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Football Fragments: Some Ideas from Week 6

Published 6:07pm Friday, October 22, 2010

Did you miss me? No? Well I didn’t miss you either. I’m kidding. Just to show you how much I love you, I’ll text you a picture of me in my new Crocs…

  • Don’t trust the Bears for any purposes, be they gambling, fantasy, office pool, eliminator challenge, fandom, spiting your in-laws or any other scenario where a Chicago win needs to happen. In spite of their 4-2 record, they aren’t a particularly consistent team for a number of reasons: they’re turnover prone, pass protect poorly, and the defense is worn out often. These reasons all stem from one thing, and I think that’s the fact that O-Coordinator Mike Martz refuses to leave blockers in to help the offensive line. Against the Seahawks mediocre pass rush, the Bears offensive line was having fits with the blitz pickup. This was primarily because there was no one to pick up the blitzer. Seems simple enough right? That’s always been the catch with Martz’s dynamic offense; the abundance of receivers leaves the five offensive linemen on an island, making the quarterback sackable (I made that word up) and skittish. It ruined Marc Bulger’s pocket poise. It injured Kurt Warner into being a backup for a few years. The scheme is both brutal and beautiful for QB’s with a great offensive line (like the ‘99 Rams had), but the Bears have a fairly slapped together unit that needs the help of in line blockers. Don’t be surprised if Cutler sets a record for picks thrown in a game this year.
  • Danny Woodhead is legitimately good right? He’s shifty, he’s fast and he can catch the ball out of the backfield exceedingly well. So why was he not drafted, and more interestingly, why did he not receive a division one scholarship offer? Granted he is small, but so are decorated college guys like Garret Wolfe, Mike Hart, and Brandon Jackson, who Woodhead is much faster (and probably better) than. It makes me think of a really interesting article I read last year by Sports Illustrated’s Phil Taylor. The thesis is essentially that white running backs, more specifically Toby Gerhart in the article, are passed over because of an unfair stigma that white running backs aren’t any good, even though the measurable say differently. I think Taylor is completely right, and I wonder if how we thing of all NFL players. I’ve often heard that Patriots WR Julian Edelman is just like fellow Pat’s WR Wes Welker, but I think they are compared just because they are both white. If Edelman is like anyone, he is like a slower version of Browns WR Josh Cribbs, a speedy former college QB that excels in open space. He really isn’t a pinpoint slot guy like Welker. This even spans other sports, or at least sports media. Our good friend Andrew Dyrdal and I were laughing right before the NBA Draft last summer because one of the best NBA Draft websites only compares white players to white players. Josh McRoberts was going to be the next Troy Murphy. Gordon Hayward was going to be just like Mike Dunleavy. It was downright ridiculous. It seems like for the Danny Woodheads of the world, they have to fight the same stigma guys like Donovan McNabb and Kordell Stewart have had to face for being black quarterbacks. I’ll close with a quote from the Taylor article I thought was particularly apt: “The dashing of dreams is always an ugly thing, no matter what shade the dreamers come in.”