Welcome to Camp Hope

Ten Things I Think I Think

Guest MMQB

When Peter King went on vacation, we asked four NFL figures to fill in on our signature Monday column.


June 16

49ers TE Vernon Davis 


June 23

Bears coach Marc Trestman


July 7

Raiders LB Khalil Mack


July 14

NFL Network's Rich Eisen

1. I think I’d like my four Guest MMQB writers to take a collective bow. Thanks, Marc Trestman, for education us heathens about the CFL. Thanks, Vernon Davis, for taking us into the world of a holdout. Thanks, Khalil Mack, for telling us how you got from unknown high school player to being a high first-round pick. And thank you, Rich Eisen, for educating us about the Silly Season. I couldn’t have said it better, because there is so, so, so much wasted time and energy spent on the month off from football, which should be a month off from football because nothing at all happens in the month before camps open. Well, some things happen, as our own Andrew Brandt pointed out. But not many. And certainly not enough to jam all our Twitter feeds day after day after day of the dead month.

2. I think it’s smart to move the draft to a new site each year. Other than marketing, there’s no good reason for New York City to hog it. Let Chicago or L.A. pay through the nose for it. Give it to Jerry Jones one year and Bob Kraft the next.

3. I think the Giants did a smart thing over the past 15 months in stocking up on the offensive line. They had to know this Chris Snee news could be coming, and they had been weak on the line anyway. (Snee, the former Pro Bowl guard, will announce his retirement today, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN.) In signing both John Jerry (Miami) and Geoff Schwartz (Kansas City), the Giants could have two new free-agent starting guards, with a rookie center, second-rounder Weston Richburg from Colorado State, and a second-year right tackle, Justin Pugh. Richburg will have to hold off another free-agent newbie, J.D. Walton, but the smart money is on the rookie winning the center spot. That’s a lot of change for a short time, but the Giants needed it. As for Snee, he’ll always be a highly regarded player in Giant annals. He was a bulldog as a player, and what I always admired about him is the tough spot he stepped into as a Giant—he is married to Tom Coughlin’s daughter—and yet there was never a whiff of favoritism around the Coughlin-Snee relationship.

4. I think one of the most interesting teams this preseason will be Carolina. Lots of moving pieces there. An NFC South alumni team at safety (former Saint Roman Harper, former Falcon Thomas DeCoud). A grab-bag of discarded vets (Jerricho Cotchery, Tiquan Underwood, Jason Avant) plus rookie Kelvin Benjamin forming an all-new receiving corps. Cam Newton trying to do two important things in the next seven weeks: get his surgically repaired ankle in football shape and bonding with a bunch of guys not names Steve Smith. And finding a new left tackle. That’s a lot of work for one training camp.

5. I think I was always interested to chat up tackle Jordan Gross when he played for Carolina, because he was a good translator of complicated football to understandable English. Now he’ll be the sideline reporter on Panthers’ radio. Hope it’ll be good training for a media career, because the media can use smart people like Gross talking about the game.

6. I think because I was away when Chuck Noll died in mid-June, I never got a chance to say something about his impact on the game—and his was, as most of you know, a great football life, and a pure one. The first time I ever talked to him, I was a slightly nervous  Cincinnati beat writer visiting summer camp four years after the last Super Bowl win. I tried to make small talk about his love of wine (the man loved wine) and he told me he had no idea what I was talking about. In other words, sonny, let’s get to the questions; I’ve got a team to run. That’s the way Noll was: Anything that interfered with his team he didn’t like much.

7. I think the Washington franchise will have a new team name by 2016.

8. I think the NFL needs to copy one thing from the Canadian Football League, and the NFL will hate adopting it, but it is only a matter of time: allowing coaches to challenge pass-interference calls—and calls that should be pass-interference. So many people have beefed about expansion of replay, saying it would make the game so much longer. Think of this, though: Coaches will not have their number of challenges per game increased, only the categories of plays that possibly can be challenged. The smart coaches are not going to waste a challenge on a first-quarter borderline interference call. The league should allow horrible calls and non-calls to be challenged.

9. I think Jay Glazer will be great at introducing Michael Strahan for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in two weeks, because no one on this earth knows Strahan better than Glazer. It’s cool to see a media person named for this honor.

TALK BACK

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. I miss the World Cup.

b. The World Cup should happen every two years, not four.

c. I agree with Rich Eisen: Ian Darke needs to do an NFL game on TV, for somebody.

d. Best story I read on my vaca: The New York Times’ Walt Bogdanich on a woman from Hobart and William Smith (N.Y.) College who reported being raped by some football players and the wringer she went through in the month following the attack—which was deemed by the school to not have been a sexual assault. 

e. The piece is terrific reporting and a sad, sad story about what happens on our college campuses today, a story of excessive drinking and freshman pressure and what appears to be (and I stress the words “appears”) athletic privilege. You need to read it.

f. Reminded me of “The Accused.’’ Fair or unfair. I don’t know Walt Bogdanich, but I have great admiration for him after reading this story.

g. Second-best story from the past five weeks—and I would hate to call this story second-best at anything, because it is an awesome story about the relationship between fathers and sons. You are really good, Mike Sielski.

h. And a strong story by Kevin Armstrong of the New York Daily News on the Manning Passing Academy

i. So Tony Gwynn died early on my vacation, and I just wanted to throw in my two cents about what a memorable person he was. I was assigned, back in the multiple-sport days at Sports Illustrated, a story on Gwynn and the Padres’ offensive attack a couple of decades ago, and I showed up around 2 on a Friday afternoon in the Pads’ locker room … and Gwynn gave me a bunch of time, and then told me to come back the next day—and he gave me, a total stranger, 90 minutes. Before I left town, he bumped into me and gave me advice on coaching my youth softball team in New Jersey. I’ll never forget him.

j. Hey Ed Bouchette: Congrats on winning the McCann Award, emblematic of great writing and great contributions to football journalism, given by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. You are one of the best people in our business, and I know scores echo my sentiments. So pleased for you, and I hope all who have learned so much about the Steelers from your writing in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette take a moment to thank you in the coming weeks.

k. Still in mourning over another June death: Jim McDonald, one of the best youth coaches I have ever come across. He was one of my daughter Mary Beth’s softball pitching coaches in high school in New Jersey. A more empathetic man I have never met.

l. Dustin Pedroia’s just not the same as he was. Either he overachieved when he first came up (I am not a big “overachieving’’ and “underachieving’’ person, because how are you significantly better or worse than the norm over 1,000 at-bats) but, really, the numbers don’t lie. He’s an excellent fielder and absolutely average hitter. Daniel Murphy is better. Brian Dozier might be better. Sad, but real.

m. And after watching the World Series last year, in which David Ortiz was un-retireable, how is he hitting .250-ish and getting waylaid by the Danny Duffys of the world? Baseball is a funny game.

n. One of my vacation highlights, surprisingly, was seeing “Kinky Boots” on Broadway. A very good play, and the music made it transcendent. Cyndi Lauper’s music was so good, so memorable. Highly recommended.

o. Coffeenerdness: I’m not very good at keeping my Macchiato agreement, drinking three a week. Now that I’m going on this camp trip, I see more Macchiatos and fewer iced coffees in my next month.

p. Beernerdness: My three favorite beers from vacation: Starr Hill Brewery (Charlottesville, Va.) Northern Lights IPA, one of the most flavorful IPAs I have ever tasted. Had it with a turkey burger at Boylan’s in Charlottesville, Va., on a warm June day, my first-ever trip to the Virginia campus … Centennial IPA, from Founders Brewing (Grand Rapids, Mich.), which I loved because of its distinctive taste and memorably hoppy taste … Big Hop IPA from East End Brewing (Pittsburgh), a very drinkable and tasty IPA. Big fan in the hotel bar in Pittsburgh too.

q. If we don’t act against the Russian separatists for the downing of the Malaysian airliner full of innocents, when exactly would we act against anyone for anything?

r. You were cool, James Garner. Rest in peace.

s. Very hard to stop conjuring up this theme song

t. Good to be back. You’ll have me for the next 47 weeks, and I hope I can give you more than 10 things to think about this season.

The Adieu Haiku

NFL camp time.
So optimistic out here.
League of hopes and dreams.

mmqb-end-slug-square

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233 comments
WizardofKings
WizardofKings

Tony Dungy a bigot?  why because he is espousing Christian principles and living his faith

Dicky14
Dicky14

Thank you for recognizing such an amazing man ... Nobody better than Coach Mac ... He is deeply missed

buck98
buck98

Pedroia had 193 hits last year 2nd in AL and 7th in the MVP voting.  Don't write him off for having a "down" year (.278)

jumpingtheshark
jumpingtheshark

You mean the Washington Redskins? The last I heard Daniel Snyder was alive and kicking.

zemongoose
zemongoose

Mr. King-- It's curious that you can't bring yourself to utter the word "Redskins", but you'e totally comfortable working with a bigot like Tony Dungy. 




JJRR
JJRR

Name name name name.  This year's Redskins team has a new HC, the most dynamic receiver corps in the division as well as in its recent history, its coming off a total implosion season, its got a promising but risky high draft pick QB whos been both amazing and at times awful...  There's a ridiculous number of intriguing story lines for this team going into this season.  


But... nope.  The best you have to contribute is more harping about the name thing.  


Don't even bother to show up to training camp if you can't actually write about FOOTBALL once in a while.  


Weak.

Mat X
Mat X

"Now, Kluwe has written for the site in the past, and he is a smart and engaging person, and he fiercely defends the rights of the oppressed."


Pray tell, for whom has Kluwe spoken up about is "oppressed"?  Which is to say, who has had his person, property, or freedom of speech violated or destroyed in his own country?


Show your work, Peter.

DavidHunter1
DavidHunter1

Easy to say we should do something to the Ukraine separatists. That's easy to say. Now  the hard part. Do exactly what? Bomb them? Nope. Sanctions? They're not a country so nothing to sanction. Arm the Ukraine government which even they say won't help the situation? See, its just not that easy. 

wekless
wekless

Peter, I love your weekly column.  I've read it for years.  I reserve time every Monday to read what you have to say.  I will still visit every Monday....but only Monday, and only to read your column.  I am done with SI as a website.  I will continue to enjoy my SI magazine as I have for the last 44 years.  But the new web format is a total abomination.  I refuse to interact with the way it is currently designed.  Anything I interacted with in the past (on a daily basis) is gone or impossible to easily navigate, and everything that is available now is of now interest to me.  Thanks for all the years of enjoyable Mondays.

MoeLarryAndJesus
MoeLarryAndJesus

Peter is way off about Dustin Pedroia.  Pedroia is having an off year, but his history CLEARLY shows him to be a better hitter than anonymous guys like Dozier and Murphy.  Hasn't Peter ever heard about OPS? 

Redskins
Redskins

Tough day for the guy who writes this column (I refuse to use his name as I find it offensive).


First his "good buddy," Kluwe, turns out to have his own bigoted views, and then, his living idol, Tony Dungy, says he would not have drafted Sam I Am.

Skins'Fan
Skins'Fan

This new site sucks a$$. It's like staring at a disorienting scrapbook. Used this site 10+ times/day for over 15 years. Now? Once a week... What's with the ridiculous load times on smartphones? Somehow there's no pictures but it takes twice as long to load. Idiotic.

TheQuintessential
TheQuintessential

“We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it till it glows.” WOW

g-bye
g-bye

There is no evidence ANYONE downed the plane. Can you please wait until there is EVIDENCE. I'm done with you and MMQB based on this alone. It shows how easily you are duped, misled, and manipulated. 

luvfoozball
luvfoozball

In addition to the great stat provided on Aaron Rodgers here is why I think Rodgers is an awesome QB: he gives instant credibility to an otherwise average or even below average as far as defense goes Green Bay Packers team.

Dani
Dani

"5. Indianapolis. I’m buying the Luck hype". I'm buying it too. I'm expecting to see Luck wearing a SB ring very soon...probably around Grendale, Arizona.

Bub L
Bub L

Big Papi waylaid by the "Danny Duffy's of the world"?  Seriously?  You need to watch some baseball outside of Boston and watch Duffy pitch more often.  The kid has some electric stuff and when he's on, he's nearly unhittable.  He'll pitch a no-hitter one of these days.  No shame for Papi to be abused by Duffy.

Tbone5150
Tbone5150

I really don't get how Peter, who has been writing about football for 20+ years, and has used the term Redskins countless number of times suddenly refuses to use the name? Does that make him a former racist? Did I miss his explanation in a previous MMQB? 

eddie767
eddie767

Thanks for bringing up,his role in underpants "joke". Others skip that, in their reports. But, Vikings did have a reason for his release. Money.

Orange Crush
Orange Crush

Kluwe really does come across as a woman scorned. He asks for an independent investigation into the matter and when the investigation comes out and also finds that Kluwe himself acted unprofessionally he calls the Vikings out for playing dirty. I disagree with you Peter that his performance was too great to justify his release. I don't see how you can positively come to this conclusion. I don't think he was the worst punter out there, but he certainly was the worst for what he was being paid. It was a smart business decision on the Vikings part and you would be very hard pressed to prove otherwise. What Priefer said was horrible, but does anybody truly think he has any real plans to do these things? It was a joke as stated in the report that Kluwe had laughed off. Just as Kluwe says he was joking about the Sandusky trial. He is using his activism for his own personal gain now as well as being a vindictive out of touch Dbag.  

Mike26
Mike26

Tony Dungy is an honest, forthright person that doesn't bend to trends and popular opinion. All you can do is call him names because you realize how far from being a conscientious human you really are when you read his words.

MoeLarryAndJesus
MoeLarryAndJesus

@JJRR  So you're a Klansman who enjoys rooting for a team named after a racial slur.


Got it.

SteveRowFla
SteveRowFla

@DavidHunter1 The easy part is having an engaged president who helps head things like this off. Instead, we have an empty suit, hence the global chaos.

Wombat
Wombat

@wekless I agree. The new format for SI.com is horrible. I have moved on as well and only come back for MMQB. Sorry SI but this change was a bad move.

Mike26
Mike26

Depending on history repeating itself - or improving upon it - once a player suffers wear and tear and just the aging process, is all you can do with player unless they start using the juice (perhaps Old Papi can share his stash?).

BY
BY

@Redskins Then why on earth do you read Peter King's (there, I said it!) column? Why subject yourself to this horror?

MoeLarryAndJesus
MoeLarryAndJesus

@Skins'Fan  I also hate the new site design, but it doesn't suck as much a$$ as the name of the team you support.

Phroggo
Phroggo

The evidence that our world isn't flat will be in next week's column.

Mike26
Mike26

@Bub L Duffy is one pitcher, mostly unproven at this point; Big Papi is a very average hitter this season.  Perhaps he needs more of his "special" vitamins & juice?

45andhatched
45andhatched

@Tbone5150 http://mmqb.si.com/2013/09/06/eli-manning-new-york-giants-dallas-cowboys/2/  What he said:  "I have no idea if this is the right thing to do for the public, or the politically correct thing to do, and I’m not going to sit here and try to preach about it and tell you if you like the name you’re wrong or if you hate the name you’re wrong. I can just tell you how I feel: I’ve been increasingly bothered by using the word, and I don’t want to be a part of using a name that a cross-section of our society feels is insulting."

Mike26
Mike26

@eddie767 You're correct on both counts - the first is because it doesn't fit the agenda that being pushed by the media that continually gives him a stage; the second because only one other team even took a flyer on him once he became available.  Great players - even kickers - get picked up quickly after a brief (and sometimes fierce) competition for their services.

CSK
CSK

@Orange Crush 

Well said-  Moreover, the Vikings had set precedent the year before by cutting Longwell- who wasn't bad- after they drafted Blair Walsh. They saved money and got a pro-bowl kicker for the future.  I am sure they were hoping for similar result by drafting Locke and cutting Kluwe.

Mike26
Mike26

@Orange Crush Wrong.  His performance was so strong that exactly ONE other team pursued him - and then cut his uncovered butt.  PK is still working to sign him to be a contributor this fall and onsite reporter in St. Louis should Michael Sam beat heavy odds and common sense and make the team.

MoeLarryAndJesus
MoeLarryAndJesus

@Mike26  Tony Dungy is an activist bigot who is honest about his bigotry.  I have no doubt that Bull Connor and Lester Maddox were also honest and forthright about their bigotry, but they were still bigots.


History will not look kindly on the Tony Dungys of our time anymore than it does on Bull Connor.  But Tony Dungy has one advantage over Connor - he still has time to grow up and get over his inane, outdated, inexcusable prejudice. 

Mike26
Mike26

Another personal attack to someone with an opinion different than yours - and you offer nothing in this world that could qualify as an analogy? You just keep trying to top yourself every week, don't you Moe?

Redskins
Redskins

@BY @Redskins 

Your hyperbolic hysteria aside, I will give you one reply.


Because this space should not be filled with "fanboys."


Because the guy who writes this column should know he does not walk on water, and is subject to critical review and opinion.


In America, we call that free speech!

Orange Crush
Orange Crush

@CSK @Orange Crush Very true. As well as the fact that a big part of the position is situational punting, which the stats show he was not good at. You can't simply look at net yd avg as an indicator of a punters success. He was horrible at pinning the opposition deep in their own territory. Peter being the great football philosopher he is should not overlook such a glaring stat so easily. It leads one to question his credibility in the matter.

MoeLarryAndJesus
MoeLarryAndJesus

@Mike26  You constantly attack me for having different opinions from yours, chuckles.  It amuses me because your atrocious sentence construction is often funny.  Don't ever change, Mikey, don't ever change.

Knowitall
Knowitall

It's not the Russian separatists, who are peasants growing potatoes - not really able to hurt anyone. And it's not the Russians - at least not all of them. It is Putin.

Those saying " there is no evidence" would probably have suspected the Canadians for 9/11.

Putin will respond to hard action driven by moral clarity. Sanctions on all fronts, ban Russian flights to the US, freeze bank accounts, mobilize US energy production and pledge support to Europeans to replace Russian gas and oil, suspend all commerce with Russia, and more. Show the Russian people their leader is a paper tiger.

I wonder where we will find the leadership to do what must be done?

Mike26
Mike26

Your words have little to no effect on anyone, least of all PK.

blynder
blynder

@Redskins

Hyperbolic Hysteria?

If you come here just to disagree and think that the writer of the column thinks that he walks on water and your writing seems to imply that there is a snark or bite or righteousness in it - then I too, must confess myself confused.  Disagreement yes, about topics and points of view yes - yours seems to me, and it's hard over the keys of a message board, to be personal.  You don't like Peter King for his views, and if that is truly the case… why subject yourself to it?  Do you believe you are doing some greater good for the world or the people who don't post or…? I mean, honestly it seems like; if you come here to a column you don't like the writer to just to disagree with his points of view you don't share - and with a bit of snark, call those who might agree with him fanboys - that borders on the trollish behavior.  

blynder
blynder

@Knowitall

Nothing says he cannot and will not do those things anyway - just not in the immediate time-table.  This president is consistent in his handling of issues like this, he takes time, waits then acts. That is a style of leadership - contrary to what has happened in the past administration where action seemed to be less thoughtful.  Should it happen sooner - maybe, but it doesn't mean that the man is an "empty suit"…


GoPSULions
GoPSULions

@Knowitall Yup, maybe we should invade like GW would do - that's worked out so well.

Knowitall
Knowitall

Don't be thick-headed. No one said anything about invading. And there is no need to. Just be a leader and show resolve for what is right in the face of what is clearly wrong.

Did they teach you about leadership at Penn State? Oh, wait......

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