Bizarre Percy Harvin trade
The NFL world was pretty shocked yesterday with the news that Seattle traded Percy Harvin to the Jets. It started to make more sense, at least from Seattle’s point of view, when reports started to surface that Harvin was a cancer in the clubhouse. In fact, the move seems brilliant all of a sudden from their point of view. Pete Carroll has established himself as one of the best football coaches out there, and he doesn’t tolerate players that don’t buy into his culture. When you have references to “anger management” issues connected to Harvin, it’s no surprise that Seattle decided to move him. The Seahawks have some issues this year as the rest of the NFL seems to be figuring out that you need to punch them in the mouth if you want to beat them. Carroll obviously concluded he didn’t want to put up with Harvin’s bullshit.
Still, even though Harvin’s production wasn’t that impressive, just having him on the field posed a real problem for defenses, and even as a decoy he was extremely valuable to an offense that relies heavily on scheme and misdirection. Let’s see how this affects Russell Wilson’s production going forward.
Turning to the 1-6 Jets, this deal seems to make a lot less sense. Does adding a talented player who has trouble getting along with others make any sense for a bad team? Sure, Idzik has taken heat for not giving Rex Ryan enough weapons, but this seems like a desperation move.
Perhaps Harvin will react better to the Rex Ryan atmosphere over the intense Pete Carroll approach. Also, if you look at the schedule for the rest of the year, the Jets should be in every game. Maybe this sparks a turnaround? It just seems like a move that bad franchises make. Getting a couple more wins in a season where many expect Rex Ryan to be fired seems pointless, and Harvin has a ridiculous salary for a player who has been dumped by two franchises for being a malcontent. The circus in the New York media won’t help much either.
At the very least we have a story worth following for the rest of the year.
Is Russell Wilson an elite quarterback?
This question is being debated quite a bit since Russell Wilson dazzled recently in prime time against the Redskins. Frankly, Wilson is capable of making some incredible plays, and he’s definitely one of the best improvisers in football.
I was never high on Wilson and he’s made me and other critics eat my words. That said, he’s in the perfect situation with a great defense and a dominant running game. Like Big Ben before him, his situation has allowed him to grow into his role.
But now the hype is in full force as to where he ranks among the best quarterbacks, and this week against the Cowboys we saw many of Wilson’s limitations. If you keep him in the pocket and force him to beat you with just his arm, then Wilson can struggle particularly when his team is playing from behind.
Also, even if you go back to a game where he seemingly played well, his reliance on running from the pocket makes him pass up some big passing plays as pointed out by Pete Prisco.
Much of his success can be traced back to the scheme, giving him easy running lanes and open receivers. Then he excels by making plays when he leaves the pocket, and his vision downfield is very impressive when he’s moving.
Yet in the pocket he’s very inconsistent, so when comparing him to someone like Andrew Luck it’s not even close at this point in my opinion. Luck can do so much more and he can do everything Wilson does well.
So while Wilson is definitely a very good quarterback, let’s not put him in the elite category just yet.
Fran Tarkenton scolds AJ McCarron
This is pretty hilarious.
AJ McCarron has a pretty inflated view of himself, and that came across when he criticized the current Alabama team by saying it didn’t have the leadership the team had last year (that would be himself, AJ McCarron). He also made some comments about Nick Saban “handcuffing” the offense.
The great Fran Tarkenton reacted with a classic rant about McCarron:
“A.J. McCarron- he needs to be quiet,” Tarkenton said on Jox 94.5-FM’s The Opening Drive. “He was so fortunate to play in that program. He’s an average quarterback at best. He couldn’t have played anywhere else but Alabama and to make any kind of comment is just disrespectful. He shouldn’t have made it and he should keep his mouth shut, praise Saban and Alabama for the rest of his life.”
Does anyone disagree with that?
Tarkenton is one of the ex-players who says what’s on his mind and doesn’t sugar-coat things. He’ll tell you most modern players are using HGH, which is why players are so huge these days and why defensive ends are running 4.5 40s.
As for McCarron he backtracked of course, and he’s be wise to heed Tarkenton’s advice.
Fox investigation shows FSU obstructed Jameis Winston investigation
Fox released stunning results of its investigation into how Florida State “handled” the Jameis Winston investigation when he faced rape allegations. In some ways this shouldn’t be stunning at all – the campus police and athletic department basically did everything possible to undermine the investigation and keep Winston on the field. They stacked the deck in favor of the defense and made it hard for the prosecutor to conduct a real investigation, basically tainting witnesses by letting the defense have first crack.
Its this kind of disgrace that has many people rightfully outraged but is also leading to proposals on how to deal with sexual assault allegations on campus that can create other problems.
The key is to force universities to take this stuff seriously and care as much about the alleged victim as they do about athletes.
On the other hand, knee-jerk suspensions of any player immediately after an allegation is made is also problematic. We just saw that this week in Florida when a player was immediately suspended and then soon after reinstated after the accuser recanted. We don’t know whether this was a case of false accusation, but this case looks very bad.
The question of whether athletes or other students will receive real due process when accused of sexual assault will be front and center as pointed out by Jonathan Chait after states like California start to rewrite the rules regarding these issues. The real way to deal with this would be to make sure athletes like Jameis Winston do not get special treatment and allegations are treated seriously, but getting rid of due process goes way too far.
Is Jay Cutler the next Jeff George?
Brian Billick made an interesting comparison today, wondering if Jay Cutler is the next Jeff George. Naturally, bears fans should be terrified by the prospect, though many of them were dumbfounded when the Bears gave him a monster contract extension.
The comparison may be appropriate in that both men have great arms along with a gunslinger mentality when playing the position. But that often leads to disaster of course unless you’re Dan Marino or Jim Kelly, and even those guys didn’t win Super Bowls.
With Cutler, we’re seeing way too many mistakes, and you have to wonder what’s going on in Chicago.