Schaub and Vick find landing spots
There’s been an unual amount of logic to the quarterback moves this offseason, with today’s moves making sense for both the Raiders and Jets.
The Raiders sent a late-round pick to the Texans for Matt Schaub, who is coming off one of those season where everything went wrong. We’ll see if he can turn things around in a place like Oakland, but that franchise is desperate for steady play at quarterback. If Schaub can return to form, then the team has a shot at improving quickly. If he’s a bust they have some young quarterbacks behind him, or they can even pick up someone like Mark Sanchez as well.
Speaking of Sanchez, he was just released by the Jets after they signed Micheal Vick, who has had plenty of ups and downs over the past several years. I would expect Vick to beat out Geno Smith for the starting job and give the Jets a spark on offense, but Smith is there in case Vick suffers his annual injury when he refuses to slide. It’s a good risk for the Jets.
My favorite QB move was the trade for Blaine Gabbert by the 49ers. Whether you love or hate Jim Harbaugh, you have to admit he gets the most out of his quarterbacks. Gabbert has been a mess on a crappy Jaguars team, but he has athletic ability and a decent arm. I’m guessing Harbaugh can salvage his career, and I know the 49ers want to hedge their bets as they face ridiculous contract demands from Colin Kaepernick. Cap has been a stud, but I’m not sure he’s the kind of superstar who deserves a monster contract.
I’m rooting for Josh McCowen to do well with his new opportunity in Tampa, and I respect Lovie Smith, but quarterbacks don’t exactly thrive on his football teams. I have no idea how this one is going to play out.
Finally, is anyone going to give Josh Freeman a chance? He may have ended his career with that miserable performance last year for Minnesota.
Who Could The Texans Take First Overall?
With the 2014 NFL Combine coming to an end, teams will have poked, prodded, questioned and scrutinised every last prospect. Some were under more pressure than others, with the eyes of the football world following some prospects more closely, especially those who are in contention to be taken number one overall.
The team that has the questionable honor of picking first in this year’s draft is the Houston Texans. After a, quite frankly, shocking 2013 season, in which many expected them to at least make a playoff game, the Texans will be looking to fix some of the issues that put them in this predicament. However, there really aren’t that many glaring issues for a team that just went 2-14, a result that no one saw coming. According to the expert handicapper providing free sports picks at sportsbettingsites.tv, Houston may be a favorite to bounce back with a strong draft.
New head coach Bill O’Brien comes in after steadying the ship at Penn State, replacing Gary Kubiak. His first job, and the Texans’ most obvious problem-position, will be to find a quarterback for the future. Matt Schaub has done a good job in Houston during his career, but that career is in decline. Young backup Case Keenum took over the job during the season, but did not do enough to steal the job permanently.
The Texans, despite having the league’s best defensive player in J.J. Watt, could also use some pass rush help. Watt has been consistently double and even triple-teamed recently, and a teammate to take the focus away could do wonders for the defence.
With these needs being the most glaring, who could Houston take number one overall?
Teddy Bridgewater: The Louisville quarterback has been talked about as a number one pick for the last couple of seasons, and is seen as the safest of all the quarterbacks at the next level. However, he can struggle with deep ball accuracy and, with a slight frame, there is a doubt as to if he can take the physical punishment that NFL defences can bring. Chance: B+
Johnny Manziel: The hometown favourite, Texas A&M’s star quarterback Johnny Football would excite fans. Known for making plays that defy logic, physics and his own coaches (see video), Manziel can get the job done. However, he is also undersized and comes with some off-field baggage. Chance: B-
Jadaveon Clowney: Once touted as the best pass rusher of his generation, Clowney failed to live up to the hype during his last season at South Carolina. After running a ridiculous 40 yard dash at the combine however, Clowney has revitalised some of the hype, making many ignore his supposed character red flags. One thing is true, if Clowney really is the real deal, these talents only come along so often. Chance: C+
It is difficult to see the Texans going elsewhere with their pick, with star players available at positions of need. However, draft day is always unpredictable, and a pick out of left field, or even a trade, could surprise us all.
Switzer on Manziel
Johhny Manziel is a polarizing figure, as is Barry Switzer. So when you get Switzer sharing his opinions on Mr. Manziel, you should expect some fireworks. He started by totally ripping him:
“I’m gonna tell you. I said Johnny Manziel is … I don’t like his antics. I think he’s an arrogant little prick,” Switzer said. “I’ve said that and I’ll say it again. He’s a privileged kid, he’s embarrassed himself, he’s embarrassed his teammates, his program. He’s embarrassed his coach. And they’ll all have to defend him because they have to coach. I know that. I spent 40 years in the damn game so I know how it works.”
But true to Swtizer form, you get the other side as well, as he goes on to say, “He’s the best I’ve seen. I’ve never seen a quarterback in college football take control of a game like he does and put up the numbers he does. It’s fantastic what he’s done against good competition. Game after game after game the numbers he puts up are staggering” SWitzer addresses all of the on-field magic that Manziel is able to create.
So in his own way, Switzer sums up the big arguments around Manziel. There are personal concerns, and then there’s the performance on the field. He finishes by saying, “He’s the most dominant, most dynamic college quarterback I’ve ever seen.”
But that still begs the question of how good he can be in the NFL. There are tons of great college quarterbacks who don’t translate to the NFL. The key with Manziel is his ability to make qick decisions and throws in the pockets, and his ability to improvise. They other key is that in the NFL he’ll have to pull back on the running, as he can get crushed out there. Predicting what he will do in the NFL is about as easy as predicting the outcome of an NFL bingo game or Butlersbingo as he has so much talent but now will be facing much tougher defenses.
One key will be where he goes. We’ve seen coaches and the system have a big impact on the success of a quarterback. If you get a coach that can harness his quick decision-making and convince him to be careful in how often he runs with the ball as opposed to scrambling, we might have a superstar on our hands.
Packers Clay Matthews talks Campbell’s Chunky Soup, his badass DNA and great hair
Clay Matthews could definitely steal my girlfriend and probably yours too, bud. Upon scheduling this interview, my girlfriend did a quick Google search to put a face with the name.
As images of “The Clay Maker” flipped across her iPhone, she said, “Wow. This guy is a complete stud.” The accompanying far away look in her eyes told me all I needed to know; that if given the chance, she would shed me the way Matthews sheds opposing double teams.
Aside from getting the ladies flustered off the field, Matthews has established himself as the best pass rusher in the NFL, thanks to a successful start to his career that rivals any linebacker in NFL history.
In five seasons, Matthews has made the Pro Bowl four times, been selected as an All-Pro twice, been named NFC Defensive Player of the Year in 2010 and won Super Bowl XLV.
I was fortunate to speak with Clay about his career, his lineage and the Campbell’s Chunky “Sacks for Soup” campaign.
Talk about the partnership with Campbell’s Chunky Soup.
For the past year I teamed up with Campbell’s Chunky and created the “Sacks for Soup” campaign. For every sack that I was able to get last year, Campbell’s Chunky donated 2,000 cans of soup; 1,000 to a local Green Bay food bank and another 1,000 to the opposing team’s city. To date, we’ve donated over 40,000 cans of Chunky soup. For every sack, they also donated $1,000, so we were able to get around up to $20,000 for my foundation (CM3 Charitable Fund), so it’s been a fantastic campaign; one that not only provides for myself, but gives back in the process of doing so.
What’s your favorite kind?
My favorite kind thanks to the Green Bay weather and obviously a play on the Packers is the Hearty Cheeseburger. They’re all fantastic, so it’s hard to choose, but just like on the commercial, I like the Clam Chowder and the Spicy Quesadilla as well. They’re all really good, so I have to say all three.
I thought they’d make you a special kind called “Bear Chunks” for the way you’ve annihilated Chicago Bears quarterbacks in your career.
I’m willing to try! I don’t know if it would be a big seller, but I’d be all for it.
Click here for the full interview.
Posted in: General Sports, Interviews, NFL, Super Bowl
Tags: Brian Urlacher, Bruce Matthews, Campbell's Chunky Soup, Chicago Bears, Clay Matthews, Clay Matthews All-Pro, Clay Matthews Hair, Clay Matthews Interview, Clay Matthews Mama's Boy, Clay Matthews Mom Cave, Green Bay Packers, Green Bay Packers Clay Matthews, Jerome Bettis, Packers Clay Matthews, Pittsburgh Steelers, Rashard Mendenhall, Sacks For Soup, Super Bowl XLV
Quarterbacks get scrutiny
After all the Twitter hype around quarterback hand sizes, the real business of evaluating the college quarterbacks has started at the NFL combine. This position dominates draft discussions, as the concept of “best player available” really doesn’t apply to the quarterbacks versus other positions. Teams that need a quarterback have a much different approach in the first round versus teams already set at the position.
This year there are three guys everyone sees at the top of the QB class, but further scrutiny is starting to affect how each of them are perceived. Here’s Pat Kirwin, one of the best commentators in the business, on what he is seeing so far.
We all arrived in Indianapolis believing there were three quarterbacks set for the top five picks. However, one GM said, “I’m glad I don’t need a franchise QB this year. … too many questions [are] starting to surface on this group.”
An example: Teddy Bridgewater told me Saturday he was going to run but never did. The same GM said of Bridgewater: “He beefed up to 214 to appear bigger, but he better not think he can drop the weight to run at his pro day. We don’t fall for that one.”
Johnny Manziel is 5-foot-11 3/4, not 6-foot as he had been listed. One coach told me “[Manziel] keeps trying to portray the image of the next Russell Wilson and I’m not buying it.”
I liked Bortles the best of the three, but time will tell if the teams at the top of the draft think so. I left Indianapolis with the impression that the real QB work was about which guy to take in the second or third round.
He makes the point that many teams are taking a hard look at the offensive tackles and that these players are moving up draft boards. That position seems to offer much less risk at the top of the draft, and guys like Jake Matthews, Greg Robinson, Taylor Lewan and Zach Martin have been impressive at the combine. Robinson in particular stunned with his 40 time.
It’s still early, but this year predicting the order of the top ten seems particularly difficult, and so it will be hard to predict the QB decisions that will affect teams for next year. So if you like betting NFL futures when you use your Bet365 offer code, keep in mind that the odds can change dramatically once these QB decisions play out.
Houston in particular is a tough one to predict. A pro-ready quarterback like Teddy Bridgewater could make them a playoff team again overnight. Opinions on Johnny Manziel vary dramatically, but if he thrives in the NFL he could turn around a team like Houston very quickly. Meanwhile, Bortles might be the best pick in terms of long-term potential, but he’s a real project. Unless Houston gets a good veteran to play in front of him, they would likely struggle with Bortles starting right away as he has so much to learn.
On the other hand, they could draft Jadeveon Clowney as a bookend to JJ WAtt on that defense, and all of a sudden they could be dominant on that side of the ball again. Give them a veteran QB and you suddenly have a real team again.
So good luck making picks at this stage of the game.