Heavy Is The Head That Wears The Crown …
By tophatal ………….. 2012/06/03 …….. 03:45 PM (EST)
So the teams have begun their OTA’s (organized team activities) where the rookies will get their chance to finally meet their veteran teammates as well as the coaching staffs of their respective teams in the NFL . For the likes of Andrew Luck , Robert Griffin and Trent Richardson , this is seen as the chance for these highly prized athletes to prove that the choices made by their respective teams were justified . This season I truly believe that not only will certain teams be under a great deal of pressure to succeed but most certainly a number of head coaches. Let’s get one thing clear , for all of the verbose pomposity there’s no denying that Rex Ryan is a good coach but as of now the “clock is ticking” for Ryan , his coaching staff and most definitely his incumbent starting quarterback Mark Sanchez . The New York Jets were an immense disappointment last season , and the very fact that there was a great deal of dissent and friction within the locker room would be enough to suggest that all is not right for the team , coaching staff and specifically the front office of the organization.
Slide show for your perusal .
Now even with the acquisition of Tim Tebow there’s no denying that the Jets this season will have a great deal to prove . Tebow obviously coming as in a back-up for Sanchez must know that he’ll be thrust into the spotlight the moment that Mark Sanchez has a shaky game or if the team begins a losing streak . The idiocy to suggest that he’ll be used for such schemes as a wildcat offense or even as a tight end or wide receiver can be deduced as nothing but talk and the sheer stupidity of the New York print media , on air radio analysts and the most banal of them all , the assholes on television who cover the NFL ! If nothing else , it’s all about saying something merely for the sake of it , rather than proffering us some insightful analysis . Tebow as a wide receiver much less a tight end ? Oh , that will go down well should be on the wrong end of a hit from the likes of Ray Lewis , Justin Tuck or even Elvis Dumervil for that matter .
The New York Jets if they are to fare well this season , then they will have to overcome the New England Patriots within the AFC East . Apart from the Patriots , there’s also the likes of the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills to deal with , within the division . The cast of characters within the division in terms of the quarterbacks on display speaks for itself , with Tom Brady leading the way .
The Patriots’ quarterback and his teammates were once again on the losing end of what now appears an improbable defeat in the Superbowl . A loss that still reverberates within the New England area as well across the entire NFL . For the victorious New York Giants and their fans this further adds to the legitimacy that this franchise has been one of the dominant NFL franchises in recent years . Eli Manning has led the franchise to two Superbowl victories over the New England Patriots in the last six years . And with each victory it has added to the player’s luster and now has some questioning whether or not he is the better of the two siblings in terms NFL supremacy . From my perspective , Peyton Manning is in a class by himself amongst the quarterbacks to have played the game in the last fifteen years . In reality however, this might just be the best era within the NFL in terms of the quarterbacks we now have on display within the game. Drew Brees , after his record-breaking ….. year , alongside Brady , Eli Manning , Aaron Rodgers and Matt Stafford simply set the tone for a stellar season within the NFL . Add into that, the rise of Alex Smith after some inauspicious years of under achievement with the San Francisco 49ers .
Smith had a breakout season with the Niners , leading his team to the NFC championship game where they would fall to the eventual Superbowl champions the New York Giants . As to how this places the San Francisco 49ers as potential contenders for the upcoming season remains to be seen. Clearly , coach Jim Harbaugh believes his team is capable of taking the next step and in light of the acquisition of Randy Moss , Brandon Jacobs and Mario Manningham with that stellar defense must now be looked at as a potential challenger to the likes of the Green Bay Packers , New York Giants within the NFC .
As things now stand it is still too early to make any serious prognostications as to which teams should now be considered early contenders for the Superbowl . Here’s my premise why , injuries will undoubtedly play a part and clearly that was the case with the Indianapolis Colts last season . The franchise’s hopes were essentially pinned on the shoulders of Peyton Manning but once the player was lost for the entire 2011 schedule we pretty much saw how poor this team would be. The disappointment led to the firing of Jim Caldwell and the upheaval within the front office with the departures of Bill Polian and his son, Chris Polian . The two pretty much the architects behind the Colts’ unprecedented success over the past decade . The first signs of that success would come in the franchise’s drafting of Peyton Manning in 1998 as the number one overall pick that season. From that point onwards the Colts have been pretty much very judicious with their choices in successive seasons bringing on board players such as Dwight Feeney and Marvin Harrison . The franchise’s greatest success was that of their Superbowl victory but along the way was their unprecedented success and the countless divisional titles under then coach Tony Dungy .
Unfortunately, for the Colts going through Curtis Painter , Dan Orlovsky and Kerry Collins as a replacement for Peyton Manning proved to be a worthless endeavor as neither could achieve anything of merit as the season progressed . Their efforts pretty much summed how dire the situation became for the Indianapolis Colts and simply proved how much of an invaluable asset Peyton Manning just happens to be for this Colts’ franchise .
In the aftermath of the upheaval within the Indianapolis Colts team owner Jim Irsay saw fit to promote Ryan Grigson as the new general manager for the franchise. Their first order of priorities was simply assessing whether or not Peyton Manning could still be viewed as the future of the franchise . But with the players ongoing injury problems and the very fact the Colts mishandled this whole episode it speaks to the idiocy what went on within this organization. In the end with Manning’s departure to the Denver Broncos , it became a forgone conclusion that the franchise would indeed make Andrew Luck the number one pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Albeit, that Grigson had been in contact with Robert Griffin III and his agent to see if the player would indeed be interested in a behind-closed-doors tryout for the coaching staff and front office . Griffin would turn down the offer and as we know he was taken second overall by the Washington Redskins whose coach Mike Shanahan will be pinning his hopes on the young quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner . And for the Redskins and their season this could very well be the year that they prove to be a real challenge in usurping the dominance of the New York Giants . My own belief however , is the fact that the Washington Redskins are still one or two players away of having a legitimate shot within the NFC East .
This division often viewed as one of the best in the NFL to my mind has simply become overrated and overblown . While the talent there one could attest is very good I believe comes from the fact of the inconsistency of the teams there . Nowhere is this more evident than with the Philadelphia Eagles and the coaching staff of Andy Reid . A team with the talented Michael Vick simply imploded and then all of the excuses came from within the organization and from the press within the city , either berating the team and the head coach , rather than directing their animus towards a group of overrated and overpaid players . It came as a big surprise to many that Reid was retained by team president Joe Banner but it was clear I believe that this may well be the coach’s last chance to prove his worth . Certainly team owner Jeff Lurie knows that the fans are not entirely happy this current dilemma but at the end of the day he knows that it has become a do-or-die situation for this organization. .
Why is it repeatedly each year we are told that we ought to look at the Dallas Cowboys as being legitimate contenders for the Superbowl ? It has now become a long-running joke not just amongst the most discerning NFL fans but also amongst the none observant passer-by . All of this has to come from the lugubrious attitude of the team’s owner Jerry Jones . Everything they say …..” is done big ” in the state of in Texas , and most certainly that has been the case within the city of Dallas. From the franchise’s $1.5 billion stadium in Arlington , Texas , and all of the ostentatious accoutrements , simply suggest that Jones wants the very best while placing a rather mediocre … product on the field of play . Much of this I truly believes comes from the fact that the team’s starting quarterback Tony Romo simply isn’t good enough to lead this team to where they need to and where Jones envisages that they should be .
Jason Garrett has been thrust into a situation that I believe that is beyond his capacity as a head coach ! He has proven to be naive and somewhat of a novice in his coaching style . Throughout much of last season , Garrett simply made mistakes not expected of someone who’s said to be ready , to be thrust into the limelight. “Muffed calls” and not holding his players accountable , never-mind the fact that there’s no one said to be the vocal leader on this team. Other than the play of DeMarcus Ware there wasn’t much to take away , or suggest that Cowboys are simply good enough to viewed as a legitimate contender for the NFC East , much less be viewed as one of the preeminent teams within the NFC .
The Cowboys drafted well to meet their needs but that might not be enough in of-itself given what we have witnessed from the team over the course of last season . Romo came into the NFL as an un-drafted free agent who would succeed Drew Bledsoe as the franchise’s quarterback . But over the subsequent years it has been one of highs and lows over the course of Romo’s career thus far. The player himself this season has to , once and for all got to prove to his doubters that he is capable of leading a team deep into the playoffs and beyond , rather than the continued hyperbole being used to describe Tony Romo . It has now come to the point where at this stage of his career it has been the hype which has encapsulated his prominence or professional lack thereof . It certainly be interesting to see Tony Romo and his teammates are able to endure this upcoming season, as the expectations once again will be undoubtedly be high . Failure again just won’t be an indictment of the player but also a sad indictment of this organization , the entire coaching staff and the front office staff .
Now at the culmination of the regular season in 2011 I actually believed that the San Diego Chargers their horrendous foray would have jettisoned the team’s head coach Norv Turner . But for some reason GM A J Smith felt it worthwhile retaining the beleaguered head coach for one more year. Much to the amazement the explanation from the Chargers’ front office for retaining Turner laid in the fact that they believe him to be the right person for the position and that he’s deserving to take this team and make one assault on attempting to win this franchise their first Superbowl title . A great deal of that will be predicated upon not only the play of Philip Rivers and the player’s mental mindset. As he goes , then so does this team , if not , then we could very well see the departure of Norv Turner and quite possibly the quarterback seeking a trade . If Philip Rivers can’t win with this franchise then it is indeed time for him to ply his trade elsewhere with a contender . Your thoughts on the matter concerning the Chargers and specifically Philip Rivers ? By all means chime in with a comment .
It’s sad to see when time catches up with a player especially when it is clear that they are now past their “sell by date “ . And that is most definitely the case , with veteran quarterback Donovan McNabb and his ambition to make a successful return to the NFL . McNabb hasn’t played in the NFL since 2010 . And it is clear that the player simply isn’t good enough to viewed as a starter in the NFL . In the determined belief that he is still capable of competing at the highest level of the game as a starter with a franchise , the seasoned veteran seeks a franchise who’s in need of a player with his experience . Is there team willing to take a chance on the player ? Well it is still early days yet , and just about anything possible could happen . McNabb to my mind should take a clue as to how Brett Favre had to be forced to walk away from the game , albeit , he says it was under his own steam . Truth be known , it all came down to the player and his off-the-field issues and the very fact that his play had steadily been on the decline over the past five years . Nothing more , nothing less , it was as simple as that !
Picture gallery for your perusal .
What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? By all means leave a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support as it has been greatly appreciated .
Picture and slide show details below .
(1)New York Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano , left, talks to head coach Rex Ryan during NFL football practice, Thursday, May 31, 2012, in Florham Park, N.J. AP Photo/Julio Cortez ..
(2) New York Jets quarterbacks Mark Sanchez, left, and Tim Tebow workout during NFL football practice, Thursday, May 31, 2012, in Florham Park, N.J. AP Photo/Julio Cortez …
(3) From left to right , Indianapolis Colts’ head coach Chuck Pagano , team owner , Jim Irsay and general manager Ryan Grigson . The trio start afresh with a revamped front office , coaching staff and in essence a team built around #1 overall pick Andrew Luck. The team’s 2012 schedule isn’t all that favorable , so Pagano and his staff will be under a great deal of pressure to succeed within the AFC South and AFC as a whole . AP Photo / Keith McCall …
(4)San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh gestures during the NFL football team’s practice in Santa Clara, Calif., Tuesday, May 29, 2012. AP Photo/Paul Sakuma ….
(5) Philadelphia Eagles’ Michael Vick, right, meets with teammate LeSean McCoy at a practice during a rainstorm at the team’s NFL football training facility, Friday, June 1, 2012, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Matt Rourke …
(6) Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid speaks during a media availability after NFL football practice at their training facility Thursday, May 24, 2012 in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Alex Brandon ..
(7) Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones watches his team from the sidelines during NFL football practice at Cowboys Stadium, Wednesday, May 30, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. Jones says he has no interest in going to federal court to seek relief after an arbitrator upheld the NFL’s salary cap reductions against the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins. AP Photo/ Elsa Martinez …..
(8) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) watches during NFL football practice at Cowboys Stadium, Wednesday, May 30, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. Also shown are tight end George Bryan (49), quarterback Stephen McGee (7) and guard Harland Gunn (63). AP Photo/LM Otero ..
(9) ASHURN, VA – APRIL 6 : Donovan McNabb speaks at a press conference where he was introduced by the Washington Redskins on April 6, 2010 at Redskin Park in Ashburn, Virginia. One season with the franchise led to season of indeterminate failure from which he was sent to the Minnesota Vikings wherein the woes would continue . Now an unrestricted free agent the player is hoping to sign with a franchise at some point prior to , or during this upcoming NFL season . McNabb still believes that he can play at a high level and contribute to a contender . As of yet there have been “no takers” for the player’s services . Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images ….