THUNDERING BLURB » seattle http://thunderingblurb.com ANDREW GARDA'S ENDLESS TAKES ON NFL AND COLLEGE FOOTBALL Fri, 22 Oct 2010 12:30:31 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.1 en hourly 1 Tuesday Morning Stampede http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/08/tuesday-morning-stampede-2/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/08/tuesday-morning-stampede-2/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2008 13:40:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=105 Hey folks – just a short week away from the return of actual NFL football. College gets us started this weekend, then kickoff on Thursday between Washington and the NY Giants.

Here’s the morning look at the news -

Baltimore Ravens
Troy Smith has been vying for the starting QB job and looked like he might get it – until Tonsilitis derailed him. He didn’t start game three and hasn’t been practicing. The QB situation in Baltimore is bad and if there is any value at the WR position, this is making it hard to find. Mark Clayton is probably the guy to own here but who will throw him the ball. Smith is unproven, Flacco needs work and we all know Boller isn’t the clear answer, despite good play last year. If you have to take someone, Clayton is it.

We still don’t know what is going on with McGahee’s knee, by the way. Ray Rice is an exciting prospect but 1) what if McGahee comes back and 2) he could wear down late in the season. Don’t reach for Rice, but if he falls to you as your #3 back somewhere in the 5th – 8th, take him in smile.

Jacksonville Jaguars
MJD owners can breathe a sigh of relief (or sleep soundly at night or relax – whatever trite saying floats yoru boat) as HC Jack Del Rio says Jones-Drew’s ankle is only mildly sprained. Don’t expect to see him in the preseason finale at Washington, but then again, that’s standard procedure for most studs on most teams. I still like Fred Taylor as a guy to shoot for in the 5th-8th rounds. Taylor has something left in the tank and while you can never count on him for TDs, he’s great for yardage.

The WR core is still a shambles, though. Garrard will put up respectible numbers but who knows who is catching the ball. Porter has been hurt, Williams -despite last year- is unreliable, Troy Williamson still has hands of cement and most of the guys behind them havne’t stepped up. Matt Jones has played well and probably saved his job after the cocaine fiasco a month ago, but he’s burned us before, hasn’t he? I wouldn’t draft him.

San Diego Chargers
The Darren Sproles/Jacob Hester battle continues. After excelling at the goal line this preseason, Hester was stuffed 4 times last night, though he scored on a 5th attempt. Sproles had a huge night, carrying thw ball 13 times for 102 yards and a TD which was – you guessed it – short yardage. As we have said, if LT goes down (ok, I just got a chill typing that) these guys will likely split carries. One bad preseason game does not kille Hester after several very good games. Neither does it puff Sproles up too much. Sproles isn’t an every down back, his size and skill set don’t quite fit it. Could he step up? Sure. But Hester has played well enough to get a piece of the action. I like Hester as a late back-up for LT or a high upside pick. You know I hate handcuffing, but if you must, go Hester.

Seattle Seahawks
After 3 games, we still don’t know who is playing around Nate Burleson (who looked pretty darn good last night. This week, it was Jordan Kent who stepped up on the stat sheet, with 4 catches for 47 yards and a TD. Kent has been very productive, though he fits into the split end position Burleson occupies and is a bit raw. Courtney Taylor only had 3 catches for24 yards, but threw a gorgeous block during Burleson’s 68 yard TD. That’s the sort of thing coaches love to see, as it proves you can help the run game as well as catch balls. Burleson did some nice work after the catch there as well, but Taylor just annihilated a defender.

Maurice Morris looks to have crept ahead of Julius Jones on the depth chart here in Seattle – but expect a full blown RBBC, though both backs may have some value anyway. They may not be consistent, but then again, one may break out during the season. The run game has to get going here, so the issue will get forced during the early part of the season.

Speaking of RBs -

Quick RB Notes
Mike Bush (OAK) may be getting some work at fullback – that’s usually a sign he will be left out in the carries deptartmen and is not going to have much value as a RB for you….. rookie Jamall Charles (KC) is back at practice but will not overtake Kolby Smith as Larry Johnson’s back-up. LJ is a guy who has been beat up the last few seasons, but his back-up is not really someone i will go out of my way to draft…. Seattle rookie full back and Blurb fave Justin Forsett fell back to earth after a good preseason. Last night he only got 9 yards on 4 carries, caught on pass and lost a fumble. He’s #3 here, though I still think down the road a few seasons, he may prove to be a guy who can start… I don’t buy the Rudi Johnson trade rumors out of ESPN. First off, Chris Mortenson (who I have all the respect in the world for) seems to have been off his game this year. Aside from the Favre story, we’ve seen him throw out some real hum-dingers (Miami trading Ronnie Brown anyone?). But beyond that, who is going to take Johnson and for what? He’s been hurt since the jump last season and we’ve yet to see him in preseason. And with Chris Perry being a walking injury time bomb, Kenny Irons gone and very little behind them (Kenny Watson and………?) can they afford to dump hinm? And for a ‘quality wide receiver’? They could use some shoring up at WR, but I don’t know who will be a guy they can get when Rudi is a big question mark and Shaun Alexander, Cedric Benson and others sit out there who might be cheaper and healthier. Of course, who really wants Benson? As I have said, between the injuries and the O-line questions, I have avoided the running backs here all Draft season and will continue to look elsewhere for my #2,s 3 or bench depth…. Speaking of Ronnie Brown, he and Ricky Williams are splitting reps in practice – exactly what we said would happen. Williams hasn’t proved he can still carry a whole season and Brown is still coming along from his injury. Both are good RB3s.

OK, folks – that’s it for now – will be back with more later!

Keep sending those draft questions to thunderingblurb@gmail.com – been responding to them since I got back Sunday night and will turn them around ASAP for you guys drafting up to the start of the season.

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Thursday Morning Stampede http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/08/thursday-morning-stampede/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/08/thursday-morning-stampede/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2008 14:54:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=92 You can tell we’re getting to the end of camp and towards proper football when the news deluge becomes a trickle as it has the last few days.

Answers we are still waiting on:

  • Will Steven Jackson report? Owners in many drafts are banking on him not holding out but with conflicting reports about whether the sides are even talking, it makes me nervous. The longer this goes on without significant movement, the riskier a top 5 (maybe even 10) pick becomes.
  • Will Jason Peters report? I will say it again – an offensive tackle is just as integral to a good running game as anyone else involved. Peters is the best o-lineman in Buffalo and it’s bad enough he was holding out, but now the team is racked by injury. The value of Marshawn Lynch and that whole offense could hinge on Peters coming back to the fold but like Jackson, no real progress has been made.
  • How bad is the 49r QB situation? It looks pretty grim and what does that mean for Gore? Keep in mind that Gore has put up good numbers in awful offenses before. How much will Martz control the overall offense vs HC Mike Nolan? Does it matter who wins the job with that group?
  • Can Tarvaris Jackson progress? It probably won’t matter to Peterson that much, but should to the rest of the team. The Vikes are very close to Super Bowl status. If Jackson can take a significant leap forward, utilize Berrian and Rice to their potential and give Peterson even more room than the O-line does on a play-by-play basis – I would tap them as heading to Tampa Bay.
  • Will McFadden live up to the hype? People are still kicking themselves for undervaluing Peterson last year and so McFadden has occasionally gone way too early in drafts this year. Peterson was/is a freak and was in a much better situation O-line-wise than McFadden is. we;ve seen soem good play but what does it mean so early? It’d be nice to have been blown away but I am not yet. I still want to know what he can do, an answer I will only get during the season.
  • What effect will Favre have on the Jets? Here’s an answer we’ll get a glimpse at this weekend when he makes his preseason debut, but from a fantasy perspective there are some questions that will take a few regular season games to answer. Will he open up the offense give Thomas Jones room to run? Will Cotchery and Coles see their numbers go up? Will he be Favre from 2007 or 20006? A lot of owners – myself included – are betting heavy that he has increased the value of this team.
  • Who is catching balls in Seattle/Jacksonville/Carolina? You could throw in a few other teams but these three will have more value than most of the others you could name. Steve Smith is suspended for two games – will it affect his season overall? Can DJ Hackett stay healthy or is it already too late? Who will fill in as the #2 across from Burleson in the injury decimated Seattle WR corp? Or Jacksonville? As we find these things out, some Hail Mary picks at the end of drafts could have huge value.

I’ll be back later with any news that shows up plus a few things that we definitely know coming to the end of Training Camp.

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Monday Stampede http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/08/monday-stampede/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/08/monday-stampede/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2008 20:01:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=86 Of course, more things happened this weekend than merely the Willis McGahee injury I mentioned last post.

Let’s go over some of them.

Seattle Seahawks
Bobby Engram injured his shoulder in the game this weekend, in a way that didn’t give me all that much pause at the time. Turns out it was much worse than it looked – Engram cracked his shoulder and will be out now for somewhere between 6-8 weeks, best case scenario with him returning for week 3. How likely that is certainly is a good question with Engram being 35 and not as spry as he once was. This leaves Burleson at the 1 spot still and a veritable free for all in the 2 spot with Courtney Taylor, Ben Obomanu and Logan Payne. Payne and Taylor have been banged up but nobody has the full edge yet. Keep an eye – one of these guys could have huge upside as the number 2. On the other hand if they all falter, things will be tough on Hasselback and Burleson owners.

Pittsburgh Steelers
First off, reports from the weekend that Daunte Culpepper was signed by the Steelers were mistaken. I suppose one aging and inneffective QB a weekend is the limit for QB signings. Byron Leftwich – he of the release so slow my 3 year old can count to 100 before he gets the pass off – was signed for very little and will open as the #2 behind Big Ben. The minimal cap amount tells you three things, one you already knew – 1) They don’t expect to need him, so neither should you. 2) They can cut him at any time, meaning his long term prospects are almost exactly what they were before Batch went down. 3) That little money reminds you just how little interest there is in this guy. Again, rather than draft him to back up Big Ben, pick up even a marginal starting QB (Trent Edwards, JaMarcus Russell, Matt Leinart) instead.

Tampa Bay Bucaneers
The bucs are still dangling Chris Simms out there and there is interest – but most teams appear to be waiting for him to get cut. Sure, the Bucs could keep him on the roster, but word is that the rift between he and Chuckie Gruden is far too wide – so it wouldn’t stun me if he was outright cut if another team didn’t deal for him. Incidentally, the Cowboys supposedly had scouts at the Tampa Bay game this weekend and may still be in play to trade for him.

New York Jets
As a known Jets fan with a new Favre jersey on the way (NFL.com WHERE IS MY JERSEY?) it should come as a suprise to nobody that I was goaded by my fellow owners in the local league I play, in an attempt to get me to reach for Favre as my QB – it started in round 3 and went until he was picked by someone else in round 10 . As I know you really don’t care a whit for my league, I merely mention it to illustrate this point I have said many times already – Favre’s biggest effect on Fantasy will be for his supporting cast, not himself. It’s not to say Favre will not do well – he might. However, the difference in expectations between what Penningon/Clemens can do with a ball and what The Favre does are pretty significant. Thomas Jones, Cotchery, Coles, Leon Washington – those are the guys who will reap the benefits of success more than Favre himself. I’ll throw out Dustin Keller as well – the kid is just tearing up Training Camp and may get a lot of looks along the sidelines. Favre will be no more than a solid QB2. Any Jets fans (or Favre fans) out there, let them yell – just keep picking value and ignore the taunts.

Carolina Panthers
Steve Smith suffered a concussion in the preseason game this weekend and while it won’t matter longer term (especially since he will miss weeks 1 and 2) he probably won’t play in Thursday’s game against the Eagles. It’s nothing more than that, but at this point we’ll see a lot less of our usual veterans and considering Engram, McGahee and now Smith’s injuries, it’s all the better for most Fantasy Teams. By the way, reports from Panthers camp are that the thought that rookie Johnathan Stewart will easily replace DeAngelo Williams from the starter’s job when he returns from his toe injury might have been premature. First, Stewart has missed a ton of camp and even working every day in rehab and reading playbooks will not replace reps lost in camp and preseason games. Second, Williams has allegedly redoubled his efforts this off-season and is far more dedicated than he has been in the past. Thirdly, HC John Fox loves his vets and doesn’t hand anything over to rookies, as Williams’ Dynasty owners are very aware. The longer Stewart is out and the better Williams can do in camp, the closer to a regular RBBC this will be, so I hope you drafted accordingly.

That’s all for now – back with more later….

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Brief News and Vacation notes http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/07/brief-news-and-vacation-notes/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/07/brief-news-and-vacation-notes/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2008 18:02:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=26 Hey folks,

I am heading to Alaska today and will in part be interwebs free off and on throughout the week. So for now, I might direct you to any of the fine sights on the right of this post for your listening/news/football fix pleasure.

I am working on putting this thing on an RSS feed soon so you’ll know every time I post – you can subscribe with the button to the right, but it’s not the same thing, as far as I can tell.

Will be back next Monday – and back here by Tuesday Morning. With an announcement if certain folks *coughLammycough* don’t beat me to it.

Here’s the quick hits -

Chris Henry May Be Reinstated
Former Bengal and consistent law-breaker Chris Henry had some assault charges dropped today – and as such the NFL will re-examine his suspension. Will someone give him a shot in Training Camp? Probably. Figure the list could start with the WR challenged Titans and go until you hit the bad decision plagued Raiders. Will he contribute? That’s the big question. He has the ability – but it comes with a huge amount of baggage.

WR Engram Still Hoping for Contract
Bobby Engram has been threatening a hold out all off-season and the Seahawks are calling his bluff. Engram was huge last year, but is old enough to where the Hawks don’t want to renegotiate. My take is, engram WILL NOT HOLD OUT – and will end up being the solid center of the offense again, potentially topping 70-80 catches again. People always overlook him – I’ll be drafting him often.

And finally from the This is what the NFC Norris Wanted to hear – NOT file -
Adrian Peterson Has Learned Pass Protection
According to the
Minneapolis Star-Tribune ADP has improved his pass protecting and you have to assume that means more 3rd downs for All-Day. Chester Taylor will still get lots of carries, but this cuts his value down, assuming it pans out.

I’m sure that makes Detroit, Chicago and Green Bay ecstatic.

As a Peteron owner in one dynasty, it sure makes me giddy.

OK folks – maybe I’ll see you this week – maybe I will get stomped by a moose. Of course in five trips to family up north I have yet to see one, so I think they may be a media trick.

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