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Thursday Lynx Package, Around the League [5/17/22]

| May 19th, 2022


Sometimes it’s good, especially this time of year, to take a look around the league and see what’s happening with the other franchises. And instead of weighing in on teams I have spent almost no time thinking about, I’ll provide links to those who cover them and try to stay away from paywalls.

  • Rashawn Slater, already one of the best tackles in the sport, spent some of his honeymoon trying to get better. What was he doing? “…pass sets in ankle-deep ocean water with a forest of tropical trees nearby.”
  • While the Bears understand year two of Justin Fields will come with continued growing pains, Zach Wilson is not being afforded the same space in New Jersey. “Joe Douglas has beefed up Wilson’s offensive line through free agency and the draft. He has gotten him an assortment of weapons in the backfield and split out wide, too. If Wilson falls short, it won’t be because of his receivers not having the talent to get open or his running backs not being able to hit a hole.”
  • Daniel Jones received support from Giants ownership, but the NY Post is already projecting his replacement in 2023.
  • Mitch Trubisky signed with the Steelers because it was – as he saw it – his best opportunity to start in 2022. But the writing is on the wall and word out of Pittsburgh is it is Kenny Pickett’s job to lose. (I still contend Mitch should have followed Daboll to New Jersey and beat out Jones this summer.)
  • Why did MVS choose Kansas City? “The opportunity within itself to go out and be a great playmaker,” Valdes-Scantling said. “Obviously, I had that opportunity anywhere I went, but I think this one was a better fit for me. Some of the things they do offensively was appealing to me — and obviously, a quarterback like Pat (Mahomes) who is going to be here for a long time, that also was appealing. So I think those two things — and then, obviously, getting here and meeting everybody and it seemed like a good fit. It seemed like home.”
  • Tom Brady is going to be roasted on Netflix.
  • Chris Ballard’s right-hand man, Ed Dodds, is showing a natural ability to work the media as well as his boss. Dodds – and many in the sport – believed he was getting the Raiders job. He did not. (He withdrew from the Bears process because the interview was a trainwreck.)
  • Believe it or not, there are still folks in Detroit who think Jeff Okudah is going to be a thing.
  • The talk of Minnesota’s OTAs? Dalvin Cook has been lining up at receiver in multiple sets. Could be nothing. Could be a significant change in his usage.
  • Is Trey Lance ready? Steve Young thinks it’s a complicated question. “When they say he’s not ready, it because there’s not that body of work of him being on the field. They see what’s on the field—like amazing talent, an amazing arm, and all the things, but there’s so much more to quarterbacking. So when someone says he’s not ready, it’s easy to say because he hasn’t done it.”

Not bad for a Thursday in mid-May.

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Around the League Tweets (Non-Twitter Version)

| December 7th, 2021


The league is bananas. And there’s a lot to digest every week. Here are some general thoughts.

  • Texted a friend of mine about this year’s quarterback class in the draft. Got a succinct response: “No starters”. So, if you are the Giants or Eagles, and you’re loaded with early picks, you’ll have to determine whether to wait a year before pulling the plug on your current starter. Daniel Jones and Jalen Hurts may not be “the guy” but replacing them with a high-profile veteran like Watson, Rodgers, Wilson may prove too costly.
  • Lamar Jackson is always going to have physical limitations with his arm. But his decision making is what’s proving costly for the Ravens. He’s playing recklessly and that team isn’t good enough to survive reckless quarterback play.
  • Not sure I’ve ever seen a tight end cost his team 14 points, but Gerald Everett did Sunday. He bobbled a touchdown pass into an INT and fumbled at the goal line. Without those two errors, Seattle blows out San Francisco.
  • Nine of Minnesota’s games this season have been decided on the final play. They are 3-6 in those games. That team is inexcusably out of the postseason right now and it looks like it will cost Mike Zimmer his job at season’s end.
  • It was not unexpected to see the Jaguars struggle this season. But I never expected an Urban Meyer team to be consistently blown out. (And Trevor Lawrence has not improved as the season has progressed. If anything, he looks burnt out.)
  • Joe Brady is to blame in Carolina, huh? Was it Brady who made a ridiculous trade for Sam Darnold? Did Brady try to rescue the season on the arm of a washed-up Cam Newton? Did Brady build an offense entirely around a running back that can’t stay on the field?

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The 26Shirts Game Preview: Week Two

| September 18th, 2020

The current shirt from 26Shirts is my concept and design and you can see it over on the right rail (or down below on mobile). Proceeds going to great cause. You can read all about that, and place your order, by CLICKING HERE. It ain’t just tee shirts, either. The hoodies, light and sweatshirt-style, are both very cool.


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears, despite this Allen Robinson situation.

Would I like to see Robinson in Chicago long-term? Of course. Would I be rushing to give him $20 million a year without knowing who my quarterback is in 2021? Nope. No I would not.

Nevertheless, Robinson’s case is only supported by positive play and that’s what I would expect moving forward.


Breaking Down the New York Giants

Offense

  • Everything with this offense feeds off the running game and Saquon Barkley. If the Giants are getting four or five yards a carry with their star running back it opens up their entire playbook and makes them a very difficult group to defend.
  • If the run game isn’t working for the Giants, they’ll try to compensate for deficiencies at the offensive tackle spots with quick, mid-range slants to Sterling Shepard or by mismatching their tight ends on opposing linebackers and safeties. This is a difficult way to move the ball because it requires 10-12 plays, mistake free, for points.
  • Darius Slayton is the deep threat and the Giants will take their shots if Daniel Jones is given consistent time in the pocket. Eddie Jackson can’t let Slayton get over the top.
  • Pressure, of course, is always key, but specifically against Jones. When Jones is drop-and-toss he’s strong-armed and accurate. When he sits deep for an extra second or two (and often pump fakes) he gives defensive backs opportunities to make plays on the ball. He’s also one of the game’s more prolific fumblers.
  • If you blitz Jones, you better have eyes on Barkley. He’s a home run waiting to happen on every screen. And Barkley is one of the worst blocking backs in the sport so his only viability in the passing game is in space.

Defense

  • This is not a particularly talented group but they compensate with (a) hustle and (b) disguise. If their opener is any indication, they’ll keep Trubisky guessing right up until the snap.
  • Two players to account for on this defense: Lorenzo Carter and Blake Martinez. They are the engine.
  • The Bears will once again be seeing an underwhelming collection of corners. James Bradberry can play but Corey Ballentine and Darnay Holmes are liabilities with the ball in the air. Trubisky can’t be afraid to give his receivers opportunities to make plays. If he’s waiting for Robinson and Miller and Mooney to get open in space, he’s waiting too long.

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