone could explain to me what this comment means, I'll be eternally grateful:

In the great Al Franken, how-do-the-events-of-life-affect-me-Al Franken, here's one: I'll be at a luncheon with Steve Smith on Thursday in Motown.

by B (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 12:13pm

How come nobody's congratulating the Seahawks for sticking with Holmgren as coach but taking away his GM duties? Holmgren was under a lot more fire last offseason than Cohwer was.

by B (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 12:18pm

MDS: Al Franken (back on his SNL days) used to have a stich where he would discuss how various current events would affect him. It was based on the idea that the 80s were the "me" decade, which he referred to as the "Al Franken" decade. I'm not sure what this has to do with Steve Smith, though.

by Dave (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 12:20pm


In the late 1970s, on SNL, Franken declared the 1980s to be the Al Franken decade, saying that people should think about events in terms of how they affected him, Al Franken.

Odd reference for King to make, especially since this hardly the first time his article has been about how things stand with him, Peter King.

by Dave (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 12:20pm

Re 3:

Shucks, beaten.

by lk6 (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 12:38pm

Wait a second, is he really saying that we gotta hug his wife while he's in Detroit?

by Michael David Smith :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 12:45pm

Three things I thought I thought while reading Peter's Fine Fifteen:

1. Peter and I were definitely watching a different NFL this year if he thinks the Vikings are worthy of a spot in his Fine Fifteen but the Chiefs aren't.

2. The Bucs realize D'Brickashaw Ferguson won't still be around at pick No. 23. If they're taking a long look at him, that means they're thinking about trading up.

3. Saying the Jets are not getting Jay Cutler is an awfully bold statement. I know Cutler is moving up a lot of draft boards, but so far that he will definitely be one of the top three picks?

by Sophandros (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 12:49pm

I wasn't aware that the Kings were into The Lifestyle...

by David S. (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 1:03pm

re: #7,

I was going to say the samething about the Jay Cutler comment. How can Cutler be a top 3 pick, I mean if you watched the Senior Bowl you know Cutler has small hands, and Tyler Palko? He has big hands.

by Gregg (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 1:11pm

The Cutler comment doesn't make much sense to me. The only way he could make that is if he had a strong beat on what Tennessee is thinking at #3. But that seems unnecessarily bold. A few other memorable notes.

1. Brady could have a sports hernia? Imagine if the ABC guys ask Belichick about that during the pre-game for the Super Bowl (Belichick is a guest analyst). 3 hours of one-word answers would follow.

2. It's interesting that Mangini and Terry Bradway are already having turf wars. Who knows if it means anything, but it's been a pretty tumultuous start for Mangini.

by CA (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 1:32pm

Re: 7

Now that the Fine Fifteen has been expanded to 16 teams and the Chiefs still aren't in it, King is saying that the Chiefs were a below average team in 2005. Wow!

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 1:45pm

If Thurman Thomas or Michael Irvin get in the Hall of Fame prior to Harry Carson, Bob Keuchenberg, and, especially, Rayfield Wright, I'm gonna stop paying attention to HOF voting altogether.

by kachunk (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 1:50pm

"I think I'm not supposed to be happy for individuals in this business. I'm supposed to be impartial all the way."

Does Peter King really still consider himself a journalist? The guy's clearly not. I've finally figured out what he is--he's the NFL's gossip columnist. He slobbers all over people who are media-friendly and dumps on the people who won't answer him when he calls them on their cell phone.

Also, how does he still rate NE over Denver? Especially given that he's just reported that Brady may have a sports hernia. Wasn't it the Eagles' kicker who had a hernia surgically repaired during the offseason only to have it re-emerge? Isn't that a danger for Brady, who, currently, makes up the entirety of NE's offense?

Yet another reason King's not a journalist--he's a huge Pat's homer. Which is a problem when you write for a major publication, even if it is a flawed as SI.

by Led (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 1:51pm

The "turf war," assuming there is one, is between Bradway and Mike Tanenbaum, the cap guy and holdover from the Parcells era. Tanenbaum was reportedly instrumental in getting Woody Johnson to hire Mangini and has been the guy running the team on a day to day basis. Bradway apparently lives in southern Jersey and, reportedly, only spends three days a week at Jets HQ in Hofstra. All this comes from Jets beat writers, which will never be mistaken for either a Mensa meeting or a conference on integrity in journalism, so take it for what it's worth. The bottom line is that there's radio silence coming from Hofstra right now -- in that respect, at least, Mangini is like Belichick -- so no one really knows what's happening.

by Phil (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 2:04pm

Jerome Bettis Jerome Bettis Jerome Bettis Jerome Bettis Jerome Bettis Jerome Bettis Jerome Bettis Jerome Bettis Jerome Bettis!

I can't handle it anymore. Now we have to hear about the entire Bettis Family. I've always thought he was over-rated (a good RB, but still over-rated), but the media attention he's been getting lately is killing my will to live. It getting to be more obnoxious (but not there yet) than the Brady vs. Manning debate. There was a article posted by one of the major sports websites (ESPN I think) that broke down his career stats. Based on that, he's not even Hall worthy. I don't know how his stats break down on this website, but I'd be interested on hearing some feedback from the Outsiders crew.

by Phil (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 2:07pm

Michael David Smith: That was not a "True" "Three things I thought I thought while reading Peter’s Fine Fifteen"...If it were, there would be atleast 6 or 7 thoughts you were thinking

by Disco Stu (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 2:16pm

Maybe it's just me, but as soon as the Steelers won I read some "get ready for the Bettis hometown angle story getting overhyped" columns and have since read more "Isn't the Bettis hometown story overhyped" stories than legitimate Bettis stories. Seems like either a case of a) the media writing about itself more than the game or 2) people so jaded by the MSM coverage that they expect to be let down.

I haven't been reading that much about the game, but a star player and fan favorite playing in his hometown (which has never hosted a Super Bowl and will never host one again) seems like a legit story. If everyone stopped saying "Bettis is overexposed", it wouldn't be overexposed.

by Disco Stu (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 2:17pm

and btw, anyone remember the Bettis segment on MTV's Punk'd? That was classic

by Israel (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 2:17pm

15 - But the Bettis story will end in another week. Probably.
While some of you will keep at Brady vs Manning for another year or two, while the train passes you.

by ajn (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 2:17pm

"On Friday, sitting there, I thought: Boy, am I prescient."

one thing i think i think: some saying about a blind squirrel and acorns is coming to me. or maybe something about a broken clock being right sometime. what a terrible way to write about his own story. i'm not out for king's head or anything, but he really is a terrible writer.

by princeton73 (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 2:37pm

Peter and I were definitely watching a different NFL this year if he thinks the Vikings are worthy of a spot in his Fine Fifteen but the Chiefs aren’t.

he's already subtracted Meathead from the equation, so that kicks them up about 5 notches

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 2:38pm

#17, Detroit hosted when the 49ers won their first Super Bowl, played in the Silverdome.

by Sophandros (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 2:39pm

Disco Stu,

Detroit has hosted at least one other Super Bowl; I believe it involved some guy named Montana in a comeback win...

by pbmax (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 2:42pm

The more I read Peter King, the less I like him. Not professionally, but personally.

A fully formed human being would take at least as much pity on the overmatched grandmother as the child of the losing coach. If the child was REALLY crying for hours and the grandmother couldn't cope, how about offering to help?

He obviously could be trying to write with a certain voice or particular persona, but the vibe I get more and more frequently is jerk.

by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 2:52pm

Wasn’t it the Eagles’ kicker who had a hernia surgically repaired during the offseason only to have it re-emerge?

Punter. And no, it was repaired during the preseason, not the offseason. There was question whether or not he would be able to return by opening day (he was) which is why they signed Sean Landeta (and... then released him, brought in other punters, and then... resigned him).

by Seattle Doug (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 2:52pm

"...because Dallas is a 3-4 team, much like Seattle."

Too much coffee, or not enough. Or maybe he smoked the peace pipe with Brad & Daunte.

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 2:58pm

Re: 17

I think a big part of the Bettis/Detroit/Superbowl story fatigue is that we started hearing about it (speculatively) before the season even started. And we've been hearing about it regularly since then. If it was only the two weeks between the conference championships and the SB, it wouldn't have been nearly so bad.

by Phil (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 3:06pm

RE #17. have you seen the front page of ESPN.com in the past couple of days? And the bettis hype was started around the second half of the INDY GAME. Not to mention all of the shots of the Bettis family in the stands ("Mr. and Mrs. Bettis has not missed a home game in Jeromes' career, blah, blah, blah....."). They get more face time than Mamma McNabb.

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 3:08pm

Mike Martz in Detroit? Now that could be really interesting. Should know this week if he's going to take the job

by Disco Stu (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 3:22pm

re 22 & 23- thanks. I fell into the trap of thinking the super bowl had always been played in warm weather cities.

by Vash (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 3:41pm

King came SO close to actually having ten thoughts in his list of ten.

by MRH (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 3:43pm

Re #7 - is it possible that King was referring to Bradway/the Jets hoping that Cutler would last into the early 2nd round?

Although he's moved up a lot of "expert" boards lately, not everyone thinks he's a 1st rd pick. For example, The Sporting News mock draft as of today (link) doesn't have him in the 1st round.

I'm not saying they are more or less expert than anyone else, just that King's comment might make sense from that perspective.

by MAW (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 3:44pm

#30: Minnesota hosted it one year (the 1991 Super Bowl, won by Washington).

by Ryan Mc (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 3:46pm

re #23: actually the comeback win was in 1989 against the Bengals in Miami. In the 1982 game in Detroit (also against the Bengals) SanFran actually led 20-0 at the half and it was the Bengals who staged a comeback in the second half, but fell short 26-21.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 4:07pm

King really does sound like a jerk sometimes. Having a grandmother walking up and down the aisle of an airplane for a extended period of time with a small child in her arms is a good way to get a small child seriously hurt, if some unexpected turbulence is encountered. Hey Petey? Babies cry, and they, and their relatives, need to fly on airplanes every bit as much as you do. Suck it up.

by James Gibson (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 4:27pm

Re # 12:

Well, I think Thurman Thomas is a no question first balloter. Sure, the question of Emmitt, Thurman, or Barry? quickly got reduced to Emmitt or Barry?, but Thomas led the league in yards from scrimmage every year from 1989-1992. That's 4 straight years he was on top. And he was #2 in 1993. That put him in the top 3 in the NFL a total of 5 times, the same as Emmitt Smith.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 4:45pm

Rayfield Wright was first or second team All-Pro for six consecutive years (four times as first team), and was voted onto the All-Super Bowl team in 1990. Thurman Thomas does not deserve induction prior to Rayfield Wright.

by Jordy (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 4:49pm

Peter has full control of his children. You'd never see his daughter wander off at boarding time to go get one of those yummy airport pretzels. And if it did happen, Peter wouldn't gripe about the airline's staff for weeks.

King reminds me of Planes, Trains and Autombiles. He combines all the worst attributes of Del Griffith (folksy, oversized, smelly, and annoying) and Neil Page (hostile and intolerant).

by Sarah Smith (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 5:00pm

I think the sports hernia actually affected the Pats ranking upward. As I read it, his reporting of that fact was accompanied by a sigh of relief, as it provided an excuse for the beloved Patriots loss to Denver. Justification for the continued listing of New England above Denver in the rankings.

by Led (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 5:09pm

Re: 38, I respect a man who knows the names of the two lead characters from Planes, Trains and Automobiles. I did not, myself, but it's something worth knowing.

by Michael David Smith :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 5:13pm

I second that, Led.

by David Mazzotta (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 5:23pm

Phil Simms has scared me into drinking the green tea

If I were to make a list of sentences I never thought I would read, that would likely be in the top ten.

by Jordy (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 5:30pm

I also enjoyed the coupling of Pete being indignant about presumed rippers of the SB host city.

"c. I will have no patience for the rippers of Detroit this week."

And the entry for last year's host in Fine Fifteen...ville.

"Maybe it's just me, but I'm pretty glad the Super Bowl's not back in Jax this year. Logistical Headacheville."

by Jaime (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 5:43pm

Peter King is a complete, utter boob. The guy says nothing insightful, he simply passes along gossip and hearsay, or offers "opinions" that have so many qualifications that he can, in hindsight, interpret it in any way he chooses to make himself come off as "correct". Even the title of one of his sections -- Ten Things I Think I Think -- is given a qualifier. Count the number of "back door excuses" he drops in this gem:

4. I think it's still too early to tell for sure, but my opinion is that the Seahawks are going to play better than what 80 percent of the press thinks. I'm not saying they're going to win. I'm just saying they'll play well.

by Zach (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 5:50pm

Why is Peter King allowed to re-write the NFL Standings. This isn't the first time since the end of the season that he's listed Dallas as having gone 10-6, when in fact they were 9-7.

by Kibbles (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 5:56pm

For instance, two weeks ago in Denver, Mike Shanahan allowed me to witness his night-before-the-game team meeting, and who accompanied me into the inner sanctum? Adam Schefter and his undercover crew for the network. These guys will be a factor and it'll dilute the day-to-day stuff ESPN does.

A little bit of research, Peter, and you might discover that Adam Schefter was a long-time Denver Post columnist and Denver insider. He was always known for having good relationships with everyone in town, and I'm sure those relationships didn't end when he went national. I suspect, though, that if it were any other team's night-before meeting, Schefter doesn't get an invite.

by Manteo (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 6:06pm

I think it's still too early to tell for sure, but my opinion is the Seahawks play a 3-4 defense just like Dallas, which is why Pittsburgh will be studying the film from the Cowboys game.

Also, I think it's still too early to tell for sure, but my opinion is that just maybe (and I'm not really saying this, but kind of asserting it as maybe a possibility that's likely to be true but probably not), Peter King is as much of a jackass as 80% of the people here think. But don't quote me on that.

by Adam T (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 6:21pm

Wasn't Peter King at one point a good journalist? Who actually likes his columns anyway? Do Tom Brady and Rodney Harrison think King respects them enough? Who would you fire first, King or the Sunday Night terrible trio? So many awful people in sports media and so many questions left unanswered.

One question that was answered though: Whose fault was it that the Chargers missed the playoffs? No, not Schotty, though he should still be fired. I place the blame entirely on King, for slobbering all over them all year. Ah well, at least Denver lost.

by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 6:29pm

Who would you fire first, King or the Sunday Night terrible trio?

You've got to be kidding me: the SNF announcing bunch was the largest plague on the face of sports. King pales in comparison, even if you don't like him (I do).

No one liked the SNF crew.

by Kal (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 6:45pm

The SNF crew is so bad they're good. They're the crew that you absolutely know you and your friends are smarter than and could do a better job of commentating.

Really, they were atrocious, but I'd much rather have them around than this boob.

by Sam B (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 7:01pm

Re 24: I've been struggling for a way to express this for quite a while, but the opinion I have of PK is that he's this sort of vaugly loveable idiot (but with a stroppy side - hotels and egg nogs) that everyone tolerates.

Reading the column is a bit like reading a book with an obviously falible narrator, where you see the real situation more clearly than the narrator does and are cringing slightly for the author's embarrasment.

The bit with the kid being frozen solid and not being able to say anything was quite a good example - A probably fairly porky PK wonders over to a crying kid that I assume he's never met and starts earnestly saying to her that her dad's a great coach. He will win a Super Bowl! Has some potential to be quite traumatic I'd have thought.

Especially if PK wasn't empressed with the coffee in the press box..

by Jordy (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 7:27pm

Re. 51: I thought it was going to end up like the Tejada foul-ball story.

"Your father is a really good football coach. He'll be back in this game someday, and he'll win it. But right now, I'm taking away that game ball he gave you and keeping it for myself. You're trespassing."

by MdM (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 7:44pm

Look, I don't want to pile on, but....okay, I'm piling on. I despise Peter King's columns. No insight, no fun, and King's personality is grating and annoying. They are definitely on my Skip Witless list. Utter trash! Man we could use some fresh blood in there.

by Manteo (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 7:48pm

#52 - after googling to find out what that Tejada thing was all about, I came across this delightful piece (scroll down to "Why I Hate SI's Peter King" by Mike Round). Maybe you all have seen it before. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

by Jordy (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 8:19pm

Yeah, the Tejada story was a classic. Thanks for filling in the details for those who don't remember that one.

I linked to the MMQB with the Aggravating Yogurt Pretzel Note, where Pete exhibits terrific control over his children while traveling. I'd forgotten that the moral of the story was: Boycott Delta.

by tully (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 8:26pm

I finally figured out what it is that bugs me about Peter King: Peter King is the Woody Allen of sportswriters.

Most of Allen's work is one long wallow in how cool it is to be a (neruotic) upper-class New Yorker. In his new movie, Match Point, he simply transfers this sensibility to London.

Likewise, most of King's writing is one long wallow in how cool it is to be a (plus-sized) upper-class, well-connected sportwriter. His "fine fifteen" rankings are based mostly on which player or coach granted him a chummy interview the week before.

This sort of thing is charming in small doses, but I can see why the style could drive people into fits of eyelid-twitching animosity.

by Gregg (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 8:40pm

Peter King has his plusses and minuses. I know I read him every week, like so many others, which says something. What I don't get are people that hammer away at him but still read him every week, not to mention comment on him. It pretty much goes for every national writer. Except DJ Gallo. He's funny and new.

by pcs (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 8:56pm

"I can see Terrell Owens with a horse on his helmet. I can see it clearly."

I hope he means T.O.'s going to the Calgary Stampeders.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 8:58pm

I would like to second the idea that it's a wee bit silly (some may even say hypocritical) to pre-emptively bash those who will insult Detroit, while still ragging on Jacksonville a whole year later. Aside from that issue, it begs the question, "Under what circumstances could a week in Detroit in January possibly be better than a week in Jacksonville?"

I can't wait for Peter to write his book of parenting tips - nay, ironclad laws. I'm just hoping that chapter three will be "Get an online column at a major publication, and use it to make sexually inappropriate remarks about your teenage daughters." I really miss those days, and I wish he'd spend more time talking about them and slipping in some double entendres and misused slang terms.

"I can't believe the legs that Peyton Manning's we-had-some-protection-problems comment has had." If that's all he said, it would've died very quickly for all but the most insane Manning haters. Unfortunately, it was prefaced with the "I want to be a good teammate..." comment. Without that intro, it's a simple, obvious statement of fact, and not out of line from typical postgame evaluation ('We had some drops...' 'We had some tackling issues...'). But since he let that comment slip, it just snowballed.

I think the 3-4 Dallas comment is supposed to be that Dallas and Pitt are both 3-4 teams, so the Steelers should study that game film to see what worked for the Cowboys. Replace the second 'Seattle' with 'Pittsburgh' and it makes much more sense. Or instead of Pittsburgh, make it 'Bettisville' to make it more King-esque, and also replace 'Steelers' with 'Men of Cowher'.

"...who are being housed 45 minutes (more if you count traffic)" If you're going to measure distance by time, shouldn't you count traffic? Why say something's a ten-minute drive if you expect it to take an hour?

10b: OK, I agree that Shapiro is a great general manager. But is he saying this is a bad trade for the Sox? Trading Crisp amounts to a salary dump (of a young player signed for several years!), so credit Shapiro for at least getting a good prospect for him. But how is it bad for the Sox to replace Johnny Damon with someone who will likely be just as good this year, is ~10 years younger, is signed to a contract worth about a tenth as much, and all it costs is a prospect (albeit a good one, he's still just a prospect), a middling reliever, and pocket change (for them)? Is there any chance this trade gets made if not for the incredibly tight financial restraints on Cleveland? And that's one reason I don't follow baseball so close anymore, I get sick of watching my team stockpile good young talent, only to have to dump them before they can go to arbitration/FA because they'd never be able to pay them. Put Shapiro on a team with money to burn like the Dodgers, or heaven forbid the Yankees (imagine how good they'd be if their front office had a freaking clue what they're doing), and imagine how well he'd do...

One last thing: I love the exhortation to tip well. Is there ever any reason to not tip well when you're on an expense account? It sure is fun to hand out someone else's money!

by Scott Secules Jr. (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 9:03pm

KIng would be OK if he dropped the gonzo trip and got over himself. Making yourself an integral part of the story only works if you are somehow very different and/or interesting. PK is neither. There cannot be more than one person on earth who cares about his preferred hot beverage. Also, annoying airplane passenger stories are way overdone and are only interesting if sex and/or boxcutters are somehow involved.

by Michael David Smith :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 9:09pm

Clearly, Delta was 100 percent justified in keeping Peter and his daughter off that flight. Why should the rest of the plane be delayed for the two of them? It's just common sense that an entire plane full of people isn't going to wait for two latecomers, and if I were in Peter's position it would never even occur to me to complain to the airline. Complain to my daughter, yes. Complain to the airline, no. Put the blame where it belongs.

But I still read MMQB every week because he still has some good nuggets of information. For instance, he's a Hall of Fame voter, and I'm always interested in knowing what he thinks is going to happen on that front. And a lot of his stuff in SI the magazine, as opposed to the Web site, is substantive. It's not that he's a bad reporter, it's just that he could be better.

by thad (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 9:15pm

yeah yeah PK....
Ok, since 34 was talking about SBXVI does amybody know if the turf has been changed?
As you may recall San Fran kept using that crazy squid kick that the Bengals had all kinds of trouble with.
And ya know, I just don't watch Lions games a whole lot, but I have not seen anyone else try it.

by thad (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 9:19pm

Will Allen, those are good examples but doesn't the HOF ignore a lot of offensive lineman? I am not saying its right, just the way it is.
And I totally stopped paying attention when Monk didn't get in.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 9:23pm

I'm pretty sure it's different turf, since it's a different stadium and all.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 9:52pm

Well, I don't want to start a feud, but there are quite a few players I'd vote in prior to getting to Art Monk. The guy played 14 years and made three pro bowls, which is a lot easier than being elected all-pro. He was in the top ten in receptions only four times and in the top five only three times. He was in the top ten for yardage three times, and in the top five for yardage only two times. It'd be interesting to see his DPAR ranking during his career span, but I think it is doubtful that he would be seen as an elite, HOF, type player through the prism of DPAR either.

If Peter King says the sun rises in the east, it may be true, even though it is King who has made the assertion.

by Jeremy B. (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 10:01pm

Re #62: "As you may recall San Fran kept using that crazy squid kick that the Bengals had all kinds of trouble with."

Normally I don't comment on typos, but given that the game's in Detroit, where the hockey fans toss squid onto the ice, I couldn't help but note how appropriate yours was.

by Richie (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 10:03pm

Wasn’t Peter King at one point a good journalist? Who actually likes his columns anyway?

I look forward to reading it every Monday.

by Countertorque (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 10:15pm

RE: #15

So, you are complaining that people are talking about Bettis too much, but you want the Outsiders to talk more about Bettis?

by Stevie (not verified) :: Mon, 01/30/2006 - 11:24pm

#54 That was an interesting read. His plugging of Chris Simms as an NFL caliber player doesnt seem like gladhanding papa Simms any more in hindsight does it? He looks like an NFL caliber quarterback to me.

Kings quality is way way down although I read it every week. I think its more complacency and a "ya that'll do" attititude. About 1/4 of this article is a reprint of what he already wrote about Cowher

by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Tue, 01/31/2006 - 12:37am

Re: 65
All Art Monk ever did was catch first downs.

Before the NFL ushered in the era of passing, Monk was the reception king. During his playing time announcers assumed he would get into the Hall of Fame, much like Steve Largent.

Art Monk has more receptions than John Stallworth and Lynn Swann combined.

Art Monk has 3 Super Bowl rings.

Art Monk was the first player to have 106 catches in a season, and third player to have 100 (Jerry Rice is the 4th).

Art Monk is the anti NFL receiver.

Art Monk also was a great blocker, consummate teammate, and high character guy, a role model.

When the Hall of Fame vote comes up again, and Dr. Z and Peter King torpedo Art Monk again, it will be a darn shame.

It's a horrible argument anyway. If Art Monk is out, than at the very least Gary Clark is in.

Peter King is the head of the "Art Monk = hall of very good..." club...

by Dean from Oz (not verified) :: Tue, 01/31/2006 - 2:33am

A couple of things;

Yes, I am a Steeler fan, and yes, I supposedly wasnt meant to read it, but Bayless' curernt piece nearly had me using my laptop as a frisbee.

Secondly, re Bettis/career/Hall - its interesting. On his numbers maybe he is not good enough, but how do his numbers compare to those with similar body types - he certainly isnt a prototype back, and should that be a factor?

by Browns Dude (not verified) :: Tue, 01/31/2006 - 3:05am

"Peter has full control of his children"

Peter has a creepy relationship with his daughter. Gross.

by Browns Dude (not verified) :: Tue, 01/31/2006 - 3:13am

"he certainly isnt a prototype back, and should that be a factor?"

You want fatty to get bonus points for being a huge fat ass?

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 01/31/2006 - 3:14am

How come the "reception king" was only in the top five in receptions three times in fourteen years, and in the top ten four times? If he was the "reception king", who were the "reception king-ultras" who were in the top ten in receptions all the years the "reception king" didn't make the top ten in receptions?

Look, I'm open to persuasion via DPAR, if the FO crew has done that sort of historical analysis, but based on standard stats, there is no way the "reception king" should get in before Russ Grimm and Joe Jacoby, to name some other Redskins who are more deserving.

by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Tue, 01/31/2006 - 4:33am

1. Art Monk 106
2. Ozzie Newsome 89

1. Roger Craig 92
2. Art Monk 91

1. Todd Christenson 95
2-9: Stanley Morgan, Roger Craig, Gary Anderson, JT Smith, Tony Collins, Herschel Walker
10. Gary Clark 74
11. Art Monk 73

This was Monk's second year with Gary Clark. Notice that most of the players ahead of Clark and Monk are RBs. Where is Steve Largent 1984-1986?

Monk is injured

1. Al Toon 93
2. Henry Ellard 86
3-7. Mark Clayton, Eric Martin, JT Smith, Keith Jackson, Roger Craig
8. Ricky Sanders 73
9. Art Monk 72

Sharing receptions with Ricky Sanders... this year Gary Clark had 59 receptions.

1. Shannon Sharpe 90
2. Andre Reed 88
3. Art Monk 86
4. Mark Carrier 86
5. Jerry Rice 82
6. Ricky Sanders 80
7. Gary Clark 79

1. Jerry Rice 100
2. Andre Rison 82
3. Keith Byars 81
4. Henry Ellard 76
5. Gary Clark 75
6-9. Drew Hill, Haywood Jeffries, John Williams, Ernest Givens, Andre Reed
10. Albert Bentley 71
Art Monk 68

We see the run and shoot receivers also sharing receptions. His production is beginning to fall off.

1. Haywood Jeffries 100
2. Michael Irvin 93
3. Drew Hill 90
4. Marv Cook 82
5. Andre Rison 81
6. Andre Reed 81
7. Jerry Rice 80
8. Al Toon 74
9. Bill Brooks 72
10. Chris Carter 72
11. Art Monk 71
Gary Clark 70

It took Steve Largent 200 games to set the NFL reception record prior to Monk breaking it. Monk broke his record in 189 games (his total through 1992 season).

Notice the shift before 1987 to after 1987. In the 3 seasons prior to 1987, Tight Ends and Running Backs are high on the receptions list. After 1987, the trend is towards WRs. I'll argue that instead of comparing Monk to the WR circa late 1980s, early 1990s... he is more akin to a TE like Ozzie Newsome. Another argument is that if Steve Largent qualifies for the Hall of Fame, so does Art Monk.

by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Tue, 01/31/2006 - 5:07am

To answer your question on "Ultra Reception King"... Todd Christensen, Steve Largent and John Stallworth match the criteria prior to 1987.

Roger Craig, Al Toon, Jerry Rice, JT Smith, Gary Clark, Andre Reed and Drew Hill were the other ones who had 3 seasons in the top 10 for receptions after 1987 and before 1991.

Pre-1987 guys I would say Christensen didn't have the longevity to be hall worthy, but Stallworth and Largent are both in. Post-1987, Jerry Rice is a lock, but I see how HoF voters like King can penalize Art Monk, because he declined right when the WR position was changing and kind've gets lumped in with the "Go Deep" men... which wasn't the NFL until after 1987.

I don't know how to compare Art Monk to a modern day player... maybe Hines Ward without the deep threat? I think Monk would fare well under the DPAR system because he was a first down machine.

I think Roger Craig should be in the Hall of Fame too. I know he only had 5 or 6 great seasons, but it seems like he changed how teams looked at RBs.

We need DPAR going back to 1984!

by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Tue, 01/31/2006 - 5:10am

Sorry for everyone for hijacking the discussion. Someone direct me to this thread when the HoF articles are posted so I know what to cut and paste.

I'm too young to remember watching Monk play except for the early 1990s, vaguely... but I think one of the rules for hall of fame should be... "If you retire with a major record, you are in the Hall of fame." No one in the Hall of Fame right now has more receptions than he does ! Allright, that's it... I'm done for now.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 01/31/2006 - 5:34am

Well, King's comments prompted this discussion, so I don't think we're hijacking. Anyways, wide receivers are already over-represented in the HOF. I'm going from memory here, but of the inductees who played most of their careers in the '70s or later, about 9 are receivers, about 14 are offensive linemen, and only about six or seven are linebackers. Now, I'm willing to over-represent qbs, but if I'm restricted as to how many players can be inducted per year, I need to see more offensive linemen and linebackers inducted before making room for Art Monk.

As to comparisons to Largent, let's not ignore yards per catch, nor forget that Largent played a few years in the era where wide receivers could be mugged all over the field, which Monk never had to deal with.

I'll say it again; Harry Carson, Rayfield Wright, Bob Keuchenberg, Russ Grimm, and Joe Jacoby deserve induction before Art Monk, and I know I'm leaving out some other linebackers (it's too late to look up rosters, but Randy Gradishar certainly comes to mind, and I don't think Dave Robinson has been inducted yet). Given that Reggie White ought to be the first unanimous first-year selection, and Aikman ought to get in as well, there's just no room for Monk this year.

by James Gibson (not verified) :: Tue, 01/31/2006 - 9:53am

Re: Monk

While I still disagree with Will Allen on Thomas, I agree with him on Monk. Matthew - your 1989 list should have Sterling Sharpe, not Shannon Sharpe on top of receptions. The thing is if Monk kept up the stats he had in '84 and '85, where he was at the top of the reception charts, I think he would be a no-brainer.

But, he only made the Pro Bowl those 2 years plus '86. '89 was really his only other HOF type season. Largent had many more top 10 seasons in catches, yards, and TDs. And he was #1 in receptions, TDs and yards. I don't think it's fair to compare rate to set the record in catches.

I still think that eventually Monk maybe should make it because he did temporarily hold the record for receptions overall and receptions in a season. However, it's not entirely clear when he only had 3 Pro Bowl seasons and wasn't truly dominant outside of '84 and '85.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 01/31/2006 - 12:26pm

James, I'm not really opposed to Thomas, but I think a six time All-Pro offensive tackle who has been waiting for 25 years should get in first. I think if the current GMs in the league were given a choice between putting an offensive tackle with Wright's career performance on their roster, or a running back with Thomas' career performance on their roster, it isn't at all obvious that a majority would choose Thomas, which tells me that the guy who has been waiting longer gets in first.

by MRH (not verified) :: Tue, 01/31/2006 - 12:43pm

Art Monk is a tough guy to evaluate because he was good at receptions. But how much value is a reception? Yards move you down the field, 1st downs keep drives going, receptions are only valuable as they contribute to those things. But if # of receptions were the criteria for the HoF, well it's pretty easy to make a case for Monk.

It is said Monk "caught" a lot of 1st downs. I'd like to see the stats. I'm not saying he didn't, just that I'd like to see the stats. It's hard to discuss this as a criteria w/o the stats.

On the other hand, Monk only led his team in yards 4 times (in league top 10 3 times: 3rd, 4th, 10th). Clark/Sanders/Charlie Brown also led the Redskins in yards during his stay (10 times total). So by one measure he wasn't even the best wr on his team during 10 out of 14 years with the Redskins (at the least it's arguable). And hence all those receptions often came at the expense of #2 cbs or single coverage.

I have to say too that I think Steve Largent was a much better wr than Art Monk. Largent was the best receiver on his team for 12 years - only his last two seasons was he not. So the majority of his stats came while being the focus of defenses, unlike Monk. Yet he was in the top 10 in 3 categories (receptions, yards gained, and receiving tds) 25 times to Monk's 8. Largent went to 7 Pro Bowls, Monk to 3. BTW, Seattle acquired him for an 8th rd pick. Pretty good trade.

Back to Monk. He was a large part of one of the two best offenses in the league during the Joe Gibbs era, Part I (Redskins and 49ers) and that’s certainly a point in his favor. I’m not saying Monk shouldn’t be in the HoF, I see the case for him. But I also see the case against him.

by Phil (not verified) :: Tue, 01/31/2006 - 12:56pm

#68...I was initially refering to the bettis comming home hype. I was interest in finding out how his numbers actually stacked up against HOF RBs, to justify everyone saying he should be a first or second ballot HOF'er. I can see how my previous comment could seem a bit contradicting.

by MRH (not verified) :: Tue, 01/31/2006 - 1:13pm

On under/over representation in the HoF, my perception is much like Will Allen’s.

But you can argue that the HoF pretty well reflects how GM’s value the different positions. And where it doesn’t, it’s not how you’d think.

The first round of the draft is one place where GM’s establish how they value positions relative to each other. A lot of QBs are taken because it’s a very valuable position and hard to fill. Few punters or kickers are taken because they are not as valuable or perceived as easier to replace.

The numbers below reflect the HoF membership by position of “modern era� players (defined as the majority of their career took place after 1946) and 1st round draft picks from 1970 onward (the merged leagues). Percentages are used: 14.7% of modern era HoFers are RBs, 14.2% of 1st rd draft choices (1970-2005) are RBs.

POS HoF/Draft
RB 14.7%/14.2%
QB 12.9%/6.9%
WR 11.7%/11.7%
TE 3.7%/4.2%
OL 19.0%/16.3%
DL 16.6%/21.2%
LB 10.4%/10.6%
DB 10.4%/14.4%
PK 0.6%/0.4%
P 0.0%/0.1%

By this measure, the only position that is very much over-represented is OL: their share of HoF membership noticeably exceeds how often they are taken in the 1st rd. The under-represented positions are DL, DB, and, surprisingly, QB.

I realize that there’s problems with using the 1st rd as a substitute for positional value and that comparing 1946-present HoF members to 1970-present draft picks isn’t exactly perfect either. But I think the comparison is interesting nonetheless.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 01/31/2006 - 1:40pm

MRH, I think it is easier to project running backs, if injury risk is excluded, and thus may account for their being taken in the first round at a much higher frequency,adjusted for positional numbers. How many undrafted running backs, or running backs taken in the later rounds, are in the HOF? In contrast, there are more than a few offensive lineman (along with quarterbacks, of course) who fit that description.

My feeling is that other than quarterbacks, the only sure- HOF position that a GM would obviously take over an offensive lineman is defensive lineman, simply because a single defensive lineman can affect a game much more than a single offensive lineman.

A defensive lineman who can consistently destroy double teams can simply control a game single-handedly; perhaps almost as much as a quarterback. When I look at this year's nominees, and try top think of a non-quarterback career since the merger that I would take over Reggie White's, if I were to start a team tomorrow, I can't think of anybody.

by Michael David Smith :: Tue, 01/31/2006 - 2:06pm

That's really interesting research, MRH. Thanks for sharing.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 01/31/2006 - 3:16pm

Boy, this conversation has sparked my curiosity. Of the inductees who played most of their careers after the merger, all the running backs were drafted in the first round. Among the offensive linemen inducted, two were undrafted, one was drafted in the fifth round, one in the third round, and one in the second round.

Among this year's finalists, Rayfield Wright was drafted in the seventh round, Grimm in the third, and Keuchenberg in the fourth. If Thomas is voted in, he would be the first HOF running back, who played most of his career after the merger, who was not drafted in the first round.
It appears that HOF running backs are much easier to recognize on draft day, which may mean that a GM with a functional crystal ball would go with a HOF offensive lineman, as they are harder to recognize through player observation.

By the way, Gary Zimmerman may be the most worthy finalist this year after Reggie White, given his eight first or second-team All-Pro selections, but I say get some of the older deserving guys in first. Also, one day more consideration is going to have to be given to some 49ers, given they won five Super Bowls in fourteen years. Charles Haley, Guy McIntyre, and Fred Dean are going to have to be looked at, along with perhaps Roger Craig, to temporarily ignore my anti-running back bias.

by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Tue, 01/31/2006 - 3:31pm

I would be interested in seeing FO stats for Art Monk as well. If he doesn't cut the mustard there, than I'll be able to accept him not being in the Hall.

I think rather than comparing him to WRs who came after him, a better comparison is to Ozzie Newsome, or what about Tony Gonzalez? Do they get penalized because they worked against LBs?

There were a lot of flash in the pan WRs who came around when Monk played, but only a few of them stuck around with his longevity and consistency.

I agree with Will Allen that there are others who are more Hall Worthy, but this is a discussion of WRs.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 01/31/2006 - 3:38pm

Unfortunately, Matthew, as long as the HOF restricts the number of players who can be inducted in any given year, all positions must be pitted against one another.

by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Tue, 01/31/2006 - 4:15pm

Will Allen,
Good point. I think I'm just going to open up the "Hall of Very Good" one day. I doubt some of the 49ers from their dynasty teams will get in... I'm thinking in particular about Sapolo, Barton, and McIntyre. I think Roger Craig deserves some kind've mention, even though he had a 5-6 year run... he revolutionized the RB position.

It doesn't seem like 6 is going to be enough to fill up with enough "Hall Worthy" players.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 01/31/2006 - 5:15pm

Personally, I think I'd go with Fred Dean and Charles Haley before putting in Craig, and I probably favor McIntyre over Craig as well. Those 49er teams never got the credit they deserved for their defense. I might put Seifert in as much for his contributions as a defensive coordinator for three Super Bowl champs, along with being head coach for two. Unfortunately, his last year as hc with the Panthers might kill his chances.

I don't think Sapolo and Barton are quite good enough. When you compare the great 49er teams with the great Redskins teams, it sorta makes sense. The 49er teams were much more quarterback-centric, which probably means the Redskins' success revolved more around offensive line play. Montana and Young are in (and Rice will be), and no Redskins qb of the Gibbs era is going to make it, so it makes sense that some of the Redskins offensive linemen from that era are likely to get in before the 49er offensive linemen.

by White Rose Duelist (not verified) :: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 2:46pm


Something's wrong. In MMQB's article today, his "Five Things I Think I Think" has five items in it.