NFL Questions And (Maybe Some) Answers – The Championship Edition

With another great weekend of football in the books, there were also some movings and shakings throughout the NFL. We’ll take a look at a few of those moves as well as the Conference Championship games on tap for Sunday.

Does the promotion of Hue Jackson from offensive coordinator to head coach in Oakland mean better days for Jason Campbell?

It’s obvious that Andy Reid didn’t pull the trigger on defense coordinator’s Sean McDermott’s ouster. With upper management taking such an important move out of Reid’s hands, is Big Red officially on thin ice?

 

Going into this season Lovie Smith and his Chicago Bears were on no one’s championship radar. Smith has quietly brought the Bears back to the brink of a title. Where’s the love (pun intended)?

Mike Tomlin has handled the trials and tribulations of the 2010-11 season will a cool and unwavering resolve. There have been some great coaching jobs this season. I don’t think any coach came in under more pressure than Tomlin – my 2010 NFL Coach of the Year.

How sure are you that there will be an NFL lockout in 2011?

20 Responses to “NFL Questions And (Maybe Some) Answers – The Championship Edition”

  1. Temple3 says:

    I thoughtful Tomlin came in under diminished expectations. Peter King is the only person I know of who thought the Steelers would/could win the Super Bowl this year. The team went 9-7 last year, and opened the season without Roethlisberger. I don’t believe people thought they’d go 3-1 through the first month of the season. To me, the expectations grew in the middle of the season. I hate to say it, but I’ve gotta give it up to Belichick for the regular season. I thought that team was dead in the water after Moss left — and then they went out and beat the Colts, Jets, Steelers, Bears, and Packers. That was as powerful a regular season run as I’ve seen in a long time. My runner up is Raheem Morris (I’d have given it to him if they legitimately beat Washington, but…)

    I expected the Jets to be here. They have more talent on offense than the Steelers (except at the QB position). They’re better on special teams (as evidenced by the Week 15 game) and they’re awful close on defense. So, Tomlin deserves a great deal of credit for what he’s done, but beating Baltimore is something to which I’ve become accustomed. Frankly, Lovie Smith might be a stronger Coach of the Year candidate than Tomlin. He came in on the hot seat…not Tomlin. He has a hodge-podge of a coaching staff and a cast of no name guys that managed to win the division over the Vikings and the Packers in a year where everyone had Chicago solidly in 3rd place.

    Campbell is in a better place. So is Cable…now he can tell Pete Carroll that the Second Coming of Bruce Gradkowski (Charlie Whitehurst) should play ahead of Hasselbeck.

    Reid and the Eagles suck. That’s all I’ve got on that buster. RUN THE DAMN BALL! (RTDB!)

    Good questions.

    Nothing on the Jets??

  2. Ron Glover says:

    @ Temple: So much going on with the Jets I didnt know where to begin. All I can say is that I thought Rex Ryan was more jester than executioner.

    I couldn’t have been more wrong.

  3. RBD says:

    Belichick’s midseason reboot was impressive. They went 14-2 with a cast of WITSEC people. But when you consider the whole league, it’s even harder to argue against Lovie Smith.
    Even when it was producing a good record in September, nobody who saw that team thought it was any good. And it kept winning. There had to be some coaching going on. Of course, the Bears caught a break when the Seahawks took out the Saints, but pure luck and relatively thin talent can’t take you this far by themselves.
    Smith’s recovery from predictions and advocacy of his doom is a lot like Andy Reid’s 2008. (I think it was 2008).

  4. RBD says:

    Excellent point on the Bears’ staff. Aside from Martz, a former head coach, it’s a group of people without traditional coaching pedigree. That suggests to me that Smith and/or the GM have done a good job of ascertaining talent rather than relying strictly on resumes.

  5. kos says:

    If the Raiders continue with the same offensive philosophy as they had with Hue Jackson as Offensive Coordinator, then Campbell may be ready for his best season yet. He may finally be able to have a system that he can stick with for more than 2 years for the first time since high school. With San Diego being too cheap to want to play key players, Denver trying to figure out how to make Tim Tebow a viable pro QB, and Kansas City having a tougher schedule next year, it may be time for the Raiders to finally return to the playoffs.

    Andy Reid has no one to blame but himself for being on thin ice. He’s the man that calls passing plays during playoff games when any other coach would be running the ball. It’s not as if he hasn’t had ample chances to change his philosophy either after 11 years in Philly. Ironically, after getting rid of McNabb, he probably would have been better off if Kolb never would have gotten hurt and Vick came in and blew the league away! Not much was expected of the Eagles this year, but with Vick in there, expectations rose.

    Lovie never has gotten the credit he deserved. He got a team with Rex Grossman as the starting QB to the Super Bowl. That alone is more amazing than anything I’ve seen from any of the other coaches that were/are in the playoffs this year.

    Many expected Lovie to be out after this year. He hired the right guy in Martz that Jay Cutler would actually listen to. His team was picked to be third in its division, but finished first.

    For some weird reason, many expected the Steelers to fall apart after Ben got suspended. Looking at their schedule for the first 4 games, (ATL, @ Tenn, @ TB, Baltimore), all of the games looked winable with Dennis Dixon at QB. I figured 3-1 (Baltimore always had the best chance to beat them in my mind), and maybe 2-2 if Dixon came out flat against Tennessee or Tampa. 4-0 would have exceeded all expectations. Tomlin was under no pressure. He coaches for the franchise that prefers to take a sensible approach to building a team.

    One of the things that I love about Tomlin is that he’s cool under pressure. He also doesn’t make excuses about why his teams lose. The announcers say that the Steelers lost to the Jets because Troy didn’t play. Tomlin says when someone on your team is out, it’s up to everyone else to step up and fill the void.

    I’m 90% sure there will be a lockout. The owners want the extra money from 2 extra regular season games. (No one is really talking about they aren’t planning on starting the season earlier, which would mean the Super Bowl would be played closer to the end of February.) They players are worried about the wear and tear of two extra games. The owners won’t show the players their books even though they claim that some teams are bleeding money.

  6. Ron Glover says:

    WTF IS UP W/AL DAVIS??? ANYONE SEE HIM AT THAT PRESS CONFERENCE YESTERDAY???

  7. Tariq says:

    I like Lovie as a coach, but I still don’t believe in the Bears. They deserve credit for getting to the NFC title game, but I just feel that they’ve been getting breaks all year. The Packers struggled with injuries, otherwise I don’t think Chicago would have won the division (The Vikings sucked of course). I mean, from that Calvin Johnson TD that was disallowed right up to Seattle beating New Orleans and Green Bay beating Atlanta to give Chicago home-field advantage, it’s just been going their way. But they’ve lost to some BAD teams: the Redskins (who somehow also beat the Packers), Seattle… It’s not that I think they’re a bad team, I just don’t think they’re that great. I like their D and special teams, but they can’t carry that offense, last week’s heroics notwithstanding. I will be SHOCKED if Jay Cutler beats the Packers.

  8. Miranda says:

    Al. DAVIS. IS. HILARIOUS.

  9. ks says:

    Do Tell! What did Al say/do?

  10. Ron Glover says:

    First of all he looks like he lost to a flight of stairs, then he goes on this rant in his press conference after her introduces Hue Jackson about how bad Tom Cable was.

  11. Temple3 says:

    @ Kos:

    Best Kept Secret? Raiders led NFL in Big Plays according to Stone Cold Football Facts with 69. The problem next year will be stemming the tide on defense if Nnamdi leaves. If Jets lose because Cromartie finally gets whistled for grabbing Mike Wallace’s jersey as he blows by, Nnamdi may decide to jump shit and roll east.

    The Raiders offense and special teams make plays. They need continuity and another piece or two. Ford and Zach Miller could blow up next year, too.

  12. Temple3 says:

    @ Tariq:

    I picked the Packers, too…but the thing about the Bears is that since their bye week, they’ve been smoking. They only lost to New England and Green Bay in an asterisk game.

    They beat a red-hot Lions team (who beat Green Bay, Tampa, Miami and Minnesota to close out the season); they put up 38 on the Jets; they punished the Eagles and laid down the blueprint; they beat a Bills team that took Baltimore AND Pittsburgh to overtime; they shutout the Dolphins in Miami.

    And, the only team to hold them under 100 yards on the ground was NE — and that’s because the game was a blow out.

    They have a really great chance to win this game. I’d be surprised if GB won by more than 5 points. I expect another last possession game.

    Maybe you’re right about Cutler. Which one will be see? The Good, the Bad or the Ugly?

  13. Origin says:

    Al davis………don’t take no shorts…….LOL!!!

    Here you go Ks

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtgLnoXG5nw

    I tell you what Miranda………..Al’s body may be failing him but that dudes mind is as sharp as ever. Well except that Kim Newton comment…..LOL!!!

    Oh and you know he got some folks upset with his comments about Elway and Farve……LOL!!!

  14. Tariq says:

    Temple:
    Yeah, again, I’m not saying that Chicago is a bad team. In fact, I think they’re a good team. I just don’t think they’re anywhere near being a Super Bowl team. I feel they’re on the level of Kansas City perhaps (who also have considerable strengths). I mean, I really like what Julius Peppers has done to this D, but I’m not sure that this defense is on the level of, say, the 2000 Ravens. A Championship-caliber D that can cover up the offense’s inconsistencies.

    I guess what it really comes down to is my belief that when the game is on the line, Jay Cutler is more likely to throw a Favresque bomb into triple coverage than make the smart play. I don’t trust him. Yeah, they made the SB with Rex Grossman, but then again, Grossman didn’t think he was better than Elway.

    Or it could be that I just don’t like Cutler, and my emotions are clouding my judgment.

  15. Miranda says:

    I’m still laughing at that press conference. That was classic!

  16. Miranda says:

    Day 4 of Operation-Save-The-Falcons in Atlanta. The local media is frantically working to salvage their hard work at hyping up a team that has about as much heart and fire as a tree sloth.

  17. kos says:

    And the NFL owners complain about losing money when they are gouging folks like this? smh

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdown_corner/post/NFL-to-charge-people-200-to-stand-outside-Super?urn=nfl-309783

  18. Temple3 says:

    @ Tariq:

    I hear that. It’s hard to trust Cutler — especially against Rodgers. I’ve always liked Cutler’s game more than I hated it, but it’s close.

  19. Tariq says:

    Temple:

    I take back everything I said about Chicago and Cutler ;)

  20. GrandNubian says:

    LOL@Tariq!!! :-)

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