Archive for June, 2008

Follow up on ‘If a Kevin Jones Works out….’

So Sunday I wrote about Kevin Jones working out with several teams and wondering which of those teams might sign him.

Adam Shefter of NFLN has added a monkey to the wrench, if you will. According to his report, Kevin Jones is eying the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a landing point.

On the one hand I wonder at the wording – he’s eying the Bucs but are they eying him?

But on the serious side of things, you have to assume, as Shefter does, that it makes some sense for the Bucs. Sure, they just signed Ernest Graham to a 3 year, 10.5 million dollar deal. But as we pointed out Sunday, Graham has all of one year as a starter and that’s not much of a track record. Jones plays well, he just has been misused (my opinion)and had some bad injuries (fact).

If he does sign there? I assume the Bucs let him heal for a bunch of games, then ease him in.

For you Fantasy Football players, it really screws with the Bucs RB fantasy value until it shakes it self out.

Of course, as I pointed out – Shefter says Jones is eying the Bucs. But not if the Bucs are really eying Jones.

I’ll keep you posted…..

Josh Johnson – future star or one more Qb for Gruden to break?

Like many of the Draftguys, I’ve got some severe man-love for former University of San Diego and current Tampa Bay Buccaneer QB Josh Johnson. It’s not hard to see why – the man only threw 15 INTs his whole college career while amassing 113 TDs and 9,699 yards with a QB rating of 68%. Heck, last year alone, he tossed 43 TDs and only 1 INT.

Sure, he played against lesser competition. But even the best QBs against so-so competition will have SOMETHING go wrong. A receiver goes the wrong way. You don’t see a blitz. Someone gets lucky in the secondary. Heck, you just mess up.

That didn’t happen to Johnson last year. And not only did he only have it all go to hell ONCE, but he completed 2/3rds of his passes. Of the 301 passes he threw, 206 were caught. I don’t care if it’s Pee Wee, that’s impressive.

And he’s fast. So if you look at him:
Good Arm + Accurate Arm + Mobile and Fast feet = Solid Potential.

Now he’s in Tampa Bay and people are falling all over themselves. Jon Gruden, they say, will mold him and unlock his potential.

Can I ask you something? When was the last time Gruden molded a young QB successfully? He and Simms don’t get along. Gradkowski? No longer there. Sure, Gruden has a football QB camp, but it’s a different thing to be someone’s boss than camp counselor.

Look at his record – who has Gruden succeeded with? With the Raiders, he drove Rich Gannon to career highs (only for him to fold against Gruden in the Super Bowl. And who was the QB of that Super Bowl? A Youngster? No, just journeyman Brad Johnson.) He struggled with Simms (even before the damage to Simms’ spleen put him on the bench) and finally found passing success again with who? Jeff Garcia.

I see a trend here.

I am in no way saying Chucky can’t coach a young QB. In fact, I have heard more than one thing that says he can. BUT – and this is huge – young QBs can have fragile egos. They can take criticism more personally than intended and frankly, on occasion fold. I mean, these guys – many of them – were BMOCs all through college. Them doing something incorrectly? WHAT?

Johnson strikes me as a smart dude and a strong character guy. We all know Chucky Gruden can be….. abrasive I guess. I think these two could very well get along – Johnson ignoring some of the barbs and tone, Gruden focusing on improving a very strong player.

But only time will tell. I’m very interested to read up on this coupling over the next year or so. Garcia won’t be around forever. Simms is on his way out. Brian Griese is a billion years old. Gradkowski is gone baby gone.

The future of the Bucs QB position is in Josh Johnson’s able hands.

Now if only he and Gruden can get along well enough to unlock the potential.

Two quick ’show notes’

1) I will be appearing on a show hosted by my friend Greg Kellogg of the Fantasy Sports Group on Tuesday. I’ll be on for at least a segment, who knows, maybe more and we’ll be talking Fantasy Football wide receiver. The show goes from 8pm ET to 9:30PM EST and is fully interactive. Hosted by a site called TalkShoe.com, you can listen to it live, chat with other listeners or I believe, call in and ask questions. Listen to the whole thing, as I’m not 100% sure when I will be on or for how long, but even when I’m not on, it’s good stuff. Also check the FFReport site out when you get a chance.

2) I have – many times – been a guest on the Footballguys.com podcast, ‘The Audible’ hosted by Cecil Lammey and Sigmund Bloom, as well as many staff. Sigmund is off in India retracing Ricky Williams’ journey to self-discovery, and Cec has asked me to step in from time to time to help carry the load. So keep an eye on the feed at FBGs and Itunes, and I’ll also keep you posted here as those shows happen.

I think that’s it – now I can sleep.

ps – Am on my wife’s computer to post tonight. It runs vista windows, hence the small font and weird look to the last post. I am not a fan of Vista.

News and Notes for Sunday Evening – 6/29

They say that on the 7th day (normally considered Sunday) the Lord rested. Apparently this is completely untrue though for the NFL. Despite the fact that we are several weeks from the first Training Camps and most players are ‘off’, there is still plenty of action.

Here are some notable happenings from around the league and my take on them:

IF A KEVIN JONES WORKS OUT AND NOBODY IS THERE, DOES HE MAKE A SOUND?
Earlier this week, reports surfaced that former Lion and current free agent running back Kevin Jones was no longer going to hold open workouts, feeling he had proven what he needed to and if a team wanted him, they could bring him in for a private work out. I didn’t see it as a big deal – he’d worked out several times and probably had a point. Today though, ESPN tells a different story. It appears Jones ended up holding another workout, this one on Saturday. But only four teams – Miami, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Green Bay showed up, though Cleveland asked for a copy of the tape.

Now, I don’t know what is odder – the sudden reversal on Jones’ part or the teams who showed up? Miami might make some sense if they are truly worried about Ronnie Brown’s injury or the end of his contract. Pittsburgh seems a bad fit with Willie Parker, rookie Rashard Mendenhall,
Mewelde Moore already locked into spots. Detroit’s interest is a tad odd to me, as they released him in the first place. Rookie Kevin Smith has been looking good and they have Tatum Bell there, so while maybe they are thinking about buffering the position, I would think Jones wouldn’t want to go back unless nobody else gave him offers. Green Bay is probably just playing hardball with Ryan Grant.

As with many of the RBs out there (Shaun Alexander, Travis Henry and others) Jones may be waiting until someone gets hurt in training camp. For you Fantasy Football players out there, in my opinion, Jones is the best of the FAs out there and will likely get signed at some point IF his leg is OK. I wouldn’t sell the farm for him but he might be worth a bench spot in Dynasty if you can afford to sit him, or worth a very late pick in a redraft league in the hopes he lands in a situation where he will produce a little.

BUCCANEERS COUGH UP SOME DUBLOONS TO RB ERNEST GRAHAM
Clearly I used most of my humor on the first title, although according to NFL.COM, Ernest Graham will be laughing to the bank anyway. For those of you not keeping up on current events via blogs like PewterReport.com, here’s the short version. Unhappy with the remaining years and money on his contract, Graham has been threatening to sit out Training Camp until he got more of both. The Bucs looked to be willing to let that happen – though reports were they were talking to Graham’s agent. Well, has reported that Graham just signed a 4 year, 11 million dollar contract. The extension is nice and Graham wasn’t making a heckuva lot, but the 11 mill really isn’t that big a deal. I like Graham overall, though I need to see two years from him to see if he is the real deal. Still, the Bucs brought in Warrick Dunn and have been using him a lot in
OTA’s, especially catching balls. So how much work Graham will see is still up in the air, though in my opinion, he’ll get the majority of the carries. I think he’ll put up good numbers though. In terms of Fantasy Football, he looks to be a decent #2 RB this season. And if the passing attack can get off the ground, there could be a lot of room to run for him as well.

What’s most interesting now will be seeing how this affects another guy I just mentioned, Ryan Grant. Graham didn’t break the bank and like Graham, Grant’s body of work consists on one season.

Grant may have just seen his profits slide considerably.

Last on the agenda for tonight is a blurb involving everyone’s favorite agent, Drew Rosenhaus. Every time this guy reps a player I like, my head hurts. Right now he’s BUSY SCREWING UP ANQUAN BOLDIN. Well, perhaps that’s a bit unfair, but it makes great copy, don;t it?

It is true though, that Anquan Boldin is Agent Drew’s client and like so many of his clients, unhappy with his contract.

Now frankly, Boldin has a point, with Larry Fitzgerald having been signed to a $40 million contract. Boldin has contributed a ton to that franchise and probably deserves the pay day. But the Cards very little left under the cap and in all likelihood, more players to sign. According to Arizona Republic writer Kent Somers, GM Rod Graves has called Rosenhaus although it was termed ‘merely a courtesy call’ by Graves. One hopes they can find a way to bridge the gap between the team and Boldin, but the wide receiver has 3 years left on his contract and as I said, the team is low on cash. Boldin may have to wait for his payday. With Matt Leinart’s struggles the last few years, the Cards would like all hands on deck this coming Training Camp to help the young QB as much as possible. I’m concerned that might not be the case.

But look at it this way – if he doesn’t report, you’ll get an extended look at rookie Early Doucet in August.

See, every cloud DOES have a silver lining.

Until tomorrow……

Welcome to the Thundering Blurb

Hey there folks -

If you’ve somehow ended up here either you know me, know someone who does OR have keen google search skills.

My name is Andrew Garda and I am a freelance writer and sports journalist covering both Pro and College football. I have been writing Fantasy Football content as well for close to 7 years.

The Blurb is my hub for everything – as I work for many sites, I like to make sure people know where my stuff is at at all times. There will be posts. There will be audio links. There will be video links. All my appearances, articles and general stuff will be linked HERE.

That’ll include interviews with both Pro and College players, appearances on podcasts and general news commentary.

And there will be plenty of up to date original content as well.

Football 24/7 to infringe upon a NFL copyright.

Hopefully along with my great insight (eye roll) you’ll find some great links to sites I am working for and their content as well. Win-win for everyone kids.

I’ll be back soon with some discussion of recent events (though it’s sloooow until Training Camps start) but until then, check out this interview with Pittsburgh Steelers rookie LB Bruce Davis and this news and notes show I co-hosted with Mr. Cecil Lammey of Denver Broncos radio and Footballguys.com fame.

And always, ALWAYS feel free to shoot us some questions and comments not just in the comments field but at thunderingblurb(at)gmail.com. I’ll answer them both in email and blog form.

There’s a lot of great stuff coming – come back, won’t you?