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Random Shots: Week 5

Joe Bryant - October 1st


Hi Folks,

We do a lot of really insightful, thoughtful and serious features here at Footballguys with some very smart people thinking deeply for you. This is not one of those features.

This is Random Shots and it’s a few pages of me downloading my goofy and dysfunctional mental hard drive that gets stuffed with way too many random items from too many hours watching, reading about and listening to football every weekend and throughout the week. It's the only way I keep relatively sane. Here's hoping it has a tiny bit of value for you.

We’ll see how it goes. Let’s get to it.

J


The Falcons may have lost the game Sunday. But coach Mike Smith struck gold on the sidelines.

Yeah, I’m 12.


Knock Knock, Drew.

Maybe I’m ten…


Last week I told you that Cleveland fans basically have LeBron James and Johnny Manziel trick plays to hang on to.

I asked if it was too much to ask a fullback who’s name I can’t spell to hold off on the LeBron James mocking after a touchdown?

As is usually the case with my uninformed knee jerk snarkiness, there’s more to the story.

From Footballguy Sephy Bounan: “Baltimore fullback Kyle Juszczyk is a second year player from Ohio and was making his second start of his career in front of his home town crowd in Cleveland. And that happened to be his first career TD. The LeBron celebration that he did was no more a mock then Terrance West's LeBron celebration on the first score of the game. I guess at that point Kyle's was just unoriginal because West already did it. But his was also paying tribute and not mocking.”

So there.


Have you noticed all the players and coaches using iPads on the sidelines?

Except they’re not iPads. They’re Microsoft Surface tablets.

On a related note from the NBA, new Los Angeles Clippers owner (and former Microsoft Big Shot) Steve Ballmer had this face for Apple when he said the team will “probably” have a No iPads On This Team rule.


Teddy Bridgewater has one game of NFL experience. And he’s already a better slider than Robert Griffin III.


Glitch in the Matrix from a couple of weeks ago.

Over the Weekend of September 13-14 The University of Minnesota Gophers and the Minnesota Vikings both lost by the same 30-7 score.

Sometimes these things take a little time to become apparent. Thanks to Footbalguy Don Pavelka for this one.


Baltimore WR Steve Smith with definitive proof that what you wear into the stadium has zero effect on how you play inside the stadium. The dude from Cheap Trick called and wants his shirt back.

Sweet hat though.

Tom Brady proving the opposite is also true. Just because you look good going in doesn’t mean you’ll look good going out.


Fun stuff on ESPN’s Sunday Countdown with our friend Adam Schefter turned Sumo Wrestler.


Some pictures tell the whole story. This is one of those pictures.


Google Translate knows everything.


With some teams on bye weeks, some players went back to visit their college teams.

and


I love Jerry Jones as Mr. Burns.

Excellent…


Aaron Rodgers - you’re ridiculous.


Sorry, London.


On the new Papa Johns commercial, Peyton Manning asks the Papa Johns guy if he ever gets tired of making pizzas.

Papa Johns guy replies, “Do you ever get tired of throwing touchdowns?”

Peyton makes this face and says “Good point”.

Yeah, because making pizzas and throwing touchdowns are exactly the same…


First World Twitter Problems

NFL Network Reporter Ian Rapoport uses @RapSheet for Twitter. This led to a fun complaint from one of his followers Sunday.


Andrew Luck’s still rocking a 6 year old flip phone. I wonder what Samsung thinks about that?


Raiders (at least for now) WR Denarius Moore had this nugget after the Week 3 game where a ball deflected off his hands and was intercepted by New England.

“I was ready to make the catch, but I didn’t want to get crushed afterward,” Moore said. “I ain’t trying to get hit for nothing.”

Raidernation was not amused.

Denarius. Dude. File that under “one of those things you may think but don’t say”.

That goes right next to Ray Lewis’ “There’s some things you can cover up, and there’s some things you can’t” line.


From ESPN’s Jim McCormick

Wow.

Clearly Smith seems comfortable with his new quarterback. But here’s something I don’t think I’m a fan of. NFL.com ran a story Sunday morning with the headline, “Cam was 'big source of frustration' for Steve Smith”

From the article, "From what I understand, Cam Newton was a big source of frustration for Steve Smith," NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport said Sunday on NFL Gameday Morning. "In fact, he told close friends he doesn't believe Cam Newton sees the field at all, specifically in the red zone. What Steve Smith told friends is that Cam Newton doesn't think fast enough or isn't precise enough to succeed in the red zone.”

The article opened saying that Smith and Newton had said all the right things publicly. But the Smith criticism was the “real story”. I’m not sure what Smith reportedly told friends in private is the kind of thing that needs to be public here. I get it that private becomes public sometimes. But this isn’t Donald Sterling level. And for a relatively young QB, the “can’t think fast enough” from a guy as respected as Steve Smith is pretty powerful. Be careful, guys.


Enough of that. Let’s get back to my normal hard hitting journalism - Reggie Wayne was fined this week for rocking The Short Pants.

That’s better.

But seriously, here’s a bit more from the official NFL Rules and Regulations:

“Pants must be worn over the entire knee area; pants shortened or rolled up to meet the stockings above the knee are prohibited. No part of the pants may be cut away unless an appropriate gusset or other device is used to replace the removed material. All pants must carry a small NFL Equipment logo on the front left groin area of the pants, midway between the fly opening and side seam, and 1/2- inch below the belt.”

Not to get all Chris Cooley here, but if that’s the standard, half the receivers and cornerbacks in the league are in trouble…


Ravens tight end Todd Heap was inducted into the Baltimore Ravens Ring of Honor. He joins legendary Ravens Art Modell and Johnny Unitas…


My friend Mike Clay had an observation Sunday during the Indianapolis - Tennessee game: “Titans have run 31 offensive plays. Colts have attempted 34 passes (plus 25 carries)”


Bears coach Marc Trestman is rightly credited with being a super smart guy. I felt a little better about myself as he wasted a timeout trying to challenge a change of possession play Sunday.


Easy there, FOX

Thanks to Footballguy Hunter Hall for that one.


Philadelphia’s Darren Sproles with another crazy punt return.

This one was 82 yards. Which for Sproles means 164 steps.

As I’ve said before, his legs remind me of the Road Runner cartoon.


For you Instagram guys, Titans writer Paul Kuharsky is a fun follow.

He blessed us with this Charlie Whitehurst shot a couple of weeks ago.

Staying on the same Nashville Beard Guy spectrum, the other end of the casual - dressy style scale was Zack Mettenberger Sunday.


Like most of America outside Atlanta, I had fun watching Teddy Bridgewater roll Sunday. How can you not love seeing a guy’s Mom so proud of him?

You may remember the super cool story from this spring where Bridgewater bought his mom, a cancer survivor, a Pink Cadillac Escalade.

Clearly, he’s a fantastic story and fun to cheer for and I hope he becomes great. But let’s give it a game or two before he’s the next Aaron Rodgers.


A related thought on Bridgewater.

Peter King had a great quote from Eagles coach Chip Kelly this week talking about Nick Foles: “Players, no matter what position, admire toughness. You look at just what this building is like when [former Eagles safety] Brian Dawkins shows back up. There is an admiration for someone that’s just a tough, hard‑nosed football player. I think you’ve got to respect Nick. I’ve said it all along: I saw him do it in college. We hit the heck out of him when we were at Oregon and he played at Arizona, and he just kept getting up and throwing and standing in there. I think it’s a very underrated quality for a quarterback. It’s not something you can see at a pro day. It’s not something you can see at the combine. They’re never getting hit. They’re doing everything in shorts and T-shirt. You’ve really got to study the tape. It’s a quality in this league that you have to have. Because no matter who you are playing, you’re going to get hit. You’ve got some big, angry people running after you and trying to take you down. To stand in there and not worry about it and know you’re going to get hit but you have to deliver the ball on time is a really underrated quality at that position. Right now he’s really shown what I’ve seen all along from him. It didn’t take the Washington game for them to admire his toughness.”

My question is this: Is it time we stop putting so much emphasis on Pro Days and Combine stats? I think the answer is most definitely yes.

Quarterbacks in shorts don’t tell me much. Just like the Sundance Kid I’d rather see how a guy reacts in real world situations.


Our friend C.D. Carter had this painful nugget Sunday.

On a lighter note, this Nick Foles as the undercover server at the draft was kind of funny.

But I want to know who set this up thinking a group of Philadelphia fans were not going to recognize Foles just because he’s got glasses on. How many 6’6” 240 pound Napoleon Dynamite looking dudes are there walking around?

The mustache was a little better but not much. Philly fans know what’s what. If you’re going to fool Eagles fans with Nick Foles, you’d better go Uncle Drew on them, still one of the best promos of all time.


Here’s a guy I’m pulling for: Justin Forsett. This game is about opportunity merging with talent and Forsett’s making the most of his shot.

“’After all the experiences I had in my career, being hurt last year, being on the bottom of the depth chart, I didn't know if I was ever going to play the game again,’ said Forsett, who averaged 4.7 yards a carry Sunday. ‘Every game I go out and play, I play it like it's my last. Thank God Baltimore called and I was able to get a spot here.’”

As the article stated, Forsett played for the Houston Texans under Gary Kubiak and credits the Ravens' offensive coordinator for lobbying to bring him to Baltimore.

"Definitely, I feel like he stood on the table for me," Forsett said. "I thank God for him and the opportunity I have here."


Jacksonville’s Denard Robinson, San Diego’s Branden Oliver, New Orleans’ Travaris Cadet, Chicago’s Ka’Deem Carey, Washington’s Darrel Young, Atlanta’s Patrick DiMarco and Baltimore’s Kyle Juszczyk. Just a partial list of running backs with more points than LeSean McCoy in the last two games…

I’m with The Dude.


EJ Manuel’s been benched. For Kyle Orton.

The NFL’s the gift that just keeps giving. Thank you @RotoPat

If nothing else, it’s an excuse to reflect on this bit of genius from a few years ago after Tim Tebow took over for Orton.

Let that sink in Bills fans. Your QB was benched for Tim Tebow. Three years ago. You grumbling Patriot and Steeler fans have no idea…


There was no microphone at the podium for humbled Eagles Coach Chip Kelly for the post game press conference in San Francisco.

Kelly looked up and said, "Is that a metaphor?"

"We got whupped up front," Kelly said. "We're not very good up front right now. We've got a lot of guys banged up. That's not an excuse. That's just the reality of it. Jason Peters is the only guy who's playing the position he started the season at."

Ah, the old “I’m not making excuses but here’s my excuse”. That never gets old.


Few things are more sad than the guy looking for a date and failing to realize the girls he’s targeting are miles out of his league.

Michigan Football, that’s you right now. Harbaughs aren’t going anywhere. Maybe they should go after Nick Saban…


As Ben Volin noted, New England’s Bill Belichick wasn’t interested in talking about anything besides Cincinnati on Wednesday.

Thanks to Footballguy James Schneider for that one.


The Derek Jeter captured screenshot with everything showing 2’s was magical. Except that it was fake.


Lions TE Eric Ebron caught his first career touchdown Sunday and left the ball on the ground in the end zone.

His teammates claimed he froze up.

"Clearly he had a brain freeze," defensive tackle C.J. Mosley quipped as he walked by Ebron's locker after the game. "Everyone knows you froze up, man. You froze up. Don't lie to the people. The people deserve the truth.

"Be honest with the people. You froze up like a rookie. On this stage, in New York City."

Ebron tried to defend himself.

"If I wanted to jig, I would have jigged, man," he said.


The Good News: We had Giants TE Larry Donnell ranked highly this week.

The Bad News: My opponent in the FFPC High Stakes League is apparently a subscriber and started him against me. Oh well.

Worse News: Donnell didn’t start himself in his own league this week and lost because of it. That hurts.


J.J. Watt, you’re ridiculous.

But still fun.

That little guy should be terrified.

I think I’m with Michael David Smith: If Watt isn’t in the talk for MVP, then we should just go ahead and make it official that the MVP is for Offensive Players only.


You may have seen the buzz this week as ESPN picked up the trick play video by a Middle School football team. It’s the old “wrong ball” play where the quarterback takes the (live) ball at the line of scrimmage and pretends that there’s something wrong with the ball and walks it over to the ref or coach. Then takes off running for a score. It’s totally lame but good for hooting Dads trying to re-live their own 7th grade glory days through their kids.

Here’s the same play with a much better outcome. (Note, the video is 90 seconds but you only need to see the first 30.)


I loved this writing from the NFL.com Tampa Bay - Pittsburgh game recap.

Talking about Tampa Bay QB Mike Glennon: “In his first appearance of 2014, the second-year signal-caller was forced into action against the Steelers, a team that had just dominated Carolina in a 37-19 win. The odds of a Buccaneers victory were longer than Glennon's neck.”

Glennon’s no Merton Hanks. But who is?


Here’s how the news broke Sunday night for Oakland firing Coach Dennis Allen.

Then…

And then…

I mean who screws up firing the coach besides the Raiders?

And more to the point, is there a team in the league that should have this “fire the coach” thing down more than Oakland?

I’m with Bill Cosby on this one.


Your Eliminator Pool is basically whoever had already used Tampa Bay in the first three weeks…


My coaching thought for the Day. It’s fitting they’re on the same team as Rex Ryan is the Michael Vick of coaches.

Fun and exciting and when it works, you’re on top of the world. You’re innovating and loud and changing the game as you win. When it doesn’t work, the act gets old fast. But they’re both just good enough to make you want to hang on just a little longer to see if you can grab that good feeling again. But you never can…

On the flip side, I’d rather flame out spectacularly than bore everyone to death and fade away.


I’m with Peter King: Arizona’s Bruce Arians is the Coach of the Month. Arians seems unimpressed: “It’s a short elevator ride back to the s—house. People, all of a sudden, I’m the greatest damn coach in the world. I’ve been a sorry SOB for 17, 18 years now. That ain’t changed just because we won a couple of games.”


The internet was up in arms after Kansas City’s Husain Abdullah was penalized for his touchdown celebration. Abdullah is a practicing Muslim who takes his faith very seriously. He was praying in the end zone which is allowed and the league very quickly acknowledged their mistake.

Non Story.

Here’s the Random Shots angle on this. Stick with me here.

I’ve always had this idea that vision for a quarterback was paramount. As Steve Smith allegedly talked about with Cam Newton, one of the worst things you can say about a QB is that they can’t see the field. And certainly part of seeing the field is seeing the defenders.

With that said, I’d think camouflaging or hiding the defenders would be a big deal. I’d think a uniform like the Eagles alternates would give a defensive team an edge there.

It’s why some people don’t think Boise State should be allowed to wear the all blue uniforms with their blue field.

With that line of thinking, if I were choosing the uniforms for Kansas City in the Monday night game, the last one I’d pick would be the red jersey with red pants. I’d go with the white pants in hopes of picking up the white jerseys of New England.

And you’d think that Tom Brady having the bright red uniforms standing out would easily be able to avoid the defenders.

So much for my theory…


Tony Romo. Fixer of Hats.


ESPN’s Steve Young is a smart guy. He sounded even smarter Tuesday morning after his pre game comments Monday evening.

“Their vertical threat is Rob Gronkowski. They have left Tom Brady bereft of help. And it’s criminal. And it’s going to be hard to watch tonight.”

You don’t get a lot of “bereft” at this level. I like that.


That wacky Brett Favre. He’s now the man for the Micro Touch grooming device.


Everyone’s favorite moment from the Monday Night Post Game Press Conference was Bill Belichick being asked if New England now had a quarterback controversy.

With Brady out, Jimmy Garoppolo played well in mop up time completing 6 of 7 and a touchdown. Brady did not congratulate Garoppolo on the sidelines and naturally, the internet exploded.

From the Boston Globe:

“Rob Gronkowski sought out Garoppolo, interrupted his conversation with McDaniels, and gave him congratulations for throwing his first career NFL touchdown.

“But not everyone was outwardly happy for the kid.

“Tom Brady gave passive high-fives to the other offensive players coming off the field — Gronk, Julian Edelman, the offensive linemen — but stayed clear of Garoppolo. Brady didn’t offer him any congratulations or daps.

“When they returned to the bench, McDaniels sat in between them — Brady on the bench, Garoppolo on a water cooler. The two quarterbacks didn’t appear to speak. Brady watched the rest of the game silently with his arms folded, with no teammate coming within 20 feet of him.”

Of course, this was mostly fabricated outrage.

Brady talked about it later.

"I'm really not [aware of the cameras]," Brady told WEEI when asked about the criticism he has taken for not high-fiving Garoppolo. "When we lose there's really not a lot -- even when we win, I think it's just important to not ride the roller coaster of emotions. You have to believe in your process. You have to believe in the things that you are doing to help the team win. I think you have to take the good with the bad.

"I was happy for Jimmy. I was happy for our team. We kept fighting at the end. That's a good thing. The more good players we have, the better we will be as a team. So, I didn't pay attention to any of those things. I was obviously disappointed that the outcome of the game was what it was. It's been very frustrating all season the way that we have performed offensively. But we are trying to figure it out to become a better offense."

B-O-R-I-N-G

“TOM BRADY BENCHED” for the new handsome QB is much more fun…


The NFL’s been playing games for 90 something years. Sunday’s Bears - Packers game was just the second game in NFL history with no punts.

Pretty crazy.


Deion Sanders made some waves Sunday night saying he didn’t know if the 49er players were really down for Jim Harbaugh.

The remarkable thing to me was watching Michael Irvin’s response.

Irvin said, “Wait wait wait. Are you saying the players…”

Sanders interrupted and said, “I didn’t stutter and I didn’t stumble.”

Irvin raised his eyebrows and said, “Now that’s something, right there.”

Michael Irvin’s seen some things.

When he says, “Now that’s something, right there” - that’s saying something indeed.


Thank goodness the league is finally doing something to to protect the quarterbacks…


Regular headsets dream about becoming Len Dawson’s headset when they grow up.


Leaving you with my favorite picture of Week 4 as Jimmy Garoppolo makes his own spot on the bench. Do what you have to do. And when you get into the game, take your shot.


Hard Luck Awards for Week 4.

Sometimes it's better to just not know...

That'll do it for this week, Folks. Thanks to Footballguys Doug Drinen, Don Pavelka, Hunter Hall, James Schneider and Sephy Bounan for the help on this one. If you've got a Random Shot of your own, shoot me an e-mail at bryant@footballguys.com.

Thanks for playing along. I hope you make the most of whatever you're doing in your life. Love your neighbor and stick together.