Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thursday, Dec 13 Blog

Various Sports Items on our Thursday blog that you might enjoy.

Item #1 Is that Scouts, Inc has decided to rate every QB in the NFL, and Here is the top 20


The hardest part was deciding how to rank them. Do we look at just this year? Do we look at their careers and their body of work? We decided it would be a mixture of the two, that we couldn't completely ignore a veteran with a history of great success having a subpar year.

About the only thing we agreed on was that Tom Brady was No. 1 and Peyton Manning was No. 2. From there, the first debate came, with some feeling that Tony Romo was right there with those two, but we eventually decided Romo was No. 4, behind Brady, Manning and Brett Favre.

The top 10 was very difficult after we got through the top five. In that second group of QBs, Carson Palmer, Drew Brees and Donovan McNabb have all had a ton of success but have struggled at times this season due to different circumstances. The other QBs who were tough to place were the guys who are having success as first-time starters. David Garrard and Derek Anderson have both played very well, and we think they will continue to ascend. The rookies were tough to place, but we thought they should be ranked higher (based on upside) than some retread-type backups.

1. Tom Brady
Starter, New England Patriots
Brady is a future Hall of Fame QB who is having a career season. He leads the NFL in touchdowns and completion percentage and has a league-best QB rating of 123.4. There is no longer a debate over who the best QB in the NFL is -- Brady has moved ahead of Manning.

2. Peyton Manning
Starter, Indianapolis Colts
Like Brady, Manning is a future Hall of Fame QB. There is not a QB in the NFL who studies the game as much as Manning, and he is one of the best competitors to play QB. Despite losing several key players to injuries this season, Manning has still completed 64 percent of his passes and thrown for 27 TDs.

3. Brett Favre
Starter, Green Bay Packers
He will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. At 38, he is still playing at a high level, and it looks as if he may be able to play into his 40s. There is no denying his arm strength, and Favre is still able to make all the throws. Favre is doing a great job this season making every player on the offense better.

4. Tony Romo
Starter, Dallas Cowboys
He is a young gunslinger who reminds a lot of people of a young Favre, and Romo shows no fear in the pocket. He is mentally tough and shows an excellent ability to bounce back when he makes mistakes. He is a big reason the Cowboys have the best record in the NFC.

5. Ben Roethlisberger
Starter, Pittsburgh Steelers
Roethlisberger is a young QB who struggled last season, but he is healthy this year and is having a solid season. New offensive coordinator Bruce Arians has given him more responsibility, and Roethlisberger has responded with improved leadership. He's making better decisions and is completing a career-high 66.9 percent of his passes this season.

6. Carson Palmer
Starter, Cincinnati Bengals
This hasn't been Palmer's best season, but he still has all the tools you'd want in a QB. Playing behind a decimated offensive line, Palmer has thrown 17 interceptions and has struggled to lead this underachieving football team. Still, he is unquestionably one of the most talented QBs in the league.

7. Matt Hasselbeck
Starter, Seattle Seahawks
Coach Mike Holmgren has put much more pressure on Hasselbeck this season, and he has responded by playing very well. He is a rhythm passer who can be a little streaky, but he is very good at running Holmgren's West Coast offense. He is an excellent leader, and it's no coincidence that once Hasselbeck became the focus of the offense, the Seahawks won five straight and clinched their fourth straight NFC West title.

8. Drew Brees
Starter, New Orleans Saints
After a great 2006 season, Brees has struggled some this year behind a shaky offensive line and a running game that is missing starting RB Deuce McAllister. Brees has been forced to carry too much of the load this season, and though he is a very good QB, he is not the type of player who can carry a team without solid weapons around him.

9. Donovan McNabb
Starter, Philadelphia Eagles
When healthy, McNabb has shown that he can still be an elite starting QB. The problem is that he has rarely been healthy, and the last time he played a 16-game season was 2003. McNabb may be trade bait this offseason, but he still has some solid years left.

10. David Garrard
Starter, Jacksonville Jaguars
There were a lot of questions concerning Garrard when the Jaguars released Byron Leftwich at the start of the season, but he has proven his ability as a quarterback in the NFL. He benefits from a strong running game, but his decision-making has been superb (he has just one interception in 274 attempts this year), he's completing nearly 66 percent of his passes and his QB rating is third, trailing only Brady and Romo.

11. Jay Cutler
Starter, Denver Broncos
Easily one of the most impressive young quarterbacks in the NFL. He is a natural fit in coach Mike Shanahan's West Coast offense. He is a smart, instinctive player with a gunslinger mentality. He has a big-time arm that Shanahan loves, and he plays with a calm demeanor in the pocket. He is a young player who is only going to get better the more his plays.

12. Derek Anderson
Starter, Cleveland Browns
Without a doubt, he has made a name for himself and a lot of money in the future based on his performance in offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski's system since taking over as the starter in the second game of the season. Anderson has one of the stronger arms in the NFL, which has allowed the Browns to attack all levels in the passing game. He is a prototypical pocket passer with average to above-average accuracy in the short and intermediate areas in the passing game.

13. Marc Bulger
Injured starter, St. Louis Rams
Bulger has struggled this season behind a shaky offensive line and has missed time with a rib injury and a concussion. When healthy, he has played very well. He does not possess great size or arm strength but is an accurate QB and a great fit in coach Scott Linehan's offensive system.

14. Jeff Garcia
Starter, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Garcia is a perfect fit for coach Jon Gruden's version of the West Coast passing attack. He is highly competitive and can still move around in the pocket with good accuracy in short and intermediate areas. He doesn't have a big-time arm, but he does a great job when throwing in rhythm to spots on the field.

15. Vince Young
Starter, Tennessee Titans
Young is an intriguing young player who places a lot of pressure on opposing defenses with his outstanding athleticism, arm strength and ability to scramble and make plays with his legs. He hasn't had as much success this season because offensive coordinator Norm Chow's game plans haven't always taken advantage of Young's strengths as much as they did last season. That said, Young is still far from the finished product, especially as a passer, but he will continue to improve the more he plays.

16. Philip Rivers
Starter, San Diego Chargers
Rivers has not performed as well as he did last season and still must become more consistent in his decision-making and downfield accuracy. However, he still has the ability to process information quickly while attacking the weakness on the back end in coverage. He is smart and instinctive, with good pocket awareness and the arm strength to spread the ball around.

17. Eli Manning
Starter, New York Giants
Manning is extremely talented but has struggled with consistency and decision-making throughout his short career. Still, he has shown a few flashes that make you believe he will be a frontline starting quarterback in the NFL in the right system. He has shown coolness under fire in the pocket but lacks that emotional drive that gets you excited.

18. Jason Campbell
Injured starter, Washington Redskins
Campbell is extremely talented and will be a frontline starter. He has the arm strength to attack all levels in the passing game while making defenses defend the whole field. While he could improve his accuracy in the short and intermediate areas in the passing game as well as his ability to process the reads while getting rid of the ball quicker, he has a bright future.

19. Jon Kitna
Starter, Detroit Lions
He is in an offense that simply doesn't run the ball often, so his yardage, touchdown and interception numbers are inflated. Still, the number of interceptions remain worrisome. He is a good, intelligent leader and shows real toughness playing behind a terrible offensive line. Physically, none of his traits stand out, but he is not a major liability in any one area, either. He is best-suited as a caretaker quarterback, grooming a young, talented QB like he did in Cincinnati with Palmer.

20. Jake Delhomme
Injured starter, Carolina Panthers
All you have to do is study Carolina's offense since Delhomme was injured in Week 3 to see how much the Panthers miss his ability within their system. He is an experienced player with an outstanding competitive demeanor. He is smart and instinctive, and he processes information while getting rid of the ball quickly. He doesn't have the big-time arm but does a great job of throwing in the Panthers' rhythm offense with good timing.


The methodology was a bit difficult to sort through, but I thought it was worth reading. Oh, and sorry, Eli.

Meanwhile, Owens vs. Keyshawn is very enjoyable


Terrell Owens has been relatively quiet away from the field this season.

Until Wednesday.

Owens lashed out at former Cowboys receiver and current ESPN analyst Keyshawn Johnson.

Smiling at times during a 15-minute interview with reporters, Owens took some offense to Johnson's statement Sunday that he's not giving former coach Bill Parcells credit for building this Cowboys team that is 12-1.

Johnson said Parcells deserves some credit.

"It's not a matter of me giving or not giving Bill credit," Owens said. "Everybody wants to make a big deal that this is the team he built. It doesn't matter. My thing is give credit to Wade [Phillips].

"The difference between Wade and Parcells is this: Parcells, he didn't use me as a playmaker. Wade, he got the staff, and that's what I'm being used as."

Owens added that Johnson, if he came out of retirement, couldn't make a team.

"I challenge him to come out of retirement and try to take my position," Owens said.
Then looking into television cameras, Owens said, "ESPN producer, let him go. Let him go."

Said Johnson: "I don't need to defend my career. My résumé speaks for itself. I have a picture of me holding a Super Bowl trophy. I'm not chasing a ring. I have one. I'm
chasing an Emmy these days."

Johnson said some of his comments about Owens were taken out of context. And if he had an MVP vote, Owens would get it.

"I only wish he would stop needling Bill Parcells, because he's never going to win that battle," Johnson said. "The media is going to eat him alive. I was praising him, but I guess instead of talking to him like an adult, I need to talk to him elementary, so he can understand it."

Owens also said that he's much happier this season without Parcells.

When Parcells was told of Owens' comments on a Philadelphia radio station Wednesday, he said, "Tell him there's two people happier. He's not the only one happier."


I like them both at some level, but a look at those numbers tell quite a story of dominance from TO



CAREER STATS
T.O. -- 875 catches for 12,985 yards (14.8 ypc) and 128 TDs in 171 games
Keyshawn -- 814 catches for 10,571 (13.0 ypc) and 64 TDs in 167 games

PLAYOFF STATS
T.O. -- 50 catches for 702 yards and four TDs in 10 games
Keyshawn -- 39 catches for 569 yards and two TDs in seven games

STATS AS COWBOY
T.O. -- 159 catches for 2,450 yards and 27 TDs in 29 games
Keyshawn -- 141 catches for 1,820 yards and 12 TDs in 32 games


Today is Mitchell Report day. Revo writes


Guilty as charged.

It's highly unlikely that when the Mitchell Report comes out today, and names are named and fingers are pointed, that mine will be listed, but I'm here to confess anyway.

I didn't do my job well enough.

I didn't spot the innocuous brown paper boxes stacked inside players' lockers for what they must have been: illegal shipments of steroids. They just looked like shoe boxes to me.

If I ever saw it, I obviously didn't recognize "The Clear" as one of the latest designer steroids. Like Barry Bonds, I guess I thought it was just flaxseed oil.

I must have been daydreaming in the Rangers' clubhouse on those days when Jose Canseco was sneaking off to a bathroom stall with selected teammates to inject each other with stuff that would turn them into rage-filled, pimple-backed, baseball "Hulks."

Maybe if they'd have also turned green, I'd have noticed.

And I actually chose to naively believe that more and more players were simply hitting the weight room, and that explained their sudden explosion in size and muscle.

Yep, like a lot of other people, I'm guilty.

That's very likely what the Mitchell Report will say today.
Everybody's guilty. Some, of course, more than others.


Fukudome went to the Cubs. No shock. The Rangers didn’t get their guy. No surprise. But, I am getting a few “message board” emails about a report that the Rangers actually out-bid the Cubs. I cannot get this documented, so if someone else can find this is a reputable report, email me.

Cubs get their man …and the spending continues there…



Kosuke Fukudome comes to the Cubs with a heavy burden along with his four-year, $48 million salary.

The Japanese outfielder is expected to improve the Cubs offensively, defensively and financially, leading to newer revenue streams for the organization that can now market the team back in Japan.

"He's exactly what we needed for our ballclub moving forward," general manager Jim Hendry said. "He's been our target acquisition from Day One. … We couldn't be happier. It changes the dynamics of our club in a lot of ways. We certainly needed a quality player in right field that can hit from the left side, and he plays the entire game so well that we’re thrilled to have him.”

The Cubs, San Diego and White Sox were all in heated competition for Fukudome’s services, and his agent, Joe Urbon, said the final decision was not based solely on economics.

“Kosuke did have offers that economically were potentially better,” Urbon said. “But there are a lot of elements that played a role in his decision… the ability to win, being the first Japanese player on a club… all those things played a role.”

The White Sox have already had Japanese players on their club, as have the Padres.

The immediate question is how will Fukudome adjust the playing in the majors? Japanese players
like infielder Kaz Matsui and right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka have had difficult transition periods after coming over to the United State with great hype.

But Hendry pointed to Ichiro Suzuki’s immediate success in Seattle, and a few other notable Japanese free agents from 2007.

“Ichiro obviously was a marquee guy and hit .350 his first year (in 2001),” Hendry said. “The third baseman, (Akinori) Iwamura, hit .285 in Tampa. (Seattle’s Kenji) Johjima hit .291 with 18 home runs right out of the gate. So we’re not worried at all about a transition period or what kind of player he may be. He’s got the ability, the versatility and the character to success at a very high level here.”

Hendry said he’s ‘comfortable” that Fukudome will be ready to take part in spring training after elbow surgery last August, and is not concerned about any health issues. He wouldn’t speculate on where manager Lou Piniella would use him in the lineup, but said he can bat anywhere from second through fifth.


Ken Rosenthal reports …again, no mention of Texas…


Considered one of the best outfielders in Japanese baseball, the 30-year-old slugger was a key member of the team that won the inaugural World Baseball Classic in March 2006.

He had surgery on his right elbow in August and sat out the Japan Series, but has 192 homers and a .305 batting average and .397 on-base percentage over nine seasons with the Chunichi Dragons, who won their first championship in 53 years on Nov. 2.

Hendry said the Cubs medical staff is convinced Fukudome's elbow will be fine and he will be ready for the
first day of spring training.

Fukudome drew interest from the Cubs, San Diego Padres and White Sox.



And then TR Sullivan, who tries to put a nice thought on the Rangers lineup, Cracks me up with his ending to the lineup card


Let's see, Major League Baseball gets the Mitchell Report on Thursday and the Rangers get Milton Bradley and Ben Broussard.

So now on Opening Day we have:

LF Frank Catalanotto
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Michael Young
1B Ben Broussard
3B Hank Blalock
CF Marlon Byrd
RF Milton Bradley
DH Jason Botts
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Bench: David Murphy, Ramon Vazquez, Chris Shelton, Gerald Laird

Rotation: Kevin Millwood, Vicente Padilla, Brandon McCarthy, Kason Gabbard, Edinson Volquez

Bullpen: C.J. Wilson, Joaquin Benoit, Frank Francisco, John Rheinecker, Kameron Loe, Wes Littleton, Scott Feldman or Bill White. Seven of those eight.


* Can the Rangers win with the above? We quote from the immortat Hans Gruber and the movie: Die Hard:
"It's Christmas, Theo. It's the time of the year for miracles. So be of good cheer and get me those detonators!"


In other news, Mavericks get pounded


Pitiful shooting ensured that the Mavericks' trip north of the border would end in failure as they fell behind big early and took a 92-76 drop-kicking by the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre.

As clunkers go, this was a team effort. And it extended the Mavericks' inability to create any identity this season, other than the fact that they are an inconsistent group at both ends of the court.

"The offense wasn't clicking today," Josh Howard said. "We just couldn't buy a basket. It was that simple."

One night, it's offense. Against Denver last week, it was defense. Rare is the night when play at both ends of the floor by the Mavericks is acceptable. Against Toronto – a team on the second night of a back-to-back – it was the Mavericks who were lifeless.

For the last few days, Avery Johnson has been evaluating the Mavericks as they got past the first quarter of the season. He said he came to one conclusion: "You haven't seen the real Mavericks yet."

They certainly were nowhere to be found Wednesday. At least, the Mavericks better hope this was a faux version.


And Sports Email:


Bob.

Kevin here. I read the blog everyday. Good job on it and thanks for doing it. I have, in the last few weeks, been growing more and more worried about meeting the NY Giants for a third time
this season and the prospects of beating a team 3 times in one season. I used the link to Pro-Football-Reference.com on the right hand side of your blog to research the Cowboys history of playing teams 3 times in one season and came up with the following.

Since the Dallas Cowboys entered the league in 1960 they have only 4 times met a team 3 times in a single season.

1972 Washington L W L
1980 Philadelphia L W L
1992 Philadelphia L W W
1995 Philadelphia W L W

So as you can see, the Cowboys have never beaten a team 3 times in one season. If they play the Giants, highly likely, in the divisional game this January, history will not be on their side.
I wonder if you know an easy way to see what the history of all teams in the league is regarding this. Thanks again.

Kevin


Drunk Islanders fan delivers must-see quality



Favre and Holmgren going for Oscars

6 comments:

Andy D. said...

Nice to have you back blog...
So much stuff, so little time.

T.O. vs Key: T.O. in a landslide
Ranger starters: Yawn; who cares
Mavericks: this is starting to look like a team lightyears away from the Finals team 2 years ago
Drunk Islanders fan: a mix between old howie mandel and old AC Slater

Jay, Christi and Andrew said...

I think the Mavs took a mental whipping last year and just can't even bring it together for the regular season. I'd like to see what happens around the end of February. It should get better. It has to get better. Right?

And it's still hard to believe/comprehend that the 'Boys are no longer part of the QB carousel. And how about that Petrino bailing after the loss of Vick. Why would you want to hire a guy with no class like that? Oh wait, you're Arkansas.

Lance said...

So Roger Clemens is a roid head huh? What a shock. Not.

I'm glad these cheating bastards are finally getting outted for all to see. How many former Rangers will be on the list? Quite a few I'll bet.

MK said...

As an Astros fan, the trade for Tejada suddenly doesn't look as good. Damn Raffy and his spiked B12 shots.

Clemens? Shocking. So you are telling me what Clemens has done in his old age is not normal? Wow, I'm flabbergasted. I never would have guessed especially since his head weighed maybe 5 lbs in 86 and now clocks in at a robust 28 lbs.

Mark it 8, dude.

Fake Sturm said...

Newest Ranger great Milton Bradley makes the list. At least we are not the Stros I guess.

What is going to happen to these dudes who have been "outed"?

Nothing is my guess.

cracker1743 said...

Milton Bradley's not in the report. You can search the report using the "edit/find" feature:

http://files.mlb.com/mitchrpt.pdf