THUNDERING BLURB » Phil Steele ANDREW GARDA'S ENDLESS TAKES ON NFL AND COLLEGE FOOTBALL Fri, 22 Oct 2010 12:30:31 +0000 en hourly 1 The Thundering Blurb Football Show – 7/5 Tue, 06 Jul 2010 02:58:56 +0000 admin Jammed packed show last night and a lot of ground covered – the 1 hour format is getting a bit crowded.

First the link – check the show out here at BTR or on Itunes (and subcribe won’t you?)

Second – I promised a big announcement and so here it is. In one week I will be launching a new website called Big East Gridiron whose aim will be to give you full coverage and analysis of all eight teams in the Big East ranks.

Big thanks to Jim Day (aka Fantasy Taz) who tweaked my logo/header from very good to awesome. You see the results above.

The site will contain a lot of analysis of all the teams, some video and audio links (including to the Blurb show) and I’m hoping to do a weekly roundup of college football news from around the web.

I’m very excited and look forward to sharing everything with you next Monday. Spread the word to anyone you know who loves College Football and especially the Big East.

After that Earth Shattering Pronouncement, we move on to the the business at hand.

Last week I read an article by Evan Silva at about how QB “Guru” Tom Martinez blames the Raiders for JaMarcus Russell’s struggles. Of course he backpedals to say Russell needs to improve his work ethic as well but all in all on a better team – say the Jets – he might flourish.

You can imagine my issues with this. (Side note – this is Silva reporting on an article from the NYTimes, not Silva’s opinion.)

You can also imagine I go a little long on it. Sure, Martinez makes some good points about it but let’s be honest – Russell’s biggest problem (pun intended) is Russell. Even his teammates say so.

It isn’t brain surgery kids. And oh bye the way – someone tell Martinez that a run first team with a guy picked at #5 in the 2009 draft is not a perfect situation for Russell.

Just sayin’.

After that I talk about Phil Steele’s College Football Preview Magazine, one of my favorite pieces of reading material every year. We talk about how the Top 25 and how Rutgers isn’t in it, though Pitt is.

We’ll use it a lot more as a touchstone and common point of reference throughout the summer. (PS – I love Phil’s work but the website is a little painful to look at – don’t let it dissuade you. You’ll be missing out if you do.

Finally we touch on the Listener’s Segment, this week’s topic provided by frequent chat denizen GMoney.

G asks :

Was wondering what your thoughts are on why this off this off season it seems so many football players and front office personnel are getting into legal trouble.

Every day it seems someone is in the police blotter. I don’t understand why these guys want to jeopardize their careers. Love to hear what you think tonight on your podcast.

It’s funny but as I talked about it and thought about it, I started thinking maybe there isn’t really THAT much more being reported. I feel as though I was thinking the same thing last year and as soon as the season started, we forgot.

Regardless though, I touch on a few reasons – everything from a lack of follow-up help for incoming rookies (who are still young men and prone to silly decisions) to ever present media out of sensationalist stories.

There’s no single easy answer I think – more like there are many factors which make the news seem bigger, though there are certainly some serious issues.

Also, Goodell better be ready for some repercussions if Lions president Tim Lewand skates easier than players have.

That about does it – as always thanks for reading and listening.

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A little O-line love Sun, 06 Jul 2008 00:25:00 +0000 admin Hey folks, hope you had a safe and happy 4th.

While sitting poolside yesterday, I took the time to crack open a must-have magazine (in my opinion) for College football analysis – Phil Steele’s 2008 College Football Preview.

If you haven’t read Steele’s excellent work, now is the time. The College preview is on newsstands now or can be ordered online as well.

It’s immensely thick and will take me forever to go through but what i wanted to talk about today was Steele’s list of the top offensive lines in College football.

The one thing to always remember – and this is true for both College and Pro football – is just how important an offensive line is. A bad O-line can shatter a QB’s confidence – it could have saved NY Jet QB Ken O’Brien’s career – although maybe nothing ever could have. But O’Brien sure looked shellshocked behind a shaky Jets Oline. David Carr is another guy who got hammered a lot in early years and is still suffering from it. Sure, the O-line got better, but he’d been hit too much by the time it did for it to matter.

QBs have to trust the offensive line. When they don’t they get happy feet and the next thing you know you get a phantom sack like Jim Everett and he’s another one who never quite came back from the shelling.

Suffice to say, the men in the trenches get less glory and more mud than the ’skill’ players but without them (and any QB or RB worth his salt will tell you) games don’t get won and records remain unbroken.

Without further ado here are Steele’s top 5 -

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Ohio State
  3. Tennessee
  4. West Virginia
  5. LSU

One thing most of these teams (and most of the rest of the top 15 of Steele’s list) have in common – they are big and they do NOT give up sacks. Heck, according to Steele, Tennessee gave up just 4 sacks in 534 attempts. That’s pretty incredible and it allowed QB Erik Ainge time to throw for over 3,500 yards, 31 TDs and just 10 INTs last season.

And this is for a team than only ended ranked 12th in the BCS rankings. And while I like Ainge well enough, I don’t think he was ever a phenom at the position.

A good O-line can save a season or hurt one. A QB or RBs success can hinge on its play – another example would be Arizona State QB Rudy Carpenter. Here’s a guy who has compile some tremendous stats – and yet the last few seasons he’s had to play hurt in part because his O-line has underperformed. In 958 attempts he’s been sacked 112 times. That’s over 10% – and we’re not counting hurries, or late hits or hits as he released. Last year he played with a hurt thumb – if he was upright and healthy, he’d be even more effective and this is a guy who will pass 10k yards easily by season’s end.

The Sun Devils ended the season tied for the Pac-1o title – no mean feat – and fought for a time to get a sniff at the BCS Championship. How much better would they be if the O-line could drop that percentage of sacks down?

Take a look at Steele’s magazine and see who else ended up on the list – we’ll discuss some more of them as the summer goes on. But remember the names as you read them. Assuming people are healthy, many of those teams will be very successful through the air and on the ground.

And THAT friends will translate to wins 9 times out of 10.

See you tomorrow.

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