the urbane league

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Posts Tagged ‘Brett Favre

pennington bear?

leave a comment »

[It seems] The saga is over. Brett Favre is a now a New York Football Jet; with that, Chad Pennington has been handed his walking papers. Tell you the truth, this is probably best for Pennington. Props to the Jets for just giving Pennington an unencumbered release and letting him dictate the course of the rest of career…I’m not taking a shot Green Bay, I’m just saying; The Jets had decided what direction they were going in and within 24 hours, had everything straightened out. Favre goes to the Jets for a 4th round pick which can escalate rounds all the way into a 1st round pick if Favre plays 80% of the offensive snaps and the Jets make the Super Bowl. That’s all well and good, but what I think is key to note is the poison pill the Packers put into the agreement which would make the Jets forfeit three first round picks if they trade Favre to the Vikings…pretty smart if you ask me.

Now the question moves to where does Chad Pennington go? Now, if you’ve heard me rip the Bears for not making a move for Chris Simms or Byron Leftwich, and for passing on Flacco, Henne, Brohm and Booty, it would only seem to stand to reason that I would be in favor of Pennington signing with the Bears; not so much. It would be the Bears luck that the one “marquis” QB who becomes available is not at all suited to play for your team. Now, understand, that when I say that, I’m not saying that the Bears wouldn’t be a better team with Chad Pennington, because I believe they would. I’m just saying that it wouldn’t be an ideal situation for Chad, making it unlikely that a deal gets worked out there. Chicago is too cold and windy for Pennington’s surgically-reconstructed, mediocre-at-best arm; not to mention the absolute dearth of quality receivers and an unproven running game. Pennington to the Bears just doesn’t make any sense right now from his perspective, but from the Bears’, ANYTHING is better than the lower tier firm of Grossman & Orton MLP (Maximum Liability Partnership)

A really intriguing option from both player and franchise perspective would be the Vikings. The Vikings don’t have the most elite receiving corps in the league, but the absolute strength of the running game and offensive line more than makes up for it. The issues of Pennington’s lack of desirable arm strength are mitigated by the fact that Minnesota will play at least 9 games in a dome. Minnesota is also stacked on the defensive side of the ball and just smothers the run. Minnesota is a team just poised to strike in the NFC and they are one productive QB away from doing so. And all this talk about Pennington being a backup, I don’t understand, what about last season makes us think that Tarvaris Jackson is ready right now?

Obviously, there are the connections to Miami (drafted by Parcells) and Kansas City (played to win the game for Herm), but I really can’t call the probability of either of those. Personally, I think Kansas City makes a lot of sense. Brodie Croyle is not a lock to be a productive starter, and I think having Chad back there as a guy to push Croyle (that’s assuming Pennington doesn’t beat him out) would be great. If I was Chiefs management I would see about bringing Chad into the fold. Again, you have Larry Johnson and Jamaal Charles carrying the ball, and Tony Gonzales and Dwayne Bowe to catch it. Last I checked, the AFC West is pretty much “The Chargers and ‘em,” this would be a great move for the Kansas City to try to make a push in the AFC and try perhaps take one of the wildcard spots from either Jacksonville or Tennessee. The Dolphins make less sense. Even though their offensive line will be much better in run blocking, Jake Long is not quiiite there yet when it comes to pass protection. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams cannot necessarily be counted on to play a full season and if the Terry Glenn thing works out, that makes the Dolphins’ best receiver nothing more than a vertical threat so it doesn’t really bode well.

Teams I think should consider it, but won’t because it’s “too risky” in terms of fan and media perception are; the Arizona Cardinals and the Baltimore Ravens. The Cardinals are not ready to admit that they’re wrong with Matt Leinart (I’m not sold on him, if you can’t tell) , but I just feel as though you’re not going to have Boldin and Fitzgerald for that much longer and the NFC West is really not that good. Matter of fact, they wouldn’t even have to cut Leinart (they would have to let Warner go, but he’s 37 years old). I think if you cut Warner, and either Morelli or St. Pierre, and bring in Pennington, there’s a great chance he ends up starting, and with his accuracy, he could be a great stabilizing force under center for the Cardinals in a completely winnable division.

I thing the Ravens should make the move because any time you’re assessing your team’s situation, and it has you starting Kyle Boller, you’ve got a problem. I’m sure he’s a very nice young man, but as far as being a starter in the NFL, I’m fairly certain Boller has proven he can’t do that. I think with the sound fundamental approach and good decision making that Pennington brings to the QB position, he would put the Ravens in a great place as far as the QB position goes. Remember, the Ravens still have a great defense and playing Pennington until either Joe Flacco or Troy Smith are ready to take the reins is a far better situation than just leaving Smith and Flacco to their own devices, with nobody to learn from.

The Jets have been awful as of late, and I think Pennington has taken too much of the blame; he does play quarterback though, and that’s just the way it goes. I think this release from the Jets should be an opportunity for Chad to really be deliberate about where he signs. Pennington could be just enough of a game manager to put a decent just over the “contender hump.”

4 all the hoopla

leave a comment »

I’m really getting tired of this Brett Favre story that’s been dragging on since the first time he contemplated retirement. The only thing that annoys me more is all of the talking heads who speak as if Favre can do no wrong; all of them reiterating the catch phrase “Favre has earned the right to do this.” Wrong. Favre had earned the right to take as long as he needed to make the decision, but I wholeheartedly disagree that he has earned the right to retire in March, contact the team in late May saying he wants to play again, change his mind when the team wants to talk to him about it, then contact them again July to start the same thing all over again. I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again, Brett Favre is not bigger than the Green Bay Packers.

I read a comment on a message board at the end of one of ESPN’s innumerable stories on this never-ending story which had the audacity to call Brett Favre, “the greatest quarterback to play the game.” Just take a moment and let the pure, unadulterated lunacy of that statement wash over you…kinda makes you feel like Tim Robbins escaping from prison in The Shawshank Redemption, huh? (500 yards of sewage, think about it). Not that it has anything to do with this story, but the author of said comment was also a Michigan State Fan, go figure. Anyway once I had gotten the taste out of my mouth, I sat and I thought to myself, “How can anyone seriously make that statement?” Then it hit me, they’d probably have to have never watched any football for themselves and must just base that statement over what they’ve heard about Brett Favre from the media. Nobody gets passes from the media like #4, and honestly if you just listened to the Chris Bermans and Tom Jacksons of the world, you would believe that Favre was no worse than the second best quarterback ever.

Before I lose some of the less objective readers, I’m not saying Favre wasn’t over the course of his career a good quarterback who put together some great seasons (8 by my count), but I am saying (and only because I can’t speak for all of history) Brett Favre is the most over-rated player of my generation (I’m 24, 25 in December). Brett Favre has been a starting quarterback since the second game of the 1992 season. 16 years as a starter, 16, and only 8 times did Favre finish the season with a quarterback rating of 90+. I’m not saying that’s not good, but the way they talk about him; you would think he was Football Jesus. Just to put that in perspective for you, let me ask you this question, “What does that say for the other half of his seasons as a starter if half of his career was spent playing 90+ (93.9 to be exact) rated football, but his career quarterback rating is an 86?” For you non-mathematicians, it means [holding average attempts constant, of course] he spent the other half of his career playing 78 rated football, not that impressive, in case you weren’t sure.

We all know that quarterbacks’ careers are evaluated by a completely different standard than every other position; Super Bowls and consistency. Except for Brett Favre, he is only measured by his consecutive games started streak, and how warm and fuzzy he makes mainstream America feel (as long as you don’t think about his alcoholism and addiction to pain killers, but that’s neither here, nor there, America prayed for him and he-no, WE got through it together…thank the lord). So let’s do something totally radical, let’s evaluate Brett Favre the same way we would any other quarterback in the NFL [gasp!]

Let’s start with how we look at every other “pantheon player” (I really like that Josh), Brett Favre has (drum roll) one Super Bowl victory (cymbal?). Yes, boys and girls the talking heads may give you the impression that he’s won many more, but it’s just one, right there with Kurt Warner, and Trent Dilfer, in recent history. But really think about that for a second. EVERY quarterback from Eli Manning on who is lucky enough to win one Super Bowl, will have just as many as Favre. And people love to slurp the fact that he’s played so long, I don’t necessarily see that as a good thing, I say “you’re supposed to be “the greatest” and in 16 seasons as a starter, you managed two trips to the Super Bowl and one win?” I look at people giving Brett Favre dap for his iron man status the same way I look at people giving Hines Ward dap for his blocking. They just really like the guy, but they know they’ve gotta have something other than the numbers, otherwise all the love just wouldn’t make sense.

People are quick to throw out that Favre is tops in touchdown passes and tops in yardage. Both points are taken, but those same people love to conveniently omit that he is also tops in interceptions, and most importantly, tops in ATTEMPTS. Doesn’t it stand to reason that if you’re a good quarterback, and NOBODY in the history of the league has ever attempted more passes than you, then theoretically you should be number one in completions and yardage? This is another thing that it’s important to note, Dan Marino, who has all the “longevity statistics” Favre has been surpassing; a) NEVER had teams around him like Favre did, and b) Only completed 59.4% of his career attempts. That being said, Favre has less than 300 more career passing yards than Dan Marino on 401 MORE attempts. Again, for the non-mathematicians, that’s less than three-quarters of a yard for every additional attempt. We economists would call those piss-poor marginal returns. Marino, by the way, with his almost two decades with weak supporting casts and a sub-60% career completion percentage, managed a career quarterback rating of 86.4

Let’s look at efficiency. As I mentioned before, his career quarterback rating (which is the best holistic measure of efficiency we’ve got) is an 86 (or 85.7 to be exact). Again, I’m not saying Favre wasn’t good (great at times, awful at times) but here are some stats I want you to consider, in relation to the way Favre is lauded. We’ll skip Peyton Manning; 10 years, 94.7 rating, and Tom Brady; 7 years starting, 92.9 rating, and point out some other characters you might have just assumed Brett was just leagues better than, in terms of efficiency. This is done by looking at how the quarterback rating said player has posted since becoming a starter (I understand some have missed time due to injury or sucking, but understand the beauty of efficiency as measured by the quarterback rating is that it isn’t affected by time you’re not playing; it’s strictly a measure of you on the field. So it gives you an idea of what these guys do while they’re on the field. Jeff Garcia; 9 years, 87.2 rating, Donovan McNabb; 9 years, 85.8 rating, Kurt Warner; 9 years, 93.2 rating, Brian Greise; 9 years, 83.6 rating, Chad Pennington; 6 years, 88.9 rating. Those are just the active players.

Lastly, Favre has thrown so many interceptions, it almost makes his consecutive games streak a true testament to how over-rated he is. Favre has thrown 20+ interceptions in a single season five times in his career (including a career high of 29 two seasons ago). 20 interceptions is a nightmarish season for any quarterback most quarterbacks wouldn’t get the opportunity to throw 20 picks 5 times in a career because they would’ve already been shown the door. But not Brett, he’s “gunslinger,” whatever that means. Where I’m from, 20 interceptions in an NFL season either means you’re a rookie, you can’t understand the playbook, or you can’t read coverages. Favre didn’t start as a rookie, and only threw 13 interceptions his first year as a starter, while completing 64.1% of his passes (which, until last season, was his second highest completion percentage ever). So that means that in the 15 years of starting since his second year in the league, Favre throws 20 picks once every 3 seasons…wow. I know a lot of you are going to point out (well at least the ones who do their homework) that my boy Tony Romo threw 19 interceptions just this past season. That is true, and that is indefensible. That being said, Romo also did throw 36 touchdowns, and finished with a quarterback rating of 97.4. So if you’re going to throw 20 picks, you better have a helluva lot of touchdowns to go with it, to maintain a high efficiency. Favre on the other had had quarterback ratings of 72.2, 87.8, 74.7, 90.4, and 70.9 in each of his campaigns when he eclipsed the 20 interception mark. So let’s just cool all this talk about Favre being the greatest.

Favre was good, but not so good that he can treat the Packers like some girlfriend with low self esteem. He only brought them one Super Bowl, which at the end of the day, is all that matters. And I’m pretty sure one Super Bowl is less than the number of backbreaking interceptions he’s thrown in post-season play. Brett Favre is no linkJoe Montana, and if the 49ers could part ways with him, the Packers can most assuredly part ways with Favre.

Written by misteressama

July 16, 2008 at 10:17 am

Posted in Sports

Tagged with ,

favre-a streisand

leave a comment »

Doing his best Barbara Streisand, Brett Favre is yet again doing everything in his power to keep the media’s attention focused squarely on himself. Favre has been denying rumors that he (or his agent) contacted the Packers to feel out opportunities for his return. So what Brett Favre expects us to believe is that either someone just randomly decided to make up a story that he wanted to come back, and then leaked it to the media, or that his agent contacted the Packers behind his back…Right. It is clear that Favre has really been drinking the Kool-Aid on himself for quite some time now. This was evidenced by his replying to a reporter’s question a couple of years ago as to him “taking his time” to decide whether or not he was coming back; “What are they gonna do? Cut me?” This only shows that Favre truly believes that he is bigger than the Packer organization.

Favre has been holding the Packers hostage like this for years now, every season, the Packers can’t just go through a normal off season because little can’t make up his mind. Meanwhile the media just gives him a free pass to act like a spoiled, petulant child. The media drags all of America through this saga as if the fate of the NFL itself rested upon it. Past that, what Favre is doing is completely disrespectful to Aaron Rodgers. I’m not saying that Favre should take Rodgers’ feelings into consideration when he makes his decisions, but I am saying that he owes Rodgers (and the Packers for that matter) the basic decency of just making his decisions, shutting the fuck up, and moving on. If you’re going to retire, retire and go do whatever the hell it is you do in Mississippi, if you’re going to comeback, show up and put in the work with your teammates. All this pusillanimous sneaking around and contacting the organization behind closed doors, to see what the reaction would be if you wanted to come back is a joke.

Favre needs to remember that the Packers made him, not the other way around. He acts like the Packers were nothing before he got there. The Packers were, and will continue to be one of the league’s most storied franchises. Last I checked, Favre brought the franchise one (1) Super Bowl. Not Joe Montana’s four, not Terry Bradshaw’s four, not Troy Aikman’s three, not Tom Brady’s three. One, as in the same number Trent Dilfer brought to the Ravens and the same number Kurt Warner brought to the Rams. Favre can look at Rodgers like he’s a joke (and if you compare the resumes, he obviously is) but let’s go back to that Dallas game last year. Favre’s quintessential irresponsibility put the Packers in a hole early and it wasn’t until he had to sit out that Rodgers came in and managed the Packers right back into the game, until Favre, seeing how well Rodgers was doing decided it was much more important to try to log that elusive win at Dallas than let the kid quarterback the team to a win. Yes, I said it, and I’m a Dallas fan too. I didn’t feel a bigger moment of relief than when Favre came back into that game. It’s the 800 pound pink hybrid of an elephant and gorilla in the room that nobody wants to say, but Favre’s style does not suit this current Packer team, and that was illustrated in Dallas last year. He thinks he can just come out and throw the ball anywhere he wants and that it doesn’t matter if he fucks up because he’s Brett Favre, and what are they gonna do? Bench him?

Perhaps that’s the problem, Favre has grown overly irreverent. His sense of self is so overly inflated that he doesn’t think the rules apply to him. That’s what allows him to have the gall to hold up this whole franchise while he decides what he wants to do. I hope the rumor is true, that the Packers told him that they had moved on, and that they would not grant him a release. Favre needs to understand that though his career has been long, and he means a lot to that franchise, he is not bigger than the city, the fans or the league. This is just a man who loves to feel needed, and would genuinely dislike seeing Aaron Rodgers do well. That is how petty he is, after all the Packer faithful have given him, he would rather see them suffer without him. If the Cowboys don’t win the Super Bowl this year, my next most preferable turnout would be Rodgers taking the Packers all the way. It would be poetic justice and maybe—just maybe, it would temper Favre’s hubris; but I doubt it.

Written by misteressama

July 4, 2008 at 7:39 pm

wouldn’t have it any other way

with 3 comments

“I would rather have Tony Romo quaterbacking the Dallas Cowboys than any other quarterback in the league right now.” – Me circa two seasons ago.

That quote got me looked at like I had just said the road to the Super Bowl goes through Oakland. But I’m serious, like botched field goal hold to end your post-season serious. I got the usual suspects thrown at me; Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Carson Palmer, and yes, even Brett Favre. Responses like this let me know two things; a) casual fans pay far too much attention to talking heads and b) they LOVE to hear what they want to hear.

Yes, Brady has the rings, Manning has the pedigree, Palmer is next in that line of great signal callers and Favre just gets lauded relentlessly for being an alcoholic, addicted to Codeine, being wildly inconsistent (but the media calls that a “gunslinger” mentality) oh that’s right, and winning a Super Bowl over a decade ago. Yes, I understand Favre was great back in the day, but I’ll dismiss the idea of him over Romo right away as completely and utterly risible. Why? Favre has thrown 62 interceptions in the last three seasons. Yes. 62. And I don’t want to hear that it’s not his fault. 62 interceptions in three seasons is ALWAYS your fault as a quarterback. Every other quarterback seems to get held to a higher standard than Brett Favre, because we all know NOBODY else would get away with throwing 62 picks in three seasons. Just to give you an idea, the illustrious triumvirate of Greise, Grossman and Orton has thrown 65 over the last 3 seasons. Yeah, he’s been that great.

But Favre is the worst (right now) on the aforementioned list. So how do I defend Romo? That is really quite simple, the Dallas offensive line, is truly just that; offensive. I know we added big Leonard Davis, but don’t forget he’s playing guard, not tackle. Don’t forget, this is the Dallas offensive line that was so bad that Witten, one of the best TE in the league HAD to be kept in to block when Drew Bledsoe was back there. That is because Drew Bledsoe is what Manning, Palmer, and his successor Brady all are; a pure pocket passer. Guys who would get absolutely punished playing behind Dallas’ offensive line.

Enter “Pretty” Ton’. What most people don’t get about Romo, is that he is one of the most athletic, instinctive quarterbacks in the game. I mean don’t forget he shat on Michael “The Playmaker” Irvin in a game of one on one. The more ignorant of you would say, that doesn’t mean a thing, but those of you who know; a) the kind of athlete Irvin is/was and b) the size of his ego, know that fact that he would admit this on national television means it was really something. Nobody will stop talking about Romo muffing the snap, but what people don’t talk about, is his presence of mind to get up, run and almost gain the first down. Most other quarterbacks would have never even made it up off their knees. Then the talk was “can he overcome that disastrous let down and not let that affect his play?” Well, we saw what he did last season, and what he could have done in the post season, had Patrick “I run my mouth, even though I’m awful” Crayton not let him down.

Lastly, Romo is a cavalier son-of-a-bitch, yet he never makes throws those awful interceptions that make you scratch your head. Behind a sub par offensive line, Romo still manages to make it look like he rarely gets pressured, but that is far from the case. Romo sees more pressure than Brady, Manning and Palmer ever do, but his athleticism, instincts, and three and a half years marinating on the bench before his first start have turned him into the most important player on Dallas’ offense.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Owens, he’s probably my favorite player in the league. However, there is a handful (maybe two) of receivers you could put in his place and Dallas’ offense would still be lethal. I think you could plug in; Randy Moss, Reggie Wayne, Chad Johnson, Braylon Edwards, Plaxico Burress, Anquan Boldin, Andre Johnson, Marques Colston and Greg Jennings (really, don’t laugh the kid is big play) and still have what amounts to a top 5 offensive unit in the league. UNDERSTAND, I AM NOT SAYING THESE GUYS ARE AS GOOD AS OWENS (well Moss is), I’m saying Dallas could still be a top 5 offense with these guys, very different statements.Contrast that to the fact that Romo is the only quarterback (maybe a healthy McNabb, a-k-a the mythical unicorn; oft described, yet never seen) that can hide the lacunas that exist in Dallas’ pass protection. So you can keep hating him, because the media is all on his member, or because he vacations with Jessica Simpson, or because he’s a Cowboy, but one thing you cannot say is that Romo has not earned the on-field accolades he has received. Without Romo, the Cowboys are in the cellar of the NFC East, which for those of you who rep teams in other (weaker) divisions and don’t know, that’s 8-8. So just sit back and bask in the radiance of the rise of the Romo Empire, and don’t be like those haters on the other side hating him because he’s beautiful.