Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

04 Jun 2012

MMQB: The Texans' Offseason Changes

In this week's Monday Morning Quarterback, Peter King talks with GM Rick Smith about the Texans' offseason changes, including the value of being emotionally detached from his plays and the 20-70-10 roster strategy. The recent information on the Saints' ledgers, Jim Harbaugh's ridiculousness regarding Peyton Manning, and reports the Dolphins' decision to appear on Hard Knocks actually wasn't the decision of owner Stephen Ross.

Posted by: Tom Gower on 04 Jun 2012

68 comments, Last at 08 Jun 2012, 12:57pm by chemical burn


by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 06/04/2012 - 4:35pm

From the beginning, I've been telling Saints defenders to be careful of what they wish for. There is a huge difference between the NFL not releasing evidence to the public and there being no evidence in the first place. It was always in the NFL's best interest to minimize the scandal as much as possible. They were doing the Saints a big favor by not spilling all the beans. As more and more evidence gets released, the Saints are going to look even worse than they have up until now. Ledger books detailing the payments? Guys asking to get paid on the sidelines during games? This is going to keep getting uglier.

by Harris :: Mon, 06/04/2012 - 4:55pm

"She paid that guy. She paid him! Check his pockets!"
"Excuse me, sir. It's a football uniform. It doesn't have pockets."
"It's in his jock. Check his jock!"
"I'm not checking his jock."
"Then you're off the team!"
"No problem. I'm a senior."
"AGH.Then I'll do it!"
"Ohhh, Frank. I really wish you'd shake my hand first."

by jackgibbs :: Mon, 06/04/2012 - 8:13pm

it's the game of kings, better than diamond rings

by SportOfKings (not verified) :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 2:19pm

WILDCATS quote FTW. Such awesome timing. Well played.

by Benton Quest (not verified) :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 12:38pm

Thta what mystifies me - clearly, the NFL wanted any hint of bounties to go away quickly and quietly for PR reasons and to minimize the traction the former players lawsuit might get. The Saints somehow have completely failed to understand this in any way shape or form.

by sundown (not verified) :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 4:34pm

What mystifies me is how the Saints ever became a championship caliber team. The miscues and lack of leadership both during the bounty scandal and in the aftermath has been astounding. Loomis was either completely on board with the bounties or had zero handle on what was going on. But Benson remains so happy with Loomis he's going to let him run the Hornets, too. They let a sleazeball con-man like Michael Ornstein in tight with the team. They've sat back and let Brees keep the bounty story alive with a never-ending string of dumb comments. And now Vilma's suing the commissioner. The bounties themselves really never shocked me, but the brazenness and utter stupidity has.

by Drunkmonkey :: Mon, 06/04/2012 - 4:53pm

I don't understand Philbin stating that being under the camera all camp long will help his team focus. That sounds like the leap in faith that I would make to a college professor asking me to explain my midterm, not a professional rationalizing a decision to the world.

by Joseph :: Mon, 06/04/2012 - 5:05pm

Don't know what other teams do, but I'd imagine the successful ones use the same 20-70-10 strategy, or something very similar.
I'd also argue that if your starting QB isn't in that 20%, you aren't winning in today's NFL (unless you have the 2000 Ravens' D, or the 2001 Bucs' D).

by tuluse :: Mon, 06/04/2012 - 5:31pm

I don't see how the 20-70-10 rule applies to Williams. Is he suggesting that Williams is in the bottom 10%?

by chemical burn :: Mon, 06/04/2012 - 6:25pm

He does seem to be implying that which is pretty moronic. Getting rid of one probably their best defensive player really needs a better justification than "he's the bottom 10% - you know, like our back-up nickel CB or our third RB. He's that kind of player." Even if you just keep it to starters (which he doesn't in his explanation of the comment) it's hard to see Williams anything outside of that top 20%. And there's no non-insane explanation for how he's not in the 90th percentile for starters on the Texans. The follow-up comments regarding T.J. Yates as the back-up QB are just as puzzling - so, he thinks he got a deal on the player who torpedoed their chance of competing in the playoffs? Good work, dude, real steal there in the guy who crashed your season. He was exactly the 33rd best QB to throw over 100 passes in the league and you paid him like he was... what? A little under the going rate for a 2nd QB? When Leinart wildly out-played him according to DVOA? Genius. Pure management genius. (Not that I'm saying any 3rd QB is worth a ton of money, but if that's a positive example of anything... yeesh.)

I think everybody was a little surprised that the Eagles could get Ryans for next to nothing and assumed he must have lingering injury issues that couldn't justify his contract... but reading the Texans' GM's ideas about cap and player management, my worries about Ryans' ability to perform have sailed gently out the window...

by Jerry :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 3:27am

I read it more as King writing everything he wanted to pass along from Rick Smith, and probably not specifying the relationship (or lack of one) between 20-70-10 and Williams as well as he might have. Apparently, Smith thinks that Williams won't provide $16 million a year of value to his defense; we'll see how that works out.

(BTW: Mr Shush, belated congratulations on Chelsea's championships.)

by Joseph :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 4:01pm

Elaborating on Jerry's comment here, my perception was: 1) that 20-70-10 is a general rule; 2) players may change tiers on a year-by-year basis, and maybe even during the season (say, after a horrific injury); 3) that after seeing how the defense performed without Williams and Ryans, he + other Texans coaches/evaulators believed that Williams & Ryans had fallen out of that 20%, and were in the 70% [which he states is where you have to be willing to part with a player if you can't afford him/can trade him for an attractive player/pick(s)/have an adequate replacement on the roster]; 4) that Ryans needing to come off the field on 3rd downs + Mario's replacements playing well in his absence made them players that they WOULD be willing to part with, if the opportunity arose; 5) that Williams' contract "demands" (or probable market value) made him a player that they were not likely to be able to keep, and at Buffalo's price, for sure no way. Thus, they had to let Williams & Ryans go, because the timing was right, and the $ was right (or wrong, depending on your POV).
I view the Saints having to let go of G Carl Nicks as the same decision--they wanted him to stay, but couldn't afford it with the cap, and they ended up signing Grubbs for less $. As a Saints fan, I believe they will end up with a better overall team because they effectively replaced Nicks with Grubbs, plus added Bunkley, LB Curtis Lofton, and another LB who might start. Sometimes it's better to get 3 starters for the price of 1--I mean, isn't this the idea of trading down in the draft? (And it's almost assuredly better for the team--superstar QB's & their contracts aside.)

by Dan :: Mon, 06/04/2012 - 7:35pm

It doesn't apply, unless you take his statement about the core being a "living, breathing thing" to mean that you have to be willing to change who is in the 20% as things evolve. I'd blame King for that, not Rick Smith.

The argument for letting Williams go is pretty straightforward: it's not worth paying a player that kind of money unless he's essential to your defense, and the Texans had an elite defense without Williams so he must not be essential (for comparison, Peppers & Urlacher do seem to be essential to the Bears defense, as we saw in 2010 compared with 2009). Better to spend that $16M/year somewhere else, and build on the defense that worked so well last year while Williams was out.

by chemical burn :: Mon, 06/04/2012 - 8:31pm

I understand the argument for letting him go in the Texans' mind... but one year of pretty good traditional stats when trad stats for defense are overall down wildly doesn't really qualify as "elite." According to DVOA, they were 8th overall and their pass defense was fairly worse than their rush defense. The overall defense was an ok -5.2% - not anything to feel over-confident about. Having a healthy pass-rusher like Williams, a player who was also stout against the run, could only have helped them improve an area of relative weakness to above "ok." I mean, last year their weighted defense was worse than the Eagles and the Eagles under-achieving performance caused the organization to do a big overhaul. (Frustratingly, they also got rid of one of their best players on that side of the ball.) Getting rid of great players (and Williams is great) rarely helps a team, especially one that seems to be a little bit deluded about the quality of their squad... Switching to 3-4 seemed to improve things and that alignment probably didn't play to his strengths (although it's impossible to say after an abbreviated season how much he had to offer in the 3-4), so I don't hate the move. But that's different reasoning than "they're great so they don't need him," which I don't think is true. They seemed primed to me this year to drop back towards the mean ... unless of course their divisional opponents are once again super-chumps on the offensive side of the ball and they don't get tested that much. Which is possible, especially if Luck takes a bit of time to develop.

by Mr Shush :: Mon, 06/04/2012 - 11:17pm

The Texans' defense wasn't elite last year, and it will probably be weaker this, but more because it's unlikely to be as healthy again than because Williams and Ryans are gone. Williams was perhaps the third best player on the unit (behind Joseph and Cushing, and just ahead of Watt and Smith). Ryans was probably the third weakest starter, ahead of only Jackson and Cody.

Conversely, the offense should be better, because it's unlikely that Schaub, Foster and Johnson will spend less than one game on the field together, as they did in 2011.

Overall, I'd say the 2012 Texans are likely to be of similar quality to the 2011 version, and will probably win a weak AFC South at about 11-5.

by chemical burn :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 10:29am

I agree the Texans will be a pretty good team, especially if Luck has any kind of learning curve and Gabbert continues to stink. In that division, they're likely a 10-12 win team, although they're also up against the best division in the NFC. But still, getting rid of your 3rd best starter who is a very proven commodity never seems like a good idea - if the Eagles got rid of their third best player on defense in Cullen Jenkins for salary reasons, that would be an instance of bad management and would hurt the team, despite their depth at his position.

Ryans I can't get a bead on, some Texans fans say he was integral to their defense as a leader and their best defensive player for a number of years, others say he's expendable and not very good in a 3-4 scheme and somewhat hobbled by injury. Anyhoo, if they were an elite defense, I would be more confident about their off-season moves. As it stands, they were just so-so and so-so units with decent injury luck can't afford to jettison their assets - if only because defense (according to DVOA) is less consistent year-to-year and good teams should always seeks to be improving. I can't see how they improved significantly this year and they let go of one of their best players and a proven starter (coming off an injury and likely to be better in 2012 than 2011.) That's just not the way you build a better unit.

As for Schaub, I don't follow the Texans too closely, but I get the impression he misses a lot of time due to injury - is that impression correct? Also, hasn't Foster struggled on and off with knee problems? My quick reaction was that betting on their big three to all avoid significant injury doesn't seem like a safe bet. Also, are any of them expected to come back a little less than 100%?

by Mr Shush :: Wed, 06/06/2012 - 10:24am

Schaub has missed 16 out of 80 regular season games since joining the Texans, on three separate injuries (5, 5 and 6 games missed). This is the first time he's been on IR, and broke a 46 game consecutive start streak. Two of those three injuries were contact injuries inflicted by Albert Haynesworth, one of them illegally. No one's mistaking him for Favre, but I think his fragility is sometimes overstated. He should be fine for next season. Foster had never been injured as a pro before last season, but did suffer from niggling injuries which limited him in his sophomore and senior seasons at Tennessee and contributed to his poor combine showing and undrafted status. Last year, he missed two games and was clearly limited in a third at the start of the season due to a hamstring injury sustained in pre-season, but was dominant from week 4 onwards. Johnson also appeared to be close to 100% by the playoffs, and should be fine for 2012 barring any new incident.

As for Williams, the market was willing to pay him more than he's worth (go figure). In a salary cap league, you can't hold on to guys like that beyond the end of their contracts and expect good things to happen. The Texans are an offense-first team, and consequently 4 of the 6 guys they absolutely can't afford to lose (Schaub, Johnson, Foster, Brown; Joseph, Cushing) are on offense. You can't pay your 7th best player $15m a year.

by tuluse :: Wed, 06/06/2012 - 12:11pm

All of this about William is true, but it actually goes against the 20-70-10 rule, as 7 < 11 (the top 20% of players on a team).

by rfh1001 :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 3:35am

Speaking as an top international experienced NFL coach, and along with others, I'd say that the 20-70-10 thing seems like a pretty sensible rule of thumb for looking at a roster, and just that.

There are all kinds of approaches to coaching. One very persuasive one is that it is all about personnel. At the opposite (exaggerated) poles can either be a rigid 3-4 defensive guru who will relentlessly hunt for guys who fit your mental pattern, or you can be a guy who looks at your roster and works out what schemes fit.

If you are doing the second, you'd probably think (or hope): I've got 10 difference-makers here. Gosh they're good! Without being too wacky, I'm going to adapt my schematic preferences to fit them, just as if I were a high school coach but with a much lower variance group of kids.

Then I've got 35 guys who know what shape the football is. I'm going to maximise their strengths and put them in service of the good guys. And if their particular strengths aren't what I need to back up the ten, then I will go and get other guys, because guys from the 70% aren't that hard to find.

And then there are these others who were great in college before they were injured or who can leap tall buildings in a single bound or who have something that I, for whatever strange reasons of my own, really like. I'm going to take a bet that I can use them and if I can't I'll churn through loads. If I do that enough, every few seasons I'm going to find a Foster, Saturday or Cruz.

I didn't mean to ramble. All I meant to say is that I think one thing that can be overstated (and PK overstates it) is the necessity of keeping hold of the 10. The point is that you build around 10 difference-makers. If the difference-maker you lose means you have to re-scheme radically, then that is a big issue. If not, and you save a fortune, that's a reasonable deal.

I know other people have said this better. Why did I say it? Answer comes there none.

by tuluse :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 12:09pm

He transitions from the 20-70-10 thing right into Williams being released.

Now I certainly understand why the Texans let Williams go, but if you're following the 20-70-10 plan doesn't that mean you do just about anything to keep the top 20%? The idea being they're the ones you need and anyone else is replaceable. So either Williams is not in the top 20% or Smith doesn't actually follow that plan.

What I am saying is this, you know how you can tell when an NFL GM is lying? His lips are moving.

Also, if you think about the 20-70-10 plan all the way through that means ideally a team would only churn 5-6 roster spots at the bottom of the roster every year.

by Marko :: Mon, 06/04/2012 - 6:26pm

"n. Buddy of mine told me the other day, 'Remember when we used to have the classic eight-ounce bottle of Coke that people used to drink? It was kind of a special thing. All Bloomberg's trying to do is to ban people from drinking more than twice that in the same sitting. What's wrong with that?'"

This comment and King's approval of Bloomberg's proposed soft drink regulation is so idiotic. It's not even factually accurate. The proposed regulation wouldn't prevent people from drinking that much in a single sitting because it wouldn't prohibit refills and wouldn't prevent someone from buying multiple drinks at the same time. I wonder how MMQB would feel if a politician wanted to limit the the size of coffee cups to 16 ounces.

by chemical burn :: Mon, 06/04/2012 - 6:33pm

The funny thing is that there's whispers here in NYC that the beverage industry is pushing for this as much as anyone because instead of offering one giant soda, it will force soda addicts to buy two or three sodas to get their fix. Make people buy two cans of Coca-Cola for a dollar each rather than one bottle for a $1.75. Nice little profit bumps all around. Also, without a larger size for price/deal comparison cans of soda will be free to jump past the $1 barrier to $1.25 or $1.35.

by Drunkmonkey :: Mon, 06/04/2012 - 6:39pm

From everything I've heard online and on TV (Disclaimer: by TV, I mean the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the Colbert Report. The only two shows that cancel each other out in bias-ness), people are shouting that. I really think the soft drink industry fully believes this won't kill the consumption of soda's, but rather will only increase their profits, for the exact reasons you mentioned.

I would deeply love to hear King back this up if they were banning large sizes of coffee.

by Marko :: Mon, 06/04/2012 - 7:09pm

Count me among the soda addicts. I buy 44 oz. fountain drinks on a regular basis. I would hate it if the cups were limited to 16 ounces where I live.

I thought the proposal only applied to fountain drinks, not to the size of cans or bottles. I wouldn't be surprised if what you say about the beverage industry is true. Retailers (such as fast food establishments and convenience stores) probably would love it, too, as they have a huge profit margin on fountain drinks. It is much less expensive on a per ounce basis to buy a larger sized drink. If people were forced to buy smaller sized drinks, the profit margin would be even bigger. But at least at convenience stores, it might push people to buy more bottles (20 oz., 24 oz. or one liter) rather than a 16 ounce fountain soda.

by chemical burn :: Mon, 06/04/2012 - 8:14pm

I believe you're right about it being only being fountain sodas at the moment, but I think everyone is expecting it go along the same path of development as that the cigarette smoking legislation has here in NYC which started out as a huge tax (like the original soda tax proposals) and they're moved on to the verge of banning it even outside in open public spaces (or if your neighbors can smell it coming from your apartment.) Just the kind of quick escalation that happens with health regulations in NYC.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 9:48am

NYC is likely only permitted by law to regulate served food -- ie fountain beverages. Canned goods are interstate commerce, and are under Congress' jurisdiction.

by chemical burn :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 10:05am

Interesting - I know fuck all about that sort of thing. I guess they'll just continue to tax it to death like they did with cigarettes. How do Blue Laws work then? Doesn't whiskey fall under "interstate commerce" as well? Couldn't they do some kind of "soda can only be sold in X store at such and such hours" to effectively limit access to it? Not sure they'd go that route, but just curious if it would be possible or not. I don't drink soda, so what's happening here in NYC is just a curiosity to me.

by unverified (not verified) :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 3:04pm

I beleive the constitutional ammendment repealing Prohibition gave the states all power to regulate the sale of liqour.

by chemical burn :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 4:33pm

Makes sense. My mom would be very disappointed I didn't know that...

by tuluse :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 12:12pm

I think you have that backwards, the Feds aren't allowed to regulate interstate trade, states most certainly are.

by PatsFan :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 12:24pm

No, you definitely have it backwards.

The Constitution's Commerce Clause says that the federal government has the power to regulate interstate commerce and can do so over the objects of states (this was in direct response to what states were doing to other states under the Articles of Confederation).

Furthermore, courts have adduced the so-called "dormant Commerce Clause" doctrine that (oversimplified) says that if a state regulation is obviously enough discriminatory to interstate commerce it is invalid even if there isn't a specific federal statute to explicitly prohibit what the state is doing.

by tuluse :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 12:34pm

You're right, I confused myself.

However, I would assume that a state can regulate the health of it's citizens, and I would think it would be unlikely that putting food in can circumvents this.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 12:47pm

Article I, Section 8, Clause 3

by AT (not verified) :: Mon, 06/04/2012 - 8:43pm

New Yorkers are such pathetic sheep. Really. And they think so highly of themselves.

by chemical burn :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 9:59am

Look, as someone who has lived all over the country and even spent a good amount of time in Canada, I don't generalize about the folks in any place, not the folks in Tennessee nor those in San Francisco nor those in New Orleans or Chicago or Edmonton. Please refrain from making asinine generalizations about New Yorkers which it is easily the most diverse population in the United States and probably the city least deserving of "all New Yorkers are like the media image of them!" treatment of any place I've ever been in the world. You have dirt poor Muslims in Astoria, middle class Irish folks in Woodlawn in the Bronx, rich hipsters & Orthodox Jews in Williamsburg, old money aristocratic types in the Upper west Side, the Russian immigrants in Odessa Beach, the 3rd generation Italians in Besonhurst (who still speak Italian), the Dominicans & young almost suburban parents in Washington Heights and then all of those populations turning up in different neighborhoods and different classes. Sure, it has its fair share of hand-wringing liberals who really think the government should save people from the own destructive habits, but the city is too diverse and in constant conflict with itself to deserve the constant media caricatures and sitcom-level criticisms of what "New Yorkers" are like.

(Shit, just thinking about my town makes me smile - there's no place like it on Earth.)

by David :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 3:27am

just thinking about my town makes me smile - there's no place like it on Earth

Uh-huh, and you've been everywhere else on Earth in order to validate this hypothesis?

I mean, technically speaking, you're correct, but the same is true of, oh, everywhere else on Earth, as well

Simply the statements about the large variety of types of people, isn't even true of cities in the continental US, let alone large cities in Europe, which have a much greater history of diversity.

Having said that, I'm sure that New York is lovely, if you like that sort of thing, and that the diversity of experience is much greater than in many other places, but this does not make it unique. Hyperbole is fun, but overuse can have a tendency toward making the speaker sound arrogant

by chemical burn :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:52pm

Oh come one, that's just a single sentence of what I wrote and community pride speaking. However, of all the places I've been in the United States, South America, Europe and Canada, it is the city most impossible to box in with generalities about the people and culture. It is also a city very likely to be accused of very narrow generalities about its people and what they're like. My main point (and you might noticed it was main point by how much longer it is than the single sentenced you've focused on) is that anyone who says "NYers are like X" are fucking idiots. I wouldn't even say something about the most culturally homogenous cities I've lived in like Nashville and Copenhagen - the ones with really rigidly self-imposed cultural identities. There's big differences and pockets of diverse culture in every single city. If I say people in Nashville are like "x" you'd have thousands of people pipe up with "I'm from Nashville and I'm nothing like x!" For NYC, that's even more so the case.

Here another final sentence for you to pointlessly focus on: I just don't get what makes people so angry about NYC and what makes them think a guy like me is anything like my next door neighbors or people in a different neighborhood or people in a different borough...

by Guest789 :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 2:06am

My inner libertarian may be coming out, but my biggest problem with this isn't soda companies' profits, it's the fact that Michael Bloomberg has the arrogance to think he has the right to tell me what I can drink. The freedom to choose what and how much we want to eat and drink has to be pretty fundamental. If we accept this, we accept that adult Americans are not capable of feeding themselves, and that's not a step I'm willing to take.

Disclaimer: I'm Canadian, but if anyone tried something like that up here, it would not go over well to say the least.


“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”

by chemical burn :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 10:14am

So people can buy heroin-infused vodka and eat the flesh of human corpses up there? Restaurants can serve rancid, disease-riddled meat at open buffets to whomever wants to eat it? Oh, no wait, there's regulations against what you can ingest? How come people aren't burning down Ottawa in protest of their lack of access to Stellar Sea-lion meat?

Ok, ok we're violating rule #1...

by Dean :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 11:14am

Extremism much?

by chemical burn :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 12:03pm

Look man, I wrote a long response to this and then deleted it because we're going to violate the "no politics" ban. I will say that my comments were no more ludicrous and excessive the standard internet "the government wants a mild and reasonable regulation - they're destroying my freedom and nobody tells me what to do!" libertarian "thinking." Since these sentiments are a cliche and rule the roost on the world wide web, it's easy to become inured to how absurd they are...

by Dean :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 12:04pm

Wow. Yeah, this is going to be hard to keep rule #1 out of this. I will just point out that your original post was a complete straw-man. Canada is not the issue, New York is. Secondly I will point out that there is a HUGE difference between a libertarian and an anarchist.

I suspect you and I have very different opinions about what constitutes "mild" regulation, but to go any further would put us squarely in violation of rule #1.

by chemical burn :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 2:25pm

Regulation can't get much milder than "your sodas need to be smaller, but you can still buy as many of them as you want." I guess "keeping hazardous chemicals out of our products" is even milder and more reasonable, but then you have to have a discussion about what's harmful and what's not that doesn't get derailed by pointless digressions about "If I want to drink it, that's my right." I prefer my food not to include things that will kill me (like, say, hexavalent chromium) and the government should be working hard to make sure it doesn't end up in my soda. That's not controversial. The extent to which ingredients in soda constitute a health hazard (and I'm not entirely sold that they do) is a debate, but the terms of the debate are not, never have been and should not be "should government have the ability to tell me what I can or can't eat?" I don't think this is even violating rule #1 to say it because it's a point that's not even up for discussion - it's like stating that congress exists (and then getting into an argument about whether it should or not.)

by Dean :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 2:26pm

And therein lies the foundation of our disagreement. I absolutely do think that the terms of the debate SHOULD be "should government have the ability to tell me what I can or can't eat." I am not a piece of government property.

by chemical burn :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 3:31pm

Other people's unhealthfulness has consequences for ME. It affects my already shitty healthcare, drives up costs and drains the limited resources that (morally) should be going to those who haven't willfully behaved selfishly or irresponsibly. Problems of public health aren't limited to the individual but are a community problem with significant effects on the community. I literally pay for other people's health problems is a very real way. If you are a shut-in who is willing to die without burdening the healthcare system in any way, use private or public hospitals or do the things that have ruined MY healthcare, you can have at it. Until then, you are a part of community and until you go completely off-grid and do nothing that affects me or my community, the entity that regulates public life (you know, the government) gets a say in how you live. If the community sides with you on the issues, that's my loss and I've agreed to the public contract, I'll live with what my community decides. (And then advocate for change and try to bring them around to the rightness of my ideas.) That's not being "government property." That's being a neighbor and a man who isn't an island.

I'm willing to compromise and on this issue I'm totally open to all sides. But I'm not willing to indulge people who think they can opt out of reality or screw up the process of solving community problems by pretending that their fantasy of totally individuality means they can derail the agreed upon process for Americans deal with community problems. What you do affects me, therefore I get a say in how you live your life and vice versa. That's how it has always been in America, it's what America is and I refuse to blindly submit to the problems YOU cause ME and MY NEIGHBORS without discussion, discourse and as close to a consensus as we can get.

Aaaaaand Rule #1 violation thread deletion in 3, 2, 1 -

by Dean :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 3:46pm

Before they delete the whole thread (although we have been civil and played nicely), I will briefly suggest that I agree that health care is a mess. But if the problem (or, a problem), then lets fix the health care system rather than creating a bunch of Byzantine laws that punish the innocent. If a sprain my ankle, I don't put a band aid on my thumb.

by chemical burn :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 4:40pm

You and I agree 100%. I think that should be the focus of the changes. I will work side by side with you to accomplish that. Until then, unfortunately, I can't agree to you putting whatever burdens you so desire on the system. I propose a modest cut-back in the amount soda folks buy at one time as a way of alleviating our massive problems with diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Soda will still be available but not without very minor restrictions on consumption. Fair enough? (Although, truthfully I am not convinced that it will work to address the poblem and an open to suggestions on how to combat the healthcare issues in our community from multiple angles rather than exclusive going after the "big fish.")

See, that's community discourse in action!

(I'll dodge the question of whether those people with so little self-control and so much selfishness as to burden our system with excessive consumption are in any way innocent. And surely those folks who drink soda in modest amounts will not be affected by the proposed laws so they're not the innocents "hurt" by these regulations...)

(Also, please realize there are a mother-load of behavioral regulations in regards to drugs and the sex industry that I wish would disappear immediately, so I'm not necessarily adverse to your way of thinking. But I'm not alone in this world and I'm not government property just because they won't let me do cocaine when I want to or film pornography in NYC. I also think doctor-assisted suicide should be legal and no one should have a say in anyone else's consensual sex-life. But not all of neighbors agree and there are problems and negative issues associated with all these behaviors that I totally understand.)

by Guest789 :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 5:20pm

The problem is that this isn't a restriction on consumption. People can still drink just as much as before, but now they have to have multiple refills or whatever to get around Bloomberg-knows-best. A sin tax would be far more effective, and I would be ok with it provided that the revenues from said tax were earmarked specifically for the healthcare system to fund the resulting care for the obese and diabetic.


“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”

by chemical burn :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 6:57pm

I agree. This is a dubious, at best, solution to a complex problem that benefits soda companies, restaurants and bodegas with an only iffy chance of addressing the underlying issue. I think a tax like for cigarettes is the way to go. And, yup, even better if that tax is applied to fixing the healthcare system. Sadly, I think there's no real way for even a tax improve things, just make health insurance companies richer. Like many decisions in politics, this both options would benefit a few corporations (and some smaller businesses) while only paying lip-service to actual issue at hand.

by Will Allen :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 7:39pm

I think it is quite contemptible for the community to use the inherently violent power of the state to force individuals to submit to the community's will, to solve a problem, when the community doesn't have a shred of evidence that the submission will solve the problem, or even alleviate it a smidgeon. Violent bullies are bad enough, stupid violent bullies who engage in charlatanism are rather worse.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 8:09pm

"Violent bullies are bad enough, stupid violent bullies who engage in charlatanism are rather worse."

But enough about the New Orleans Saints.

by chemical burn :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:57pm

I agree. I don't think a single thing I've said is in opposition to your statements. in fact, I think the recent outrageous SCOTUS ruling on eminent domain laws is one of the more shameful, unjustifiable things to happen in our country because it is exactly what you're talking: giving ultra-powerful entities the ability to make unilateral decisions without consent let alone consultation of the affected communities.

(Also, its expansion to allow private corporations to build shopping malls in bad neighborhoods and that sort of thing is what makes it outrageous - I understand that the government sometimes needs to do massive public works like canals and hydro-electric dams, but that's entirely different from all the "blighted neighborhood crap.)

Anyway, we agree.

by Anonymous-45 (not verified) :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 11:46am

Wasn't the original Coca-Cola bottle only 6.5 ounces?

Maybe I'm the only one old enough to remember it.

by Steve in WI :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 3:57pm

It really doesn't get much more idiotic than that quote. Apart from the fact that, as you said, he is incorrect about the effect of the regulation, he's freely admitting that he sees nothing wrong with the government deciding what amount of a legal beverage an adult is allowed to drink in one sitting.

The actual program is idiotic because people who want to consume large amounts of soft drinks will continue to do so; it will just be more harmful to the environment when they use two or three cups instead of one. If disincentivizing excessive consumption of soft drinks is the goal, a simple per-ounce tax would be the most logical way to do so. When governments try to discourage people from smoking, they don't mandate that cigarettes be sold in packs of 5 so that people smoke less - they simply raise taxes.

Plus, even apart from the question of whether the government should be involved in the first place, there are a couple of other things that would annoy me. One is that just because the cup is a certain size doesn't mean that one is consuming that much of a soft drink. Just yesterday I stopped at a gas station and got a 44 oz cup (any size was the same price), basically filled it with ice, then topped off with soda. It was hot out and I wanted the ice as much as anything. I don't know how much soda I drank but it was definitely less than half of the cup size. The other is that at movie theaters, my wife and I always get the largest drink and then share it, because the largest drink is like 50 cents more than the smallest and it's way cheaper to share the big one rather than buy two small ones.

by Marko :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 4:33pm

Completely agree with everything you said. FYI, in his column today (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/peter_king/06/05/mail/inde...), he reaffirmed his support of the proposed regulation despite the many reader comments pointing out why it's idiotic.

by RickD :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:12am

"The actual program is idiotic because people who want to consume large amounts of soft drinks will continue to do so; it will just be more harmful to the environment when they use two or three cups instead of one. "

This is exactly correct.

The regulation seems like it's contrived to help vendors sell more cups.

by Theo :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 5:01pm

I love the discussion, I also wonder why this ignoramus (PK) is getting a platform on things non-football.
If it's because of the conversations is generates... he's technically a troll. A heel character. Or he is just free to write whatever he wants and is really this stupid.

by erniecohen :: Mon, 06/04/2012 - 7:21pm

On Revis: "The Jets paid him, on average, $16.25 million per year in the first two years of the deal.... The Jets are due to pay him $6.75 million, on average, in the last two years of the deal. Why set the contract up that way unless you fully intend to re-do Revis' deal after two years?"

I cannot believe that he really wrote this.

by Will Allen :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 8:56am

He really is a moron. Physical proof that a room temperature IQ can be enough to rise to the top of an industry. A living example of pure randomness. Give 1 million chimps a cell phone, and one of them will be Peter King.

Well, that ain't fair to the chimps; I've never seen a primate of that type enlist a security guard to get over on a 10 year old.

by tuluse :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 12:13pm

Being at the "top" of sports journalism is already like being the tallest midget.

Present company excluded of course.

by sundown (not verified) :: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 10:48am

PK's strengths are schmoozing people for access and getting interesting stories. I bet 99% of people in a job like that, hanging around people who really know football, would come to know the game very well themselves. But PK is in the 1%. He reports on stuff, but has no understanding of it.

by Honest Abe (not verified) :: Wed, 06/06/2012 - 5:10am

Glad to see that this gasbag thread on civil liberties has finally returned to its usual bashing of Peter King by know-nothings. A few more ad hominem attacks on him, please.

by Will Allen :: Wed, 06/06/2012 - 8:40am

Learn what "ad hominem" means, please.

(edit) This is what as known as a "tell". Enjoy your latte, Mr. King.

by RickD :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:14am

Thank you.

I hate when people think any insult is automatically an ad hominem argument.

by VincentBrownRocks (not verified) :: Wed, 06/06/2012 - 10:52am

Peter King misses the point on Revis.

If Revis doesn't hold out then he's a free agent after the 2013 season _and_ the Jets have to take a $9 million cap hit in 2013 on him _and_ the Jets can't franchise him.

The money isn't why he needs a re-do on his contract; the combination of the out clause and the fairly large amount of pro-rated bonuses that will accelerate is the problem.

by fmtemike :: Wed, 06/06/2012 - 3:32pm

PK misses the point with Welch because he didn't churn the bottom 10%. He fired them, making the next 70% absorb their workload. Then he fired 10% of them. That would be unlikely to work in the long term for an NFL team. Then Welch paid himself and his board millions and millions, because trimming the work force made profits even when the business itself was going nowhere. That would never work for an NFL owner, would it?

by RickD :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:16am

Hopefully we will at some point move beyond this era of CEO worship.

by Will Allen :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 3:59pm

It is simply a falsehood to claim that the business of GE "went nowhere" while Welch was CEO. One can be critical of Welch without writing things that are not accurate.