2013 NFL Free Agency Week LAP Dance: Making Light of All the Chaos
The LAP Dance is for entertainment purposes only. It employs literary devices such sarcasm, satire, stereotypes, exaggeration, complete fabrications and slander (or is it libel?). The opinions and delusions expressed are purely those of the author. Any offense given is unintended. Please read at your own risk.
** Saw this on Twitter the other day and knew something was brewing between the Ravens and Niners. “@Ilovecolin bro, mom and dad said if i send you Boldin youll stfu about this losing the SB thing. ship me a 6th rd pick. we cool? dont wanna hear about it at Tgiving dinner. need to move on” That explains a lot, right?
** Read-option QBs will tickle the top of most fantasy football rankings in 2013. Guys like Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick not only led their NFL teams to the playoffs last season – they also won fantasy teams a slew of championships. But things could get tougher this fall. According to Greg Cosell of NFL Films, defensive coordinators will spend a good share of the offseason scheming to stop (or at least slow down) read-option QBs. From Cosell’s Twitter account: “Talking with [Colts coach Chuck] Pagano reinforced what I was told by many at Combine: Defensive coaches don’t feel read option will be big issue once studied.” It could be easier said than done.
** There was some stir in the sports media about NFL teams asking players personal sexual questions at their Combine interviews. Colorado TE Nick Kasa claimed one team flat out asked him, “Do you like girls?” On the one hand, it seems a bit goofy to ask such a personal question. On the other hand, at previous Combines, teams asked WR Dez Bryant about rumors that his mom was a hooker. And QB Matthew Stafford got chaffed when asked about his parents’ divorce at his interview. Some folks defend such questions by claiming that teams are simply trying to evoke a reaction from a young player – a mental test of sorts. Of course, the only correct answer to an NFL executive who asks “Do you like girls?” is simply “Oh yes sir –and your daughter can vouch for that!…”
** The buzz from an “ESPN the Magazine” article on Roger Goodell is that the NFL Commissioner is worried a player might die on the field. Apparently an anonymous Hall of Famer who speaks regularly with Goodell says the commish is “terrified” of the prospect. “It wouldn’t just be a tragedy. It would be bad for business,” said the unnamed former player. He should have just left it at “it would be a tragedy.”
** The one guy I’m watching in free agency that no one else is watching? TE Brandon Myers, who had a quietly impressive season with the Raiders last year (79/806/4). With the right team, he could end up a top-10 fantasy TE in 2013. And he could be a steal in the late to middle rounds of your draft this August.
** What’s it going to be like in the locker room for whatever team drafts Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o? Texans DE Antonio Smith shared this with ProFootballTalk.com: “Our locker room is full of clowns and, oh, man people would kill him. I mean he would be the butt of every joke for at least two, three years… You just got to be a good sport, man, it is what it is and you know it is out now, it’s out in the papers and on TV, so all you can do now, you can’t worry about it, you can’t change it, all you can do now is laugh — laugh with us while we’re laughing at you,” Smith said. Laugh WITH us while we’re laughing AT you? For the next 2 or 3 years? About looking like an idiot in the national spotlight? Free advice: The HC of the team who drafts him needs to let everyone in the locker room know that Te’o’s imaginary dead girlfriend is off limits when it comes to joking. It’ll be hard enough when opponents start trash talking to him about it. He needs to know his teammates got his back.
** Ray Rice has been a stud fantasy RB for the past 4 seasons. And a large part of Rice’s success stems from his whopping average of 347 touches per season since 2009. Things could be different for the coming fantasy football season, however. Backup RB Bernard Pierce wants to build on his rookie performance from last year (532 rushing yards and a TD on 109 carries). “I’m looking for the same outcome, just a little better,” Pierce said recently at a charity appearance with Ray Rice. “I feel like I did good for my first year. Next year, I’m going to try to do a lot better. The stats will speak for themselves at the end of the day.” The issue for folks doing 2013 fantasy football projections is whether or not increased stats for Pierce will come at the expense of Rice’s stats.
** Mike Florio from ProFootballtalk.com has called on QB Robert Griffin III to insist that the Redskins drop their team name in favor of one not offensive to Native Americans. “The name should change,” Florio wrote. “And there’s likely only one way it will change, at any point in the next 10-15 years. Quarterback Robert Griffin III needs to stand up and demand that it change.” Florio notes that RGIII is in a unique position to pressure owner Daniel Snyder to change the team’s moniker. My dad – who was born and raised in Italy – refused to watch “The Sopranos” because he thought the show was an insult to Italian-Americans. I get it. But it’s just a show. And maybe a few generations ago “Redskin” was meant as an insult to Native Americans. But today it simply identifies the NFL team in Washington. So I’m not sure I’d be advising the Redskins star QB to pick a fight with an owner (who has a reputation for being an a**hole) over a team name that is held with pride with its fan base. Final thought: if the word is so patently offensive, it would be interesting to know why Florio still uses the term “Redskins” in his writing to identify the NFL team from Washington.
** Most interesting observation I’ve seen on the NFL Network this year: Marshall Faulk claiming that Vikings RB Adrian Peterson can cut better on his surgically-repaired knee than he could have prior to the injury. A 2,000-yard season should have spoken for itself, but it was interesting to hear Faulk verbalize it.
** Second most interesting observation I’ve seen on the NFL Network this year: Steelers Hall of Fame middle linebacker Jack Lambert was barely 200 pounds when he came into the league in 1974. That one came from Mark Kriegal in a discussion regarding best MLB ever.
** On the subject of iconic Steeler LBs, my heart sank when I heard that James Harrison was being cut. And now that he’s flirting with teams like the Browns and the Patriots, I know what a jilted, hysterical, love-struck beauty on The Bachelor feels like after NOT getting that rose… not that I’ve ever watched The Bachelor.