Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

30 Jul 2012

MMQB: Camps 1-5

Peter checks in on the West Coast, where he looked at training camps in Seattle, Arizona, San Diego, Denver, and ... okay, New Orleans isn't the west coast, but they did play in the NFC West once!

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 30 Jul 2012

25 comments, Last at 01 Aug 2012, 12:12am by LionInAZ


by Theo :: Mon, 07/30/2012 - 4:15pm

"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it."
I thought that was the building mantra of the Titanic.

by duh :: Mon, 07/30/2012 - 7:29pm

A MMQB post with only one comment this late in the day? Is everyone busy watching the 'lympics or something?

Or is the web down in large parts of the country?

by CeeBee (not verified) :: Mon, 07/30/2012 - 8:32pm

Sorry, we're slacking.

Peter King sucks.


by Rots (not verified) :: Mon, 07/30/2012 - 8:27pm

I actually didnt utterly despise this MMQB. For the love god what is happening?

by Joseph :: Mon, 07/30/2012 - 11:44pm

PK wrote about football, used relevant stats, and told good stories. He didn't talk about himself (much), nor did he try to give his strategic insights. He also is writing to readers who (as he mentions in his opening sentences) are interested in anything having to do with ACTUAL football. Just wait till October, and everything will be back to normal.

by rfh1001 :: Tue, 07/31/2012 - 3:56am

Dear Rots,

I do not know,

The Love God

by jackiel :: Mon, 07/30/2012 - 11:35pm

I liked it too.

I'd love for King to take the Pepsi Challenge with his beer tasting skills. Can anyone really taste pine in a beer in a blind taste test?

by Theo :: Tue, 07/31/2012 - 2:34am

I did this with friends of mine.
A blind test. 18 different beers, all lagers. No one could really tell the difference. Only one or 2 stood out from the rest.

by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 07/31/2012 - 5:26am

"all lagers"

I have a hunch as to why that didn't work.

by rfh1001 :: Tue, 07/31/2012 - 5:41am

Yes, funny.

by dbostedo :: Tue, 07/31/2012 - 9:02am

"18... beers"

I have a hunch why it didn't work too...

by Honest Abe (not verified) :: Tue, 07/31/2012 - 4:19am

"Peter King sucks" certainly ranks as informed, literate comment. Shame on you.

by Dean :: Tue, 07/31/2012 - 8:32am

It's literacy may be questionable, but it's accuracy is proven pretty much every week. Perhaps you could offer some example as to why he's not what this group claims he is?

by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 07/31/2012 - 5:38am

This article actually contained two interesting things about PK. There was a great example of what makes him valuable when he was able to get enough face time with Drew Brees to get a juicy quote,

"Nobody trusts him. Nobody trusts him. I'm not talking about a DUI, or using a gun in a strip club, which are pretty clear violations. I think there're too many times where the league has come to its decision in a case before calling a guy in, and the interview is just a façade. I think now if a guy has to come in to talk to Roger, he'll be very hesitant because he'll think the conclusion has already been reached.".

Which is a really nice scoop coming from a guy as close to the NFLPA as Brees.

However, there is another quote which reveals why some folks get annoyed with King,

"I think this is the cost of doing business the way I think it should be done in NFL journalism these days -- and I tell you this because it may affect my ability to know as much about the Saints as I've known in the past few years. Joe Vitt and Mickey Loomis, the New Orleans past and future 2012 brain trust, are not speaking to me, presumably because of my reporting on the Saints' bounty case. Sean Payton told me earlier in the year he wouldn't speak to me either, because he didn't think I reported the story fairly. I'd had great relationships with Loomis and Payton. But that's how it goes. For the record, I regret nothing that I've written or said on the case.".

Now I don't recall King writing anything particularly incendiary about the Saints and I think other writers have been more critical, though I will admit that I've only read his online stuff. This sums up the dilemma a reporter can find himself in. If he speaks his mind at all times then he will lose access to the contacts that set him apart as a reporter and if he doesn't then some will accuse him of being anodyne. The only solution to this would be for the league to compel Loomis and co to speak to reporters even if they don't like them but even that would be difficult.

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Tue, 07/31/2012 - 9:03am

"The only solution to this would be for the league to compel Loomis and co to speak to reporters even if they don't like them but even that would be difficult."

I don't know about difficult, but it would definitely be pointless. Think about all those mandatory press interviews that losing coaches are forced to give after games. Belichick leads the field, but plenty of others have also mastered the art of saying nothing while fulfilling their press obligations.

The only saving grace of those post-game interviews is that maybe 1 in 500 turns into a "they are who we thought they were" or "playoffs?!" moment. Removing the heat-of-the-moment aspect (as would likely be the case with forcing someone to sit down with PK) would make that possibility even less likely.

by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 07/31/2012 - 11:06am

Brees is really starting to get annoying. I realize that the Saints players have claimed innocence, but from the minute the suspensions were handed down to Williams and Payton, Brees (who really has no connection to the situation other than being a Saints and, I believe, a player rep) said how unconsciable and unfair the suspension was. He seems way more upset than Payton adn Williams (Gregg has multiple times expressed remorse and regret).

Then the whole contract mess, where he clearly wanted to be the highest paid QB, but then when he became that and was asked about it he feined ignorance to that fact. He can't keep his mouth shut about this Goodell Bountygate stuff, even though he's not really involved. Now, for really no reason, he slams Goodell because is utilizing a system of governance that the NFLPA agreed to. Plus, I would rather get that feeling verified by someone who hasn't been publicly spouting off at Goodell multiple times over the offseason.

by jackiel :: Tue, 07/31/2012 - 1:01pm

I agree on Brees. He is definitely not all that he seems to be. But I can’t blame him since you need a healthy amount of ego to be as successful as he is.

However, I have to imagine that a team’s player rep would be well informed about disciplinary matters that involve teammates, coaches, and management if he wants to be. The fact is, the public won’t know very much about Goodell’s thought process regarding the suspensions for a long while, if ever.

by Eddo :: Tue, 07/31/2012 - 1:20pm

"Brees (who really has no connection to the situation other than being a Saints and, I believe, a player rep) said how unconsciable and unfair the suspension was. He seems way more upset than Payton adn Williams (Gregg has multiple times expressed remorse and regret)."

I understand this. Remember, the suspensions affect the current Saints players the most of all. Brees has a limited time left in his career to win more Super Bowls. Losing some key defensive players, plus the only head coach he's had in New Orleans, is going to make that more difficult.

So Brees is really only seeing this from his narrow perspective, which is fine (though not necessarily commendable).

The NFLPA, however, is way off-base in how much they've come in support of the suspended players. The suspended players were intentionally trying to injure other union members. If the union's complaints were along the lines of "intentionally trying to injure other players is horrible, and if these allegations are true, we do not support the offending players; however Commissioner Goodell acted too quickly and without sufficient evidence in suspending them", that would be one thing. But to show unequivocal support for Vilma and company seems odd.

by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 07/31/2012 - 2:13pm

Aren't a couple of the suspended players (and Gregg Williams) not even on the team anymore.

I just find it surprising that Brees is as vocal about the whole situation as Hargrove and Vilma (other than filing a lawsuit). I haven't heard a peep from Marques Colston or any other Saints offensive player. Brees is their leader, sure, but he's not coming across well at all trying to stick up for players and coaches who in some cases have already apologized themselves, and backing a group that, in most places outside of New Orleans, doesn't currently have the benefit of the doubt.

I totally agree, by the way, with what you are saying about the NFLPA. In some ways, yes they have to support Vilma and Hargrove and the others, but these people were convicted by Goodell of getting bonuses for injuring other union members. It is an awful situation for the NFLPA, because whatever they do, they come across bad.

by sundown (not verified) :: Tue, 07/31/2012 - 3:38pm

But the NFLPA (and every other players union, for that matter) is ALWAYS in the position of standing up for the rule breakers at the cost of the honest players. I've always found that bizarre, but that's how it always plays out.

Brees has made himself look dumb by sticking to the position of questioning the bounties very existence, even as his head coach and GM have publicly apologized for them. It seems the NFLPA has basically admitted there was a bounty program set up by Williams but they're arguing there's no proof against Vilma and the other players. That's a much more logical approach and I'm unsure why Brees hasn't taken that stance, as well.

by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 07/31/2012 - 3:54pm

Yeah, the NFLPA (and I believe Vilma) basically drew the line that the bounties may have existed, but the players had no knowledge of it. Not sure how that works since they were the ones getting paid, but whatever. Brees decided to trample all over that line by holding this inane belief that nothing happened, despite Payton and Williams tacitly accepting their punishments and apologizing.

by Jerry :: Tue, 07/31/2012 - 7:00pm

Very simply, it's the union's job to help represent individual players in league matters. It's not their job to assess blame. If the membership wants to say that they don't want the NFLPA helping players accused of something particular, they can, but that never seems to happen.

In baseball, we expect the players' union to help represent both players who are suspended for fighting without worrying about either being the victim of the other. It's the same thing in the NFL.

by LionInAZ :: Wed, 08/01/2012 - 12:06am

I think this criticism is a little overblown. There are NFL players on every team that go out to intentionally injure opponents, bounty or not. The only difference here is the bounty question, and whether the league office is fair about penalizing players for illegal hits. For example, one might ask whether offensive players get enough scrutiny about hits that cause injury. It seems to me that defensive players get fined more often for hard hits than offensive players.

by sundown (not verified) :: Tue, 07/31/2012 - 3:21pm

I'm as critical as King as anybody, but I definitely see how he has to walk a fine line. He can't be too out there in his opinions or his sources get ticked and won't talk to him any more but he can't be a total parrot for his sources, either. Hard-hitting commentary is not his gig and never will be in a position like he has.

As for the Saints GM and coaches not talking to him, we'll see how long that lasts. Because without question sources use King to get their side of things out there and to put spin on stories. I think they'd be better off talking to him than refusing to do so. And Payton, Vitt and Loomis all have apologized for the bounties. If merely reporting on something they not only acknowledged but apologized for is going to be a problem with them, then they're going to continue to have problems with the press forever.

by LionInAZ :: Wed, 08/01/2012 - 12:12am

The technical word for this is "corruption". A softer term would be "laziness". There's a lot of danger in a journalist getting too cozy with insider sources for information. A good journalist will always maintain some distance from his sources. That's one reason why no one should put too much stock in what pundits say -- too often they rely on cozy insider info and not enough on good old-fashioned research. In King's case I think he enjoys being on the inside, getting into the luxury boxes and fancy hotels.