2013 NFC East Preview – NFL FootballWednesday, August 14, 2013 20:27
2013 NFC East preview.
Do Stem Cells Portend a Freakish Future?
Hate to say I told you so, but in one of my weekly posts last year I pointed out that RG III was only a tiny bit bigger than Michael Vick and he could subject himself to the same hits Vick takes.
You can criticize Mike Shanahan all you want; Griffin was hurting weeks before he shredded his knee. He told Shanahan on several occasions he was fine or otherwise minimized an injury he had to have known was serious.
Doesn’t matter now, after only eight months of reha, and gallons of HGH, RG III swears he’s ready for “game on.”
Wait. What? HGH? Isn’t that illegal? Uh, yeah, it’s illegal–but have you looked at the size and speed of NFLers recently? What is even scarier, most of these guys are loading up on HGH ahead of the sham testing Roger Goodell recently proposed. That testing will take effect only after players get a whole year to “establish a baseline.”
Of course, NFL players will establish such an abnormal baseline that the behemoths playing the game will never approach truly normal HGH levels–and therefore never have to worry about losing their size.
What a relief. What would we do if we couldn’t see a 340-pound lineman run a 4.7 forty?
Let’s get real…The miracle recoveries we’ve seen from Peyton Manning, Adrian Petersen, and ,coming soon, RG III might not be due to HGH but to stem cell therapy.
By the way, a drug test to determine to what extent stem cells “enhance performance”–if, indeed, they do–may never come to be.
It is more likely that stem cell therapy enhances recovery–dramatically.
That is a good thing, right?
Why should athletes not have every legitimate option to prolong their careers, in a supervised, collectively-bargained program?
Athletes who use stem cells to recover faster and stronger from devastating injuries will not compromise the integrity of the game.
The NFL‘s integrity suffers only from normally big, strong players using drugs, banned substances, or HGH to make themselves abnormally bigger and stronger.
In this space, we’ve pointed to the irony of professional sports correctly trying to regulate HGH and steroid use to make players abnormally stronger, and the overwhelming evidence that those same therapies and stem cells have a therapeutic role to play in helping people–not just athletes–recover from injuries or disease.
You would think the so-called players union would champion a plan to significantly lengthen member’s careers…You would that think the owners would insist on a system that would reduce a player’s ability to grotesquely bulk up–and minimize force of impact during tackles and the serious health issues those collisions can cause.
If Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith were true leaders, they could sell a system wherein players would be allowed to explore all avenues of therapy, with legitimate baselines, control, and discipline as part of a comprehensive program.
For all of Goodell’s self-delegated power, for all the players’ drug-induced bulging muscle, both parties have repeatedly proven themselves as too gutless to do what is best for the game.
WASHINGTON NATIVE AMERICANS
2012 Record: 10 – 6
After the AFC West, the NFC East is the weakest division in football. The Redskins won the title last year with a 10 – 6 record, only because their three division foes spit the bit in every game of consequence.
RG III proved he was the real deal, not because of his now seriously damaged legs, but because of a strong, accurate arm and superb football intelligence.
With the help of the league’s second-best rushing attack, the Nates proved they belong by winning a weak division.
Can they repeat? As long as Griffin stays injury free, they have a shot. The offensive line protected the elusive rookie best they could, but like Big Ben, RG III’s escapability puts pressure on a line that gave up 33 sacks.
Typically, Shanahan shored up the weakest link on the team by drafting an entire defensive backfield–he also drafted his usual two running backs.
If the draftniks are correct, second-rounder CB David Amerson will provide immediate help in coverage, although there are questions about his technique and consistency. The Nates traded away their first rounder to nab Griffin in 2012 and missed out on an elite corner prospect this year. I do like the 4th-round SS Phillip Thomas out of Fresno State and the troubled but talented Baccari Rambo, another safety, from Georgia, drafted on the third day.
Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett has an excellent front seven, but if his secondary can’t do its job, Washington will have trouble making the playoffs.
Major Story: Griffin misses six games due to injury…
Predicted Finish: 8 – 8
2012 Record: 8 – 8
Here is all you need to know about the Cowboys chances to make the playoffs…When asked about Tony Romo’s 1 – 6 record in win or go home games, guess who answered this way:
“I think teams win ‘win or go home’ games. I think teams win playoff games. I think teams win championships. Certainly the quarterback has a big role in having a really good football team, a championship football team. Tony’s done a great job helping us get into some of those games, helping us get an opportunity to win the division, to go to the playoffs, and sometimes it hasn’t worked out for our football team.”
Jerry Jones? Uh-uh…Jason Garret…HEAD COACH Jason Garret…
If I’m making five million a year and I know my ass is fired if I don’t make the playoffs, here’s my answer:
”…Of course the defense, special teams, and the players on offense share responsibility for wins and losses…So do the people who draft players who can’t get over the hump…But I do think it’s about time Tony learned to minimize mistakes…And I’m being selfish, totally. My job is on the line…But if we have to travel to the East Coast in December and beat a rival for a playoff berth, I would think–like about fifteen other coaches in this league–I should demand my quarterback overcome whatever adversity he faces and get us to those playoffs. Until that happens, Mr. Jones will keep paying coaches he’s fired and Tony will have to answer “winning the big one” questions…”
Think that little statement would have sent a message to Romo and Jones? Think the rest of his players would look at Garret as more than a snot-nosed yes man to Jones and baby sitter to Romo?
On draft night, Jerry Jones proved my point. His team is crying for a safety–they pass on Eric Wright to get the best of a weak class at center. Worse, Dallas passes on OG Kyle Long, who even with just a couple years in football, had scouts drooling over his potential. What about Tyler Eifert, stud tight end?
I did like WR Terrance Williams in the third and think J.J Wilcox was great value six picks later in the round, but the Cowboys blew it this draft and—you don‘t know how much joy I get from writing this—I’ll say it again: Until Jerry Jones turns over the football operations to someone who knows the game, the Dallas Cowboys will continue to be mediocre.
I pray Jones never changes–and lives a long healthy life.
Major Story: Garrett fired mid-season…Jones roams the sidelines…
Predicted Finish: 9 – 7
2012 Record: 4 – 12
Chip Kelly has a lot of people convinced his read-option/pistol offense automatically puts the Eagles in contention for the very up-for-grabs NFC East title.
I’m not so sure.
During most coaching changes, adjustments need to be made. Mike Tomlin inherited an underachieving 8 – 8 team from Bill Cowher and made the playoffs–but Tomlin had a great defense and Big Ben before his first training camp.
John Fox was railroaded out of Carolina, lands in Denver with a nice defense, thin air, and Coach Manning ready to install his offense.
Coach Kelly waltzes into Philly with an offense that last year took the league–the Pac 12–by storm, an unstable quarterback position, and generally a lot of talent on a bad team.
To add to his troubles, Kelly wants to change the defense to a 3-4.
And the pundits think he’s going to run over the NFC East?
I give the Cowboys a better shot at surprising people.
Major Story: Michael Vick thrives in the read-option; the Eagles defense sucks.
Predicted Finish: 7 – 9
NEW YORK GIANTS
2012 RECORD: 9 – 7
Let’s see…The G-Men have the most experienced, decorated quarterback; one of the most consistent, successful GMs in Jerry Reese; a no-nonsense two-time Super Bowl winning coach; and the best 4-3 defensive line in football.
I’ll just gloss over the fact that the other 7 defenders cost Big Blue a shot at the playoffs in 2012.
Reese and Coughlin shored up the trenches in the draft–but one name will stand out–his name is Damontre Moore–“DaMonster”. The kid ran over the Steelers in the Giants’ first pre-season tilt. He was both a defensive end in the 4-3 and outside backer in the 3-4 at Texas A&M. A dismal showing at the combine precipitated a plunge on many teams’ draft boards.
Chip Kelly should have taken the kid in the third round.
Major Story: DaMonster is Da Defensive ROY.
Predicted Finish: 11 – 5 Division Champs
UP NEXT: AFC WEST
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