Tuesdays with Smitty: Draft Weekend Thoughts and other Rumblings

After trying to absorb as much of the NFL Draft this weekend, I came away with thoughts about teams, as well as some of the other action occurring in sports over the weekend.

→ The draft really needs to go back to being in the morning and not the 3:00 pm start that it had this year. It is WAAAAAY too much time for Keyshawn, Steve Young and company to try and figure out who is picking whom and when. That being said, I did like the fact that both rounds this year took as much time as the entire first round last year. Nice job Roger Goodell!!

→ Is Mel Kiper Jr. a Dapper Dan man? Seriously, was one hair out of place? Is he related to Jimmy Johnson?

→ Bill Parcells is at it again. He got the best OT in the draft to protect his QB and then potentially got the QB of the future in the 2nd round in Chad Henne. As much as I don’t like him (he coached the Giants after that, there is no coming back) you have to admit there is no doubting his impact.

→ Is picking Brian Brohm Green Bay’s nice way of telling Brett Favre to stay retired? If Aaron Rodgers gets hurt, they have it covered Brett. More importantly, does it speak to their confidence of Rodgers being their QB for the next 5 or 6 years?

→ Did the Jets win the Super Bowl on Saturday with picking Vernon Gholston? By the reaction of the Jets fans, it seems like they did. Have Jets fans read the book on Gholston? The knock on him – Not athletic enough and took games off.. That is correct, “GAMES” off!! Which leads me to…..

→ Interesting exchange between Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay last night regarding the picks they thought didn’t make sense.

Todd: “ I think the Jets made a mistake taking Gholston so high. He is not as athletic as everyone believes, he takes games off and just has a lot of question marks. I don’t think he is going to fit well into their overall defensive scheme.”

Mel: “Are you kidding me. This was a great pick. He is going to fit in perfectly and I will tell you right now, Defensive Rookie of the Years come from the rushing linebacker position he is going to be playing. “

Merrill Hoge jumps in: “In order to play that position, you have to shed a block. He can’t shed a block. Have you seen him shed a block? “

Crickets: Chirp, chirp, chirp….

Casey and I were discussing this over the weekend – how did Mel Kiper Jr. become a Draft Expert?? What qualifies as being a draft expert?

→ Carolina Panthers have taken a RB with their first pick in the draft the last 3 years. Umm, there is only one football and only one guy can carry the ball, right?

→ N.Y. Giants first round pick Kenny Phillips referred to his new head coach, Tom Coughlin as a “cool dude”. Huh? Tiki, haven’t heard from you in a couple of months now – care to comment? A couple of losing seasons and you don’t relate to your players. Win a Super Bowl and you are a cool dude. That is right the Giants did win the Super Bowl. I just threw up in my mouth again.

→Can’t fault the Bears for their draft. They got guys that can protect their QB and potentially take care of the anemic running back situation. But…not one QB selection in the draft? I am at a loss for the love affair with Rex Grossman. I thought Chad Henne or Brian Brohm would have been a perfect fit. Can someone explain the love affair to me? Wally! ZDubbz! Can you help me out on this…? Please? Do Chicago Bears fans love Rex Grossman too?

→ The Cowboys had a nice pick up with Felix Jones and the rest of their draft was solid. I would consider them more dangerous next year if Wade Phillips wasn’t coaching them.

→ Joe Flacco is a name that has come out of nowhere. Interesting that a guy who plays at Delaware is as prepared to play the QB position in the NFL – as someone who plays the QB position at Michigan. Considering everything they are saying about him, here is one person who hopes he does do well on the pro level. But if he has a bad game, I can see the headlines now: “ Joe Flacco – El Sucko”.. Ouch, some names just open themselves right up.. Speaking of El Sucko..

→ Jacksonville is really obsessed with getting past Peyton Manning. Giving up half of their draft to move up in the 1st round to pick a player most teams projected to be available when the
Jaguars picked later in the round? Not sure about that one..

→Here is hope that the Bengals stick to their guns and tell Charles Johnson to stay home rather than trade him. I think he is a great player, but honestly – sick of the antics and this would be a great time for any NFL team to send the message – you signed a contract, you are well paid – now play or stay home.

Other Thoughts and Ramblings:

→As with any playoffs, but especially the NHL, a team can ride a hot goalie all the way to the Stanley Cup. Could the Philadelphia Flyers be doing that with Martin Biron? The former Sabres goaltender has been standing on his head in helping the Flyer eliminate the Capitals and now appears to be doing it against the Canadiens.

→ Cheers to the LeMoyne College Men’s Lacrosse team for finishing an undefeated regular season and head into conference play ranked #1 in the USILA poll. Don’t ask me what USILA is, just know they are at the top of it. They are the current defending back-to-back champions in Division II lacrosse and here is hoping they can back it back-to-back-to-back.

→ The Tampa Bay Rays swept the Red Sox and looked good doing it. Credit to the Rays, but I am giving the Red Sox a pass for the weekend. Big Papi was hurt and good portion of the team is coming off the flu-bug that has been running through the team. Add that to a tough month of April and it just isn’t a good recipe. Here is hoping the day off yesterday was a much needed rest and a chance for the boys to get it going.

→ Is anyone else concerned that Doc Rivers is being out-coached in the opening round of the playoffs? After watching Mike Bibby get eaten up by Rajon Rondo for two games, the Atlanta coaching staff has made adjustments to free Bibby up and pick up the pace of the game. The result has been making the C’s defense look average and in some spots – slow. And Joe Johnson.. Joe Johnson!! Doc, c’mon kid, you gotta slow him down. Way too easy for him last night. It is obvious the offense flows through him, so why hasn’t there been any adjustments to stop or slow him down?

→ Barry Zito and his $126M contract have been sent to the bullpen. Somewhere do you hear Billy Beane laughing?

→ Lastly, a big Happy Birthday wish to Casey. Let’s see a huge Clipboard Happy Birthday for Casey!! I hope this year is a great year for you. Happy Birthday!!

14 Responses to "Tuesdays with Smitty: Draft Weekend Thoughts and other Rumblings"

  1. Casey   April 29, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    “Ain’t this a geographical oddity. Two weeks from everywhere.”

  2. Casey   April 29, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Flacco was originally recruited by Pittsburgh. Just wanted to play and he wasn’t at Pitt, so he transferred. He’s a big kid who has been able to work with Scott Brunner – former NFL guy.

    Marty Biron looks solid just wish he didn’t have that awful Flyers’ sweater on.

    And to think Scott Kazmir hasn’t thrown a pitch for the Rays this year.

    Leave Tiki alone he is still working on a man-sized portion of crow.

    Somewhere there’s a GM making note of the Zito fiasco. Next time a pitcher asks for a contract greater than 5 years – ah yeah right.

  3. Wally   April 29, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    First of all, happy birthday Casey … ya ol’ codger … wait we’re about the same age … forget I said that 🙂

    Smitty — here’s a Bears fan’s take on their draft. Very good in shoring up large deficiencies surrounding their QB … which should help their “QB du jour” play better. Now, having said that … Bears fans are not in love with Rex, nor do we find him to be “sexy Rexy”. However, he does have “potential” — I know … terrible word — but he did show flashes of brilliance during the past 2 seasons. He also displayed flashes of utter incompetence. He’s got one year left on a very short leash. Kyle Orton isn’t too bad … isn’t too good either … but relatively young. The Bears also signed a couple free agents (undrafted) — Nick Hill from So. Illinois and Caleb Hanie from Colo. St. I’m sure one of them is the next Tony Romo 🙂 I was, though, quite surprised at how Kiper gushed about the Bears draft, and I’m still quite worried that we don’t have the QB to take us far into the playoffs … and, oh yeah, the once feared defense is getting old quickly.

    What’s wrong with Bahston?!?!?! Lately it’s been “Loserville”. OK … I know it’s only been a week, but the Bruins went down quickly to Les Habs, the Saux are on a 5 game tailspin, and … hush … the mighty Celtics are being challenged by the Atlanta Hawks. The ATLANTA HAWKS?!?! Holy Bunker Hill, Batman … What the !~$#!@%$#@% is going on here???

    Wally

  4. Z Dubbz   April 29, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    I don’t know why the Bears have an infatuation with both Grossman and Orton. Kyle Orton is not a starting NFL quarterback, especially on a contender. Everytime Rex has a good possesion or a good game, it is followed by a shaky possesion or performance. Da Bears are a year removed from a Super Bowl appearance, and I don’t know where this team going.

    I felt the Bears had a solid draft but there are question marks everyone on the offense. The O-Line, Grossman/Orton, Benson coming off a sub-par, losing Berrian to a division rival, and having Booker and Brandon Lloyd as the top 2 recievers while trying to chip the cement off of Devin Hester’s hands.

    And Doc Rivers has been completely out-coached and the Celtics are lucky that the series isn’t a 2-3-2 format. They need to go back to the Garden (er….TD Banknorth something or other).

    And was I the only one who thought the ribbons and confetti for a Game 4 win in the first round was a little excessive, no matter how much of an underdog the Hawks are?

  5. Reynell   April 29, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Smitty —

    Thank you for bringing up Doc Rivers! Why did everyone suddenly forget what a bad coach he was and has been? Did people actually think the C’s would march through the East? His defensive philosophy right now seems so rudimentary. “HEY! That #2 guy is killing us! Let’s take Garnett and run him at him 45 feet from the basket and double.” Ridiculous decision. The TNT guys said last night that Rondo has backed off of Bibby. Why? Bibby was atrocious in the first two games with pressure. Smitty – doesn’t Al Horford seem like the real problem to you? He is killing them on the boards and stepping out and hitting mid-range. WHY ISN’T GARNETT STICKING TO HIM LIKE GLUE!? I also thought I remembered Paul Pierce being a better defender than what he is showing.

    A side NBA note: my favorite part of the blockbuster trade the Cavs made this season was Delonte West. I got to see him play and watched both him and Jameer Nelson when they were at St. Joe’s and I was at Temple. He hit the big shot off of a LeBron pass (shades of Jordan-Paxson on a smaller stage?) and continues to take open shots. I say take because for some reason, LeBron has been made the PG and West is stuck in a perimeter role. But he is performing. He’s shooting 40 from the floor, 57 from 3, and 93 from the line (11 AVG). I still think he would do a better job at point and fulfill a role much like Rondo is doing with Boston. Much overlooked player in the league and more a valuable a pick up then an aging Kidd and the only man in the league who could slow down the Suns – Shaq.

  6. Casey   April 29, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Don’t know what gets me more fired up: Reynell analyzing the NBA or Wally taking down the Saux in April. Wally – thanks for the BDay greetings …ya old codger.

    Reynell all this NBA talk and no mention of the Sixers. They probably will come up short against the Pistons, but they got me thinkin’ of Sixers teams past – Dr. J, Doug Collins, Caldwell Jones, George McGinnis. Loved that team. In my career as an NBA whore I loved that team in the 76-77 season. They lost to the Blazers.

    Then I loved the Bullets.

    Some strange way I changed my heart and loved the Sonics.

    Then I loved Moses Malone and the Rockets.

    Then the Sixers picked up Moses to go with Bobby Jones, Andrew Toney, Dr. J and Mo Cheeks. WHAT A TEAM!.

    Igoudala, Miller, Dalembert, and Willie Green might not be on that level yet, but they are fun to watch.

  7. Reynell   April 29, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    It was hard for me to fall in love with the Sixers. “What are we talkin’ ’bout? Practice!?” Once he left, the younger guys have grown on me a little. I’ve always admired Andre Miller since his days at Utah, what a resurrection for him. Igoudala flew under the radar for really the past three years. His talent and potential was known in Philly since his first season though. I was upset that they traded Korver even though he might not have fit with those guys. And of course I think Maurice Cheeks builds strong relations with his players – may not be the best coach in the league, but handling your talent is a majority of the challenge.

    I’m not surprised at all with this series. The first game really irked me; Rasheed Wallace is a pompous jack-ass and he deserves the embarrassment of this series loss. He’s a Philly guy (George Washington High School before he went to Oak Hill?) whose persona on the court is a complete negative for young players and viewers. If they don’t win this series, I still think it will translate to a better season next year. It’s obvious they have gained confidence.

  8. Smitty   April 29, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    Reynell, I agree with you – Horford is killing them.

    But Joe Johnson must have bought an EZ Pass, because he is getting a free lane to the basket almost every trip down. I know Ray Allen bought into playing a tougher defense, but the guy lighting the C’s up like a Griswald Christmas Tree and Rivers has Allen guarding him? What happened to Tony Allen their defensive stopper? Why haven’t we seen him?

    Better yet, why is Eddie House jacking up an airball 3 while the Hawks are on a 7-0 run in the 4th quarter? That is what the Boston Three Party is there for. Get the ball to Garnett, get the ball to Allen. It is crunch time, it is playoff time. The guy JUST off the bench shouldn’t be jacking up a 3..

    God, I just felt my blood pressure rise.. I gotta sit down… Wait, I am sitting down.. This isn’t a good sign.

    Wally/ZDubbz – I agree with you – shoring up the line and getting a RB might end up helping Grossman. But has he really done anything to make you think he can string a whole season of good play together? Even the J.P. Losman experiment didn’t last this long. I am just waiting for Grossman to throw another pick and have Urlacher literally beat him to a pulp on the 50 yard line. You can’t tell me its not that far away from happening. All Grossman can say is thank God Tank Johnson isn’t there or he would be finished.

    Right now, C’s fans are lining up at the Tobin Bridge. If they go down, there will be a new kind of Tea Party..

  9. Casey   April 29, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Gents-

    This is a quality showing all around on the Clipboard – helmet stickers for everyone. Yeah, yeah, yeah Wally, I know the Irish don’t have helmet stickers. 🙂

    Keep the commentary rolling.

    Casey

  10. Reynell   April 29, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Smitty –

    Excellent point about Tony Allen. I’m with Z Dubbz, too. Good thing this isn’t a 2-3-2 format.

    What a start to the American League by the way. I believe it was the first “Tuesdays…” that you picked Boston and I pondered, “what weaknesses do the Tigers have?” I’m not worrying too much about it. Find me the guy who picked the Royals, Rays, and Orioles.

  11. Muels   April 29, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    -Casey, Happy Birthday my friend
    -I love how sports fans around the country jump all over Boston fans when they have a bad weekend- I am OK with the high expectations- hope my teams can come through in the end…

  12. Smitty   April 29, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    Reynell, gotta admit the Rays and O’s have made the AL East in the month of April something to talk about.

    The Yankees might in trouble. Posada is out for awhile, A-Rod can’t seem to get going and Kennedy/Hughes have been ineffective.

    Then again the Sox bullpen has been giving up runs like they are part of the Economic Stimulus Package.. A little bit for everyone. But like I said, I am giving the boys a break for the past week. They have gotten solid outings from Beckett, Bucholtz and tonight – Jon Lester. Sox trip the Jays 1-0 thanks to an impressive outing by Jon Lester and co.

    But here is hoping the Rays and the O’s stay in it for awhile. It is good for baseball and it is good for the AL East.

  13. Bunch   April 30, 2008 at 5:55 am

    Happy Birthday Little Brother!!!! Many Many More!!!!
    Go Celts!!
    Go O’s – Peter please sell
    Go Cowboys – Jerry please sell
    Go Bruins – way to to stand up to them Habs!!! Wait till next year – again

    Bunch

  14. Casey   April 30, 2008 at 7:15 am

    Bunch – Whoa! How’s that for a surprise. Welcome aboard.

    Smitty – one thing I have learned is to NEVER count out the Schmanks. Somehow they will put something together and make themselves relevant in September.

    Reynell – the glaring weakness for the Tigers: Gary Sheffield – the lightning rod of discontent.

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