So, um, NFL training camps are opening! Wait, tragedy in Colorado? PSU gets the hammer dropped on them by the NCAA and Big 10 (11? 12? Infinity and beyond?) and creates a media firestorm? Greeaattttt. I’m going to dodge the PSU topic because this isn’t the right place for it. My opinions are known and if you need clarification, shoot me a tweet.
Instead of the PSU fiasco, I’m going to use part of my column to get up on a soap box about idiots like Pitt grad Aaron Berry. Thanks for killing my school’s reputation moron. As if decades of ineptitude on the football field wasn’t bad enough, you go out and drag Pitt’s name through the mud, ignoring a great tradition of somehow putting excellent players on and off the field into the NFL like Larry Fitzgerald and LeSean McCoy. I also will discuss Travis “can’t afford condoms because of all this child support” Henry’s comeback, and all the useless preseason hype you can handle!
I’ll start off with Travis Henry’s comeback. And by comeback, I mean it’ll be shorter than Tiki Barber’s. In fact, the time I’ll spend writing these sentences will be more than NFL teams take to figure out he’s not even worth a workout. Henry was a scumbag off the field before it was popular (or at least tracked daily by sports writers). Henry just got out of prison on federal drug trafficking charges. Henry also has at least 11 children from 10 different mothers. He’s 34 years old. I’m pretty sure even Arena Football doesn’t have a job for 34 year old felons behind on child support.
Henry was never a special player. At his best, he was a good starting RB. Henry hasn’t been in an NFL game since 2007. In 2007, JaMarcus Russell had a bright future in the NFL. Brett Favre was still the QB of the Green Bay Packers. 4 of the 5 RBs who led the NFL in rushing that year (LaDanian Tomlinson, Brian Westbrook, Jamal Lewis, and Willie Parker) are out of the NFL. It’s safe to say that if 4 of the top 5 backs in the NFL that year are gone (and don’t have the significant off field problems Henry has right now), Henry won’t even get someone to bring him in to kick the tires a little bit. Godspeed Travis, your kids need it.
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I read someone say that Aaron Berry chose the wrong time to get arrested a second time. How true. Berry was arrested for a DUI earlier this offseason and now multiple charges including assault and brandishing a firearm from a separate incident over the weekend. Granted, I was amazed he somehow made it on an NFL team after watching him repeatedly get torched in college, but that’s irrelevant.
Berry just made himself the poster child of offseason antics. Congrats bro, that’s one heck of an accomplishment with guys like Kenny Britt out there. The Lions waived Berry today, meaning his stupidity cost him his job. I’ve seen a few tweets that say the coaching staff spoke to veteran players about what to do and they were in favor of cutting Berry. You see time and time again players will stick up for each other in these scenarios. If the players turned their backs on him, it says a lot about what the Lions think of Berry and the other players who are making the news for all of the wrong reasons.
Thanks to players like Berry, we get multiple headlines about arrests in the NFL and very few about things like the Broncos players who visited victims of the Aurora shooting in the hospital. We don’t see more than a blip about the dozens of youth camps NFL players host to give kids a memory that will last a lifetime. Matt Cassel made a gigantic donation to a local hospital. I really hope the NFL finds a way to rein in the idiots because there are so many great players doing great things out there, even ones that aren’t named Tim Tebow.
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Preseason hype is about to hit extreme levels. You think it was bad during mini-camps? Oh, you haven’t seen anything yet. You’re going to see more great things about guys who won’t do squat during the season than you can shake a stick at. Don’t ask me what that means, I have no idea how you can shake a stick at an article about Shawn Merriman’s upcoming best season ever. Even worse are the veterans who don’t know their place in the NFL, like the following 3 examples.
Carson Palmer says the Raiders are playoff ready. Is this the same Carson Palmer who never won a playoff game? The same guy who quit on his team after the 2010 season? You’re the guy who can judge a winner before training camp even starts? The Raiders just had a massive roster turnover because they were in cap hell. The guy you’re relying on to be your offensive workhorse, Darren McFadden, can’t stay healthy for a whole season. Sorry Carson, but the Raiders are much more likely to be drafting your replacement in the top 5 of the 2012 draft than playing in January.
Joe Flacco says the Ravens could have a top 5 offense this season. Ok, so 5th place after the Patriots, Packers, Saints, and Lions (if their team isn’t all in jail by the time the season starts)? You’ll be better than the Chargers, Eagles, Panthers, Giants, and Cowboys too? The Ravens had a little over 5,400 total yards last season and 23.6 points per game. Drew Brees himself had over 5,500 total yards and nearly 18 points per game. That doesn’t include drives in which he set up a field goal, only touchdowns he threw or ran in. Sorry Joe, I just don’t see it.
Toby Gerhart and the Vikings are saying if Adrian Peterson isn’t 100% at the start of the season, Toby is ready to play at a high level. Gerhart is a talented back, there’s a reason he was a 2nd round pick. But let’s not get carried away. Outside of 2 or 3 RBs, there will be a tremendous drop off from Adrian Peterson to anyone. The Vikings without a healthy Peterson will struggle on offense. Christian Ponder is not ready for a prominent role on offense. He needs a great running game to help him out. Gerhart can maybe give him an above average running game, but how long will that last if there are 8 men in the box? Sorry Minnesota, I’m not buying the hype.
-Best of luck to Mike Patterson. He’s apparently not completely healed from offseason brain surgery (how can you ever be fully healed?). Hopefully all will be well and he can play again, but the most important thing is that even if he can’t play again, he’ll be able to live a normal life because of this surgery. Mike has been in the NFL since 2005 so hopefully he saved his $$ properly and if his career is sadly over, it will only be a new beginning for him.
-I’m sick of Bountygate. Please be over soon.
-Here I am editing and it turns out Raiders WR Louis Murphy was traded to the Panthers. Murphy could possibly start opposite of Steve Smith this season, so keep an eye on that.
-Random 2012 prediction: Lions falter in 2012. Their secondary is still awful and their running game is relying on a guy who can’t stay health (Best) and a guy who was arrested twice (Leshoure). Sure, their passing game is incredible, but with no running game and a defense that still sucks, they won’t be able to repeat last year’s success.
-I’m going to paraphrase, but I got a good laugh out of a tweet I saw today. “Not to be outdone by the NCAA’s fine on PSU, Roger Goodell has fined James Harrison $61 million.”
-I loved Batman. A great movie with the perfect ending to the trilogy.
-If you aren’t watching Falling Skies, try and catch up. Season 1 should be easy enough to find somewhere and it’s only a little beyond halfway into season 2. The writing and acting are superb. It’s about so much more than “holy crap, aliens!!!!” The next episode is in 2 weeks. Find the 10-15 hours you’ll need to catch up. Go!