The Tuesday Stew: Peyton Manning, Concussions and the Kellen Winslow Trade
Winslow is nearing his break-out game.
Oh, can’t you just smell the 2012 NFL season now? Not that you couldn’t in the busiest offseason in NFL history, but can’t you really taste the season coming now? Because I can. OTAs are starting, roster battle stories are cranking out, and overall NFL season-like stories should start coming out soon, rather than the offseason type stories. So, let’s all cheer to the NFL season being that much closer!
Main Story of the Week: Concussions
I know many of you were likely awaiting a “Vilma v. Roger Goodell” for this week’s main story, but alas I decided to go in a different direction. This is so for two main reasons. One, I am not a big fan of writing about legal issues regarding the NFL because there is so much uncertainty. I always read at least five completely different stories regarding a legal battle in the NFL, and this is so because there are so many ways it can go. Also, I am not a lawyer therefore I am not fit to give an outlook on a legal topic. Two, I usually enjoy giving a unique story of the week, rather than what all of you are expecting.
Concussions. Man, have we heard that word a lot the past month or so. Concussions are nonetheless the biggest issue the NFL is currently facing, and it is an issue that isn’t going away easily. The NFL has thought the best way to make these concussions go away is by fining players, and even possibly suspending them; however, that is definitely not the greatest way of going about this problem.
The NFL needs to do a lot of research into concussions, and ways to prevent them from occurring. Get away from the mindset of fining or suspending players, and look into this word: helmets.
See, it is helmets that we should be hearing more of, not fines or suspensions or rule changes. Concussions occur in the head, and the only protection the head has in an NFL game is the helmet. So, logically speaking, if there were some sort of indestructible and very powerful helmet, couldn’t it drastically decrease concussions in the NFL?
The NFL needs to invest a lot of money into looking for a better helmet, one that can drastically decrease concussions. Once this helmet is found, and/or manufactured, make it mandatory for all players to wear during practices and games. If it looks a little goofy, who cares? Ask any player in the NFL and every single one would pick looking a little funky over having the possibility of long term brain damage.
Question of the Week: What are we supposed to expect from Peyton Manning?
We will talk a little more Manning in the NFL wrap up, but first let’s think of the question above. How good do we expect Peyton Manning to be next year? Are we talking 90 percent of what he used to be or 80 percent or 70 percent or what? Ponder this question as much as you can, while I give you my take.
I see Manning being about 85 percent of what he used to be, and possibly leading the Broncos to a 10 or 12 win season. I’m not about to evaluate whether he’ll make the playoffs, but I will say that there is a mighty good chance of it happening. Also, as a secondary question, “Where will Peyton Manning be drafted in fantasy leagues?” Now that’s a good question.
We’ll see as we inch closer to the season where Peyton Manning will be drafted in fantasy leagues, but I still think he is a top 7 fantasy quarterback. Now, am I going to draft him? No. And this is based on a philosophy I’ve had with Manning since I started getting into the NFL. I always said that no matter what happened, I would never draft Peyton Manning. I just always thought, he can’t be this great for so many years running, at some point he will slump down and do bad or get injured. I made that philosophy up when I was a lot younger, but hey, thanks to that philosophy I wasn’t stuck with the guy last year.
NFL Wrap Up:
1) Matt Moore is the starting quarterback in Miami. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross had this to say about Matt Moore and Ryan Tannehill to NFL.com’s Jeff Darlington, “I don’t think they’re going to rush [Tannehill] into anything,” Ross said. “He’s going to have to win the starting job. I think Matt Moore will probably be the starter, and I wish him the best.” Many people are making a huge deal out of nothing with this story. We’ve known for a while now that the Dolphins aren’t just going to hand the starting job over to Tannehill, and that’s the right decision. Moore played well down the stretch for the Dolphins last season, and he should be the starter for the Dolphins … right now. Tannehill will start some games, mark my words, but he is going to need to prove himself to the team first.
2) Peyton Manning reportedly impressive at OTAs. Great news from Denver, Peyton Manning is doing just great. Multiple receivers and coaches were raving about Manning, and that’s a great sign. Coach John Fox said that Manning is coming along great, and will only continue to improve. Also, many media personnel saw Manning throw, and they are reporting he looked just fine as well.
3) Ray Rice contract talks are confusing. There were multiple different reports on how much money Rice wants from the Ravens, and now there are multiple different reports on whether or not the Ravens and Rice are close to a new deal. All I can say is that Rice is one of the most key players on the Ravens’ roster, and the sooner they sign him the better. These contracts often come down to a poker game, someone calls the other’s bluff etc. I just hope that Rice and the Ravens can just be straight with each other, and just get a deal done.
4) Drew Brees contract talks are a lot less confusing. It’s quite simple really, the Saints and Drew Brees really aren’t close to a new deal, and that spells mayhem for New Orleans. With a different coach in charge this year, it is pivotal for Brees to be in as many practices as possible. Brees has some of the greatest numbers in the past few years, and he deserves top 3 money for what he has done. I feel the Saints are just disrespecting Brees at this point; not to mention, the Saints are really just hurting themselves at this point as well.
5) Robert Griffin III is impressing at Redskins practices. Great news for Washington fans, and for the Redskins organization. Players say that RGIII is doing great, and that he knows the playbook very well. That really is no surprise, as there were reports that Griffin got taught the Redskins’ playbook prior to the draft. For the rookie with the most pressure going into the 2012-2013 season, this is a fabulous sign.
6) Dallas Clark signs with the Buccaneers, Kellen Winslow Traded to Seahawks. Dallas Clark, who will be 33 next month, has signed with the Bucs. Kellen Winslow’s reputation when it comes to practices just wasn’t fitting the Greg Schiano way, and he was dealt to the Seattle Seahawks for a future draft pick. Winslow figures to back-up Zach Miller in Seattle, although his talent should allow the Seahawks to get more dynamic with their two-tight end sets. As for Tampa Bay, Clark should operate strictly on passing downs, while second-year man Luke Stocker should see an expanded role. Late-rounder Drake Dunsmore now has a legit chance at making the final roster.
7) Bengals organization doubting Andy Dalton? I will let you read the full story here, but this took me by surprise. Dalton had a great rookie season, and I thought the Bengals would be drinking champagne over the selection they had made. However, this report seems as if to point to the contrary. Very peculiar. I look forward to developments on this story soon.
8) Hip, thigh, and knee pads soon to become mandatory? Full story here, but I can’t help but grudge when I read this report. The NFL should be focusing on further head protection, not thighs and stuff. Don’t get me wrong, this will definitely help prevent more injuries, and that’s great, but I would prefer the NFL spend its time on head and concussion protection then this.
9) New device to limit concussions in practice. I’ll let you read the full story here, but the NFL should look into this. I’m not in love with the device itself, but I certainly like where the device could be taken. A couple modifications, and it could be a legitimate product used in the NFL. At the very least, the NFL should talk with the creators to see if they could work together to create safer and better helmets for practices and games.
10) Josh Cribbs last season in Cleveland this year? Full story aqui (Spanish for here, sorry I got tired of saying “here”). This report saddens me, because I relate Cribbs to the Browns as much as I related Manning to the Colts, Tom Brady to the Patriots, etc. I would hate to see Cribbs retire in any uniform other then that of the Browns.
Non NFL Related Wrap Up:
a) The Staples Center, and its workers definitely have been worth the money recently. They had to change the main stage for the Lakers, the Clippers, and the Kings, many times throughout the course of a couple hours. Very impressive folks!
b) “30 for 30” is scheduled to make a comeback, and I couldn’t be more excited. ESPN’s documentary series proved to be worth the hype and then some this year. Now, it is reported that there will be another 30 films throughout the course of a year or so.
c) Game 7s have got to be some of the most exciting events in all of sports. We all act like we don’t want a series to be decided in a Game 7, when deep down we really do. I have recently added, “Attend a Game 7” to my bucket list.
d) The Orioles are in first place of the American League East, and the Yankees are in last … didn’t think you would read that on May 21st, did you? ESPN calculated the numbers, and at the beginning of the season there was less than a 2 percent chance of the Baltimore Orioles being in first place on May 21st.
e) Stan Van Gundy got the axe from the Orlando Magic on Monday, and Dwight Howard must be happy, or not, or maybe. See this whole Gundy vs. Howard saga was so confusing, and included way to many contradicting reports to keep track. I just hope 15 years from now a documentary is made on the situation so we can all find out what was really going on behind closed doors.
Recommendations of the Week:
i) Check out deadspin.com’s “Better Know An Umpire” series. It gives you an in depth look at umpires, and it could not be more interesting.
ii) Follow me @fersports101, and actually talk to me! I always tell my followers when I’m starting to write “The Tuesday Stew” and if they have any ideas, to send them in.
iii) If you’re a true sports fan, you should do what I do: I watch sports news (ESPN), I read about sports from various websites, and I listen to sports radio from various stations. The more outlets you have, and the more variety within the outlets you have, you’ll be a lot more knowledgeable about sports.
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