Archive for the 'Bill Belichick' Category

10
Jan
08

NFL Divisional Playoff Predictions: Jags at Pats

Every year, there are, interspersed amongst the games whose outcomes we are unsure, positive, or uncaring of, those games which seem to transcend all that we normally think, care and feel about football. For many, from what I gather after having read pretty much this entire Internet on the subject, one of those games will happen this weekend when the Jacksonville Jaguars enter Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA, just outside Boston, for their NFL Divisional Playoff game against the New England Patriots.

This game has even given my friend Lee, over at Football Jabber, fits of Bushillariness [booshhiluh-ree-nis] – where he says one thing, then completely contradicts his thoughts, then, in the end, he picks what you would not expect him to from reading what he says. When done, in describing what he has chosen to do, he makes it sound like he would have picked the opposite, but maybe next time. [Yes, Steven Colbert, you may use this word. In fact, you can have it. You’ll put it to better use, I am sure. But you must give acknowledgement to FanYard, as I am sure you already would have. It is kind of like truthiness, personified.]

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The talk, of course, is all about whether or not the Jaguars can beat the Patriots in this game. Can they exploit the perceived weakness of the 16-0 Patriots: their run defense? Is it possible that the Jacksonville defense can contain Randy Moss and Wes Welker and hurry Tom Brady into making a few mistakes, and then capitalize on those mistakes enough to hand the Pats what would be their first and last loss of the season?

Much of what is out there says, yes, the Jags can do it. They have the second-best running game in the league and the best in the AFC. Bill Belichick actually thinks it is the best in the NFL, and I would go with his evaluation over the paint-by-numbers rankings gotten when you go simply by yards alone, as NFL rankings do.

What happens after many people think to themselves, “Well, hey, yeah, the Jaguars can beat the Pats.” is that they then extrapolate can into will, and that is where this madness must be brought to a screeching halt.

People, you have the coach of the year…nay, the coach of the decade, leading the team of the…one of the best teams ever assembled in any sport, into the first playoff game after an unprecedented 16-0 regular season. With two weeks to prepare…for a good, young, upstart team with a new quarterback with a very interesting and heart-warming, feel-good story and an excellent running game, and a head coach who is just now learning that sometimes you must have the cajones to take risks in this league before you are going to come across as smart.

Yes, that young team could come into New England and beat the Patriots, of course. Anything can happen in a football game, we all should know by now. But the chances are slim. So slim that I find it truly amazing how many people are saying it is going to happen.

And, if these naysayers are being that way because they just really hope to see their hated Patriots lose so badly that they can’t seem to allow logic into their thought processes, here is a hint for when the Pats play in the AFC Championship game against either San Diego or Indianapolis: pick New England. No matter what you think, pick New England to win and write it everywhere you can.

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New England thrives on bulletin board material, or so we are led to believe, in order to keep focused on proving everyone wrong. It is too late for this weekend’s game, you’ve already given them all the firepower they need to be pumped up. The will beat down the Jags 35-17. The Yardstick for this game calls for just a ten-point Patriots victory, but it is a little low.

Next week, think about it before you write it…if you want them to lose, that is. Or give the Jaguars a ‘blueprint to win‘, like the Wall Street Journal has, thanks to Mike Tanier from Football Outsiders.

Before all that, though, join FanYard and add your two cents to the Yardstick for this game and every major football and basketball game in America.

12
Dec
07

Why the Patriots Won’t Flog the Jets

I know it seems to be the in thing this week to go on and on ad nauseum about how Bill Belichick will have his team ready to roll up the score on the hapless Jets franchise that his star pupil, Eric Mangini, stabbed him in the back to go coach over the wishes of he who gave him every chance to succeed in the NFL.

It is not going to happen, people. And not just because the weather might be a bit chilly, snowy and wet. Not because the ball might slip out of Tom Brady’s hands. Not because Randy Moss might drop another couple sure touchdown passes. It is simply not going to happen, regardless of any of these things.

Why?

I’m not sold on the fact that Bill even wants to do it – run up the score, I mean. Well, I am sure he would if the media had not made such a big deal of it. But, what do you think would give Mr. Belichick even more pleasure than playing the bully to a clearly inferior team? I’ll tell you what. Proving the entire media world wrong.

Lest we forget so quickly, the reason the Patriots were able to build such a dynasty in this era is because they do things on a regular basis that are not only the best thing to do for the franchise, but are, almost without fail, things we would not expect a franchise to do.

Just when you think you have them pegged, they pull off another mask and you recognize them still. And onwards they have ever marched, towards this perfection we are lucky enough – not just as NFL fans, or football fans, but as fans of sport, period – to be witnessing this season.

Part of that plan is not to become the most hated team, but one of the effects has made it so. I would not be at all surprised, as one of his master plans, if Belichick planned to get caught videotaping in Week One. It seems pretty clear to me from the silence among the NFL brass and coaches, that this kind of taping was done often by many teams.

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It does not give them an advantage, except in ease of viewing. They can still take as many still pics and notes as they like, as far as I understand. They don’t gain any more info by taping; it is simply easier to view. But, the ease itself of being able to watch tape, as opposed to piecing together stills and notes, could itself be considered an advantage if someone is lazy. And no one, ever, has accused Belichick of laziness.

Another thing that strikes me and makes me wonder about his motives for taping that night, is the fact that he would have to be stupid not to know he would be caught. It was in the open, against his former defensive coordinator. Another thing no one has ever accused Belichick of is stupidity. He wanted to be caught.

To make it harder on people who are not as dedicated to their craft as Bill Belichick, he got caught taping in a situation where he knew it would happen. That would take care of the problem of facing lazy opposition who were cheating…notice the silence…

The fines he and the organization had to pay were small in comparison to the advantages it took away from some other, lazy coaches out there. That price tag has possibly been paying dividends in the form of the zero that follows the number of wins the Patriots have so far this season.

If it came out that this were the truth, it would be, shall we say, unexpected. But that is the norm for this team. They don’t do what we think they are going to, and when we think we know what they have done, it often turns out to be something different from what we thought.

Anyway, this is not about the taping scandal. It is about reasons for doing things and how they are often deceptive in the way we perceive them.

This game against this week. Jets at Patriots: The Patriots will win, but they won’t run up the score. Not because they can’t, but because they can.

Hey, it is just a theory…God forbid I start to think I have figured the man out!

Join FanYard today and get your predictions in on all the major College Football and College Basketball games from around the U.S., as well as every NFL and NBA game. When you make a pick at FanYard, you are more than a fan…you are part of the game! Become a part of the Yardstick today.

Do you want an NFL, NBA, college football or college basketball schedule on your site or blog? Like the ones to the right here? Drop a comment to this post with a way to email you and I’ll send you what you need to get one! It is an easy RSS feed that will take you maybe two minutes, but will add a ton of value to your site. We have widgets, too, now! All for free, of course.

19
Nov
07

Ravens to Fire Brian Billick?

At least, if they have any sense they will, which appears highly unlikely, all things considered this year. Coaching makes all the difference in football, more so than any other sport. This week, in Baltimore, the call should be very loud for a new head coach for the Ravens. You don’t often see teams lose games by such obvious bad coaching decisions as those made by Brian Billick and his staff that caused the Ravens to lose to the Browns on Sunday.

The Ravens went ahead with :26 seconds left. They should have gone ahead with :02 seconds left, but Billick called for a passing play on 3rd-down – this from a supposed offensive genius. The pass fell incomplete and the field goal unit had to come on and do their job with the clock stopped. If he had ran the ball, the Ravens could have used up the time on the clock, leaving nothing for the Browns to work with. That was clear to everyone watching the game except the Ravens’ coaching staff. The Browns were standing around pretending not to be paying attention.

That was his first mistake that cost them the game. He followed that up with another, which helped to seal the deal, at least with the football gods, who saw his play-calling and realized they could not let Billick win if he doesn’t at least act like he knows something about the game.

The next mistake he made was to kick the ball to Josh Cribbs on the ensuing kickoff. All the Browns kick returner had done up until that point was to run back five kicks for 165 yards. It wasn’t like everyone would be amazed if he ran this kick back for a touchdown to win the game. Well, that did not happen, as the gods wanted to take their time with this. Cribbs ran the ball back 39 yards to the Cleveland 43. Two quick passes and the Browns were set to kick the tying field goal.

That field goal itself became a story and Brian Billick must have been suffering as it took five minutes for the officials to decide whether or not the kick was good. It was, and Cleveland got the ball first in OT. Never before, in any level of football, had anyone ever seen a football go through the uprights and come back out, thus the ensuing confusion. Credit the officials for making the right call. And credit the football gods for flexing their might when, in the Sunday Night game, it happened again on Buffalo’s field goal against New England. Never before – twice in one day. Wow.

So, the Browns elect to receive the ball first in OT. It was here that the insanity of Billick became most obvious. Even Cribbs himself, after the game, had this to say,“Coach was like, ‘They’re not gonna kick it to you … they’d have to be stupid to kick it to you this time,’ ” Cribbs said. “I was preparin’ for ‘em to kick it to (Darnell) Dinkins. Lo and behold, they kicked it deep (to me), and I’m like … what’s goin’ on?

“I started shiftin’ back to catch the ball. The whole time the ball’s comin’ back, I’m like … what are you doin?’ ”

Cribbs worked over the Ravens for a franchise-record 306 kickoff and punt return yards today. That last one, in OT, he ran back 41 yards. The Browns kicked the winning field goal shortly thereafter, and Billick’s fate should be sealed in Baltimore. I have never coached a football game in my life, and I could see the man clearly has no interest anymore in preparing for the game or understanding what is happening on the field. Good-bye Billick. Thanks for the good memories and an excellent football book (which you apparently have not read for a while).

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Join FanYard today and get your predictions in on all the major College Football and College Basketball games from around the U.S., as well as every NFL and NBA game. When you make a pick at FanYard, you are more than a fan…you are part of the game! Become a part of the Yardstick today.

Do you want an NFL, NBA, college football or college basketball schedule on your site or blog? Like the ones to the right here? Drop a comment to this post with a way to email you and I’ll send you what you need to get one! It is an easy RSS feed that will take you maybe two minutes, but will add a ton of value to your site. We have widgets, too, now! All for free, of course.

15
Nov
07

Barry Bonds Indicted: Curse of the BB

Well, this has nothing to do with FanYard or the Yardstick, but it does have to do with sports, so here it is: Barry Bonds has been indicted by a federal grand jury in San Francisco on four counts of lying to a grand jury (perjury) and one count of obstruction of justice. The perjury charges carry penalties of up to five years in prison each, and the obstruction charge carries a maximum sentence of ten years behind bars. If convicted of all five counts, then, baseball’s all-time home run king could go to the big house for three decades.

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Personally, I don’t care if he shot himself up with live cells from Scottish black sheep, like Bill Romanowski used to do, back in the day, before going out on the football field with the express desire to break fingers and gouge out eyeballs. Blondie did it too, and she’s cool.

I don’t know if the juice increases hand-eye coordination or not, or if it just makes you bigger and stronger. I guess the courts don’t really care either, they are just upset that he supposedly lied to them and apparently tried to hide the truth from them. He should have gone immediately into politics, I guess, after this past season ended. Those people get away with that stuff.

Most people I know who give a rat’s claw about baseball can’t stand Barry Bonds. They say it is because he is a jerk. I am not so sure about that, as I am pretty sure most of them only know him through the mass media channels, and if you are going to believe what those things tell you, you might as well stop thinking for yourself entirely. Really, Bonds is merely the Zeitgeist that the public, the courts, the game of baseball needs; a black sheep upon which to hang blame and assuage their own guilt for not paying attention to things sooner. Someone has to take that fall. That does not mean he is innocent.

I think the reason for the disdain is much simpler. It is because his initials are BB, same as another very polarizing figure in these times – me. That’s right, BB are my initials, too. Oh, and they are also the same as the intitials of Bill Belichick. Coincidence? I think not. Now excuse me while I go win a Super Bowl or break a record…or cheat at something.

Now, in case you are sick and tired of baseball and want to switch allegiances to another sport, let me suggest one of the four sports covered at this time by TheFanYard.com. We have NFL, which is getting into the best part of the regular season, with just seven weeks of play before the playoffs and an undefeated New England Patriots team for you to either love or hate.

We have college football, probably the most exciting of the major American sports once you take the time to understand the game. It, too, is close to finishing the regular season and the bowl games in December and January are a tradition almost a century old.

Then there is the NBA and college basketball, the two fastest games not played on wheels. The seasons are relatively new, so now is a good time to start learning about them.

Join FanYard today and get your predictions in on all the major College Football and College Basketball games from around the U.S., as well as every NFL and NBA game. When you make a pick at FanYard, you are more than a fan…you are part of the game! Become a part of the Yardstick today.

Do you want an NFL, NBA, college football or college basketball schedule on your site or blog? Like the ones to the right here? Drop a comment to this post with a way to email you and I’ll send you what you need to get one! It is an easy RSS feed that will take you maybe two minutes, but will add a ton of value to your site. We have widgets, too, now! All for free, of course.

14
Nov
07

NFL Questions & Answers: Rest of the 2007 Season

1) Will the Patriots go undefeated?
Yes, the Patriots will go undefeated. Have you seen them play this year? Anyone else? No one even comes close, although Pittsburgh could put up the best fight…just because they do that sort of thing.

2) Will the Dolphins win a game?
Well, let’s see who they have coming up: At the Eagles this week, loss. At the Steelers on MNF, yeah right. A-ha! This might be it! At home on December 2nd, against the Jets. That is the one game this season that Miami has a chance in. You see, Kellen Clemons could be the second coming of Cleo Lemon. In which case the Dolphins might win with John Beck. It would be cool, though, to see a Cleo Lemon / Kellen Clemons duel. Try saying that sentence three times, real fast-like.

3) Will Ricky Williams get stoned before the end of the season?
The answer is yes, people. Real stoned.

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4) What will be the biggest Yardstick of the year?
December 16th, when the New York Jets visit the New England Patriots. That will be the biggest Yardstick, maybe for the next 50 years. I am thinking that game could end somewhere around, oh…79-3 in favor of the Patriots, to take them to 14-0 on the season. If Belichick runs up the score against Hall of Fame coaches like Joe Gibbs (and I don’t think it is wrong to do so, either), he will run that score like it is a marathon against his former friend-now mortal enemy, Eric Mangini (formerly Man-genius). Videogate fall-out. Tom Brady will throw nine touchdowns and run for two more. The Pats will go for two twice and make it both times, in the final 6 minutes of play. There will be no handshakes following the game.

5) Who is better, Packers or Cowboys?
It doesn’t matter. It’s the NFC.

Let’s hear what you think. Make a comment, don’t be shy. Belichick would do it!

Do you want an NFL, NBA, college football or college basketball schedule on your site or blog? Like the ones to the right here? Drop a comment to this post with a way to email you and I’ll send you what you need to get one! It is an easy RSS feed that will take you maybe two minutes, but will add a ton of value to your site. We have widgets, too, now!
Join FanYard today and get your predictions in on all the major College Football and College Basketball games from around the U.S., as well as every NFL and NBA game. When you make a pick at FanYard, you are more than a fan…you are part of the game! Become a part of the Yardstick today.

10
Nov
07

Brady, Patriots Rally Around Belichick’s Decision

The New England Patriots have rallied around Bill Belichick’s decision to sit Tom Brady this bye week, a report out of Boston should be saying. In fact, in support of their coaches move, many other Patriot players have pulled themselves out of this week’s lineup, too.

LB Tedy Bruschi said he would not play this weekend, and neither would any of his fellow fearsome linebackers. Bruschi said the group decision was not hard to come to once the team found out for sure that their quarterback would be sitting this week.

“We went to coach Billy and asked him if it would be all right if we, too, sat out tomorrow’s non-game just to show the world what a close-knit team we are,” said Tedy. “The man nodded in his hoodie, and we all know what that means around here.”

Randy Moss has not said whether or not he’ll be out on Gillette field, but did allude to the possibility of it being slightly harder to catch balls when there was no one to throw them to him. Moss said he can easily catch one-handed while flying six feet up in the air, with four or five defenders trying to knock the ball away. He said there is no defense in the NFL this year, at least when the Pats play, or so it seems. But, again, “it will be a little bit more difficult to make a ball just appear, Y’no’w’ym’sayn, man. I-juz dunno if I can play without Tommy.”

With the rest of the team soon following suit, it appears to this reporter like the New England Patriots will not be able to win for the tenth consecutive week this Sunday.

I caught up to Belichick and his kids this morning and was able to question him briefly on Don Shula’s comments, now retracted once his meds wore off, about having an asterisk beside the Pats record if they were to go undefeated. I thought Shula’s words might have had something to do with his decision not to play this week, thus breaking the streak of weekly wins these Pats have accumulated.

Bill said, “You know, I respect a man who can bring a first-round draft pick penalty to his team and still win. That is exactly whay I am trying to do here, is emulate the Don. If we would not have gotten docked a 1st-rounder when I was caught taping that fat, dumb bastard over on the Jets sidelines, I would have kept right on doing it until we did get docked that pick. Now, I am like Don, but I don’t want to hurt his feelings by running the table, and that is why I decided the Patriots would not win a game this week.”

When asked whether he had spoken to Brady after giving him the week off, he just looked at me like I was crazy, “Would you be answering the phone calls if you could be locked in a bedroom with Gisele?” he asked me. “Tom doesn’t get a whole lot of time during the season to get jiggy with Gisele. He ain’t gonna be seen for days.”

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Do you want an NFL, NBA, college football or college basketball schedule on your site or blog? Like the ones to the right here? Drop a comment to this post and I’ll send you what you need to get one! It is an easy RSS feed that will take you maybe two minutes, but will add a ton of value to your site.

Join FanYard today and get your predictions in on all the major College Football and College Basketball games from around the U.S., as well as every NFL and NBA game. When you make a pick at FanYard, you are more than a fan…you are part of the game!

08
Nov
07

Belichick to Sit Tom Brady

Going against every bone in his body, New England head coach Bill Belichick has decided not to play Tom Brady during the Patriots bye week this coming weekend. It was not known if the sitting was due to Tom’s sore right shoulder – his throwing shoulder – or not, but that is the general consensus around the Boston area by many who have seen Brady out in recent days.

“He usually hefts his pints with that there right arm right there,” said one patron at a bar Brady is known to visit on occasion, pointing to his own right arm with his left hand, “but these past few days here he was liftin’ ’em with that other arm he has, for sure. Wasn’t he?” The other patrons nodded, and that was enough for this reporter.

“One more thing, there,” the patron grabbed my arm.

“Yes?”

“He was only wearing two of his three Super Bowl rings, too.”

“Oh? Is that unusual,” I asked.

“For sure, in fact I told him about this cop friend of mine who runs a site where you report thievery and they will get your stolen goods back, but he said Gisele had the other one. I don’t believe him, though. I think if it ain’t stolen, it is because his arm is too sore for all three of the things. He’s just too weak for all that blingie-bling. Too sore.”

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“Makes sense to me,” I said, knowing my hands and arms would be too sore to do much if I had that broad around, too. I wandered back out onto the streets, hoping to get to Belichick’s press conference in time to hear how in God’s name he could go on without making Brady play a game this week.

It had to be the shoulder. 70 weeks on the injury report? How could it not be, and what a man for dealing with that kind of pain for almost a year and a half without even missing one start.

Hours later, after the conference – where Bill told the world that yes, indeed, Tom was out this bye week with a shoulder injury – I had a few minutes alone with the distraught head coach and was able to get a bit more out of him than he usually says to the press. I had to feel for the guy, though, and I can’t say everything he said here because it just wouldn’t be right…and I don’t want to upset the master.

What I can tell you is that he is bound and determined to find a way around this whole ‘bye week’ thing next year, so there will be no excuses. And he can’t understand how the NFL, “those football experts,” he nearly spat the words, could force a whole team to take any time off to rest. It just goes against his nature, like I said before.

I was not sure how to offer him solace at first, and even at second and third. So, I let this man dwell on his thoughts alone. The last words I heard from him as I walked down the hallway to leave were, “Next year, you mark my words, I will have Brady playing all 17 weeks of the season.”

I believe him, too.

Do you want an NFL, NBA, college football or college basketball schedule on your site or blog? Like the ones to the right here? Drop a comment to this post and I’ll send you what you need to get one! It is an easy RSS feed that will take you maybe two minutes, but will add a ton of value to your site.

Join FanYard today and get your predictions in on all the major College Football and College Basketball games from around the U.S., as well as every NFL and NBA game. When you make a pick at FanYard, you are more than a fan…you are part of the game!