I’m Not One For Conspiracy Theories But What The F##k ………
By tophatal …..
So in the aftermath of the fallout of the NFL wildcard round of the playoffs as we summarily saw the Pittsburgh Steelers get upended by the Denver Broncos in what can be best described as the thrilling end to a rather innocuous game in terms of its execution. Tim Tebow lived up to the hype and a great deal more but it would remiss to suggest that this was all about the quarterback without the play of his teammates .
Slide show for your perusal .
With the game going into overtime and tied at 23-23 apiece it was felt that this matchup was ripe for the picking for the Steelers . Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger ailing and visually in pain the player simply couldn’t get into a rhythm whereby his team could ever really be described as being in with a chance of derailing the Broncos . Strangely enough for me what might have been the most telling site within this game was to see Troy Polamalu simply lower his head as if he knew that the inevitable was about to happen. The Steelers’ defense was simply awry as somehow they simply couldn’t get the better of the Denver Broncos’ offense.
In the first play of overtime with the Denver Broncos having possession Tim Tebow excited the crowd with a 80 yard touchdown strike to Demaryius Thomas that ended the game and sent over 70,000 raucous Broncos’ fans into sheer delight and ecstasy . Needless to say , questions will be asked of Dick LeBeau and Mike Tomlin as to the blown coverage as Thomas scampered into the end-zone at Mile High Stadium untouched . A compelling way to end the game with a 29-23 victory for the Broncos and a chance to make this season of the unexpected seem like a dramatic feature of the highest order . Thrills , spills and anything else that you would care to use an adjective . Needless to say for seasoned veterans such as Brian Dawkins and Champ Bailey . ………… two players who are inevitably Canton bound to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame . This may well provide another footnote in their celebrated careers and whether or not this would could well be the finale one would only expect to be scripted by a screenwriter in Hollywood .
Not so long ago I felt that Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan might well have been one of the up and coming stars within the NFL . Certainly the Falcons’ front office led by GM Rich McKay thought so and clearly coach Mike Smith hitched his wagon to the young player. Well if Saturday’s game was anything to suggest that perception can be misleading than the Falcons’ woefully inept performance in being annihilated 24-2 by the New York Giants . The Giants’ defense much like the Great Wall of China could not be assaulted or penetrated and let’s just say that Osi Umennyiora , Jason Pierre Paul and Justin Tuck the fulcrum to that defensive corps simply ate up anything that came their way . The sole productivity by way of their offensive output was a mere two points from a “safety ” . From thereon-in it was simply one way traffic as the Giants laid a can of whup ass on the Falcons . So much for the possible calls for Tom Coughlin to be fired should the team’s season have imploded as it had done in the two years previously.
I’m all for offense during a game but what the hell ? Over 1,000 yards came way of the game between the Detroit Lions and New Orleans Saints . Two of the league’s best this season in Drew Brees and Matt Stafford lit up statistical charts and left the fans in awe of their prowess . And if that weren’t enough the points tally was a mere 73 points with Lions’ wide receiver Calvin Johnson showing us why he might just be the most explosive wide receiver currently playing in the NFL . Johnson’s output , 211 yards and 2 touchdowns was all that he could muster but with both teams playing some high-octane football in front of a sold out crowd and national audience of millions this was a game for everyone to think that this is what the NFL postseason is meant to be about .
The Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans , Louisiana was alive and kicking . With Brees and the Saints coming off their 48-25 victory the New Orleans Saints now face the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round of the playoffs .
Anyone who witnessed the mauling that the Cincinnati Bengals were subjected to in their 31-10 loss at the hands of the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium in Houston , Texas , will know that Marvin Lewis’ … team was simply never in the game to begin with . There seemed to be nothing going right for a young Bengals’ team at its core that was were outmatched by a Texans’ team that simply yearned the victory more. In doing so it garnered Gary Kubiak’s players their first very playoff win in Texans’ history and garners the Houston Texans a match-up against second seed the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs. Suffice to say that when the game gets set to be played at M&T Stadium in Baltimore , Maryland there will be a vociferous crowd cheering on both teams .
T J Yates the Texans’ young quarterback has guided this team without being asked to do too much by the coaching staff . He has simply played to his strengths without turning the ball over and placing the team inextricable situations . It is hard to believe that he would be the player to take this team in the postseason rather than starting quarterback Matt Schaub or his backup Matt Leinart . But such are the vagaries of the game within the NFL that when a player is entrusted with the goal of leadership and is being asked to bear a burden it is at times like this we get to see the character of that player and whether or not they are ultimately capable of leadership at the highest level. The one thing is now clear Yates will be a highly sought after player once this postseason has ended . Free agent or not his stature around the league will rise but I get the feeling that the Houston Texans’ front office will be reluctant to let this young quarterback slip through their fingers ! And you sought of get the feeling that the player will be richly rewarded financially by way of a renewed contract down the line .
For Marvin Lewis and the Bengals it’s back to the drawing board as they look to the future by assessing the strengths and weaknesses on this current roster . With the sudden drop off in form of the Pittsburgh Steelers and with them having something of an roster at their core , one gets the feeling that this just might be the time for the Cincinnati Bengals to take that next step up if they are now to be thought of as legitimate contenders not just within the AFC North but also within the AFC as a whole .
OK so the NFL regular season ended with the customary bang but perhaps as usual the coaching carousel as we tend to know it began . The firings of Jack Del Rio , Raheem Morris , Steve Spagnuolo , Todd Haley and Tony Sparano ….. all came with the expectation that the team owners and general managers involved will go about seeking to hire candidates who are like minded in their thoughts about success.
Here within the Tampa Bay locale the firing of Raheem Morris wasn’t totally unexpected but what now appears to be all the more comical , is the complete idiocy now being shown by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ front office . GM Mark Dominik was graceful in his praise of the coach but herein lies my take on the situation. If Morris deserving of being shown the door then how the hell is jt that Dominik comes out of this all unscathed ? Last I looked , it was the general manager and coach who assembled this roster with the hope that the team would prove to be a profound success . Instead the Buccaneers lost ten successive games to end their season with a 4-12 record within the NFC South .
Would it be too strong a word …. ” stupid” do to suggest that if the Buccaneers are intent on paying Raheem Morris the remainder of his contract ($2.5 million) while still owing Morris’ predecessor Jon Gruden $5 million . I would now like to know if the Glazer family in their largesse are intent in paying out this type of money to their two most recent coaches then how is it that they have shown no intent over the course of Morris’ tenure to pay for top line free agents to bolser this roster ? Or are they simply intent on assessing the fortunes of their other sporting interest Manchester United of the English Premiership League (EPL [soccer]) ? I mean you are currently the owners of two sporting franchises with an estimated worth of $2.35 billion . One of which is known the world over and just happens to one of the most profitable professional sports’ franchises on the planet . Jerry Jones must now be pissing in his pants that his Dallas Cowboys do not sit atop that particular financial gravy train . Don’t worry Jerry , your Cowboys are doing very well with regard to that criteria alongside the New York Yankees , albeit that the team won’t be hosting an NFL playoff game anytime soon . Too much time has been spent by your head coach “icing” the kicker . Enough said on that particular subject matter for now !
To suggest that the Buccaneers under achieved this season would be very much like asking whether or not Josh Freeman was a complete disappointment ? If your answer is yes then you clearly see that quarterback as well as teammates simply were not up to the task of playing with any zeal whatsoever . All of the asinine suggestions that the roster was filled with young players keen to learn show their growth , clearly over the course of this season that simply didn’t happen . And for the likes of Ronde Barber , Kellen Winslow and Davin Joseph , if they can’t be vocal in demanding more of their teammates while their coach offers many of the idiotic sound bytes that the fans were privy to , then the Buccaneers were clearly deserving of their fate .
The interview process for the vacant position with the Tampa Bay map Buccaneers with a number of candidates meeting with Mark Dominik while the general manager assesses their qualities and what they may well bring to the organization. Mike Sherman , Brian Billick and Brad Childress are amongst the number of applicants interviewed so far. On perusing that none too impressive list I am wondering what it is that front office is said to be looking for ? They hired a complete novice in Morris, merely from the fact that they felt that he might have been in the running for another coaching position with another NFL franchise rather than initially going after a much more recognized coach . Name recognition means something nowadays in the NFL I believe amongst the coaching fraternity, but clearly the Buccaneers are now simply about doing things on the cheap . Obviously that wasn’t the case with Gruden because the former coach was able to wield his power in conjunction with then general manager Bruce Allen . As to Morris’ successor I am not so sure how much free rein he will be given over the personnel decisions concerning the coaching staff and players. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a cause-celebre` in terms of their grandiose ideas of self-worth as the Glazer family have seemingly pulled the wool over the fans within the locale . For the millions that they have corralled out of the community there has been little to suggest that the Glazers have the real intent of pursuing real success with the franchise even if it still remains a money-maker for the family . That in of-itself may well soothe their mindset but the fans are being shortchanged by their audacity. .
Picture gallery for your perusal .
What are your expectations over the remainder of the NFL postseason ? And where do you see the hiring process going in terms of a successor to Raheem Morris for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ? Just leave a comment as to your thoughts on the points raised within this piece ?
Picture and slide show for your perusal .
(1) Demaryius Thomas (88) of the Denver Broncos makes a pass reception and fights off Ike Taylor (24) of the Pittsburgh Steelers to go 80 yards for the game winning touchdown on the first play of overtime at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 8, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Steelers 29-23 in their AFC Wild Card Playoff game. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images …
(2) (2) Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin talks with reporters at the Steelers headquarters on Monday, Jan. 9, 2012 in Pittsburgh. The Steelers were eliminated from the NFL football playoffs in a 29-23 overtime loss to the Denver Broncos. AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar …..
(3) Quarterback Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos celebrates his second quarter rushing touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 8, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Steelers 29-23 in overtime. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images …
(4) Ben Roethlisberger (7) of the Pittsburgh Steelers dives for the ball after losing it against Von Miller (58) of the Denver Broncos during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 8, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images … ……
(5) EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – JANUARY 08: Victor Cruz (80) of the New York Giants makes a reception against Dominique Franks (24) of the Atlanta Falcons during their NFC Wild Card Playoff game at MetLife Stadium on January 8, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images …
(6) Matt Ryan (2) of the Atlanta Falcons rolls out of the pocket as he looks to pass against the New York Giants during their NFC Wild Card Playoff game at MetLife Stadium on January 8, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images …
(7) Photographers gather around New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) and Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) following a 45-28 Saints win in an NFL wild card playoff football game Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012, in New Orleans. AP Photo/Bill Haber ….
(8) Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) catches a second half touchdown as New Orleans Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson (21) defends an NFL wild card playoff football game Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012, in New Orleans. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert ….
(9) HOUSTON, TX – JANUARY 07: Running back Arian Foster (23) of the Houston Texans runs the ball in the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals during their 2012 AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Reliant Stadium on January 7, 2012 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images ….
(10) (10) Running back Arian Foster (23) of the Houston Texans congratulates quarterback T.J. Yates (13) of the Houston Texans after the Houston Texans defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2012 AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Reliant Stadium on January 7, 2012 in Houston, Texas.The Texans defeated the Bengals 31-10. Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images ………
(11) Quarterback T.J. Yates (13) of the Houston Texans calls signals out at the line of scrimmage behind center Chris Myers (55) against the Cincinnati Bengals defense during their 2012 AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Reliant Stadium on January 7, 2012 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images ……
(12) Tampa Bay Buccaneers co-chairman Joel Glazer speaks to reporters during an NFL news conference announcing that the Buccaneers have relieved head coach Raheem Morris of his duties on Monday, Jan. 2, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Brian Blanco …..
(13) (13) Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik speaks to reporters during an NFL news conference announcing that the Buccaneers have relieved head coach Raheem Morris of his duties on Monday, Jan. 2, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco ……
(14) Head coach Raheem Morris of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks at the scoreboard during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium on December 17, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. According to reports January 2, 2012, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have fired head coach Raheem Morris. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ………