Would You Trade Dustin Keller?

Would you consider trading Dustin Keller this off-season? TOJ explores…

Whether there is any validity to the rumors that New York Jets tight end Dustin Keller is on the trade market remains to be seen. Most of the speculation likely stems from the fact that he is entering the final year of his contract and is entering a new offense that may not be an ideal fit for his skill set. Tony Sparano is expected to want a strong blocking tight end and Keller isn’t that and probably never will be. He is at his best when he is being moved around the formation to create mismatches because of his receiving skills.

The Jets have an extensive list of needs on both sides of the football, including right tackle, linebacker, safety, wide receiver, backup quarterback, and running back. A trade of Keller could go a long way to helping fill one of these needs.

All that being said, I do think the speculation about a Keller trade is overstated. When Sparano is breaking down the Jets tape from the past year he is going to see Keller as the Jets most productive and consistent receiver. His versatility can help cover for the deficiencies at wide receiver and are you really going to take away Mark Sanchez’s security blanket and the player he has the best chemistry with? If Sparano is a good coach, he will find a role…a big role for Keller in the Jets offense if he has him on the roster.

Keller isn’t an untouchable player. I would say the Jets only have four of those: Darrelle Revis, Nick Mangold, David Harris, and D’Brickashaw Ferguson. The right offer for Keller might not be able to be ignored. Would you trade Keller under any circumstance? What would it take for you to move him?

Let us know here or on Facebook or Twitter.

St. Louis Rams: A Case Study

Justin continues his breakdown of the current state of every NFL team, continuing today with the St. Louis Rams

Justin Fritze will be breaking down where every team in the NFL currently stands for us here at TOJ, going from worst to first…continuing today with the St. Louis Rams –

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There is a strange three headed beast. It begins with the mustache of Jeff Fisher, surrounded by his increasingly “party first” mullet. It wears black sunglasses, even at night, and it is very predictable in it’s forward motion.

We all know Jeff Fisher was a defensive minded coach, so him picking up a sadistic defensive coordinator has made his rebirth in St. Louis a pretty predictable style of football. Turnovers, quarterback sacks, run the ball, short passing. Kill the clock. Antithesis of the Greatest Show On Turf.

One simple problem. There are no Pro Bowlers at defensive line or linebacker (although Fred Long made the 2008 All Pro team), helped out by a defensive back roster including the 37 year old Al Harris and the 31 year old Quintin Mikell. Add to this the fact that 11 cornerbacks were on IR at some point last season. How the hell do you explain that?

Now, the third head of that beast, Brian “the slant” Schottenheimer, is coming to town off a relatively soul crushing end to his tenure with the Jets. This makes sense to get picked up by Fisher. Why? Because as soon as Brian starts screwing up, Jeff is gonna take over the play calling and remind him, in that gravelly baritone “you have no f*cking clue what you’re doing Brian, and I still owe this kid Bradford $32 million, so if you’ll kindly stick to ruining one quarterbacks career I’m gonna take this thing over from here on out”. Then he will win coach of the year on route to the playoffs.

If the offensive experiment works then Schottenheimer will get his shot at a head coaching opportunity next year, when of course five of the 2012 season’s coaches have been fired. (Making bets on someone’s livelihood is cruel and mean, but this is football, and football is full of clowns.)
But how would it work? Well there’s Steven Jackson, who can bail Bradford out of most 3rd and short situations, a potential monster if they draft Matt Kalil at offensive tackle, or if they decide to go receiver (Kendall Wright?) in the second round, they’ll have at least three guys who can run and catch, with serious upside (Pettis 23, Salas 24, Kendricks 23), even if they completely fail on the draft pick.

THE MAD SLANTER

This is where the offense vs. defense argument comes into play. If Williams gets his way, they will take Morris Claiborne in the first round, disregarding the fact that all logical persons see Kalil as a can’t miss pick who for the next 10 years will appear in multiple Pro Bowls. But the Rams need to make a play to grab every young defensive free agent they can, because they’re going to play the 49ers twice, Arizona twice, and a Seahawks team that may in fact yield a legitimate starting roster for the first time in 5 years. Stealing guys like Cliff Avril and Anthony Spencer could help out with line depth, but they need something else. Terrell Thomas?

So how does Schottenheimer step in from all this obsessus defensus and put his foot down? He loads up the NFL.com page of the Rams, and points to the following statistics: Points (32nd) Yards (31st) Passing Yards (30th) Rush Yards (23rd). BOOM. Win one for Schotty. There are 32 teams in the NFL.

This team, with a decent draft (can’t screw it up from the 2 spot THAT bad) and a few free agent pickups, can actually COMPETE for the NFC West next year. Anyone can compete in the NFC West. If Gregg Williams carries a few tricks over from the Saints, there’s not any elite quarterbacks in their division that are going to put up numbers.

There is one thing to remember: The Rams play some playoff teams next year, and Gregg Williams, regardless of his skills, is now on the wrong side of 5,400 yards passing.

Superbowl Week Distractions For New York Jets Fans

A handful of distractions for New York Jets fans during Super Bowl week

In only seven days the NFL season will be over and every team will be back to 0-0. Think of that if you are wallowing around in Giants/Patriots depression right now, New York Jets fans. Here are a few other rumors, tidbits and links to help pull you through the rest of the day –

Roll Tide – Early draft speculation has linked the New York Jets to three Alabama players, defensive end/outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw, safety Mark Barron, and running back Trent Richardson. Mike Tannenbaum would likely have to do some maneuvering to get his hands on Upshaw or Richardson who probably won’t be around at number 16. In terms of need, running backs are much easier to find than pass rushers which means the Jets should heavily explore doing what it takes to add Upshaw or another pass rushing threat in the first round.

Coaching Staff – The Jets have added former Minnesota Vikings coach Karl Dunbar to their staff as the defensive line coach, prior to that they added Dave DeGuglielmo from Miami to coach the offensive line. They still need to find a quarterbacks coach for Tony Sparano’s offensive staff.

Pro-Bowl Pondering – When 3 of your 5 starting offensive lineman are in Hawaii, you shouldn’t have the issues protecting the quarterback and running the football the Jets did this past season. Hopefully Sparano will help change some of that yet finding a new right tackle is priority 1A alongside adding a pass rusher this off-season.

Something To Root For – Curtis Martin is making another push for Canton. Let’s hope the Jets running back receives the recognition he deserves this year and is enshrined alongside Bill Parcells, his long time head coach.

The Knicks Awfulness – I figured the Knicks would be a welcome distraction for me when the Jets season ended, unfortunately they have been a massive disappointment by stumbling out to a 7-13 start. I don’t how know much Baron Davis is going to help but things can’t get much worse than they are right now.

New Game Of Thrones Trailer

Down With The Old: Breaking Down The Indianpolis Colts

Justin begins his look around the NFL with a breakdown of where the Indianpolis Colts currently stand

Justin Fritze will be breaking down where every team in the NFL currently stands for us here at TOJ, going from worst to first…starting out today with the Indianpolis Colts.

Peyton Manning is not coming back to the Colts. Counterargument? Peyton Manning is coming back to the Colts. No? Without the GM tandem of the Polians, without the strength and conditioning coach that was his best lifeline to the franchise this season, without the offensive coordinator who built the Manning system, and without the head coach who did a half decent job of keeping the Colts in the playoffs under his tenure.

It’s ok Colt fans. Things get worse from here. Kerry Collins? Yeah sorry he’s gone too. I know a few people went out, got drunk, and purchased a Collins jersey somewhere around week 1, or if they are true riders of the ‘shoe, bought it as soon as he signed with the Colts for a cool $4 million. The Dutch Boy Painter? If the Colts don’t get rid of him, then Grigson and his purported “close door analysis of the roster” must have gone horribly awry, because that dude is probably hovering somewhere around bottom 5 quarterbacks that had actual playing time in the 2011 NFL season.

With a passer rating of 60.6, expect Painter to end up on the Jets to give Sanchez a challenge, or try and steal the thunder from Kevin Kolb out in Arizona. Most likely, he sneaks around the IFL throwing touchdown tosses to TO while one of them has a serious reassessment of where life led them. Even Dan Orlovsky isn’t safe, which could lead to a very strange testing of free agent quarterback waters. Possible scenarios: Vince Young backing up Andrew Luck, Jason Campbell backing up Andrew Luck, or even Donovan Mcnabb backing up Andrew Luck.

All in all, it’s not going to be pretty for anyone who has a serious issue with “the Luck” starting out of the gate. According to certain statistics, Joseph Addai did not have a good year. Well I’m not a sports scientist, but I have a brief theory on that. No Peyton Manning, no deep threat, no passing game, no reason to put less than 8 in the box. That means that Joseph Addai was essentially running into a wall of defensive lineman, linebackers, and probably the occasional safety. You can literally hear Addai telling himself how much he hates his life without Peyton, as he utters things like “come back 18”, “Peyton!”, and “how long lord!” right before hitting the hole.

He eventually grew silent altogether when running from the I formation, demanding to his running backs coach that Jacob Tamme should be getting the worst of it at fullback, because fullbacks deserve pain. Which leads us to Donald Brown, who has the sweetest picture onWikipedia that screams “that’s right, I’m PEYTON MANNING’s new running back!”.

I wish I could talk to him now, because in his brief tenure with the Colts he will have had brief time to suckle at the Manning teat, while continuing his career with what could possibly be the greatest quarterback of his generation. Delone Carter? 4th round pick out of Syracuse? Nobody Cares, you will only be used barring serious injury to Addai or Brown.

Ah the receiving core! I’m quite certain Reggie Wayne had about three nervous breakdowns mid game this year, one of which was during the realization that Kerry Collins was throwing him the ball, one when he realized he might have to live with Curtis Painter as his starter, and one when it finally set in that out of 3 quarterbacks, Dan Orlovsky was the best of the bunch. There’s no coming to terms with that, and Wayne’s statement that he wants to stay in Indy was quickly redacted once he realized his head coach and his offensive coordinator, meaning Peyton Manning, would not be coming back.

He will fit in somewhere desperate, like the Browns or the Redskins, and if Peyton does something truly strange like go to Arizona or Seattle, he’ll follow. You see, Reggie Wayne needs a good quarterback to live. He has 5 pro bowls, and 3 all pro seasons, and not one of them was for someone other than Peyton Manning. But again, I come to the defense of Colts fans, as I remind you that you have Anthony Gonzalez, 1st rounder out of Ohio State to help right the ship! Too soon? OK, take Pierre Garcon and stop calling me “Tim from Indy”.

Dallas Clark is in a strange position. He once won tight end of the year. Seeing as how Luck will eventually create his own system akin to Peyton, a tight end is very friendly to Luck, but with great new quarterback usually follows great rookie tight end. Coby Fleener, with the haircut of a 12 year old goth core fan (look at his Stanford bio pic), is already being predicted as a second round pick for the Colts, which will no doubt end Clark’s career as a Colt. You know, because he just happened to play at STANFORD. If Irsay is salting the earth, a good bit is going to Peyton’s core guys. I can see the Tamme/Fleener duo working, but then again I can also see Dallas Clark opening up a rodeo bar and making $345,000 off of Peyton memorabilia if he decides to retire.

Offensive line? NO PROBLEM. Dump sad sack Saturday and let Andrew Luck take snaps from either Peter Konz or Mike Brewster. That’s about the same in terms of blue collar name/average dude persona. Let Anthony Castonzo find out if he really deserved a 1st round pick, and if they don’t draft any offensive line help, there’s probably a few people they could grab in the off season, seeing as how the Patriots and Ravens assembled a ridiculous depth of offensive lineman from rejects and castoffs of other teams. Note to Ben Ijalana, earn that 2nd round draft pick! Don’t pull a Ducasse and ruin it for all the small schools.

Chuck Pagano is going to coach the Colts. That’s right, defensive “guru  Chuck Pagano is going to coach the Colts. Wonder if Tony Dungy had a hand in that one.

With that in mind, a brief look at the defense. I originally thought that Robert Mathis was going to be a goner, but if Pagano is going to be there, why not keep your best two defensive ends and try and build it up through some 3rd, 4th and 5th round draft picks? Jerry Hughes has one last shot to make it, especially if he’s going to be playing under a coach that spent 75% of his coaching career on the defensive side of the ball. If they use a 3-4, Hughes could be an asset in the sub package, or nickel/dime situations, while retaining a role as a starter if he switches to OLB full time. 3 legitimate speed rushers could wreak havoc if they get as exotic as the Ravens did this past year.

As far as linebackers go, Ernie Sims and Pat the Jackhammer Angerer seem to be the only ones safe. There’s going to be plenty of late round linebackers, and if they swing it right they could even trade down from their second round pick to grab one in the 3rd round. With this much changeover as far as defensive coordinators throughout the league, linebackers will be cut and signed at a pace even the hardcore insiders won’t be able to comprehend. Just keep Zach Brown in mind on draft day. It could be the first power move of Pagano’s tenure.

Seeing as how Chuck Pagano specialized in defensive backs, Antoine Bethea is likely to take over the mantle as free wheeler like Ed Reed did in Baltimore. Letting Bethea roam is probably the best option, as he is the only one who seems to have the “leader” status in the defensive backfield. What Colt fans can look forward to is the continuous saga of Bob Sanders finally being over, and getting Melvin Bullitt back as the other half to the safety tandem. One more solid corner and this defense can be in the op half in the AFC in no time at all.

With two defensive backs drafted in last years draft in the 5th and 6th, look for the Colts to throw a few 1-5-5 packages out there, or even some packages with 6 defensive backs in third down situations. This is Pagano’s team now. There will be no more debate as to if Pagano made the Ravens defense good or if the pieces made the job easy. The Colts failed on all fronts last year, and now we’ll see if the new Colts defense can compete.

The Reality Of Peyton Manning To The New York Jets

TOJ on the reality of Peyton Manning to the New York Jets

We might as well get this out of the way now. Let’s talk about Peyton Manning and the New York Jets by starting with a few clear realities –

1. Peyton Manning isn’t going back to Indianapolis.

2. It remains up in the air whether or not Manning is going to be healthy enough to play this year or ever again.

3. If Manning is medically cleared for the 2012 season, the New York Jets will absolutely explore the option of signing him.

You are kidding yourself if you think Woody Johnson, Mike Tannenbaum, and Rex Ryan aren’t going to do their due diligence on Manning if he is available and healthy. It would be negligent for them not to.

Before we even examine if it is smart for the Jets to sign Manning. First, you have to answer if he would even want to come here. From what we have heard Arizona, Miami, and Washington are all viable options for him as well. Arizona offers warm weather, Larry Fitzgerald, and a team that played very well down the stretch last year. Miami also offers warm weather and a team that played very well down the stretch, along with a new head coach who will embrace a pass heavy system. Washington has a Super Bowl winning head coach and a very capable defense. I would say the Jets have an equal or maybe slightly lower, and definitely not higher chance of getting Manning than either of those three teams.

The outside perception of the Jets right now is that they are in complete disarray in the locker room. I doubt that scares Manning entirely off but does he really want to come to a cold weather team and share New York with his little brother? Could he handle being paired with a personality like Rex Ryan? What about new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, who wants to predominantly run the football?

From the Jets side of things, if you don’t think there is a recipe for potential disaster in signing a quarterback of Manning’s age with neck issues you haven’t been watching the past 40 years. Beyond that, forget Ground and Pound or anything Sparano wanted to implement, this becomes Manning’s offense, which means you now have dueling philosophies between Manning and Ryan.

For as great as Manning has been, he hasn’t played in a full season. It would be silly to assume he will come back and immediately be 100 percent of the player he used to be.

You will also be saying good-bye to Mark Sanchez. The Jets won’t be sitting on his salary alongside Manning’s and by bringing in Manning they are throwing in the towel on Sanchez as their franchise quarterback. He isn’t going from starting for three years to sitting on the bench on a first round draft pick’s salary to serve as an apprentice under Manning. So if Manning injuries himself or does the Favre one and done, you are back to square one in finding a quarterback.

Ultimately, everything I wrote above is to point the ignored the negatives in the hysteria of potentially adding one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. In reality, I’d say Manning to the Jets has about a 5% chance of happening. If it does happen and he is healthy, would I be excited about the potential of it? You are damn right I would be. Yet, we would not know the answer on whether or not it was the right decision until Manning got through a whole season and took the Jets to and past the AFC Championship Game and that is a hell of an if.

For whatever Mark Sanchez and the Ground and Pound is, it has gotten the Jets within a few plays of the Super Bowl two of the last three years. If Manning Ball can’t get them past that, then it will always be viewed as the wrong decision.

What I want to see is the Jets front office making football decisions, not media decisions. It was a media decision to sign Brett Favre and it failed. It was a media decision to bring in Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason, while letting Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery walk and it failed. The chase of Nnamdi Asomugha was a media decision and it failed while hurting the Jets off-season last year. Football decisions this year would seem to be based around building a stronger offensive line, rushing attack, and split end option for Mark Sanchez coupled with a ball hawking safety and a pass rusher for the defense. A media decision would seem to be adding Manning at all costs, so you could see why I am skeptical.

What Is It With Jets Fans and Braylon Edwards?

What is it with Jets fans and their ongoing love affair with Braylon Edwards?

Ever since it became apparent Braylon Edwards wasn’t coming back to the New York Jets this past off-season, fans have been clamoring for his return to the team. I am consistently surprised by how frequently Edwards is mentioned by so many different fans on Twitter or Facebook, or in different articles mentioning the Jets needs on offense.

Many people who don’t follow the Jets are perplexed by a desire to have Edwards on their team. The common thought process on him is that he is an overhyped bust, who can’t catch. His brief tenure in San Francisco this past season did nothing to help change that stereotype.

However, Edwards was a very good player for the Jets in 2010. Arguably a better one than Santonio Holmes and one of the few receivers who ever demonstrated any type of chemistry with Mark Sanchez. Who else do you recall Sanchez ever connecting with on deep passes with besides Edwards? He also provided the necessary threat on the opposite side of the field to keep Holmes in single coverage most of the time. As we saw this past year, Holmes struggles when there isn’t a legitimate threat opposite him.

Is Edwards coming back to the Jets? I wouldn’t put it out of the realm of possibility. Nobody is signing him to anything but a veteran’s minimum deal so financially it wouldn’t be a problem. The question is if Edwards could swallow his pride and come back to New York after the low amount of interest they showed in bringing him back prior to this season.

The Jets need a new split end and if they could get 2010 type production from Edwards this year on a veteran’s minimum deal, they are successfully filling a need in the cheapest way possible so they could focus their financial assets on other problem areas.

As for fan’s ongoing interest…think about it. We just spent a year watching the Jets have 2, yes 2 pass plays of 40 yards or longer. Fans remember this –

New York Jets: The Disappointments, Part 2

A look at the New York Jets players who disappointed on defense and special teams

Yesterday we looked at the New York Jets players on offense who disappointed. Today we will focus on the defense and special teams. Unfortunately these two lists combine to be much longer than the players who exceeded expectations in 2011.

Bart Scott – Over his first two years with the team, Scott was praised for his ability to do the dirty work alongside David Harris at inside linebacker. He was a reliable tackler, was comfortable in Rex Ryan’s system, and a supposed leader on the team. This past season he struggled so much he was reduced to being a situational player, leading to reported dissatisfaction in the locker room from him. The Jets owe Scott about 4 million dollars in guaranteed money next year but it is still being reported that he will likely be cut.

Calvin Pace – For the amount the Jets paid Pace before the 2008 season, they aren’t getting a quality return on their investment. Pace is a pretty good three down linebacker in the Jets 3-4 system but can’t consistently get pressure on the quarterback and fails to make an impact in too many games. The Jets lack speed at linebacker and Pace is a big part of that.

Eric Smith – I think most of us did a double take when the Jets gave Smith a seemingly big contract to return as their starting safety this past year before they brought back Brodney Pool. He had always struggled in pass coverage and often look over stretched in a full time role. 2011 emphatically proved that Smith is not a capable NFL starter. Apparently, the Jets have an out on his contract and it is hard to see him back in a starting role or in any role at all next year with the team.

Jim Leonhard – It was disappointing to see Leonhard suffer a season ending injury for the second year in a row. Prior to that, he was average at best. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jets brought him back on a veteran’s minimum deal to play alongside the new safety or two they bring in via the draft and free agency this year.

Antonio Cromartie – When you think about Cromartie’s 2011 season, what do you remember? I remember two muffed kicks, Miles Austin ripping the ball out of his hands for a touchdown, and Brad Smith beating him for a ridiculous touchdown catch. Outside of a big game against Jacksonville in week 2, when else did be bring the big play element to the Jets defense that he was supposed to? He settled down in coverage towards the end of the year but on the whole it wasn’t a very good season for #31.

Nick Folk – It was just an okay year for Folk who took a small step back this year and missed key short kicks against New England and the Giants.

New York Jets: The Disappointments, Part 1

A look at the New York Jets players on offense, who had disappointing seasons

Earlier in the off-season, we looked at the New York Jets players who exceeded expectations this past season. Today, we look at the players who fell short of expectations on the offensive side of the football. Tomorrow we will look at the defense and special teams.

Mark Sanchez – He did make statistical improvements in some key areas this season, notably touchdown passes, total touchdowns, and completion percentage. However, he struggled heavily down the stretch and didn’t play well in the biggest moments of the season. Instead of solidifying himself as the quarterback of the future, Sanchez is now facing a make or break year as the Jets quarterback. He needs to improve his play on the field, fix a broken relationship with Santonio Holmes, and work towards assuming more of a true leadership position in the locker room.

Shonn Greene – After watching Greene’s body of work for three years and him spend this whole past season as the Jets lead back, it is hard to come to any assumption other than that he is a fairly average player. He isn’t explosive, doesn’t create big plays, and hasn’t broken enough tackles. In a run heavy system that I anticipate the Jets to have, they need another back to pair alongside him. It will be interesting to see how they approach free agency and the draft in regards the running back position.

Hard to read this now, considering the failings of Sanchez and Greene in year three.

Santonio Holmes – You want a frustrating stat? On Victor Cruz’s 99 yard touchdown catch against the Jets, he had more receiving yards than Santonio Holmes has had in any game this season. You can blame some of that on coaching and quarterbacking but sometimes you need to break a tackle and take one to the house, especially if you are supposed to be a number one receiver. Nevermind the whole thing about the everybody hating him in the locker room and him quitting on the team.

Plaxico Burress – He was productive in the end-zone but couldn’t get open between the 20s and faded down the stretch. Burress will be one and done with the Jets.

D’Brickashaw Ferguson – For whatever reason, this was an off year for the Jets left tackle. Ferguson was shaky in pass protection from the beginning of the year and never was able to get into a rhythm.

Wayne Hunter – A revolving door at right tackle and arguably one of the worst starters in the NFL. At least he stood up to Santonio Holmes in the huddle though.

Matthew Mulligan – Holding. Offense. Number 82. 10 yard penalty. Repeat first down.

Stop The Pity Party Jets Fans

New York Jets fans need to stop the pity party over the upcoming Super Bowl

I am not going to sit here and act like it doesn’t completely suck to have the Giants and Patriots playing in the Super Bowl for the second time in five years, because it does. The New York Jets have scrapped and clawed to relevancy and respectability since the Giants and Pats met in the big game after the 2007 season and now it feels like they will begin back at square one next season.

All the ground they seemed to be making up has disappeared in a highly public flame out and locker room meltdown, coupled with their two natural rivals winning their respective conferences.

That being said, the constant complaining about the luck received yesterday from the Giants and Patriots needs to stop. A win is a win. A playoff win is a playoff win. Also the endless whining about how awful this is for Jets fans doesn’t help the situation.

Look at it this way, either the Giants and their rightfully annoying fans who surround your daily life will be disappointed in two weeks or Brady, Belichick and everything we hate about New England, Boston, their city, their sports fans, and their franchise will be disappointed. Personally, I’d rather see the Giants win. If you have your own personal reasons where stomaching a Patriots win would be easier than root for them, if you want to root for neither and hope for the impossible scoreless tie than do that instead.

Yet, endless whining only increases the pleasure for Giants/Patriots fans and perpetuates the ongoing negative stereotype of Jets fans.

Our team is back to starting at square one in the 2012 season. The underdogs. The clear cut little of brothers of New York and the AFC East. No hype. No expectations. Just another 8-8 team who needs to make a few moves to get themselves back into the playoffs next year. I am excited for the off-season to start and to see if Rex, Sanchez, and everybody else in this organization can pick themselves up off the mat.

For now, I love the game of the football. The games were terrific yesterday. The media coverage will be tough to endure the next 13 days but I will keep you distracted with articles about our team here. In 13 days, I will watch what should be a great football game. I will be happy to see Shaun Ellis and James Ihedigbo get a shot to play in the Super Bowl. I will be curious if Eli Manning can get a win to proclaim full dominance over New England and start the debate if he is a better quarterback than his brother or see if Tom Brady can continue his revenge tour and if New England can actually win a Super Bowl with a defense that bad.

It sucks, but hey life could be worse…what do you think Ravens or 49ers fans feel like today? What do you think Kyle Williams and Billy Cundiff feel like today? Poor Williams is getting death threats to his family for dropping a football in a game.

Regardless of what happens in the Super Bowl, you will still be excited when free agency starts. You will still be counting the seconds until the draft. And you will still be in front of your TV or at the game when the season kicks off next year.

For now, stop the complaining and crying. Nobody feels bad for you, nor should you want them to do.

Accepting The New York Knicks Reality

Justin with a look at the reality for the New York Knicks

The Knicks are attempting to implode midseason instead of waiting till the end of the year like the Jets. At least they can talk about real pressure being in Madison Square Garden and not in the swamps of Jersey, but at this point it’s semantics. Amare can’t own the paint because Tyson Chandler plays Center, Carmelo doesn’t want to pass, and if I have to watch another six seconds of him giving jab steps before throwing up a bogus three again I’m going to personally find James Dolan and whisper something to the tune of “you know Chris Paul isn’t going to win a championship with the Clippers, Carmelo wants to go solo, so um, Jimmy, just imagine Chris Paul in the run and gun D’Antoni system. It’ll be 105 a night, and I hear Phil Jackson is getting bored out there if it all falls apart”.

At this very moment, I’m getting to watch some weird bizarro foursome going on in the NBA right now. I have NBATV, but because Dolan The Emperor is a fascist you can’t watch that feed, and you watch the MSG feed. Thank god I have Optimum or I would be forced to go illegal in my watching of the least together team in basketball (excluding the Wizards, whose antics are akin to a halfhearted light comedy show and may in fact actually turn it around if they toss out about 60% of their roster). The Knicks are playing the Nuggets, who should go ahead and beat on the Knicks in the fourth quarter as Knick fans get to look forward to stepping in puddles of slush for the next two days. That’s right folks, the Knicks are 20-27 since the Carmelo trade, and paying for Tyson Chandler who has approximately 0 all star appearances has only compounded the need for something better than an 8 seed in this years playoffs. That’s if they MAKE the playoffs.

Meanwhile George Karl looks healthy and feeling like he’s got a team that could make a legitimate run to a playoff appearance. Who got the better deal? Maybe Donnie Walsh is going to reappear in Denver and retool that franchise while bragging to the press about how he worked over that Blues Daddy Dolan. I can hear it now: “Oh yeah well I told Jim they want MORE! More players. Italian. Russian. American. They want players from every continent.”

And then you have the antithesis of the Knicks. The Thunder. A thing of purity and beauty NO ONE WILL BE ALLOWED TO TALK ILL ABOUT. Every time I hear someone criticize Russell Westbrook I remind them that he is 23 years old, as is Kevin Durant, and that they will be together for the next five years. I’m not a holy man, but I pray to whatever god exists that they both play their whole career together and they get at least one NBA championship to offset the pure evil that teams like the Heat and the new look Knicks represent. I’m still trying to figure out what the Miami Heat are, and how anyone can create any sort of narrative regarding them without invoking the book of revelation at least five times.

The fact that Russell Westbrook didn’t want the extra $10 million and strong arm the franchise makes it clear they want Harden to get a long time deal as well. If they can keep those three, and keep Perkins, I’ll give this team a shot at a title every year. And that’s the greatness of it. Small town. No commercials. No crazy business ventures. Just basketball. All day every day.

Let me make one thing clear. If I ever see Russell Westbrook in a Lakers Jersey I will never watch a single Lakers game for the rest of his career. It’s bad enough watching that blur of purple and yellow stomp out everyone in the league for the last five years, but I can’t get on board with that sort of soul crushing power play that would only be hatched because of a potential Durant/Westbrook fallout.