Since the Lions are off to a nice start this year, most people describe their coach Jim Schwartz as “fiery,” or “passionate,” perhaps we might even drift to “emotional.” His ranting and raving on the sidelines is looked at as a positive, because we associate it with turning around Detroit’s franchise. I’m sure Schwartz’s act is popular with the players, after all, they are winning, but I’m afraid his meltdown after the post-game handshake could end up being the beginning of the end for Jim Schwartz in Detroit. Not that his job is in any immediate danger, but coaches that get this emotional tend to burn out, or tend to lose the team. It’s great for the young and upcoming Lions, but eventually Detroit will cross over the no one believes in us line, will have some veteran presence, and they’ll look at Schwartz foaming at the mouth on a Tuesday and say, “What is this guy’s problem? Relax. We got this.”
It’s hardly a problem that is exclusive to Jim Schwartz. Jim Harbaugh came dance-charging (?) across the field as if he’d won the Super Bowl. I don’t begrudge the coaches some emotion, but if you can’t keep it together until you shake hands and get in the locker room (in week 6), then you need to get it together a little bit. I don’t want to start equating outbursts of emotion with good coaching. I don’t like it when D-coordinators, or special teams coordinators charge out onto the field after a play. I rolled my eyes for several minutes after hearing Juan Castillo was head-butting players in the helmet during training camp. Castillo bloodied himself. Really? You’re the defensive coordinator. You’re not training a lion to go into the arena in Ancient Rome. How about finding a balance that includes some professionalism?
I hope coaches around the league see this exchange Sunday and realize how ridiculous it looked and maybe apply that to their own behavior. Or they can just go on imitating a boxing press conference gone wrong after every game, it makes for mildly amusing video.
Getting back to normal a bit this week? I’m using my standard measurement of league-wide fantasy points. Things seem a bit more typical. Not a single passer has gone for 400 yards (Yet…says Matt Moore), and Drew Brees is the only guy who went for more than 350. I think there might have even been some unders yesterday. Now, I didn’t see many of the games, so I can’t say much about the quality of the product. I know Rex Grossman’s product was not good. Were teams just sloppier, were the defenses better? Did anyone miss the 400 yard shootouts/backdoor covers?
Quick NLCS interlude. Nice job by the Brewers pitching staff. Really all the pitching in the LCS round was just top-notch. Pitching does not win championships this year. A year after we were certain it was the key ingredient. What we saw in the LCS round was the distinction between a real ace and a nice regular season pitcher. Marcum? Not an ace. Same for C.J. Wilson, and even Justin Verlander (how many FBs you gonna throw Nelson Cruz, Meat?) The other thing that puzzles me is why everyone is so shocked that the Cardinals made the World Series. Best offensive team in the NL all year. Their only real problem was they couldn’t close games. This hasn’t been a problem for them recently, so wouldn’t you reason that they have every right to beat the Brewers? And the Brewers are some juggernaut now? Maybe it’s just residual surprise from beating the Phillies, but I said it 10 days ago and I’ll say it again, the Cardinals are a pretty damn good team. Let’s not puff up Tony LaRussa and the whole feel-good story BS.
Five Fantasy Mutts/Dogs/Annoying #*^#$-Faces of the Week:
1. Joe Flacco–Really the whole Ravens offense in general. We’re stalling out against the Texans? I’m super pumped that (Matt Stover?) had 5 FGs, but how about punching it in a couple of times. Oh, they did? Who got those two scores from inside the five? Did they give it to the guy who killed himself for 100 yards on 23 carries? No, they got Ricky Williams his first in a Ravens uniform. Adorable.
2. Roddy White–Welcome to Larry Fitzgerald country. I was thinking about buying low on Roddy White, but now I wouldn’t touch him–no thanks. I don’t understand what’s happening in Atlanta. Michael Turner has turned back the clock, Mughelli is scoring TDs and Roddy White has 2.1 points.
3. Ryan Torain–Waiver wire darling. Call this one a Shanahan special? I don’t know how you run for 22 yards on 10 carries against the Eagles. I really could not have envisioned that scenario before Sunday. Ten carries should be 85 yards–at the very least against the Birds. Sorry to everyone who picked up this clown. The Redskins are a sinking ship by the way.
4. Donald Brown–This is a retroactive finger for everyone who ever drafted or picked up Brown in the last few years with the promise he was going to be the next Edge James in Indy. He’s going to take over! He’ll be the feature back! No, none of that is going to happen. He’s splitting carries with Delone Carter right now. Finally scored a TD yesterday. Was that the first of his career? The Colts make me want to throw up.
5. Felix Jones–Full disclosure, I have Felix Jones. And, now, I’ll be stuck with him forever. The man of glass. The training camp hero. I dislike you Felix Jones, more than a little bit. Let me get over the shock of you being hurt…again. Can’t wait to plug you back in during week 11 on my way out of playoff contention.
Arbitrary, Yet Definitive NFL Top-10:
- Green Bay–Could be bored already.
- Baltimore–The Best of a weak AFC?
- New England–Dangerous, but not dominant.
- San Francisco–This will look hilarious in a month.
- San Diego–Bye Week Means you can’t look terrible.
- Detroit–Not a good home loss.
- Raiders–Parting gift since Boller is now QB.
- Buffalo–Hung Tough in a Bad Spot.
- Pittsburgh–Win’s a win?
- Cincy–Why not? Screw NY and Tampa.