Archive for August, 2003

The Greatest Coaching Staff

Thursday, 21 August, 2003

Think of all the coaching staffs that come to your mind. Which one pops in your head as the greatest of all time? Of course there have been a lot of great individual coaches, but we are talking about a whole staff here. A staff from the quarterbacks coach all the way to the head coach. Can?t come up with an answer? Well, I think we have found a great one. Just ten years ago in the NFL, the best coaching staff ever was assembled.

Now you?re probably thinking what coaching staff was solid in 1993? The Dallas Cowboys, maybe the Buffalo Bills. Wrong, the answer was the Green Bay Packers. Take a look at the staff of coaches they had back in 1993, and the success they?ve had now.

Head Coach-Mike Holmgren
Everyone always remembers the head coach. Holmgren was the leader of this incredible staff. He ended up winning a Super Bowl in Green Bay, but still hasn?t found his way in Seattle yet.

Wide Receivers Coach-Jon Gruden
That?s right their receivers coach was Jon Gruden. Lets not forget Gruden is a very young coach in the NFL. He had to work his way up, and he did it very quickly. Gruden just won a Super Bowl last year in Tampa, and plans on winning more.

Tight End/Assistant Lines Coach-Andy Reid
Reid has been one of the best coaches in the NFL over the past couple of years. He definitely made the right choice in drafting Donovan McNabb. He has this team year in and year out in a great situation. The next step is to get this team to the Super Bowl.

Quarterbacks Coach-Steve Mariucci
Mariucci did a very solid job in bringing up Brett Favre. Mariucci has always been great in developing quarterbacks, and hopes to do the same in Detroit. He helped bring along Jeff Garcia very quickly from the CFL. Is Joey Harrington the next Pro Bowl quarterback to add to Mariucci?s list?

Defensive Coordinator-Ray Rhodes
It?s sad to see what has happened to Rhodes career as an NFL coach. Many would bring up the fact that he should be an NFL coach and not an assistant. This is where the diversity of NFL coaches always comes up. He has always been a great defensive coordinator, but was also a solid NFL coach. He was let go by Green Bay after an 8-8 season. Which left a lot of people with shaking their heads. Rhodes has been a defensive coordinator the last four seasons, and is now with the Seahawks. Rhodes and Holmgren are reunited again ten years later.

Defensive Backs Coach-Dick Jauron
Jauron has always been a defensive minded guy like Rhodes. He has had okay success as a head coach with the Bears. Compared to the other guys from the staff in 1993, he?d have to be ranked last.
Offensive Coordinator-Sherman Lewis
You can?t forget about Sherman Lewis. He ran the offense for the Packers for eight years. He was a big part of the Packers offensive success. In Minnesota he helped developed Daunte Culpepper, who struggled last season without him. Now he serves as an offensive coordinator with the Detroit Lions. So another pair from the 1993 staff has teamed up in 2003.

Kickers Are Very Valuable

Thursday, 21 August, 2003

Drafting a kicker in your fantasy football draft is probably one of the last things you look at. It should be a top priority though, if you expect to win close fantasy football games. How many of you have lost a close fantasy football game just because of the kicker? It?s happened to me, and I?ve seen it happen to often. Kickers will screw your fantasy football team over. Either they have a week when they can?t make a field goal, or you play against a team that?s kicker makes four field goals in one game. There will be at least one or two games in a fantasy football season that you will win or lose with your kicker. Those two wins or losses end up being crucial to your fantasy football team?s success. If you don?t draft one of the top five kickers, you could be in for a long season.

An NFL kicker can be so annoying to a football fan. Most of them miss crucial field goals, and when they make one they run around like a player in soccer. They spend ninety percent of the game on the bench, enjoying the football game. Then they warm up in their little kicking net, and come on to the field for a measly kick. It sounds like an easy job. Besides a quarterback though, it is probably the most stressful position in the NFL.

When an offense moves down the field and the drive stalls, the players on the team expect an easy three points. Then the kicker misses the field goal and it lets the team down tremendously. How many times have we seen a kicker struggle all game, and then they?re on the field attempting a game winning field goal? It seems like a weekly NFL treat for that die hard NFL football fans team. Who can forget a few years ago when Washington couldn?t make a field goal with all of those kickers, or Kris Brown in Pittsburgh?

It was getting to the point that NFL teams couldn?t find a solid kicker. That led to the Oakland Raiders drafting Sebastian Janikowski in the first round. If you look at his stats compared to other kickers there around the same. Add to the fact that Janikowski has had off the field problems his whole career, you?d have to say he has been a bust. He is a solid kicker, but he never should have been drafted in the first round. That?d be like a fantasy football owner drafting him in their first round. It?s something you don?t do. Kickers are just kickers, they?re never dependable. Then you have the kickers that celebrate too much. It?s one thing to win a game, but that?s what they?re expected to do. If you can kick a sixty something yard field goal in practice, it should be as easy as Shaq dunking a basketball to kick a forty yard game winning field goal.

Too sum everything up about a kicker, make sure you draft at least one of the top five kickers. Nothing is worse than having to pickup a new kicker two or three times in a year, because you don?t have one that can produce. There are plenty of solid kickers out there, but they have to have the opportunity to kick field goals. Also make sure you don?t draft a kicker too early. I?d wait until someone has chosen a kicker first, then I would start thinking about drafting a kicker with one of my next two picks.

21 Questions

Thursday, 21 August, 2003

Right now in the music industry ?21 Questions? by 50 Cent is a hot song. In the song the 21 questions are for a female, but we?ve twisted it around. There are questions about everything, and we?ve come up with 21 questions for the upcoming football season.

Q: What will be Terrell Owens new celebration?
A: Nobody knows, but we all know it?ll be another classic. Owens has already said he has a couple of new moves ready.

Q: Will this be Brett Favre?s last year?
A: When a player talks about retirement as much as Favre does, you know it?s just around the corner. Favre has taking a beating over the years, and we don?t want to see him leave like Troy Aikman and Steve Young. He has won his ring, and done all he had to in the NFL.

Q: Are the Rams back?
A: Kurt Warner?s hand is still a question, but Marshall Faulk is healthy again. This will likely be their last year too make another run for a ring.

Q: Who is going to step up now that Michael Bennet?s out?
A: The answer to that will probably be Daunte Culpepper. Just keep your eye on training camp, because there should be a great battle. Onterrio Smith is expected to win, but there are a lot of hungry backs. Don?t count out veterans John Avery or Doug Chapman.

Q: Who will be the Browns Starter?
A: This question was answered two days ago. Like we said from the beginning Holcomb is the better quarterback. This quarterback battle will probably go back and forth, like Doug Flutie and Rob Johnson.

Q: Will Bill Parcells Succeed?
A: Parcells might be kicking himself in the future for not staying retired. Dallas?s defense looks set for the future, but the offense is a quarterback and a running back away. What happened to Jimmy Johnson in Miami, could end up happening to Parcells.

Q: Who will be the Redskins Starting Running Back?
A: It looks like it?ll be a crowded backfield in Washington. Spurrier will bring in the back he fills is more suitable for whatever type of play they are running. Ladell Betts should end up with the most carries by the end of the year, but Trung Canidate will be more of a threat.

Q: Which team will come out of nowhere?
A: Every year there is a team that succeeds out of nowhere. This year Seattle seems to be a great candidate to do that. They have two great coaches in Mike Holmgren and Ray Rhodes. The Seattle offense has always been clicking, but now the defense should with Ray Rhodes in there.

Q: Will Brian Griese finish as Miami?s starter?
A: As long as Fiedler stays healthy don?t expect to see much of Brian Griese. Fiedler should stay as the starter for the whole season.

Q: Can Tampa Bay Defend Their Super Bowl?
A: There still a great team, but we don?t see them winning it again. There are just so many talented teams out there. With Tampa Bay?s defense though, it is a possibility.

Q: Who are the top five teams entering the season?
A: Probably Tampa Bay, Oakland, Pittsburgh, New York Giants, and the Miami Dolphins.

Q: Who will own the first pick in next year?s draft?
A: Hand it to the Arizona Cardinals. They?re going to struggle on both sides of the ball this season.

Q: Will Michael Vick put up great passing numbers?
A: He didn?t do a lot with his arm last season, but made up for it on the ground. His passing numbers should go up, but his rushing numbers might go down a little bit. Throughout it all no defense will be able to stop him. Now that he is hurt though, who knows what will happen.

Q: Can Miami avoid their annual late season collapse?
A: They always start out great, but every single year they have a collapse in their season. If Ricky Williams can stay healthy, it shouldn?t happen this season. Until it is broken it will remain a Miami curse.

Q: Which team will be the biggest disappointment?
A: Probably the Rams again. With the talent they have on offense a Super Bowl should be guaranteed.

Q: Will this be Peyton Manning?s year?
A: Manning has always put up big numbers through the air, but can?t stop throwing costly interceptions. This team was suppose to make big noise last year, but didn?t even make the playoffs. Now that Edgerrin James is back, the big three are ready to tear up defenses again. The problem in the past was always their defense. Tony Dungy has built up the Colts defense very quickly. As long as one of the big three don?t go down, Manning could be in his first Super Bowl this season.

Q: Is Randy Moss going to come back down to earth?
A: Moss?s antics on and off the field are starting to ruin his career. He has squirted a water bottle at a referee, tried to run over a woman, and admits that he plays when he wants to. His talent is still unbelievable, but he needs to come to play on every play. If he comes back to reality he will be the best wideout in the league again.

Q: Who helped themselves the most in the NFL Draft?
A: You?d have to say either Detroit or Dallas. Detroit desperately needed a big time receiver, and now they have that in Charles Rogers. Dallas continues to add solid players through the draft, and is building up a great young defense.

Q: Who will do better Kordell Stewart or Jake Plummer?
A: Plummer has the best talent around him, so you?d have to say him. In Arizona he had plenty of talented players as well, but never got the job done. Kordell has just been inconsistent and could revitalize his career in Chicago. Through it all I think both will succeed in their new environments.

Q: Which team declined the most in the offseason?
A: Once again we hear the name Arizona Cardinals. They lost Jake Plummer, David Boston, Frank Sanders, Martay Jenkins, and traded Thomas Jones. In place of those players they got Jeff Blake, unproven rookie receivers, and veteran Emmitt Smith. What can Bill Bidwell possibly be thinking?

Q: Who will be the first coach fired?
A: All situations look fine in the NFL right now, but that always changes in a hurry. The top candidates will probably be Mike Tice in Minnesota or Mike Martz in St. Louis.

Breakout Player Of The Year

Thursday, 21 August, 2003

There are tons of candidates for breakout player of the year, and that?s why it was so hard to narrow it down to one. Through it all though we think we found that player. If this player stays healthy, he is going to have a monster year.

By now you?re probably thinking say that players name already. We?ll give you a few more hints before we give it to you.

This player has always shared time with another running back, but every year has still put up great numbers. He also trains extremely hard, and is the workout king for running backs like Jerry Rice is at wide receiver.

He quietly puts up big numbers every year, without anyone really talking about him. Even this year when you talk about the top running backs his name isn?t mentioned. Chances are this player is going to do just as well as players like Priest Holmes, Marshall Faulk, Clinton Portis, and Deuce McAllister.

Okay no more beating around the bush, the player is Tiki Barber. The Giants are done experimenting with Ron Dayne. There never was any ?Thunder and Lightning?; Tiki Barber stole Dayne?s thunder a long time ago. For the first time in his career Barber will get his chance as an every down back.

The first thing that pops into your mind is that Barber can?t do it. He is too small, will be banged up by mid season, etc. Those are all possibilities but that could happen to any running back. Last season down the stretch Barber carried the load, and ended up with over 300 carries. Not only that but he had close to 2,000 all purpose yards and 11 touchdowns.

There aren?t too many running backs that have the running ability and pass catching ability that Barber does. Marshall Faulk is the only one that comes close. It?s great to start a pass catching running back in your league. That way if you happen to start a receiver that has an off week, that running back makes up for it.

Another plus for Tiki Barber is that he is in a very explosive offense in New York. Kerry Collins has had his ups and downs, but when he is on he has this offense clicking. He has a solid offensive line, and a great set of receivers. The Giants offense this year should be very similar too the Rams, and that means big fantasy numbers for your team.

In most leagues Barber is going in the late second round, or early third round. He should be a first round pick. That means you or someone in your league is going to get a Ricky Williams, Priest Holmes, etc, and Tiki Barber. If that happens you can hand the fantasy football trophy to that team right now.