The Chip Kelly Era Takes Off

Tuesday Mailbag

WHY NO WEEKLY PICKS? Will Peter be having his weekly picks put up on this site? I liked looking last year at who he predicted would win the weekend games.

—Michael

In the past few years, my picks have grown to an 800-1200 word column, where I try to be part informant and part wise guy in previewing the games of the weekend. I have some new duties with the new website. For instance, I have to do three videos per week that were not on my schedule a year ago. I have to edit stories, which was not part of my job a year ago. And I have to write an additional Tuesday column, which is different from the column I had to write a year ago and requires more reporting. So, at some point, I had to make choices. Originally I wasn’t going to do my mailbag each week, but because so many people wanted me to do that, we decided that I would do that as the second part of my Tuesday column. I’ve had a few people tell me in the last few days that they really miss my picks. I don’t know why—I stunk at it. Maybe that’s why. Maybe its fun to see how bad I am at predicting the outcomes in the sport that I cover.

* * *

DON’T JUDGE THE BOLDIN DEAL YET. Don’t you think the title of Monday’s MMQB column, “Anquan Boldin has the Last Laugh,” is extremely premature? It was you who wrote about the defensive players the Ravens were able to add in the offseason solely because of the money they saved by dealing Boldin. I don’t think Ozzie Newsome was sitting at The Castle watching Boldin have a monster game against a very suspect Green Bay defense thinking “Man, I wish we had him for the final year of his contract and not Elvis Dumervil for the next five years.” Especially considering Terrell Suggs’ contract expires soon, and he’s the Ravens only other proven pass rusher.  Boldin had a great game, and the receivers for Baltimore had the complete opposite, but it was one game.  Let’s see who benefits most from that transaction in a few years from now, not after one game. 

—Ryan

I don’t write the headlines to the column, and I didn’t write this one. I will say that the intent of my item was not to tweak the Ravens, but simply to say that it has been my contention all along that Boldin certainly was worth $6 million a year, and he began to prove that on Sunday.

* * *

WEEK 1 WAS SLOPPY. During the Sunday night game yesterday, Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth made reference to something about the CBA requiring either less intense or less frequent practices, which could account for a lot of the sloppy play we all saw in the Week 1 games. Is there any truth to this, and do you think it had an impact?  Or do you think we just saw a lot of cobwebs being cleared out in the first games of the season? Obviously player health is a critically important part of the game, but does the new CBA go so far as to dilute the game by making it harder for coaches to prepare their players?

—Chris

I definitely think there is something to it. I think more important than new practice schedules is the fact that so few teams practice tackling or play physically during training camp. That means that for many players on Sunday, they may have only had 15 to 20 plays all summer—meaning plays during preseason games—where there was actually tackling. I think the poor play in Week 1 was more related to the lack of tackling and physical practices than the fact that teams can practice less now than they could before the 2011 CBA.

Talk Back

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

QUESTIONING MIKE MCCARTHY. Before the penalty-enforcement debacle in the Green Bay-San Francisco game, Mike McCarthy accepted a five-yard illegal motion penalty instead of declining and having San Francisco face a 4th-and-1 from inside its 10-yard line. I also believe it was a full yard that needed to be gained, not a short yard. If he thought it was very close, why not ask for a measurement to take some time? To me that was a critical mistake. He wasn’t going to push the 49ers out of field goal range—it was a chip shot even if Kaepernick takes a sack on the 3rd-and-6. He gives a mobile quarterback, who is also hot, another chance at the TD/first down without facing a fourth-down conversion. I believe Jim Harbaugh takes the field goal there (though I could be wrong; he is very aggressive). If he doesn’t, you have a shot to stop them on 4th-and-1. I don’t think I’d take a 10- or 15-yard penalty in those circumstances, but definitely not a five-yarder. Thoughts?

—Michael

I agree. I do think that was a mistake by McCarthy, and if he had to do it over again he would have made a different call. Good catch.

* * *

THE SAINTS RECEIVERS JUST GET IT DONE. After watching the antics and listening to the nonsense of diva wide receivers all these years, I take a look at the Saints wide receivers and see Marques Colston (seventh-round pick), Kenny Stills (fifth round) and Lance Moore (undrafted) as the starters for an attack that rolls up passing yards at a near-record pace year in and year out. It seems the lesson for wide receivers should be: Unless you’re Calvin Johnson or Randy Moss, keep your mouth shut and find a good quarterback.

—Rick

Part of that, I think, is that Sean Payton is not going to stand for a bunch of nonsense from any player mouthing off on his team if it interferes with how the player plays. But you’re right. I think most people in America are tired of diva antics, and want to see guys behave like professionals.

* * *

JUSTIFYING TEBOW. You mentioned in your column, “Tebow can have a role as a changeup quarterback on a winning team.” Why would any winning team want to take a winning quarterback off the field and put someone like Tebow in? He’s not an everyday quarterback; he’s a circus, period.  Would you take out Tom Brady for a series for Tebow? Would you take out Drew Brees for a series for Tebow? Would you take out Matt Ryan for a series for Tebow? Would you take out Aaron Rogers for a series for Tebow? I think you get my point. What are your thoughts?

—Johnny

More Week 1

Greg A. Bedard breaks down four plays that were keys to victory for the Bears, Seahawks, 49ers and Colts in The Inner Game.

Simple. Say you have a pocket quarterback. You decide as a coach that you want to work on the two-point conversion play, when the ball is snapped from the two-yard line. You have a spread offense in the game, with four receivers. You put Tebow in the shotgun. You have a running back, and Tebow thus has six possibilities when he gets the ball at the six-yard line. He has the four receivers, the running back, and himself. This is a guy who is a 245-pound battering ram right now. If you don’t think that in short yardage or on a two-point conversion play Tebow would be a good weapon, I would respectfully disagree with you. That’s where I think Tebow would help a winning team win more.

* * *

FOULED UP ON THE FALCONS. The Cardinals lose to the Rams and you have them ranked in your Fine Fifteen. Baltimore gets steamrolled on national television and they are ranked as well. Atlanta loses a nail-biter on the road to a motivated and rejuvenated Saints team and they don’t make the cut? What have you done for me lately indeed, Mr. King…

—Anthony

I blew it. Atlanta should definitely be in the Fine Fifteen. My mistake, and I will be more careful from here on out.

PREV 1 2VIEW AS A SINGLE PAGE
109 comments
vasanth_n
vasanth_n

Jim Harbaugh stated in his presser that he would have gone for it on the 4th and 1 if it had happened.

CharlesHenry3
CharlesHenry3

In my opinion, it looked like the Redskins were entirely unprepared for the uptempo offense from the Eagles.  How can that be, as the Eagles - and everyone else - have been talking about the potential it had since Kelly was hired?  Were the Redskins (yes, deliberate namedrop there) simply unable to believe Philly would try to hurry things up?  Redskins' DC Jim Haslett needs to pay better attention to things.  Oh, and yes, it did seem that Redskins players were flopping to slow things down at times.  The NFL needs to pay better attention to that.  Eagles over Redskins (one more time) next time if the Redskins don't change things quick.

Also looked like Griffin was as rusty as many people were afraid to say he would be.  Nice kid, he'll get his legs under him quick. 

RobertSellers
RobertSellers

Tebow wouldn't help a winning team.  Who he'd help is Jacksonville.  Go get Young, Tebow, and Pat White as 1,2,3 on the QB depth chart install a packaged play offense.  You can do it over a week of practice.  Give up on Gabbert.  Run up and down the field on teams and try and win some games.

The only reason you keep Gabbert at QB is because your scouts really like that kid Bridgewater at Louisville.

tundey
tundey

When you start signing circus acts just to convert 2-pt attempts...that's when you stop being a winning team. Tebow simply can't play QB in this league and why he refuses to play any other position and still keeps getting second chances (if not from the league but from guys like Peter King) is beyond me.

pksugs
pksugs

Hey peter where is your New Jersey liberal union editorializing about the officials. They are pathetic and you didn't spare any officials ripping when it was the replacement officials. They seems better and better the more we see the regular guys. But they couldn't be any good because they were not union. A little consistency would be good. But that wouldn't be typical of you. The replacements were better than the regular guys when you consider the awkward situation and lack of experience they had

Jon8
Jon8

That strange sound you hear around the NFL this week is the scramble to get film of the college teams who defeated Chip Kelly!!

Pat11
Pat11

This writer makes it sound like McCoy and this O wasnt nothing before Dip got there.  Always enjoyed Mccoy and Westbrook on my fantasy teams, and that was before DIp. 1 game dont be creating a new icon before at least a couple of more years. Hate these writers shoving RG3, Wilson, Kap and anybody else who has been good for only a very short time as shore lock hall of famers.

dennis
dennis

The Washington Sun Burns?

jj25onjor
jj25onjor

King - Whats with this "Sorry I work to much to give game predictions" crap?!  Cry me a river man!!  You write for a living!  You don't lift heavy stuff in the hot sun!!  In fact, you drink beer in the air conditioning....or so says your columns!!  I have no idea what you get paid, but its got to be $1 million plus/year.  So spare us with the time stuff!  I can predict games in like 5 minutes.....which means you should be able to in 30 seconds.  Come on man!!!!

Mark20
Mark20

I love seeing Mike Shanahan lose. I feel sorry that RGIII has to play for him. Only reason Shanny won two SBs is John Elway.

JeffHunter
JeffHunter

Regarding the use of the name "Redskins", teams usually name themselves words that connote bravery, determination, ferocity or reflect regional associations.  My point is; Washington is not using the word in a derogatory context, but quite the opposite.  They're using it to honor America's first citizens.  Should the Cleveland Indians change their name to the "Native-Americans"?  The word "Indian" came to be used to describe native Americans because Columbus was seeking a new route to India.  Should the Atlanta Braves change their name?  What about the Florida Seminoles?  These sports teams are HONORING this country's native American history.  Most of these words are English slang.  Native Americans never referred to their warriors as braves.  That was an English word assigned to their warriors by white folks.

I grew up in the racist South.  In my elementary school numerous kids bragged about being 1/4 Cherokee or the name of some other native American tribe.  No kid ever mentioned the possibility of having any Negro ancestors in his or her family.  My point is there was plenty of racism directed to African-Americans when I was a kid (and sadly it hasn't completely gone away even today) but there was never any racist attitudes expressed towards native Americans back in the 60s when I was a kid.  Every kid on the playground admired native Americans.  And when we divided up to play cowboys and Indians more kids wanted to Indians!  This was in Louisiana! 

JeffHunter
JeffHunter

Kelly's going wear out his guys if he continues to play them at a break-neck pace!  They're going to tire quickly and get hurt more frequently.  There's no way he can keep this pace up for 16 games.  And beating a Redskins team when it was RG3s first game since last season is nothing to get over confident about.

RobertSellers
RobertSellers

@CharlesHenry3 

I don't think NFL DCs believe that they rely as much as they do, on platooning and deception and they don't want to give up what they're good at.

Ciscos
Ciscos

@RobertSellers Funny you mention Vince Young... Frankly I think that would be the perfect spot for him... They need a veteran QB (or quasi veteran), whose mobile enough to run and can grasp the stripped down offense they run for Gabby.

I'm not even a VY fan, but I think this would be - or would have been a better spot than Green Bay (had he stayed on the team)

Mike26
Mike26

@RobertSellers

"The only reason you keep Gabbert at QB is because your scouts really like that kid Bridgewater at Louisville."


Now THAT is funny - and true!

Mike26
Mike26

@pksugs The real refs are so much better than the replacement it's not even logical to try to debate your "point".  Go comment on Golf.com about TIger's swing.

Ciscos
Ciscos

@Jon8 ~ The only film they need to get are Ohio State vs Oregon and Auburn vs Oregon. I'd lean more towards Ohio State.  I didn't mention LSU because, well, it's LSU.  No slight against the Tigers.  The defensive performance of Ohio State against Oregon was more dominating than the other two.

Mike26
Mike26

@Jon8 It's not a complex formula: be physical with the smaller, faster guys until they're exhausted by the 3rd quarter.  Employ a physical running game throughout the game regardless if Ore-Philly gets an early lead.  Fast little guys wear down; big physical guys don't shrink.

D.G
D.G

He's too old to keep up. And overpaid to boot.

JeffHunter
JeffHunter

@jj25onjor I don't think Peter gets paid nearly what you think.  After all, from what I've read it sounds like SI makes him fly coach!  I would imagine most of his time is spent on the phone talking to players and coaches and his other contacts in the league.  He has to keep up with 32 teams!  He has to have an in-depth knowledge of what's going on inside all 32 teams and gather as much information as he can.  That's what he spends most of his time on as well as traveling for assignments and interviews.  He writes this column as well as articles for the print magazine.  Peter has to be one very busy guy.  I hope he is paid well but it aint no million dollars!

Ciscos
Ciscos

@JeffHunter ~ @Notslor pretty much addressed it already.  I'd just add that you probably want to ask a Native American what they find "offensive." 10 out 10 will tell you "Redskins" is offensive.  Toss in the logo and yeah, that's offensive.  

I'm not NA, but that name rubs me raw just the same.  Will "they" change it? Probably not.

decredico
decredico

@JeffHunter you grew up in the racist south and that is why you still racist and dont realize it, fool

Notslor
Notslor

@JeffHunter Seminole is the name of a tribe. Brave is what the native american's would call their warriors. Redskins, however, is what white men called them in derision. In no way is it "honoring" them. 

oregonian
oregonian

@JeffHunter , You will be surprised! The players will do fine and Kelly is going to spark major change in in a very boring NFL league. 

Jon8
Jon8

We must remember that the college teams have more bodies to throw at a problem!

Every so often an offense comes along that shakes-up the NFL (West Coast, Wildcat, Read Option, etc) and I think the Kelly offense is going to do just that!

RobertSellers
RobertSellers

@Ciscos @Jon8 Auburn beat Oregon by being more spread than Oregon bad comparison.

The pro-style teams to beat Chip Kelly without just out scoring him were Boise St. and Stanford.

Basically penetration on the D-line, don't let the O-line start to move laterally to the line of scrimmage. Tackle in the open field.  Don't try to take risks to score on every drive.

Jon8
Jon8

Wow! Why is Dan Snyder paying all that dough to Shanahan and his staff when you're available!!

Jon8
Jon8

You are forgetting his work for NBC for which he is paid 300k!

Mark20
Mark20

@RockerMaximus @Mark20 You're right about TD! He was a big part in those Super Bowls. Great combo with Elway. Pity his career was quite short.

JeffHunter
JeffHunter

@Ciscos 

Are native Americans offended by the old Indian head / buffalo nickel?  That visage of a native American is very similar to the Washington Redskins logo.

JeffHunter
JeffHunter

@decredico 

Um, no!  You're so off base I don't have time to explain.  It would take volumes.  I'll try to make it short.  I've always been a liberal Democrat.  I well remember the racial struggles in the 60s.  My family's business always employed at least 50% African Americans.  The first people I knew outside of my parents were the African Americans that worked in my family's business and made more than their share of contributions to its success for over a century!

From my experience in elementary school, native Americans were admired and revered.  Sadly, African Americans were not.  Several of my classmates were proud of their native American relatives and having native American blood in their DNA.  That attitude was diametrically opposed to African Americans and how they were regarded.  Thomas Jefferson's descendants had Negro blood, as many other Caucasian families.  Did they brag about it like the whites that bragged about their native American blood kin?  No!  Obviously not!

By the mid-twentieth century racism against African Americans was rampant.  Racism against native Americans was hard to find, and in my neck of the woods (northwest Louisiana), I never heard of it.  Not so for African Americans.  By the time I reached high school and the era of racial integration was in full swing, it quickly became evident which kids harbored racist attitudes and which kids did not.  Owing to my appreciation and allegiance to the African Americans I grew up with and realizing they were some of the finest people I have to this date known, I could not be friends with the white racists in my high school.  Now, does that sound like I'm a racist?

If you've read my previous posts, and I will ask again, why would a proud professional sports team choose a name intentionally to be a racial slur?  It would not make sense!

JeffHunter
JeffHunter

@Notslor Yes, I know Seminole is the name of a tribe.  That's why I said most of these words are English slang.  My point is, the name was never meant to be derogatory.  The people who object to the name are taking it out of context!  Do you seriously think a sports team would call themselves the Nashville Ni++ers (meaning the "N" word), or the Chicago Cockroaches?  All teams name themselves a name they're proud of, no exceptions!  Naming the Washington football team the Redskins was never meant to be a racial slur.  That wouldn't make any sense! 

JeffHunter
JeffHunter

@oregonian I agree, the first half was exciting ,but they were running out of gas in later quarters.  College teams field more players and have shorter schedules and longer half times.  I've read rookie NFLers remark about how much more physically demanding the NFL schedule and game experience is.

Ciscos
Ciscos

@RobertSellers @Ciscos @Jon8 ~ Robert, I did say to defer to Ohio State's film.  Auburn, with Nick Farley(sp) just keep him & Co shooting the gaps (or getting to the gap faster) than the OL could get into position (which is pretty much what you said).

JeffHunter
JeffHunter

@Jon8 

While I did not mention that, I did not forget it.  Television pays a lot more than print media nowadays.  Print media is a dying business model.  And good for Peter.  It's been his life's work and he's very good at it.  Most television careers are rather ephemeral and don't last long; you know the flavor-of-the-season in sports terms.

JeffHunter
JeffHunter

@john715 @JeffHunter @RobertSellers @Ciscos

There will always be someone offended by something.  Taste and sense of humor are subjective.  Some people take things very seriously and some people prefer to see the whimsy in life. 

I don't know if a comprehensive unbiased survey among a wide cross-section of Native Americans has ever been taken and published on this matter.  If so, I haven't seen it.  I've only read anecdotal reports.  Of course, everyone has a right to his or her own opinion.  It makes for an interesting discussion.

The team's owner has complete say in what his team's name will be.  That's his unassailable right.  He will probably only consider changing it if ticket sales to home games decline.  My guess is that will not happen, he will not change the name and the controversy will eventually blow over. 

GO STEELERS! (not looking good so far) and GO SAINTS! (looking promising).

john715
john715

@JeffHunter @RobertSellers @Ciscos Jeff I'm having a really hard time taking you seriously, I can't for the life of me understand why you're bringing up the Chiefs, arrowhead stadium, the Braves and other names that simply are not at issue here. It's the Native American community themselves who have long objected to the Redskins name, if they had an issue with the Chiefs or the Braves they would have said so, as far as any of us know, they have not but what we do know with 100% certainty is that a great deal of Native Americans find the nickname "Redskins" to be offensive, and it makes absolutely no difference whether or not the name was chosen in order to be offensive or if it was chosen to somehow honor Native Americans, the bottom line here is that they find it offensive...that's it, case closed and it should be changed. 

And Robert Sellers.....are you kidding me? Please don't say that it's ok to insult a domin-ANT culture, this is exactly what racists and bigots cling to, the idea that there is a double standard when it comes to these kinds of things and it's why Mr Hunter thinks it would be ok to name a team the pastyskins or the blue eyed devils so therefor it should be ok to insult everyone else. 

But one more time....context is completely irrelevant, and even if they did name the team the "Redskins" as an intentional act of respect and honor then where is that respect and honor now when they know that the name is insulting and hurtful to the very people you claim they respect and honor? If it did exist then the name would have been changed a very very long time ago.


E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!!!!!!!!

JeffHunter
JeffHunter

@RobertSellers @JeffHunter @Ciscos 

Should the Kansas City Chiefs change their name?  What about Arrowhead stadium?  If you address a native American you don't know by the word "chief" he will probably be just as offended as if you addressed him as "redskin". 

I think context is the key factor.  Naming a stadium or a team is an intentional act of respect and honor.  It would not make sense otherwise.  

JeffHunter
JeffHunter

@RobertSellers @JeffHunter @Ciscos 

If Washington changes its name the rivalry with Dallas will never be as good.  I've never liked the Cowboys.  I always enjoy seeing the Redskins whip the Cowboys, for a number of reasons, cowboys and Indians you know.  I'm serious.

RobertSellers
RobertSellers

@JeffHunter @Ciscos 

The Buccaneers is about piracy in the Caribbean, but  it's different if a dominate culture makes fun of dominate behavior v. dominate culture uses symbol of a violently suppressed culture

JeffHunter
JeffHunter

@Ciscos 

What about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?  The name refers to pirates or white men behaving badly, white invaders and thieves.  It's certainly not complementary to white folks.  I'm not offended by their name.  Can't that be a counterbalance for the Redskins name?

Ciscos
Ciscos

@JeffHunter @Ciscos ~ I'll go down the hallway and ask one that works in my building.  

I do think, however, part of the problem is the history of the Washington franchise under their original (I believe) owner George Preston Marshall who was an unapologetic racist.  If I'm correct, current owner Daniel Synder(sp) has reached out to soothe old wounds, but from the looks of it I guess he wasn't successful. 

anon76
anon76

@JeffHunter

Imagine for a moment that new ownership took over in Dallas, Minneapolis, and Foxborough, and imagine that the new ownership was black or Native American.  Suppose they changed their respective team names to the "Palefaces", "Pastyskins", and the "Blue-eyed Devils".  How mollified would you be by the new ownership if they said something like "We're honoring the Western ideal of the Paleface riding tall in his saddle", or "There was no greater image of ferocity than a longship full of Pastyskins unloading at the beach to sack your castle", or "The noble spirit of those Blue-eyed Devils that fought off the British is still alive today in New England"?

My guess is that you'd start seeing the issue from a different perspective.

Ciscos
Ciscos

@JeffHunter @oregonian ~ Jeff, the first year under Kelly is going to be rough for the OL and his players in general come mid season.  However, by next season, he'll start to get the type of players that work in his system better.  Players will know what type of off-season conditioning they need to do.  Will some drop off because they can't keep up (or don't want to)? Of course.  But that's not unexpected.  Players have already bought into his program and that'll help go a long way to helping them improve their conditioning. 

Last thought, Oregon's player rotation during games wasn't/didn't go that deep.  I should know because I've watched them play my Trojans too many times to count. :-)

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

@JeffHunter @oregonian   Yes NFL rosters are much smaller than those in college.  And not all 53 men dress on Sundays either.  On any given Sunday an NFL team will have like 22 or 23 offensive players dress out of the 46 who dress (offense, defense and special teams... and they have to have a few back up lineman dress in case of injuries, the back up QB who almost never plays barring an injury etc...) so there aren't all that many men available to keep playing that break neck of a pace on offense...  

This offense is different enough that it makes me think of alternating a QB the way teams alternate RB's when they become winded.  The pace, while nothing like a basketball game, is still different enough from regular football games that if the coach really wants to keep the pedal to the metal all of the time then it might warrant playing Foles a few snaps here and there simply so Vick ,may catch his breath.

Again, I'm NOT a fan of alternating QB's but this offense is different than others in that if they do ever play a full game the way they played the first half against the Eagles then they'll risk turnovers etc... from a QB who is completely winded...

At one point, a player who is too tired and remains on the field (or court in a basketball game) becomes a liability to his team and he should take a breather...

This offense might be one that at least makes a coach think about doing that with his QB for reasons like this...

sterculius65
sterculius65

Uh Foles can so run that offense, keep wishing in one hand people... 

Mark20
Mark20

@JeffHunter @oregonian He'll need a deep team to run that offense. So what happens when Vick gets hurt (yes, it will happen) and Foles plays? He can't run that offense.

Newsletter