mailbag-story

Your Turn to Talk

Answering your questions and feedback on Riley Cooper, the impact of Percy Harvin's injury and the new site

RICHMOND, Va. — Pondering your questions, as well as the meaning of life, waiting for Washington’s practice to start later this afternoon at its shiny new training camp two hours south of the White House:

THERE’S A REASON THEY TRADED FOR HIM. “The Seahawks offense averaged over 30 points a game the second half of last season. With their defense, how much is the loss of Percy Harvin really going to affect them? It’s silly to subtract something that was never added on the field in the first place. I think special teams will be affected more than the offense, especially after letting Leon Washington go. Your thoughts?”
—William

GM John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll thought the offense lacked explosiveness, which it did. Lots of what happened last year, particularly late in the season, was Russell Wilson getting comfortable with the offense and forming a bond with some good receivers. To take the next step, Schneider, especially, thought the offense needed a downfield weapon it didn’t have. I agree: Seattle will be very good without Harvin—maybe even a Super Bowl team. But he gives the offense a dimension few teams have.

NICE STORY OUT OF DETROIT. “Love the new site. Lots of varied articles and not the same old storylines over and over. I just wanted to add a nice little story about Detroit’s training camp yesterday. My daughter wasn’t able to get any autographs, so we headed out. We got to the front  of the facility and realized we forgot a picture of her with one of the banners. I asked the security at the front if there were any good photo ops. He said, ‘follow me and this never happened’ with a wink as he led us into the lobby. We were ecstatic. We got our pics and were ready to head out when Matthew Stafford walked through on his way out. He was gracious enough to take a pic with Ally. I’ve never in my life seen her so happy. Those 20 seconds he spent just locked in a Lions fan forever and he has a new number one fan. What a memory for both of us, thanks to Matt.”
—Lee

Thanks for pointing that out. When given the chance, 99 percent of the players I deal with will do the right thing. This is good to hear.

SUSAN IS OVERWHELMED. “Re The MMQB: I love the concept, love the good writing, but there is too much, too often. I lose track of it and can’t keep up. I know I am missing good articles, but I only have so much time. Keep Peter King’s normal columns!! Have other articles—just not so many so quick upon each other. Some of the guest-non-four-regulars could be moved to SI or dropped. And please don’t dive into politics. And could you please, please bring back the ‘read all’ or something so I don’t have to click on ‘next’ to move on in the Monday morning column?”
—Susan

I bet 200 people have written me saying approximately the same thing about the volume of stories. I understand—you only have so much time in a day. I have a suggestion: Why not, if you have only 10 minutes a day to surf, go to “Archive” and scroll through the last four or five entries and see which story or video most interests you? Just a thought. As far as the “read all” option, our team made that fix on the website today. So if you check out Monday’s MMQB column right now, you’ll be able to read it all on a single page.

LET RILEY PLAY. “What Riley Cooper did was … indefensible.  I can see how it could divide a clubhouse. Having said that, it certainly is NOT worse than what Ray Lewis did in 2000, and I don’t recall the Baltimore clubhouse having a big problem with someone who was a person of interest in a double murder. And please save me the semantics about Ray copping a deal. Innocent people don’t plead AND pay off the families of the victims. So the moral of this story, is that it would have been better for Riley Cooper to have been involved in a double murder instead of uttering racist comments. Sad statement on our society.’”
—Trev

Teammates are going to be loyal to a guy who looks them in the eye and says, “I didn’t do that heinous crime.” I am assuming Ray Lewis said something like that to his mates. You may think he’s guilty, but a court never found him culpable for murder. As for Cooper, he’s on tape for all the world to see, uttering the worst racial epithet you can utter. I understand your comparison, but it’s apples and oranges: Cooper did it, there’s no legal finding that Lewis did it.

ATTENTION COMMISH. “Love the new and much more in-depth The MMQB. I think I have a solution to the 18 game season that the NFL truly wants to happen.  Of course, cut out two preseason  games, then have three 6-game sessions for every team, with a bye week between each. Every team has the same bye weeks, no advantage or disadvantage to anyone.  Yes, I know the NFL wants your 100% attention all season, but I think it would actually create more buzz, more debates and more interest. Having the two bye-weeks would certainly help all the players with both minor dings and injuries, and even some of the players with the more serious stuff would have a better chance of coming back.”
—John Troy

Biggest problem I see, other than the addition of two games players don’t want to see added, is the two off weeks for the networks. The last thing they want is, let’s say, no football programming on the weekends of Oct. 20 and Dec. 8. Two byes is a good idea, but two byes spread out per team is better.

I THINK WE HAVE SOLVED THAT; IN FACT, I JUST LOOKED, AND IT WORKS THE WAY YOU WANT. “Just wanted to chime in on the MMQB site. Love the content, my only issue is it’s a pain in the butt to navigate. It would be a lot easier if things were lined up in the order the articles have been released, newest at the top, instead of the jumble it is right now.”
—Nathan

Thanks, Nathan! Click on “Archive,” and you’ll see the stories and videos appear in the order they have appeared on the site.

HMM. NICE IDEA. “I would like to see a story about how you actually conduct a training camp visit. You could describe your pre-visit preparation and then track Peter as he conducts a visit. The concept is to show how the job is performed. Are there pre-determined storylines or is the visit just to observe and form the story? I think it would also be fun for the site to have a roundtable discussion amongst the writers after a visit discussing what you have seen similar to “PGA Tour Confidential” on SI Golf.  Of course, you must include an anonymous player. A comment about the site front page; can you organize it a bit more?  With so many stories posting, I am finding new stories interspersed with older stuff.”
—Scott

Our traveling videographer, John DePetro, and I will discuss this tonight as we drive to the next stop, Atlanta. And I will do it on this trip if at all possible. Thanks for the suggestion—it’s a good one I hadn’t considered.

DON DOESN’T LIKE THE DESIGN. “The content is terrific. The design is horrific. You have allowed your designers to make a ‘beautiful” site that is in the bottom 10 in functionality. Someone convinced you that video and pretty pictures make a website more popular. But you are devoted to news and information. And functionality should be top of mind. We come to you to read….please make your material easier to access and use.”
—Don

Don, appreciate you calling it as you see it. All I can say is, we’re trying to make the site as efficient to navigate and as beautiful as it can be. There are bugs that I see that we will work on, to try to make sure the functionality of your visit is good. Give us some time. Thank you.

COVER THE CHARGERS. “Congrats on the new site, but I do have some feedback.  There is a team that plays in sunny Southern California that has a rich history dating back to the AFL days, and they have the best uniforms in football.  Check the list of teams and you will see there is a team named the San Diego Chargers and they have lightning bolts on their helmets.  I know we have lots to do in San Diego and our team has not accomplished too much, but we do love our Chargers and find it funny how the national media just flat out ignores us. You think you could throw us a bone or honorable mention, or something? And please don’t make it about Teo! I was bemused when I saw your list of training camps you were visiting and of course the Chargers were not getting a visit. I would think with it being such a fabulous place to visit and with it being the microbeer capitol of the world that it would be a must-stop for your team. I do not think you can write a column though without mentioning Belichick and Brady numerous times.

P.S. We know you like the Pats. We get it.”
—Mark

Let’s start with this: I can physically get to about 22 or 23 team sites a year. I try to make it a practice to never miss any team’s camp or to see a preseason game at the home site two years in a row. I’d been to San Diego the previous two years for training camp. Could I have stretched out the trip another day in California? Sure. Would I have loved that? Of course! Who doesn’t love San Diego? We had a Manti Te’o story by Jim Trotter on our site on day one. We have a 2,500-word Chargers preview by Andy Benoit coming up. We’ll have more. And me being on the Patriots’ payroll? Yeah. Heard that one a few times.

Sorry, Chargers fans. Nothing personal. (Denis Poroy/AP)
Sorry, Chargers fans. Nothing personal. (Denis Poroy/AP)

I FORGOT. “While I agree with your some of your analysis on the Hall of Fame odds for 2014, I find it egregious that you left out a player who is arguably the best left tackle of all time. Walter Jones was a nine-time Pro Bowler and seven-time All-Pro who blocked for numerous thousand-yard backs, rarely gave up sacks, and was the primary driving force behind all of Shaun Alexander’s numbers.”
—Noah

My fault. I forgot. I did send a tweet about him on Monday when I realized the error of my ways, listing Jones at 7-5 for election in 2014.

ON HALL OF FAME COACHES. “A Hall of Fame question (from a die-hard 49er fan): I keep hearing Tony Dungy’s name bantered around for Hall of Fame consideration. Really? One Super Bowl and the Tampa Bay defense. Meanwhile, (here’s my 49er pitch) George Seifert won two Super Bowls, was the defensive mind behind the very underrated 49er defenses of the Super Bowl run and I never hear his name. And while I’m at it where’s Cowboy legend Jimmy Johnson on the future Hall of Fame list?”

The way I see it: Seifert won 124 games, including playoffs, in 11 coaching seasons (11.3 wins per year), with two losing seasons. He won two Super Bowls. He took over a great Niners team and kept it rolling. Then he went to Carolina and oversaw a decline to 1-15 by his last year. Johnson won 89 games, including playoffs, in nine coaching years (9.9 wins per year), with one losing season. He won two Super Bowls. He took over a bad Dallas team and turned it great. Then he went to Miami and made the playoffs twice in four years, but never seriously contended to win the Super Bowl.

Dungy won 148 games, including playoffs, in 13 coaching years (11.4 wins per year), with one losing season. He won one Super Bowl. He took over a bad Tampa team and turned it into a consistent contender. Then he went to Indianapolis and was a consistent playoff coach and won his Super Bowl.

All deserve consideration. I believe Dungy’s record, while one championship shy, is better overall, and stood the test of time in two franchises better than Seifert or Johnson. But I will say this: Jimmy Johnson’s coaching job with the Cowboys is one of the best I’ve seen in 30 seasons covering the game. So there’s that.

30 comments
RobRaas-Bergquist
RobRaas-Bergquist

I find it amusing that you got a comment from a user giving feedback, and your response was essentially "you're doing it wrong." That's a great way to keep readers. Maybe the best option would be to offer up the product that users want. 

In short, this site pales in comparisson to other similarly themed sites.

eddie767
eddie767

Dungy over Seifert is a slam dunk. For some reason ppl equate super bowl wins to being great,if that were the case all the players/coaches from Steelers and Patriots deserve a nod. You need to look at the whole picture,including what went on before and after they got there. Also,ppl always want to compare Ray Lewis problem with everybody elses don't bother to explain it,their minds will never see it the right way.

schaudhry123
schaudhry123 like.author.displayName 1 Like

This is without a doubt, my new favorite site. The articles I have read on here have been amazing! 

Personally, any Behind the Face Mask article is a must-read. Keep those coming!

JohnNeason
JohnNeason

I must say that I am really enjoying the new site. Your tip regarding the archive tab has made the experience much easier to navigate and also ensures I won't miss an article. Looking forward to seeing what's coming up. Great job!

DougBond
DougBond like.author.displayName 1 Like

I like the site and like the quantity and quality of the stories.  I agree however that if you were to categorize the Archive it would make navigation easier and less time consuming.  I suggest individual team categories and a "general NFL" category.  I also recommend a general feedback, comment, or "enter discussion" button perhaps at the page bottom so that you don't have to search for the Mailbag segment in order to enter our "wisdom".  Keep up the good work!

Jim21
Jim21

Wow, almost got through an entire PK column without seeing the names Brady and Belichick but some emailer had to go and do it. Well, PK is finding new and inventive ways to get those names in his columns. lol

BillieBob
BillieBob like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

@Jim21 

Wow, almost got through 6 comments without seeing someone complain about Peter King writing something about the Patriots. 

But I guess that's what lemmings do...

Jim21
Jim21

@BillieBob @Jim21 Thank god us bitching lemmings have our follows on the message boards too. Bitch. 

RayHuggyBearYoung
RayHuggyBearYoung

@Jim21 the guy lives on the east coast.  lives near the Patriots.  Of course he is going to write more about them.

Jim21
Jim21

@RayHuggyBearYoung @Jim21 But he is supposed to be covering the NFL. The entire league... Not just his hometown team. That's the irritating factor. 

GeorgeLovell
GeorgeLovell

The 18 game schedule with two bye weeks for each team could work as follows:  There would be four weeks with byes with two divisions in each conference taking their byes together while the other four divisions would play a team from the other conference.  Example:  week 6 AFC East, AFC North, NFC South and NFC West are off.  The NFC East would play the AFC West and the NFC North would play the AFC South (obviously this would change from year to year.).  The next week those divisions are off and the teams with the week 6 bye play one of their out-of-conference games.  Then do it again in weeks 10 and 11 or something like that....This should guarantee home games in all time zones and create at least a couple of interesting games for NBC's Sunday night games....

StephenVandergrifft
StephenVandergrifft like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 6 Like

"uttering the worst racial epithet you can utter"


Really??  what makes it worse than any other racial epithet??  anti-semitic, anti-hispanic, anti-any other race creed religion sexual orientation... etc....   demonizing him for using that particular word is misguided and drives the racial divide deeper in our nation..

Prejudice in any form is prejudice.. saying that one form is worse than any other is ludicrous...  c'mon man!

aliasforme46
aliasforme46 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

@StephenVandergrifft 

 I was coming here to post the exact same comment. Why do we even need a scale of which epithet is worse than another? They're all bad.

Alix
Alix like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Thank you for reminding Trev that Ray Lewis was found not guilty in a court of law.

I agree Cooper should be back with the Eagles. Many NFL football players have DUI's, battery charges and weapons charges. There teammates have no issue to let them back into the locker room without apologizing.

As a African American, I know many people are being overly sensitive with racial issues. Roger Goodell should have at least suspended Cooper 1 game under the good conduct policy. Cooper shouldn't be cut because he got drunk and uttered a dumb comment. @Alixthegambit

GusRandall
GusRandall

@Alix That's not true.  He was indicted for murder and those charges were dismissed as part of a plea deal that included testifying against the 2 other people he was charged with and pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge.  There is a big difference between that and being found not guilty by a court of law.

Mike26
Mike26

@GusRandall @Alix Ray's obstruction of justice for so long played a big part in the prosecution of the suspected murderer who was eventually found not guilty.  It's not in the same hemisphere of something a drunk guy said.  If Cooper should be suspended, Alix, then so should Roddy White.  White tweeted that the Zimmerman jurors should all "go kill themselves" and didn't even get a wink from the commissioner's office.  Why should black folks have more freedom of speech than other races?

ericwkillian
ericwkillian

Here is my bye week proposal: do it like college does and give teams their bye the week before they play a Thurs night game, that essentially gives them two semi bye weeks. You'd need byes every week except the last weekend and couldn't play a Thursday game week two since I don't think you want to have any teams with a bye week one.

It is clear hypocrisy to say they are concerned about player safety and still make teams play a Thursday after a Sunday.

Lloyd4
Lloyd4

Peter - You guys are off to a good start. My only comment so far is that you guys really need to work on your formatting. The difference between the smallest font and the largest one has been too large. I suggest your formatting guy look at it on a large wide screen monitor and then move back 6 feet and adjust the screen magnification to simulate someone in their 40s that needs reading glasses with a normal screen. While I don't expect the world to cater only to my demographic, having to spin the scroll wheel 3 times to get past the headline is a bit ridiculous.

Keep up the good work!

Mike26
Mike26

@Lloyd4 The font is fine for those of us not getting so old so fast, Lloyd.  

Lloyd4
Lloyd4

@Mike26 You missed my point completely. It's not the font size at issue, it's the huge difference in sizes between headlines and article print. Anyone using any magnification will find it unreadable and not come back. Usually interface design tries to make itself more inclusive as more readers are better than fewer. It's not like people without an issue won't come back so it's not either/or, and it's also not like TV ratings where different demographics are worth more as all mouse clicks are equal. Also, even further, it's not like a newspaper where they need to cram as much onto one page because more pages cost more to produce. At that point, it's merely a style choice. I don't read as many articles here as I would otherwise because of the formatting. They can choose to lose money that they otherwise would have had -- or not.

lachupacabra
lachupacabra

@Lloyd4 Agreed! Overall, I really love the new site design, but as you say, the font sizes need work, and they need to consider at least adding a "jump to article" link so that those who want to skip the (admittedly beautiful) headline pictures can do so.

 Also, the callout sections need work. White font on a bright red background looks horrific. It's hard to read and hard on the eyes. They need to consider mixing up the color scheme and maybe going with a less intense background color (a darker maroon perhaps, or just using red as a border, and going with strong black text on a white background)

CobyPreimesberger
CobyPreimesberger

what's amazing is the 18 week season actually isn't a new idea, as people forget  that i think just for a couple of seasons under taglibue there was an 18 week season and no one seemed to care because tags could do no wrong, as emmit's game against the giants was a week 18 game that clinched home field

jamison.m
jamison.m

@CobyPreimesberger It's 18 games and 20 weeks that's being discussed. Also not a new idea, but it definitely has not happened.

ericwkillian
ericwkillian

It isn't 18 weeks that people object too, it is 18 game schedules

Ilovemesomeme
Ilovemesomeme like.author.displayName 1 Like

Just a couple comments on the Tony Dungy vs. Jimmy Johnson/George Seifert debate.  Saying Tony turned the Bucs into "perennial contenders" isn't entirely accurate.  Up until 1999 (when they won the division) they were a hit or miss wild card team at best.  And even in the years after that, up until 2001, they lost because he couldn't find a way to get them to score offensively at all.  Gruden was able to get the offense on track the year right after he left in route to a SB win.  He then moved on to Indianapolis where he inherited one of the best five or so quarterbacks ever, as a supposed "defensive savior" to get them over the hump.  He did win the Super Bowl, however, the year they won it the Colts had the worst defense in the NFL during the regular season and in general had a putrid defense just about every season he coached there.  If you're saying Seifert rode coattails to his success you can EASILY make the same case for Dungy.  You could even argue it was Monte Kiffen (not Dungy) who was the architect of that top shelf defense.  That being said, Jimmy Johnson was the architect, and head coach, of a dynasty.  Jimmy Johnson, in my opinion deserves consideration far before Dungy does, and this is coming from a Redskins fan.  I think Dungy gets overrated because people in the media like him, he's quiet, and generally regarded as a nice guy.  That's all well and good, his coaching career however doesn't stack up even remotely to Johnsons.  Dungy was a solid head coach but he was never a great one. 

David2
David2

@Ilovemesomeme Dungy will get into the Hall because he's such a "nice guy" and will be the first black head coach elected.  That will all overrule the fact that he has a losing record in the playoffs, quite often as the significant favorite and in the early rounds.  He's just grossly overrated by the media.

KristianColasacco
KristianColasacco

@Ilovemesomeme It should say something that most people in Tampa love Tony Dungy and consider him the coach most responsibly for the Superbowl and years of contention.  Even though Gruden came in and won the game, very few people here care for him at all or consider him to be the reason that the team won. 

Most say that Gruden won with Dungy's team.

ProfessorGriff
ProfessorGriff

@Ilovemesomeme   You are selling Dungy's time in Tampa short.  They were complete garbage before Dungy got a head coaching opportunity there and turned them into a pretty good team.  Gruden rode his coattail on what he built into a Super Bowl.  

SteveRowFla
SteveRowFla

@Ilovemesomeme As a lifelong Bucs fan (at least since they were formed when I was 13) and a lifelong Cowboy and UM hater, it pains me to agree with you, but I do.

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