I had a chance to interview Packer WR Greg Jennings last night on Sirius NFL Radio, and it might have been my best interview ever on Radio – thanks totally to Jennings. He had some good stuff to say, particularly a nice tidbit I did not realize about how he usually plays in a position in which he rarely sees double coverage, which is how he explained all his TDs last year. Check it out on the subscriber homepage, it’s also very topical given the Brett Favre situation.
Jet fans may need a while to get used to it, and it may be hard for some to say goodbye to Chad Pennington, but it shouldn’t take too long for them to realize that they are now players and playoff contenders in the AFC.
The timing was pretty good for this move, too, since the Jets upgraded and solidified their offense line this off-season. And Brett Favre will make this line better. D’Brickashaw Ferguson hasn’t stood out on film at all, in fact he’s struggled, but he’s had a good off-season, and Favre could actually make him look like one of the better LTs in the AFC this year. Favre gets rid of the ball quickly, and he’s very hard to sack.
Favre will have to adjust to a new offense and its terminology, and that could take a little while, but I can’t see Favre struggling for too, too long with it. They’ll run the ball a ton, too, so this move is great news for RB Thomas Jones. Favre will challenge defenses vertically on the outside and over the middle, so things should really open up for Jones.
I also think that Favre [...]
I’m kind of having a hard with Larry Johnson this year in fantasy drafts, but I think I’ve reached a conclusion: I’m going to avoid him.
We all know what Johnson can do, both good and bad. He can be a man amongst boys, dominant. He can also be a dog who seemingly can’t get out of his own way when running in a bad offense and behind a bad line.
Complicating matters a little this summer, however, is how he looks, which is very good. Our own Adam Caplan was a little taken back last week watching him scrimmage against the Vikings in Minnesota by how slim, trim, and quick he looked. His schedule is also very favorable, and QB Brodie Croyle has seemingly taken a step forward this year. The Chief defense may be decent, although their secondary is still a big question.
However, and it’s a big however, their line is still a mess. Have you ever heard of Rudy Niswanger? Neither did I until recently. He’s their starting center. They have a rookie at LT, and he’s banged up, too. If RT Damion McIntosh goes down again, they’re in trouble, and they’re in trouble no matter [...]
We’ve seen only one preseason game so far, so it’s still very early, but so far in training camps, it appears this year’s crop of rookie runners is a very good one.
I’ll start with Matt Forte, one of our favorites in the league already. Talk about being “as advertised.” He’s been so damn solid that I’m starting to feel bad that he’s on the Bears, a bad offense. But he will make them better, for sure. Most encouraging, he’s been good picking up the blitz, his biggest problem. If healthy, Forte’s going to have a nicer NFL career. He’s not bursting with upside, but he’s going to be very, very solid.
In Detroit, Kevin Smith has also impressed. Just keep in mind that he’s far from a special talent. But he’s a very hard worker with high marks for his character and work ethic, and he’s tireless. This offense could be surprisingly good, too. Keep in mind they still have two stud wideouts on the outside and Jon Kitna is still serviceable.
In Oakland, the reviews on Darren McFadden have been phenomenal. Head coach Lane Kiffen can’t contain his excitement. That’s nice and all, but we’re still going to [...]
I have to chime in on my boy Steve Smith, who I met and interviewed for our magazine cover two years ago in 2006. I knew going into the interview that he was a firecracker, but I was a little surprised at how calm and reserved he was for the interview.
My feeling, based on the encounter, his past going way back, his recent past, and of course yesterday’s “incident” is that Smith had matured and gotten past his anger management issues – but that the demon just came out, perhaps from nowhere, and hopefully for the last time.
Smith takes football very, very serious. He’s not an immature kid, he’s not a punk. Not even close. He is incredibly focused on doing everything he needs to excel, and that includes preparation off the field and in the classroom. I just think that what makes him such a great football player is basically the same thing that caused him to blow up and beat on one of his teammates.
I’m not condoning what Smith did, especially if the reports are true that it was basically a “sucker punch” on CB Ken Lucas. He lost it, and that’s not good. But I [...]