Chuckie Strikes Back
I am LOVING me some Gruden’s QB Camp! For those of you who don’t tune into ESPN as often as I do, which is probably most of you, Gruden’s QB Camp is ESPN’s latest, semi-reality television show where former Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden brings the biggest names in college football into his war room and coaches them in only a way Chuckie can.
This year’s lucky contestants include Florida’s Tim Tebow, Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford, Texas’ Colt McCoy and Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen. I’m not quite sure why he failed to include Cincinnati’s Tony Pike, who I feel might be the steal of this draft, but who am I to question a guy that wakes up at 3:30 every morning to break down game film?
Gruden’s never been known to coddle players. His spats with Keyshawn Johnson and Chris Simms ultimately led to them both leaving Tampa Bay. While Gruden lays into these kids, like telling Colt McCoy he has “Ryan Leaf” potential or telling Sam Bradford he’s the worst sliding quarterback he’s ever seen, you can tell Gruden is genuinely interested in making them better.
He strikes fear into them by bringing up the names of Pro Bowl linebackers who are waiting to eat their lunch at the next level, while the draftees sit mesmerized, taking notes and watching the coach with eyes wide open.
Camp is a crash course in professionalism with a dash of comedy. After all, where else can you find a Super Bowl winning coach tell CJ Spiller to Google “I’m So Excited” by the Pointer Sisters?
Gruden adeptly highlights the pros and cons of each player and they’re no worse for wear for his tutelage. Even for the casual fan, it is must see TV.
The Bell Tolls for Big Ben
In a Tweet that sent shockwaves around the country, the NFL Network’s Rich Eisen reported that the Pittsburgh Steelers had contacted the Rams about trading Ben Roethlisberger… and the Rams were not interested. Wow! I guess they like Sam Bradford THAT much.
I’m not sure which is more shocking. The fact that the Steelers wanted to trade their two-time, Super Bowl winning quarterback and start from scratch, even after his recent suspension, or that the Rams, winners of only six games in three years, had absolutely no interest.
My how the mighty have fallen.
Ben Roethlisberger is a proven NFL quarterback with the hardware to show for it, but to most general managers, his actions off the field obviously outweigh his Super Bowl victories.
We’re not talking about Michael Vick here, or are we? After Vick’s release from prison for dog fighting charges, most teams wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole. The same can currently be said for Roethlisberger.
Former head coach turned television analyst, Herm Edwards, said on air that the Steelers owe it to Big Ben to give him another chance. He compared Ben’s case to a child coming home with a DUI. Do you give up on that child or wean him back to promise? Only problem is, Ben didn’t get a DUI. He’s been accused of rape… twice.
If you’re a team with a lousy quarterback – and there are plenty of them out there – which would you prefer? Taking a chance on an unproven quarterback or signing one who revived a franchise but comes with baggage? Keep in mind, Ben has more Super Bowl rings than anyone in the league not named Tom Brady. The Lakers backed Kobe Bryant after his rape allegations and that seemed to work out pretty well.
We may never know how many offers were turned down for Ben or how serious the Rooney family was about trading him. The first two nights of the draft came and went without mention of Roethlisberger, which must have pleased Commissioner Goodell to no end. For now, Big Ben remains a Steeler.
Time heals all wounds and that’s exactly what Pittsburgh is hoping for.
NBA Playoffs Week One
The first week of the NBA playoffs are in the books and so far, the series have held true to form. Here are some observations of the week that was. Discuss amongst yourselves…
Kevin Durant is really good.
The Hawks-Magic series is going to be a doozy… but NOT as good as the Orlando-Cleveland series will be.
Twelve points in three playoff games is not what Pat Riley was expecting when he paid $23 million for Jermaine O’Neal.
When LeBron told reporters he could lead the league in scoring any time he wanted, he wasn’t kidding.
The Denver Nuggets are a disappointment. After watching their first three games against Utah, I am no longer thinking my pre-season +3500 future was a solid play.
Pau Gasol is the most skilled big man in the game.
The Jazz, Bulls and Suns are still an impact player away from coming anywhere close to sniffing the Finals. Don’t their owners know this?
Seeing a wet-haired, downtrodden Dirk Nowitzki sulking into his microphone at post-game pressers is becoming commonplace.
Oklahoma City’s free throw percentage (85% for the playoffs) is impressive for such a young team.
Tim Duncan still has it.
After LeBron, Josh Smith is the most ferocious dunker in the game.
For some reason, I have absolutely no interest in the Phoenix-Portland series. Maybe that’s because neither of those teams will advance to the Western Conference Finals.
Does anyone in the league sweat more than Chauncey Billups?
If the Oklahoma City Thunder had Joakim Noah, they’d be DANGEROUS!
If anyone beats the Orlando Magic, they’ll need seven games to do so.