Well, with the NFL season fast approaching, my plate is full. It’s time for me to dish out some nuggets of wisdom and also some drivel as I empty my thoughts out onto your screen for your reading, commenting and criticizing pleasure.
- I preface this with the admitted fact that I am the biggest Colts homer known to man, but if you get to watch this year, take some time to watch Dwight Freeney play. I watch him on every defensive play of every game since he is my favorite player and nobody commands more defensive attention. Nobody. His combination of spin moves, bull rush, and ability to bend at impossible angles getting around the corner are a thing of beauty. Take it from an offensive lineman by trade and a defensive lineman by heart, his first step and package of moves makes him the hardest block in the NFL.
- I have had the chance to watch Ray Lewis in person on numerous occasions (living just outside of Baltimore), and while he may have lost a step, he is still the biggest load in the game when filling a gap and his “slowed down” speed is still better then 60-70% of NFL linebackers. What he adds to his marginally declining skills with instincts and ferocity gives him his longevity. He may play for another 5 years at this rate.
- There are going to be some very solid tacklers on the market amongst DBs if and when free agency hits. Bernard Pollard, Quentin Mikell, Donte Whitner, and Dawan Landry could all be out there, as could some rangy safeties like Eric Weddle and Oshiomogho Atogwe. This could be one fine year to rebuild the back end of a secondary if you have the right pieces to cover their respective weaknesses.
- I absolutely hate the transition of Mario Williams to OLB. Mario is a beast as a 4-3 bookend and he is nearly impossible to contain. I don’t care if you are going to rush him almost all of the time, you do not stand him up. You put his hand in the dirt and have him destroy people as he has shown the ability to do over and over again. This move will be a colossal failure in my humble opinion. Great for my Colts, however.
- Watch out for the Tampa Bay defense if they can stay healthy. Gerald McCoy, Brian Price, Adrian Clayborn and DaQuan Bowers could be a ridiculous force for the next decade. All four have big red flags, however. Here’s hoping they all get healthy, stay healthy, and remain on the field together at some point this season.
- Another rant: Why is Terrell Suggs still a DE in most fantasy leagues while every other player that plays even close to half of their plays standing up is listed as a LB? Don’t get me wrong, I love Suggs and think he should be listed at DE. But if they change everyone else, why not him? I am always deathly afraid that the year I take him as my DL1 will be the year he gets changed over. It never happens and I always miss out.
- I am very hopeful for but reluctant to draft some of these promising young defensive linemen from last year’s draft. I expected so much out of some of them and they disappointed so much that I don’t want to invest in them now. Where are you Derrick Morgan? How about you Brandon Graham? Do you still exist Jerry Hughes?
- Where will Aubrayo Franklin land? Rumors say Washington as a replacement to Albert Haynesworth. Franklin is the anti-Haynesworth. He is a hard worker and he is a black hole that offensive linemen disappear into. He is going to be a prize for whoever lands him. I wouldn’t let him go if I were SF. Too bad his fantasy impact is so minimal.
- Speaking of potential room for success, keep an eye out for whoever lands the SS job in Buffalo. That job always produces fantasy numbers and it looks like they will let Donte Whitner walk. Will it be George Wilson? Bryan Scott? Rookie Da’Norris Searcy?
- What is up with this mess of a linebacker situation in Cleveland? D’Qwell Jackson, Chris Gocong, Scott Fujita, Marcus Benard and maybe Matt Roth? Really? Will DQ step up there and be the stud he used to be? Is he washed up with two straight season ending chest injuries? Something has to give here. Someone has to be a stud right?
- Will someone step up and man the middle in Jacksonville? I thought Kirk Morrison was going to give us flashbacks to Mike Peterson’s old dominating days in the middle in Jax, but he flopped and now Jax has a hole in the middle again. Who fills it? Do they go after Barrett Ruud?
- Speaking of holes in the middle, who fills the one in Tennessee? Do they bring Tulloch back? If not, does Tulloch land in a good spot to keep him in the top-10 to top-20 LBs? Is it really going to be Will Witherspoon? Will Tenn give the kid Colin McCarthy a shot?
Well that’s enough ranting and rumbling for this installment. Till next time folks!