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Mad ramblings: Luck-y decisions, ugly drafts and mad mamas

January: Luck-y decisions, ugly drafts and mad mamas

When I sat down to write my latest sports “Mad Ramblings” column, I found I had a lot of thoughts on the NFL. As a result, this post is football heavy.

So here is your answer to get you through a Friday — my mad ramblings about the NFL.

Indianapolis Colts

• This build-up to this year’s NFL Draft figures to be the best in years.

With Indianapolis “earning” the No. 1, and clearing out the front office staff in the process, it has a big decision ahead.

Who do you choose?

Do you keep Peyton Manning and trade the pick?

Do you trade Manning and draft Andrew Luck?

Or do you keep them both?

Personally, if Manning’s health checks out in the next month or two, I keep him and ransom off the pick.

Yes, Luck is a stud and probably will be for the next 10-12 years. That is tough to pass up.

However, Luck hasn’t played a down in the league. What if he turns out to be a bust? Then you have traded one of the best quarterbacks ever for someone that can’t return your team to glory.

If you pick Luck, you are looking at a rebuilding project for two years, at least. With Manning, you should still have a Super Bowl window for 3-4 years, especially if you get a big bounty for the top pick in a trade.

My decision if I am the Colts GM: Trade Luck for three firsts and a couple of seconds. Then draft Trent Richardson or Justin Blackmon in the first round. Re-sign Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark, and the Colts are back to being playoff contenders.

Chicago Bears

• So glad the Bears used a late-season injury-caused collapse to finally axe GM Jerry Angelo. To say Angelo’s draft results have been bad would be an understatement.

Here are the first round picks by Chicago under Angelo.

2001: David Terrell, WR, Michigan

2002: Marc Colombo, OT, Boston College

2003: Michael Haynes, DE, Penn State and Rex Grossman, QB, Florida

2004: Tommie Harris, DT, Oklahoma

2005: Cedric Benson, RB, Texas

2006: Traded down

2007: Greg Olsen, TE, Miami

2008: Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt

2009: No pick, Cutler trade

2010: No pick, Cutler trade

2011: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

Aside from Tommie Harris, and to an extend, Sexy Rexy, that is some ugliness. I do Carimi, but he needs to show he can stay healthy.

Add in Angelo’s penny-pinching ways (highlighted by refusing to pay Matt Forte this year), and it is easy to see why he had to go.

I will be curious to see who the new GM ends up being, and whether that spells the end of the Lovie Smith era soon.

• Speaking of Lovie, he threw another coordinator under the bus by firing Mike Martz.

Look, Martz wasn’t perfect, but the offense was rolling before Cutler and Forte got hurt. Plus, Martz has said for two years he didn’t like Caleb Hanie, and we saw why when he stepped in for Cutler.

The Bears announced Friday that Mike Tice is the new offensive coordinator. He will also have a passing coordinator, but it sounds like Tice will call the plays.

I’m not thrilled about Cutler having a third offensive coordinator with Chicago in four years. And I’m not thrilled about Tice, who hasn’t really been good at building an offense in the past.

I would say this guarantees Forte will be getting a contract extension real soon.

Houston Texans

• If you would have told Houston Texans fans before the season they would go 10-6 and win the division, despite losing three of its four best players for extended periods, they would have been thrilled. After all, this is a franchise that has NEVER made the playoffs.

Yet as the Texans get ready to host their first playoff game ever Saturday, the majority of the fans in Houston want to bitch.

Seriously folks, you are on your third string quarterback and have been missing your best receiver for basically the year. And you are going to threaten to not go to the game because they have lost three games in a row? Give me a break.

• I actually think Houston wins this weekend. I still expect a good crowd (hopefully I’m not being naïve) and having Andre Johnson should help the offense.

Houston 23, Cincinnati 13

Around the league

• Landry Jones is staying at Oklahoma for a senior season, which is good news for Robert Griffin III.

I have always thought Jones was overrated. But considering Christian Ponder and Jake Locker were top 10 picks last year, Jones likely would have done the same. Surely Washington or Miami would have rolled the dice.

Now, with Jones staying in school, there are only two elite quarterbacks — Luck and RGIII.

Luck will for sure go No. 1. I think RGIII goes No. 2 now.

St. Louis has the No. 2 pick, but already has a franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford. With Luck off the board, teams will be trying to jump up and take RGIII next.

Assuming Indianapolis holds onto the top pick, RGIII will at worst go No. 4 to Cleveland. Washington, Miami, Buffalo and Kansas City would have to jump ahead of the Browns to secure the Baylor QB. Or the Browns could trade up two spots to assure themselves RGIII.

Told you the top of the draft is going to be intriguing this year!

• My early top 10, including trades:

1. Washington (from Indy): Luck

2. Cleveland (from STL): RGIII

3. Minnesota: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

4. St. Louis (from CLE): Justin Blackmon, WR, OKST

5. Tampa Bay: Matt Kalil, OT, USC

6. Indianapolis (from WAS): Trent Richardson, RB, Bama

7. Jacksonville: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

8. Carolina: Quinton Coples, DE, UNC

9. Miami: Luke Kuechly, LB, BC

10. Buffalo: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Bama

• Seems like there is mixed emotion of former Bama QB Greg McElroy calling out the New York Jets locker room. I think the main issue is McElroy hasn’t even played a snap for the Jets in the regular season.

Personally, I liked it. And I’m sure the NY media liked it. The team, probably not so much.

It won’t shock me if he gets cut in the offseason for throwing some teammates under the bus. However, if that happens, I bet another franchise picks him up right away.

• I’ve said for years Atlanta is a bad sports town, but Rob Parker took it to another level.

• If I am Jeff Fisher, there is no doubt I take the St. Louis job over Miami. Easier division and a franchise quarterback on the roster.

Mad ramblings

DeMarcus Cousins 1, Paul Westphal 0

• Are the Lakers sure they want to trade Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard? I’m not a Bynum fan, his stats this year have been ridiculous thus far.

• The Bulls are pretty tough right now, even when the offense takes a night off. Rose is taking over down the stretch, and Rip Hamilton has given Chicago that dimension they haven’t had recently. I think a collision course with Miami is likely.

Sorry Auburn fans…

• If you are a referee and can’t count to six. If you are a coach and can’t count to six, you get fired. It’s a crazy story from Western Kentucky.

• Finally, the No. 1 safety recruit in the county verbal committed to Alabama on Thursday night. Landon Collins, a Louisiana native, could see a lot of playing time as a freshman for Bama.

However, mama wasn’t so thrilled with the decision.

Safe to say, his recruitment probably isn’t over with Signing Day less than a month away.

Also, how old was his mom when she had him? 8? 10? Yikes!

Bear Down and Keep the Faith!

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About Joshua Buckley

I used to be a Sports Editor. Now I'm the Media Relations Manager at the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center.

Discussion

13 thoughts on “Mad ramblings: Luck-y decisions, ugly drafts and mad mamas

  1. Regarding ATL as a sports city, I completely agree. A lot of Atlanta citizens are transplants from other areas of the country and come with their own rooting interests. The only time you really see big crowds are when New York or Chicago teams are in town.

    I’ve always thought Braves fans were largely outside of Atlanta and in the neighboring states. I think that is why Turner Field ranks in the middle of the pack in attendance. Also, it’s f’n hot during the summer.

    The Falcons have been mediocre to awful for most of their existence. And who cares about NFL football when you are in SEC country? The real football fans in the Atlanta area are traveling to Athens, Auburn, Tuscaloosa, or elsewhere on Fall weekends.

    The Hawks, like the Falcons, have been mediocre for a long time. Basketball, more than any other sport, needs star power to attract fans. The Hawks haven’t had a superstar since Dominique was traded in the 90s. Those Mutombo/Mookie Blaylock teams were solid, but boring. Joe Johnson is not a star, no matter how much they pay him. Sign a superstar and attendance will pick up.

    I don’t think hockey had a shot in Atlanta. It’s the southeast. The only time most of us experience ice is when we are putting ice cubes in out tea.

    Posted by Matt W | January 6, 2012, 2:52 pm
  2. This biggest thing factoring into the decision for Indianapolis is the $28 million they’ll owe Peyton, outside of his salary, just for being on the roster come Spring. That’s a lot of money for a guy you’re not sure can survive his first hit back . . .

    Posted by southernmaninindy | January 6, 2012, 3:07 pm
    • Yeah, and they won’t be able to trade him because the cap hit would be ridiculous. So basically they have to roll the dice and make the decision by March 8.

      Posted by Joshua Buckley | January 6, 2012, 4:49 pm
  3. Matt Barkley dropping out of the draft hurt my Redskins. I was hoping he would fall to us at No. 7 with Luck and RG3 going before him in the draft. I do not seeing us trading up for Luck, as I do not think we have the firepower to pull the move. If I am the Browns, I would make the move since they have two No. 1s this year. Or, they can stand pat and go with RG3. If I am the Redskins, I make an offer for Matt Flynn. I would much rather go that route and not have to mortgage everything for the next few years.

    The Bears just suck! Yes, you might have made the playoffs with Cutler, but you would have lost anyway in the first round. How Lovie Smith keeps a job is beyond me. He is the Tommy Tuberville of the NFL. He does just enough to not get fired and when things get sticky, he blames the coordinators and fires them!

    Posted by mattperdue | January 7, 2012, 6:17 am
    • That is the truth on Barkley. Wasn’t surprised he stayed at USC, though. We went there to win a title or play in Rose Bowl. Hasn’t had chance with probation. Plus, his family is loaded.

      And the Smith-Tuberville comparison is dead on. I may start calling him Lovie Tubs with your permission.

      Posted by Joshua Buckley | January 7, 2012, 6:00 pm
  4. Go Texans! All the way to the superbowl! lol I know, I know, super long shot… But crazier things have happened! If we can just get by the Baltimore Ravens… Ugh…

    Posted by Rosemary | January 9, 2012, 2:03 pm
    • It is possible for the Texans to win, if bad Joe Flacco shows up for the Ravens. Being a day game helps too. Baltimore is a tough place to play at night.

      Posted by Joshua Buckley | January 9, 2012, 2:42 pm
      • In regular season, we were in the game the whole time until the last 5 minutes or so… And we didn’t have Andre… But this time we won’t have Shaub. In this aspect I’m not too worried because Schaub < Andre. lol Our defense just needs to come wit' it and force Flacco out of the pocket as much as possible. Hopefully, Yates and Andre are spending this week securing a good passing game. They didn't connect as much as I had hoped but with only 2-3 weeks of practice together not much more could be expected. I heard a rumor Owen Daniels may have broken his hand Saturday. Eek 😦
        Also, I am torn about Phillips interviewing for the Bucs… I'm not sure he is the material great head coaches are made of but I respect him enough to say he deserves another shot at it.On the other hand, isn't it better to be the best at what you're good at,where you're at, then mediocre on a higher level? This thinking and the previous 3 games without him promts me to say: Nooooo don't leave usssss!

        Note: I also think he could have been a better head coach in Dallas if psycho/stupid Jerry Jones was not around.

        Posted by Rosemary | January 9, 2012, 3:00 pm
        • I don’t think Wade leaves. He said over the weekend that he won’t leave unless he thinks it is the right situation from him. I bet the Texans will bump up his pay to make him one of the highest paid assistants in the league. That should get him to stick around.

          Posted by Joshua Buckley | January 9, 2012, 3:29 pm
        • Daniels did break his hand, but I’m sure they will put him in a thin cast, giving him the flexibility of his fingers so he can catch and block. The Texans have made it too far to let a broken hand stand in the way. Wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t shoot some cortisone in it too. We would possibly do that at the high school level!!

          Posted by Jenna Tubbs | January 12, 2012, 8:05 am
  5. I wonder how she feels after last nights game!!!

    Posted by Jenna Tubbs | January 10, 2012, 1:03 pm

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Cubs World Series picture and Red Robin. My girls know how to treat me on Father's Day. The sound quality wasn't too great at NRG last night, but the Metallica show was still amazing. Seeing them play so many songs from one of the best albums ever - The Black Album - was something I've always wanted to do. #bucketlist Ready for Metallica! Not gonna lie... I want this suit! Whelp, let's try this... #stopsnoring Linsey Alexander with a surprise cameo on the Blues guitar.
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