Archive for the ‘Quarterbacks’ Category

RGIII must play better for Redskins to beat Seahawks in playoffs

January 6, 2013

Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III will try to lead Washington to its first playoff win in seven seasons when the Redskins (10-6) host the Seattle Seahawks (11-5) Sunday at FedEx Field.

The game features Rookie of the Year candidates Griffin and Russell Wilson. Both quarterbacks are excellent passers and can run the ball exceptionally well.

More importantly, Griffin led the Redskins from a 3-6 start to a 10-6 finish, while Wilson led Seattle to a four-game improvement from 2011.

Griffin is getting a lot of publicity from the media and love from fans, and rightfully so. Griffin has led the Redskins to five more wins than they had last year, with help from rookie running back Alfred Morris, receiver Pierre Garçon and a host of veterans.  Morris rushed for a Redskins record 1,613 yards in his rookie campaign. Morris also ran for 13 touchdowns, a Redskins rookie record.

But lost in the excitement of the Redskins making the playoffs for just the fourth time in the last two decades is the fact that Griffin didn’t have a great game in the Redskins’ 28-18 win against Dallas last week. Griffin was less accurate than usual, finishing just 9 of 18 for 100 yards and no touchdown passes, though he did run one in for a score in the huge win that got the Redskins into the playoffs.

To read the rest of my article, click here for Examiner.com and here for Bleacher Report.

Would Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow start if he were black?

January 11, 2012

Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow’s rapid ascent in popularity has been validated by results on the field. His record as a starter is 8-4 in 2011 including Sunday’s thrilling 29-23 overtime playoff win against Pittsburgh.

If Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow were black, it’s unlikely that he would ever get a chance to play quarterback in the NFL. With an awkward and inaccurate throwing motion but a strong running ability and excellent leadership skills, Tebow would most likely be converted to another position such as running back or tight end. History shows that unconventional quarterbacks who happened to be black were either moved to different positions, given a very short time to prove themselves as quarterbacks or weren’t even given chances to become backups.

 To see the rest of my article on bleacherreport.com, click here.

Michael Vick is great from the pocket

September 11, 2011

During Philadelphia’s 31-13 win over the St. Louis Rams Sunday, Brian Billick said on Fox that Michael Vick needs to be able to play well from the pocket, implying that he can only succeed on the run.

Vick finished last season with a passer rating of over 100 in the pocket. It’s a complete myth that he can only play on the run.  Vick also got criticism for supposedly not being a quarterback earlier in his career when all he does is win.

Michael Vick getting the credit he deserves, proving critics wrong

November 27, 2010

Former Virginia Tech star Michael Vick has received widespread praise for his play quarterbacking the Philadelphia Eagles, and rightfully so.  After Vick accounted for six touchdowns in a 59-28 road win against the Redskins two weeks ago, many NFL experts called Vick a possible MVP candidate, and some even called him the best player in the NFL.

But many members of the media who have nothing but good things to say about Vick, especially the talking heads on ESPN, are the same people who insisted that Vick would play a different position once he returned to the NFL.

Virtually every analyst at ESPN either said that Vick would not only come back playing a different position, but that he was never a good quarterback in the first place. Chris Mortensen of ESPN was one of many who said Vick might play receiver, defensive back, and return kicks, and do it in the UFL, whatever that is.  It’s funny how none of those “experts” admits he was wrong.  At least one blogger predicted before the 2009 season that Vick would be successful again as a quarterback, though, and gave Vick credit for winning 10 more games than he lost.

The trade last spring that brought former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb to the Redskins made Washington better, but who would have thought that not only would the Eagles stay playoff bound, but the Vick would be their starter? Vick has become a better player since he has become the starter for Philadelphia, and he has also been helped by Eagles coach Andy Reid and good receivers. But there was a reason Vick was the highest played player in the game before he got busted for dogfighting.  Vick’s ability to throw, run, and throw on the run struck fear into the hearts of defenses.

Ask defenders who they fear more, a quarterback who can hurt them in multiple ways, or an interception machine like Jay Cutler or Brett Favre?  Quarterbacks like Cutler and Favre get overrated, while quarterbacks like Vick have traditionally been underrated (Jemele Hill of ESPN.com has an idea why).

Vick has paid his price and made a great comeback.  But back to the original point: when it comes to football, Vick deserves all the credit he gets.  It’s just staggering, though, how so many so-called experts said that a quarterback who was 10 games over .500 for his career not only couldn’t play anymore, but was never any good in the first place.  It was also strange that these carnival barkers, many of them former players and writers, also said Vick wouldn’t return as a quarterback.

But if you said that Vick couldn’t play quarterback, and even tried to tell everybody that he was never any good in the first place, at least admit you were wrong about his ability two years ago when you talk about how great he is now.

To see my entire article on Examiner.com, click here.

Boycott Capital One bank for putting “Ole’s Moving Company” on van instead of “Ovie’s” in commercial

October 3, 2010

Two weeks ago I noticed a commercial starring Donovan McNabb and Alexander Ovechkin.  It’s about Ovie moving McNabb’s stuff into town.  The problem is that at the beginning of the commercial the moving van says “Ole’s Moving Company” instead of “Ovie’s.” They misspelled the name of the best player in Caps’ history.  I can just imagine the ad person who did the ad.  Would you do that to LeBron James?  He probably remembered “Olie” in the back of his mind from Olie Kolzig being the Caps’ most popular player for several years.

Anyway, it’s an inexcusable mistake.  I just assumed they would redo the commercial – they should have been able to redo the first two seconds of it.

So people should boycott Capital One Bank.  Also, their logo and the font on their signs looks amateurish and bad.  Chevy Chase had a nice local feel to it.  I talked to someone who worked for Capital One and she said since they have primarily been a credit card company, they’ve been scrambling to hire people who know mortgages and banking, etc.

Ben Roethlisberger deserves suspension from NFL

April 21, 2010

I’ve been pleasantly surprised that much of the media and public opinion has been against Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was suspended by the NFL today for 4-6 games for violating the NFL’s conduct policy.  While Roethlisberger wasn’t charged with a crime, the police report in his most recent brush with the law states that the alleged victim in the case claims that Roethlisberger sexually assaulted her. The details don’t look good for Big Ben.

In the past, sports fans usually have defended the accused athletes in similar cases, believing that the alleged victims are trying to get money from the athletes.  So it’s nice to see the victim getting the benefit of the doubt for once.

On the other hand, Michael Wilbon’s defense multiple times on ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption,” of Roethlisberger seems particularly boorish.  Wilbon seems to have a “boys will be boys” attitude and implies that he’s seen worse.  Incidentally, Wilbon’s writing quality seems to have slipped since his top priority has become TV.  Wilbon is no longer the best writer in D.C.

By the way, expect Byron Leftwich to start and play well for the Steelers during Roethlisberger’s suspension.  ESPN did 10 minutes on Roethlisberger today without even mentioning who his replacement would be.

Washington Redskins acquire QB Donovan McNabb from Philadelphia Eagles for draft picks

April 5, 2010

Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has his new quarterback, and it’s Donovan McNabb.

McNabb, who has spent his entire 11-year career with the Philadelphia Eagles, has been traded to the Redskins in exchange for the Redskins’ second-round pick in 2010 (37th overall) and a third or fourth round selection in 2011.

To see the full article on examiner.com, click here.

Philadelphia Eagles would be crazy to get rid of Donovan McNabb

March 31, 2010

I cannot believe the Eagles are considering getting rid of Donovan McNabb and giving the QB job to Kevin Kolb.  Why would a team that is always on the verge of the Super Bowl give up a top 10 QB — maybe top 5 when he’s at his best — and start over.  First they get rid of Brian Westbrook and now maybe McNabb?  He led them to the playoffs last year and we’ve seen teams finish 10-6 and win the Super Bowl.

If the Eagles get rid of McNabb, I will root so hard against them.  It would be justice if McNabb went to the Vikings and won the Super Bowl.  I think the Redskins should go after him but the Eagles probably wouldn’t trade him within the division.

If they do trade McNabb, and right now the Raiders look like the leading contenders, they should start Michael Vick instead of Kolb.  Why hand the keys to someone who hasn’t played much at all?

Ultimately, maybe the Eagles will come to their senses and keep McNabb and trade Vick, who should have a chance to start somewhere.

But if they do trade McNabb, I will be rooting for the Eagles to fail.  As a Redskins fan I already do, but this time it will be even more intense.

What do you think about Vince Young now, Merril Hoge and ESPN?

December 20, 2009

So Vince Young is now 7-1 this year as a starting QB for the Tennessee Titans.  He replaced Kerry Collins, who was 0-6 as a starter.  Vince Young’s career record as a starter is 25-12.  Oh, by the way, at Texas he won a national championship and was 30-2.  He’s a winner.  Yet after he took over and started winning for the Titans this year, ESPN’s Merril Hoge said that Titans RB Chris Johnson had to do more for his team than any other player in the league.  Well, Johnson was playing when the Titans were 0-6.

A couple of weeks ago Hoge said he was going to “bury the hatchet.” Why the need to bury the hatchet if you didn’t have an axe to grind? Why not just be objective and unbiased?  Why the animosity against Young?  Earlier this year, Ron Jaworski, Trent Dilfer, Tim Hasselbeck, Mark Schlereth, Steve Young and other ESPN commentators talked about how Young was a bad QB and how he could only play outside the pocket.   The disdain they had for him was apparent.  They mocked him.  But eight games is enough of a sample to realize that Young winning isn’t a fluke.

It’s true that Johnson is the best running back in the league, but it’s not as if Young has great receivers.  Nate Washington, Justin Gage, and Kenny Britt aren’t bad, but DBs don’t especially fear them.  Maybe Young has improved his ability to make decisions and work habits. But even before this season he was 18-11.  He’s only in his fourth year, and he hardly played last year.

I think we have to raise the question:  was the media biased against Young because he is black?  Young isn’t the first black quarterback to be mocked by members of the white media.  Michael Vick has a career record of 38-28-1 as a starter, but the criticism about his ability as a QB has been unrelenting.  Take away the dogfighting controversy — that’s a separate issue.  You would think that Vick can’t read a defense by listening to some of the comments about him.  I have a pretty good idea that if a white quarterback was 25-12 or 38-28-1, he’d be getting a lot more praise. The standard is much higher for black quarterbacks.

At the same time, white quarterbacks are allowed to make mistakes. Look at Jay Cutler.  Basically, if you had listened to the media reaction, Cutler was the second coming when he was traded from the Broncos to the Bears. He has a career record of 22-28.  (He did have a winning record in high school, though).  I suggested earlier this year that he be the first player ever to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame while still playing: 2009/11/12/should-jay-cutler-be-immediately-put-in-the-nfl-hall-of-fame/

Interestingly, in that same blog, I talked about the fact that the Cleveland Browns needed to give Joshua Cribbs more playing time including at QB. Cribbs was a QB in college and set all kinds of records at Kent State, but was never given the chance to be a QB in the NFL.  He had two 100-yard kickoff returns for TDs today, and eight for his career — an NFL record.  He also runs for six yards a carry.  He also threw a perfect pass in the end zone that was dropped. I suggested that the Redskins trade for him earlier this year.  Cribbs is clearly one of the 10 best players in the NFL.

Anyway, another possibility of why ESPN hated Young so much was because he had depression earlier in his career.  Hoge and the others may have been discriminating against Young because of this.  They may have equated depression with weakness.  If someone has a concussion you don’t laugh at them for it.

Sorry, Hoge.  Young has won more than twice as many games as he has lost.  But I guess you don’t like winners.

Using Disrespect for Motivation

December 2, 2009

A couple of months ago I wrote a blog called “Using Disrespect to Motivate Yourself and Prove People Wrong.”

I decided to reprint some of it now.  You see it in sports all the time.  When you’re disrespected it gives you extra incentive to not only prove your doubters wrong, but to beat them if it’s in the sports world, or if outside of the sports world then at least to show them that they made the wrong decision.

You see, you take a personal slight, get upset about it, make it bigger than it is, and then actually relish the fact that someone disrespected you.  It takes on a life of its own – you never, ever forget – and then you do some truly great – even transcendent – things afterwards, partly because of the extra motivation.  You may say that you shouldn’t need that extra motivation, but it is what it is, and you should do whatever works for you.

I was reminded of this lately because of the recent situations involving Michael Jordan and Brett Favre, not to mention countless games in which underdogs beat favorites, and I’ve even had a few situations myself for which the concept applies.

I’ll start with me and then get to the more interesting stuff.

Three years ago I wrote about why I like working with kids with autism under my first FAQ at http://www.coachmike.net/autism-faq.php:

“I’ve always loved sports, and I root for the underdog. Anybody who has played sports or been a sports fan knows that when someone says you can’t do something, you love to prove them wrong. I prefer working with the kids who have the most severe disabilities because I love the challenge. One of the things I like most about working with kids with autism is the amount of progress that they have the potential to make.”

In the past five years, I’ve worked with a lot of children and several adults with autism.  I have never had a situation that didn’t work out well.  But sometimes schedules change. I was working on sports skills with a five-year old child once.  When he started kindergarten he had less free time so I had to stop after about eight months.  Sports was the first thing to get cut because of the “schedule.”  I could have (perhaps should have?) – said that that made sense.  But I took it personally.

I use things like that for extra motivation and can honestly say that the kids who I work with make great progress in all areas.  I believe that with all my heart, and I will do anything to make it so.  I can assure you that any kids who I work with will end up being more successful in all areas (and I usually break the areas down into 1) academics, cognitive skills and communication skills; 2) social skills, playdates, and emotional awareness and management; and 3) sports, exercise, and motors skills).

Anyway, now onto Michael Jordan.  His speech at the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony in September was considered controversial because he mentioned several times during which he felt slighted and he used those incidents for extra motivation.  Jordan was famous for that.

In 1993, LaBradford Smith of the Washington Bullets (yes, the Bullets – here’s hoping new owner Ted Leonsis will change the name back and change back to the old red white and blue uniforms too) scored 37 points against Jordan and the Bulls and supposedly said, “Nice game, Mike.”  Jordan vowed to score 37 points against the Bullets the next game by halftime and he scored 36 by the half, 47 in all in just 31 minutes.

Great story, but it never happened.  At least the part about Smith taunting Jordan.

The funny thing is that Jordan admitted later that Smith never taunted him, but he just made the story up to give him extra motivation.  Here are some highlights from the game in which Jordan got his revenge: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdDb32m2EsM.

Jordan didn’t mention that incident during his Hall of Fame induction ceremony, but he did mention the following, and I borrow from Brian Mahoney’s article from the Associated Press:

  • The coach who cut him from the varsity as a North Carolina schoolboy.

“I wanted to make sure you understood: You made a mistake, dude.”

  • Isiah Thomas, who allegedly orchestrated a “freezeout” of Jordan in his first All-Star game.

“I wanted to prove to you, Magic (Johnson), Larry (Bird), George (Gervin), everybody that I deserved (to be there) just as much as anybody else, and I hope over the period of my career I’ve done that without a doubt.”

  • Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy – Jordan called him Pat Riley’s “little guy” – who accused Jordan of “conning” players by acting friendly toward them, then attacking them in games.

“I just so happen to be a friendly guy. I get along with everybody, but at the same time, when the light comes on, I’m as competitive as anybody you know.”

  • The media who said Jordan, though a great player, would never win like Bird or Johnson.

“I had to listen to all that, and that put so much wood on that fire that it kept me each and every day trying to get better as a basketball player.”

  • Lastly, Utah’s Bryon Russell. Jordan recalled meeting Russell while he was retired and playing minor league baseball in 1994 – and with Sloan looking on in horror – told of how Russell insisted he could have covered him if Jordan was still playing. Russell later got two cracks at Jordan in the NBA finals, and he was the defender when Jordan hit the clinching shot to win the 1998 title.

“From this day forward, if I ever see him in shorts, I’m coming at him.”

Brett Favre is another example of someone who tries to prove somebody wrong.  Now let me first say that I’m not a Brett Favre fan.  I think he’s been overrated throughout his career because his tendency to throw too many interceptions hurt his team almost as much as his abilities helped him.  Also, he was very wishy-washy the last several years about whether to retire or continue to play quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.

In fact, a couple of years ago he said his heart wasn’t in the game.  I still think the Packers made the right choice by keeping Aaron Rodgers instead of Favre.  By the time Favre wanted to come back, Green Bay had made other plans.  But having said all that, Favre is having an unbelievable season.  True, he has a great running back and an excellent defense, but Favre has 24 touchdown passes and just three inteceptions, and the Vikings are 11-1.

The thing is, Favre wanted to play for the Vikings, one of the Packers’ most hated rivals last year but he had to go to the New York Jets instead.  This year he got his wish, and you have to give him credit – the Vikings beat the Packers twice this year.  Part of Favre’s motivation is to say, “I told you so,” to the Packers and to make the Packers regret their decision.  I don’t think it’s healthy to use revenge as a motivational tool, but maybe a little bit of “I told you so” or “I’ve proven you wrong” is healthy.

Now, this isn’t the stuff of MJ legend, but when I tried out for the junior high school tennis team in ninth grade, I was cut from the team.  I made the team the next year in high school, and during my junior and senior seasons I had a combined record of 23 wins and eight losses playing at number one doubles.  Then I lettered for four years at Division III Ohio Wesleyan University, albeit a small university.  I never forgot that the “coach” wrongly cut me in ninth grade and put other players on the team ahead of me whom I was much better than.

Then in 2000, after not playing competitively for a decade, I signed up to play in a 4.0-level tennis league.  They told me I would play the first match and then I showed up and they said I wasn’t going to play the first match – I would have to watch.  So I went home, cancelled the check, and looked for a 4.5-level (higher level) league.  I found one and won six of the eight matches I played in doubles.  The local tennis board had to rule on whether to let me play after cancelling the check and writing a new one.  Luckily, they let me play.

Anytime somebody tells you you can’t do something or doubts you, you hate it.  You hate it so much, but then you savor it.  Because it gives you extra motivation.  You never, ever forget it, and then you use it to achieve something great.


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