Monday, August 29, 2011

Predicting The AFC East

Welcome one and all to another edition of Tha Weatha Report. Last time we took a look at the NFC East, and in today's edition we will tackle a division that has, arguably, the NFL's biggest rivalry. Of course I'm talking about the AFC East. We'll take a look at each team, I'll put on my Ms. Cleo hat and try to predict the records and the winner of the divison. So without further ado, let's dive right in shall we?

Hail Storm

1. Arian Foster took to Twitter to say that people asking about his health for Fantasy Football reasons are sick. So, we are supposed to care for any other reason? Sorry that average people don't take the time to be concerned about the health of millionaires for other reasons besides our FF teams. Get over yourself Mr. Foster. 

2. Put me down as someone who thinks that Peyton Manning will be ready for the start of the NFL regular season. He seems to care more about the consecutive start streak than any other record. 

3. Usain Bolt false started and was DQ'd from the event in South Korea. Some people are calling for the rule to be changed. The rules are the rules, stop trying to change it because someone with some clout violated it. 

4. Cannot wait for college football to start this week. Might just have to put together a little column about what I expect this season. 

5. I don't see Chris Johnson being signed in time for the first game. Tennessee needs to pay the man! They originally told him they would pay, now it's time to practice what they preached. 

AFC East: Who Takes It?

Ever since the New York Jets hired Rex Ryan as head coach, the AFC East has gotten an infusion of new energy. Ryan has managed to make his press conferences must see tv, as well as made it known that he is gunning to wrestle the division's stranglehold from Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. So, will the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS do just that? 

Each team in the division has their own set of story lines that they are dealing with. Buffalo has a young defense that is on the rise and are still trying to figure out if Ryan Fitzpatrick is indeed the answer at QB. The regime down in Miami knows that it is now or never for them. Chad Henne and Tony Sparano are on their last legs. If they don't string together plenty of wins, then they both might be looking for new jobs in 2012. For New England everything is measured in Vince Lombardi trophies, and there has been a considerable drought in that category. Since their last Super Bowl victory, the Patriots are a pedestrian 5-5 in the playoffs with the latest flame-out coming last season with a 28-21 loss to their divisional rival Jets. Albert Haynesworth and Chad OchoCinco are just two players brought in to change this. The Jets are incorporating Plaxico Burress as well as trying to back up the talk of their brash head coach. Plenty of stories to go around. 

Buffalo: I am high on the young defense that the Bills have started to build up. Led by their first round pick Marcell Dareus, the young Defensive Tackle stud out of Alabama, Buffalo believes that it is heading in the right direction. I agree. I look for Dareus to build off of his impressive preseason showing and have a good rookie season. A good season for him will equal a good bounce-back season for Shawne Merriman who is looking to regain the form that made him an All-Pro and produced the nickname "Lights Out". A good season for him will then equal a good season for the secondary as well. See how it all connects? I also expect a big season from Nick Barnett. The former Packer will make his presence known all season. 

The offense is going to be good as well. In my opinion, Ryan Fitzpatrick is the answer for the Bills at QB. The seventh year pro out of Harvard threw for 3,000 yards last season with 23 touchdown throws. Add in a young and very talented receiving corps led by Mr. "Why So Serious?" Stevie Johnson who produced 82 receptions for 1,073 yards last season, and you have the recipe for an offense that is going to put some pressure on opposing defenses. The key to the offense is if the Bills can get a steady running game. Which, I think they will be able to do. The Bills drafted C.J. Spiller in 2010 and he never got his feet under him. I believe that Spiller is more effective in space. However, the Bills running game is very effective when Fred Jackson is trusted with the ball. Last season he produced 927 yards with a 4.2 yards per carry average. Lately there has been rumblings that Jackson feels slightly disrespected by not being treated like a number one back. It's clear that he is and should be that back for Buffalo. An improved season is in store for Buffalo. 

Miami: The Dolphins began training camp with the cloud of Kyle Orton looming over camp. Orton was supposed to be brought in and he was going to lead Miami back to the playoffs. There was only one problem. The Dolphins could not complete the trade for Orton and now they have to make Chad Henne feel as if he is the unquestioned starter. Even with Matt Moore waiting in the wings to take over if/when Henne falls flat on his face. A rocky start could be a foreshadowing of things to come for Miami. While the team does have talent at some of the skill positions (Brandon Marshall, Reggie Bush, Cameron Wake, Jake Long), it all comes down to the play at the QB position. Inconsistent play by Henne or Moore (if he replaces Henne) will doom the Dolphins and Sparano. The offense has some weapons. Henne has Brandon Marshall and Devone Best as viable wide receivers. The Dolphins have to find a way to best use Reggie Bush's talents to their advantage. Find a way to get him out in space and let him do his thing. The signing of Larry Johnson could either be a shrewd move or a worthless signing. Be on the lookout for Daniel Thomas. The rookie running back out of Kansas State could turn out to be the between the tackles runner that the Dolphins need. 

Miami's defense is not in bad shape. I like the two young corner backs that Miami has in Vontae Davis and Sean Smith. They are young, with both players going into their third year, but both are full of potential. Vontae Davis recently went on record as saying that he and Smith were the best CB tandem in the league, and not the duo of the Jets. Big talk, but I believe that these two could go a long way towards backing it up. I also like their linebacker corps led by Cameron Wake. The same Cameron Wake that recorded 14 sacks last season. The one area on defense that I'm not confident in is the defensive line. That line has to step up and take some pressure off of the secondary and the LBs. 

New England: The Patriots really need no introduction. They are the class of the NFL. The team that everyone else measures themselves to. Yes, the Packers are your reigning NFL Super Bowl Champions, but the Patriots are the model franchise in today's NFL. This is the team that essentially rescued Corey Dillon and Randy Moss from the scrap heap and rejuvenated their careers. Now they are hoping to do the same with Albert Haynesworth. We won't recount Mr. Haynesworth's "adventures" in D.C. because I'm sure it is well known. The Patriots also traded for Chad OchoCinco. Ocho (can I call him that?) had a down season last year and is looking to conform to the "Patriots Way" and show the world that not only can he be a productive receiver but that he can be a big part of a winning organization. One thing is for sure, the offense will not be a problem. Tom Brady is healthy, the receiving corps is in good shape (sans Wes Welker's recent neck injury), and Bill Belichick is arguably the best coach in the game. The only concern is the running game. New England has to get consistent production out of that position whether it's from Danny Woodhead, Kevin Faulk, or BenJarvus Green-Ellis. If they can get consistent production, the offense might just be unstoppable. 

The defense is another story however. The secondary is not exactly filled with good cover guys. I would call it average. Last year the Patriots gave up almost 210 yards through the air which was 18th in the league. If that's not average, I'm not sure what is. The defensive line is depending on Albert Haynesworth to return to his Tennessee Titans form and to pretend the Washington Redskins years didn't happen. Kind of like how Randy Moss erased those Oakland Raiders years when he got to New England. Or kind of like how Corey Dillon managed to erase those Cincinnati Bengals years. Seeing a trend? Seems that Belichick has the magic touch when it comes to getting the best out of retreads. I'm not going to bet against him on this one either. If the d-line comes through and the secondary is average, then the biggest hole could be the LBs. This crew is devoid of known play makers and will be put to the test each week. 

New York Jets: The Jets seem to make plenty of news, and that seems to be the way Rex Ryan wants it. Whether it's Ryan saying that he needs other teams to beat New England or if it's going out and signing Plaxico Burress the Jets seem to always be in the headlines. What makes the Jets so intriguing is that they always seem to back up the a degree. Ryan hasn't managed to get the team to the Super Bowl but they've been close two years in a row. Mark Sanchez continues to evolve and improve as a young QB and he'll need to take the next step in the maturation process if this team is to win. This could be the year that the Jets win because of Sanchez and not in spite of him. He has plenty of weapons. Burress provides that red zone target that has been missing, Santonio Holmes is an impact receiver, Shonn Greene in the backfield, and they added the veteran Derrick Mason to add even more punch to the receiver corps. Last year the Jets averaged almost 22 points a game. This year, I wouldn't be surprised if that number goes up. 

A Rex Ryan defense is going to always show up. They are going to blitz, put tons of pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and generally keep their opponents in check. I do not expect anything different this year. I expect the defensive back Kyle Wilson, the second year pro out of Boise State, to step up and showcase good cover corner skills. Keep an eye on the Jets' first round pick Muhammad Wilkerson at the DT position. I think he will have a big impact on a weekly basis. I'm also interested to see if Rex Ryan can turn Aaron Maybin into a good LB. The former Buffalo Bills first round pick has been labeled a bust after he failed to record a single sack in his two seasons in Buffalo. If Ryan can resurrect his career it will be a diamond in the rough type of find. The defense only gave up 13.5 points a game last year. Don't be surprised if the number stays the same, or even goes lower. 

So Who Wins?

Looking at the schedules, this is how I have it playing out: 

Buffalo: 7-9

Miami: 4-12

New England: 12-4

New York: 11-5

I have New England winning the division by a mere game over the Jets. I predict that it'll be a tough season in Miami, but in Buffalo there will be tons to build on for the future. I think New England's offense is too strong and they'll get enough out of their defense to take the division. However, I do have them splitting their division games against the Jets with each team winning on their home fields. As always, feel free to express your thoughts and opinions in the comments below, or go to the Facebook page to express your thoughts and opinions. 

End of the Storm

Once again thanks for taking the time to read this edition of Tha Weatha Report. Next time we will be looking at the NFC North. The Lions are up and coming but the defending Super Bowl champs aren't quite ready to give up the crown just yet. Until next time, stay blessed, keep living and enjoying life, and keep enjoying sports! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

NFC East: Who Will Be The Beast of the East?

Who Will Win The East?

It's....the most wonderful.....of the year! It's football season folks. The lockout is over, the game is back on, and the water cooler talk will commence in September. I know I speak for the majority when I say let the good times roll. Today, we will examine one of the toughest divisions in the NFL, the NFC East. However, before we dive into that. You know what it is, time for the Hail Storm!

Hail Storm

1. Danica Patrick is moving to NASCAR. Count me in the crowd of, "who cares?" Not saying she isn't marketable. What I'm saying is that she hasn't won anything. Come wake me up when she actually wins a race. 

2. Terrelle Pryor was drafted by the Oakland Raiders. I actually love the move...under one condition. As long as they take the time to develop his QB skills. If, as Oakland is known to do, make a bad move and rush him under center then it is a wasted third round draft pick and he'll have to make it in the NFL at another position. 

3. Not sure how the controversy with the LSU football program is goign to turn out. I think that LSU was an overrated team in the preseason to begin with. This has the potential to derail their season even more. 

4. I have Anderson Silva winning his UFC fight in the third round by TKO on Saturday. You heard it here first. 

5. I'm tired of the NBA and their lack of movement in the lockout. If they want to ruin all of their momentum, then go right ahead. If they lose time and they lose fans, I hope they realize that it's their own faults. 

Beast of the East, NFC That Is

One team won the vaunted "Having the Best Offseason" award, one team has a quarterback decision to make, one team is trying to finally earn the "America's Team" nickname, and one team is just trying to overcome a litany of preseason and training camp injuries. The NFC East is definitely a hot bed of discussing this preseason. The Philadelphia Eagles went out and signed just about every free agent that was available (slight exaggeration). The Washington Redskins are recovering from the failed Albert Haynesworth and Donovan McNabb experiments and are trying to find their starting QB. The Dallas Cowboys are trying to rebound from an awful season that saw a mid-season coaching change and the season ending injury to Tony Romo. Then, you have the New York Giants. This is the same team, that if it wasn't for bad luck they wouldn't have any luck at all. Their secondary has been decimated due to injuries. At this point, they just want to make it to the regular season with enough people to field a complete team. So, who do I think wins it? 


I honestly L...O...V..E...the moves that the Eagles made. I think Cullen Jenkins is a huge upgrade to their defensive line. Putting pressure on the QB with the front four is a huge deal. Especially when you have three shoutdown corners like the Eagles do. I've heard the argument that "You only start two corners". Blah blah blah. In today's NFL, the Nickel package (3 CBs) is pretty much a starting defensive lineup. However, the move I love the most is getting Vince Young to backup Michael Vick. The reason being is that Michael Vick has played all 16 games in a season once. ONCE! The odds are stacked against him playing the entire season. Because of that you need a backup that you can bring in and not have to alter your game plan. Who better than a mobile quarterback who has a winning record such as Young? If Vick goes down, I do not believe that the Eagles will miss a beat. The biggest problems the Eagles have are their lack of impact linebackers and believing their own hype. The Eagles only have to look within their own division and the Washington Redskins to see a team that has won the "Offseason" award and then bomb where it counts. The Eagles have to get consistent and good play from their LB corps and keep listening to Andy Reid to have a good season. 


Mike Shanahan wants us to believe that he hasn't figured out who his starting QB will be. Oh, and I have an ocean front property in Idaho for sale. John Beck is going to start for this team. This team will rise and fall with his play. So far this preseason I've actually been impressed with the running game of the Redskins. That comes as no surprise giving Shanahan's track record of producing 1000 yard rushers. Unfortunately for him and the Redskins fans, this is a QB driven league at this point. The good teams get good and consistent play from their QB. The bad teams...well...they don't. Simple as that. The key to this team is the play of their QB. Even if Shanahan goes with Rex Grossman, it still comes down to how consistent the main man under center is. And by consistent, I mean consistently good. 


In Texas there is a team with so much talent and so much potential that we should be talking about a Super Bowl caliber season. Instead, we're talking about a team who is hoping to rebound and just have a winning season. I know that Jerry Jones doesn't want to hear that, but that's just the facts of life. Tony Romo is looking to stay healthy this season and lead his team back to the playoffs. He has Felix Jones in the back field who has the potential to turn any run into a touchdown. Dez Bryant who has the potential to turn any catch or return into a touchdown. Jason Witten who is potentially one of the top five TEs in the league. So what's missing? Ah, the defense. The Cowboys will need their secondary to show up every Sunday for them to have a chance to win their division. We all know that Dallas has an explosive offense when things are clicking. How they stop their opponents is what will determine their wins and losses. 

New York

The Giants have to be ready for the start of the regular season. Injuries, injuries, and more injuries have been the mark of their preseason. So, what is the key to their season? New York has to find a way to weather the storm and put a competitive secondary and defense out on the field. Eli Manning has to rebound from his terrible 2009 season. 30 or so turnovers from your QB is not going to produce a playoff team. If he rebounds, that will go a long way to producing a successful season. Getting productive play out of their defensive line will go a long way towards masking the injuries in the secondary. If the d-line fails to get consistent pressure on opposing QBs....well, at least the New York faithful have that other team in New York.

Who Wins?

Looking at the team's schedules here is how I have it broken down. 

Redskins: 7-9

Giants: 7-9

Eagles: 13-3

Cowboys: 11-5

That's right, I have the Eagles going 13-3. Quote me. I have the Eagles winning the division with the Cowboys likely getting one of the Wild Card spots for the NFC. I think the play of Michael Vick, their defensive line, their secondary, will be enough to get the Eagles to the playoffs. I believe they will get just enough from their linebackers to put them over the top. I believe the Giants have lost too much to be a huge factor this season. I believe the Redskins are two seasons away from being a force. The Cowboys will be there until the end, but ultimately they'll have to settle for a Wild Card spot. Disagree? Use Facebook or the comments section to voice your opinions. After all, this is what makes the NFL the new America's past time. 

End of the Storm

 Thanks for taking the time to read this edition of Tha Weatha Report. Stay tuned as next time we will examine the AFC East and who I predict to come out of that tough division. As always, support the "movement" and go to Facebook and "like" the page. Tell your friends and coworkers. Until next time, stay blessed, keep living and enjoying life, and keep enjoying sports!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Is This What It Has Come To?

Ben Margot/AP

Welcome one, welcome all to another rousing edition of Tha Weatha Report. Today, we will address the recent violence that occurred during the San Fransisco 49ers vs Oakland Raiders game. I'll vent my thoughts and suggest some ways to prevent travesties such as this event from occurring again. A lot has transpired in the world of sports since we last sat down and talked, so let's jump straight into the Hail Storm!

Hail Storm

1. Pat Summitt is one of my favorite sports personalities ever. She is a helluva coach, and is the one female coach that I always thought could coach a NBA team and be successful. Prayers and thoughts go out to her and her family and I'm sure she will fight her recent diagnosis of dementia head on. Don't bet against her, she usually comes out on top. 

2. Seems like the Miami Hurricanes need to clean up shop really quickly. I don't know if the NCAA is going to come down hard on them, but the potential is there for that program to be crippled for a long time. 

Pathetic Lack of Common Sense

So, fans of San Fransisco teams are displaying their complete ignorance. Not all fans mind you, I'm a 49ers fan myself. I've been a die hard San Fran fan for as long as I can remember. I can fondly think back to watching the twilight years of Joe Montana, watching Jerry Rice and John Taylor terrorize secondaries, Tom Rathman, Roger Craig, and Ken Norton Jr. Anybody that knows me knows that I'm a glutton for punishment because I have never abandoned my team. See, that's what makes a fan....a fan. Someone who will side with their team through thick and thin. Through the good and the bad. You see, being a fan is like a marriage. You are committed. A true fan takes an internal vow to support their teams no matter how dumb their decision making is or how much a transaction is disliked. That is what makes a true fan a fan. 

However, there are always a few idiots (make no bones about it, because that is exactly what these thugs are) who take being a "fan" to a totally different and negative level. I'm not sure when being a "fan" consisted of shooting or beating people into unconsciousness, I must have missed that email or team meeting. Let's get one thing clear and straight: Being a man or even a fan does not mean that you can beat up a person who likes or supports a team that is your team's rivals. Being a man and fan means that you can appreciate someone's opposing point of view and respect that person's opinion. Is it any wonder why people are choosing to stay home and enjoy baseball, basketball, and football games from the comfort of their own couches, homes, and HD televisions? Would you go to a stadium if you couldn't even take your children? Or if you feared being shot, stabbed, or pummeled because you happen to be a fan of the visiting team? Or home team even?

The thugs that engage in this activity need to be caught, arrested, and locked away. There is no excuse, no viable reason to buy a $70 ticket to a preseason game and leave with bullets piercing your organs and on a stretcher or laid out in a bathroom because idiots decided to jump you in the bathroom to send a message. What message are they sending? The message that we, as true fans, receive is that these thugs are cowards and are willing to give all fans a bad name because they don't have the common sense to realize that it is just a game. A GAME! At the end of the day, we are all human beings. All apart of the human race. We all have the same blood, sweat, and tears inside of us. We are all someone's brother, sister, father, mother, cousin, uncle, and aunts. We should be able to go and enjoy a game in peace and return to our homes in the same conditions that we left. 

So, how do we fix this issue? The owner of the 49ers, Jed York, is going to recommend suspending the 49ers vs Raiders annual preseason game. In my opinion the thugs win in that scenario. Maybe it will do some good to suspend it for a year or two. However, more security is needed. Better alcohol distribution is needed. Let's not keep feeding individuals with alcohol during the game. Let's police these individuals while their tailgating. Have plenty of security patrolling the parking lots before the game to ensure that fans are not out of hand. Have plenty of security cameras in the parking lots to hopefully deter thuggish activities. Increase the police presence inside of the stadium before, during, and after games. Don't tell me that it will cost money to accomplish all of this, all NFL teams are bringing in millions upon millions of dollars. They can afford to spend a little change to ensure the safety of their fans. After all, the fans are the ones who enable those teams to make their money in the first place. 

What do I know though? I'm just a concerned fan. However, I'm not just a fan I am a man. I am a human being. Someone who values human life. Someone who realizes that while I am a passionate fan, that it is just a game. At the end of the day we all go home to our families and resume our lives. It is NOT a life or death situation. We, as a race...the human race, needs to wake up. We need to start valuing not just other's lives, but our own lives as well. A 3 hour game is not enough to throw your life away. Someone saying that your team sucks is not enough to take another human's life. In essence, we need common sense to prevail. That right there, is the greatest team that we all can put our support behind. 

End of the Storm

  Thank you for taking the time to read this edition of Tha Weatha Report. Stay tuned because the rest of this week will be devoted to previewing each division in the NFL. Who I pick to win each division might surprise you. Remember to pass the word along and to go to Facebook and "like" the page "Tha Weatha Report". All support is appreciated and will never be forgotten. Until next time, stay blessed, keep living life, and keep enjoying sports! 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Merril Hoge: Tim Tebow: Lebron James:

Welcome one, welcome all to another edition of Tha Weatha Report. I hope you brought your umbrella, because it's going to be raining sports opinions in this edition. Today's column is going to address the growing controversy that surrounds Tim Tebow. Specifically, the criticism that Merril Hoge tossed out there, the response by LeBron James, and how it all relates to Merril Hoge's career. So, let's dive right in and get this party started.

Quick Hail Storm

1. I think I have officially lost hope in Tiger Woods. I will jump back on his bandwagon when he puts together a string of good showings in tournaments. Until then, the man needs to get healthy between the ears instead of worrying about just his body's health. 

2. Dan Uggla is the most unlikely person to have a 30+ game hit streak. However, the Braves are not complaining. If Atlanta is going to overtake the Phillies in the NL, they will need Uggla to be a consistent force in the middle of their lineup. 

3. Carlos Zambrano is, and always has been, a loose cannon. His latest incident might be the last straw though. Quitting on your team in the middle of a game is an unforgivable offense and I would be very surprised if we see Zambrano pitching for the Chicago Cubs ever again. 

4. Congrats to Dennis Rodman, Chris Mullins, and others on their induction to the NBA Hall of Fame. Well deserved!!

Tim Tebow, Merril Hoge, and LeBron James Are Tied Together

A couple of weeks ago Merril Hoge went on ESPN and gave a scathing indictment on the likelihood of Tim Tebow being a successful starting quarterback in the NFL. Hoge said that Tebow had a "marginal skill set". He also took to Twitter to express his opinions. 

"Sitting watching tape of Bronco offense from last year!" Hoge wrote. "Orton or Tebow? It's embarrassing to think the Broncos could win with Tebow!!"

Tell us how you really feel why don't ya. Now, I've been asked what I thought about Tim Tebow and his shot at becoming a NFL starting quarterback. First off, I always caveat my opinions by saying that I have had a strong dislike for Tim Tebow since his days at the University of Florida. The reason? I'm a Florida State fan. Tim Tebow defeated the Seminoles plenty of times. However, I do respect his abilities and what he has done on the field of play. He was one helluva quarterback in college and he was the best player in the nation at one point. Every time I said Tim Tebow wouldn't or couldn't accomplish something, he managed to prove me wrong. I said he wouldn't win the Heisman. Check. I said that he would never win the National Championship. Check. I also said that he would never get drafted in the first round. Check. So, do I think he can ever be a successful starting NFL quarterback? If he continues to work hard, I'm sure he will. 

However, right now the man is not ready to start. I agree with Hoge's assessment that as of this season Tim Tebow is not ready to start for the Denver Broncos. Oh, but the story doesn't end there. Who came to Tebow's defense? LeBron James himself. His tweet is why I'm writing this column today. 

"Tim Tebow will succeed in the NFL. He's a hard worker, a student of the game, a natural born leader and most of all a WINNER!" James tweeted. "Guys get on that TV and act like they was all WORLD when they played. How bout encouraging him and wishing him the best instead of hating!!"

I think LeBron should've been in a gym somewhere instead of worrying about Tim Tebow, but that's another column for another day. I do not think Hoge was "hating" as LeBron put it. I think Hoge was giving his honest assessment which came from hours of analysis. However, it did make me wonder what kind of career Merril Hoge had. 

The only thing I knew about Hoge before this was that he has worked for ESPN for years and that his career was cut short due to concussions. After doing some research I can say that I was surprised at what I found. I did not realize that his concussions were as serious as they were. The man once had to be resuscitated after sustaining a concussion. He was forced to retire due to brain damage. He had to learn to read all over again. Extremely serious stuff here. Before the concussions Merril Hoge played eight seasons and was a fullback for the Pittsburgh Steelers before ending his career playing five games for the Chicago Bears. 

Was he "all WORLD" as LeBron put it? No, he wasn't. He was a good fullback that did his job. Below are his career numbers pulled from

Rushing Receiving Fumbles

G GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD FUM Lost
1994 Chicago Bears 5 5 6 24 4.0 8 0 13 79 6.1 11 0 -- --

1993 Pittsburgh Steelers 16 13 51 249 4.9 30 1 33 247 7.5 18 4 -- --

1992 Pittsburgh Steelers 16 11 41 150 3.7 15 0 28 231 8.3 20 1 3 3

1991 Pittsburgh Steelers 16 16 165 610 3.7 24 2 49 379 7.7 25 1 3 0

1990 Pittsburgh Steelers 16 -- 203 772 3.8 41T 7 40 342 8.5 27 3 -- --

1989 Pittsburgh Steelers 16 -- 186 621 3.3 31 8 34 271 8.0 22 0 -- --

1988 Pittsburgh Steelers 16 -- 170 705 4.1 20 3 50 487 9.7 40 3 -- --

1987 Pittsburgh Steelers 13 -- 3 8 2.7 5 0 7 97 13.9 27 1 -- --

TOTAL 825 3,139 3.8 41 21 254 2,133 8.4 40 13 6 3

 As you can see, the numbers are not Hall of Fame caliber but he was a fullback so that has to be taken into account. In any event, while Hoge wasn't a Hall of Fame player, he still was a NFL player. He has been an analyst for ESPN for 15 years. I trust his analysis. Do I believe that Tim Tebow gives the Denver Broncos the best chance to win this year? No, I do not. I believe that's all that Merril Hoge was trying to say. Could he have chosen his words more carefully? Sure, but that's the beauty/downfall of the age of technology. As soon as you hit "send", you open yourself up for criticism. Hoge was doing his job, now it is time for Tebow to go out, do his, and prove Hoge wrong. 

Thanks for reading this edition of Tha Weatha Report. As always, tell your friends and spread the word. Go and like the Facebook page and keep giving me feedback, ideas, and constructive criticism. Thank you and keep enjoying life and sports!!


Monday, August 1, 2011

Are You Ready For Some Football?!?!

Welcome one and all to another rousing edition of Tha Weatha Report. I will once again be your host for this journey as today we dive into the return of football. I will give you my take on the best moves of this hectic free agency period, what I feel were the worse moves, and of course I will clue you in on what I feel are the moves that are indifferent. So, without further ado I present to you the Hail Storm.

Quick Hail Storm 

1. Tiger Woods is returning to golf. I hope he is FULLY healthy. Regardless of what you may think of the man's personal life, golf needs a healthy Tiger Woods. The game isn't the same without him. 

2. Randy Moss announced his retirement. I will not get too deep into this, because I do not think he will stay retired. I think he has two or three good years left in him, if he is motivated that is. 

3. There was a plethora of MLB deadline deals. I won't go into much details because there is a column forthcoming on this subject. But I will say that this is when baseball starts to get exciting. 
4. Another loss for Fedor. The aura that Emelianenko once had is completely shattered now. There are rumblings he wants to fight again. I hope he hangs them up and goes out classy instead of even more of a shell of his former self. 

Deals I Liked

There were tons of NFL deals when the free agency period opened up, and there are still more to come. So far, these are the deals that I liked and the reasons why.

1. Everything the Eagles have done: I love the edition of Nnamdi Asomugha. Even if they trade Asante Samuel, they will still have at least two Pro Bowl caliber DBs. If they keep Samuel, they'll have him, Asomugha, and Rodgers-Cromartie. It will be extremely difficult to pass on that secondary. I love the addition of Jason Babin even more. Adding pass rush will make that secondary even more dangerous. QBs not having time to throw + A secondary that blankets every receiver = A lot of low passing numbers for Philadelphia Eagles opponents. 

2. Everything the Patriots have done: Not to be outdone Mr. Hoody himself, Bill Belichick, went out and made the New England Patriots the AFC favorites by adding his own version of a dream team. Giving Tom Brady an All-Pro threat by adding Chad OchoCinco for a 2012 fifth-rounder and a 2013 sixth-rounder is an absolute steal of a deal. You get a highly motivated Pro Bowl receiver capable of making Randy Moss a distant memory in New England and you give up picks that are easily replaceable. Great move. The Albert Haynesworth pickup is also a great move by New England. If you are getting the Tennessee Titans version of Haynesworth (which I am sure they are) then this deal makes New England's defense a highly formidable unit. 

3. Kevin Kolb trade to Arizona: Now I don't know if Kevin Kolb is the real deal or not. I'll be honest, he's a mystery to me. However, you have one of the top five WRs in football in Larry Fitzgerald and he was not a happy man last year. How do you make him happy and possibly prevent him from leaving via free agency? You get that man a QB that can get him the ball when and where he needs it. That's what Arizona did with acquiring Kolb. Only time will tell if it pans out, but you can't fault Arizona for giving it a go. Also, in the NFC West, the team with the best QB will win the division. Alex Smith, Kevin Kolb, Tavaris Jackson / Charlie Whitehurst, Sam Bradford. Which one do you take? Exactly. 

4. The NFL lockout ending: And finally, the deal that I liked the most was the fact that the lockout ended finally. Time to get back to the game. 

Deals I Disliked

1. The 49ers resigning Alex Smith: Really? Do I even need to discuss this? I'm not even speaking as a 49er fan here, I'm speaking from a logical individual. Teams that have QBs that have proven themselves go on to have success in NFL seasons. Teams like the Steelers, Patriots, Colts, Eagles, Packers, and Falcons have all had success. Their success can be traced back to great and stable QB play. The only thing that Alex Smith has proven is that he is a bust and does not deserve another shot at starting. 

2. The Cowboys not addressing their numerous needs: They should thank the Eagles for signing Nnamdi instead of them winning the bidding war. If the Cowboys had won that bidding war then they would not have had the cap room to address their defensive line needs and their need at safety. Now with the money they have saved by not making this signing, they should go out and get some DE help and add a quality Safety. 

3. Sidney Rice signing with Seattle: I think Sidney Rice is a fine receiver. Had a good 2009 with Brett Favre. Is he a #1 receiver in my opinion? No, he's not. To me, he's another TJ Houshmandzadeh waiting to happen. A man who needs a great QB or a true #1 receiver on the opposite side of the field. Unfortunately for Rice, there is no true #1 receiver in Seattle, nor do they have a great QB. I think it'll be a loss season for both Rice and the Seahawks. 

4. The Broncos trying to trade Kyle Orton: Kyle Orton can and has been an effective QB in the NFL for a handful of seasons. He has put up good numbers in Chicago and Denver. Tim Tebow is in his second year in the league and by all accounts still has a long way to go to be an effective NFL QB. However, Denver is ready to hand it's starting job to Tebow. Why not keep Orton one more year and let him groom Tebow for another year? Why give the job to a player who hasn't earned it yet? Because he was inspirational in college? Inspirational will get a head coach fired in the NFL. Keep Orton for another year, and then see what Tebow brings to the table next off season.

Deals I'm "Eh" To

1. Plaxico to the Jets: Plaxico was a good receiver. However, he hasn't played in multiple years due to the jail time. Braylon Edwards played last year and was the team's leading receiver. However, he is known to drop balls on a consistent basis. I'm not sure if Plax will have a big impact, but I'm not sure that he won't either. Time will tell. 
2. McNabb to the Vikings: On one hand I like the deal because it keeps Christian Ponder on the bench and allows him to learn from a QB that knows his way around the league. On the other, I'm not sure how much McNabb has left in the tank. If he has a lot, then the Vikings are right back in the NFC hunt. If McNabb is running on "E", then the Vikings will be drafting very early in the first round in next year's draft. 

3. Players who held out: Frank Gore, DeSean Jackson, and others decided to hold out for better contracts. That lasted all of four or five days. However, the teams need to reward the players for their great work. And the players need to show up and honor the contracts that they originally agreed to. 

That's it for this edition of Tha Weatha Report. Football is in the air and the excitement is building. As always, thank you for taking the time out to read. If you haven't already, go "like" the page on Facebook. "Tha Weatha Report", can't miss it. Support the column and share with your friends. Be on the lookout for the next Report, as I will dive into the winners and losers of the MLB trade deadline. Also be on the lookout for the NFL prediction columns where I predict each division, playoffs, and Super Bowl winner. This is your one stop sports shop! Until next time...