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NFL Unfiltered Week 8: Eagles sinking, Cowboys stinking, a Super Bowl of Mannings?



Owners, general managers and coaches spend an inordinate amount of time lying about their football teams. They’ll tell us they really like the linebackers on their roster then they’ll promptly draft two new ones. 


They often try to convince us the starting quarterback is making tremendous progress while actively (and quietly) looking for his replacement.   


However, there is one time each year teams tell the truth about their personnel: draft day.  With that in mind and with the season half over, let's examine a few 2012 first round picks.

Justin Blackmon- WR, Oklahoma St., Jaguars 5th pick:

LIE: During a recent media session, head coach Mike Mularkey said the following of Blackmon: “The last three weeks, he has come out to practice really trying to get better and doing everything we’re asking of him.” Blackmon photo: www.espnmilwaukee.com 


TRUTH: I realize Blaine Gabbert isn’t John Elway, but Blackmon is struggling mightily.  He has talent, but it’s fair to question his approach to the pro game. Notice Mularkey only included the last three weeks when describing Blackmon’s work ethic?  That’s alarming for a top 5 pick.  


Michael Floyd- WR, Notre Dame, Cardinals 13th pick: 


LIE: When asked about Floyd’s progress head coach Ken Whisenhunt responded, “He’s a rookie; he’s had some struggles as all rookies do.” 


TRUTH: On July 9th, Larry Fitzgerald somewhat playfully questioned Floyd’s desire via Twitter:


Just finished a great workout with @Wellefast. I'm charging @MichaelMFloyd with a DWI "don't want it" he missed a 3rd straight workout 2day.” 


The fact Floyd still hasn’t supplanted former 3rd round pick Andre Roberts as a starter is troubling because he has more talent and a better pedigree.  I mean no disrespect to The Citadel, but it isn’t a football factory.  And while Roberts deserves credit for becoming an NFL starter, there is no way the Cardinals expected this.


If they had, they never would have drafted Floyd.



Riley Reiff- T, Iowa, Lions 23rd pick: 


LIE:  Said offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, “Other than center, I think he can play any position on the offensive line.  That’s what really good offensive lineman can do.  But we haven’t really pinpointed (where he’ll take over) at this point.”  


TRUTH:  The Lions throw the football 40-50 times a game and quarterback Matthew Stafford is harassed on many of those attempts. Still, Reiff can’t crack the starting lineup.  Based on how they play, the Lions couldn’t afford to miss on this pick.  So far, they have.

There are certainly other top picks who are struggling. Chiefs’ defensive tackle Dontari Poe hasn’t done enough to prevent teams from running on Romeo Crennel’s defense. And 49ers’ wide receiver A.J. Jenkins has only worn a uniform once in 8 games.

But I singled out Blackmon, Floyd and Reiff simply because they each had an opportunity to make a significant contribution and they haven’t done it. That is an egregious error and their teams know it.  

Don’t let coach speak fool you.  Their actions are much more revealing.   




What the pundits can’t or won’t say


-Jared Allen and Donald Penn fought and both remained in the game. We can’t blame the replacements for that.

 Photo: usatoday.com

-Like I said, the Vikings are fraudulent. The 49ers’ loss to them in Week 2 looks worse with each passing week.  


-Trent Cole’s behavior at the end of Sunday’s game may stem from the fact he’s starting to realize he can’t play three downs anymore.


-A reader disagreed with my opinion on Nnamdi Asomugha earlier this season.  I bet I won’t be hearing from him anymore about the former all-pro.    


-If Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman are the most accomplished defensive players you have drafted in the last six seasons, your system of talent evaluation is severely flawed.  


-When they’re winning, the Jets’ talk and bluster is refreshing. When they lose, they look weak and amateurish.  


-Michael Vick’s comments about a possible quarterback change sounds like a guy who is ready to sit.  


-The Steelers don’t fool me. Their defense has played well against inexperienced and average quarterbacks. Eli Manning is neither.

 Eagles photo: Reuters

-It’s only week eight but Manning vs. Manning in Super Bowl XLVII feels destined, unfortunately.


-The Panthers didn’t win, but they’re much more competitive when Cam Newton is asked to play quarterback instead of Superman.  


-Norv Turner certainly isn’t a good head coach, but general manager A.J. Smith has lost his draft touch.  

-Nationally, Jeff Fisher might be more overrated than Andy Reid.   


-Jerry Jones may have someone he listens to in his normal life but you can tell he doesn’t listen to anyone in his football life.


-Just imagine what the Cowboys will tolerate if Dez Bryant actually starts producing.  


-His energetic nature must make it easy for the media to ignore the fact Pete Carroll is 51-53 in 6 ½ seasons as an NFL head coach.  


-You might laugh but there aren’t five receivers in the league with better hands than Michael Crabtree.  He has skills similar to Cris Carter (not that his quarterback notices.)


-Larry Fitzgerald’s return to last night’s game after landing on his face is another example of the NFL’s hypocritical attitude toward head injuries. He didn’t even miss a series. Don’t tell me about protocols and balance tests.      


Top 4 this week (rankings disclaimer: my top four will always feature two AFC teams and two NFC teams).


Atlanta Falcons (7-0) – Can’t trust them until they win a playoff game. 

Houston Texans (6-1) – Loss to Pack lingers. Chicago November 11th is the next test. 

New York Giants (6-2) – They’ll win the title IF they make the playoffs.

New England Patriots (5-3) – Like classic bullies, they dominated a weak squad. 

Earl Myers is a freelance writer from the Philadelphia area.  He closely follows North America's four major sports leagues but just about any sporting event gets his attention.  His goal is to provoke a little thought in his readers.

Contact Earl at emyersiii@hotmail.com

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