Friday, December 26, 2008

Heading into Week 17

- This will be McNabb's first year without a missed start due to injury since 2004. He's also within 134 of his career high in passing yards.

- Can we please halt all the "LT is done for" talk, and stop associating his name with Priest Holmes and Shaun Alexander until we see what happens next year when he's healthy? People are blinded by his awe-inspiring 2006 season and the recent spate of RB careers falling off a cliff. In case you haven't heard he's playing with turf toe. Let Deion and James Andrews educate you on how painful and debilitating it can be. Yes you have to get beyond the 30th leading rusher to find someone with a worse YPC than LT, but sometimes a dip is just a dip. Witness similar YPC drops and subsequent rebounds in Payton's and Emmitt's careers as well as Curtis Martin's late-career resurgence.

Meanwhile, the trash talk has been flying leading up to the Denver-SD game.

- Since the NFL went to the eight division realignment in 2002, one team has gone worst to first within their division each year. The streak can continue this year with the Phins, Falcons, or Bears.

- Because of the Boston/Patriots/Belichick hate, the Pats accomplishments with Matt Cassell this year have gone underappreciated. Many are quick to make the "system QB" argument, but that could only fly in college. The NFL's talent level is simply too much of a mitigating factor no matter how ingenious a system is. It's about as ridiculous as making the dominant college team X could beat NFL cellar dweller Y argument.

Credit is due to the Belichick and the Pats staff for having the confidence in both Cassell and their own evaluative abilities, and the for the foresight in understanding the value system familiarity has for a QB.

To chalk up Cassell's success to a system is not only shortsighted but it also presumes that the Pats kept a QB who hadn't started a game since high school as their #2 for three seasons only because they couldn't think of a better option. Cassell was a long-term investment, someone whom the Patriots decided had the skill set to succeed in their designed offense and someone whom, as the years went on, the Patriots felt more and more comfortable with because of his knowledge of their system.

- Two short articles worth checking out:
1. Michael Silver on the absurdity of draft grades.
“We know who we are,” defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, soon to be a hot head-coaching prospect, said after Sunday’s game. “We have a system. You have to give Mike Reinfeldt a lot of credit. This team is not built to say, ‘Hey, we’ll be good as long as we don’t get any injuries.’ This team is built to say, ‘When we get injuries, we’ll still be good, because we have the depth to withstand them.’
2. Jason Whitlock on the Chiefs' questionable use of Glenn Dorsey. It's rare that someone even attempts a critical evaluation of NFL line play, let alone convincingly makes his case.

“He has no chance in pass rush,” guard Brian Waters told me. “I love it when a guy lines head-up.”

Members of the Chiefs’ scouting department have blamed Dorsey’s subpar rookie season on the extra weight they allege he’s carrying. I’ve been told on two separate occasions that KC’s scouting department evaluated a 300-pounder who is now playing at 315. The personnel guys stand behind their evaluation of Dorsey, the insinuation being a lighter Dorsey would be a more effective Dorsey.

“The way we’re playing him, he better be 315,” Waters said. “He would get destroyed in the run game at 300.”

[H/T to TBL for the Whitlock piece]

-Agent Easy


  1. nice strong point about cassel. i was one of those wrapped up in the system QB koolaid but this article woke me up. still, i think it is the case to some minor extent.

    glenn dorsey article was a very good read, thanks.

    i have to disagree though about LT. i do believe he is done. i have (admittedly only) a hunch that he was softened by his past extreme celebration and payday and now lacks incentive and mental toughness.

  2. past extreme celebration?

  3. i mean, he's softened by how much he's been celebrated---magazine covers, endorsements & shit