Monday Morning QB (cont.)
Posted: Monday November 12, 2007 2:11AM; Updated: Tuesday November 13, 2007 12:54AM
Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think these are my quick-hit thoughts of Week 10:
a. Anyone who has had to say goodbye to a parent can imagine what it must have been like for San Francisco coach Mike Nolan for two days this week, when he left the team to be with his critically ill father, Dick, in Dallas. It's a wrenching time in Mike Nolan's life, having nothing to do with the Niners being 2-6, I can guarantee you that.
b. Why is Chris Henry on the Bengals? What more does this idiot have to do to get a one-way ticket out of town? The Bengals are enabling him.
c. This score just in from Kansas City: After four and a half innings, it's the Royals 8, Rockies 6.
d. And this score, after six innings at the home of the Florida Marlins: Marlins 3, Buffalo Bisons 2, in a rare National League-International League matchup.
e. Not sure what this means, but the Bengals were in the red zone seven times in Baltimore and scored every time. Field goals. Seven field goals, all 35 yards or shorter. What a weird offensive day.
f. What would worry me, if I were the Colts, is losing the second seed in the playoffs. They share a 7-2 mark with Pittsburgh now, but having the third seed in the AFC instead of the second would mean no first-round bye, and a home wild-card game followed most likely by two road games to get to the Super Bowl.
Imagine these two paths, invented by me: The Colts, as the second seed, would get a bye in the wild-card round, then host Pittsburgh and travel to New England for the title game. The Colts, as the third seed, would host a physical first-round playoff game with Jacksonville, then travel to Pittsburgh for the divisional round and to New England for the title game. Which path would you prefer?
g. The only good thing about the Colts' plight? They have Kansas City at home (with, most likely, the unproven Brodie Croyle at quarterback), then a Thanksgiving trip to Atlanta for The Game Formerly Known as the Manning-Vick Bowl. No matter who's on the receiving end for Manning in those games, the Colts ought to exit them 9-2. Then they've got 10 days to heal -- they hope -- before facing Jacksonville at home.
h. When San Diego plays with emotion, as it did Sunday night, it can beat anyone -- and that's not just sportswriter pabulum.
2. I think, regardless of the Browns losing decisively in Pittsburgh on Sunday, they'll still make the playoffs. They'll be favored in at least six of their final seven games --at Baltimore (4-5), Houston (4-5), Arizona (4-5), at Jets (1-8), Buffalo (5-4), at Cincinnati (3-6), San Francisco (2-6). "They're good,'' Hines Ward said by cell phone Sunday night. "And they're going to be good for a while.''
3. I think these are my three thoughts on the increasingly judgmental (to me) debate on Andy Reid's home life:
a. We psychologists and family counselors in the media seem to be certain it would be better for Reid and his family for him to quit his job or take an extended leave to be home with his wife and three children. I don't remember everyone jumping to tell Tony Dungy to quit his job and go home to be with his children when James Dungy committed suicide.
Dungy had kids at home. Reid has kids at home. Suicide, drug addiction. I wouldn't criticize either man for chucking it all to change lives in the middle of a family crisis. Nor would I pretend to know enough about either situation to know whether the right thing is to stay or quit. How do I know whether Reid has three Eagle scouts left at home or three derelicts? How do I know whether the two who went off the deep end did so alone and with no involvement of the other three kids in the family?
b. Having said that, I do not defend the workaholic nature of NFL coaches. Not at all. I think some kind of time-limiting intervention needs to happen between the league and its coaches. The best thing Roger Goodell could do for the league's 32 coaching staffs (and I can tell you it would be received with enthusiastic support by many coaches and assistants who are fathers) at the league meeting next spring is to stand in front of the head coaches and say: "Guys, you've got to go home at 7 o'clock at night. You've got to stop sleeping in the office.'' Simplistic, knee-jerk, yes. I don't expect that to happen, nor do I expect owners to start ejecting coaches from their facilities at 7 p.m. But when I read in Dungy's book that he'd routinely stayed past midnight as an assistant in Kansas City, I said, "What marriage can survive that?'' Can we please at least start the debate?
c. Saddest thing I read this week: The New York Times ran a feature on UConn football coach Randy Edsall, a Tom Coughlin disciple, who is married with 17- and 15-year-old children, and reported he left the team's stadium shortly before midnight on Nov. 3 after the team's 38-19 win over Rutgers. The next morning, he was in the office at 5:10 a.m., starting preparations for the game this past Saturday against Cincinnati. I don't mean to single Edsall out, because he's in the majority. This is what coaches do. The scary thing is, UConn lost to Cincinnati 27-3, and I'm sure what went through Edsall's mind is: we've just got to work harder. Yikes.
4. I think this is the golden age of return men. Devin Hester's the best, but how much better can he possibly be than Joshua Cribbs? And Leon Washington. And did you see Darren Sproles shred the Colts Sunday night?