Showing 1 - 10 of 15 posts found matching keyword: quarterbacks
The Miami Dolphins are guaranteed a winning season for the first time since 2008. It's an unusual sensation. I'd forgotten what it felt like to cheer for a winning NFL team.
If the Dolphins win on Christmas Eve in Buffalo and on New Year's Day versus the New England Patriots, they'll definitely make the postseason. There are scenarios in which they could lose one or both of those games and and still have a shot at playing for the league title. Given the Dolphins' history of poor performance in the snow and against teams much, much better than they are, I'm not holding my breath.
(It doesn't help that starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill busted his ACL in week 14 and may or may not return before September 2017. Great timing, that.)
However, don't let my pessimism about the future fool you into thinking that I'm not excited about the present. I am, indeed, very happy that the Dolphins won't finish the season as losers, something I predicted before the season started.
That's the best thing about being a pessimist. It's always a pleasant surprise when you're wrong.
Word on the street (ok, word via NFL.com) is that Jared Goff will be starting at quarterback for the LA Rams when the Miami Dolphins come to town this weekend.
I think that's probably a bad idea.
For those of you who haven't been paying attention, Goff was the first overall pick in the 2016 draft. That means the Rams thought he wasn't just the best quarterback available, but the best player available this year. The Rams have taken an old-school approach to rearing the young quarterback and let him ride the bench while he learns the ropes. Most teams these days throw their new quarterback prospects out on the field immediately to see if they sink or swim (*cough* Miami Dolphins *cough*). But not the Rams. At least not until now.
The reason I say this might not be the right week to start the Jared Goff experiment is because the Dolphins aren't the sort to play nice with opposition quarterbacks. No team in 2016 has spent more on their defensive linemen than the Dolphins (by a margin of nearly $4 million!). In the past 10 weeks, the Dolphins have broken Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Ben Roethlisberger, accomplished journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Tom Brady stand-in Jimmy Garoppolo. Is that the sort of meat grinder you want to put an unproven $20 million man in? I wouldn't.
So why this week? Maybe coach Jeff Fisher thinks that his previous starter, Case Keenum, is too important to risk feeding to the Dolphins' D-line. Maybe Fisher is frustrated with Goff and wants to punish him. Whatever the case, good luck, Jared Goff. You're going to need it.
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UGA played their first home game of the Kirby Smart era against 50-point underdog Nicholls State University. Unfortunately, no one told Nicholls State. The entire Bulldog Nation has to hope that it wasn't indicative of how future home games will unfold.
Full credit to the Nicholls State Colonels. If not for one single play in the 3rd quarter, when their senior QB (who wasn't even their starter at the position — that would be freshman Chase Fourcade, who played a pretty great game) fumbled a ball that UGA returned for a quick touchdown, they would have won the game outright. Instead, they only managed to play to within 2 points, losing 24-26.
Their defensive line held Georgia's offense and Nick Chubb in check all afternoon. The Georgia players and staff didn't help themselves, continuing to make the same sorts of special teams mistakes that were named among the reasons that former coach Mark Richt was fired. Late in the 4th quarter, after Nicholls scored their 24th point, Smart replaced first-time starter Jacob Eason with Greyson Lambert. As the fellow to my left yelled, it wasn't Eason's fault that Nicholls was scoring points.
If a lowly FCS school like Nicholls can stymie the (formerly) number 9 ranked Bulldogs, UGA might be in real trouble when they start SEC play next week against Missouri.
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The train wreck that was the 2015 Miami Dolphins didn't end today with the season's closing bell. Even before even taking the field to play (and defeat!) the New England Patriots, the team had fired Dennis Hickey, its General Manager of the past two years. Hickey is the same man responsible for overpaying Ndamukong Suh and Ryan Tannehill. Too bad he won't be taking the balance of those contracts with him.
To be fair, Hickey was also responsible for bringing in two players I like, Brent Grimes and Knowshon Moreno. By any metric, he was a far better judge of talent than his predecessor, "Blind" Jeff Ireland. I don't think its any coincidence that in the past two years that Ireland has been scouting for the New Orleans Saints, they've fallen to the bottom of the talent hole in the NFC South.
Hickey is being replaced by Mike Tannenbaum, the man who brought superstar Darrelle Revis into the league when Tannenbaum was working for the Jets. However, Tannenbaum also drafted Mark Sanchez, a quarterback bad enough to ride the bench for the snakebit Philadelphia Eagles. In the five years Tannenbaum was guiding the Jets, the team went only slightly better than .500. In the Dolphins' case, that would be an improvement.
Speaking of drafting talent, the Patriots have won the AFC East for 7 consecutive seasons in part because at draft time they have plenty of picks they've hoarded from trades with other teams. It's no coincidence that they keep reaching Super Bowls with players no one has ever heard of. As a general rule, you should emulate the best teams, not do the opposite of what you see them doing.
Tannenbaum has a pronounced history of giving away picks, averaging about 4 per Jets' draft compared to the Patriots' 8. It's hard to find talented players to fill the roster when your already-talented opponents have twice as many picks as you do. I hope Tannenbaum has learned that lesson. Given that the Dolphins think so highly of him, I'm pretty sure he hasn't.
UPDATE 2016-01-04: Tannenbaum will apparently remain in an executive role ("Executive Vice President of Football Operations," whatever that means), as the Dolphins have announced that the new General Manager is the previous Director of College Scouting, Chris Grier. I am not going to pretend that I understand the difference between an EVPoFO and a General Manager. My guess is that it just gives Tannenbaum someone else to fire before he feels any heat himself. Grier has been with the Dolphins since 2000, which means he's seen just about every possible wrong way to build a team, including the draft busts of Ted Ginn, Dion Jordon, second-round quarterbacks John Beck and Pat White, and many, many other questionable decisions that didn't pan out. I hope Grier has learned his lesson. Given that he's still with the organization, I'm pretty sure he hasn't.
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Mark Richt gambled that he could survive the 2015 season with a crop of lackluster quarterbacks in the hopes that he could reach current high school senior Jacob Eason on the other side. Many thought that Richt's firing would send Eason to choose another school, but new hire Kirby Smart worked hard to re-close the deal.
It worked! Eason has re-committed to be the University of Georgia's 2016 quarterback. After two years in the wilderness, UGA will have a quarterback again. Cue the fireworks and parades.
Now let reality set in. It will be hard enough for Eason to live up to the years of hype UGA fans have been sold. Worse, to justify Richt's firing, he'll be asked deliver a national championship to Athens sooner rather than later. That's something Eric Zier, Mike Bobo, David Green, Matt Stafford, and Aaron Murray all failed to do.
Good luck, kid. You're going to need it.
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After the way the 2015 season has gone, I didn't think it was possible for the UGA coaches to outcoach anyone. I didn't account for the Georgia Southern staff.
After trying and failing to find anyone to accompany ("I'll be out of town" and "I'd rather spend time with my girlfriend" were common excuses), the only reason I went to this game alone was to see the seniors introduced and see Que officially named Uga X. I got to the stadium 17 minutes before kickoff, and I was too late. I should have just turned around and gone back home.
I suppose if you judge by the final score, it must have been a pretty good game. Some of the crowd seemed to enjoy it, especially the apparently 50,000 Georgia Southern fans in attendance. (The picture above was taken at the start of the 4th quarter when the fans turned on the lights on their cell phones in place of the usual "four finger" signal.) I did not. Greyson Lambert was his typically terrible self, and Georgia Southern only lost because... honestly, I'm not sure why.
Tied 17-17, the GaSo coach kicked a late punt in an obvious attempt to reach overtime. I guess he'd heard that his team was a 13-point underdog, and maybe he had placed money on his team covering the spread. His kicker had easily scored a field goal from the UGA 31 to take a lead in the 4th quarter, but after reaching the UGA 16 in overtime, he went for it with a "wildcat" run up the middle that was doomed to fail.
Why not kick to extend overtime? Typically, the answer is because underdog coaches feel they have to take a chance on the win rather than lose a protracted battle against a deeper team. However, that strategy only applies if you're playing catch-up (say, going for a two-point conversion as opposed to kicking). Maybe the GaSo players were out of gas. Maybe their kicker had broken his ankle. In overtime, if you can take a lead on your opponent, you should. Georgia Southern didn't and lost. All UGA had to do was kick a field goal on their first overtime play, and they would have won. The fact that they ran up the middle for a touchdown doesn't excuse the Georgia Southern decision. Bad strategy is bad strategy.
If only we could get the Georgia Southern coaches jobs at Florida.
So now Georgia has 8 wins on the season, and I couldn't care less. "There's always next year" they say. Here's to 2016.
Only one week after his season-ending knee injury, and boy, do the Georgia Bulldogs miss Nick Chubb already. It's time to stop pretending this 2015 football team is remotely good.
Missouri 6, UGA 9. Nothing but field goals. Quite frankly, UGA didn't really deserve this, as their game-winning kick came only after the officials gifted the team with a truly mystifying pass interference call on a play that Plastic Man couldn't have cought. Greyson Lambert's 3rd-down pass was characteristically awful, and I have to assume that the officials assumed that a pass 5 yards out of bounds was as on-target as he could make it. Maybe they just wanted this terrible game over so we could all get home before dawn.
I probably should have expected this sort of game. UGA was missing Chubb, and Missouri suspended its starting quarterback two weeks ago. Add in the terrible games UGA played back-to-back in the past two weeks against Alabama and Tennessee, and I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that NONE of the season ticket holders beside or in front of me came to the game. You know it's sad when the regular fans don't care to show up for a homecoming night game against the reigning SEC East Champions.
Anyway. I hope the team enjoys this ugly victory. UGA heads to Florida in two weeks, and 9 points won't win anything in Jacksonville.
UGA crushed South Carolina. Then Alabama lost to Mississippi. Vegas declared No. 13 Alabama an underdog against the No. 8 Bulldogs. All UGA had to do was show up and play.
Final score: Alabama 38, UGA 10. It wasn't ever really that close.
In all the UGA games I've ever watched, never have I seen the team collapse like they did today in the steady rain. After clawing to a 3-3 tie, it was like they ran out of fight at the start of the 2nd quarter. Alabama proceeded to score a rushing touchdown, block a punt for a touchdown, pass for a touchdown, and come back from halftime to intercept the ball and ran it back for a touchdown. All UGA did was stare at their own navels. The only reason the score wasn't worse was because Nick Saban didn't need it to be.
UGA did nothing right. Defensive backs were out of position on every play. Quarterback Greyson Lambert couldn't decide who to throw to and froze up. Relief quarterback Brice Ramsey couldn't manage to throw to his own team. But the worst of it all was Coach Richt and his coaching staff:
- Calling a majority of passes and not runs even before the game was out of hand. (The Bulldog's two scoring drives were the only two possessions in the game when UGA called more runs than passes. That was not a coincidence. Maybe I was too hard on Mike Bobo all these years; Bobo is gone but UGA is still up to its same old sour tricks.)
- Continuing to get special teams wrong. (Time outs to ice your own field goal kickers? Punt protection formations that block no one? Sigh.)
- Worst of all, completely failing to prepare their kids for yet another big game. (Of everyone in the stadium before kickoff, no one seemed more confident in a UGA victory than the UGA players. That swagger sure disappeared in a hurry once they went down by one touchdown!)
Let this be known as the game that finally destroyed my faith in Mark Richt. I mean, I still like the guy. I think he's good for the University and its student athletes. I certainly don't want him to be fired. (Some things, like academic performance and ethics, are more important than wins and SEC Championships.) LSU in 2011? Alabama in 2012? Vanderbilt in 2013? Florida in 2014? Alabama in 2015? I just need to accept that we're never going to win any "big games" while he's the head football coach.
I admit that I didn't go to last week's game. I was sick with a cold and didn't want to endure the rain just to see UGA beat up on an inferior opponent like Southern University. I regret that decision now. If I want to see UGA win, those are the only games I should go to. Inferior opponents are the only ones we can beat.
Last night was the fifth and final episode of Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins. I was surprised to discover that I'm going to miss that show, but I can't say why.
The series chronicled the dysfunction of training camp and proved that there is no hope for the 2012 season exactly at that time of year where unfounded hope should be flourishing for fans of all 32 teams. Maybe that's what I liked about it: it demonstrated that I was right to be down on the 2012 season.
Although I can't say that I feel quite as hopeless as all that. The Dolphins released David Garrard yesterday, so I don't have to deal with that should-we or shouldn't-we quarterback quandary anymore this season. Joe Philbin looks a few fathoms out of his depth, but at least Fins fans don't have to be frustrated waiting through losing games for that to become apparent. And I got to see Jeff Ireland in action, so I know that I'm justified in complaining about his inability to recognize talent.
Could it be worse? Sure. But at least knowing how bad it is keeps me from worrying. Now I can embrace our upcoming 5 win season with schadenfreude. At least that's something to look forward to.
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Hard Knocks week 3, and I think I've decided that Dolphins assistant quarterbacks Coach Zac Taylor is probably a better leader than Head Coach Joe Philbin. Taylor doesn't hem and haw about communications and relationships. He simply tells last year's starter Matt Moore the truth once the decision has been made that rookie Ryan Tannehill will be the starting quarterback when the season starts.
That's the best thing about this series so far: seeing the professional athletes act like professionals. Moore takes the news of his benching as well as Chad Johnson took the news of his firing last week and Derek Dennis took his cut in week 1. These players know their business and act like men when their time comes. That's one of the only things I've seen to admire about the 2012 Dolphins so far. Certainly far more admirable than the news that the Dolphins will start the 2012 season with their 17th starting quarterback since the 2000 season. Ouch.