Good Luck to Brian Hoyer

It’s good to know that Brian Hoyer has moved on from the hapless Cleveland Browns to the Houston Texans.  What is so pathetic about this move is had the media not devalued Johnny Manziel during last year’s NFL scouting combine, Manziel would probably would have been selected as the QB for the Texans and Brian Hoyer would have had a better year with the Browns.   Also, it’s very possible that Manziel probably would not have ended up in rehab because he would not have had as much time on his hands.

The Texans were in need of a QB, they did not need Jadeveon Clowney, they already had J.J. Watt.  Fast forward to a year later and the light bulb goes off in somebody’s head and the Texan’s management comes to realization that it’s a QB that’s needed, really?

When are these owners and GMs going to stop allowing the media to tell them what their needs are in terms of players and coaches.  I’m just a gal standing on the sideline and knew they needed a QB, give me a break!!!!

That said, Brian Hoyer has talent and just needs to be in the right system in order to excel.  The Cleveland Browns have played musical chairs with the QB position since Bill Belicheat cut Bernie Kosar and started Vinny Testaverde.  Yes, I said Belicheat, not Belichick.  Hoyer deserves this opportunity and I’m rooting for him.

The Browns are hapless and will continue to be hapless as long as their decisions are based on how the wind is blowing.



Crabtree: Re-sign with the 49ers

Michael Crabtree is a good receiver but he could be better and it’s his responsibility to improve.  I have watched him play and my instinct’s tell me that he has a lot of room for improvement.  He needs to remain with the 49ers because they believe in his skillset and he has very good chemistry with Kap.   He has sustained injuries in past, which has hampered his abilities and he needs to come to terms with that.  I understand that he’s in a system that plans to run the ball and he wants to be part of team that focuses more on passing the ball but will he succeed in a passing system?  My gut says not at this juncture.

Crabtree has to keep in mind that he exceled in this same offensive structure  when he had a season where his catches were over 1,000 yards and it can happen again but he is going to have to put in the work in order to go above and beyond to improve his game.

Honestly, I am tired of seeing him on the sideline rolling the ball on his foot or complaining about an injury.  Come on now, play through it!!!  It’s good that Michael has a strong belief in his skills.  However, that belief is a tad bit over inflated.  Since so many veterans have left the team, this is his opportunity to shine and become Kap’s go to receiver.  Kap needs him and he needs Kap.  Believe me, Crabtree is not going to have it better in another organization.  He has chemistry with Kap and that’s important.

Crabtree needs to ask himself if the grass is going to be greener on the other side? My answer is NO.  As a matter of fact, the grass is going to be brown.  This is Crab’s opportunity to be the man, right now!!! Take it and run with it.  Show them what you can do.  Based on what has happened to the team, I realize it is not a happy place to be but view this as an opportunity for you.

Because of your history of injuries it is just not a good time to seek out a contract with a different team.  Go back to the 49ers and step up your game.  I recommend reaching out to Jerry Rice, John Taylor and Dwight Clark, and picking their brains about how to mentally and physically go after the ball and excel to a higher level.

Crabtree, instead of trying to go to a new system, stay with Kap and become the dynamic duo?  Crabtree, Kap has lost a lot of the teammates has he relied on so if you remain you can become “the man” for Kap.  You know that he trust you and you can depend on him to get you the ball.

You have a great resources in past 49er players, take advantage of those resources.  I understand that no two players are the same but you have access to the best and there is nothing wrong with asking for help.

Set forth below are Crabtree’s NFL Stats:

Year Team G Rec Yds Avg Yds/G Lng TD 20+ 40+ 1st FUM
2014 San Francisco 49ers 16 68 698 10.3 43.6 51 4 10 2 35 0
2013 San Francisco 49ers 5 19 284 14.9 56.8 60 1 3 2 13 0
2012 San Francisco 49ers 16 85 1,105 13.0 69.1 49T 9 15 1 57 0
2011 San Francisco 49ers 15 72 874 12.1 58.3 52T 4 12 3 40 0
2010 San Francisco 49ers 16 55 741 13.5 46.3 60T 6 10 1 40 0
2009 San Francisco 49ers 11 48 625 13.0 56.8 50 2 10 1 27 1
TOTAL 79 347 4,327 12.5 54.8 60 26 60 10 212 1

Unfortunately, his stats don’t reflect just how good he can be.  If he put in more work and remains healthy his star will rise and shine brightly.








The Clock is Ticking for Marvin Lewis

Image result for image of ticking clock

Marvin Lewis has been the coach of the Cincinnati Bengals since January 2003.  Lewis’ tenure as the head coach of the Bengals is one of longest in recent NFL history.  It is impressive that the Bengals ownership has been willing to stay the course.  During his tenure with the Bengals, the team has won three division championships and has had winning seasons most of the time.  The Bengals ownership clearly understands the importance of staying the course because it is not easy to win championships in the NFL.  However, I’m not sure how much longer their patience will continue.

One glaring fact is that the team has yet to win a playoff game, which is a daunting task because the teams in the AFC North are very strong.  The Bengals have to beat out the following teams:

  1. Pittsburg Steelers
  2. Baltimore Ravens
  3. Cleveland Browns

The Bengals biggest competition comes from the Steelers and the Ravens.  Although management has maintained Lewis as the head coach, the coaching staff has to figure out a way to beat the Steelers and the Ravens in order to win in the post season, which is not an easy thing to do.   The Browns are not a factor for the Bengals.

The Bengals run a “West Coast” offense, which primarily focuses on passing rather than running and spreading out the defense.  The AFC North is a blue collar cold weather division so the Bengals need a complimentary running game in order to beat the Steelers and Ravens.  Why, do teams continue to place so much emphasis on passing?  Stop devaluing the role of the running back.  A team without a running game is not going to win championships.  The Bengals have a lot of talent but it’s not being utilized properly.  My recommendation is that they focus on building a stronger running game.

Andy Dalton is a good QB but he needs help in the backfield.  There is too much pressure on him to pass the ball.  Being in the division with the Steelers and Ravens and trying to pass the ball against those strong defenses is not going to garner the Bengals playoff wins.  Dalton has not been able to maintain possession of the ball, which is critical during the playoffs.  Teams win playoff games when they retain control of the ball and that’s been a problem for Dalton.  The Bengals need to take a page out of the Steelers and Ravens playbooks.  The Steelers and Ravens have quarterbacks that can throw the ball but they also have strong running games.

It is time for the Bengals coaching staff to recognize Dalton’s limitations and develop offensive plays that focus on running the football.  I recommend that the Bengals give Ray Rice a second chance.  He is a smash mouth running back, he’s played in the cold weather and Dalton will be able to rely on him.




Dissecting Jed York

Recently, Jed York did an interview and made the following comments:

“We’re trying to win a Super Bowl.”  “We haven’t been able to do that. And I think what we’re trying to do is build a team that focuses on our core strengths.  I think we got away from that a little bit.  I think we tried to do too much and be something that we weren’t.  I think you’re gonna see us get back to the basics, get back to letting our players go out and make plays…. You look at our offense last year.  It wasn’t, I think where it should have been.  I think we have better talent than what our results showed.”

I decided to dissect is statements and provide the following commentary.

Dissecting Jed York:

First:  Jed York – We’re trying to win a Super Bowl.” “We haven’t been able to do that.”

My Commentary:  As I have stated in previous post, the goal of any NFL franchise is to win a Super Bowl.  If he was truly focused on winning a Super Bowl, he would have retained the coach who put the team in that position.  They went to the Super Bowl but did not win, several teams have experienced the agony of defeat.  However, Management has to be willing to stay the course because that’s your best chance of repeating and winning the Super Bowl.

Second:  Jed York – “And I think what we’re trying to do is build a team that focuses on our core strengths. I think we got away from that a little bit.”

My Commentary:  This statement is truly laughable and is corporate “speak.”  This has nothing to do with the team or football.  Since he believes the team got away from its “core strengths,” tell us what those core strengths are.   If Steve Jobs had made this statement, he would have listed what those core strengths are.  This statement is made when Senior Management is doing a crappy job and it’s trickling down to middle management and causing dissention amongst the employees and morale is disintegrating.

Prior to Coach Harbaugh, the teams “core strengths” resided in the abyss for eight (8) years.  Maybe he is referring to the Bill Walsh and George Seifert era.  However, the 49ers were winning when Coach Mariucci was the head coach but John York fired him as well.  Apparently, the York’s have problems with successful coaches.

Third: Jed York – “I think you’re gonna see us get back to the basics, get back to letting our players go out and make plays…. You look at our offense last year.  It wasn’t, I think where it should have been.  I think we have better talent than what our results showed.”

My Commentary:  What does getting back to basics mean?  Where should the offense have been?  The 49ers play in the toughest division in the league and their record was still 8 – 8.   In light of everything that was going that’s not bad.  York needs to own the fact that the problem with the offense from last year wasn’t the coach or the lack of “core strengths” but the constant negativity surrounding Coach Harbaugh leaked to the media by York and his team.  York and Baalke created a hostile work environment for Coach Harbaugh and that resulted in the team suffering.  No matter what he says, the team’s less than stellar performance rest squarely on his shoulders.   With respect to talent, he and Baalke have let a number of the team’s best players to slip through their fingers, which will result in a completely different team dynamic.

Football is about offense, defense and chemistry amongst the players.  With all of the new faces, it will take some time for the players to develop chemistry.  This is the reason a lot of teams are not champions.

Now that York has his “coach” will he be willing to stay the course?



Kudos to Chris Borland

I have read and seen some ridiculous articles and comments regarding Chris Borland deciding to hang up his cleats.  My response is that it was a very smart decision.  This young man took stock of the team in its current predicament and decided the risk was not worth the reward.  He went from being on a team with championship potential to a team that a lot of people are saying will be in last place due to the incompetence of York and Baalke.

Why should he risk his head and body for people that don’t care about anyone but themselves?  It’s amazing how some media analyst have the gall to ask if the 49ers should go after his signing bonus.  By the way, it was $617,436, really? Go after what?  Borland did his job and earned his signing bonus.  If there is nothing in his contract requiring him to play x number of games or seasons in relationship to his bonus there is nothing they can do.  Anyway, York and Baalke have more important things to worry about than Borland’s meager bonus.  Chris Borland has the right to put his health first.    Besides, a lot of the money in NFL contracts can be best described as funny money.

Based on my research Borland signed a contract for $2.3M with a signing bonus of $617,436, which brings the overall value of his contract to $2.9M, which would have been paid out over time through 2017.  Of this amount 15 to 20% goes to an agent, half to “Uncle Sam” and probably a couple of thousand to lawyers so ultimately he would only pocket around $1.2M.  His health is more important than that.

A teachable moment:  In order to receive health insurance after retirement, a player must have played three seasons in the league and the insurance only last five years.  That’s nothing!!!  Sever health problems can drain a bank account so if a player has not been wise with his money he’s doomed.  Think about it:  If a player retires at the age of 30 the sever health problems probably will not kick in until they’re 45 or older and if they have not maintained health insurance they could end up like Junior Seau, Dave Duerson and others.

In light of the side effects players like Tony Dorsett are experiencing, the players union needs to push for health insurance reform.  These men are the face of the franchises, not the owners who are making billions.  It is their bodies on the line and they should be compensated for it.


The Sins of the Management: Chicago Bears

Albeit I am a 49er fan, I will say that the “Da Bears” have been one of my secret crushes since the days of Walter Peyton better known as “Sweetness,” Jim McMahon and Mike Ditka.  Walter Peyton was probably one of the classiest men to ever play the game.

Da Bears have just disintegrated into the abyss because of poor management decisions.  They fired a winning coach, Lovie Smith and hired Marc Tresman who was touted to be an offensive genius.

I have to digress for a moment, firing winning coaches is apparently the thing to do by owners in the NFL, why?

Okay, back on track.   I as so tired of the word “genius” being thrown around like water.  What did Marc Tresman do before becoming the head coach of the Da Bears?  Tresman’s resume in the NFL is primarily comprised of being an OC and QB coach.  From 2008 to 2012 he was the head coach of the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League.  During his tenure with the Alouettes the team won back to back Grey Cup Championships, which is the equivalent of the Super Bowl.  Clearly, his winning ways did not translate to the NFL and my bet is he was unable to develop a relationship with the players given the fact that some of them have jumped ship recently to play for Coach Smith in Tampa Bay.  He destroyed the team in two seasons, shame on the Bears owners and management.

Coach Smith was hired in January 2004.  In 2005 Da Bears won their division and reached the playoffs for the first time in four years.  In 2006, the team clinched their second consecutive NFC title, winning their first playoff game since 1995 and earned a trip to the Super Bowl.  Albeit they lost 29–17, the fact is they had not been to the Super Bowl since the Mike Ditka era.  Coach Smith did all of this in spite of being the lowest paid head coach in the NFL.  I’m offended. 

In an attempt to redeem themselves, the management has hired John Fox, the terminated coach of the Denver Broncos.  Coach Fox may be able to a rebuild what Marc Tresman destroyed but it will take some time and the management must be willing to stay the course.  He did a very good job in Denver and I don’t think he was treated fairly by John Elway and the Denver management team.

Coach Fox’s resume is as follows:

San Diego State (1978) —  (graduate assistant)

U.S. International University (1979) —  (defensive backs coach)

Boise State (1980) —  (defensive backs coach)

Long Beach State (1981) — (defensive backs coach)

Utah (1982) —  (defensive backs coach)

Kansas (1983) —  (defensive backs coach)

Iowa State (1984) —  (defensive backs coach)

Los Angeles Express (1985) — (defensive backs coach)

Pittsburgh (1986–1988) — (defensive coordinator & defensive backs coach)

Pittsburgh Steelers (1989–1991) —  (defensive backs coach)

San Diego Chargers (1992–1993) —  (defensive backs coach)

Los Angeles Raiders (1994–1995) —  (defensive coordinator)

St. Louis Rams (1996) —  (personnel consultant)

New York Giants (1997–2001) —  (defensive coordinator)

Carolina Panthers (2002–2010) —  (head coach)

Denver Broncos (2011–2014) —  (head coach)

As I have said time and time again, it is not easy to win and be a championship team in the NFL.  Owners must be willing to stay the course if they have a winning formula.  It is just too bad fans can’t get rid of some of the owners as a result of their bad decision making.




The Chickens are coming home to Roost on the 49ers Management

Image result for images of chickens roostingWell, Well, Well the chickens are coming home to roost on Jed York and Trent Baalke.  They wanted to be the face of the 49er franchise and now they have gone into hiding.  They have completely dismantled the team and will not answer questions about the direction of the team.   During the season they strategically fed the media a lot of negative nonsense about Coach Harbaugh and alleged that there were problems in the locker room.  As everyone suspected, the problems were not in the locker room but the front office.  Now that the smoke has cleared and the dust has settled the “Non-Dynamic” Duo are running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

York and Baalke, who share the same brain by the way, have not made one intelligent decision in the off season, with the exception of not letting Vernon Davis leave and shooting down the Kap trade rumors.   Additionally, they managed to sign Torrey Smith, don’t know how that happened.  Albeit, I think Torrey should have gotten a better contract.  My distain for NFL contracts will be discussed in a future blog.

Veteran players are leaving the team and their heads are spinning because they did not anticipate the exodus.  The OL and DL need to be rebuilt and they don’t have a clue about how to go about doing that.  They let Frank Gore slip through their fingers the heart and soul of the team.  They made it clear in December that the 49ers are going back to “smash mouth” football and running the ball.  I don’t know how that will be accomplished without an intact DL or OL.

So the 49ers have signed Reggie Bush, hmmm not sure that would have been my pick.  Is he accustom to “smash mouth football”?  He is coming off an injury, will be block for Kap?  Reggie Bush has to block and protect Kap. That’s what they had in Frank Gore in addition to running the football.  I will give Reggie Bush this, he is fast but can he block? My answer is NO.  Kap and Frank Gore had a chemistry that was unparalleled and that’s critical if you’re trying to win games.

Honestly, you’re not going to like the running back I would have preferred but it is what it is and here goes:

Since the 49er management is partial to Ravens players, they should have gone after Ray Rice.  Ray Rice deserves a second chance.  Yes, I said it and stand by my statement.  He deserves a second chance.  People make mistakes, especially young people and it’s unfair for the league and the general public to continue to view him as a monster.  People have done far worst and gotten away with it.  I don’t condone what Ray Rice did and never will but he has owned it and I believe he has learned from it.  Ray Rice is fast, he can block and he is a smash mouth runner and that’s what the team needs.

Stay tuned!!!


The Dog and Pony Show better known as the NFL Scouting Combine

Image result for dog and pony show  I am not a big fan of the NFL scouting combine.  This is week long “dog and pony” show, that is invitation only, that was created for college players to perform physical and mental tests in front of NFL coaches, general managers, and scouts.  What a joke?  These young men have film, highlight reels and have played in games that all of these people have attended or watched.  Let’s be real, the draft is a crap shoot.  We all know that not everyone drafted turns out to be successful and a number of undrafted or low draft picks have turned out to be the most successful in the NFL. “A la Tom Brady” a 6th round draft pick.  On the reverse side, Brian Leaf, selected second in the draft behind Peyton Manning turned out to be worthless.  How well did he do at the Combine?
How did the NFL Scouting combine start?  Good question.  Prior to the combine, teams had to schedule individual visits with players to run them through drills and tests.  Tex Schramm the president and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys proposed the idea of centralizing the evaluation process.  In 1982 the first National Invitational Camp was held to look at NFL draft prospects for member organizations.  There were two other camps for non-member teams held from 1982 — 1984. In 1985 the three camps merged and renamed the NFL scouting combine.
What is the purpose of the Combine?  It my belief that it’s another way for the NFL and the owners to manage budgets and make up reasons why players should not be paid a higher salary.  The powers that be at the NFL will tell you that this is a methodology used to evaluate incoming players, when the fact is it’s a methodology used to devalue players.
Here is an example for you:  Prior to the combine Johnny Manziel was touted to be drafted early in the draft as number 1 or at least 2.  Well, he goes to combine they start to devalue his stock by saying he is not tall enough blah, blah, blah and what happens? He is selected by the faulty Cleveland Browns as their 22nd pick.  There was no reason for Johnny Manziel to be drafted number 22 or selected by the Browns.  He should have been drafted higher and gone to the Houston Texans because they were in need of a QB.  Instead, he ends up with the worthless Browns and embroiled in a QB controversy.  The Browns had a very good QB in Brian Hoyer but the media would not give him a chance and they destroyed Johnny Manziel in the process.  Instead the Texans selected Jadeveon Clowney, who has not measured up to his potential.  Clowney would have been better off with the Browns.  This was a disaster all around for these two players.
MLB and the NBA do not hold these dog and pony shows.  It is all about money for the NFL.  Think about it, the NFL is receiving revenue from sponsorship and advertisers.  Is any of this revenue being shared with players?  If it’s not, it should be.  The league rest squarely on the shoulders of the players, yet they continue to come up with reasons to pay them less and less while the owners become billionaires and Roger Goodell makes $40,000,000.
What’s wrong with this picture?

OMG – What is wrong with the New York Knicks?

Let me start by saying the New York Knicks have only won two NBA Championships, 1970 and 1973 and the franchise has been around since 1949.  Although, the team is not known for winning championships, it is known for being competitive and making the playoffs.  The Knicks have not been in the playoffs since 2011.

One would think with Phil Jackson as the GM things would start to turn around.  However, the team has not improved.  This is Derek Fisher’s first year as a head coach, so there are bound to be some hiccups.  The decision was made to bring Carmelo Anthony in to be the face of the franchise.  Should that expectation be placed on Carmelo?  In my opinion, a “franchise” player is the person that elevates the game of the players around him.  The “franchise” player makes everyone better.  In light of the fact that Carmelo has been in the league for 12 years, he should be able to give his teammates the lift needed to be a contender.

Albeit Carmelo is probably the best player on the team, does he have what it takes to motivate the players around him?  Here is something to ponder:  Carmelo was suffering from an injury during the “All-Star” game.  He played in the game knowing that he was injured and was planning to have surgery.  A mature selfless franchise player would have bowed out and given someone else the opportunity to play in the game and not run the risk of further injury.  He has played in several “All-Star” games so there was no reason not to give another player the opportunity.  If this was a game that mattered, it would make sense to take chance but it didn’t.  A good leader understands the importance of allowing someone else to share the spotlight.

Carmelo has a lot to offer a team but is it the role of a franchise player or a role player?



49er Special Teams’ Coaches Resumes

The 49ers Special Teams’ went from being one of the top ranked units in the NFL to number 23 in two years under Coach Seeley.   There are a couple of reasons this could have occurred.  First, injuries may have played a role in the decline.  Second, all of the turmoil in the front office caused the biggest problem last season on every level.  As I have said before and I will say it again, when there is trouble between the front the office and the coach, the entire team suffers.

Thomas McGaughey Jr.         Special Teams Coordinator

2002 Assistant Special Teams Coach for the Kansas City Chiefs

2003 – 2004 Special Team Coach at the University of Houston

2005 – 2006 Assistant Special Teams Coach for the Denver Broncos

2007 – 2010 Assistant Special Teams Coach for the New York Giants (The Giants won the Super Bowl in 2007)

2011 – 2013 Special Teams Coach at LSU

2014 – Special Teams Coach New York Jets

Richard Hightower                  Assistant Special Teams

2010 – 2013 Assistant Special Team Coach/Defensive Backs for the Washington Redskins

2014 – Offensive Quality Control Coach for the Cleveland Browns

Baalke and York have put together an interesting cast of characters to “successfully” coach the 49ers to a winning season.  Naturally, I am hoping for the best and I want them to succeed in spite of Baalke and York.  These two want to be seen and known as the face of the franchise well now all eyes are on them.  They remind me of “frat boys” who stand around, drinking beer and yelling as loud as possible so that they are the center of attention.  The reason for this analogy is because of the unprofessional manner they leaked information related to the imminent departure of Coach Harbaugh.  It was childish and uncalled for.  They should have taken a page out of Denver’s playbook on “How to Fire a Coach.”  Albeit, I don’t agree with what Denver did, it was handled respectfully.