Well, my readers, after a two month absence to take care of some personal and health issues, I am back writing for Camelclutchblog. I apologize for my absence, and I appreciate your patience. Sometimes things in life need to be handled, and I needed to take care of myself. Anyway, I am back, and ready to go, so let’s get started.
In this blog, I will be giving my takes on this rather crazy NFL off season. I will touch on topics such as the aftermath of the Super Bowl, the NFL investigations, Free Agency, and more. I can’t stress enough how happy I am to bee back. I hope you enjoy this blog.
First off, I want to congratulate the New England Patriots for winning their fourth Lombardi Trophy, and QB Tom Brady on his third SB MVP Award. Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks for a great season, and their valiant effort to defend their title. As soon as the clock ran down to 0:00, the 2015 NFL off season started. Much of the off season discussion started with “the Call.”
[adinserter block=”1″]Everyone knows by now that the Seahawks called for QB Russell Wilson to throw on 2nd and goal, instead of handing the ball off to RB Marshawn Lynch. What happened? Patriots CB Malcolm Butler, an undrafted rookie, intercepted the ball, and that’s all she wrote. There was so much debate over this. The experts, fans, and celebrities were going crazy. I mean, when the Patriots were backed up in their own endzone with 20 seconds to go, did it occur to these keyboard warriors that the Seahawks still had a shot? The Seahawks could have induced a fumble, or a fumbled snap could have occurred. Of course, Michael Bennett commits a huge penalty, which totally blew any last shot the team might have had. That is my take on that.
The next item on the agenda is the laundry list of NFL investigations of several teams concerning different issues. The Atlanta Falcons are being looked at for pumping in crowd noise. The Cleveland Browns are being investigated over text messages allegedly being sent by GM Ray Farmer to the sidelines. The New England Patriots are being investigated for allegedly tampering with footballs. The Miami Dolphins are about to be investigated for violating the rules of the “legal tampering ” period of Free Agency. Now, the New York Jets, along with their fellow AFC East rivals, are also being investigated for allegedly tampering with then Patriots CB Darrelle Revis.
Let’s start with the Browns and the Falcons . GM Ray Farmer pretty much fell on the sword. He confessed at the Scouting Combine that he “did it,” and ” it was all his fault.” The question is how will they’ll be punished. ( http://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.ssf/2015/02/cleveland_browns_gm_ray_farmer_22.html) The Atlanta Falcons are being looked at for supposedly pumping in fake crowd noise. Now, this is rich. Where have we football fans heard these allegations before, but they concern ANOTHER team that exists in America’s Heartland? Sounds like the Falcons ,not that I am condoning it, might be paying for the alleged sins of another team.
The Patriots are being investigated for a crime that is worse than murder, at least that’s how it’s being portrayed by ESPN, some folks on NFL Network, and many Patriot/Tom Brady haters on their keyboards. The crime is allegedly tampering with their footballs. The KEY word for these keyboard warriors to understand is “tampering.” That is what Ted Wells and his crack investigators must PROVE. Once this particular case is over, I will have a lot more to say.
As for the latest investigation into the Miami Dolphins, you have got to be kidding me. Why have legal tampering in the first place? I mean, many of the teams announced that they had deals in place, and if you went to the NFL’s own Instagram, the NFL posted the logo of the new team on the player’s image. Am I missing something? It’s like allowing 32 puppies to play on your favorite carpet, and then get mad when one of them does his/her business on it.
The NFL, after the deal between Darrelle Revis and the New York Jets was finished, are going to investigate the Jets for tampering with Revis while he was a member of the Patriots . On December 29, 2014, while Revis was a member of the Patriots, Jets Owner Woody Johnson, made a statement during a news conference, in answer to a question, that he would “love to have Revis back here [with the New York Jets]. He made the statement, despite being warned by his own advisors that Revis was on another team. He told them that “he was going to do it anyway.” (http://m.nydailynews.com/sports/football/jets/woody-johnson-tampered-darrelle-revis-article-1.2060256#bmb=1) My take on this is that it should be an open and shut case. I don’t care which two teams are involved. If this were Giants/Cowboys, Vikings/Bears, or whomever, it’s tampering. However, since the NFL is so hell-bent on finding out how footballs got tampered with, I seriously doubt that they’re going to put that much effort into this case, considering the two teams involved.
Now, let’s discuss this crazy Free Agency, since a lot of teams are wheeling and dealing. Let me start with Darelle Revis going back to the Jets. Can everyone CALM DOWN? Here’s my take. Revis is being Revis. He’s a great player. I am not disputing that. However, he has always bet on himself. He knows he’s a great player, and wants to be paid like one. He wanted to return to the Jets. His heart was there.
As for the Patriots, are they hurt by this? I’d be lying if I said they aren’t, at least on paper. However, I am not buying all this gloom and doom from the so-called experts, prognosticators of doom, and keyboard warriors. The Patriots are NOT going to overpay for a CB that is 30 years old. They’re just not. Did the team get a ring with him? Yes. Did Revis get a ring with them? Yes. Both sides got what they wanted.
Besides, for panicking Patriots fans, during the Divisional Round game against the Ravens, the defense and Revis didn’t have a great game. It was Brady, Julian Edelman, and Gronkowski who had to bail the team out. If not for them, Patriots fans would complain about another failed season. Besides, it appears that folks have forgotten how Coach Belichick built the team last year. He picked up key available players like Akeem Ayers, Brandon Browner, and the like. Yes, those players, along with Revis are gone. Don’t worry. Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft know what they’re doing.
In speaking of the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, they ARE making moves. They restructured WR Danny Amendola’s contract. Amendola was awesome last season, especially down the stretch and in the Super Bowl. They signed former Buffalo Bills TE Scott Chandler. Chandler will add depth to the team’s Tight End core, and would be a good physical target for Brady. They signed FA DE Jabaal Sheard from the Browns to shore up their pass rush. The team still will make moves from now through the draft, through the regular season. Coach Belichick knows what to do. The Patriots still have Tom Brady. The Patriots will be OK.
As for the Jets, they got their man back. I see that they got Antonio Cromartie back. The Jets already excellent defense will be that much better. I’m sure new Head Coach Todd Bowles will like that. Of course, like the 1970’s glam rock band, KISS, the Jets are trying to put the defensive band back together. We saw how great it was, at least personel-wise, for KISS.
The offense is still a concern. The addition of WR Brandon Marshall and QB Patrick Fitzgerald are a help, of sorts. The question is, to what extent? Marshall is a very good wide receiver, but he’s a ticking time bomb. I’d be wary of him in the locker room. The QBs in the Jets locker room, even with the addition of Fitzpatrick, wouldn’t put me in the New York Groove. Fitzpatrick starts the season well, but fades late in the season.
Staying in the AFCE, the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins are also loading up. Like the Jets, it appears that they’re looking to try to knock off New England, but they tend to forget about the rest of the teams on the rest of their respective schedules. I think they have closed some of the gap, by looking at the Free Agency pick ups, but from looking at their track records, their methods are just maddening. I mean, Dolphins owner, Stephen Ross just rolled up the Brinks truck to Ndamukong Suh, and is paying him like an elite QB. Can Suh play offense? Yes, he and Cameron Wake will be a force, but I’ll be interested in seeing if it will be worth putting all that money into one players. They just traded for WR Kenny Stills, but do they really trust their QB? Ever since Dan Marino retired, the Dolphins are STILL trying to replace him.
The Buffalo Bills are building up their defense. However, they do have a new head coach. He’s a familiar face to the AFC East, former Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan. Everyone knows that he’s obsessed with beating the New England Patriots. What else is new? The big splash he made this Free Agency was acquiring former Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy.
The AFC East has been interesting this Free Agency period. However, there are other teams that are doing some crazy things that need some attention, starting with the Eagles. What is Head Coach/GM Chip Kelly doing? Is he trying to turn the team into the Philadelphia Ducks? Many of the new players he’s acquired have played for the Oregon Ducks? Many players who have been there for awhile, such as McCoy, and Jeremy Maclin are gone. Now, the Eagles have an expensive backfield with DeMarco Murray, and Ryan Matthews, both with injury histories. Coach Kelly even traded QB Nick Foles for then Rams QB Sam Bradford, who can’t stay healthy. I just don’t see Chip Kelly’s logic.
Evidently, San Francisco 49ers Free Agent RB Frank Gore had cold feet about signing with the Eagles, as he joined Houston Texans Free Agent WR Andre Johnson in signing contracts with the Indianapolis Colts. It looks like the Colts are getting more weapons for QB Andrew Luck. As the team waived RB Trent Richardson, who was just horrible, and a waste of a 1st round draft pick, Frank Gore is a pretty decent pick up. Andre Johnson is also a good pick up as well. I wouldn’t say that both are at their prime, but they have the seniority in the locker room. They have injury histories. Both could help in getting the tough yards, but can either play defense or offensive line? Newly acquired by Todd Hermanns can use some help on the offensive line.
The San Francisco 49ers and the New Orleans Saints have me scratching my head. I know the Saints want to depend less on the aging QB Drew Brees, and become more of a running team. The team just acquired former Buffalo Bills RB C.J Spiller. I totally understand that. I didn’t expect a fire sale. They are trading away players like it’s going out of style. The Saints also are dealing with the owners and their court battle. This team is a mess.
For the San Francisco 49ers, will they even have a competitive team? Team officials parted ways with former head coach Jim Harbaugh. They have a new coach. They lost Frank Gore in Free Agency. Star LB Patrick Willis retired after 8 years. What kind of QB will Colin Kaepernick be next year? Many questions surround the team at this point. I’m looking to see what they do in the draft.
The Pittsburgh Steelers finally decided to join in on the off season festivities. They did lose Jason Worilds to retirement. They don’t have plans for SS Troy Polamalu in 2015, and they’re letting him take as much time as he needs to make a decision on his future. He’s done so much, that he does deserve that. The Steelers signed Panthers FA RB DeAngelo Williams to a 2 year contract. They also signed their star QB Ben Roethlisberger to a 5 year extension.
I think both are great moves. Williams will provide some depth, even though he does have an injury history. However, with Le’Veon Bell facing a possible 4 game suspension, I think that Williamsis work it. I like the Roethlisberger extension, even with his injury history, but the team has it’s QB. Now the team can work on getting weapons in place. They can start with a solid offensive line, in my opinion.
[adinserter block=”2″]In conclusion, I think this off season has been quite interesting. I don’t think that Free Agency is the be-all and end-all that many fans and media think it is. After all, we are all making predictions based on paper. There’s also the draft, and I am sure folks will be changing their predictions again.
We don’t know what is going to happen when these teams with newly hired guns start practicing, never mind playing actual games. I mean, does LeCharles Bentley, a highly rated FA, and his torn patella in his first Cleveland Browns 11 on 11 practice sound familiar? I am NOT wishing injuries on anyone. I want to make that clear. I am using the Bentley example only to show that there’s no guarantee that these big moves guarantee wins.
I am just saying that the Super Bowl is not won in March, or in the off season. If it were, Washington owner Dan Snyder would have a ton of Lombardi Trophies in his office. I’m not trying to single him out, but I hope you get my point. I mean, does anyone remember the disastrous Albert Haynesworth signing? I hope you enjoyed my blog and feedback is welcome.