We’ve been often told that what makes the NFL so competitive is the very fact that … there’s parity within the league. Granted, that may well be the case, when the teams have a roster wherein there’s creativity and athleticism on both sides of the ball. But as of now, I don’t believe that a veracity can be made for that argument.
The NFL has some extremely bad teams at present and though no one is prepared to make that argument in full. I believe that a great many of the NFL analysts on television and on the airwaves aren’t prepared to address that issue head on. But then again it could very well be that they’re far too reverent when it comes to the NFL and its brand. After-all without the benevolence of the NFL , many of these esteemed individuals would be without a job , so to speak. Where would you imagine that the likes of Chris Berman , Chris Mortensen , Merrill Hoge , Howie Long and Matt Millen would be without on air tv position ?
Let’s look at those teams in question and their alleged problems .The Cleveland Browns (1-4) coached by Eric Mangini are barely showing any signs of life . Albeit, that the Browns were able attain a win over the Buffalo Bills that was in many respects an embarrassment for anyone who was in attendance at the game at Ralph Wilson Stadium, New York City. The resulting win , by a 6-3 margin over the Buffalo Bills was an embarrassment and the NFL can’t have been at all pleased with what was exhibited by both teams. But then again , I could well be wrong , as the very evidence shows the primary existence has been the NFL’s effort to make as much money as they possibly can at the very expense of their most vocal patrons – the fans.
The Cleveland Browns as a team has yet to show any semblance of competitiveness and the belief was that Mangini would be the coach who’d be able to instill discipline and a willingness to play with a competitive spirit. Thus far, neither has materialized under the coaching of Eric Mangini. This team has regressed under Mangini and that isn’t very difficult to equate when one considers that Mangini’s predecessor, Romeo Crennel, coached this team .
At present there are four unbeaten teams within the league and those teams are Kansas City Chiefs (0-5), St Louis Rams (0-5), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-5) and the Tennessee Titans (0-5). But that shouldn’t in any way excuse the teams that have posted one or two wins at present. As those teams aren’t that much better than the teams who still remain win-less . It may well be the luck of the bounce as they say or the fact of the matter that.. you make your luck. It remains a fact that there are a number of extremely bad teams within the NFL at this juncture.
In the AFC West , much like its counterpart, NFC West – there is some very bad football being played ! And most certainly the makeup of the teams within both of those divisions leaves a great deal to be desired. And though there are one or two surprises in the guise – in terms of the play of both the San Francisco 49ers (3-2)and the Denver Broncos (5-0) from each of the respect divisions . The fact that they sit atop of both of their respective divisions, comes as a surprise to the vast majority of many, as well as a number of NFL fans. I’ve never really brought into the fact that the football being played within either of those divisions was all that good to begin with. Far too often the likes of the San Diego Chargers (2-2) , Seattle Seahawks (2-3) and Arizona Cardinals (2-2), can never seem to remain and play with a modicum of consistency. Be it through bad coaching or simply from the fact of losing players to injuries or personnel turnover. For lack of a better word – the teams within those divisions , more often than not tend to fall short of expectations. And before you say …..”well the Cardinals did make last season’s Superbowl”. My answer to that would be … have you watched the Cardinals as of late ?
The Kansas City Chiefs tend to remind me of a bus that has got a flat tire . But having stopped to replace the flat with a spare . Another tire just seemingly goes flat. Having fired Herm Edwards , they brought in Todd Haley as his replacement . And at the same time they acquired from the New England Patriots via a trade , quarterback, Matt Cassel and outside linebacker, Mike Vrabel . This team seems to have lost its direction and on both sides of the ball it has found to be wanting. Cassel has failed to live up to expectations and the money lauded upon him just seems to have confirmed what tends to happen when a player has a breakout year. They’re overly rewarded based just upon one year’s production , rather than their overall body of work.
Haley for his part, has tried to bring a sense of discipline , purpose and work ethic to the team. And it remains to be seen whether or not the players will in-fact buy into what he’s selling. It’s clear however ,that at this juncture the steps the team is said to be taking may well be just baby steps. As they try to learn Haley’s system and his way of doing things. The fans on the other hand may well have to put up with the malaise the franchise now finds itself in. It’s easy to place your faith in a coach when he’s got a winning product on the field of play. But that hasn’t been the case with the Chiefs in a number of years.
One has to feel some sympathy for Rams’ coach Steve Spagnuolo . His team remains win-less and they might well be one of the worst teams in the league alongside the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Oakland Raiders and the hapless Detroit Lions. The latter of whom it can be said there hasn’t been much of a resurgence under their head coach Jim Schwartz.Having registered their first win of the season they’ve fallen back into ways of old. Do I hear quite possibly , a losing season now awaiting this team ?
The St Louis Rams for their part have struggled to show some semblance of a game on either side of the ball. And unfortunately for the team when you’ve got a quarterback who’s aging and continually ailing, in Marc Bulger – with Kyle Boller as his backup. Then all that can be said “……….. is there any hope at all for this team ” ? There are somethings that we know hold to be true and consistent and one of them has become the fact that the St Louis Rams and their continued malaise is very much like the continued bickering that takes place between ‘Liberals’ and ‘Conservatives’. At first glance, none of it tends to make any sense whatsoever. But in reality , it now becomes the norm as that’s what we’ve all now come to expect.
And for a team that’s replete with some very good young players whose talents are being wasted. It’s somewhat sad to see the continued fall of this team. But I’d dare say that should Rush Limbaugh and business partner, Dave Checketts prove successful in acquiring the team from the Frontiere family. Then there could very well be some major upheavals within the organization.
From a 13-3 season of last year. This season the Tennessee Titans, not only have they fallen back to the pack. But they’ve spiraled out of control to the point where you can’t recognize this team as the same one from last season. They’ve become a very bad team for all of the wrong reasons. And no doubt coach, Jeff Fisher is at a loss to explain the team’s sudden and exacerbating loss of form.
What once a stellar defense , has become as porous as a sponge and they’re unable to defend either the rush or the pass. Questions are now being raised whether or not it’s time for the once dependable Kerry Collins to be replaced at the quarterback position by Vince Young . Therein , lies one of the many dilemmas now said to be facing this team .
The Titans have become an enigma which no one seems to have a real answer for as to their sudden fall from grace.
As one of the longest tenured coaches in the NFL , it’s not that the game has passed Jeff Fisher by. But it has to be said that if anything his players have become lazy and filled with complacency after last year’s somewhat limited success. That may well be the real thing that he now has to get across to his players. And that is …… they can’t rest on their laurels . Just seemingly because they ha a somewhat small morsel of success. He now needs to remind them that it takes hard work to build upon what they’ve already achieved.
Living in Central Florida and within somewhat close proximity of the Tampa area . I’ve had to put up with much of the asinine nonsense that has taken place within the Buccaneers’ organization , with the firing of their former coach, Jon Gruden and his partner in crime , the team’s former GM, Bruce Allen. Much of what took place was under the direct orders of the Glazer family and in particular that of Malcolm Glazer’s son , Joel . Essentially what took place wasn’t so much a power play between Gruden and the family as to the team’s direction. But it was somewhat clear that the Glazer family weren’t entirely happy with both Gruden and Allen treating the team as if it were their own personal fiefdom. But in large part also, it is now also becoming clear that the financial obligations that the Glazer family now has is being thinly stretched.
The family’s continued involvement with the English Premiership soccer club Manchester United , is far more complicated than they’re letting on. Having purchased the team through a leveraged buyout (LBO). They’ve in-fact laden the team under a mountain of debt ($1.1 billion-plus accrued interest). And the mere fact that those financial obligations have to be met with regard to the soccer club. It’s now beginning to paint an all too clear picture , as to the maneuvers that are being made by the family. Though they themselves will no doubt deny the veracity of the case that can be made. It has become clear that the Glazer family’s thoughts are elsewhere.
The Buccaneers are some $42 million under the NFL salary cap and it has to be said that they’ve spent their money rather miserly in acquiring talent. But it certainly hasn’t helped their cause that they’ve installed an inexperienced coach. in Raheem Morris . And to my mind a very naive GM , in Mark Dominik to represent this team , as far as the on-field coaching and personnel decisions are made. The team is nowhere near what either Morris or Dominik had hoped for. And they’ve not performed anywhere close to expectation . However, the idiocy of the statements made by not only the coach but also GM denotes not only their naivete but also their sheer inexperience shown, thus far.
Courtesy of Yahoo Sports :
Bucs coach Raheem Morris had some sharp criticism for receivers Michael Clayton and Antonio Bryant after they combined to drop five passes in the 33-14 loss to Philadelphia.
“Extremely disappointed in yesterday’s result, how it played out. The bottom line is we had too many missed opportunities by too many of our good players and we’re just not getting it done right now.”
Morris had some stinging criticism for both sides of the football and addressed players by name.
He met individually with Clayton, who dropped three more passes Sunday to give him an NFC-leading seven on the season. Last week, after failing to catch a pass in two straight games, Clayton publicly lobbied for more opportunities.
“I brought him to my office and let him know and we’ll talk one-on-one and we’ll talk to the team about all those things. But he’s got to stand up and do that every week. He’s got to go out there and play like he did versus Dallas. He’s counted on. He’s one of the guys we’re depending on. He knows that and he’s got to play like that and he hasn’t been.
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The roster of the club leaves a lot to be desired and there’s no leadership to be found on this team whatsoever. Whoever believes that there is , has got to be kidding themselves or they’ve been consuming far too much of the contaminated water from the Hillsborough river. And that has lead to their sudden bout of idiocy. There’s not much that can be gleaned from the team’s play this season. As can be evidenced by their acutely poor play. And no matter what sort of encouragement that has been forthcoming from Morris and coaching staff. It’s now becoming clear that this is an organization that is no longer in touch with reality as far as its competitive ambitions are concerned. The vast majority of the blame for this faux pas can be squarely laid at the table of the Glazer family. They too have shown their own stupidity and naivete for not diligently seeking out a coach that had experience. But better yet some knowledge as to what it would take in building a successful organization.
There’s a stark reality that it is now beginning to take shape. And that is within all certainty , unless Morris is able to turn things around. Then in all probability the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will join the Detroit Lions with the dubious distinction in having lost all 16 games of their regular season schedule. And with that quite possibly coming in successive seasons . It does point to the fact as to how really bad so many of the teams within the NFL now are. Perhaps none more so, than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers !
So there you have it , my own observations as to some of the worst teams in the NFL at present. Which teams do you feel are warranted of criticism at this juncture ?