Chumpservations, Vol. 11: Jon Gruden’s QB Camp, an NBA Playoffs update and would you trade for Ben Roethlisberger?

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.

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38 Replies to “Chumpservations, Vol. 11: Jon Gruden’s QB Camp, an NBA Playoffs update and would you trade for Ben Roethlisberger?”

  1. Gruden’s QB camp is awesome! I can see why he probably rubbed Al Davis the wrong way at some point. The guy knows what he’s talking about though. I loved when he made fun of Colt’s accent.

    You know who sweats more than Chauncey? Mark Cuban!

  2. First of all, Chap, great point about Cuban. You’re right. He is a sweathog. And the guy wears nothing but t-shirts. How is that possible? I believe some man-grooming is probably in order. I’m sure he can afford it.

    Re: Gruden. I think his time in Tampa Bay had run its course. I remember wanting him out. He just wasn’t getting the results.

    But I always felt he was the best soundbite in the NFL. He still is.

  3. Chris

    I believe Gruden won with some of Dungy’s boys . And there after the Bucs essentially went downhill. Basically because Jon can’t spell the word talent much less spot it close up ! But I hear he’s insured with GEICO . So that’s got to be an added bonus hasn’t it ?

    Alan Parkins

  4. Chris

    There’s a rumor going round that Playgirl wants Ben to do a center spread for the magazine holding nothing but his package and saying that the size of it is equivalent to his IQ . All of 3″ by all accounts according to his ‘alleged victim’. Oh the shock and pain of it all !

    Alan Parkins

  5. Chris Humpherys

    You suggested that Dwight had stamped his authority on this series ? I beg to differ ! How can be stamping his authority when he fouls out repeatedly ? The great players and leaders of a team simply don’t do that !

    Of the 144 minutes that can possibly be played over the three games. Howards thus far has only played a combined total of 82 minutes. That barely works out to 27 minutes a game ? Much of the time he’s spent on the bench inb foul trouble. So do tell what have you been actually watching concerning Dwight ?

    Alan Parkins

  6. Chris Humpherys

    Gruden doesn’t yet wanting another coaching gig when he’s still be paid on two fronts. He pulls down a salary from ESPN and he’s still owed on the remainder of his contract by the Bucs . So you tell me who’s having the last laugh here ?

    He’s got to be making at least $6m this year alone don’t you think ?

    Alan Parkins

  7. Al… Dwight’s had 18 blocks in three games. I’d say that’s making his presence felt.

    Yes he needs to stay out of foul trouble and yes Jameer has had a better series. But Dwight has made an impact.

  8. Don’t be fooled though, Al. Gruden may like the limelight and attention but he’s still a coach first and foremost. And we all know those guys yearn to get back to the sidelines.

  9. Chris,

    Yeah, I think that’s the thing about Chucky. He gets so into it, it’s his way or the bust. I think that’s what made him successful though, the constant drive to be in control of every aspect. I guess it ultimately led to his demise as well though…

  10. Loved Gruden as a coach. When he came to MNF, I started watching it again… he knows what he’s talking about. And that is a lot rarer on TV than one would think.

    Now, his QB show is much watch, compelling TV.

    He may have won the SB with Dungy’s players, but Dungy didn’t. Doesn’t that make you a better coach when you take someone else’s players and win more than he did?

  11. Han… I think a lot of people here in Tampa would argue that fact. After all, in the NFL, fair or not, it’s results that matter.

    Regardless, Dungy’s imprint on the franchise, and the league, is undeniable.

  12. I think the networks will be throwing money at Gruden to keep him in the studio. The question is will it be enough to keep him off the sidelines.
    I hope Roethlisberger can be helped, otherwise there may be a real tragedy in his future.

  13. Chris

    18 blocks ? Oh my ! But how much time has he spent on the bench in foul trouble ? Had this Bobcats’ team been more apt in defending then series wouldn’t be such a lopsided affair. You’re seeing what you only want to see at the moment.

    ‘melo’s rung a bell that he now can’t unring and he’s laying blame elsewhere for his team’s woes .

    Artest is doing his best impersonation of headless chicken while he tries to get even a whiff Durant’s jockstrap. So much so for Ron’s alleged defensive prowess. I hear Cpl Klinger from the MASH 4077th wants to call Ron – Ron out ?

    As for the Mavs you know exactly where I stand on the subject . Suffice to say if they were a roll of tissue paper . I’d be using them to wipe my rear end right about now ! I can’t wait to hear Cuban’s excuses. Because Dirk’s was about as bad as it could’ve got and then some ! Who’s your daddy now Dirk ? Oh I forgot he’ll soon become a daddy with his ex locked up in jail on fraud grand larceny and kiting checks . Federal charges not state mind you as she’d done this in at least 5 state jurisdictions that the FBI knows of . Ain’t life grand !

    Alan Parkins

  14. When the time is right Gruden will want back into the NFL . He knows that he can bide his time with all the ‘jack’ he’s making from both the Bucs and ESPN.

    It’s similar to A-Rod when he left the Rangers after having signed that 10 yr $250 million deal. Three years in he’d bolted to the Yankees and then for the next 6 1/2 years the Rangers were paying 65 % of the $25 million annual salary. So you tell me what’s not to like about Gruden’s or A-Rod’s situation at the time .

    Is it any wonder why the idiots such as Gammons , Olney and other noted baseball writers don’t want to upset Selig and DuPuy’s wonderful applecart when it comes to the idiocy of baseball’s financial well being ? They couldn’t give a _hit ! Much like the hierarchy of baseball itself.

    Much like they neglected to write or even report on the steroid’s mess it’s the same with the financial viability and stability of the game. They won’t touch as if it’s taboo .

    Alan Parkins

  15. Aer… I’m sure any franchise that really wants Gruden will be able to outbid what ESPN aka ABC aka Disney is paying him.

    Besides if he’s really yearning to coach, no matter of money will make a difference.

    Hey, when we’re talking seven or eight zeros, is there really that much of a difference?

  16. Al… I agree that in later rounds, the Magic will need Howard on the floor. But they’ve been able to beat this Bobcat team even with his limited minutes. Thanks to the play of Jameer Nelson.

    I heard Adrian Dantley’s post-game presser last night, Al. He pretty much put the blame of the loss on Melo’s 9 turnovers. Not sure what game that guy is watching but Carmelo is the only guy on that roster playing worth a damn. If they keep up this dysfunction, the series will be over next game. And I don’t see Dantley landing a head coaching gig any time soon.

    Artest needs to get back to the reason the Lakers acquired him and that’s to play defense. Only problem is, the only person that can stop Durant bis Durant.

    And a well due congratulations is in order for Mr Spurs fan himself. Manu is one tough mother.

  17. Al… baseball’s financials are considerably more in order than the NFL’s which may be looking at a strike real soon.

    I smell a rookie salary cap in the works.

  18. Chris Humpherys

    That’s where you’re wrong completely. The NFLPA (union) has already got millions set aside should there be a labor dispute. That was one of the first things that DeMaurice Smith set about doing the moment he transitioned himself into the position the unions Exec Director. Did I not tell you that he wasn’t to be underestimated ?

    MLB is in a complete mess with more than 60 % of its teams barely showing a profit. The small “market teams” are incumbent on the monies received via the league’s tax sharing revenue plan. Do the research and you’ll find what I’m saying is spot on.

    Alan Parkins

  19. Chris

    Do you honestly feel that if Dwight is foul trouble as he has been in this series he’ll be able to get away with that against the likes of the Cavaliers , Celtics or Hawks ? C’mon put your thinking cap on and don’t let your emotions get the better of you.

    If he does carry on the way that he has been . Then I can assure that Van Gundy will try and rip him a new one !

    Alan Parkins

  20. Chump,

    Props to you on calling the Orlando sweep. I thought the Bobcats would win at least one game. The Magic are looking good and it could very well be their year.

    Have you commented on Tebow yet? What are your thoughts about how he’ll do in Denver?

    Per your recommendation, I’ll check out Chuckie’s show on ESPN. I really can’t stand him on MNF, but perhaps he’ll be more tolerable and less of a kiss ass.

    Finally, SKK is now available via e-mail so come on over and sign up.


  21. Chris

    You earlier tried to allude to the fact that baseball has its finances in order ? Well now that the Phillies have inked Ryan Howard to that 5yr $125 million deal.

    What happens when Pujols then hits the market ?

    Alan Parkins

  22. As far as which sport is more profitable, Al, there’s no doubt the NFL takes the cake hands down. That’s why teams like the Yankees have to cough up so much money to smaller market teams in revenue sharing. Perhaps they should consider, dare I say it… CONTRACTION!

    I do feel, however, that there will be some sort of NFL rookie salary cap that even the players union will back.

  23. Still though, Al. This team needs a babysitter and that’s the coaches job.

    They have the talent on the floor, they just need to be coached. They’re better than this depleted Jazz team (aside from at the PG position) and their coach needs to recognize that and exploit those disadvantages. That’s not getting done.

    When ‘Melo and Birdman are jawing on the sidelines, it’s up to the coach to quell that nonsense.

    Or don’t they want to win?

  24. Some of the calls against Howard have been bad, Al, but most of the time, he’s making stupid, unnecessary fouls.

    I think Van Gundy will be able to make adjustments in the next round against Atlanta to has some size down low.

    Good thing for Orlando that they have a good back up center in Gortat.

  25. Drewster… I just thought Orlando had too much firepower for Charlotte. Aside from Jackson and Wallace, they really don’t have much. Orlando is a much, more balanced team. The Bobcats were just an appetizer, preparing them for what should be a physical series against the Hawks.

    Re: Tebow, it doesn’t really surprise me that a team moved up to get him in the first. There had been rumors of that sort.

    I think he’ll sit, practice hard and do his bet to eventually compete for that starting gig.

    From everything I know about that kid, he’s made a business of proving people wrong, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he does it one more time.

    I just hope McDaniels is experienced enough of a coach to bring that kid along, ’cause he’ll need it.

    If you don’t like Chuckie, man, then you might not dig the show.

    Be right over to sign up.

  26. Al… we all know Pujols is about to be a very rich man.

    I’m thinking one dollar more than A-Rod might be in order.

    And I didn’t say baseball had their stuff together. I just meant compared to the NFL who is 18 months away from a strike, things in MLB are relatively copacetic.

  27. Contraction won’t be the answer but most definitely there’s a chance that the Rays will move out of state and to Las Vegas. The money is there and they’d build them a purpose built venue at the drop of a hat.

    If Dwight can’t even show a modicum of discipline in his game that requires him on the floor as the team’s leader. Then consider what the Cavs’ll do to him. Dwight’s game isn’t as solid as it needs to be. And he much like an oaf thinks that he can simply play the clown and all will be right.

    If they should fail to make the conference finals much less the NBA Finals itself. Then you can point back to his lack of discipline shown.

    That’s why Dwight will never have the game of an Olajuwon or even Ewing at best . He’s simply not cerebral enough !

    NBA Playoffs observation pieces.

    It’s Over ….It’s Over ………….

    It’s Over ………It’s Over Pt 2 …………..

    Alan Parkins

    Alan Parkins

  28. The NFL isn’t as such away from a strike as they’ll work and abide the tenets set per their cba with NFLPA . What could very well lead to a stoppage is if they can’t agree on a revamped agreement concerning how their revenues are divided.

    They had the March 5th deadline which came and went but Goodell and Smith agreed in principal to continue negotiating behind closed doors.

    Alan Parkins

  29. Contraction won’t be the answer but most definitely there’s a chance that the Rays will move out of state and to Las Vegas. The money is there and they’d build them a purpose built venue at the drop of a hat.

    If Dwight can’t even show a modicum of discipline in his game that requires him on the floor as the team’s leader. Then consider what the Cavs’ll do to him. Dwight’s game isn’t as solid as it needs to be. And he much like an oaf thinks that he can simply play the clown and all will be right.

    If they should fail to make the conference finals much less the NBA Finals itself. Then you can point back to his lack of discipline shown.

    That’s why Dwight will never have the game of an Olajuwon or even Ewing at best . He’s simply not cerebral enough !

    NBA Playoffs observation pieces.

    It’s Over ….It’s Over ………….

    It’s Over ………It’s Over Pt 2 …………..

    Alan Parkins

  30. Al… I don’t think Tampa Bay will let the Rays leave, especially since they’ll contend this year. If it comes down to that, I think they’ll break that contract with St Petersburg and get that new stadium built.

    I have faith that the Magic will make the necessary adjustments to keep Dwight Howard in the game for the following series. Maybe Stan Van should take a page out of Phil Jackson’s book and criticize the refs for how they’re calling Dwight. It might be worth the $25,000 fine.

    I think Dwight’s cerebral. He’s a bright kid. I just don’t know that he has the finesse at this point of his career to be compared to Pat or the Dream. Remember, those guys were raw early on as well.

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