NFL class in session; five things we learned during Week
One. Randy Moss feeds his dogs only the best
Two. The Colts are a resilient bunch of gentlemen
Three. James Harrison is a person of either limited intelligence or extreme stubbornness
Four. Mike Shanahan would make a super personal trainer (but is no Bill Walsh)
Five. The New England Patriots are (currently anyway) the best team in the NFL
Randy Moss feeds his dogs only the best
And you thought Kate was the craziest Moss? Almost the entire NFL weekend was overshadowed by the stunning news yesterday that the Vikings cut a high profile player off their roster. At first glance, it all added up? No NFL team should put up with any player that openly criticizes their coach, undermines their coach’s authority and takes a narcissistic me-first attitude on the post game podium, even if that player is a future Hall of Fame caliber player. However, then the news was confirmed, it was Randy Moss, not Brett Favre that was being cut. No word as to whether Moss mooned Vikings head coach Childress on the way out the door.
The Vikings now have to ask themselves if 13 receptions for 174 yards were worth next years third and fifth round draft pick.
How did it all come to this? It is just coming out, fresh off the press that a couple of anonymous Vikings players are saying Moss was extremely rude to a caterer who provided food for the team after a practice session. Apparently Moss said "What the [expletive]? Who ordered this crap? I wouldn't feed this to my dog," Then again, not many do feed chicken, pasta and ribs to their dogs. Maybe Moss was just stating the obvious. Believe it or not, this incident may have actually had a strong hand in Moss’s departure. Another anonymous Vikings source said, after Moss was cut and regarding how he spoke to the caterer; "This just doesn't fit with how we treat people, how we talk to people and how we act,"
The next big question of course is, where to next for Randy? The chance of Moss becoming a New England Patriot again seems slim. Thirty other teams would have to pass on claiming him before he would get to the Patriots, who have the best record in the NFL. When Moss officially hits the waiver wire (it will be today, since he was not on the list by yesterday’s deadline), teams will have 24 hours to put in their claims. By Wednesday, we'll know where he's going. No word as to where the Miami Heat are on the waiver wire list. Perhaps the Bengals will pick him up, and combine him with TO and Chad Ochocinco, which, as you all know, would be the first signal of a forthcoming apocalypse
Meanwhile, there is one person who comes out smelling of roses at the tail end of this debacle. Patriots coach Bill Belichick is enormously vindicated by the release of Moss. Just a handful of articles ago, Boston area sports journalists (amongst many others) were absolutely slating Belichick. The Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy wrote a complete hatchet job on the Patriots release of Moss lambasting the team for letting him go. Now? Once again Belichick is shown to have made a masterful personnel decision. The Patriots have the best record in the NFL, Deoin Branch and the Vikings third round pick next draft. Love him or hate him, there aren’t many NFL coaches that could extract themselves out of this as skillfully and quietly as Belichick did.
The Colts are a resilient bunch of gentlemen
People were starting to sniff an upset. Several NFL pundits were picking the Texans. The extravagant ESPN pre match promo featured Houston players looking seriously at the camera saying ‘This is our time’. The Colts injury list was longer than the Seventh Cavalry’s at Little Big Horn. However, the wise guys in Vegas were not fooled. The Colts stayed at minus a touchdown, and proved the line setters right, with a very workmanlike and efficient beat down of the Texans, 30-17 on Monday night football. You have to tip your hat to Peyton and his crew. The Colts were quite literally picking guys off the street to play Tight End and out wide. The game winners though were those incredible Twin Towers like defensive ends they have. Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are scary to watch, poor Matt Schuab looked absolutely deer-in-a-headlight terrified every time he dropped back to pass. Houston should have adjusted, like the Bear did against Dallas earlier in the season, 3-5 step drops and short, slant type routes. However even then, Freeney and Mathis probably still would have gotten to Schuab enough to cause problems. Your only hope against those guys, when they are in that kind of form is pray the game is on wet, soggy real-turf (not the Colts astro) and keep two running backs in as extra protection. All in all, a dominating showing from the Colts.
James Harrison is a person of either limited intelligence or extreme stubbornness
Well, he can’t say they didn’t warn him. Let’s just say it is pretty obvious to everyone in the game, from fans to players, that the NFL is not going to tolerate late, cheap, dirty hits this season. So what does the Steelers James Harrison do, two weeks after being fined for a dirty hit? Naturally, he hits Drew Brees, in the back, late, with his helmet. Earth to James, come in, is there anybody awake in there? After his initial fine, Harrison threatened to retire, arguing pathetically that he didn’t know how to play the game anymore. We can only hope that the NFL slams him with a huge fine for this hit, and he keeps his word and retires, because there is no place in the game for cowardly thugs like that. There is no nobility in a late hit, from behind, to a defenseless players back, James. Go ahead and retire, we won’t miss you.
Mike Shanahan would make a super personal trainer (but is no Bill Walsh)
What exactly is Mike Shanahan smoking? Does he really think we are all that stupid? With his team trailing the upstart Lions with two minutes left, Shanahan benched Donovan McNabb in favour of, and it is hard to say this with a straight face, Rex Grossman. Poor old Rex. First play from scrimmage? The Lions awesome rookie Ndamukong Suh sack/stripped him of the ball and raced home for the game clinching touchdown. The Lions are starting to look really feisty, while the Redskins and Shanahan look really, really stupid. You bench your starting quarterback, a man with a cannon of an arm and a vast resume of top notch NFL experience because you don’t think he can physically run a two minute drill? Apparently Shanahan wants us to believe that McNabb racing 36 yards to set up a touchdown in the first half was nothing but a figment of our imaginations. Should be interesting to watch Shanahan try to weasel his way out of this one.
The New England Patriots are (currently anyway) the best team in the NFL
With the Jets somewhat surprise loss to Green Bay, the Patriots sit atop the NFL with their 6-1 record. After slipping out of San Diego like a thief in the night, they fairly destroyed the Vikings on Sunday. The offensive line bullied the much ballyhooed Vikings front seven, not allowing a solitary sack and busting out Ben Jarvis Green Ellis and Danny Woodhead for a huge days rushing. Jared Allen? The Williams brothers? We barely heard their names. Meanwhile the youthful Patriots defence continued to impress. Next time you see the Patriots play, watch Vince Wilfork for a couple of downs, slaving away in the trenches. Wilfork is quite literally throwing himself around the field, doing everything he is asked to at the line, and leading the rookie on the ‘D’ by example. He doesn’t get much press, but Wilfork is a massive player for the Patriots. The funniest part of all this, the Patriots ‘D’ is making up for a somewhat stifled Patriots offence. It just isn’t clicking fully as yet. When it does, watch out.