If you want to excel consistently, you have to have a team philosophy and know how to execute it year in and year out. That’s why teams like Pittsburgh and New England keep making it back to the Super Bowl.
The New York Giants are one of those teams. On offense everything revolves around clutch quarterback Eli Manning, and on defense it’s all about their front four. By putting pressure on the quarterback with their four down linemen, the Giants can neutralize quarterbacks like Tom Brady while other teams can barely slow him down.
With that backdrop, I was very impressed when the Giants were able to grab defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins in the second round and then Damontre Moore in the third round. This New York Giants fan blog has a great post breaking down both picks. Hankins in a beast who helps plug up the middle against the run, but Hankins is also very quick and mobile for a big defensive tackle. He reminds me of guys like Michael Dean Perry and Warren Sapp who were quick off the ball and could rush the passer up from the interior line position. On the Giants, where the defensive ends pose real problems in pass protection, Hankins will have even more opportunities to get sacks. He clearly has first-round talent so the Giants got great value here.
The value was even better when they were able to grab Moore in the third round. He dropped like a rock with poor performances at the combine and on his pro day, so there’s some risk here. But given his talent, Moore is a steal in the third round. And while the bright lights of New York City could be a problem for this guy, he’s going to the perfect team for his talents, and the guys in this locker room should keep him in line.
The NFC is loaded with media favorites San Francisco and Seattle, along with teams like Atlanta and Green Bay. The Giants slipped last year, but if these two guys pan out, you can bet the Giants will be in the mix for the NFC title.
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll rubs his temple during the fourth quarter of the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-0 win at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September, 18 2011. UPI/Archie Carpenter
It’s pretty funny to watch commentators and writers overreact to week one of the NFL. It happens every year, and this year we had Warren Sapp calling the Steelers “old and slow” after they got whipped on opening day by the Baltimore Ravens.
I guess Sapp can ask Pete Carroll what he thinks of the Steelers after they handled his Seahawks 24-0 today in Pittsburgh.
Beating on the hapless Seahawks doesn’t make the Steelers a lock to repeat as AFC champs, but I think they’re still a team to be reckoned with.
Meanwhile, what the hell is Pete Carroll doing in Seattle? Tarvaris Jackson? Really? They’re paying you almost $7 million per season for that?
While he’s a little late to the party, Warren Sapp is the latest media member to bash Albert Haynesworth about the way he has handled his contract situation with the Redskins this offseason.
From the Washington Post:
Let’s stop the BS, like we like to say,” Sapp told Vic Carucci and Howard Balzer on SiRIUS NFL Radio. “I mean, c’mon, son. You sat at the table. The people told you they had a very lovely check for you….Albert Haynesworth, you took the check, now show up to the job, son. It’s that simple. You take that kind of check. I mean, I’ll flip dogs for you. I mean, c’mon, what you want me to do, you want me to return punts? I mean, what? C’mon. Stop it. Stop it. Stop it.”
Then Sapp was asked whether Haynesworth should be considered a dominant defensive tackle when he’s playing and healthy, possibly the best defensive player in the game.
“No. No. No,” Sapp said. “He’s not consistent enough. The numbers aren’t there. I mean, I saw the four plays in a row playing the Atlanta Falcons when he was on the goal line, he looks like a manchild. Some of those games he was running, him and [Kyle] Vanden Bosch, they really had that defense rolling. He was playing the game the way it was supposed to be played.
“But you can’t tell me that a man that has, what,  sacks in his life is one of the most dominant players to ever play this game. I mean, I don’t remember that game where he took it over, you know what I’m saying? I remember me and Brett Favre up in Green Bay going at it in the playoff game. I don’t have that signature game for Haynesworth. I don’t have that signature season. Don’t give me one. That’s a rule of ours, isn’t it? I mean, one’s a fluke. Two, you become consistent. Now three, you’ve arrived. I don’t think the man’s had a 10-sack season. I mean, Tony Dungy told me when I was playing the game, he said you want to be arrived in this game, you’ve got to get to 10 sacks. That’s what I tell all young defensive tackles, you want a name in this game, rush like an end, and then you get in the conversation.”
I agree that Haynesworth isn’t the most dominating defensive players to have ever played the game, but let’s not shortchange him because of his selfish attitude. While I think the Vikings’ Kevin Williams has been a better overall defensive tackle than Haynesworth over the last three years, Albert is still one of those rare DTs that can play the run and provide a solid pass rush. And while other players may outperform him in a given year (take the Falcons’ Jonathan Babineaux and the Ravens’ Kelly Gregg in 2009 for example), he’s still a dominating force when healthy.
While I think he’s shooting from the hip a bit with his comments, Sapp does have a point about Haynesworth not having a signature game to his credit. There hasn’t been one time where Haynesworth has completely taken over a game, unlike Sapp, who was outstanding for many years in Tampa.
Sapp was arrested the day before Super Bowl XLIV for allegedly choking a woman in his Florida hotel room. At the time, the former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and Oakland Raider was working as an analyst for the NFL Network’s game coverage, but was pulled off the air when his arrest came to light.
A female acquaintance of Sapp alleged that she had an altercation with him around 6 a.m. on Feb. 6 at the Shore Club Hotel in Miami Beach, where Sapp was staying while working for the NFL Network. The accuser told police detectives that she and her friends were partying with Sapp at the hotel when she grew tired and asked Sapp for his room key.
The woman said Sapp came to the room a few hours later, woke her up and they began to argue. According to the arrest affidavit, the woman claimed Sapp choked her, pushed her down on a couch, grabbed her by her shirt and neck and threw her down again. The affidavit also stated the accuser had a swollen knee and bruises on her neck.
Sapp had told investigators that he let the woman stay in his room but asked her to leave a few hours later. Sapp said she fell on her leg when he tried to help her get off a couch.
Sapp hasn’t appeared on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” or the NFL Network since the altercation and I wonder whether or not either network would allow him to come back. Legally he did nothing wrong, but this is something that could potentially ruin his television career if the networks feel as though he’s too much of a risk to keep on their payroll.
Former player and current NFL Network commentator Warren Sapp has been released from jail on $1,500 bond this morning, a day after being arrested in Miami Beach on charges of choking a woman in his hotel room.
Sapp is accused of attacking his girlfriend around 5 a.m. Saturday at the Shore Club Hotel on Collins Avenue. The woman, who was not identified by police, was treated by emergency workers for a swollen knee and bruises on the back of her neck and taken to Mount Sinai Medical Center.
Detective Juan Sanchez, spokesman for the Miami Beach Police Department, said that the woman called police around noon Saturday to report that she had been attacked. She said she and Sapp had dated for two years.
The woman told officers that she had been partying with Sapp and friends when she grew tired and went to his hotel room. According to the arrest affidavit, she told officers that Sapp later came to the room, pulled her from bed and attempted to remove her from the room.
She alleged that he began arguing with her about some men she had been hanging out with earlier and men listed in her phone. She told officers that during the argument, he choked her and pushed her down on a couch. She alleged he then picked her up by her shirt and neck and threw her down again. Sapp, she said, ordered her to leave the room.
Sanchez said Sapp appeared cooperative when first confronted by police. “Mr. Sapp did volunteer when we approached him and asked him to come back for questioning,” Sanchez said.
According to the arrest affidavit, Sapp told officers that he asked the woman to leave because he was expecting company. He said he tried to help her off the couch when she fell backwards and hurt her leg.
SbB.com also reports that a model named Persiana (who has been photographed with Sapp several times over the past couple months) says that Sapp is being falsely accused:
Early Sunday morning model Persiana, who also goes by the name “Vegas Aysha” and describes herself on Twitter as a “Video Vixen and Magazine Blesser,” Tweeted about the Sapp situation: “A really close friend of mine was falsely accused of some serious BS and I’m sooooo upset right now! Omg! I will whoop a bitch for him.”
We’ll have to wait for more details to emerge, but it’s interesting to note that the NFL Network has already removed Sapp’s coverage for Super Bowl XLIV.