‘Chuckstrong’ Is Gone, but the Urgency Isn’t

Ten Things I Think I Think

Brandon Browner's 106-yard fumble return (top left) and Zach Scudfeld's two-point converstion catch (bottom left) marked the good of preseason's second week; while Dustin Keller's likely season-ending knee injury (top right) and Dez Bryant's fumble after a 27-yard catch (bottom right, one of the Cowboys' six turnovers on the day) marked the bad. (Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images :: Eric Gay/AP :: Daniel Wallace/MCT/ZUMAPRESS.com :: Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Brandon Browner’s 106-yard fumble return (top left) and Zach Scudfeld’s two-point converstion catch (bottom left) marked the good of preseason’s second week; while Dustin Keller’s likely season-ending knee injury (top right) and Dez Bryant’s fumble after a 27-yard catch (bottom right, one of the Cowboys’ six turnovers on the day) marked the bad. (Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images :: Eric Gay/AP :: Daniel Wallace/MCT/ZUMAPRESS.com :: Norm Hall/Getty Images)

1. I think these are my takeaways from the second full weekend of preseason football:

a. As if Seattle needed another defensive weapon, undrafted free-agent defensive end Benson Mayowda from Idaho has looked very good in the first two games: 2.5 sacks, four quarterback hits. He could come in handy in the first four weeks, with Bruce Irvin suspended.

b. It’s totally unfair, because it’s not a quarterback versus quarterback game, and because Seattle scored a touchdown on special teams and on defense in the first half Saturday night. But Russell Wilson’s Seahawks beat Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers last year, and he was up on Peyton Manning 27-7 when they were on the field together Saturday night.

c. Passer rating by Seahawk quarterbacks Saturday: Tarvaris Jackson 141.4, Russell Wilson 141.3.

d. Some teams can pass this off by saying, “It’s just the preseason.” Not Dallas. Not six turnovers Saturday in Arizona.

e. Neither can Arizona and new coach Bruce Arians, getting in the red zone four times in the first half and scoring zero touchdowns.

f. Brian Cushing looked like Brian Cushing against Miami.

g. The loss of Dustin Keller for the season hurts doubly because Joe Philbin, knowing Keller was more of an offensive weapon than Anthony Fasano, was planning on making the tight end position more of a focal point this year than the 59 catches and 544 yards Fasano and Charles Clay produced last year.

More and more, injuries impacting business in NFL

h. New England undrafted free agent tight end Zach Sudfeld is on the verge of going from a roster longshot the week after the draft to making fantasy football owners wonder, “How high should I draft this guy?”

i. Can’t make the team throwing like that, Tim Tebow.

j. Matt Flynn got sacked five times in the first half Friday night in a 20-minute span at New Orleans. Amazing thing is, he still found time and passing lanes to complete 12 of 16 passes in the half.

k. For those scoring the Chris Kluwe-Marquette King Raiders punting battle at home, each has had four punts. Average: King 55.5, Kluwe 46.0. Net: King 49.0, Kluwe 37.5. King has had one touchback, Kluwe none, and each has hit one punt inside the 20. Not enough to go on, certainly, but sometimes the preseason doesn’t allow you the kind of sample size you need for ultimate fairness.

Chris Kluwe’s first-person account of fighting for your NFL life

l. Speaking of small sample size, the Lions kicking job was David Akers’ to lose, and he’s not losing it. Havard Rugland didn’t have much of a chance Saturday in Cleveland, but a 33-yard field goal and a kickoff to the Browns’ 1-yard line don’t turn heads the way 49- and 50-yard field goals did last weekend.

m. The Colts did so many things right Sunday night. The Reggie Wayne one-handed catch, the spot-on Andrew Luck touchdown throw, the consistent pressure on Eli Manning. Good night for Indy.

n. David Diehl didn’t exactly take a chokehold over Justin Pugh in the right tackle battle for the Giants, getting beat for a 13-yard sack by Colt Erik Walden.

ICYMI

Highlights from the last week at The MMQB:


Now That’s How Your Start!

Jenny Vrentas


Hard Knocks: The Realest Reality TV

—Richard Deitsch


Where Is Titus Young? Who Is Titus Young?

—Robert Klemko


Everyday Life, but No Ordinary Thing

—Brandon Moore


Will the ‘Silly Season’ Ever End?

—Don Banks


Aaron Rodgers, From the Heart

—Peter King


Good, Bad and Ugly First Impressions

—Greg A. Bedard


Feeling the Pain of Preseason

—Andrew Brandt


Don Shula Abides

—Jenny Vrentas



An Insult to Dumps Everywhere

—Jim Trotter

2. I think the Bills were intent on starting E.J. Manuel in their opener against New England, and it would have been the smartest choice. But with Manuel having undergone a minor knee procedure Sunday—21 days from the first game—it’s more likely he won’t be ready then. That’s deflating news for a Buffalo crowd that surely thought it could steal one from a Gronk-less Pats team (which the Patriots are looking more and more like on the opening Sunday).

3. I think this will be Jon Gruden’s last year in the ESPN booth—assuming there is significant interest in him as an NFL head coach. And there will be.

4. I think there are only so many games a coach who still is a coach can do in the booth, and only so many times driving to an office to watch tape without a team to boss around, before Gruden says No mas, and takes the reins somewhere next year. Dallas, Carolina, Detroit, Tennessee, Jets. Who knows? Oakland … not so fast. Gruden turned 50 Saturday. I think he’s got at least one six-year reign in him.

5. I think I’m as eager to see Randy Moss on TV as the next football-watcher is. I love the hire, because he might actually be honest and say some smart things. But I’m skeptical of his staying power. Can he stay interested in TV? It seems so anti-Moss, to sit in a studio and talk football. Moss is part of the new Fox Sports 1 Fox Football Daily show, with rotating analysts each evening at 6 p.m. ET. Jay Glazer and Curt Menefee will host the show. “Two things on Moss,” Glazer said over the weekend. “One, he’s telling us stuff about [Tom] Brady and [Bill] Belichick that no one else knows. He’s so damn smart. He’s telling us how Tom Brady thinks. This is going to be really valuable. Two, he really, really wants to be good.” We shall see.

6. I think the longer Arian Foster (calf, back) misses time—and he hasn’t practiced in training camp, or since spring OTAs, and he’s stuck on the Physically Unable to Perform list—the more I’d worry about his ability to play 16 games this season. And you know how valuable he is to the Texans.

7. I think if you wonder what a good portion of the concussion lawsuit between former players and the NFL will be about, you need to read this important story from ESPN and its Outside the Lines program. I’m not talking specifically about the doctor-patient relationship between Elliot Pellman and Paul Tagliabue as much as I’m talking about what the plaintiffs’ side will bring up about the qualifications of Pellman, and how many doctors put players back into games without knowing the full extent of their head injuries. The NFL will argue that the doctors didn’t let concussed players back in games, of course. And that will be the crux of a large part of the case. Pellman’s resume, and his influence over NFL policy, will be attacked by the plaintiffs.

8. I think my least favorite assignment of the year is nigh: By Friday, I’ve got to pick my Super Bowl matchup and every team’s record for Sports Illustrated. I’ve started sketching out my picks, and I can reveal this exclusively: I won’t be picking a San Diego-Atlanta Super Bowl for the second straight year.

9. I think if Champ Bailey misses the first couple of weeks of the season with his foot injury—and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie remains out with his high ankle sprain—the position Denver thought would be such a strength could have Tony Carter and Chris Harris (the normal slot corner) starting against Joe Flacco in the opener. That’s not good.

Your Turn

Have a question or comment for Peter? Email him at talkback@themmqb.com and it might be included in Tuesday's mailbag.

10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:

a. Anyone who had Max Scherzer to have 18 wins by Aug. 18, you win the Baseball Genius Pool.

b. Funniest thing about the A-Rod beaning by Ryan Dempster, after Dempster threw behind Rodriguez once and inside the next two pitches, was Red Sox manager John Farrell saying the pitch got away from Dempster, and he had to establish the inside of the plate, and blah blah blah. Good one, John. Most amazing thing about it was the corners of your mouth didn’t curl up even slightly when you said it.

c. Well, there was one other funny thing. This tweet from the Iron Shiek: “Ryan Dempster I owe you $20 bubba.”

d. Good to see a Red Sox-Yanks instant classic anyway.

e. The more stuff leaks around Ryan Braun, the more I think he’s just not a good person. In any way.

f. Miguel Cabrera could have a significantly better season than his Triple Crown year and not win the Triple Crown this year. What an amazing player.

g. Did the Dodgers actually lose Sunday?

h. The MMQB has its one-month anniversary on Thursday. I hope we get more sleep in the second month.

i. Coffeenerdness: Macchiato beats latte. The espresso sitting on the foam does it.

j. Beernerdness: Glad to see Alaskan White sold in Mankato. Haven’t had one of those in a couple of years, and it didn’t disappoint.

The Adieu Haiku

No Champ, DRC?
No Pitta or Anquan B?
One scarred opener.

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133 comments
JOBOOZOSO
JOBOOZOSO

Your photos are a superb addition to the MMQB. Thank you!

Kevin73
Kevin73

This new bloated hijacking of the MMQB does NOT work on many levels. To put it into terms Peter King would understand, MMQB was a column that was like a corner coffee shop. Stop by, get a cup of joe, and talk football with King. Finish before the coffee was gone or cold. Then, the column started getting bloated (e.g., beernerdness, 3-4 aggravating travel notes, and the Adieu Haiku) or irrelevant (I.e., political views, movie reviews). Now, to finish the analogy, MMQB has franchised from a coffee shop into a full service Starbucks. You got guest baristas telling you the life cycle of the beans, dozens of drink choices, and guest columnists. I'm sorry but a punter (photographed all Mad Maxxed out with a sword puncturing the ball) telling us the heart-rending story of camp competition. Try waiting in line all day to be one of 2300 people applying at a new hardware store opening. Plus the new dew-dads look and work terrible on and iPad.

Please go back to King writing a column (singular) about football.

Nick B
Nick B

This website, much like life, is not Blackberry 3G friendly.

Midtown_Guy
Midtown_Guy

I've been reading Peter for years, but the best thing I can say about the new site? Haven't looked at Grantland.com once since they've started. Seriously. I'm a nurse with a busy life, and this site, plus having the magazine delivered to my iPad, is all I need to keep up with sports. Great job, guys.

chopx8
chopx8

Love the site content, but it does not work on an ipad!!!...  This week it will not even load properly..

Different design needed for mobile an dipad...

N Lilly
N Lilly

This site is becoming an embarrassment.  Fast.  The content remains fairly strong, but the site itself has problems that would have been baffling in 2003.  Just look at the flagship "Monday Morning Quarterback" piece... The font size isn't even standard!  It took 2 weeks of user complaints to get a print version in place!  These are problems a 13-year old web rookie could solve... Simply confusing that a major national football analyst is having problems that local radio shows would be ashamed of on their web platforms. 


Stop kidding yourself.... This isn't going well.  Find $50k in the budget somewhere and get a proper web person.  

diegocavalier
diegocavalier

This is the first time I've seen the new format, and I'm very disappointed.  Several of my favorite websites have adopted this same format, and it's driven me to stop reading them.  I don't understand the benefit, and I think it is extremely unpleasing to the eye.

PraveenRamadoss
PraveenRamadoss

Pages dont show up on Android, my Google Nexus 4 shows only the 1s page

KennyFatAlbertha
KennyFatAlbertha

Face it folks. Luck will be around for awhile. 

Everyone can trash talk it every which way as Patriots diehard jerkoffs or what not but you remember December 2010-January 2011 when Michael Vick went from being the most vilifed character in the country to having the Number 1 jersey sold? 

But drunk football fans have short memories as alcoholics and beating their wives (or husbands).

And Peter, you're doing a good job. But sometimes as fans, we get spoiled all the time by so much media coverage and insider knowledge we obviously don't need to do because its the job of guys like you to do. Spend all those long days researching and talking to the teams and coaches. Something bleacher creatures can't do unless their screaming drunk epithets or posting as "Random Indian Journalists" on schissing Suzy Soolber.

CMFJ
CMFJ

"But Russell Wilson’s Seahawks beat Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers last year, and he was up on Peyton Manning 27-7 when they were on the field together Saturday night."

Considering that 14 of Seattle's points were not scored by the offense (107 yd KO return and 106 yd fumble return) and that Manning had the Broncos at the 1 yard line on that fumble, the score is meaningless in comparing Wilson and Manning.

PK4
PK4

To say Coach Pagano "saw 47 percent new faces from 2012 (42 of the 90 players were first-year Colts)" is a bit misleading since the regular season roster is only 53 players.  What would be important is how many of the 48 returning players were on the roster at some point during the season  ?  

Knowitall
Knowitall

"The funniest thing about Ryan Dempster throwing at ARod"? "The funniest thing about Ryan Dempster throwing at ARod"?

This is simply sick. Don't forget, dear Peter, that your beloved Red Sox tried to sign ARod, but were too cheap to do so. He would have add a nice end-piece to go along with disgraced Manny Ramirez ( so prominent in the only two Red Sox championships you now get woozy over), and the ever-doubted Big Papi, simply lucky enough not to be a proven drug user, just an alleged one (wink, wink) at this point.

These ARod comments prove once again that you should not be taken seriously as a sports commentator. You are just as shill for your favorite teams, and your liberal causes.

Whatever ARod has done, whatever kind of ass he is, there s nothing funny. Nothing funny. About Dempster throwing at him. And nothing funny about Farrell denying it. To say otherwise is sick - just as sick as the cheering by the demented fans in your favorite town, your favorite ball park.

You want to moralize in this column? Try this: baseballs thrown at people sometimes kill, often maim. Destroy lives and careers. Just because you think someone is an a$$ (or maybe you Are still upset your team didn't

land him) does not mean we get to laugh when someone throws at him. We, of course, don't laugh. Just you.

You stink.

cottsb1
cottsb1

all this high horse attacks on PED users seems delusional. The truth is that we still don't have good enough testing to know who is using and who isn't. Are you really blaming people getting paid millions of dollars for using things that help them to continue to perform at a high level. Also A-Rod is being made a scapegoat. As much as he is a very annoying player the CBA already has suspensions in place and it is the yankees fault for giving him a huge contract they are now trying to void.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

I can think of no ex-player or coach that has survived more on hype than Jon Gruden. He has absolutely no ability in the booth at all. None.

Scramble
Scramble

I was at the Ravens game Thursday. After watching Flacco in the first half, Denver's secondary may not have as any worries as they look like they might.

David200
David200

When he mentioned Andy Reid using the tennis ball thrower all I could think of was the quote from dodgeball: if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.

mgranadosv
mgranadosv

This is Gruden's last year in ESPN because he is completely and absolutely horrendous and awful at it. Maybe he'll do better in the sidelines being in love with every single player in the league.

GeorgeErnsberger
GeorgeErnsberger

It was one Edward Hoyt who coined the term "5-tool tool" for Ryan Braun--been one pretty much his whole career, he said.

Darren6
Darren6

Russell Wilson beat Aaron Rogers.....really? still counting that as a win

Midtown_Guy
Midtown_Guy

Chopx8, I'm reading this on my iPad via the Safari browser, so maybe it's not the site.... :)

doghockey
doghockey

@KennyFatAlbertha  The same guy who uses the phrase Patriots diehard jerkoffs waits only a few lines before deciding to hop on his high horse and preach about drunken epithets.  But I would guess that you don't see the irony.

Mike26
Mike26

@CMFJ Wilson is becoming PK's new darling, so OF COURSE it means something!

bamesbameron
bamesbameron

Hey schmuck I'm skeptical that 75mph pitches to Arod's a$$ us going to kill him

Shane Mac
Shane Mac

@Knowitall Please change your name to KnowNothingAtAll and stop your whining.  You're treading the fetid water of ARod Swamp and sinking slowly.  

Jnash23
Jnash23

@Knowitall Sox weren't 'too cheap,' the trade they were working on with the Rangers didnt work out (thankfully!). Sox are one of the only few teams that have/had the money to spend for a player like him.

ArnoldNewman
ArnoldNewman

@Knowitall Take a chill pill.  King wasn't condoning Dempster.  Would you feel better if he had used the term "ironic".


BTW, Alex "I cheat" Rodriguez should not even be playing.

Mike26
Mike26

@Knowitall You're right it's not funny at all - the whole situation is sickening.  There is no way that A-Rod should even be playing.  It's pretty obvious that his peers have no use/respect/time for him, and I doubt that this will be the last time this happens.  Each time it happens fewer and fewer Yankees will jump to his aid as well, and that is a telling sign.  A-Rod and Braun are the poster children for what is and has been wrong with baseball for the last (almost) 20 years and I have no sympathy for either of the lying, conniving cheaters.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

@cottsb1 Your second sentence says it all, cottsb. Virtually no one fails the drug tests. Why the hell is that? I don't know, but it's clear that hundreds of guys are using them and barely tens of guys are getting caught. Could it be because baseball (and the other sports as well) aren't really all that interested in catching cheaters? I merely ask the question.

Mike26
Mike26

@Rickapolis I don't know - where would you rate Mr. .500, Jeff Fisher?  AT least Gruden won a Super Bowl, albeit with a team built by Dungy.  Fisher's barely made it there ONCE, lost, and has survived what, 18 seasons now?

Great call on Gruden though!

dhartm2
dhartm2

The 08 Lions were 4-0 in the preseason, I wouldn't read too much into it.

ConradWesleyClough
ConradWesleyClough

@Darren6 A win is a win... the only thing that matters is the check in the W or L column, not how it gets there.

Sdwalt
Sdwalt

@Mike26 @CMFJ If Wilson was on my team, I would have a man crush on him too.

FeliciaFitzgerald
FeliciaFitzgerald

@Mike26 As long as he stops his NY Giants man-love, I'll be happy with PK falling in love with Wilson.

Knowitall
Knowitall

Is that you, Mrs King? Sorry to call out little Peter's hypocrisy.

Now take your medicine and go to bed.

Knowitall
Knowitall

Go back and read the post and tell me he didn't mean " ha ha" funny. Or better yet, let's ask Mr King to clarify what he meant.

Knowitall
Knowitall

No, jnash23, you are wrong. The Red Sox wanted to restructure the contract to make it less expensive. The Players Association would not allow it. They could have stepped up to the original contract and made the deal, but declined.

It was money , not "working out" the trade. You may have other words. I call it too cheap.

Boston fans like King conveniently forget this, just like they chose not to remember the fact that their two World Series titles rest squarely on the shoulders of a proven drug chert in Manny.

chopx8
chopx8

@Midtown_Guy ok, h

just checked, its working today...nothing differnt...maybe a problem on their end...that they corrected....others reported problems on other tablets...

STILL, i htink they need a mobile version...too many huge pictures..not ipad friendly

chopx8
chopx8

@Midtown_Guy  not sure..every other site works fine

dont have anything going on.......last few weeks had minor issues loading past big pictures...but this week its not displaying correctly at all...


Goon
Goon

@Knowitall The breadth of your perspective is amazing.  You are an inspiration.

Knowitall
Knowitall

So ARod gets thrown at. How about Ryan Braun? Melky Cabrera? Nunez?

Who, exactly, is the judge of the "game's decorum" ( great phrase).

And all of this to justify throwing a baseball at certain players, but not others?

Back to the original point: thrown baseballs kill, maim, and injure. Laughing while this happens for some, and condemning it for others, is sick.

How are you feeling?

Mike26
Mike26

@Knowitall Yes, baseball has its own justice on the field for violators of the game's decorum = and A-Rod's done it and continues to defy it.

Knowitall
Knowitall

So I understand that to mean "OK" with you.

Mike26
Mike26

@Knowitall He's pointing out that other players/teams are against everything A-Rod is doing and stands for and how much he's continuing to ruin the game.  PK is hardly the only one doing it - I honestly believe it's going to get worse the longer he plays and eventually the bruises will catch up with him.  Baseball has long had their own form of "justice" = and FINALLY the players are administering it to the cheaters.

Knowitall
Knowitall

Ok. A Red Sox fan. I get it.

Jnash23
Jnash23

@Knowitall Arod OFFERED to restructure his own contract with stipulations that the sox give him ability to have various marketing/logo rights. That got shot down so the Sox did not trade Manny to the Rangers. The two WS did not rest 'squarely' on the shoulders of Manny either...as he did not come back from a 3-0 series deficit by himself.. Drugs or not, Manny is one of the best hitters in this era. Players have been using different kinds of PEDs for years and no one put up the numbers like him, so to say that drugs are the only reason his stats are what they are is ignorant because with your mentality the hundreds of hitters who have taken drugs would all have .300+ career averages, etc...

Baseball like other sports is entertainment. Drugs are being used in all major league sports....im just trying to enjoy the games at this point.

Knowitall
Knowitall

Yeah, you're right Mike26. Let's just keep throwing at him until they banish him. We can laugh right along with Peter - right up until they blind him, or crack his skull.

The point is not the contract. The point is the selective moralizing of our faithful correspondent. ARod's an ass with a belated contract, and he's selfish, so we get to enjoy him being thrown at? Ok with Peter. Not me. And you?

Mike26
Mike26

@Knowitall Knowitall:  The Red Sox and all of baseball knew that he wasn't worth that first contract OR the second one - only the Yankees have the cash to waste.  Their bonus is the unending circus that continues to besmirch baseball and Yankee tradition.  Accept it for what it is.

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