Friday, July 27, 2007

Are Falcons Better Without Vick?

Quarterback, Michael Vick, has a lot of problems and so do the Atlanta Falcons. Vick, nevertheless, can legally beat this case. Without him though, the Falcons may not fare so well. Of all the damming indictments of hanging, electrocuting, and body slamming Pit Bulls, none of charges specifically mention Vick. Most of the allegations target co-defendants, Quanis Phillips, Tony Taylor, also Purnell Peace. Vick is charged with ordering the dogs to be killed, but how do you prove it? The only witnesses are convicted criminals. For example if you were a juror, who would you believe? Even for the Feds, there is no guarantee 12 men and women will agree to convict Vick based on eye witless testimony. Following the Duke Lacrosse case, meanwhile, no one will be in a hurry to send anyone accused of a crime to the gallows without some hard evidence. Vicks' footprints, nevertheless, were all over Coach, Bobby Petrino's, game plan, but now he'll have to settle on journeyman Joey Harrington; he was released last year by the Miami Dolphins. Conversely for all of Vick's highlight reel runs, he was still sacked 47 times , moreover, he consistently failed to connect on passes to wide open receivers. Making matters worse, the Falcons have already lost multi purpose back, Warrick Dunn. On defense, tough, Patrick Kearney, - who is stellar- signed in the off season with Seattle. Dependable linebacker, Demorrio Williams, is hurt; however, he could be ready for the opener against the Minnesota Vikings. Fortunately, Atlanta will regain the services of hardened nose tackle, Grady Jackson, who along with Ronald Coleman will make the Falcons difficult to run on. The linebacking corp remains the team's strong point. Yet with back up quarterback, Matt Shuab, in Houston, the Falcons just don't have the pieces to win this season. I project Atlanta will regress from last year's 7-9 season to 4-12.

Next Week
Carolina Panthers

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Seen Michael Vick Lately?

According to talk radio, Vick has been appearing at dog fighting matches all around the country. The Falcons, nevertheless, better be prepared when PETA, and other animal rights activist begin voicing their displeasure at the Atlanta superstar. Admittedly, Vick has his share of problems. For example, he pointed the middle finger at rowdy Falcon fans, he was apprehended by airport security who discovered a water bottle with a hidden compartment reeking of marijuana, a member of his entourage was accused of stealing a Rolex at Atlanta International Airport, and a woman settled a lawsuit after blaming Vick for giving her herpes. Now its dogfighting a brutal diversion illegal in 50 states. According to several eyewitnesses, Vick assisted in electrocuting, hanging and beating dogs to death who were badly injured in the ring. Of course, an eyewitnesses can also be a jailhouse informant willing to offer incriminating testimony in exchange for a lighter sentence.Unfortunately, death row is full of innocent people awaiting execution based on bogus eyewitness accounts. Vick, himself, is blaming his cousin for all the transgressions. Conversely, defenders of Vick are pointing to - of all things- ultimate fighting as an excuse for allowing all this to go away. In another weird dichotomy, the Rev. Al Sharpton has joined with PETA in condemning Vick. HUH? For the National Football League, none of this is good news. Consider, the NFL's lagging attendance in Europe forced the alliance to acknowledge it can't grow the sport beyond its borders. NBA commissioner, David Stern, meanwhile, giggles as the NBA outsells the NFL in merchandise while bragging the NBA also gets way more website hits. Major League Baseball is preparing for a true international World Series, but the National Football League is struggling with attendance issues in Charlotte, and Jacksonville. Either team could be relocating to Los Angeles. It used to be character issues were the sole province of the NBA, but the legal issues of Michael Vick, Pac Man Jones, and Tank Johnson, have smeared a corporation riding the wave of endorsement success. For now, the National Football League would be wise to do an extensive background check on all the players selected in the first two rounds. The league should also make it very clear that abberant behavior can result in expulsion from the League. Vick, nonetheless, will probably beat these charges; despite his lapses, he's not a career criminal, more importantly his lack of an accurate arm could someday force him into a backup role. A place where Vick could no longer blindside the National Football League.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Handicapping The New Orleans Saints

Are you ready for some football? Well in two weeks several teams will open camp, meanwhile I'll be breaking down the season. Despite opening against the Colts in Indy, I'm picking the New Orleans Saints to finally make it to the Super Bowl, however that's contingent on quarterback, Drew Brees, and running back, Reggie Bush, staying healthy. The Saints also have to find an adequate replacement for receiver, Joe Horn. He moved over to Atlanta. The Saints will have to pray their spotty defense holds together, but unlike the past, the South division isn't as competitive; therefore, New Orleans should get a lot wins against division foes. Furthermore, Coach, Sean Payton, is an extraordinary play caller, and with Bush, the Saints should excel on special teams. Nevertheless, first round pick, Robert Meachem from Tennessee, will have to live up to expectations for people to forget about reliable, Joe Horn. The other wide out, Marcus Colston, must continue to get better, but that will not be easy considering the upgrades other divisional foes made this season. As the year progresses, the Saints seem to be emerging as the team to beat in the National Football Conference, moreover New Orleans appears to be the only NFC team capable of competing against vastly superior AFC powers: New England, Indianapolis, Baltimore, and San Diego.

Grading the Saints
Offensive Line (B+)
Offense: (A) *
Special Teams (A+)
Defense (C)
*Led NFL

Projected Finish 12-4

Next Week, I will preview the Atlanta Falcons.