It Was Meant To Be The Year of The Quarterback And In Many Ways It Was And Then It Wasn’t ….
By tophatal ………..
There’s no denying that this past season was the year of the quarterback and that can be seen from the statistics of runner-up in the MVP race . Drew Brees and Superbowl MVP …. Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers but if anything the supporting cast of the offensive weapons that complemented the talents of the celebrated trio as well as Matt Stafford and Tom Brady to make this a year to be remembered .
Slide show for your perusal .
Brees and one other quarterback ( Brady) surpassed the long-held single season passing yards’ record of Dan Marino set in 1984 . Tight ends Jimmy Graham , Aaron Hernandez , Rob Gronkowski and Jermichael Finley made this NFL season one of astonishing highlight reels that will be long remembered for years to come . Not to be outdone also are the wide receivers who also held sway with their own with Mario Manningham , Wes Welker , Hakeem Nicks and Marques Colston all adding to the NFL experience of explosive offense seen throughout much of the season and postseason during 2011.
With what we now know to be a near certainty Ryan Grigson the general manager of the Indianapolis Colts will be drafting Stanford (Cardinals) quarterback Andrew Luck as the #1 overall pick in the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft . Baylor Bears’ quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III is likely to go second overall but with the St Louis Rams unlikely to take player it is envisaged that the front office and team owner Stanley Kroenke will entertain any teams wishing to move up in the draft order to have that second overall pick but only if they are prepared to themselves offer a flurry future picks or possible talent superfluous to their needs .
Washington Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder never one to not know the meaning of excessive spending or make bold decisions as it relates to personnel moves and the organization’s draft choices may well make the move and take Robert Griffin in with the hope of making him the team’s quarterback of the future. That doesn’t bode well for either Rex Grossman or John Skelton at this juncture given their woes this past season for the Redskins over the course of their 2011 schedule .
Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan are now on a tight leash because in light of the Donovan McNabb experiment that went South no sooner the season started , it has to be said if the duo of coaches who are being compensated to the tune of $ 7 million a year combined , this might well be the last chance for both coaches to prove their worth . The Washington Redskins much like the two of the residents within the NFC East who were not part of the postseason excitement have become essentially the laughing-stock of the NFL ! God knows , what was being served up jointly by the Philadelphia Eagles , Dallas Cowboys and Redskins , no way in hell can it be described as high-caliber football that one would associate with the NFL and its brand !
Now while there may well be a slew of top-notch talent on display at this past weekend’s NFL Scouting Combine where a number of players impressed the coaches , their assistants , general managers and owners who were said to be on hand . The consensus appears to be that once you get beyond the top ten to fifteen picks of the first round of this upcoming the cupboard becomes bare in terms the talent that is said to be on hand . Something of a far cry off from last season’s NFL Draft (2011) While its way too early to start to make those sport of prognostications I would tend to agree that were they may well a definite drop-off in terms of the tight ends who have declared their eligibility for the Draft !
Now while there has always been a love-fest and leaning towards the college quarterback , wide receiver , running back , offensive tackle and dare one say a great defensive pass rusher ? It is these players in particular that the coaches tend to yearn in terms building a franchise around . Granted, every coach has their own idea and opinion as to how they would like to build successful franchises and this is certainly borne out by how the likes of Bill Parcells , Jimmy Johnson , Chuck Noll , Bill Belichick and Mike Holmgren have gone about successful organizations over the course of their careers within the NFL .
I’ve never been one to be inherently bogged down by perusing the statistics in order to assess a college player’s ability ! Because to my mind , at the end of the day they are either ready to take that step to the next level and ply their trade in the NFL or they’re not ! The failures at the next level are magnified to such a degree that they become ever so glaring and there’s no way that excuses can be made . Certainly , there are going to be hits and misses in this upcoming Draft but in reality we tend to see the best come out in a player normally after years two to three . There’s always the exception to the rule , because could anyone have foreseen the explosive … impact that Cam Newton would have on the Carolina Panthers this past season ? And but for a defense that had some issues amongst other problems and with the usual tally of injuries then perhaps the Panthers could have challenged the likes of the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints within the NFC South in 2011. Because it sure hell wasn’t going to come from the woefully inept ….. Tampa Bay Buccaneers and that piss poor squad of players !
Now while Messrs’ Kiper and McShay will be regaling us with their ” big draft board ” , their likes and dislikes , let’s remember one and make that abundantly clear these two individuals have rarely stepped up to the plate and actually stated why so many of their prognostications have blown up in their proverbial faces .
For players such as Trent Richardson , Morris Claiborne , Justin Blackmon , Matt Kalil , Michael Floyd , Whitney Mercilus , Reuben Randle , Dont’a Hightower and Dre` Kirkpatrick it will be interesting to see if their careers at the next level will matriculate into something that on appearance alone can be deemed a resounding success .
Certainly if last year’s NFL Draft was anything to go by then beyond Cam Newton we saw players such as Von Miller , Marcell Dareus , A J Green , Patrick Peterson , Julio Jones and Aldon Smith contributed greatly for their respective teams . As I alluded to earlier, my thoughts on the prognostications as it concerns these young players aren’t relevant , not at this time . Perhaps a year or two down the line , then we can really assess their contributions .
It takes a man with strong convictions to stick with a decision no matter how controversial or meaningful it’s said to be . I’d recently stated that the Pittsburgh Steelers would consider cutting their Pro Bowl wide receiver Hines Ward . Well it appears that the decision has been made by the front office to jettison the fifteen year veteran whose contributions are an example that if you apply yourself to your craft then success will surely follow .
Steelers’ GM Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin obviously had to have thought long and hard before coming to the decision . But I can’t help but feel that Ward could well be resigned to a lesser contract in order that the organization can have the leeway sought to offer their wide-out Mike Wallace a revised contract. There’s no real loyalty or love lost within the NFL between player and team owner as it all comes down to money , profits and not much else beyond that ! I’d be equally surprised given the idiocy that took place within the Colts’ organization this off-season if Peyton Manning still is on the team roster beyond the 8th March , 2011 . Manning is due a $28 million roster bonus pending a clean ” bill of health ” . Team owner Jim Irsay is said to be the consummate businessman , at this point , this just doesn’t come down to merely business but what is actually in the best interests of the Colts franchise . The franchise does have some extremely important decisions to be made as it relates to the roster and the impending fate of a number of the players. Suffice to say , beyond the decision to be made concerning their esteemed quarterback . we could well see a few other players leaving this organization.
Picture gallery for your perusal .
What if anything as a fan do you expect to see during the NFL Draft ? Also during this off-season with the apparent turmoil that’s now said to be taking place what move or transaction to your mind will be or has been the biggest surprise to you overall ? By all means do take time to leave a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !
Picture and slide show details below .
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – FEBRUARY 07: Justin Tuck (91), of the New York Giants laughs with teammate Eli Manning (10) at a rally to celebrate the New York Giants’ Super Bowl victory at MetLife Stadium on February 7, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants defeated the New England Patriots 21-17 in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images …
(2) Aaron Rodgers (12) of the Green Bay Packers looks on in the fourth quarter against the New York Giants during their NFC Divisional playoff game at Lambeau Field on January 15, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images … …..
(3) Head coach Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins watches from the sidelines during the second half against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on January 1, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images ….
< (4) Heisman Trophy-winner and former Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III poses for a photo on the Baylor campus, Monday, Feb. 27, 2012, in Waco, Texas, for the EA Sports NCAA Football 13 video game to be released in July. AP Photo/Waco Tribune Herald, Jerry Larson ….
(5) Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward (86) walks off the field after the Steelers lost 29-23 to the Denver Broncos in overtime of an NFL wild card playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, in Denver. It is being widely reported that the wide receiver was let go by the Steelers’ front office as a cost cutting … exercise . AP / Getty Images / Eric Schneider ……….. ….
NFL Draft history for certain positional players
Gemma Atkinson . Lovely !
Another reason why one might love Gemma are those rather beguiling assets of hers . What do you think ?
A Tribe Called Quest ……… ” Check The Rhyme ”