I’ve recently been accused of loving myself too much (and not for the first time, incidentally). This paragraph is expressly designed to be a completely irrelevant, and pointless throwaway, since it has recently come to my attention that some readers skip my first paragraph. That way, cleverly, they can ignore all the nice things I say about myself. I mean, hell… chances are nothing interesting about football could be there. I’m just warming up, right?
Now, the real Ted Bartlett version of things. First, a heart-felt thanks to Bill “Pork Chop” Williamson, James Walker, Alex Marvez, Adam Schein, and Mike Patrick for inspiring some of my language and thinking in the humble version of my pregame column. They are truly the best at what they do, and stand as excellent examples for a young writer who’s trying really hard to be simultaneously silly, unstylish, and boring. I humbly thank Jewish G_d (it’s his turn, and he doesn’t like the “O”, you heard?) that I have those All-Stars to crib from.
Happy Tuesday, friends. I have some thoughts, about football and other things, which shouldn’t surprise you unless you’re new to this rodeo. If you are, welcome. Hold on tight, because the bucking is about to start. If you’ve been here before, you know what’s coming next. Ready……. BEGIN!!!!
1. I’m going to tread on potentially touchy ground, so I may as well start right off the bat with it. Do you remember the 2004 Presidential election in the United States? I would imagine that most of us do. I don’t want to make public value judgments about the policy positions of the two candidates, George W. Bush, and John Kerry, but I do have a football point that is germane to that election.
I’m sort of an instant football analyst, which has its pros and cons. Often, I’m way ahead of other observers in noticing things, and pointing them out, which is a pro. Sometimes, I see JaMarcus Russell look really good in a preseason game, and it leads me to opine that he’s turning the corner as an NFL QB, which can end up being a con. For me, it works out more often than not, because I’m a very sophisticated observer of the game, and because I’m always accountable for thoughts that turn out to be wrong. Not to be immodest, but I know vastly more football than the average person, so I don’t mind admitting a mistake when I was almost always the first to the party saying anything.
A lot of average persons, and no doubt, some below average ones, have been providing some “instant analysis” on Twitter about yesterday’s Colts-Broncos game. I was going to take a screenshot of some of the foolishness, but I decided that I didn’t want to put anybody specific’s name on the lines of thinking that I am about to completely eviscerate.
Criticizing Josh McDaniels is lots of fun, and it’s not too hard to do. I mean, let’s face it. He’s young, (the same age as me, incidentally) and he thinks he knows how to build and run a winning football program. It’s the same kind of deal as with Raheem Morris, who I’ll be writing about on Tuesday evening. (I have a planned event tonight… sorry that my around the league stuff will have to wait a day.) How can it be possible that these young guys would dare to act in complete defiance to the football cognoscenti? (Think about it… it’s really funny to consider fools like Peter King, Mark Kiszla, Woody Paige, and Pete Prisco as being part of a cognoscenti, isn’t it? No? How about an intelligentsia? I didn’t see Dinner for Schmucks, but I’m picturing some distinct similarities.)
OK, I’m trying to figure out how to make time for this. Today, I worked 8:30 to 5, came home to find my car broken into, and some stuff stolen, dealt with that, went to an MBA class (HR management… blech) from 8 to 9:15, and caught the end of the Jets-Ravens game, and most of the Chiefs-Chargers game. Whew!
So, now, after all that, I’m going to share some thoughts from the first weekend.
A long-time reader, Jared Still, asked me for my thoughts on Twitter a few days ago, pertaining to who the best players in the NFL are. In my 140 character limit, I gave him Peyton Manning and DeMarcus Ware. He asked me to blog my top 5 to 10, so I am going to. I’m actually going to do it by position grouping though, so I can turn my small amounts of available time into small bursts of football writing. (I’m still naturally oriented toward long-form writing, even though I know I need to change that up, to maximize the utility of this blog.)
Hello again, friends, and Happy Friday. I’m back with some stuff about 30 fronts today, on the heels of my last post about 40 fronts.
If you didn’t catch that post, you should read it. Yes, I mean now. Don’t worry, I’ll wait….
OK, welcome back. Today we’re going to delve into the two main types of 30 fronts, and as with the types of 40 fronts we looked at, one is fundamentally a one-gap scheme, and the other is fundamentally a two-gap scheme.
Yesterday, I wrote a post about terminology on defensive fronts. Today, as a follow-on, I want to talk about two of the five major base defensive fronts. These base looks have variants situationally, but they each lean on certain major concepts. As we approach more actual preseason games, I thought it would be fun if we got into some technical stuff today.
Remember, the word “technique” in this concept means nothing more than where a player is going to line up, in relation to the offensive line. The overriding idea behind all of these fronts is that the defense is seeking to dictate to the offense how they want to be blocked. That may not completely make sense at this moment, but as we go, I hope it becomes increasingly clear.
During the simultaneously boring/exciting Hall of Fame game on Sunday night, Al Michaels actually asked a good question. I was as surprised as you are; I mean this is a guy who has made a whole career off of calling the Miracle on Ice, and who usually seems not to even care, at this point.
He asked this good question of Cris Collinsworth, who knows what he’s talking about, and usually expresses himself well on television. Collinsworth, though, completely booted a chance to teach viewers something about the game.