Random thoughts on the Bucs and the NFL:
1. Exactly what about Louisville defensive tackle Amobi Okoye bothers people? He’s 19 years old, a college graduate, and has played four years of college football. At his pro day, he ran in the mid 4.8s for the 40 weighing 301 pounds. He was dominant and disruptive against the highest quality competition during the entire week at the Senior Bowl. Yes, he needs to get a bit more productive, but let’s be honest, the kid starting playing big-time college football at 16! He could be a dominant three-technique tackle in this league for a dozen years. He’s a top 10 pick, period. If Wisconsin left tackle Joe Thomas is gone and the Bucs are still sitting at number four, be happy if Okoye is the name called.
2. You know one guy I don’t get all of the hoopla about? Rutgers FB/RB Brian Leonard. I mean, the kid was having a fine college career until Ray Rice came along, but what is he right now? For all the yapping, he’s a fullback that weighs 224 pounds. He’s Mike Alstott before Mike puts the second foot on the scale. It says here is too slow to be a running back and too light to be a fullback. This is a day late and a dollar short in the NFL. Nice special teams player they say. Uh huh. Where I come from, they call that a backup.
3. Rule change that should happen, but won’t: Let teams play for half a quarter, seven minutes and thirty seconds, to decide games. The average overtime lasts just over seven minutes these days anyway, even with sudden death. So, why not play an extra half-quarter and then go to sudden death? Makes a heck of a lot more sense to me than putting the game on the edge of a coin. You do realize that over 60 percent of all overtime games have been won by the team winning the coin toss since they moved the kickoff line back to the 30 yard-line from the 35 in 1994, don’t you?
4. This 60 percent number only applies of course, if you’re not Marty Mornhinweg, who won an overtime toss as head coach of the Detroit Lions and actually deferred the kickoff. Yes, he deferred. And, he lost. I am not making this up.
5. From the wonderful people at Flowery Branch, working hard to make Bucs’ fans happy: "We'd like running to be Michael's third instinct, not his first,'' Atlanta coach Bobby Petrino says of Michael Vick. Be still my beating heart! Vick is going to throw it more! If throwing is the first instinct, and running is the third, what you suppose the second is – fumbling the snap?
6. I’ve got some love for the Panthers, too! Jake Delhomme finally started performing last season like he’s looked for his entire career: terrible. Has anybody every looked worse heaving wounded ducks that somehow drop into Steve Smith’s hands for huge gains? By my watch, this guy’s nine lives should have expired three seasons ago. Relax Bucs fans, Delhomme isn’t getting any better, and neither are the kitty cats.
7. National writers gone bad: Anybody see Peter King’s recent MMQB column on SI.com? He thinks Jon Gruden is seriously contemplating taking Adrian Peterson with the number four overall pick. This is the problem with guys that try to cover the entire NFL and talk to people more than they do their homework. Don’t get me wrong, I think MMQB is must-read material, and I love the entertainment value of it, but if Peter King seriously thinks the Bucs are going to take a running back at number four, he is out of his Starbucks-sipping mind!
8. And no, as I have written before, the Bucs are not trading up to take Calvin Johnson, either. They just aren’t. Get over it, people!
9. The only discussion more ridiculous than the Bucs picking Adrian Peterson with the fourth pick in the draft is the one that has them drafting a quarterback, like Brady Quinn. No offense to Quinn, who I happen to think would be my pick over JaMarcus “Pillsbury” Russell if I needed a franchise quarterback, but there is no frigging way Tampa Bay is taking a quarterback in the first round. Why is this rumor on more websites than Anna Nicole’s drug test results? Tampa Bay needs a left tackle for the future and some defensive linemen desperately. Can we focus on that please?
10. How many quarterbacks have won more games than Jake Plummer since 2002? Four. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Donovan McNabb and Ben Roethlisberger. What does that mean?Â I have absolutely no idea. The guy still makes me crazy.
11. Can you believe it? The Bears are bound and determined not to let the Redskins implode this off-season. All the Skins wanted to do was to throw away the sixth pick in the draft, which they desperately needed for a defensive lineman, to get a Tampa-2 linebacker, which they don’t need.Â And don’t let this talk about Gregg Williams playing a Cover 2 defense fool you. The guy blitzes about half the time. Ever seen Lance Briggs blitz? Me neither. Fear not, however, the Skins could be determined. Now there’s a rumor they’re going to trade the number six pick, Shawn Springs, and next year’s first round pick to move up and get Calvin Johnson! Insert laugh track here.
12. All hail, Billy Donovan!
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