Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I Don't Even Care Anymore

  • While I'm glad that football is finally (almost) back, I won’t lie: things just aren’t the same. As we all know, the beautiful and talented Sideline Ninja himself is out for the entire season following an ACL tear to his beautiful and talented knee. Considering that this blog was about 87% pictures of Jordy Nelson, you can’t blame me if there’s a pall cast over O&E for the entire season.

  • Here's a breakdown of my mental state:

    • How I felt when Jordy limped off the field.

    • How I felt when I heard the first reports that it was his ACL.

    • How I felt when the reports were confirmed the next day.

    • How I feel every time they show the replay.

    • How I feel on the inside when I say everything’s going to be just fine.

  • Aaron Rodgers will certainly miss Jordy. In passes to Nelson, Rodgers has a career 70% completion rate, 45 TDs, and a 130 passer rating.

  • I’m still too upset to talk about Randall Cobb’s injury. I am pleased, however, that the Packers are bringing back James Jones. I may not have always been Jones’ biggest cheerleader, but I felt that we parted on good terms, and I’m glad he’s back in Green Bay.

  • Despite the crushing blow, I’m not anti-preseason. Rodgers was angry, and indicated how he doesn’t think preseason games are needed. But when the league was trying to force an 18-game season down everybody’s throats a couple of years ago, the proposal included cutting the preseason down to two games and the players rebelled, saying the four preseason games were needed, so I don’t think it’s really fair to say preseason games are bad except when we're using them to get out of playing 18 games. Furthermore, the preseason isn’t really for the starters, which is why they generally only play a quarter or so. The preseason is for rookies to get acclimated to live snaps and for GMs and coaches to figure out who they’re going to cut. It wasn’t like dear, sweet Jordy got injured in the third quarter. It was a few snaps in and it was a non-contact injury.

Don't worry, Jordy. I won't let the world forget about
you and your #NinjaBiceps while you're gone.

  • I shouldn’t dwell on this. It’s not good for me. Moving on …

  • One of the big offseason changes was Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy giving up playcalling duties so that he can focus more on game management. But since playcalling is his strength (NFC Championship games aside), and game management is a weakness, do we really want him spending more time managing the game?

  • So the Washington Redskins are a disaster. I understand the quarterback situation has long been a prickly issue, but they really seem intent on destroying Robert Griffin III. A quick recap of his career with the Redskins prior to this season:
    • Rookie season: he takes hits all year long and eventually sprains his LCL. He sits out for one play before going back in (he would leave a few plays later for good). Then-coach Mike Shanahan says it’s fine to send a franchise quarterback with a sprained knee in after one play because the doctor said so! Except the doctor never said so. RGIII gets a week off before returning. A few weeks later, he re-injures his knee (LCL and ACL this time) and requires surgery.

    • Year 2: He doesn’t play all preseason of his sophomore season because his knee isn’t ready, but that doesn’t stop the team from starting him in Week 1, nor from blaming Griffin for his substandard play that season. Griffin was benched for the final three games.

    • Year 3: In Week 2 of the next season -- last year -- Griffin dislocated his ankle. When he returned, the Skins didn’t do so well and Griffin was benched three games until his backup suffered a season-ending injury, and Griffin was awkwardly welcomed back as the starter.

  • That brings us to this preseason. Griffin was put behind an atrocious offensive line and took two sacks early in the second game -- a preseason game. Unsurprisingly, Griffin suffered a concussion on a third sack in the second quarter. Head coach Jay Gruden affirmed after the game that Griffin would be the starter whenever he was cleared to play. Griffin was practicing three days later and cleared for the next week’s game. Except he wasn’t and was thankfully held for the next game. Then backup quarterback Kirk Cousins was named the starter -- not for Week 1, but for the 2015 season; not because RGIII was injured, but because Cousins had “earned the right,” according to Gruden. “It’s Kirk’s team,” he said. Sucks for Griffin to be demoted to backup, huh? Except it’s worse! Griffin went from starter to third-string quarterback!  

I really think Jay Gruden is trying to kill RG3.
  • Now, I hear there are rumors of problems with Griffin and his attitude, but I can’t imagine that he could have done anything so egregious to merit the complete disrespect and lack of concern from his coach. The relationship between RGIII and the Redskins has been deteriorating for some time, before Gruden ever arrived. One clear piece of evidence of this is Washington’s letter to season ticket holders this summer: “Head Coach Jay Gruden, new General Manager Scot McCloughan, and Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry will lead a nucleus of Ryan Kerrigan, DeSean Jackson, plus Pro Bowlers Trent Williams and Alfred Morris. The Redskins are poised to rebound next season!” Ummmm, anyone missing from that list?

"Nope! Think we got them all!"

  • I don’t like the rule change of moving the point after touchdown from the 1-yard line to the 15-yard line (though I do like that teams are now able to return a blocked PAT or stuffed 2-point conversion). I just don’t see what the problem was with the old way. Sportswriters were pulling out their hair pretending it was a huge problem that kickers almost always make the PAT, but so what? It took all of five seconds. Now it’s just tough luck for cold-weather teams who will have to kick in worse conditions. If it was really such a problem, why not just mandate that everyone has to go for two from now on?

  • It’s incredible to me that Peyton Manning is still playing and winning. His throws are so incredibly weak and wobbly now that I literally cannot understand how he is still doing so well. As he casually mentioned this offseason, he hasn’t had feelings in the fingertips of his throwing hand since his 2011 neck surgeries. I’m sure that’s totally normal and will not have any negative long-term effects down the road. Go get ‘em, Peyton!

  • Our old friend Jim Schwartz is taking a year off of coaching football players on how to be dirty and will instead be a consultant to the officials. Hmm.

"Here's how to deal with a coach who's having a
toddler-like meltdown on the sidelines..."

  • I had saved this picture and was going to spend some time talking about how superfly Jordy looks here, getting off the bus before that fateful game, but what’s the point anymore?

What's the point of anything?

  • At least we play the Chicago Bears in Week 1. A Jay Cutler interception or six always makes me feel better.

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