Monday Morning Starting Five: April 27th, 2009. Michael Crabtree Fell All the Way to #10?

Crazy weekend in sports. Actually got to check it all out as a fan on the road. Had a great time, recharged the batteries and ate some great Texas rib eye, but now it’s time to get it. After spending most of the day on a plane, Anthony Gilbert scooped me and we barely made it for the Game 4 tip off at the Wachovia Center. I’ll have a Sixers/Magic recap up on SLAMonline shortly. Hope you all had a great weekend and mos def have a great week.

The squeaky wheel gets the oil. Triple 5 Soul speaks up and the Eagles go offensive in draft. We’ll see how that works out. If they fail next season, he will get called out by the media here. Trust me on that. (

Eagles trade for Ellis Hobbs. I’m impressed. (

Ray Ratto says don’t blame Heyward-Bey and Mike Mitchell for the Raiders crazy draft. (CBS)

Winners and losers in draft. Uh…how the hell did Michael Crabtree fall to #10 and Mark Sanchez rise to #4. Great pick for the 49’ers. Gimme Josh Freeman in a second over all those quarterback cats. Absolutely nothing to do with race. (Mercury News)

Kiss blames NY for the downfall of rap. (SOHH)

BCA gives Colorado State an F for recent hiring. (

The Honorable Minister demands justice for Jon Burge torture victims. (Final Call)

In the era of Obama, is there a need for a Black Agenda? (Final Call)

Gang Starr classic

11 Responses to “Monday Morning Starting Five: April 27th, 2009. Michael Crabtree Fell All the Way to #10?”

  1. Temple3 says:


    Just to clarify – I don’t think Kiss blamed NY for the downfall of hip hop. I think he was saying that the decrease in NY record sales was due to the fact that NY artists weren’t collaborating. I might have missed it, but I didn’t see where he said the South and the West were peddling an inferior product that NY needs to wipe off the map. Then again, Cyrus doesn’t leave you much to hang your hat on. – take on Winners and Losers.

    I think Maclin is going to be under the gun all year long. I don’t how Philly’s offense is going to be much better than it was last year unless he plays well. The Eagles big issue will continue to be Red Zone execution in the passing game. Maclin’s not the smallest guy in the world, but they still don’t have a hammer. And, they signed a smurf corner who is very talented, but is still a smurf. He’ll have the same challenges that Lito Sheppard did against the bigger receivers in the NFC. If the Eagles are healthy and don’t win it all, they’ll only have themselves to blame. No one will be able to say that they don’t have talented wide receivers. They do — and quite a few of them.

    It is foolhardy for any African American to think that by simply electing a Black President the intractable problems facing Black poor and working people will miraculously disappear. They will only be resolved under this President or any President if we identify those issues that are of critical interest to our people and demand that they be solved. That’s why Marc Morial’s action in demanding that President Obama do something about the gross disparities between Blacks and Whites in education, health, income and wealth was courageous and exemplary.

    I think that Ron Daniels says some great things — but I also think that too little attention is paid to the value of FREE SHIT like open source software, library cards, MITs curriculum and such. I know there is a learning curve for these types of things, but our people have an unprecdented opportunity to make a Giant Leap Forward based on the availability of all this great stuff. It is still important to press institutions, but the purpose of these institutions is to faciliate and accelerate the effectiveness of our prior actions. We have to lay the right foundation.

    In the 1960’s the CRM was so effective because the foundation was laid in the 1940’s. Sometimes people are led to believe that everything began with a bus boycott. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Black folk were organizing labor and voter action campaigns (and being killed for it) for decades before the cameras arrived to dramatize the injustices of apart-hate America.

    It’s all about the preparation. The NOI has done a great job of that on many levels. If they were politically engaged, as well, they would have a much more solid operational platform. That battle was fought in the 1960’s though, and they will remain as they are.

    Thanks for the links.

  2. Temple3 says:

    Why do you think Michael Crabtree went 10th overall?

    Do you really think its just because he didn’t run a 40 yard dash? Did Al just want to make headlines? As fast as Heyward-Bey is, the Steelers drafted a guy who’s Combine time was only .03 slower — late in the THIRD ROUND.

    To my knowledge DHB’s fastest clocked 40 was a 4.23. Wallace (the Steeler pick) ran a 4.28. When guys are moving that fast, it’s all basically the same.

    When things like this happen, I start wondering about the integrity of the draft process. Is the league ready for the 49ers to get back on the map? The team has suffered due to some in-fighting at the ownership level. I think Mike Singletary knows a thing or two about building a franchise. He also knows how to eliminate controversy (Mike Martz). Was Crabtree a gimme?

    The Bengals, with the departure of TJ, could have used Crabtree at least as much as a young tackle who flaked at the Combine and who was disappointing at this Pro Day. I know they still have Chris Henry and Cribbs, but Henry has missed so many games due to suspension, he’s not a reliable option.

    I’ll give the Jaguars a pass because they signed Torry Holt and this team is either going to win in the next few years or get blown up.

    Seems to me like a lot of teams that need another high-quality receiving option allowed Crabtree to fall without a very good reason.

  3. Mizzo says:

    Temple, I’ve been saying the same thing for years. The Sanchez hype raised mad red flags. Why was a number 4 pick so ballyhooed despite having durability issues as well?

    Just doesn’t make sense.

    I really am shocked Josh Freeman went to Tampa.

  4. Temple3 says:

    In what sense are you shocked that Freeman went to Tampa?

    I had actually planned to write a post (back on March 30th — still have the draft version) on this very thing. Tampa was reputed to be looking at Freeman. Given what they have on the field, he’s a perfect fit. The TV folks were saying that they loved Freeman in person and in games, but not on film. The scouts were concerned about his reads and diagnostic ability. Raheem Morris learned from a man who knows more about confusing QBs (Monte Kiffin) than just about anyone.

    You figure that after playing against their Cover 2 in practice all day, Freeman should be just fine. We’ll know how he’s going to pan out pretty quickly. He has ALL of the physical tools. He has to do the scholarship work and lay the foundation for leading the franchise. It is WIDE OPEN for him to lead that franchise. It’s his world.

  5. Patrick says:

    Is Lesean McCoy the next Brian Westbrook? I had the impression that the Eagles were going to transition to a more power-running offense. McCoy is nice talent, and very smooth, explosive runner (like a smaller version of LT), but Philly has traditionally had trouble getting that tough one yard in critical third down, late game situations and it has been the difference in them winning multiple SuperBowls (in my opinion).

    Despite the explosive plays and the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, McCoy has weaknesses as well..

    >>>>Negatives: Doesn’t have great size or the compact strength of elite backs. Must prove he can get the tough yard and not dance to try and break a big play when it’s not there. Invites turnovers by running with the ball very loosely. Doesn’t always switch the ball to the outside hand. Runs out of control at times. Some of those cutbacks will not work against the speed of NFL defenses. A liability in pass protection, throwing a shoulder instead of moving his feet to take on or even just get in the way of a rusher. Whiffs on his cut blocks against blitzing linebackers.>>>>

    ESPN analysts have given the Eagles’ draft a positive grade, but I think the Eagles should drafted former Iowa RB Shon Green.

  6. Patrick says:

    Is Josh Freeman the next black QB to get scrutinized relentlessly? When local media and local fans are saying things like the following Freeman better watch what he says and does:

    Here are some of the comments from Tampa’s fan base from ESPN site..

    …”Completely Disgusting. We are becoming the Raiders. Gruden is laughing his asss off. This is brutal…”

    …”This is possibly the worst 1st round pick the bucs have made. ….”

    ….” Morris and the new GM clearly aren’t any smarter than Gruden/Allen. I’m predicting a 3-13 season. I’ll watch the games, but I’m not gona expect anything next year…..”

    ….”Someone please explain to me why we need to trade up two spots to get a quarterback who is no better than a third rounder ….”

  7. Patrick says:

    I think Freeman can succeed in Tampa, but it seems like he facing the exact same criticisms that Vick faced in 2001.

    Local media skepticism. Divided fan base. ESPN player-hating.

    Freeman spoke to the media in Tampa today, and it seems like he is ready for it, but he is in a ‘special’ fishbowl in Tampa, especially with a first year black coach in Raheem Morris.

    “I”ve heard a lot of different things. People say I’m not very accurate, I have bad feet, I don’t know how to read coverages,” Freeman said. “It’s just a number of things that people couldn’t possibly know. They obviously have to say something because they have to have a ‘take’ on everybody.

  8. Temple3 says:

    I don’t think Freeman’s response to the criticism is fundamentally sound. He shouldn’t publicly express doubts about the intelligence of the fan base. He’s too young to have had his first Water Cooler Argument about sports, but an entire nation gets through Monday based on this very thing. ESPN has a show called Tuesday Morning Quarterback…the entire nation is driven by our ability to SECOND GUESS.

    Freeman needs to realize that the people who are naysayers are not all casual fans with a race-based axe to grind. Some people like him and wonder if he had performed better whether or not Ron Prince would still be the coach at K-State. Prince’s predecessor built one helluva program there. The Wildcats were the last team other than Oregon State to really trounce USC. That was several years ago – but they did it. Michigan hasn’t. Ohio State hasn’t.

    So, Freeman, at the very least has to understand how a casual observer would say this fell apart of his watch. To be sure he isn’t the only to blame, but he didn’t dominate like he should have. Morris is going to have two years before the Glazer’s get rabbit ears about criticism. Freeman would be well served to placate the egos of the fans and say what any first year player should say, “I’m eager to get in to camp and learn the playbook and begin work with my teammates.”

    At the end of each day, he can rest assured that no one has ever seen high-quality QB play at Raymond James Stadium — except by the visitors. Chris Simms, Sean King, Brad Johnson. That’s no Tower of QB Power. At the end of the day, the Bucs fans will be happy as long as the team is winning.

    K-State lost five games in a row last season. Some of that (if not most of it) falls to him — right or wrong. The year before, they lost 5 of their last 6 games. That also falls on him — in part. (They lost every game where he threw 40 passes.) So, Freeman cannot have a thin skin here. He has to BE the man he wants to be. People who know the game thought enough of him to draft him. That should be enough. If he’s out reading comment sections on ESPN, he needs to get cut.


    I definitely agree on the Shon Green thing. Philly is buggin’. They like guys who will keep it interesting. Maybe they made a deal with the rest of the league NOT to draft someone or trade for anyone that could score from in close.

  9. Mizzo says:

    He’s just the second Black quarterback picked by a Black coach.

    All the draft talk was about Staff and Sanchez even though Freeman was the consensus number one pick going into last season.

    Just thought he would fall into the second round.

  10. Temple3 says:

    I hear that.

    ESPN is not only a misguided enterprise because their $$ is driven by appealing to the horde that Patrick so aptly describes, but they’re also inferior on content.

    If you look at what CBS and Yahoo put together online, it would be reason enough to wonder why anyone watched ESPN with the volume up.

    ESPN and are dinosaurs desperately seeking content. They’re falling.

  11. Esquire says:

    Temple – I wondered the same thing about the Crabtree pick. The talk of him having an ego just seemed like complete BS. I can’t imagine passing on that kind of talent over something as silly as him having an ego.

    Freeman is an interesting kid. While living and going to school in Kansas City area I heard a lot about him and saw him a good bit. Tough for me to defend a K-State guy, but in his defense there was just a lot of turmoil going on during Ron Prince’s whole career at K-State. I think the constant turnover of assistants really hurt Freeman who really does have a lot of talent. Prince just wasn’t able to get the recruits out to Manhattan and many of his JUCO prospects did not pan out. Even with a pretty bad supporting cast, Freeman led them to a couple of upsets over UT and several other wins they probably should not have gotten. I can’t say he is a can’t miss NFL prospect by any means, but I do think there is enough upside in him to warrant taking a shot at him. I think Freeman would have been just as good at USC as Sanchez was. I’m not sure if I feel the same way if Sanchez had been at K-State.