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17 year old Cale's very opinionated view on everything sports.

Posts Tagged ‘Terrell Owens

The NBA Slam Dunk Suckfest

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As yet another NBA All-Star weekend passed by, there were some highlights and memories that fans will never forget. Not included in those memories will be the forgettable dunk contest, that had people looking at each other in confusion and boredom. It was possibly the most boring sports event since Tiger Woodsless golf.

The contestants included Knicks guard Nate Robinson, who was going for his third straight title, although he should have never won the first two against Andre Iguodala and Dwight Howard respectively. Robinson had been highly entertaining in both of the previous contests, and it was expected again. Next was Raptors’ rookie forward DeMar DeRozan, who was many people’s sleeper pick to steal the contest from Robinson. Following those two were Bobcats’ forward Gerald Wallace, and Lakers’ guard Shannon Brown.

The stage was set, and some crazy, new and exciting dunks were ready to be thrown down, right? Wrong. Robinson made two mediocre dunks that somehow advanced him to the finals. Following him was DeRozan, whose best dunk was more highlighted by the pass his teammate made off the side of the backboard to set up the play and his trip to the finals. Next was Wallace, who had a look on his face as if he were about to have his mug shot taken, and didn’t crack a smile as he pulled of two less than memorable dunks. Finally, high flyin’ Shannon Brown put the crowd to sleep with dunks that seventh grade kids have made in their gym classes.

In between the rounds, DeMar DeRozan did an interview with a TNT reporter, stating that the creativity was about to come out and he had to get the crowd involved. The sentiment was echoed by Nate Robinson, as they both headed into their final matchup. Honestly, the final was more pathetic than the first round. DeRozan did his dunks quick and without much thought, possibly hoping to make it to Dwayne Wade’s party on time. Robinson tried to include the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders, but it was in a way that brought absolutely no excitement, and was to only pay homage to former Cowboy, Terrell Owens. Maybe acting like T.O. isn’t the best idea for Nate, for his similar acts of annoyance are the reason that the Knicks have tried to trade him all season.

In conclusion, Robinson took his third title home, and everyone went home yawning and bored. Simply, the contest sucked. Maybe “the King”, LeBron James, should have actually participated in the contest, as he said he would a year ago. Then, it might have actually pushed the contestants to excite and entertain the crowd, which is the primary reason for the contest in the first place.

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The Future of McNabb

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Unless you have been under a rock for the past weekend, you may have noticed that the Philadelphia Eagles lost in the playoffs again. For the first time in coach Andy Reid’s career, it was a first round playoff game. What makes this loss even worse is that it was against division rival, the Dallas Cowboys. On top of that, it is the second time in two weeks that the Eagles had their behinds handed to them by Dallas. Less than stellar play by QB Donovan McNabb has started up the questions that have become commonplace in the past few years. “Where is McNabb going? Will he be in an Eagle’s uniform? Will he retire? Who will be the starting quarterback of the Eagles?”

Of course, a day after their playoff loss, coach Andy Reid proclaimed that McNabb is his quarterback for 2010, which is the last year in his contract. Obviously, things can change, something could happen, and McNabb may not even be in an Eagles uniform next season. Who knows? Only time will tell. For now, many guesses will be thrown around, and it will be a topic for the offseason. Personally, I believe McNabb will be back next season, and it will be his last shot, and possibly last season in an Eagles’ uniform, regardless of performance. However, I will go through the many different scenarios that I could see happening this offseason.

McNabb is the Eagles’ QB in 2010

I believe this scenario is most likely. This means that backup QB Michael Vick will surely be gone, for Philadelphia will not waste $5 million dollars on a backup. QB Kevin Kolb will again be holding the clipboard on the sidelines, and the same core offensive group will return. It would be almost the same offensive unit that played throughout most of this season, barring injuries.

McNabb is traded

The trading partners for McNabb are more limited now than in year’s past. The possible destinations for this Eagle to land would be in St. Louis, Seattle, Buffalo, San Francisco, and Oakland. St. Louis is coached by former Eagles’ coach, Steve Spagnuolo, and needs a quarterback to bring along receivers. Seattle seems unlikely as well, for new coach Pete Carroll is looking to rebuild the franchise. Buffalo needs a quarterback to run their offense, but WR Terrell Owens may have to go for McNabb to play in Buffalo. The spot that makes most sense would be San Francisco, where the team is on the cusp of making the playoffs, but needs better quarterback play to be a contender. Oakland just needs someone to attempt to run their offense, as their expensive-bust quarterback, JaMarcus Russell is most likely done there. However, QB Bruce Gradkowski may have stepped up enough to claim the job. I can’t see the Eagles getting much from any partner for McNabb. He isn’t the cheapest player in the world, so teams may only be willing to give up a third round pick for him. They might also target a backup player that they might like from a team, and bring him in for McNabb.

In this case, QB Michael Vick’s option could be exercised. When Vick signed, there was rumor that coach Andy Reid wanted to transform him into a complete quarterback, and Vick’s big play against Dallas was almost the entire Eagles’ offense for the game. If Vick’s option isn’t exercised, QB Kevin Kolb, who played well in the couple games that McNabb was injured this season, would take control of the offense as the Eagles’ quarterback for the forseeable future.

McNabb is released

Ruling out no options here, the Eagles could release McNabb, and get nothing for him. If that happened, I wouldn’t be surprised if veteran RB Brian Westbrook got his walking papers as well, as he is due $7.25 million next season as a base salary. It is unclear how much Westbrook has left in the tank, as he was injured for more than half this season, but was ineffective in his limited time on the field. The quarterback scenarios for replacing McNabb would still be the same as above.

I don’t see the Eagles changing too much this offseason. They will obviously try to upgrade their offensive line and secondary, and add depth to their line backing core and defensive line. It is doubtful that any big splashes will be made, such as any move involving QB Donovan McNabb.

A Talent Anomaly

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The Washington Redskins are a talented football team. Yes, I really did just write that. If you take a look at the ‘Skins’ roster, it contains RB Clinton Portis, S LaRon Landry, CB DeAngelo Hall, LB London Fletcher, and offensive linemen Chris Samuels and Randy Thomas. These are talented players, when healthy, which has been a big part of the Redskins problem this year. However, after a terrible blowout loss at home against the Giants, fans everywhere are calling for the job of head coach Jim Zorn. That is not entirely wrong because he should have been able to do a better job with the players he did have healthy. However, I believe the problem lies deeper within the Redskins than anyone is realizing.

In 2005, the Redskins finished 10-6, and lost in the playoffs to the Seattle Seahawks. That team consisted of most of the ‘Skins core players now, such as RB Clinton Portis,

Jim Zorn (above) has endured a tough season with the Redskins.

 QB Jason Campbell, and WRs Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El. Ever since 2005, the Redskins have finished 5-11, 9-7, 8-8, and are looking at a possible 4-12 finish this season. Over that time period, Washington has had several different offensive coordinators and two head coaches. On defense, the team has fluctuated from a rating of 7th – 29th in a span of one season. The obvious thing that is lacking is consistency, but it is something that runs deeper.

In Washington, there is no chemistry. QB Jason Campbell is not the quarterback that you want to be airing the ball out all game, but someone who you let move the ball slowly down the field through his running game and short passes. However, WRs Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El are speed receivers that are best at running deep routes. On the ground, any team with RBs Clinton Portis and LaDell Betts should be a running minded offense. However, Campbell had 506 pass attempts in 2008, which was a year where Portis almost gained 1,500 yards.

There has been similar cases of very talented teams that just couldn’t get over the hump because of lack on chemistry issues. The most recent and obvious example would be another team in the NFC East, the Dallas Cowboys. Throughout the years of 2006-09, WR Terrell Owens clouded the ‘Boys locker room, and had many chemistry issues with QB Tony Romo. Romo was a young quarterback in those years, and didn’t need the stress of making sure that Owens was happy with how much he got the ball. This all led up to the crazy accusations that Romo and TE Jason Witten were having secret meetings with their offensive coordinator, Jason Garrett, in order to keep Owens from getting the ball.

Wade Phillips (above) was able to turn the Cowboys around this season.

Now, if we all travel back a year ago, the memories of Dallas getting shut out of the playoffs should come back to us. At the time, all of the Cowboys’ fans were calling for coach Wade Phillips’ job. However, the firing never came, and instead, Owens was released. This allowed QB Tony Romo to spread the ball through the offense at his will, and it has run more efficiently. Now, the Cowboys are 9-5, and most likely heading to the playoffs.

I’m not saying that the Redskins can get rid of or add one player to turn the ship around. It is just simple moves that help put players into positions in which they can succeed which define a season’s outcome.

Trash Talking in Sports

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Recently, there has been a lot of trash talking in the sports world. Surprisingly, most of it hasn’t come from the regular characters, such as Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens, or Shaquille O’Neal. No, now it has spread to coaches talkin’ trash.

Personally, I have no problem with trash talking in sports. While some view it as disrespectful, I find that it can be a sign of respect. If you are going to the lengths to talk trash, it must mean that you are proud of out performing your opponent, and why would you be proud if your opponent isn’t that good? Not to mention, trash talk spices sports up a bit. It makes headlines for newspapers, and gives people something to talk about. The words are often used as “bulletin board material”, or as words of motivation. This is all fine and dandy for the players that are playing the game.

The problem I have with trash talking is when the coaches get involved. Coaches are on the sidelines, in the dugout, or on the bench. They are not out on the field, and cannot do any better than the athletes that they prepare and put out on the field. If you can’t beat out your opponent on the field, why talk trash? The only time it is okay for a coach to talk trash is when it is directed at another coach. I won’t lie, it has been highly entertaining ever since Tennessee Volunteers coach Lane Kiffin was hired. In his first press conference, he boasted about how the Vols were going to beat Florida, the undisputed best college football team. Of course, Tennessee lost to Florida 23-13 last Saturday.

Although, the story doesn’t end there. After being a little rattled by Kiffin’s previous comments, Florida coach Urban Meyer took a shot at Kiffin saying

Lane Kiffin (left) and Urban Meyer (right) have been in a trash talking exchange lately.

Lane Kiffin (left) and Urban Meyer (right) have been in a trash talking exchange lately.

that he kept his game plan conservative and still beat the Vols. Of course, Meyer then went on to add that some of his players are sick with the flu, but Kiffin got the true message. When asked about Meyer’s comments and his thoughts on Vols’ players getting the flu, he said “I guess we’ll wait and after we’re not excited about a performance, we’ll tell you everybody was sick.” Kiffin said this because everybody believed that Florida would blow Tennessee out of Gainesville, but the game was decently close. Taking another shot, Meyer questioned whether or not Kiffin was trying to win the game, referring to a point in the game where Tennessee moved the ball downfield with short passes and runs. “That was how we needed to play at that time,” Kiffin responded. For a national champion, Florida coach Urban Meyer steeped pretty low questioning whether or not a fellow coach tried to win a game. If we can all remember, former Jets coach Herman Edwards made it very clear saying, “YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!”

From college to the pros, we go to New York where the Jets were talkingRex Ryan trash prior to their win on Sunday against the Patriots. Coach Rex Ryan said that he wasn’t going to kiss Bill Belichick’s championship rings, referring to the New England coach. This wasn’t nearly as bad as the Meyer-Kiffin exchange, and actually a time that it is okay for a coach to talk trash. Why is it okay you ask? Rex Ryan was talking trash to an opposing coach, and did not include players on the field.

All in all, trash talk is entertaining. However, it is only okay when used right, and appropriately. Frankly, I’m starting to think that athletes and coaches should have to take a class before they embarrass themselves. Just an idea.

NFL Season Preview: #4 Philadelphia Eagles

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Overview: The Eagles had a crazy ’08 season, that included a 9-6 record, and a tie. That tie, that everyone was criticizing Philadelphia for at the time, is what got the Eagles into the playoffs. Philadelphia took care of the Vikings and Giants respectively, before falling to the Cardinals in the NFC Championship game.

Offseason Moves: The Eagles made a variety of moves during the off season. They let go longtime fan favorite S Brian Dawkins, and Ts Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan. To replace these players, the Eagles signed T Stacy Andrews and S Sean Jones, and traded for former Buffalo T Jason Peters. Philadelphia also added more weapons via the draft, taking Missouri WR Jeremy Maclin in the first round and Pittsburgh RB LeSean McCoy in the second. The team also added FB Leonard Weaver, DE Jason Babin, and CB Ellis Hobbs. The Eagles also signed QB Donovan McNabb to a contract extension, although this wasn’t the biggest quarter back move of the off season. Two weeks into the preseason, Philadelphia signed QB Michael Vick to give them more big play ability, and athleticism in the offense. The Eagles moves may not even be done, because there are many rumors that the team could bring back T Jon Runyan.

Upcoming Season: When the dust settled after a busy off season, the Eagles look to have the best offense in the NFL. QB Donovan McNabb now has plenty of weapons in WRs DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and Kevin Curtis. The running game now has two strong running backs in Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy. Of course, nobody knows just how QB Michael Vick will be used in the offense, but it just gives the team one more weapon. The offensive line is also solid, providing an opportunity for big plays. On defense, Philadelphia experienced a tragic loss when defensive coordinator Jim Johnson passed away a couple of months ago. New coordinator, Sean McDermott, learned under Johnson so the change isn’t expected to be to big. McDermott has a solid defensive line, that is led by DE Trent Cole. The linebackers may prove to be the weak spot for the Eagles, where LB Stewart Bradley went down with an ACL injury early in the preseason. The secondary is solid, but has a big hole that S Brian Dawkins left. Look for S Quintin Mikell to do his best to fill it.

DeSean JacksonPlayer to watch: The farthest this core of Eagles players has gone is to the Super Bowl. That year, they had a legitimate No. 1 receiver in Terrell Owens. Now, all reports out of Eagles’ camp is that WR DeSean Jackson is looking even better than he did last season, providing QB Donovan McNabb with a big target and deep threat. Look for Jackson to step up and be the No. 1 guy for the Birds this season.

Prediction: 12-4, 1st in NFC East

It’s obvious to me that the Eagles are the class of this division, if not the NFC. With such a high powered offensive, Philadelphia could put up record numbers. Not to mention a defense that will be playing inspired football all season long.

NFL Season Preview: #14 Dallas Cowboys

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Overview: Last season, everyone was picking the Cowboys as Super Bowl favorites. Of course there was drama surrounding Dallas, whether it be rumors about coach Wade Phillips’ job or WR Terrell Owens accusing QB Tony Romo and TE Jason Witten of having secret meetings. These distractions proved too much for the Cowboys, who got shut out of the playoffs in the last week of the season, losing to the Eagles 44-6.

Offseason Moves: Dallas tried getting rid of its distractions, releasing WRs Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn, while also letting LBs Greg Ellis and Zach Thomas go. The Cowboys also traded away valuable pieces of their secondary, CB Anthony Henry, to the Lions and S Roy Williams, to the Bengals.  Another reasonable subtraction from Dallas was Jessica Simpson, as her and boyfriend QB Tony Romo ended their relationship. The adding to the roster started through the draft, where the Cowboys selected Western Illinois LB Jason Williams in the third round. Dallas also traded for backup QB Jon Kitna, and signed DE Igor Olshansky, and LB Keith Brooking.

Upcoming Season: With WR Terrell Owens in Buffalo, the Cowboys believe that WR Roy Williams and QB Tony Romo can develop a chemistry and open up the passing game. The offensive line is still a solid group, and will open up holes for the Cowboys’ three RBs Marion Barber, Felix Jones, and Tashard Choice. On defense, the Cowboys added different pieces, but mostly subtracted older players in hopes that young guys will step up their games.

Roy WilliamsPlayer to watch: WR Roy Williams was a great receiver in Detroit. No one knows what happened to Williams when he came to Dallas, but the receiver seemed to drop more balls than he caught. If Romo is finally going to get Dallas over the hump, a lot will depend on the production of Williams.

Prediction: 8-8, 3rd in NFC East

I am a firm believer that QB Tony Romo will never win the big game, and never bring the Cowboys anywhere. After this season, coach Wade Phillips, and quite possibly Romo, could be looking for jobs elsewhere. Not to mention that their defense will not be as strong as anyone else’s in the division.

NFL Season Preview: #15 Miami Dolphins

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Overview: After coming off a 1-15 season, the Dolphins had zero expectations in ’08. Miami resurrected QB Chad Pennington and RB Ricky William’s careers, RB Ronnie Brown was healthy and ran the new and surprising Wildcat offense, and WR Ted Ginn Jr. played to his potential. All of this, not to mention a surprisingly solid defense, gave the Dolphins an 11-5 record and the division title last season.

Offseason Moves: The Dolphins started out their off season selecting Illinois CB Vontae Davis in the first round of the draft, and taking West Virginia QB Pat White in the second round, presumably to run the Wildcat offense. Besides those two moves, the only possible difference making move was bringing back DE Jason Taylor to Miami.

Upcoming Season: Not much has changed for the Dolphins. They didn’t lose any tremendous pieces, and added some new parts. Although, no one will be surprised by the Dolphins this season, and with the AFC East being a better division this season, the Dolphins can’t expect the same kind of success.

Buccaneers Dolphins FootballPlayer to watch: Since Miami can’t run the Wildcat every down, they need to be able to run a normal offense. To be complete, the Dolphins could use a solid No. 2 receiver opposite Ted Ginn Jr. WR Ernest Wilford could be the answer. Wilford was traded by Jacksonville after struggling to produce more than average numbers, but Wilford has always had the potential and size to be a big play receiver. Thus far in the preseason, Wilford shows flashes of play making ability, and will be watched for the same success in the regular season.

Prediction: 9-7, 2nd in AFC East

It’s not that the Dolphins got worse, it’s that the AFC East got better. Buffalo brought in Terrell Owens, the Jets have a revamped defense and QB Mark Sanchez, and the Patriots have a healthy Tom Brady. None of those things were factors last season, and is how the Dolphins won the East. They should still be in playoff contention this year.