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Monday, August 10, 2009

League Lowdown

Well, the 2009 season is officially underway and the first preseason game aired last night on NBC. I have to admit, I felt giddy watching live football for the first time since the Super Bowl. Since my top 10 Tuesdays ended with the start of preseason, I can now focus on blogging about things that are currently happening in the NFL. I definitely have opinions about last night's game, training camp holdouts, fantasy drafting, and all things football. I don't know about you, but I am thrilled to have NFL football back in the conversation.

Preseason Week 1

The NFL preseason began with the Tennessee Titans vs. the Buffalo Bills in prime time. T.O. definitely left a lasting impression in the one series he participated in for the Bills. He had two catches for 27 yards; 16 yards on the second play from scrimmage. However, Buffalo as a whole looked sluggish and out of sync. The team ran a no-huddle offense that didn't look particularly comfortable. Quarterback Trent Edwards threw a bad pick in the red zone to end the first drive.

As for Tennessee, quarterback Kerry Collins looked as good as he did last season. He had 7 completions out of 10 throws for 82 yards. Backup quarterback Vince Young got in the mix completing 5 passes out of 10 throws and a touchdown. The Titans won the game 21-18.

One disturbing note: Did anyone else catch the orange striped shirts worn by the refs in last night's game. What on earth? I'm all for bringing the game into the 21st century and all, but somethings you just don't mess with. The black and white vertical stripes are synonymous with the role of referee. The orange stripes looked like bad Halloween costumes and they became quite distracting. Here's a time to apply the whole "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" rule.

Crabby's Crap:

Here's my take on the whole Michael Crabtree holdout from the 49er's training camp. First of all, the guy couldn't perform at the combine or hold a pro day workout for NFL scouts. Nursing a broken foot which required surgery, Crabtree entered the draft with buzz largely created by his college play and reputation for scoring in big games. 9 teams passed on Crabtree, who was widely considered the best wideout in the draft. The 49ers drafted him with the 10th pick and that is what he is worth.

To then demand money worthy of a top 5 pick, is rather ridiculous. But what is even more crazy is Crabtree's cousin (yes, his cousin) stating that the receiver is willing to holdout for the entire season. That move only hurts Crabtree. The 9ers will retain the rights to him up until one week prior to the draft. This will again keep Crabtree from working out for scouts. His diva-like attitude, his inability to control his own P.R., his foot, and a year out of football will definitely drop his value and he'll be lucky to be drafted in the 1st round of the 2010 draft. By the way, the 2010 Draft looks to be rich with wide receivers.

The 49ers hold all the cards here. But, the front office is excited about this receiver. They want to sign him, but at fair market value. The players couldn't care less about Crabtree and his holdout and the 49er fans have already had enough of his drama. Simply put, the man needs to get his butt into camp with the quickness.

No Favre, No Vick:

Well, training camp has started and preseason games are underway. Yet the drama of the "will he play?" in reference to quarterbacks Brett Favre and Michael Vick has seemingly died down. Favre appears to be content in retirement. Not even the thought of coming back and competing against the team who released him after 16 seasons was enough to light a fire under Favre, who is pushing 40 years of age.

Vick was reinstated by the NFL this summer after serving his prison term for crimes relating to dog fighting. The reinstatement comes with at most a 6 game suspension, which the commissioner has the right to waive. So far, no teams have signed Vick. However, according to former head coach Tony Dungy, Vick may sign with a team very soon. Dungy has acted as somewhat of a mentor to the troubled quarterback and it is clear that Vick needs Dungy's support for public backlash to be kept at a minimum. If he is signed soon, Vick could make his return to the NFL in one or both of the last two preseason games.

My Fantasy Draft Results:

This past week I participated in live drafting in fantasy football courtesy of I think it went well and I'm both confident and excited about my two fantasy teams. I was able to snag a few sleepers that were previously mentioned in last week's post. Tight-end Brent Celek, wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez, and wide receiver Nate Washington all made the cut.

I also grabbed 49er running back Frank Gore for both fantasy teams. You may think that decision was biased because of my love for the 49ers. However, Gore is touted by most analyst as a great pick up for the fantasy owners this season and the news on him out of camp has been stellar. I somehow drafted LaDainian Tomlinson as Gore's backup (what?!) which simply put.... rocks! Tom Brady and Matt Ryan will act as starting QB's on each of my teams. Both solid guys, but I'm hoping Brady returns to his 50 touchdown season form of 2007.

photo credit: AP Photo/David Richard

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