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TMQ Thread


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#151 Soxy Brown

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 11:53 PM

A skeptic could look at this move as being a way of cutting Patricia and O'Brien off at the knees. I think TMQ is kind of calling a spade a spade here and you want to view the glass as being half full.

Couldn't you just as easily view this move as a way for Belichick to protect his coaches? When something goes wrong, the media won't be questioning the coordinators because there are no coordinators.

Belichick is essentially putting everything on his shoulders. Not literally, as others have pointed out, but in the eyes of the media. If the playcalling looks weird, it won't be O' Brien's fault. If the defense sucks, people won't be blaming Patricia. It's all on the head coach.

#152 Mystic Merlin


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Posted 10 September 2010 - 12:03 AM

Seriously, though, what the hell? This is like arguing that students won't listen to an adjunct professor because he doesn't have tenure.

#153 Super Nomario


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Posted 10 September 2010 - 04:33 AM

I think it's fair to be skeptical of the Pats not naming an OC or DC. That doesn't mean it's the wrong decision, but it's reasonable to question it. However, Easterbrook's automatic assumption that it is reflective of Belichick's hubris is the kind of personal pot-shot that TMQ has been engaging in since the Spygate stuff blew over, contrary to his predictions. It would be easier to take his valid criticisms seriously if he didn't so transparently have an axe to grind. Seriously, who is still bringing up Spygate?

Edited by Super Nomario, 10 September 2010 - 04:33 AM.


#154 Gambler7

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 06:53 AM

Is an NFL player going to listen to a former standout from RPI who has been nothing more than an LB coach when he doesn't even have the coordinator title AND Pepper Johnson - the guy commonly thought to be the heir apparent and popular with players - is still around??

I don't think that will be an issue at all...

"As a player for Bill Belichick, you're judged by the improvement you make over the course of your career," said former Patriots linebacker and current ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi. "It's the same for young coaches. 'Matty P' improved so quickly that it didn't take long for me to lean on him on a daily basis with my questions on various defenses and opponents."

http://sports.espn.go.com/boston/nfl/columns/story?columnist=reiss_mike&id=4848283

#155 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 10 September 2010 - 07:14 AM

I think you are trying to gloss over something that is bona fide odd. Belichick is taking two pretty unproven folks (I hate saying that about a Brown guy like O'Brien, who does have an OK college resume) who don't come in with a lot of credibility and he is not giving them the job title. Are players listening to them? Last year one of Patricia's own guys (AT) was torpedoing the locker room by all reports.

Is an NFL player going to listen to a former standout from RPI who has been nothing more than an LB coach when he doesn't even have the coordinator title AND Pepper Johnson - the guy commonly thought to be the heir apparent and popular with players - is still around??

A skeptic could look at this move as being a way of cutting Patricia and O'Brien off at the knees. I think TMQ is kind of calling a spade a spade here and you want to view the glass as being half full.

Last year Dean Pees was the DC and one of the reasons he was let go may well have been his inability to control tools like AT.

The initial lack of a OC title worked just fine for McDaniels and he's now a head coach. I'll have to double-check on Mangini, but that may also have been the situation with him as well.

TMQ isn't saying, "Hey, this is weird." He's saying, "Belichick is doing this because he's on a massive ego trip." And that is crap. Had he made the argument you're making I really wouldn't have much of a problem with it; he's not. He's using the situation to make a personal judgment on Belichick when he knows nothing. It's garbage.

#156 Rick Burlesons Yam Bag


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Posted 10 September 2010 - 07:48 AM

Why? Because there's no publicly apparent hierarchy? The players know who they answer to and who calls plays. If you're arguing that the coaches suck, that's one thing; but you're arguing that the mere lack of a formal title affects their ability to coach. Are you suggesting that players are not listening to O'Brien and Patricia? You seem to think these guys lack the experience and chops to coach NFL players, so I'm not sure how naming them as coordinators would affect that evaluation. Are Darius Butler and Pat Chung going to wake up tomorrow to the newly minted Matt Patricia - who, by your implication, isn't likely to command the respect of NFL players readily - and decide he's a smart guy who should be humored? Bullshit. They're given a LOT of responsibility by Belichick, and the players see that. Whether they listen to them or not has nothing to do with their title - since their positions are clear in practice - and everything to do with their personal perception of the coach's knowledge and effectiveness.


Given that there are a number of instances of NFL players simply tuning out coaches and deciding that they don't have to answer to them, I have a bit of a leg to stand on with this concern. Your statement that "they are given a lot of responsibility by Belichick and the players see that" is a sentence that reflects your desire. It may be true, but you really have no inisight into that. You want that to be the case so you write it. There is a data point - last year Dean Pees lost control of his defense, driven by a guy who played directly under Patricia. Does that make Patricia unable to control his men? Not necessarily, but it puts a small red flag there. He certainly doesn't command the respect that a Pepper Johnson or a Dante Scarnecchia does, and if the team has a 2-3 game stretch where the team has a hard time putting things together then are Patricia and O'Brien able to keep the locker room? They may well be, but not giving them a badge sure seems like a risk.

Let's put it this way, if it were a great idea not to name coordinators how come teams put in interim coordinators and then hire someone as a coordinator so quickly? In the military it is a concept known as clear chain of command, and it is considered pretty damned important.

And don't use Thomas as a representative example of anything. He didn't act out because of Matt Patricia or his lack of control; he acted out because he was pissed off at Belichick. His 'torpedoing' of the locker room was in no way related to a lack of respect for the defensive staff; it was all directed at Belichick. What was Patricia going to do; would Romeo Crennel have found a way of dissuading Thomas from stamping his feet? I doubt it. This is shitty analysis, and you know it.


I don't at all know that, and your hypothesis that he was angry only at Belichick is again, what you want to believe about a situation into which you have zero insight. I guess I could buy that a guy who grew up in the game being coached by very sharp defensive minds throughout his career (and in college too) could be irritated with a position coach and a coordinator that he felt was not providing him with the best opportunities and the best guidance. Why is that a leap?

Anyway: are you arguing that Belichick is deliberately assembling a shitty staff - granting you this arguable premise - to serve his own vanity or out of some ignorant faith in his own abilities?


I don't think he is assembling a sh*tty staff. I think he promotes from within the same way Parcells ran his system and, for the most part, the results have been pretty good. But not giving them the coordinator titles is a very curious move as it risks blurring the chain of command. If Bill Belichick told me last season that I am playing the Joker role in the Okie defensive set, so I am attacking the QB, and now Patricia is telling me that in the Okie I am playing a run stopping role from the same spot on the field......if I think I should be attacking the QB am I going to listen to Patricia or am I going to go around him for clarification to Belichick? Or ask Pepper Johnson who has been around the Belichick defense for about 25 years now? It takes away from Patricia's ability to, every now and again, just say "I am the f*cking coordinator, do it my way, OK?"

EDIT - Yammer, after reading your posts again, it's pretty clear to me that you're critical of Belichick's staff decisions generally and are using TMQ's haphazard criteria to express it. Just come out and say that you think Pepper Johnson should be the DC or that O'Brien and Patricia have meager resumes. There's no earthly way you really believe the controlling factor in the players' opinions is the title on these guys' doors. They fulfill the same duties as other coordinators, which gives them de facto authority. Honestly, if players are consciously ignoring them or distrusting their judgement, it's not going to be fixed by naming them Supreme Overlord of DCs.


See what I wrote above. Oh, and get the sand out princess.

#157 Mystic Merlin


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Posted 10 September 2010 - 09:40 AM

Given that there are a number of instances of NFL players simply tuning out coaches and deciding that they don't have to answer to them, I have a bit of a leg to stand on with this concern. Your statement that "they are given a lot of responsibility by Belichick and the players see that" is a sentence that reflects your desire. It may be true, but you really have no inisight into that. You want that to be the case so you write it. There is a data point - last year Dean Pees lost control of his defense, driven by a guy who played directly under Patricia. Does that make Patricia unable to control his men? Not necessarily, but it puts a small red flag there. He certainly doesn't command the respect that a Pepper Johnson or a Dante Scarnecchia does, and if the team has a 2-3 game stretch where the team has a hard time putting things together then are Patricia and O'Brien able to keep the locker room? They may well be, but not giving them a badge sure seems like a risk.

Let's put it this way, if it were a great idea not to name coordinators how come teams put in interim coordinators and then hire someone as a coordinator so quickly? In the military it is a concept known as clear chain of command, and it is considered pretty damned important.



I don't at all know that, and your hypothesis that he was angry only at Belichick is again, what you want to believe about a situation into which you have zero insight. I guess I could buy that a guy who grew up in the game being coached by very sharp defensive minds throughout his career (and in college too) could be irritated with a position coach and a coordinator that he felt was not providing him with the best opportunities and the best guidance. Why is that a leap?



I don't think he is assembling a sh*tty staff. I think he promotes from within the same way Parcells ran his system and, for the most part, the results have been pretty good. But not giving them the coordinator titles is a very curious move as it risks blurring the chain of command. If Bill Belichick told me last season that I am playing the Joker role in the Okie defensive set, so I am attacking the QB, and now Patricia is telling me that in the Okie I am playing a run stopping role from the same spot on the field......if I think I should be attacking the QB am I going to listen to Patricia or am I going to go around him for clarification to Belichick? Or ask Pepper Johnson who has been around the Belichick defense for about 25 years now? It takes away from Patricia's ability to, every now and again, just say "I am the f*cking coordinator, do it my way, OK?"



See what I wrote above. Oh, and get the sand out princess.


So, let me get this straight: anyone disagreeing with you is doing so out of a desire for the converse to be true, while you are a relatively objective observer in prime position to set us straight? Ok.

I could just as easily point to the purging of veteran leaders over the past two seasons (Vrabel, Bruschi, Harrison, Seymour) as the key factor in the lack of defensive chemistry. But, yeah, that's 'my desire'. Yammer, you're speculating off of your 'data points' (AT's shitshow) just as much; you're ignoring other potential explanations for recent locker room and on-the-field issues for no other reason than to throw it out there that a hole in the chain of command could've been responsible.

They've been doing this for years, and - somehow - they've managed to assemble 10+ win teams every season. For that matter, what distinguished last year's defensive staff (Pees as DC, Patricia/Johnson below him) from 2008? Or 2007? Nothing. Pees status as DC didn't really seem to help him deal with Thomas, did it? And Thomas' comments were all directed at Belichick, who was the one benching the guy, obviously. Whether Matt Patricia or Tom Brady informed him, Belichick made the decision to bench him and it would've been that way no matter what.

#158 jtn46


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Posted 14 September 2010 - 06:46 PM

Later, leading 31-14 in the fourth quarter, New England faced third-and-goal on the Cincinnati 1. Backup offensive lineman Dan Connolly reported eligible and lined up as a fullback. Tom Brady didn't even play-fake, simply dropping back to pass; Connolly sprinted into the right flat as if the pass was to him. Linebacker Brandon Johnson covered Connolly; no one covered Gronkowski, the tight end on the right, who caught the game-icing touchdown. A goal-line play that results in a receiver covered by no one is a sweet play. Bengals linebacker Johnson could have covered a tight end or an extra offensive lineman, and chose to cover the lineman: That was sour.

Wonder if Brady would have thrown to Connolly if Gronk was covered instead.

#159 Hendu for Kutch

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 07:21 PM

Wonder if Brady would have thrown to Connolly if Gronk was covered instead.


Did he even watch the play? Gronk is absolutely being covered on the TD catch. It's not even really open for debate, he had to make a nice catch jumping and turning around because there was a defender fairly tight on him.

#160 Crazy Puppy

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 07:33 PM

Did he even watch the play? Gronk is absolutely being covered on the TD catch. It's not even really open for debate, he had to make a nice catch jumping and turning around because there was a defender fairly tight on him.

Here's a clip of the TD pass. Looks covered to me.

#161 Burt Reynoldz

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 01:02 PM

While I generally think that TMQ is the worst - a sanctimonious, hypocritical blowhard who tries too hard to shoehorn theories and catchphrases into every single piece of analysis (think Bill Simmons, but less funny and more prone to using big words all the time) - the portion of his latest column about the NFL and concussions is spot-on. In particular, he nails the argument about how not only does the NFL not mandate some easy fixes that could reduce the threat of concussions (proper mouthguards, better helmets, better fitting helmets), but also the hypocrisy of the NFL and various media enterprises (ESPN being one) of both condemning concussions and pledging to work on the problem while at the same time celebrating monster hits and the violence of the game. This is one of the only times I can ever remember agreeing with the man.

#162 weeba

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 10:53 AM

Hey!

http://sports.espn.g...ck&sportCat=nfl

But amidst the ocean of pink in Miami on "Monday Night Football," one figure stood alone, drab and colorless -- Bill Belichick, no trace of pink anywhere on his person. Unless he was wearing pink underwear, which we'd really rather not know.


Maybe New England played so well because of witchcraft -- see below. More likely, it was something to do with Belichick, unlike other NFL coaches this weekend, refusing to wear pink.



#163 TheoShmeo


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Posted 05 October 2010 - 11:10 AM

Hey!

http://sports.espn.g...ck&sportCat=nfl

No surprise that Easterbrook would take a shot at BB about this or that BB would decline to take any action that he didn't choose himself or that he didn't view as something that would advance the Pats chances of winning.

Did any Pats fan who actually thought about this in advance think that Bill and the Pats coaches would be in pink? I took one look at that on Sunday and knew that Belichick wouldn't play along. I was only surprised that any Pats players did.

And this has nothing to do with the merits of the cause -- of course -- from my perspective.

PS: Oops, missed Bill's shoes...as did TMQ, it seems.

Edited by TheoShmeo, 05 October 2010 - 03:40 PM.


#164 Gambler7

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 11:18 AM

It's been laughable, but at what point does it just become sad?

From Twitter last night...

MikeReiss: Bill Belichick, as part of Breast Cancer Awareness push by NFL, is wearing Reebok ZigTech's tonight with pink soles.
16 hours ago



#165 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 05 October 2010 - 11:19 AM

I didn't take it as a shot at BB upon first reading.

Odd that he's hammering away at the prevalence of the 3-4 in the NFL, though. That must be his new bee in his bonnet this season.

#166 Gambler7

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 11:23 AM

I didn't take it as a shot at BB upon first reading.

Odd that he's hammering away at the prevalence of the 3-4 in the NFL, though. That must be his new bee in his bonnet this season.

Whether it is a shot or not is arguable I guess, but it's complete misinformation to say he refused to wear pink.

#167 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 05 October 2010 - 11:26 AM

Whether it is a shot or not is arguable I guess, but it's complete misinformation to say he refused to wear pink.

I'd go ahead and email TMQ the Reiss tweet if I were you. He's actually pretty good at correcting this type of stuff the following week.

#168 Burt Reynoldz

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 12:07 PM

I don't think I've ever written an email to any of ESPN's columnists before (except for once a week when I email Bill Simmons personally to tell him that he's a fraud), but after this week's TMQ column, I fired one off to him.

First, his "theories" suck. Flat out. Look, we get it, stores/companies/businesses advertise for holidays really early. WE GET IT. It's been happening for 20 years now. Knock it the fuck off.

However, this week, he takes ignorance to a new level with this:

Hope you enjoyed Oktoberfest -- which ended yesterday. Munich, the original city, now starts Oktoberfest in mid-September and wraps things up on Oct. 4. Wouldn't want an October festival to occur in October.


Oktoberfest TRADITIONALLY comprises the 16 days leading up to the first Sunday in October. IT HAS ALWAYS OCCURRED MAINLY IN SEPTEMBER. There's nothing worse than watching someone get outraged by something that they have absolutely no idea about.

#169 Gambler7

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 12:15 PM

Posted Image

Edited by Gambler7, 05 October 2010 - 12:16 PM.


#170 Bucknahs Bum Ankle


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Posted 05 October 2010 - 12:21 PM

Bill Belichick loves all cancers and hates any causes against them. That's why he's wearing a black shirt and is stomping out the pink with the soles of his shoes.

#171 weeba

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 12:25 PM

Oktoberfest TRADITIONALLY comprises the 16 days leading up to the first Sunday in October. IT HAS ALWAYS OCCURRED MAINLY IN SEPTEMBER. There's nothing worse than watching someone get outraged by something that they have absolutely no idea about.


Come on. Do you expect him to read the first sentence of the wikipedia article?

Oktoberfest is a 16- to 18-day festival held each year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, running from late September to the first weekend in October.

#172 johnmd20


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Posted 05 October 2010 - 03:28 PM

Come on. Do you expect him to read the first sentence of the wikipedia article?

Oktoberfest is a 16- to 18-day festival held each year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, running from late September to the first weekend in October.

The Christmas creep shtick is annoying but harmless. However, his mistake about Oktoberfest is inexcusable on all levels.(the editor isn't immune to complaints here) That, coupled with his irrational Belichek hate, makes reading TMQ very difficult.

#173 Shelterdog


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Posted 05 October 2010 - 03:56 PM

The Christmas creep shtick is annoying but harmless. However, his mistake about Oktoberfest is inexcusable on all levels.(the editor isn't immune to complaints here) That, coupled with his irrational Belichek hate, makes reading TMQ very difficult.


His movie criticism is what drives me over the edge. He doesn't understand the concept of suspension of disbelief. He watches a sci-fi movie and then bitches that everyone is travelling faster than light speed. He says sopranos sucks because there are an unrealistically high number of gangland murders in the series, when in fact not that many guys get whacked in really life. He spent a long time complaining about the fantastic four movie because the thing ran into a bear in the black forest in germany and really there aren't many bears there. WOW EASTERBROOK I GUESS YOU ARE AS SMART AS YOUR BROTHER POINTING OUT THAT STAR TREK IS TOTALLY UNREALISITC AND THAT LASERS **WOULD NOT** MAKE NOISE IN A SPACE BATTLE! Plus where does a football writer get off saying there's too much violent escapism in popular culture? If Joe Shmoe prefers Sons of Anarchy to watching a bunch of football players concussing each other, who gives a shit?

To paraphrase a wise man, Easterbrook has become the worst kind of nerd. A self-hating one. I remember when he was the George Washington of nerds. Now, he's more like the Benedict Arnold.

Edited by Shelterdog, 05 October 2010 - 06:28 PM.


#174 TheGazelle

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 04:44 PM

I'd go ahead and email TMQ the Reiss tweet if I were you. He's actually pretty good at correcting this type of stuff the following week.



Indeed, the following is now at the bottom of his column:

"An Oct. 5 Tuesday Morning Quarterback story on ESPN.com indicated that New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick did not wear anything pink in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month during Monday night's game against Miami. In fact, the soles of Belichick's shoes were pink."

#175 There is no Rev


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Posted 05 October 2010 - 06:24 PM

San Marino High School football rules!!!

#176 weeba

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 11:43 AM

In reading today's TMQ, I figured the sweet play (or at least the sweet n sour play) would be for the NE/SD and particularly around the dropped lateral, and the Sanders recovery on the fumble. Both sweet, head's up plays by NE and both boneheaded plays by SD.

Nope. At least it's about the Pats, right?

Sweet 'N' Sour Fourth-Down Pair: Leading 23-20, New England faced fourth-and-1 on its 49 at the two-minute warning. The host Chargers stuffed the run, despite six offensive linemen on the field for the Flying Elvii; that was sweet for San Diego. New England simply used a power set, no shifts, no man in motion. That was sour for the Patriots. On fourth-and-short, defenders are primed to charge straight ahead. The offense must do a little dance to create some uncertainty.

A few snaps later, San Diego faced fourth-and-2 on the New England 27 with 28 seconds remaining, holding two timeouts. In January 2008, Norv Turner lost the AFC Championship Game to Bill Belichick largely on ultra-conservative fourth-quarter decisions in New England territory. Now he's in New England territory again at the endgame. Turner has the league's No. 1-ranked offense. He's playing at home. Gain 2 yards, and the Bolts are in position to win, not merely tie, especially considering Turner has two timeouts in his pocket. Plus, backup kicker Kris Brown missed both his endgame pressure kicks of 2009 and was let go by Houston owing to this. Go for it!

Turner sent out the field goal team for a 45-yard attempt; San Diego jumped offside, making it a 50-yard attempt; Brown missed. A 50-yard field goal attempt is a 50/50 proposition, and going to overtime is itself a 50/50 proposition -- so as the kick boomed, Turner was essentially putting his chips on a one-in-four chance of victory. As opposed to going for it on fourth-and-2 with the league's top-ranked offense. For New England, Turner's ultra-conservative decision was sweet. For San Diego, it was sour, sour, sour.



#177 Shelterdog


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Posted 26 October 2010 - 12:43 PM

In reading today's TMQ, I figured the sweet play (or at least the sweet n sour play) would be for the NE/SD and particularly around the dropped lateral, and the Sanders recovery on the fumble. Both sweet, head's up plays by NE and both boneheaded plays by SD.

Nope. At least it's about the Pats, right?


There is nothing more annoying than the "playcall X was wrong". Really, Easterbrook would have picked a better play than the one BB did? I can buy Easterbrook saying going for it on fourth down makes sense but I don't think he (or any media observer) really knows enough about the team, the other defense in place, the defense's tendencies, the maze of mirrors of what the Pats' own tendencies suggest the Pats will do and what the Pats would expect the Chargers to do in response, etc. Plus it seems that Easterbrook is saying you should do some wonky trick run when a straightahead power run is a pretty good idea.

Edited by Shelterdog, 26 October 2010 - 12:51 PM.


#178 GreenMonster49

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 02:46 PM

Today's column was vintage Easterbrook. We had one part good (talking about helmets, which don't work the way they should), one part bad (the 4th down calls in the NE/SD game, with simplistic one-liners replacing any real analysis), and one part ugly (we might really be Venutians).

#179 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 26 October 2010 - 02:49 PM

He also went back to the old Crabtree Curse this week because the 49ers lost, but neglected to mention the Crabtree Curse last week when they won, which gives his whole column the stench of disingeniousness.

He's got his talking points and he hardly ever deviates from them. Punting is bad! Run misdirections on 4th and short! Blitzing is bad! etc.

#180 Rick Burlesons Yam Bag


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Posted 26 October 2010 - 03:17 PM

He also went back to the old Crabtree Curse this week because the 49ers lost, but neglected to mention the Crabtree Curse last week when they won, which gives his whole column the stench of disingeniousness.

He's got his talking points and he hardly ever deviates from them. Punting is bad! Run misdirections on 4th and short! Blitzing is bad! etc.


Ummm....do you know how dumb this sounds?

Yes, the 49ers are 1-5, but the fact that he didn't mention a joke item in his column this week definitely gives his column the stench of disingeniousness. It's not like they were considered to be a pretty good team this season, nor is this considered to be a lighthearted item in his column.

And yes, he sticks to his points. He also admits where he has made mistakes.


Mommy got all better from Spygate, you guys can relax. He is one of the best football writers out there. The first guy with a platform of significance who was pumping FO and one of the main reasons why they are all over espn.com now.

#181 Myt1


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Posted 26 October 2010 - 03:25 PM

There is nothing more annoying than the "playcall X was wrong". Really, Easterbrook would have picked a better play than the one BB did? I can buy Easterbrook saying going for it on fourth down makes sense but I don't think he (or any media observer) really knows enough about the team, the other defense in place, the defense's tendencies, the maze of mirrors of what the Pats' own tendencies suggest the Pats will do and what the Pats would expect the Chargers to do in response, etc. Plus it seems that Easterbrook is saying you should do some wonky trick run when a straightahead power run is a pretty good idea.


Soooo, complaining about playcalling is off-limits?

#182 Alternate34

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 03:51 PM

Mommy got all better from Spygate, you guys can relax. He is one of the best football writers out there. The first guy with a platform of significance who was pumping FO and one of the main reasons why they are all over espn.com now.


Really, one of the best football writers out there just because he recognized that Football Outsiders has valuable information? No. He was pretty good when he noticed that, but at this point, he repeats everything over and over and over again. It's gimmicky to point out everytime there was a poor punt decision. It's silly to be criticizing plays with no real meat behind the criticism (unlike FO who actually do a great job diagramming plays and explaining the various roles players have in schemes, supplementing greatly their statistical analysis). Being the iconoclastic version of Peter King only works if you have greater substance to your musings.

I can't stand how FO has been plastered all over ESPN as well. Half their shit now requires ESPN Insider. Great for them, shitty for me.

Of course, there is some merit to your assertion that Easterbrook is among the better writers since Dr. Z was knocked out of football writing. I still prefer Joe Posnanski and the FO writers at the very least over TMQ.

Also, SJH and Yammer, what the hell is disingeniousness? (Now I'm just being an annoying prick. Or was I always?)

#183 dcmissle


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Posted 26 October 2010 - 03:55 PM

Cut him a break. When his brother writes something and can persuade one other person of the wisdom of what he writes -- it's effin' law. At least until 5 other people in robes (or the US Congress and President) tells his brother it isn't. Plus the guy lives in Bethesda MD and misfired on his prediction that Kraft would fire Belichick.

Life is un-fay-ah.

#184 Rudi Fingers

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 04:28 PM

Really, one of the best football writers out there just because he recognized that Football Outsiders has valuable information? No. He was pretty good when he noticed that, but at this point, he repeats everything over and over and over again. It's gimmicky to point out everytime there was a poor punt decision. It's silly to be criticizing plays with no real meat behind the criticism (unlike FO who actually do a great job diagramming plays and explaining the various roles players have in schemes, supplementing greatly their statistical analysis). Being the iconoclastic version of Peter King only works if you have greater substance to your musings.

I can't stand how FO has been plastered all over ESPN as well. Half their shit now requires ESPN Insider. Great for them, shitty for me.

Of course, there is some merit to your assertion that Easterbrook is among the better writers since Dr. Z was knocked out of football writing. I still prefer Joe Posnanski and the FO writers at the very least over TMQ.

Also, SJH and Yammer, what the hell is disingeniousness? (Now I'm just being an annoying prick. Or was I always?)


A34, your modesty precludes you from saying this, but I think your "race to the bottom" posts are funnier than, and almost as substantive as, 2010-era TMQ. TMQ is repetitive, but he does evolve - he deserves credit for continuing to think creatively on the concussion issue.

Moreover, your awesome (and rambling) posts are clearly influenced by the long-form blogging of TMQ, Posnanski, and Simmons - they deserve a tip of the cap.

#185 Mystic Merlin


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Posted 26 October 2010 - 04:30 PM

Easterbrook could blow our hero Alternate34 out of the water if he wasn't spending so much time being smarter than the rest of us. He was a fellow at the Brookings Institute....the Brookings Institute! Wow!

#186 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 26 October 2010 - 05:13 PM

Ummm....do you know how dumb this sounds?

Yes, the 49ers are 1-5, but the fact that he didn't mention a joke item in his column this week definitely gives his column the stench of disingeniousness. It's not like they were considered to be a pretty good team this season, nor is this considered to be a lighthearted item in his column.

And yes, he sticks to his points. He also admits where he has made mistakes.


Mommy got all better from Spygate, you guys can relax. He is one of the best football writers out there. The first guy with a platform of significance who was pumping FO and one of the main reasons why they are all over espn.com now.


??

Spygate was 3 years ago and has nothing to do with this. (Of course, he didn't exactly cover himself in glory over that issue, culminating in his getting ripped a new asshole by ESPN's ombudsman, but again that's besides the point).

I'll put it in simple terms: he's sure to mention his idiotic Crabtree Curse each week the Niners lose, and forgets to mention it when they win. That's lousy football analysis and for a guy you consider to be a good football writer it's remarkably lazy.

He made some good points in the past, particularly with his going for it on 4th down stuff, but he repeats his points endlessly whether they are relevant or not. He's a master of cherry-picking his examples and it's OK to point that out. It's fucking annoying.

#187 Shelterdog


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Posted 26 October 2010 - 05:15 PM

Soooo, complaining about playcalling is off-limits?


No, it's not off-limits but critiquing individual playcalls generally leads to crappy analysis. The plays are pretty complex, there are a lot of moving parts, and most of the people on the board (myself included) are nowhere close to qualified to judge the reasons why a playcall was actually made. Here the criticism is it was a run but the Pats should have called a fancy run with some unspecified misdirection that would trick the defense. This is shallow, stupid, results oriented analysis done in hindsight. Connolly blocks Applewhite and the playcall looks smart.

It's fun to play coach and say they should have done something different but let's not confuse what most of us do (or what Easterbrook does) do with actual substantive analysis. You can't, for example, criticize the run without at least identifying how the d-line and linebackers were aligned.

Edited by Shelterdog, 26 October 2010 - 05:41 PM.


#188 Super Nomario


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Posted 26 October 2010 - 05:28 PM

No, but the criticism of a single play call (it was a run but it should have been a different one) is usually stupid, results oriented analysis done in hindsight. Connolly blocks applewhite and the playcall looks smart.

Easterbrook is pretty consistent on this score, that defenses gear up and are good at stopping straight-ahead runs on 3rd- or 4th- and 1.

Edited by Super Nomario, 26 October 2010 - 05:29 PM.


#189 PBDWake

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 05:31 PM

Mommy got all better from Spygate, you guys can relax. He is one of the best football writers out there. The first guy with a platform of significance who was pumping FO and one of the main reasons why they are all over espn.com now.


One of the best football writers out there? Hardly. And I'm not even talking about inserting his own external agendas into articles, his sanctimonious attitude, gimmicks in his articles, or general writing form. I'm just speaking solely in the factual correctness of his writing. Scroll through the pages of this thread. If you go through his list of sweet and/or sour plays in any given week, you will almost always find one play that did not, in fact, develop as he states it did. Whether he's making mis-statements about records, yardage, or things like "wide open", I can only describe his dedication to working for detail as "Carfado-esque"

#190 DLew On Roids


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Posted 26 October 2010 - 06:13 PM

What's wrong with Bethesda?

#191 Shelterdog


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Posted 26 October 2010 - 06:27 PM

Easterbrook is pretty consistent on this score, that defenses gear up and are good at stopping straight-ahead runs on 3rd- or 4th- and 1.


Ok, I'd missed that. Does he have any evidence?

#192 dcmissle


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Posted 26 October 2010 - 07:05 PM

What's wrong with Bethesda?


Absolutely nothing save the fact that 95% of its residents would prefer to live in Chevy Chase or Potomac. Kind of like having as a brother one of the most just renowned federal jurists in the last quarter century.

#193 Rick Burlesons Yam Bag


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Posted 26 October 2010 - 07:48 PM

??

Spygate was 3 years ago and has nothing to do with this. (Of course, he didn't exactly cover himself in glory over that issue, culminating in his getting ripped a new asshole by ESPN's ombudsman, but again that's besides the point).


Yes, Ms. Schreiber became quite the hero to fans like you on this board. It is a shame that she didn't have the balls to retract her comments when the things he said would happen actually played out later in the season. He covered himself in the glory of someone who stuck to his guns and was right, but the news cycles are too short. The league did a terrible job with the initial investigation and it was reopened. It had to be done even if the Pats were innocent, the stench of cover up was there.


(Sidebar comment - She was a terrible ombudsman too as she was trying to apply the journalistic standards of the Times to ESPN, which simply isn't a fair comparison for issues pertaining to anything that is not tied to "real life" sports figure issues vs. sports prognostication. I agreed with her general position thta ESPN needed to be more diligent in their reporting - and she did a very good job on......I can't remember if it was the first Big Ben allegations or the Kobe case......one of those athlete/criminal ones....maybe Pacman Jones? - but in many cases she simply missed the point of a lot of the sports entertainment products that ESPN was putting out there.)

#194 Rick Burlesons Yam Bag


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Posted 26 October 2010 - 07:50 PM

Absolutely nothing save the fact that 95% of its residents would prefer to live in Chevy Chase or Potomac. Kind of like having as a brother one of the most just renowned federal jurists in the last quarter century.


I guess you missed where he is a successful author and a Brookings Fellow, and when his column was bounced from ESPN multiple sites clamored for it.

But sure, he probably really sweats the fact that his brother is a federal judge. I mean, he seems pretty ashamed of it when he mentions it in his columns.

#195 dcmissle


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Posted 26 October 2010 - 07:55 PM

I guess you missed where he is a successful author and a Brookings Fellow, and when his column was bounced from ESPN multiple sites clamored for it.

But sure, he probably really sweats the fact that his brother is a federal judge. I mean, he seems pretty ashamed of it when he mentions it in his columns.


You take this much too seriously; we're just having fun.

It should be pointed out, though, that his brother is a world class federal judge and prolific author. He has the serious side covered; this guy has fun.

EDIT ... One of my cousins is a senior fellow at Brookings and holds a chair named after a famous person. He shits too.

Edited by dcmissle, 26 October 2010 - 07:58 PM.


#196 Shelterdog


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Posted 26 October 2010 - 09:37 PM

I guess you missed where he is a successful author and a Brookings Fellow, and when his column was bounced from ESPN multiple sites clamored for it.

But sure, he probably really sweats the fact that his brother is a federal judge. I mean, he seems pretty ashamed of it when he mentions it in his columns.


Was a Brookings fellow. He got canned there. Rumours abound as to why; either that he had become a joke as a science expert or that his political idealogy was slanting more and more right and he was canned because he was too much of a partisan guy (or as he defenders would say, he was punished by a left leaning group for being too conservative).

#197 Soxy Brown

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 12:41 AM

But does he drive a Dodge Stratus? Are people afraid of him??

On a serious tip, TMQ haters will surely enjoy this complete and utter destruction of his inaccurate analysis of Oregon's offense. But he gets a pass, because he's like a totally successful author and stuff.

#198 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 27 October 2010 - 07:23 AM

If you want deconstruction of TMQ's columns, The Bottom of the Barrel is a good place to start.

The frustrating thing about Easterbrook is that contrary to Yammer's assertions, I do agree with him on some issues, particularly going for it more often on 4th down and on player safety. He's made some interesting points over the years. But the sanctimonious edge he brings to his columns grates after a while.

#199 Alternate34

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 07:42 AM

TMQ is repetitive, but he does evolve - he deserves credit for continuing to think creatively on the concussion issue.

Moreover, your awesome (and rambling) posts are clearly influenced by the long-form blogging of TMQ, Posnanski, and Simmons - they deserve a tip of the cap.


He does deserve credit for a lot. His earlier stuff was funny and refreshing. Not really subtle, but a well constructed mockery of Peter King. Starting with the name and continuing with the loose form repeated from week to week. His tone is even a reverse, less self deprecation, insider information, and deference to the conventional wisdom and supposed expertise of the NFL elites, more bombast, outsider commentary, and criticism.

My first thought is that like Simmons, he is finding it a lot harder to sound fresh, which is probably the major challenge of comedic writing or comedic anything, well aside from getting first established. Already established, it's hard to evolve. You face the dual challenge of keeping your audience and still being funny. Simmons was awesome for a half decade, but he kept repeating stuff and his comedy starts getting stale. Of course, as much as I criticize his writing, he obviously was good and he also has branched into different areas with varying success. Bill Murray changed so he wouldn't become Dan Aykroyd (who did change some actually, to be fair, but has really dipped into the well of quackery). Zack Galifianakis will change. Chris Rock has been expanding. It is applicable to all comedy.

That is Joe Posnanski's advantage. He has a large variety of tools. When and if his comedy becomes stale, he can just continue to write awesome books and articles with a serious tone.

I loved TMQ a little while ago. I still enjoy some of it, but it requires a lot of scrolling and a lot of grimacing at some of the bits that he decides to carry through like the Crabtree curse and the Belichick grudge. Additionally, as SJH notes, sometimes his tone is grating.

#200 Rick Burlesons Yam Bag


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Posted 27 October 2010 - 10:57 AM

That is Joe Posnanski's advantage. He has a large variety of tools. When and if his comedy becomes stale, he can just continue to write awesome books and articles with a serious tone.


Joe Posnanski is not a fair comp to anyone. He is, at this point, getting in the GOAT discussion. he is an incredible beat writer (more daily columnist, but stick with me here) for the Royals. He is a fantastic blogger. He is a tremendous columnist (obviously an understatement). I have read a bunch of Red Smith (gifts from well meaning relatives) and obviously while you need to adjust for the times it is hard to say that he is better than Posnanski.

Posnanski is the Michael Jordan, Jack Nicklaus, Joe Montana, Wayne Gretzky and Babe Ruth all rolled up into one chubby guy from Cleveland of sportswriting. He is now the only writer who writes more than twice a week who I read every word he puts out there.



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