Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

2nd Round Thoughts

- LenDale White and Winston Justice keep dropping. Their interviews must have been about as good as an inebriated squirrel.

- However, there are a few odd names starting to appear, with some better names on the table. Darryl Tapp and Thomas Howard are two names for example that are being passed over a lot. Same with Jimmy Williams.

- Boomer "I guess we're on. Don't go far."... ESPN is having some serious audio issues today.

- C Jeff Faine finally gets traded from the Browns, this time to the Saints, essentially replacing the man who supplanted him, LeCharles Bentley. That's a bit of irony.

- Not sure why the Jets, with all their holes, traded out of that high second round pick, especially with some of the quality players available like LenDale White.

- I'm with Colin. Those Applebees guys need to be stopped. If it has to fall to me, so be it.

- New England gets the first steal of the second round with Chad Jackson. Great pick... way better than their lame first one. Why didn't Green Bay take Jackson when they have these issues with Javon Walker?

- And now Javon Walker is gone to Denver for the second round pick. And now Denver's picks make a bit more sense, although I'm not sure why it took quite this long for the trade to become official.

- Colin will like the Jimmy Williams pick for the Falcons. Great corner in the second round.

- The Raiders just took Thomas Howard, OLB. I liked him. Shouldn't have dropped that far. This 2nd round has been crawling after how quick the first round moved.

- Philadelphia just traded up for Winston Justice. They could definitely use him. Terrific move. However, very strange move from the Titans standpoint. Now a team that bad doesn't have another pick until the fourth round? What? Oh wait, they did get the later second rounder...

- The Cardinals take Deuce Lutui, meaning they actually were serious about taking a guard after all. How about that? I'm just glad Winston Justice didn't slip all the way to them. That would have been extremely lame for them to have gotten that absurdly lucky.

- The Bears take this Danieal Manning guy with their first pick in the draft. He's a DB. This is a HUGE Gavin Creed mistake. Not only is he not the best corner left, but they desperately need more offensive help. I suddenly don't fear the Bears as much next year.

- And the Giants make a good move, trading up to grab Sinorice Moss, giving them an excellent explosive WR to go with Plaxico Burress.

- And Tennessee takes the stab at LenDale White. They will not be disappointed. Now they have a terrific QB in the future in Vince Young and LenDale White in the backfield. Wow. That sure works well.

- St Louis takes Joe Klopfenstein, a TE from Colorado. Apparently another reason we just aren't afraid of the Rams in the future.

- Go Pac-10! I'll be very interested in the career of Kellen Clemens. I've always like him, even if he is a bit erratic. His accuracy was much improved last season.

- I'm surprised Minnesota didn't go after Brodie Croyle to back up Brad Johnson. He was there for the taking.

- Dallas took a TE after signing Ryan Hannam and having Jason Witten? That doesn't sound right.

- Carolina gets a nice steal replacement of Ricky Manning Jr picking up CB Richard Marshall from Fresno St. I like him quite a bit.

- Nice shot of Rasheed Wallace and the Pistons watching the draft in the locker room. I like the Pistons more and more each time I see a shot of them.

- I like OT Jeremy Trueblood. Good pick for Tampa Bay.

- Jacksonville gets Maurice Drew! Another good Pac-10 player down to Florida, to join Reggie Williams and Khalif Barnes. He should at least impact the return game and any help for the Jags offense is good help.

- Possible Seattle picks? Darryl Tapp, Ashton Youboty are still available... and we take Tapp! The guy I thought we could easily take in the first round drops to us at the bottom of the second! Terrific first day for the Hawks. Get a solid corner and a great Bryce Fisher-mold defensive end.

posted by Gavin @ 2:15 PM  0 comments

2006 NFL Draft: Live Blog

Well, this has started a little late, darn you sleep! Let's just start out by saying that Houston made an AWFUL #1 selection. Mario Williams was, at best, the fifth player in this draft. Just terrible.

1. Houston
Gavin Pick: Reggie Bush (like the rest of the friggin' world)
Mario Williams, DE


Like I said, this is an utterly ridiculous pick. No help for David Carr. Little help for a bad defense. Many bad tidings.

ESPN people going nuts right now over Reggie Bush and New Orleans. NY Jets fans are as close to white trash as I can see. The Jets also could really use those two #1 picks instead of trading them for Bush. The Saints really don't need Bush, they have far too many other holes that RB. Mel Kiper's hair looks a little smaller this year, less an abomination.

2. New Orleans
Gavin Pick: D'Brickishaw Ferguson
Reggie Bush, RB

Jets fans are already complaining. Jets fans are pretty stupid. Who is Deuce McAllister? Colin disagrees, but I would still have looked at Ferguson.

I have to take off now to pick up my dog from the kennel, so Colin will take over from here. Enjoy his witty repartee with his own ego!

Colin: Hey! My ego rocks! Anyone know why Mike Irvin is SO against a grading scale? Hmmmm.

Chris Berman to Reggie Bush: “You’re with me, leather.” (if you don’t get that joke, go to Deadspin)

Ah, yes. Random shots of fat, balding NY Jets fans. Best part of the draft, especially since they are sure to boo whomever the Jets choose (barring them actually doing something smart, like drafting Matt Leinart). By the way, did Berman just link Bush to O.J. Simpson? Good move, Boomer.

Lame Commercial of the Pick: Another stupid train showering Coors Light on everyone. I mean, couldn't I at least get a Guinness here? Some kind of good beer?

3. Tennessee
Gavin Pick: Mario Williams
Vince Young, QB

Well, they did it, picking the potential game-breaking ability of Vince Young over the pro-ready quality of Matt Leinart. I can't disagree with this pick, not after watching the Rose Bowl, where Vince Young simply was the most dominating player on the field. Not Bush. Not Leinart. Not White. Vince Young. Now, it should be a ding on his record to score so low on the Wonderlic, but that can't be the only way to scout an individual. He has always seemed to be an outstanding leader and person you love to have on your team, inspiring everyone around him, and actually apologizing to Texas fans for not winning the Heisman. That's class, and I wish him well with the Titans. If anyone can mold him, it's Norm Chow and Jeff Fisher.

Now, this pick does NOT make the Titans that much better for this next year, but fans still should be fine with this pick. Steve McNair didn't help them right off the bat, but he did give them a trip to the Super Bowl. That's all you can ask, and Vince Young could very easily give them another trip to the Super Bowl down the road.

Random Note: Going back to the SPU story I posted yesterday, the best line I have heard of this was given by Ken Schram of KOMO (thanks of the Crushed Dad for the link). For those of who who don't know this story, a man set up a Final Four style tournament matching off women from Seattle Pacific University, voting for who was the hottest. This has caused MASSIVE outrage and upheaval at SPU, who have poured hatred on the site, calling it "hate speech" and "moving towards rape". Ken's response?:

Didn't it dawn on you that Christian girls aren't allowed to be "hot?"

Ken Schram, ladies and gentleman. Ken Schram.

4. NY Jets
Gavin Pick: Matt Leinart
D'Brickishaw Ferguson, OT

Oooooooh. OK, then. Now, as with Gavin, I can never really disagree with a team drafting the best offensive lineman available. However, I just can't understand where all the criticisms of Matt Leinart came from. This was a player who would have been the unanimous #1 pick last year. He is much better than Alex Smith or Aaron Rodgers. Could he be heading back to California and Oakland?

Lame Commercial of the Pick: A Monday Night Football commercial with absolutely no shots of the Seattle Seahawks, but about fifteen shots of the Steelers, Eagles, and Cowboys. That's cool.

I actually agree with Schlereth. A great athletic left tackle is so, so important. See Jones, Walter. Your game plan becomes so much easier when you can write off the rush coming from one side.

Is it just me, or is this draft actually going a little faster this year? Teams aren't actually using every single second of the 15 minutes. That's nice, because you've had three months. Make up your frieking mind.

Did Chris Berman grow an extra chin in the past few months? I swear I'm seeing about four different chins here.

5. Green Bay
Gavin Pick: AJ Hawk
AJ Hawk, OLB

Well, looks like Gavin actually got a pick correct for once. That's a nice change, but, in reality, there was no real way to get this pick wrong. AJ Hawk and Lambeau Field just work well together, and he might challenge Brian Urlacher sooner rather than later as the best defensive player in the NFC North. I know, that's high praise, but this guy has looked really, really good.

Well, it's time for San Francisco to make their first pick, and this is the first guy that will reside in the NFC West. Most are picking Vernon Davis to fit here, which makes both Gavin and I laugh. If they hadn't stupidly picked Alex Smith last year, Matt Leinart would have totally worked here.

And Vernon Davis is just starting to cry. That's probably now a sure thing, isn't it?

6. San Francisco
Gavin Pick: Winston Justice
Vernon Davis, TE

I just don't understand this. Sure, he might be a great tight end. He might be the best tight end in the NFL. He still doesn't help the Niners in a way that other players might. Seems like he must be a nice guy, which is great and all, but, as a Seahawks fan, I heartily applaud this pick. Go Niners!

The talking heads are urping up praise on Davis. He has speed. He has power. He is amazing. He is the second best player in this draft. Blah blah blah blah blah.

He's a tight end. With Alex Smith as your QB, no one as your WR, and Frank Gore as your RB. We can blanket him with about 35 defensive players and let everyone else beat us.

People are still talking about why Matt Leinart is going to slip. This is ridiculous, and I will be pissed if he drops all the way to Arizona, because I really don't want him in the NFC West. This guy was phenomenal at USC. Carson Palmer, remember, didn't win a championship in college. He didn't win the Heisman. Matt Leinart did. Screw the Oakland deep passing game. How has that worked out for you recently? You're SUCKED recently, remember? Pick the best quarterback, get Aaron Brooks out of there as fast as possible, and actually build a winner! Honestly, these rips on Leinart are getting, frankly, ridiculous.

7. Oakland
Gavin Pick: Vince Young
Michael Huff, S

Ridiculous. Yes, this guy should be good, maybe even great. But he's not the franchise quarterback that Leinart will be.

As for Huff, he should make a big difference in that porous Raiders secondary; actually, he might be better than Woodson sooner rather than later. I honestly don't know what else to write about this guy, because I just feel so, so strongly that they should have picked Leinart.

Lame Commercial of the Pick: A bunch of hot construction workers ALSO get some Coors Light.

8. Buffalo
Gavin Pick: Vernon Davis
Donte Whitner, S

This was a guy that some thought that SEATTLE would pick down at #31, so the fact that someone is picking him at #8 is semi-suspect to me.

Mel Kiper: "As a true football player, he was getting high grades."

What in the world does that mean? Who are the false football players out there? Leinart? Cutler? I feel like I'm watching the NBA Draft, where everyone talks about upside, length, and playability (something stupid like that). It is becoming more and more likely that Arizona will end up with Matt Leinart. DANG IT!!

Lame Commercial of the Pick: Yahoo/Prudential Real Estate. Now there's a combo I never thought I would see.

Tom Condon: "As you begin to move through the draft, you begin to hit the better football teams." - Yeah, like Detroit. And Arizona.

9. Detroit
Gavin Pick: Michael Huff
Chad Jackson, WR (just kidding)
Ernie Sims, LB

And that frees up Arizona to do it, to draft the quarterback. Yes, their need is offensive line, but you have to pass that for now if you have the opportunity to draft Matt Leinart. Gavin might disagree with me on that, but Gavin's an idiot.

As for Detroit, that should be a pretty good pick for them, giving them a leader in the middle of their defense to go along with some nice young defensive lineman. Rod Marinelli is a defensive-minded coach, and it should be fun for Detroit fans to watch what might be a fast, powerful defense as Sims grows into his role.

LEINART IS ON THE PHONE!! IT'S TIME FOR ARIZONA TO DO SOMETHING SMART!! I DON'T LIKE THIS AS A SEAHAWKS FAN AT ALL!

10. Arizona
Gavin Pick: Winston Justice
Matt Leinart, QB

Wow. As an Arizona fan, you have to be ecstatic. You have Edge, you have Fitzgerald and Boldin, you have a new stadium, and you now have Matt Leinart, your franchise quarterback. Wow. In a year or two, you will challenge Seattle for the NFC West title (assuming offensive line growth, of course).

Wow. Great job, Denny Green. And, Arizona fans, you deserve this. Enjoy your time in the sun. In my opinion, after Reggie Bush, this might have the biggest impact on any team in the NFL.

Now it's time for the hated rivals to pick. Please do something stupid, St. Louis. Please.

Sweet. Denver has traded up, St. Louis down.

11. Denver
Gavin Pick: Santonio Holmes, WR
Jay Cutler, QB

Interesting. Looks like Jake Plummer's days are numbered in the Mile High Stadium, and Shanahan will make Cutler into a good quarterback IF Cutler has the intelligence and talent necessary. Denver has automatically become Skip Bayless' favorite team, since Bayless (a Vandy grad) has been slurping Cutler for the last three months. Bayless (and Jaws, and Steve Young) believe that Cutler is the best quarterback in the draft, though I don't know what it means that Cutler is the best "football player" in the draft, as per Steve Young.

Again, does that mean that other quarterbacks aren't "true" football players? I thought Donte Whitner was the most "true" football player....

By the way, looks like St. Louis picked up an extra 3rd rounder for moving down four spots. That might be worth it.....

OK, I have to comment on this. Those stupid runway model things with Bush, Leinart, etc.? Who came up with that idea? Are they related to the marketing genuises who decided on those two twerps for Applebee's?

Baltimore trades up one spot with Cleveland to probably take Ngata.

12. Baltimore
Gavin Pick: Jay Cutler
Haloti Ngata, DT

Yep, that's what they wanted to do, making Ray Lewis incredibly happy, since he's been whining on several television shows about how he needed a space-eater in front of him to free him up to be a superstar (actually, he was probably right).

You might be wondering where Gavin is, since this was supposed to be HIS live-blog. I won't tell the whole story, but it involves a puppy, a crate, and diarrhea. As for me, I'll valiently continue to try and care about some of these selections. Care, dang it! Care!

Lame Commercial of the Pick: ESPN Mobile. Yes, I desperately want to spend hundreds of dollars to turn my cell phone into an ESPN orgy of information. Please, please, disregard the fact that I have the internet, TV, and radio to already give me that same information.

13. Cleveland
Gavin Pick: Kamerion Wimbley, DE/LB

Kamerion Wimbley, DE/LB
Gavin's second correct choice. 2/13. Good job, Gavin, way to make SPU proud. Perhaps, if you had spent less time stuffing pens into your shirt pocket, you might have come up with a better way to predict what teams would do.

I know absolutely nothing about this guy, by the way, so..... whoo hoo! The NFL Draft! Yes! BAM!

14. Philadelphia
Gavin Pick: Chad Jackson, WR
Brodrick Bunkley, DT


And he's baaaaack. Back from picking up a dog with severe diarrhea, who has already soiled herself three times in the past hour. Awesome. Suffice it to say, she does not have the run of the apartment today. Anyways, I've missed quite a bit, more that I'll go over when I do the write-up/grades. A couple of thoughts... Buffalo and San Francisco are morons. Arizona gets a steal, but with Leinart's lack of mobility, if they don't get an offensive line he's going to get killed. I like ESPN's shot of some "athlete" lacing up shoes with the fog machine going and a TV with the Eagles playing on it. That's high comedy.

Anyways, thanks to Colin for picking up where I left off, for the absolutely incredible commentary, and for only ripping on me about half of the time. It is back to GAVIN's LIVE BLOG.

Suzie Kolber actually just asked Denny Green about the draft and the offensive line. His answer essentially was meaningless. "We have more draft picks". Yes you do... you also have the ability to lose many games next year as your current offensive line continues to resemble a sieve.

The selection of Bunkley appears to me to be a bit of an indictment against the lack of growth in Mike Patterson, who was supposed to be the replacement for Corey Simon. I still think they should have gone wide receiver, since their best wide receiver wouldn't be the number four on Seattle.

15. St Louis
Gavin Pick (to Denver): Santanio Holmes, WR
Tye Hill, CB


Terrible Commercial (I guess I'll pick up Colin on this one): All that Orbitz crap. I worked at a hotel and I can guarantee you that people who book online are NOT treated like VIPs. Hotels make little margin and will stick you in a smoking room with one queen... at least I sure did.

And so the Rams at least go defense. They sure did need help at pretty much every position, so I sure can't argue much with this. He's a darn good corner and will help the Rams.

16. Miami
Gavin Pick: Brodrick Bunkley
Jason Allen, CB


Well obviously Miami isn't going to take my player, since he's already off the board. I still think they go defense, either LB or CB.

ESPN promos really tick me off. All those pimp poses with the lights for the draftees? Say what?

Terrible commercial: Spin the bottle, starring San Francisco pants. If it truly was San Francisco, they should consider having it be two dudes. Note: opinions of this blog do not reflect that of blogger.com or subsidiaries.

Random Note: Sure did like the cutback to Boomer and the gang, followed by Michael Irvin throwing away a kleenex and then putting his hand on Chris Mortenson's, followed by Mort doing the "I'm not gay" rapid hand pull, followed by Mort subtly trying to clean his hands. That's why we live blog.

Interesting pick, don't know a ton about him since he was injured last year for a while. Miami does still need to rebuild its secondary, but I think they had a few other needs.

17. Minnesota
Gavin's Pick: Chad Greenway
Chad Greenway, OLB


Wow. I actually got another one right. But Minny did need some defensive help, although since all the WRs were still available I probably would have gone there. Remember, Koren Robinson. Koren Robinson.

18. Dallas
Gavin's Pick: Sinorice Moss
Bobby Carpenter, OLB


And Dallas, who didn't have any of the safeties available they had been rumored to select, reach for a linebacker instead of helping the offense. Huge Gavin Creed alert right here. Still, when paired with DeMarcus Ware, Dallas has a good young linebacking corps for that 3-4 defense. I suppose the fact Parcells coached his dad didn't hurt.

San Diego should take about two seconds now to pick a WR.

19. San Diego
Gavin's Pick: Johnathan Joseph, CB
Antonio Cromartie, CB


What exactly gives Shawne Merriman the right to ALREADY be a crappy player-analyst? One overrated year?

And now ESPN has that dude with the fog machine hitting a blocking sled? My lord.

Click-clack. Whatever that means, Under Armour.

I like that Coors Light love train commercial. It shows construction workers taking a group break. What a surpise.

Apparently, San Diego needed two seconds to ignore my advice. They really did need another WR. Seriously. Cromartie is a risk. I don't like NFL players with "upside". They just don't pan out as much. I actually agree with Mark Schlereth. "Potential" is a nasty word in the NFL. Now, ESPN did just remind me that the Chargers were 28th against the pass, which is why in my mock draft I had them drafting a corner. I just think that Philip Rivers needed more help in his first year.

20. Kansas City
Gavin's Pick: Ernie Sims, OLB
Tamba Hali, DE


I think David Stern should change the NBA dress code to incorporate that outfit Vince Young is wearing in that promo. That would rock.

Well, Kansas City reaches for that Penn State DE who was dropping down most team's draft boards. He hadn't really made most mock drafts, past Manny Lawson and that BC guy. I know Kansas City needed defensive help, and if he pans out he will give them two great young ends with Jared Allen.

21. New England
Gavin's Pick: Tye Hill, CB
Laurence Maroney, RB


Way to go Jets fans booing Herm Edwards heavily. You guys rule! Go Jets! He didn't just lead your team to a few playoff berths with class, you didn't run him out of town. It was all that jerk's fault.

What a surprise. That SI Pittsburgh Steeler championship commercial came on and I lost my appetite. But I'm not bitter.

Chad Jackson has some terrific eye candy around him.

I'm really surprised by this pick. Not only that the Patriots take a RB with their secondary depth and Corey Dillon, but picking him over DeAngelo Williams, who is definitely more talented. It's like Belichick and friends are bound and determined to prove that they are the geniuses and we are the ignorant peons. Either they will or the Patriots will start slipping back to the middle of the pack. Kiper's hair disagrees with this pick. Of course, since ESPN sucks at Belichick's proverbial teat, they don't spend much time criticizing anything at all.

San Fran sure has a lot of talent here to choose from. All the good WRs are still available and after losing Brandon Lloyd they need it. It will be difficult to argue any pick since just about every position (except TE for crying out loud).

22. San Francisco
Gavin's Pick: DeAngelo Williams, RB
Manny Lawson, DE


Fear the 49ers! They have a collective will in the locker room! Steve Young likes the will!

Well, I picked Williams over Lawson in my mock draft, but this is a good pick. They need some pass rushing to replace Julian Peterson. This will help. Maybe they'll win four games next year instead of three.

Quick prediction with Tampa Bay... Winston Justice is still available. WR help would be good as well...

23. Tampa Bay
Gavin's Pick: Manny Lawson, DE
Davin Joseph, G


Mario Williams sure does scream like a girl.

That United Commercial freaks me out. The after-school special animation plus the message, which apparently is that shoddy marketing graphs will help transmogrify business associates into nice people. I work in marketing. These people are never happy.

Best thing about this NFL draft? The picks are really happening well this time around. Last year I do this live blog and the first round sets a record. This year the picks have been really moving.

Well, at least this means that the Hawks won't draft Joseph. But seriously, did Winston Justice molest children or something? He is far superior to Joseph. Tampa Bay needed to have made that selection. This has been a really odd draft. That's the first time I'll write it and it won't be the last.

24. Cincinnati
Gavin's Pick: Bobby Carpenter, OLB
Johnathan Joseph, CB


I had Joseph going much earlier. He's a darn good one, and Cincinnati doesn't go against the Gavin Creed. One of the better picks of this first round, and I have no apparent criticism.

The Giants have a wealth of options here. Winston Justice, Chad Jackson, another corner. If they are playing the "best player available" card, they have to go offense.

25. New York Giants/Pittsburgh Steelers
Gavin's Pick: Ashton Youboty, CB
Santonio Holmes, WR


These picks start to be really fun, because these are all the teams with the fewest holes. These draft picks could make the difference between a wild card and division title, or how far that team can go in the playoffs. Huge picks.

I like watching Santonio Holmes yawn. Probably as tired of watching all those ESPN people as I am. Do they have him sitting in the warehouse or what?

Mission Impossible III and DHL, delivering your fake face masks for over fifty years.

In that Hampton Inn commercial, those business travelers sure look a lot happier than I normally do. With the sales guys they also forgot to show the beer and strip clubs. Those are pretty much the norm.

And the Steelers make a trade? What's this for? They had tons of options dropping to them at #32... and Santonio Holmes is now the replacement for Antwaan Randle El. While he won't do the trick plays, they obviously felt they needed to pull the trigger to make sure that gaping offensive hole was plugged. Good move. Good pick.

26. Chicago/Buffalo
Gavin's Pick: Mercedes Lewis, TE
John McCargo, DT


The Hawks sure have a ton of options left. All the DEs they were looking at are still left (Kiwanuka and Darryl Tapp). DeAngelo Williams is still left (although he won't be if Indy has a shot at him). Winston Justice is still left. LenDale White and Ashton Youboty are still left. Five picks to go.

Apparently Buffalo just traded for this pick, but I have no idea when or how. Go ESPN. Who the heck is John McCargo? He wasn't anywhere near this on anyone's boards, so why did they make this trade? Doesn't make a ton of sense. Chicago can probably still get Lewis or another TE with the traded-for pick.

Carolina has to pick DeAngelo Williams here. They can't be that stupid to pass on him.

27. Carolina
Gavin's Pick: LenDale White, RB
DeAngelo Williams, RB


This was a really fast pick, and it sure was easy. DeAngelo Williams is an absolute steal here. What a steal.

I just realized that Winston Justice STILL hasn't been taken. Wow.

28. Jacksonville
Gavin's Pick: Leonard Pope, TE
Mercedes Lewis, TE


Excellent pick here by Jacksonville. They needed the offensive help, and having a big guy in the middle of the field will help Byron Leftwich. He has good hands. The teams at the bottom of the draft are starting to capitalize on all the poor picks earlier today.

29. New York Jets
Gavin's Pick: Laurence Maroney, RB
Nick Mangold, C


Seattle will have a shot at Ashton Youboty I would assume, because neither the Jets or the Colts will pick him. I suppose the same with Jimmy Williams, even if he's a punk. Winston Justice is a dark horse too...

This isn't a bad pick at all. I think with the RBs available they could have gone there, but getting a guaranteed replacement for Kevin Mawae is terrific. The more I think about it, and better I like it. As always, get the offensive line set. Good pick. Now Indy has a big choice at RB. Let's see what they take.

Colin and I are starting to discuss that after I was drooling over LenDale White even DURING the college season that the Hawks are going to have a shot at him. That is strange.

30. Indianapolis
Gavin's Pick: Joseph Addai, RB
Joseph Addai, RB


Again a fast pick. We are rolling. Addai was the fit for him and this is a good pick.

And we are on the clock for Seattle! Look at all the quality available. The DEs and CBs are there. Winston Justice is there. LenDale White is there. I wouldn't be surprised if we take all 15 minutes to make up our minds. I can't guess, but I'm pumped about this. I have to go to the bathroom.

31. Seattle
Gavin's Pick: Daryl Tapp
Kelly Jennings, CB


Are they STILL showing that chick in the bathroom Southwest Airlines commercial? How long has that been playing now?

Have I mentioned that I hate those fog machine promos yet?

I like how it's been 10 minutes that the Hawks have been on the clock and ESPN hasn't actually talked about the TEAM yet.

And we take that CB, meaning we probably won't be going after Ty Law. We don't need a home run. We need a safe pick, like what Kiper is talking about. He's a quality guy, and our defense is stronger because of him. It might not be incredibly exciting, but who would have been?

Kudos to Boomer on the penalty flag joke.

32. Pittsburgh/New York Giants
Gavin's Pick: Nick Mangold, C
Mathias Kiwanuka, DE


Umm... doesn't this team have Osi Umenyiora and Michael Strahan? Don't they need CB help or LB help or WR help? I'm more than a little confused about this one.

That's the first round campers! More fun to follow! I'll be doing draft grades next week.

posted by Gavin @ 9:23 AM  2 comments

Friday, April 28, 2006

Hate Speech = Hot Pictures at SPU

See, Gavin, Dad, Jeff, etc.....

This is why you go to Whitworth.....

posted by colin_hesse @ 9:00 AM  0 comments

NFL Mock Draft: Gavin Edition

Finally. Oh-Dark-30 over in Toronto. The Mock Draft is done. Yes, it took some work last night in Montreal, and some crunching during the five freaking hours I spent in a minivan today, but it is done. So enjoy it suckers. Feel free to rip it apart, even if it is a work of inspired genius. You'll notice that I'm adding my egotistical Gavin Creed to this draft. Basically, I refuse to pull a Pete Prisco anywhere. Hopefully that holds up.

1. Houston
Needs: O-Line, LB, Team
Gavin Creed: Both
Reggie Bush, RB


I know, it’s the popular choice, but honestly should anyone consider someone else? I have watched Reggie Bush eat this country alive for the past two years. No one could touch him. Then I almost did what I hate… let pundits nitpick and convince me he wasn’t worth it. No way. While he still will need a decent offensive line, Reggie has Barry Sanders-esque ability to create his own hole in a way no one but Barry could. He immediately gives David Carr a better safety valve when his pocket collapses yet again. Even with Carr, I am a firm believer in not giving up too soon on QBs when they have no good help, especially at the line. If they ever figure out that protecting Carr could be a good idea, he will be much improved. Until then, Reggie Bush is the correct choice.

2. New Orleans
Needs: QB, WR, OL, Defense
Gavin Creed: Both
D'Brickishaw Ferguson, OT


New Orleans does have Drew Brees, although if they decide to keep him for more than one year they will have to restructure his contract. I would recommend doing so. None of the QBs in this draft could be considered a huge upgrade to Brees, even in the long term (perhaps if Young learns an NFL offense but there is no guarantee on that). So that leads us to Mr. Ferguson, oddly slipping down some draft boards while being the best tackle prospect in years to come out. New Orleans used their first round pick last year on Oklahoma's Jammal Brown, who showed a lot of promise. They have second year player Ben Archibald on the other side, not exactly an impressive player. Getting two solid young bookends like that would put New Orleans' offense on the track to long term success.

3. Tennessee
Needs: QB, WR, DE
Gavin Creed: Both
Mario Williams, DE


You’re going to notice a trend with these awful teams that, well, there was a reason they were that bad, and generally it’s because neither side of the ball could do anything right. Anyways, Steve McNair is apparently out and Billy Volek, who used to be the QB of the future, apparently is no longer in favor. Not sure when that happened. If there was a gamebreaker WR in this draft I would select it for Tennessee, who depended far too much on their TEs for my liking. Unfortunately there isn’t, so I have to fall back to plan B. That would be QB. Now we are in a bit of a conundrum between Matt Leinart and Vince Young. One the one hand you have Norm Chow as the offensive coordinator. On the other you have a more athletic version of Steve McNair. You know what? I can't do this. Billy Volek is a quality QB. Tennessee should actually give him a shot. Matt Leinart is not a significant upgrade and Tennessee can use this pick on Mario Williams, a huge upgrade to their young, leaky defense. Yes, Kyle Vanden Bosch was a nice surprise, but the depth isn't there and getting this type of edge rusher is just what the doctor ordered.

4. New York Jets
Needs: QB, RB, WR, OL
Gavin Creed: Offense
Matt Leinart, QB


The Jets, as I've written before, are prototypes for the Gavin Creed. They couldn't score at all and are far too dependent on a brittle quarterback in Chad Pennington. They will be ecstatic to have a winner like Leinart step in, especially one who has already had good experience running a complex NFL-style offense. Hopefully Leinart does get a chance to sit, but this would be a no-brainer.

5. Green Bay
Needs: D-Line, LB, OL, WR
Gavin Creed: Defense
AJ Hawk, LB


With the signing of Charles Woodson, the Packers can focus on their horrid run defense. The addition of Hawk could have similar results to Lofa Tatupu with the Seahawks. He is a huge talent and the Raiders especially will be sad to see him off the board. The Gavin Creed gives the offense a pass with the return of Lord Favre and the hoped-for health of Ahman Green, Najeh Davenport, and every other playmaker the Packers have to offer.

6. San Francisco
Needs: OL, Defense
Gavin Creed: Offense
Winston Justice, OT


If the 49ers draft Vernon Davis here I will pencil in the Hawks for the NFC West title for about ten more years, because of how ridiculous a pick that would be. Instead, the 49ers desperately need to protect Alex Smith. An aging Larry Brown is not the answer. Winston Justice has been shooting up draft boards and is the necessary complement for this struggling team.

7. Oakland
Needs: QB, Defense
Gavin Creed: Both
Vince Young, QB


No way Young slips past this team. Aaron Brooks is MOST definitely not a long-term answer, as anyone who has watched a remote amount of NFL the past few seasons would attest. Thus they need a QB in the worst way, and Young is far too big a talent to bypass for the unproven Jay Cutler. The defense will still be awful next year, though.

8. Buffalo
Needs: WR, OLine, DLine
Gavin Creed: Offense
Vernon Davis, TE


I would love to have the Creed pick out the offense even more, because of how abysmal it was, but Colin can attest to his fantasy-team killing Buffalo defense. It was not very good, in fact it was terrible, especially against the run. Getting Haloti Ngota would be a very good pick. Instead, though, I will acknowledge that Vernon Davis is still around and here it actually makes sense. His addition could be similar to Antonio Gates in taking the pressure off of Willis McGahee and with the loss of Eric Moulds Buffalo is in desperate need of a playmaker.

9. Detroit
Needs: Attitude Adjustment, OLine, LB, CB
Gavin Creed: Both
Michael Huff, CB-S


While Matt Millen will probably be tempted to take another wide receiver, there isn't an offensive player in the draft left to go this high. Therefore he is left with one heck of a good CB to pair opposite Dre' Bly. And Detroit fans can rejoice that the defense can see some improvement. Remember, they have some terrific young defensive lineman. Boosting the secondary could have a big effect.

10. Arizona
Needs: OFFENSIVE LINEMAN
Gavin Creed: OFFENSIVE LINEMAN
Eric Winston, OT


This actually becomes a little tougher for the Cardinals, because in this draft both Winston Justice and D'Brickishaw Ferguson are off the board, not exactly leaving much in the way of a top-ten offensive lineman. I don't care. The next best on the list is OT Eric Winston, so welcome to the Cardinals Eric.

11. St Louis
Needs: OLine, QB, DLine
Gavin Creed: Defense
Haloti Ngata, DT


I was actually pretty torn on this pick, because I really do like thinking about Jay Cutler. It is going against the Gavin Creed, but I don't see Marc Bulger having another healthy season. He is a victim of the Mike Martz offense, so taking Cutler gets good marks from me. However, the defense is still abysmal. The Hawks just demolished it twice and now they have lost a couple "key" tackles (by "key" I mean they started, not that they were all that good). It's a little ridiculous from any Rams fan's perspective to draft another defensive tackle, but when you can't stop the run you have to continue to start in the trenches. Hint: La'Roi Glover is old and Jimmy Kennedy hasn't proven anything yet.

12. Cleveland
Needs: WR, OLine, LB
Gavin Creed: Both
Kamerion Wimbley, DE/LB


While Cleveland's offense has a lot of question marks, they have the young guns already there (Braylon Edwards, Kellen Winslow Jr) to make some noise. On the flip side, it's time for former defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel to get some personnel to fit his 3-4 scheme. Wimbley is just perfect for it, a versatile player who has the speed to run down a receiver and the skills to rush the QB.

13. Baltimore
Needs: OLine, WR, RB
Gavin Creed: Offense
Jay Cutler, QB


I just can't let Cutler drop farther, and since the Kyle Boller experiment appears on its last legs, getting a nice talent like Cutler is going to look like a steal at number 13. If not a QB, the Ravens would probably have gone after the best RB available, DeAngelo Williams.

14. Philadelphia
Needs: WR, DE
Gavin Creed: Offense
Chad Jackson, WR


The howls you hear are coming from the Denver Broncos who desperately want Jackson. Well, if I'm the Eagles I HAVE to know that Reggie Brown is not the answer, Greg Lewis isn't an acceptable #2, and who knows what Todd Pinkston can bring to the party. Get the best WR in the draft and actually give Donovan McNabb someone to throw to when he drops back 80 times a game.

15. Denver
Needs: WR, RB, OLine
Gavin Creed: Balanced
Santonio Holmes, WR


Luckily for the Broncos, there isn't a significant talent gap between Jackson and Santonio Holmes, who will give them some competition for Ashley Lelie and some replacement for Rod Smith. Note: the Balanced line refers to the fact that the Broncos had a good offense and a good defense last year. There wasn't a gigantic weakness in either unit.

16. Miami
Needs: WR, OLine, LB, DT
Gavin Creed: Both
Brodrick Bunkley, DT


Miami did show large improvements during its first year under coach Nick Saban. However, there are still rather glaring weaknesses on both sides of the ball, and getting a nice young defensive tackle this late in the draft has to be seen as a major coup for Dolphin fans.

17. Minnesota
Needs: QB, WR, RB, LB
Gavin Creed: Both
Chad Greenway, OLB


As I have written before, Minnesota is going to be slightly overrated this season because of how they ended up, winning a few games against poor teams. Unfortunately, this has led to management deciding against many big splashes outside of the Hutchinson debacle. Any team that has its leading playmaker named Koren Robinson has some serious offensive issues. Unfortunately, there really isn’t an offensive player left on par with some of the defenders, thus Minny moves forward with Greenway. They won’t be disappointed. He is disciplined and fluid.

18. Dallas
Needs: QB, WR, Oline
Gavin Creed: Offense
Sinorice Moss, WR


This might seem a little high to take Moss, but his small playmaking ability will only be accentuated across from Terrell Owens. The Cowboys didn’t take my advice last year and watched their offense self-destruct and kill their playoff opportunities. They would be well advised to heed it now and add another young skill player to work with Drew Bledsoe... regardless of the crap Colin spews out about how great they're going to be.

19. San Diego
Needs: WR, CB
Gavin Creed: Balanced
Johnathan Joseph, CB


San Diego desperately needs a young WR, and if any of the big three (Jackson, Moss, Holmes) falls to them they will select them quickly. However, they do have a reasonable Plan B with as many good corners as are still available. Quentin Jammer hasn’t progressed as hoped and so a possible replacement is necessary. Joseph isn’t a character risk like Jimmy Williams and so is chosen ahead.

20. Kansas City
Needs: Replace Aging Everywhere, Defense
Gavin Creed: Defense
Ernie Sims, OLB


The Chiefs could just as easily go with DE Manny Lawson, but getting another terrific young OLB to pair with Derrick Johnson should be too much to pass up. While I would prefer that they begin to start filling in the gaps behind the offensive line and wide receiver corp, that's what the rest of the draft will have to accomplish.

21. New England
Needs: CB
Gavin Creed: Defense
Tye Hill, CB


The Patriots finally get some additional secondary help for when all their players get injured. Hill’s a quality corner with terrific potential. You can be sure that whatever corner Scott Pioli selects it will be a smart choice.

22. San Francisco
Needs: See above
Gavin Creed: Both
DeAngelo Williams, RB


Not too often a team gets a shot at a running back this good this far down in the draft. Again, DE Manny Lawson would be a good choice, but DeAngelo Williams is way too good to pass up. Frank Gore proved nothing last year. Giving Alex Smith a tackle (Winston Justice) and a SOLID back in Williams would go a long way towards starting 49ers fans towards the path of believing their management wasn't completely incompetent.

23. Tampa Bay
Needs: WR, LB, CB
Gavin Creed: Balanced
Manny Lawson, DE


So Lawson drops to #23, where the Bucs can really use his skills and youth as Simeon Rice and Co continue the aging process. A WR would be preferred, but there just isn't anyone truly available.

24. Cincinnati
Needs, DT, DE, OLB, CB
Gavin Creed: Defense
Bobby Carpenter, OLB


The Bengals need defensive help desperately, especially against the run. Carpenter should immediately provide help, pairing with promising rookie Odell Thurman to give the Bengals and guru head coach Marvin Lewis some terrific young options. However, if they pick a freaking offensive player here I'm going to flip.

25. New York Giants
Needs: WR, RB, OLB, CB
Gavin Creed: Both
Ashton Youboty, CB


Will Allen is gone, victim of being overrated and finally discovered at it. In his place is a lot of questions. Youboty is more polished than Antonio Cromartie and is just plain better than Kelly Jennings, so he gets the nod here.

26. Chicago
Needs: WR, TE
Gavin Creed: Offense
Mercedes Lewis, TE


Chicago desperately needs an offensive playmaker and Mercedes Lewis might actually be better than Vernon Davis. An underrated blocker, Lewis can stretch the field down the middle and hopefully help the Bears score enough points to take pressure off their defense.

27. Carolina
Needs: RB, OLB
Gavin Creed: Balanced
LenDale White, RB


I couldn't do it. I couldn't drop White out of the first round. I just like him too darn much. Carolina could really use his power and durability up the middle in the NFL. If he is anywhere close to the player he was at USC they won't regret it.

28. Jacksonville
Needs: Offensive help
Gavin Creed: Offense
Leonard Pope, TE


The Jags couldn't do much of anything against the Patriots in the playoffs and were "victims" of an incredibly weak schedule in which they thought they were far better offensively than they truly were. I'm still not sold on Byron Leftwich the QB, but at least Pope can give them another vertical threat down the field.

29. New York Jets
Needs: See above
Gavin Creed: See above
Laurence Maroney, RB


The Jets get their replacement for Curtis Martin, and a darn good one at that. Oddly these running backs, although not tremendously less talented than last year's, are getting pushed to the bottom of the draft. Doesn't make a ton of sense, huh?

30. Indianapolis
Needs: RB, CB
Gavin Creed: Balanced
Joseph Addai, RB


One more good RB left. The Colts have that gaping hole (no, I do not believe that Dominic Rhodes is a long term answer) and so can easily fill it. A perfect way to fall to #30.

31. Seattle
Needs: DE, CB
Gavin Creed: Best in the NFC, baby
Daryl Tapp, DE


Basically the Hawks are down to two needs. One: a corner to go opposite Trufant. Two: a DE to give depth behind aging veterans. There are good players still available to satisfy both needs. However, I want Ty Law, and so will focus on the next best defensive end available. That would be Daryl Tapp from Virginia Tech, who I like far better than that Mathias Kiwi guy, mainly because I actually saw Tapp play multiple times on big stages and perform well. He's undersized but that seems to fit right into what Ruskell likes.

32. Pittsburgh
Needs: Oline, RB
Gavin Creed: Balanced
Nick Mangold, C


Luckily they can't draft Jerome Bettis or his growing girth. Still, getting the best center available is a steal considering the aging going on in the interior of that overrated Steeler line. Not a bad way to end the first round.

Well... that's it! I'll be live-blogging on Saturday so be sure to tune in!

posted by Gavin @ 2:34 AM  1 comments

Thursday, April 27, 2006

And The Circle Of Life Continues....

As some of you might recall, nothing (NOTHING!!) in the history of the C.O. has ticked off Gavin and I quite like the undeserved love lavished upon the Arizona Cardinals last NFL offseason, while the Seahawks were usually picked to finish third in the NFC West.

Well, the balance was restored as the Seahawks went to the Super Bowl and the Cardinals finished a dismal 5-11 behind an atrocious offensive line and inconsistent performers, not to mention some absolutely odd coaching moves by one Dennis Green.

Fast forward to today. ESPN has decided to treat this year's NFL Draft as the next coming of Jesus Christ (included: more embedded reporters then in the whole of Iraq), and has spent the last couple of weeks focusing on every single team's glaring needs and weaknesses. Forget the fact that the draft doesn't exist to stop a team's glaring needs in a given season. The draft exists to build teams for future seasons, though in rare cases a star might arise, such as a Tatupu or Hill. Since I am grading papers, I figured that I would actually turn it on, hoping that I might get at least one glimpse of intelligence from the TV, if not from the papers I was grading (hint: learn how to spell "their" and "you're" before entering college).

I hoped wrong, turning on the show just as Trey and the boys finished up a killer interview with Coach Green and started debating about the future of the Cardinals. The question was posed to their super-sweet panel, "How Good Will The Cardinals Be?"

Horrible Answer By Sean Salisbury: "The Arizona Cardinals will have one of the best three offenses in the NFL."

Wow.

Double Wow.

Let's see here. What are some other possible teams that might, just MIGHT, have better offenses then Arizona in 2006?

How about......

Indianapolis: No Edge, but Peyton still exists.
Cincinnati: Carson Palmer is back and ready to roll.
Seattle: MVP. Hasselbeck.
Kansas City: NFL, Larry Johnson. Larry Johnson, NFL.
Dallas: I hate to say it, but a guy named T.O. will be roaming the sidelines.
New England: Tom Brady. Tom Brady. Tom Brady.

If this is the beginning of more Arizona-loving, I'll be outside waiting for the killer heat here in Phoenix to melt my brain.

This team did put together a top-10 offense and a top-10 defense last year, and STILL went 5-11. That's pathetic. This team did let their best quarterback, Josh McCown, go in free-agency, meaning that when Kurt Warner INEVITABLY misses a few games, the Cards' backup quarterback is John Navarre.

Grrrrrr. Thank you, Sean Salisbury, for the April "Stupidest Talking-Head Quote of the Month".

posted by colin_hesse @ 12:29 PM  0 comments

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Am I Forgetting Something.....?

I woke up from my sinus-induced layover in Gahnegon today, realizing that there was some tournament going on in the world of sports that we here at Crushed Optimists had not yet touched. No, it was not the Champions League semi-final, handled ably by Jeff, though I must raise my voice in objection to a sport where a team can advance to a final by scoring a whopping 1 goal in two games. Those standards would make the Seattle Mariners an elite baseball team. It was also not the Pac-10 men's golf tournament, where numerous golfers are, I am sure, golfing.

(Mental note: Never watch Tony Reali ever attempt to do Shakespeare ever again, especially when that leads into him talking about Ricky Williams and the marijuana. Makes me feel like I'm back on Gahnegon.)

No, the here-to-fore unappreciated tournament here at the C.O. is the NBA playoffs, home to Kobe, LeBron, Carmelo, Nash, and Shaq, where Ron Artest is revered in Sac-Town and the Anti-Christ continues to reign supreme in San Antonio, where THREE TEAMS below or at .500 made the playoffs from the Eastern Conference, and where you can stand to see some truly, truly awful refereeing before the month is over. I mean, you might complain about the NFL refs (I know I do), but NBA refs seem to be on perma-disconnect from reality, sorta like the ad guys over at Applebee's who thought to themselves, "You know what would make people really want to eat our shrimp? Let's hire two really annoying guys to play the song from 'Gilligan's Island' to some incredibly lame lyrics, and then, when everyone is sick and tired of THAT song, let's make some MORE commercials about our steaks, etc.!"

Why have we not talked about the NBA playoffs as much as last year? A few reasons come to mind....

1. The Seattle SuperSonics Sucked.
2. Sucktasm from the Seattle SuperSonics
3. The SuperSonics, from Seattle, Sucked.

Let's be honest. If the Sonics were in this postseason, you bet you would be getting lots of previews, reviews, analysis (probably poor in quality), and general espewing of knowledge and opinions. However, the Sonics decided that defense was for fairies, and, thus, once again my enthusiasm about the "sport" known as the NBA waned.

I admit, I have now watched about 30 seconds of the postseason (I saw Antonio Daniels commit a cheap foul and Mike Bibby miss a 3-pointer, whoopee!), but, besides that, I'm going to cheer for Phoenix and pay attention once the 2nd round starts. You see, especially in years like this, there are very, very few 1st round matchups to pay attention to.

San Antonio/Sacramento? Nah.
Denver/The Clips? Bah.
Miami/Chicago? Tis to laugh.
New Jersey/Indiana? Boring.
Jack Bauer/President Logan? Now you're getting somewhere.....

Due to my lack of watching the actual NBA season, I'm surprised that Steve Nash appears to have been voted MVP again, as I find it fairly unbelievable (with a tinge of racism on my part against white Canucks) that a white Canuck has won two NBA MVP's in this day and age. I also recall that only ONE NBA player this year scored 81 points in a single game. That wasn't Nash. Still, Nash has made Boris Diaw, Raja Bell, and Tim Thomas into actual scoring machines, and Phoenix returned to prominence even without STAT (Amare), Q, and Joe J., and much credit must be given to a floppy-haired peacenik.

Kobe, by the way, will be switching to #24 come next year in honor of earning more money in jersey sales. People will be shocked to discover that, with the change, Kobe's record will be completely expunged of any alleged wrongdoing in the state of Colorado, and his wife will give back her ring, also known as Mount Vesuvius.

You know what gets more press than the NBA playoffs? Brett Favre not retiring, which is the biggest non-story of the year. Reggie Bush gets more press. Barry Bonds hitting another meaningless homerun gets more press.

Still, I'll be interested in a round or two, especially if Phoenix is still around and San Antonio loses, maybe even chiming in with a round of predictions (though don't pay attention to who I picked before the season.... hint: Both Seattle and Houston figured prominently in my analysis).

Until then, go ahead and watch if you dare..... might be more interesting than watching the Mariners.

posted by colin_hesse @ 3:12 PM  0 comments

Arsenal 0 - 0 Villarreal (1-0 agg.)

One must breathe a sigh of relief and/or find a handy defibrillator to recover from such a debacle yesterday. Yes, I merely read the commentator's text of the match on gamecast and did not see anything, but the amount of pressure on the Gunners all game was immense (if only to the level bold text and ALL UPPERCASE depictions of shots on Arsenal's goal can convey). For goodness sake, the game flow was as follows: a couple questionable offside calls on Henry, then he disappears until 8 minutes from full time; Villarreal turning up the insanity meter at the end of the first half and can't hit the broad side of an open goal (apparently this was the case for one shot...but then again that might have been in the second half); after the break Arsenal come out with a newfound tactic (read "passing") and lose their short burst of fire within 20 min. Villarreal start the shot frenzy again and somehow Arsenal hold on. Yes, the same team that used to rely on scoring more than they allow (and actually were successful with that strategy at one time) now have gone 6 full games without allowing a goal. I struggle to write this because I can't believe it...first Real Madrid, then Juventus (Patrick, where art thou now?) and finally the cinder-rrealla (sorry I couldn't resist) Yellow Submarine--ALL BLANKED by Arsenal. In meaningful games. Incredible, really.

But I'm not done with the game recap. The last half of the second half was still going and I was sweating it out while I tried to do real work in Excel (I actually succeeded, amazingly!). Suddenly, when it seemed Arsenal was content to win difficult balls and then give them easily away on their own half again...Henry bursts toward goal and cuts diagonally to make (apparently) a nice shot. It doesn't go in (and thus the nail in the coffin remains somewhere to be found) and the pressure resumes back on the other side of the field. Five minutes from time and Villarreal seem to be slowly loosing steam. They're frustrated and the shots are decreasing. Then it happens. The worst text I could have seen came across the gamecast commentary: "RUBBISH!!! Arsenal give up a questionable penalty at the worst possible time!" or some other similar phrase dripping even more with Brit sarcasm and disbelief. My mind is running through the scenarios...they're now even with Villa and thus need to score. Probably will go to overtime and both teams are bushed. And we're not at home, which actually means a lot in soccer. INCONCEIVABLE!

And then the beams from above shine down (even visible through my CRT monitor) and I read in a dream-like state that "LEHMANN BLOCKS THE PENALTY!!" A rush of relief like the broken HVAC in my building actually being fixed by this summer kicks through my acid-soaked stomach (which was previously bathing my heart, by the way). With two minutes to go, momentum has finally switched. (and like the foul line in basketball that never lies, the proper ending to a worthless penalty call results in no goal). Villa still pressure but are beyond belief of their misfortune. One player (wish I remembered his name) from Villa actually makes the commentary log by stopping at midfield with hands on his hips while panting for breath...aghast at how fruitless this game ended. Stoppage time drags on for 4 painful minutes and - finally - Arsenal earn their place in their first Champions League final ever. Brilliant.

In retrospect, Arsenal probably should have lost this game. Their stunning defense has me wondering what happened to get them there...and now of all times. Sure, Sol Campbell has returned recently from injury. Maybe he is as good and as influential to this team as I feared when he originally went down. Either way, Gunners fans can celebrate this run and this year's surprisingly good lineup. Cheers, mates!

posted by El Jefe @ 12:41 PM  1 comments

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

NFL Mock(ed) Draft: Petey Prisco

I've already looked through this and I can GUARANTEE that I will mock heavily a few picks this time out. First up, I concur with Colin. Massive props to Tim Ruskell for landing us that backup free safety on the cheap. We didn't overpay to keep Manuel... in fact a major hubris of many championship caliber teams is not overpaying to keep replaceable players around. Now we give away a sixth round pick who wasn't going to make the team in order to get this need filled in time for the draft. Not bad at all. Also, apparently Lord Favre is coming back next year. Yippee. Apparently all that "the team needs to be more competitive" talk was just that... talk. The Packers did something that rhymes with "gyro" and still Favre is returning, which tells me he was coming back all along. I've seriously lost a lost of respect for the man.

Anyways, the purpose of this is ripping on Petey, so on to the fun!

1. Houston
Reggie Bush, RB


All fun aside, this should be the first pick in the draft. Any idiots who say that since his parents got some free rooms he should drop are sick in the head. And however sick in the head Prisco is on many items, he is on this one.

2. New Orleans
AJ Hawk, LB


Speaking of "sick in the head", I'm curious exactly what kind of wacky tobacky Prisco is smoking to come up with this pick, but New Orleans gets an automatic "F" from me if this actually happens. Is AJ Hawk a good linebacker? Yes. Is he worth the #2 pick in the draft if Leinart/Young/Ferguson are still on the board? Absolutely not. Remember, Drew Brees' contract has a huge kicker next year... meaning that a heir apparent might be in order. As Prisco puts it, "They need Hawk more than they need the other guys." Riiiiight.

3. Tennessee
Matt Leinart, QB


Leinart back with Norm Chow. Not a bad combination.

4. New York Jets
Mario Williams, DE


Regular readers of these mock-ed drafts will remember my distaste for teams who use their number one pick on the side of the ball where they need the least help. For future reference, we will call this the Gavin Creed. For example, the New York Jets couldn't score worth anything last season. They have a shaky quarterback, an aging running back, an aging offensive line, and little wide receiver depth. Now, I realize they have lost John Abraham, but this doesn't make much sense. Draft Ferguson. Draft Young.

5. Green Bay
Michael Huff, CB


I've been preaching the CB situation myself for Green Bay, so oddly enough I find myself starting to agree with this... until I realize that Green Bay just passed up Ferguson for this. What does the top O line prospect in the draft have to do, Prisco?

6. San Francisco
Vernon Davis, TE


Do I have to go through this again? ERIC JOHNSON. He's good. San Francisco is awful (again, Ferguson is still on the frickin' board here). I don't care what Davis' intangibles are. Prisco's absurd rationalization? "He can do for Alex Smith what Antonio Gates did for Drew Brees in San Diego." What?????? Alex Smith isn't going to have time to think about Davis before yet another defensive end crushes the life force out of him, inflicting +2 damage with his Sword of Spirit. Oh, and Petey? San Diego's offense has and will always be structured around this one guy named LaDainian Tomlinson.

7. Oakland
Vince Young, QB


While I still can quibble about not taking Ferguson here, Young is such a great talent that I find myself agreeing with this. Not to mention Vince feels like a good fit with what Al Davis likes to do in Oakland. The quarterbacks are in place to let Young sit for a year or two (which he needs to get over the simplistic offense he ran at Texas). Still... are the fans going to be patient enough once the real Aaron Brooks actually shows up?

8. Buffalo
D'Brickashaw Ferguson, T


Here's what Prisco has to say... "They Bills can't believe the answer to their left tackle woes is here. Ferguson will be a Pro Bowl player." AND SO WHY IS HE ALL THE WAY TO EIGHT, PETEY??? It's hard to even dignify this with a response. If Ferguson is still here, this is the biggest steal of the past five years.

9. Detroit
Jay Cutler, QB


Somehow I don't think that two months after signing both Jon Kitna AND Josh McCown that the Lions are going to be thinking quarterback. Still, Matt Millen's done some stupid stuff before. Frankly, they should consider some offensive line help.

10. Arizona
Winston Justice, T


I can't believe this. I'm stunned. The only pundit I've found who has asked the Cardinals to do something smart, like draft an offensive lineman. For someone who inconceivably dropped Ferguson, this might be the best pick of this entire mock draft. A kudos to Petey Prisco!

11. St Louis
Brodrick Bunkley, DT


I would love to take the kudos away here, but it is difficult. The Rams still, after all their issues and past drafts, need help at DT in the worst way. It would be a pathetic indictment of their failures, but sometimes you do have to bite the bullet and move forward.

12. Cleveland
Kamerion Wimbley, DE/OLB


Prisco decides to move against the Gavin Creed with this pick. No one really knows if Kellen Winslow is going to be healthy again, and Braylon Edwards sustained a bad injury. Another wide receiver would sure look nice. But sure, add a defensive end for Crennel's defense. It's his strength anyways. So only slight marks against Prisco here.

13. Baltimore
Jonathan Joseph, CB


But large marks against the Gavin Creed on this pick. Yes, Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle are aging, but last time I checked, Baltimore missed the playoffs because they have an aging offensive line that couldn't block for a running back that has lost a ton of steam. There are several terrific backs still on the board. Not addressing the offensive woes will guarantee Baltimore another place on the outside looking in.

14. Philadelphia
Ernie Sims, LB


This is not an awful pick. Philadelphia's defense took a rather large step back last season and was almost as big a culprit for their collapse as the injuries on offense. However, the Eagles need wide receiver help bad, and Chad Jackson is still on the board.

15. Denver
Chad Jackson, WR


If Jackson does in fact fall to Denver, they will take about two seconds before making the pick official. Ashley Lelie is a disappointment. Rod Smith is approaching 80 years old.

16. Miami
Jimmy Williams, CB


Nick Saban takes a kid with some serious character problems here. I'd probably go with one of the other first round corners if Miami wants to go that route. With the age at linebacker, I might consider Greenway as well.

17. Minnesota
Chad Greenway, LB


No one apparently thinks Minnesota needs much offensive help. They got Steve Hutchinson after all. Why would they need anything? This is the downside of a winning streak in the NFL, especially when it comes against bad opponents. People conclude a team is better than it actually is, in this case Minnesota with Brad Johnson. There are far too many potential offensive weapons for a team with Koren friggin' Robinson as its main attraction to pass on.

18. Dallas
Donte Whitner, S


As you are all aware, this is a HUGE Gavin Creed no-no here. Dallas is the epitome of the Gavin Creed. Earth to Cowboys and all pundits... safety is not your issue. Please, for the love of all that's holy, draft offense if you want to be good any time soon.

19. San Diego
Santonio Holmes, WR


Real easy pick right here. San Diego desperately needs another wide receiver so teams quit triple-teaming Antonio gates. Holmes is the next best receiver and well worth this pick.

20. Kansas City
Manny Lawson, DE


I have to be honest. I have no clue who Manny Lawson is. I will say, as I have before, that Kansas City should try to start upgrading their aging offense, even if I understand that the defense still needs work. Basically, I would hate being their general manager.

21. New England
DeAngelo Williams, RB


Absurd Petey Rationalization: "They have to get some sort of running game going again to take the pressure of Tom Brady. Williams has big-play speed." So... a team with Corey Dillon and Kevin Faulk and serious needs in their secondary will take a running back because he's fast? That's nuts. There are way too many good corners in this draft for the Patriots to pass.

22. San Francisco
Tye Hill, CB


San Francisco drafts a CB! The crowd goes wild! Personally, I'm not going to be happy with the 49ers until they get some serious offensive line help, but this is at lesat a start at one hole (of many).

23. Tampa Bay
Eric Winston, T


As I have said many times, draft a good offensive lineman, especially a tackle, and I won't put up much of a fuss.

24. Cincinnati
Antonio Cromartie, CB


Petey follows the Gavin Creed to the letter, eschewing (vocab time!) the pundits who predict an offensive selection. However, it's one thing to think defense, it's another to make an awful pick at defense. Cromartie has proven nothing except that he can run fast. Does that make him a first round pick? Maybe in the NBA. I see Bobby Carpenter's name below. It shouldn't be.

25. New York Giants
Bobby Carpenter, LB


This draft was done before the signing of LaVar Arrington, but even with that the Giants could use the linebacking help. A CB would be a good selection as well.

26. Chicago
Mercedes Lewis, TE


Another good Gavin Creed pick, and this time Prisco hits it on the head. Lewis was the top TE in the country last year, and would immediately help the Chicago offense.

27. Carolina
LenDale White, RB


I still like White (he mutters to himself while entertaining serious doubts). I'm not sure if he's going to make the first round in my draft. However, the Panthers could sure use a RB.

28. Jacksonville
Thomas Howard, LB


Gavin Creed alert! While I acknowledge that I really like Thomas Howard and think he's going to be a playmaker, the Jags will not be able to put up points against any decent defense, meaning their fans will get ready for another first round exit if they focus on defense. Getting a WR to replace Jimmy Smith might be better.

29. New York Jets
Laurence Maroney, RB


The Jets do much better with their second pick in Prisco's draft, getting a solid heir apparent to Curtis Martin.

30. Indianapolis
Joseph Addai, RB


The Colts make out well with the last first round RB. Addai won't make fans forget Edgerrin James, but he'll pick up good chunks of yards on those edge rushes the Colts run so well.

31. Seattle
Deuce Lutui, G


(Deep Breath) And so it comes to this. If ever we had a sign that Petey Prisco knew nothing about the Seattle Seahawks, it's with this pick. How much money does this joker get paid? People, we have insane offensive line depth. Teams would kill for our offensive line depth. We don't need this guard, especially one who has question marks. For crying out loud, Prisco, do you even look at rosters? Here's a quick thought... try NFL.com for a change. It's two seconds and it could help you out a lot.

32. Pittsburgh
Chris Chester, G-C


Again, a decent offensive line prospect for the team with an overrated line will provoke no witty retort from me. A decent final showing for the Prisconator.

Campers, my own mock draft will be out later this week. Feel free to rip it the same way I like ripping these yokels. However, I can personally guarantee it will be better than Petey's... mine will use this thing called "logic".

posted by Gavin @ 9:06 PM  0 comments

Thoughts From Planet Gahnegon

The last week and a half have found me in a sinus-related stupor, then mixed with various decongestents, antibiotics, and, yes, steroids (for anti-inflammatory purposes). To be sure, this has caused my attention span, short as it is, to completely disappear, and my drive to blog become as low as Mr. Beltre's batting average. However, enough is enough, and it is time to return to the world of writing about needless Seattle sports matters and ripping on Gavin.

First up, isn't it time for the NFL draft already? I mean, I'm a raging NFL fanatic, and even I am pretty sick and tired of the play this has gotten over the last two months. We have Reggie Bush's parents getting (perhaps) free room and board from some jerk, Vince Young testing lower then an average 3rd grader, Matt Leinart already acting like a big star in the NFL without taking a snap, Mario Williams somehow jumping into top contention because of his tremendous upside, and Mel Kiper Jr.'s hair is starting to resemble some asteroid formation from "Battlestar: Gallactica". All in all, it's just about time for teams to actually pick their players so that we can get a much better picture of how the next season might go down, especially in the NFC West, where both St. Louis and Arizona are making waves about picking up Jay Cutler, which makes absolutely no sense for either team. St. Louis has Bulger, who is an above-average QB when healthy, and Arizona..... well, if the first pick in their draft doesn't weigh over 300 pounds and stand IN FRONT of the quarterback, then they're even more stupid than I thought and Denny Green really has no idea about the importance of an offensive line to an offense.

If you are interested in seeing how the experts feel that Seattle will go, click on over to Mike Sando's blog. Sando, you might realize by now, absolutely rocks, and has compiled a list of the possibly-Hawks, which includes standouts like Kelly Jennings, Jonathan Joseph, and Mathias Kiwanuka.

However, one way they will NOT go now, more than likely, is for a safety, after trading their 6th rounder to the Bears for S Mike Green, who becomes a better backup than even Marquand Manuel last year. In short, another tremendous move by Mr. Ruskell, who adds another piece to the puzzle without breaking a sweat (and paying less than Green Bay is paying Manuel). Don't get me wrong, Manuel helped us last year, but he is, quite simply, not the talent that Green Bay thinks it is getting. He's not a starter, he's a capable backup. Green, however, has started 45 games for the Bears, and will be ready to step up if Hamlin can not return or is bothered by his head injury.

This move would seem to leave us in the position of picking up the best cornerback available at pick #31, but, remember, Ruskell surprised us last year with Spencer, so we won't know until about 6 hours into the draft coverage on Saturday (or however long it takes).

Speaking of draft coverage, last year's event had one defining event for the Seahawks that did not include an actual pick. As fans might remember, Tory Holt was a guest analyst for ESPN that day, and was asked his opinion of why the Rams seemed to own Seattle. He answered, quite honestly, that he thought that the Rams were mentally tougher than Seattle and had the edge going into the 4th quarter. I remember sitting on my couch, listening to his spiel, and completely agreeing with him. Here's hoping that the Seahawks don't return to those ways next season, because that mental toughness would seem to be the one pressing issue between them and a trip to Miami, because they WILL have the most talented team in the NFC.

I probably should mention the Mariners, if only to reach my quota of Mariners sentences for any given ramble. Eddie Guardado. Sucks.

Moving on, in case any of you cared, the US Women's Curling Team (my fantasy baseball team) rocked Gavin's team to the tune of 9-3 this past week, led by outstanding weeks from Pedro, Carlos Delgado, and Jason Giambi, who some fool released after ONE WEEK. I mean, wow. A guy doesn't show up for ONE WEEK and you release him? That's just not paying attention to the simple fact that everyone goes through bad weeks and the season stretches until September. Anyways, my team thanks him, because he took my utility role, delegating one Beltre to the bench where he can sit and rot.

What else, what else, what else.....

In case you're wondering, you should probably just stop reading now, because the information coming out of my brain, in all probability, has been "refined" by whatever drug is percolating through my system right now. That and watching an episode of "Spongebob Squarepants" who, while perhaps not gay (with all apologies to James Dobson), never really seems to be, well, funny. Or interesting. Actually, I should probably turn the channel to the Food Network to watch that saucy Italian chef, Giada something or other, make stuffed manicotti. Mmmmmm.

It's official. I have nothing left to write. Goodbye, readers, from Planet Gahnegon. I'll write you again when I return.

posted by colin_hesse @ 2:20 PM  0 comments

Monday, April 24, 2006

Futbol

So El Jefe ringing in here with a hearty "gracias!" to the crushed duo who have generously allowed me to take up some space here with some soccer musings (some related to The Cup, others - well, who knows?). One thing for sure is that Arsenal seek to gain passage to the biggest club final of the year tomorrow. They travel to Villarreal (yeah, I'm pretty sure that's how it's spelled but don't ask me to roll my rr's) por la manana and hope to end the cinderella-esque run the "Yellow Submarine" have enjoyed thus far. Yes, you heard it right, a team named after one of the worst Beatles songs. Personally, I'd rather have a team nicknamed "Something in the way of the Magical-Mystery-Rubber Soul-Walrus" but one can only imagine the acronyms that would result (hey, I'm a boeing guy...acronyms are our specialty), much less the beyond awful jersey Nike would be sure to come up with...ugh. But I digress from the real point here that Arsenal take a 1-0 lead going into a tough away game I expect them to handle. They are favored, yes, but will have to battle - and if they are worth the run they've had thus far this year, my money is on them to end tomorrow 1-1 and win the aggregate 2-1. The final may be another thing all together, but it's bad form to even consider that now...semifinals are often not cakewalks (drat, what's the british equivalent of such a metaphor here?).
It all gets started somewhere around 11:30am pacific time. You know I'll be gamecasting it via espn at work...viva the Gunners!

posted by El Jefe @ 8:19 PM  0 comments

Friday, April 21, 2006

Random Ramble - Gavin Style

Colin's made these rambles "famous" on this blog (and by "famous" I mean interesting to read incoherent thoughts put down by an insomniac on nights when his neighbors are enjoying themselves physically extremely loudly), but I haven't done so, generally because it's easier to link to articles that do my thinking for me.

Today, though, I was looking through this past week and realizing that Colin and I didn't write much at all. In fact, it was one of our lighter weeks in recent memory. Instead of throwing out the standard "I was busy and have a life" excuses that are actually fairly lame, since I have a 50+hr/wk job and Colin's just about gotten his masters (in communications, yes, but a masters all the same) I tried thinking about a few stories I could write about. That just got me depressed.

Nationally? I could write about the continued Barry Bonds steroids allegations, and rehash extremely tired storylines. Either I could be outraged by a "cheater" passing Hank Aaron or outraged by Bud Selig using a crony (George Mitchell) to "investigate" claims that he knows full well are validated by HIS OWN FRIGGIN' KNOWLEDGE. And of course we, the fans, eat up this farce by calling sports talk shows to spout the same tired cliches about how outraged we are. Does anyone remember all those articles about Bret Boone turning into "Superman" before the 2001 season? I sure do. That's why Colin and I don't write about this crap. It's moronic.

I could write about lacrosse players at Duke allegedly raping a black stripper, but everything about that story makes me angry. Whatever happened to "innocent before proven guilty"? Apparently our fever swamp media didn't get that meme, rather playing up the rich white boy vs poor black female story. Those damn rich white boys. I hate them all.

I could even write about how no one in my generation appears to know simple grammar, since they all have grown up on AOL IM and so insist on obliterating any realistic view of the English language.

Locally I could think about putting together a Sonics post-mortem, but honestly, why would I desire to do that right now? Honestly, who the heck knows what this team will do? Will they even be in Seattle in two years? Will a team that wants to prove that it's hemorraghing money poney up for Chris Wilcox and Luke Ridnour or will it, like Milwaukee a couple of years ago, build everything on the cheap in an effort to value the franchise for potential buyers, thus paving the way for a rich white boy with a ridiculous moustache (maybe Adam Morrison instead of Andrew Bogut?)? That's just depressing to think about, and I don't even need to read another Art Thiel piece to get that perspective.

I could write about the Mariners, but I have been so disillusioned this year. I'm not sure what the problem is. A couple of years ago I waited until the first possible day to buy tickets and then went and bought 10 games. This year I waited until I was sure Felix was going to make a start and had a friend buy them two days before. Last year we did Week in Reviews to start the year. This year every loss feels inevitable. The Optimists side of me on this franchise has already been Crushed. Anyways, when I feel better, as I did yesterday, Eddie Guardado goes along and pulls a Bobby Ayala on us. Is it just me or do our pitchers walk everybody? It makes innings last forever and it's boring as all get out. While I'm not to the odd "hate him no matter what" view that the USSM guys apparently have taken on Carl Everett (apparently not believing in dinosaurs and having unproven abuse allegations is enough to hit the permanent blacklist for statheads... I'll keep that in mind), I'm still not excited about his presence on this team, and since Mike Hargrove is still one of the worst managers in baseball we're guaranteed to see pure stupidity at its finest on a regular basis, like having Matt Lawton DH and Willie BallGame play centerfield. Maybe they go on a run and enthrall the locals, but until then it's just depressing to have to consider a few more months of Sexson strikeouts and Beltre whatever-the-heck-his-problem-is.

That's probably why I got so excited when the long awaited call from the Seahawks came and I became an official season ticket holder with actual seats. That got me as excited as I've been in a while. Sad, huh?

So it's too bad we haven't written more recently, and perhaps time will bring more interesting stories (the NBA playoffs? Ummm.... the possibility of the snoozefest Detroit/San Antonio still looms and as long as the Anti-Christ (Ginobili) is in there I'm avoiding it, not to mention the atrocious officiating that is, admittedly, worse than the NFL), and until then, I guess it's just time to continue to ramble.

8 days until the NFL Draft!

Go Hawks!

posted by Gavin @ 3:04 PM  2 comments

Seahawks, Kiss The 2006 Season Goodbye....

It's official, Seahawks fans.

Your Seattle Seahawks WILL fail to qualify for the 2006 NFL postseason.

Again, it WILL happen. Don't bet money on the Hawks. Don't cheer for the Hawks. Don't DARE believe in the Hawks.

Why?

Well (notice, by the way, the excellent Steve Kelley impression right now, with one sentence paragraphs that have filled several lines without saying anything at all), some might say that it is because of the crushing loss of J.J. and Hutch, as well as Mike Holmgren still aching from the Super Bowl and Shaun discovering that, due to the presence of his millions of dollars, he doesn't have to block anymore.

Some might say that offensive guru Scott Linehan will mesh with the St. Louis Rams and return them to the promised land, or that Kurt Warner will call on his favorite person (Jesus? No. His wife.) and get the strength and purity of heart to stay healthy and propel the Cardinals to the NFC West title (a chill just went down my spine).

However, the truly enlightened (including several talking heads on esspen) know that the Seahawks are doomed because they have fallen under the spell of two HORRIBLE NFL curses. First, they are the Super Bowl loser. The loser of the Super Bowl has failed to make the postseason in each of the last five seasons, including supposed powerhouses like Tampa Bay, Philly, and Oakland. Second, and more importantly, a Seahawk (namely, Shaun) is featured on the cover of Madden 2007.

BAAAAAAAAAHHH!! THE CURSE!!!! THE CURSE!!!!

Donovan McNabb last year? Injured. Mike Vick? Injured. Marshall Faulk? Injured. Ray Lewis? Sub-par year.

Shaun is, thus, headed to the DL at some point this season, and will experience a sub-par year in addition.

But, at the very least, A SEAHAWK IS FEATURED ON MADDEN 2007!! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT!!! Seriously, at no point in my lifetime did I seriously expect a Seahawk to be on that cover. That's like the Holy Grail of game covers, and pushes the chances up to about 170% that I will purchase this game for the XBox 360 (First thing I will do in that game? Replay the Super Bowl on Easy and beat Pittsburgh by about 200 points while trying to injure Jerome Bettis on every play that he is in).

Jokes aside, this is for sure. The Seahawks are going to be under the spotlight next season in a way that they have never seen. Their games will be scrutinized more, losses will be highlighted as crushing blows, and every post-game quote by Shaun or Holmgren will be plastered on ESPN bulletin boards. A lot of people are expecting the Hawks to wilter under this scrutiny, sort of like how a number of them wilted in Detroit last February, and these sort of "curses" will just encourage those sort of people to further believe that the Hawks were a fluke.

Bring it on.

I'm gone this weekend, but will be back with (hopefully) more stuff next week. School is winding down, which means more actual work to do.

posted by colin_hesse @ 2:27 PM  5 comments

Crushed Futbol: Introduction Time!

As the World Cup draws near, it's time for the Crushed Optimists to rack up our soccer coverage. Although I consider myself a decent soccer fan, willing to get up at 3 am to watch every US match four years ago, I'm nothing next to former roommate Jeff Sawatzky. Jeff, beyond playing soccer every chance he gets, is a rabid Arsenal fan and has bloodlines I lack (cousin Darren Sawatzky was a former star of the Seattle Sounders). Therefore we thought it a good time for a different perspective, likely one far less bitter and cynical.

Jeff will be joining the crew during this fun run, dispensing his tidbits of wisdom on why the US can actually make it to the second round through the murderer's row of Italy, Czech Republic and Ghana.

So welcome Jeff!

posted by Gavin @ 11:40 AM  0 comments

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Ultimate Explosion!!

Short Explosion today... very slow national news day...

Congrats to Ray Allen on the 3 point record! Kinda odd to look at how better his stats were this year, but he also had much less help. Now we could look forward to next season or we could just continue to listen to rich white men bicker about wealth. Awesome.

Congrats to Carlosaurus Everett for that bomb. Most excited I've been during an inning of baseball in a really long time. Watched the inning again last night afterwards, still got chills. Listened to the bomb today, still got chills. That's what we've been missing in the summer for a while now. Hopefully Beltre can learn how to continue to hit that low outside pitch, because that was a very nice double in the eighth as well. I think we have learned, however, that this team goes with Ichiro. Every game we can't score runs he sucks. Every game we go nuts he goes off. For better or for worse, we are tied to the slap hitting wonder.

It's a beautiful day! Enjoy it!

posted by Gavin @ 2:23 PM  0 comments

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

2006 NFL Mock(ed) Draft: Don Banks

I'm not a huge Don Banks fan, as he was one of the many who predicted first Washington, then Carolina, then Pittsburgh to beat the Seahawks for what could only be called asinine reasons. Therefore I will hopefully take some pleasure in ripping this mock draft for all it's worth.

1 Houston RB Reggie Bush USC
No different from the last one, no different from the next one. Here's a thought... should the Texans actually consider D'Brickashaw Ferguson? That offensive line is so awful that getting such a terrific tackle prospect could help David Carr and Dominack Davis become the playmakers their talent requests.

2 New Orleans DE Mario Williams N.C. State
Oddly enough, I agree with this pick. You have Drew Brees now, even if the contract is structured easily enough to be a one year shot. Fill another hole, and that defense has plenty. Yes, it is the number two pick, but enough of this crap about not picking the player you want because he's "not supposed to go that high". What is that?

3 Tennessee QB Matt Leinart USC
A good pick if you take Norm Chow into consideration. A bad pick if you like Vince Young better (which I go back and forth on almost daily).

4 NY Jets OT D'Brickashaw Ferguson Virginia
The Jets get an amazing tackle prospect, which I like. However, they badly need a replacement for Curtis Martin. Well, I did say I wouldn't argue much with any team drafting a good offensive lineman so I won't start now.

5 Green Bay LB A.J. Hawk Ohio State
This is exactly what we dealt with last time. Look people, the Packers need many things, but to me, you either draft a corner on defense or you think about surrounding Aaron Rodgers with actual talent. Personally, judging from what I wrote below, I'm starting to believe that helping Aaron Rodgers succeed might be more valuable.

6 San Francisco TE Vernon Davis Maryland
Here we go again. HAS ANYONE HEARD OF ERIC JOHNSON BEFORE? The ONE bright spot two years ago? San Francisco has so many holes that it is utterly ridiculous to obsolete the best offensive player on the team. My word.

7 Oakland DB Michael Huff Texas
If I was Oakland I'd be looking at a linebacker, but Huff has impressed and they need to replace Charles Woodson, so if AJ Hawk isn't on the board this isn't a bad second option.

8 Buffalo DT Haloti Ngata Oregon
This feels a little high, especially with how weak the Bills were offensively last year. Still, the defense needs the help and good defensive tackles are hard to find.

9 Detroit CB Jimmy Williams Virginia Tech
While Jimmy Williams is a good talent I'm not a fan of this pick. Detroit already has Dre Bly, a solid shutdown corner. Again, when you have a ton of holes, pick one better, and when there are players like Winston Justice and freaking Vince Young out there it is almost idiotic for Mr. Banks to pick Williams here (side note: why the heck would Oakland pass on Young too? Because Aaron Brooks wouldn't like it?).

10 Arizona QB Vince Young Texas
You have got to be friggin' kidding me. For starters, no way Vince Young or Jay Cutler should be around at this point in the game. Teams like Oakland and Buffalo need quarterback help enough to not afford passing on such talents. Since this is a fairyland pick, I'll just restate that Arizona needs offensive line help... badly. Vince Young... riiiiight.

11 St Louis QB Jay Cutler Vanderbilt
Like I wrote before, if Cutler is available here, the Rams need to take him. Otherwise I would assume someone like Ngata might be around (think defense for once, Rams).

12 Cleveland LB Ernie Sims Florida State
Beware the phrase "shooting up draft boards". Oftentimes to me that's followed by "impressed at the combine with his vertical leap" and "overshawdowed often disappointing college career". As it is, there are more accomplished linebackers in this draft (Carpenter etc) that would be better suited for Crennel's defense. If they needed Florida St I would probably go with that DT Bunckly guy anyways.

13 Baltimore DT Brodrick Bunkley Florida State
Next in the lineup of teams with awful offenses who draft defensively comes Baltimore apparently. Now, Baltimore could use some support up front, so this isn't an awful pick, but OT Winston Justice would be a better pick to apprentice under an aging Jonathan Ogden.

14 Philadelphia WR Chad Jackson Florida
Philadelphia desperately needs WR help. This is a good pick.

15 Denver RB DeAngelo Williams Memphis
While RB isn't a bad pick, I don't like the type of RB chosen. Williams isn't a bruiser, and in fact Denver already has Williams in Tatum Bell. If LenDale White wasn't lazy he would be a better power back to work with Bell. Otherwise, as we saw in the previous draft, Denver needs another WR badly (or perhaps Winston Justice).

16 Miami OT Winston Justice USC
If Justice is actually available this low Miami could not pass him up. However, the only reason he would be this low would be if morons like Banks were drafting before him.

17 Minnesota CB Tye Hill Clemson
I love Banks' input on this one, "The Vikings have the ammo to move up in the first round in pursuit of a franchise quarterback like Cutler, maybe to No. 10 Arizona. But if they stay put, getting depth for their secondary, where they lost third cornerback Brian Williams in free agency, is the logical choice." Yes, because when you missed the playoffs replacing your third string cornerback is the logical choice in the draft... not replacing your franchise quarterback or top wide receiver.

18 Dallas S Donte Whitner Ohio State
What is it with these people? Dallas doesn't need defensive help as badly as offensive people! Get Sinorice Moss! Get someone on the other side of the field from TO. Get an offensive lineman who can block for Julius Jones. Don't get a safety!

19 San Diego WR Santonio Holmes Ohio State
San Diego needs wide receivers. Holmes is a wide receiver. Easy pick.

20 Kansas City CB Johnathan Joseph South Carolina
Just like last time, I hate Kansas City not starting to replace their aging offense, but their defense continues to struggle to the point that help is necessary. I would say that given the closing window of opportunity, picking a position that is guaranteed to struggle in year one is probably not a great move.

21 New England LB Chad Greenway Iowa
I actually like a CB better here for the Patriots, who have struggled with depth the past two years. Still, getting Greenway here would be a nice coup. Greenway easily fits the smart, playmaker mold of NE linebackers.

22 Denver WR Sinorice Moss Miami
As I said above, Denver needs WRs.

23 Tampa Bay CB Antonio Cromartie Florida State
"Cromartie remains a question mark on some boards, because he missed all of 2005 with a knee injury. But he ran two 40s in the 4.3 range, jumped 42 inches vertically and has shown enough potential to find his way into this section of the first round." This isn't the NBA. Anyone who misses ALL of 2005 with a serious knee injury should not be drafted in the first round. Period.

24 Cincinnati TE Marcedes Lewis UCLA
Do these mock drafters share idiot notes or what? Do they watch NFL games? If I remember correctly, the Bengals had no problem scoring points... it was the points they gave up that bit them in the end. So by that logic, taking a TE solves what? If the Bengals draft offense, they get an automatic F in my draft recap.

25 NY Giants LB Bobby Carpenter Ohio State
If Carpenter is still available this is a major coup for the Giants.

26 Chicago TE Leonard Pope Georgia
FINALLY! A team with major issues on one side of the ball drafts on that side of the ball. Chicago drafts a decent tight end! Don Banks saves the day!

27 Carolina RB Laurence Maroney Minnesota
This is a good long term pick, which I like because it doesn't address anything that would make Carolina favorites in the NFC over the Seahawks.

28 Jacksonville DE Tamba Hali Penn State
Two picks after finally coming through, Banks tumbles back into mediocrity. The Jags need offensive help. Any decent defense really held them in check. Don't let their cake schedule last year fool you into thinking they and Leftwich are fine standing pat.

29 NY Jets RB LenDale White USC
Although I'm a big White fan, if I'm the Jets I'm hoping to take a bit more of a sure thing to back of Curtis Martin, like Maroney. White should be seen as a two-three year project right now.

30 Indianapolis RB Joseph Addai LSU
This is who NY should be taking with the previous pick. If he is still here, good job Indy.

31 Seattle DE Kamerion Wimbley Florida State
I have to give Banks some props for actually considering a DE for the Seahawks when just about everyone else has them looking at CB or S, including John Clayton. However, Wimbley isn't who I would want, as I like either the Louisville or Boston College rushers better.

32 Pittsburgh C Nick Mangold Ohio State
If a decent WR isn't available this is a good pick, but man, if they can't get a decent WR this will be a disappointing draft.

Well, I would probably say that Banks did a better job than our last contestant, but I won't be happy until these people stop filling unnecessary holes. On to more fun!

posted by Gavin @ 2:05 PM  0 comments

Ultimate Explosion!!

This will be a quick one since I'm trying to put together another Mock(ed) Draft today. In fact, there is very little to discuss with Seattle teams but a few decent national stories that caught my attention.

I thought I'd post this list of current early entries into the NBA draft... although the list doesn't include Adam Morrison yet. Personally, here then is my list of early entries who help us push Brandon Roy back towards the Sonics (note: I think Roy's better than most of these, but scouts like "upside"):

Adam Morrison, LaMarcus Aldridge, Josh Boone, Rudy Gay, Nick Fazekas, Tyrus Thomas

Well, that's six guys. Add Shelden Williams and a few other players and we're in business.

Chad Ford has a good longer follow up on my thoughts yesterday on Rudy Gay and Tyrus Thomas, coming to much the same conclusion as myself. However, here's in a nutshell what I hate about the NBA draft.

"While it's clear that Thomas is still raw, especially on the offensive end, scouts feel that taking a player with those tools and with that motor is a low-risk scenario. Big, athletic prospects flop in the NBA every year, but they rarely do when they play as hard as Thomas."

So... basically... there is no solid proof that Tyrus Thomas can help a team do much of anything other than grab a few boards, but darn it, he might be worth the #1 pick overall. FAAAAANTASTIC.

Staying on the NBA, I don't agree often with the spawn of Satan (otherwise known as Skip Bayless), but he does have a must-read today on the MVP choice of Steve Nash. For the Suns to have won 53 games without Amare Stoudamire only cements Nash's status as the #1 player in the game at this stage, even above Kobe (81 point game) Bryant. Is there a single player more valuable right now?

Moving on to the NFL draft, there were a couple of good articles about drafting quarterbacks on ESPN today. In the first, Michael Smith asks some good questions about why teams are more reticent to use high draft picks on QBs when lower picks like Hasselbeck and Brady are thriving. Frankly, I feel John Clayton answers it in the second.

First round quarterbacks are drafted generally onto bad teams. Teams with little supporting staff, zero offensive line help, and yet tons of expectations. They are generally expected to drag a team into respectability by year two. Any failure is unacceptable. And so we see flameout after flameout, from Tim Couch to Akili Smith. Then someone like Ben Roethlisberger comes along and people all of a sudden proclaim him the best young QB in years. I love this quote regarding Big Ben, "How many quarterbacks have been drafted in the past 10 years?" Titans GM Floyd Reese asked. "When a young quarterback loses, he loses credibility and he loses confidence. It's hard for a quarterback to come in and lead a team to a successful season. In Ben Roethlisberger's case, all he had to do was go in there and not screw up the snap."

Take that, Steelers fans. Anyways, it is all the more important to give young QBs years to learn an offense before putting them into the fray. Give them time to mature, learn how defenses are geared to stop them, instead of just setting them up to fail. Until teams do, we will continue to see "poor choices" and I can guarantee that one of the group of Matt Leinart, Vince Young, and Jay Cutler will fall flat and be out of the league within five years.

Only Seattle bit is that Bob Hill's contract was extended for another year. This is classic Sonics stupidity. Create yet another lame duck situation. Awesome. Wouldn't it be better to sign him to a three year cheap deal and fire him after a disappointing year? Isn't it obvious at some point that NBA players don't play well for lame duck coaches generally (Nate McMillan excluded)? I wish the Sonics would hire Tim Ruskell.

posted by Gavin @ 1:19 PM  0 comments

 


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