Saturday, February 28, 2009

UW Football, Seattle Seahawks - Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Biggest Winner
I’m going with a football theme here, and I have many candidates, most of them QBs. It seems pretty clear that through a couple of games in the college football season that the Heisman winner will be a guy who plays field general. Some names: (1) Chase Daniel, QB, Missouri. He’s put Missouri football on the map the last few years and has been playing exceptionally well. I read that he has more TDs, seven, than incompletions, six. Absurd; (2) Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma. Um, did you watch that game against UW? I know, I know, UW is abysmal, much more so than I had dreaded, but they still fielded a team that had the intention of stopping Oklahoma, albeit only theoretically. Bradford looked like he was playing Oklahoma’s flag football IM team. He is very accurate and has a great arm. He definitely will be invited to New York. (3) Mark Sanchez, QB, USC. I had no illusions that OSU would win this game at USC, but I didn’t think that they would get throttled as badly as they did. It’s weird reading all of those quotes from both sides of the ball for USC, essentially they said that they knew exactly what plays were coming on offense and defense and they had already prepared something that would work and each time, evidently, it did. Sanchez looks very much the part of a Heisman-winning QB.

All that being said about the young fellas in the college game, I’m going to give the biggest winner award to Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay. I love that he’s winning. I care even a little bit about Green Bay and their history and all of that, I’m just happy for the dude who was getting treated like lint by Brett Favre. He’s playing great football and his team is winning. He has a huge game this week against Dallas which would also put him in contention for the award next week. Nice job, Aaron. Keep it up.

Biggest Loser
Oh, man. Where do I start? Sports in our neck of the woods are in terrible shape. I was so excited for the beginning of football season and now I wish it would just end. I mean, see the crap I wrote above, none of it has anything to do with what’s going on here (on a positive note, I mean). Despite what’s going on with the Seahawks, I’m pretty sure that the biggest loser is Tyrone Willingham. The guy has no chance to save his job, no one has faith in the guy anymore. Perhaps his team does, but they’re not really showing it on the field. Here’s the thing, I thought that UW would lose its first three games, then rally for wins against Stanford, UCLA, WSU, OSU, Arizona, Arizona State, and Cal. I can still see them beating Stanford and WSU for sure. Those two teams are not good. It’s very hard to figure out UCLA’s team. They beat a superior Tennessee team in LA, but get absolutely throttled by BYU in Utah. I still think that they might be able to pull that game out. So that’s three wins. I think that Arizona is the same type of team that UW is, so they should be able to at least go toe-to-toe with them physically, but I also worry that Tuitama will light them up like Burning Man (again). I do think that they can handle Oregon State but I think that they’ll probably lose to ASU (even though I think that they are not nearly as good as experts think—or thought—they are) and Cal will destroy them. So that leaves them with four wins and a solid eight losses and Ty gets ousted.

I have no idea who will replace him, it kind of sucks to be in this position again because they’ll just be set back that much farther. Whoever comes in is going to have to deal with the same issues as any new coach. He’s going to come in to a team that has been losing, and losing badly for a few years. One thing that the new coach will have is a great QB (unless he leaves after this year, which is what I’d be telling Locker to do if I was in his ear, get out NOW, get to the NFL and learn how to play QB, don’t get ruined by the “spread” offense. I’ll get to this later). The new coach would have to be brought in as soon as they make their decision to fire Ty, they need to have a guy in place so that recruiting does not suffer, so that they don’t lose any ground and end up having a class of like 12 guys or something. This new coach will have youngish players, but at least they won’t be completely new to the college game. Anyway, it’s a foregone conclusion that he’s going to be fired, and they probably should have just done it last year and hired Jim Mora. I don’t know if he’d be any good, but I do know that Ty had no chance this year, it was folly to think that he did –and I participated in the folly… 7-5… what the hell was I thinking?

Now, on to Locker… physically he has all of the tools that you want in a QB. He’s tall enough at 6’3. He’s certainly big enough to take hits at 220. He has a cannon for an arm. He clearly is “mobile” enough to do whatever needs to be done from a QB perspective—and that’s an understatement, obviously. What he lacks is: (1) accuracy; (2) patience, (3) experience in a complex offense. As I’ve described him, he’s Rex Grossman right now, with a more size and a lot more speed. Grossman, for all of his warts, has a huge arm. But Rex is stupid and Rex makes horrid decisions. That being said, I think Rex is the absolute floor for what Locker can be… so, he’s obviously an NFL caliber talent. As bad as Rex is, he can still play in the league. Also, I think that Locker is probably as good right now as Michael Vick was when he was at Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech did not ask him to do much in terms of understanding an offense and reading defenses and all of that. He just had a few throws he had to make a game and ran like hell for the rest of the game. He was so athletically superior to everyone on the field that he got away with it (and he had a good team around him). In the NFL, it’s not insane to say that he was the fastest guy on the field. Now, can’t the same be said for Locker? He’s crazy fast and when dudes have angles on him he can still run away from them. It just looks so strange because he’s so big. Anyway, I think that there are very strong Vick comparisons when it comes to Locker because of their physical talents and unsophisticated games. Of course, Vick is in prison, and Locker goes to church and stuff.

So, what’s Locker’s ceiling? I think he can be a little bit better Donovan McNabb. Both guys are big (McNabb is actually 6'2 240), both have speed (Locker is much faster though), both have good arms. McNabb is much more accurate than Locker is, but he’s also been in the league like 9 years. Anyway, since Locker is a redshirt sophomore, he should bolt to the NFL now. I guarantee you he’d be picked within the first three rounds. I think that he’s best suited to play in an offense that does not require crazy precision like what Seattle runs. I think that offense is a detriment at times because unless everything is perfect, the play is dead. I think that Locker would thrive in places like Pittsburgh, Carolina, Dallas, Jacksonville, Minnesota, NY Giants, New Orleans, San Diego, Denver, and Cleveland. Looking at the QB situations for the league, I think it would be very, very smart for him to come out now and get some training while not having to play right away. One of those teams would take him and turn him into a great NFL QB, I think. I really hope that he does it, even if I root for UW, I think that he’s wasting his time there. He already left $2M on the table by forsaking baseball, he should go get it back (and then some) now. UW is going nowhere, with or without him.

It’s pretty amazing what’s going on with these guys. I predicted an 11-5 finish for them. Laughable. They will be lucky to get within pissing distance of that record. I’m scared that they will finish with a dreaded 8-8 record reminiscent of the mid-late 90s. Of course, with all of their injuries, it’s kind of crazy to think that they’d be able to play better than .500, but their injuries have not occurred on defense, which is what was most disappointing the other day. Sigh.

National Champion
Before seeing any games I chose Oklahoma v. Georgia in the national title game. I haven’t seen Georgia play yet, so I’ll reserve judgment on them. I’ve seen Oklahoma play and they looked unbelievable, albeit against very, very, very subpar competition. And now I’ve seen USC play against a team that was supposed to be good in OSU. If I was picking today, I’d say USC plays Oklahoma in what would be a good game, I think. Missouri might have something to say about that though, as well as Georgia and possibly Florida. I don’t like any team from the Big 10 (11) making it to the big game, nor do I like anyone from the Big East or the ACC. Anyway, both USC and Oklahoma look damn near unbeatable and I’d give the edge to USC simply because they have a ridiculously tough defense a very talented offense.

Super Bowl Champion
I think I said that San Diego would play Dallas in the Super Bowl with San Diego winning it all… I don’t really like that pick anymore considering it’s highly possible that Denver may actually win the AFC West. I don’t know much about their team, but their D isn’t that tough. It’s pretty clear to me that their offense can get it done. I did not see the game the other night, but I do like Jay Cutler quite a bit. He seems to have the stones to be a great QB and certainly has the physical attributes of a star QB.

I still like my Dallas pick out of the NFC, but I think that Pittsburgh might be a team to reckon with in the AFC. Their D is really good and they have a great running game and evidently Roethlisberger is better than I give him credit for, even if he was atrocious in the Super Bowl against Seattle.

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