Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Football Wrap Week 3: Mike Vick has a Point

“Clay Matthews….I’m quite sure I saw him put his helmet on Michael Vick and never paid a dime. But if I hit Peyton Manning or Tom Brady high, they’d have f***** around and kicked me out of the league.” And: “I slammed Vince Young on his head and paid five grand, but just touched Drew Brees and that was 20. You think black players don’t see this s*** and lose all respect for Goodell?”

That was James Harrison this past July taking the NFL Commissioner to task in Men’s Journal. This is Michael Vick three months later from last Sunday.

"Looking at the replays, I'm on the ground every time, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't frustrated," Vick said. "The refs have got to do their jobs. And I mentioned it to the refs in training camp when I talked to them. I'm on the ground constantly, all the time. Every time I throw the ball, I'm on the ground. And I don't know why I don't get the 15-yard flags like everybody else does." 

First off, I need to say that the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive line is terrible. Michael Vick has been running for his life since the season started and I blame his linemen for being turnstiles. Vick’s been sitting in the pocket and taking blows left and right so it’s no surprise he’s getting hurt like everyone predicted.

NFL defenses have become Daft Punk (Harder, Better, Faster and Stronger) and the league has gone out of its way to protect their quarterbacks. It’s made the league softer but it’s the nature of the times.

But here’s the problem. Vick, Vince Young, Donovan McNabb and other mobile quarterbacks have been allowed to take hits because folks think those hits are a product of their style. It’s one thing if quarterbacks protest the abuse they’re taking but completely another when defensive players point out the same thing.

There’s evidence that certain hits are being fined more and I’m sure there’s evidence to support what James Harrison is saying. That’s why I’m incensed when average quarterbacks like Trent Dilfer come out and tell Mike Vick to shut up and play. 

They’ll be the same types saying we have to protect the quarterback whenever Drew Brees, Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers take a major hit. You can’t have it both ways. Either the league needs to lighten up or protect all quarterbacks under the same banner.

Also, Vick is now one of the highest paid players in the league. The league has an unwritten rule to protect its biggest draws so if hits toward Vick aren’t being overly penalized, that’s another element to consider. Vick has a credible point and it speaks to a quiet double standard. 

His two biggest hits (the concussion and the hand contusion) came with him being hit in the pocket. Philly was leading in both games before he left with injuries. So before you dismiss what he’s saying, find me some facts to disprove what he and Harrison are saying. And I can bet that if they say it, then other players are thinking it.

Other NFL hits.

Tony Romo’s toughness has never been debated by me. It’s his mental toughness. So last night was a good look for him and my Boys standing tall.  But man that game was ugly with 9 FG’s combined. Ugly like the infamous Chris Boniol game where Boniol kicked 7 FG’s for my Boys to beat the eventual SB champion Green Bay Packers on MNF.

Speaking of ugly wins, Chargers did the same thing. Bad playcalling by Norv Turner (stop me if you heard that before) and the 1st game I saw in a while where Philly Rivers didn’t have a TD pass. But Ryan Matthews – breaking on through with 2 TD’s. Eric Weddle – the GW INT showing he’s worth that money.

Remember when Darren McFadden was the man at Arkansas? It's great seeing him live up to that promise because he’s going to be an absolute beast from here on out. Speed, power and just as versatile as anyone.

I nearly led with the Bills and Lions. Bills keep winning brilliantly every week and I’m running out of words (or maybe hiding them for later). Same with the Lions, who are playing my Cowboys in a game that’s 15 years too late.

Did I jinx AJ Green? Oops! Doesn't change my opinion that he'll finish 2nd in Offensive ROY voting behind Killa Cam, who finally got his 1st win this week.

Give the Colts every single bit of credit against Pittsburgh. They gave up 10 pts in the 1st quarter. Kerry Collins got knocked out. Pastor Troy and James Harrison were busting heads and creating fumbles for scores. Yet they came within a field goal of beating the AFC champs instead of laying down and getting demolished.

And now, the NFC Waste..errr West. Only four touchdowns scored by four teams. And you call yourselves a fine football division? If I didn’t know any better, I’d assume it was being run by two ex-college coaches and two guys with long names who are wasting good talent and cursed by injuries.  Hmm…..what a waste.

College Hits

USC got exposed, my Bruins beat an overmatched Oregon State team behind Derrick Coleman (who I really like as much as I admire Jet Ski Franklin), Shoelace Robinson’s finally been unleashed , Oklahoma and Alabama are really good, Clemson could be nasty with Tajh Boyd.

South Carolina has the worst QB play of any great team despite playmakers around him. The SEC’s best defensive players could fill the whole All-American team right now. Oh yeah, Matt Barkley is overrated more than Mark Sanchez cause at least Sanchez put up great numbers in his game management phase.

Did I miss anything…… HOLY GOODNESS did you see what happened to Texas A&M?

I went to sleep with them up 20-0 at halftime and they ended up scoring seven points while giving up 30  to Oklahoma State (I’m counting Justin Blackmon’s safety against them). And they really want to go to the SEC????

Wait, I get it. They don’t want to face a pass-happy Big 12, they want to face a pounding against the SEC ground game. They want to face that Southern speed week in and week out. What better way to get used to the SEC beatdown than watch them play Arkansas this Saturday, who are probably bitter from Alabama undressing them.

I refuse to write about conference expansion in my wraps because they are separate articles. But I’m ready to say the Aggies gave a worthy doormat audition and showed why they haven’t been relevant since Dat Nguyen was running around.

It’s Texas >>>> Houston >>>>  Baylor right now with Robert Griffin the Great >>>>> The Texas state champs from the toughest HS division >>> A&M on the relevancy chain. 

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