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I Love Richard Sherman, and You Should Too February 16, 2013

Posted by thesportsmaster8000 in NFC West, NFL, Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks, Sports.
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With each Richard Sherman article I read, I find myself falling more and more in love with this guy. All platonic, of course. The most recent article, a great one by Gary Davenport, puts the emphasis on Sherman’s mouth and the fun Sherman has.

A lot of people will debate about whether or not trash-talking is good for the NFL, or any sport for that matter, but I think we can all agree if you are going to talk trash, you better back it up.  Sherman does.

Sherman’s selection to the NFL.com’s All-Under-25 Team show’s people are taking notice of said back-up-the-talk skills.  Skills aside, Sherman is keeps things interesting off the field with his talk, his tests, and his tweets.

When a guy like Sherman comes around, you realize trash talking is part of what makes sports so much fun.  Players like Deion Sanders, Gary Payton, and the greatest trash talker, Muhammad Ali, all come to mind when you start thinking about trash talkers in the world of sports.  On top of that, if you analyze the various lists of top trash talkers, you find some really talented players on those lists.  Trash talking and sports go hand in hand.  The NFL is no exception.

Love him or hate him, Richard Sherman is bringing trash talk back, all while playing lights out.  I guarantee you’ll find his name on some Top 10 lists in about 10 years.

The Sportsmaster 8000

The Encouraging Progression of Russell Wilson October 23, 2012

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To date, Russell Wilson’s QBR has been all over the map.  He recorded a high of 91.4 vs New England in Week 6, and a low of 16.8 vs St. Louis in Week 4.  For the sake of comparison, I thought it would be interesting to compare Wilson’s numbers to a couple of rookie quarterbacks from last season, Blaine Gabbert and Andy Dalton.

All three of these QB’s have similar collegiate pedigrees.  More or less, they are all on the same NFL path, albeit one year behind in Wilson’s case.  Seven weeks into last year’s season, Dalton had an average QBR of 45.4.  Gabbert’s average was a paltry 17.7.  So far this year, Wilson has an average QBR 45.5.  Wilson just barely edges out Dalton after seven weeks of play.  This is encouraging, because Dalton went to the Pro Bowl last year.

Now I’m not saying Wilson is going to the Pro Bowl-but I’m not saying he isn’t-but it is encouraging to see how his numbers compare to some rookie QB’s that were in similar situations last year.  Not bad for a third rounder.

And the Franchise Tag Goes to… February 25, 2010

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Hold on to your galoshes Seahawks fans. Olindo Mare has been tagged. I’m sure Mare is pretty stoked, as the tag comes with a nice one-year contract offer of $2.8 million. Now I’m happy because, aside from his “absolutely unacceptable” performance in Week 3, Mare was/is a solid kicker. This makes one less position Seattle needs to worry about heading into the draft.

After seeing Mare get tagged, I thought I’d take a trip down memory lane. The Seahawks have never been shy about using the franchise tag, and the record shows. Last year, Seattle tagged LB Leroy Hill, but signed him to a long term contract before the season began. In 2008, Seattle tagged CB Marcus Trufant. In 2007, Seattle decided to slap K Josh Brown with the tag. As we all know, that didn’t make Brown too happy. Let’s just hope Mare can take it in stride better than Brown did. It isn’t good to have a pissed off kicker.

The Seahawks and The Combine February 16, 2010

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The 2010 Scouting Combine is set to begin in 11 days, and the Seattle Seahawks will have a multitude of positions to scrutinize. Of all the positions, I believe the Seahawks need to address the offensive line first and foremost. Coincidentally, offensive linemen workouts kickoff the combine weekend. Who will be wearing a Seahawks jersey after the 2010 Draft? Here are some of the top prospects at the tackle position.

In lieu of Walter Jones’ less-than-auspicious Twitter posts, the Seahawks must draft a LT that will be the cornerstone of the franchise the way Jones has been. There are a lot of good choices. Alex Gibbs can take anyone of the prospects listed in the above link and turn them into a dominate tackle.

Holding Down The Fort September 24, 2009

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The question facing the Seahawks this week is what will the team facing off against the Bears look like? Will it include Seattle staples LT Walter Jones, QB Matt Hasselbeck, and Lofa Tatupu? Or will it be composed of the mostly unknowns MLB David Hawthorne, LB Will Herring, OG/C Steve Vallos?

Whoever ends up taking the field needs to keep one thing in mind, we need this game. After losing to the 49ers, the Seahawks are now tied with the Cardinals for second place in the NFC West.

While second place is a far cry better than last season, it isn’t what fans expected going into this season. With additions at wide reciever, defensive line, and a healthy unit, nothing but first place in the division was expected.

With the season only two weeks in, many fans are starting to jump ship. There is no need for the panic. One of the key differences with the injury problem this year compared to last is this seasons injuries are not season ending, yet. Midway through the season we could actually see all our starting players on the field with relitively fresh legs to close out the season. With this is mind, “The Replacements” we put on the field the next few weeks need only to hold down the fort.

Among some, holdin down the fort may mean not gettig blown out week-to-week, but in my opinion, holding down the fort means winning home games. We must protect this house.

I have complete confidence in a Seattle unit that is perhaps a little inexperinced, but at home the 12th Man should provide some necessary support. The 12th Man can only do so much. The Replacements must also learn from their mistakes. No more ridiculous angles when going for a tackle. No more blown coverages.

The key to the next few weeks is for each player to do their job and don’t bite off more than they can chew. Do this and starting this week we will be 2-1 and underrated at Qwest Field.

Hasselbeck’s Rib is Indeed Fractured, Other Injury News September 21, 2009

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Ryan Davish for The News Tribune reports Hasselbeck does in fact have a fractured rib. Seattle Head Coach Jim Mora started off his press conference with the news about Hasselbeck, but Mora didn’t say with any certainty what Hasselbeck’s status will be for their Week 3 game against the Chicago Bears.

If the most recent rib injury (Philadelphia’s QB McNabb) is any indication, Hasselbeck could expect to miss at least one week, if not more.

In other injury news, both LT Sean Locklear and CB Josh Wilson suffered high ankle sprains, according to Mora. This is terrible news, for players tend to miss six to eight weeks with such an injury.

Wait folks, that’s not all. On The Injury is Right game show, FB Justin Griffith COME ON DOWN!!! Griffith reportedly has a sprained MCL. The average time missed for this injury, 3-6 weeks.

Still no word on the other players who were on the injury list before the San Francisco game or Lofa Tatupu’s status. I’ll keep you posted, but if our luck is any indication, it doesn’t look promising.

Injury Report for Hasselbeck Jumping to Conclusions September 21, 2009

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A couple reports out there are reporting Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck has a fractured rib. According to Hasselbeck’s Twitter account, this could be a hasty accusation. Jason Romano tweet stating, “Just crossed our newswires – Medical tests determined Seahawks QB Matthew Hasselbeck has a fractured rib.” Hasselbeck refuted, tweeting, “@jasonromano wow, I haven’t even seen the docs yet!”

This all gets a bit confusing because of the fact an Adam Schefter report on Hasselbeck’s condition quoted Hasselbeck as tweeting, “Going to be alright. Thx to staff at Stanford … .” However, I cannot find this tweet on Hasselbeck’s Twitter page.

Injury situations are always complicated, and Twitter has only exacerbated the situation. Stay tuned for more news.

Seattle’s LB Leroy Hill Out Until November 1st September 16, 2009

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In devastating Seahawks news, LB Leroy Hill will be out of the lineup until Week 8. This is bad news for the Seattle defense but good news for Hill’s backup, Will Herring.

Herring is not a spectacular football player by any means, but he is efficient. His greatest asset is his ability to defend the pass from the LB position. Herring is young, with two season under his belt, so he will still has room to improve. I am guessing Herring will take full advantage of this opportunity and make some plays.

Week One in the Books September 15, 2009

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Week 1 of the 2009 NFL season is in the books, and it didn’t disappoint. Weather your team is one of the 16 teams with hopes of an undefeated season, or one of the 16 teams with fears of a Lionsesque 0-16 season, one thing can be said. This was a very exciting first week.

For myself, a lot of the excitement was due to how close some of these games were. There were a lot of teams that were supposed to do well (or do terrible), but ended playing pretty close games.

Some games of note: Jaguars at Colts was a close match up. Looking at seasons past, the Jaguars tend to play the Colts close in Indianapolis, then destroy them in Jacksonville. Go figure. Also of note, the Colts were the only AFC South team to win their opener.

Broncos at Bengals was quite possibly the game of the week. It was a lot closer than most would have guessed. The reason for the close game was Brandon Stokley. A consummate football player, Stokley should tremendous intelligence and perseverance to turn a definite Broncos’ loss into a Broncos’ win. On the other side of the ball, what is wrong with Carson Palmer. Palmer mustered a measly 61.0 QB rating against the Broncos. Going back to 2005 and including the first game of this season, Palmer’s QB ratings has dropped an average of 10 points each season. Not good.

Chiefs at Ravens wasn’t necessarily a close game, but it was a bit of a surprise. The surprise being how close a terrible Chiefs team played a dominate Ravens team. Of course these adjectives were placed in front of their names before the season began, but hardly anyone would have argued. This was a game showcasing excellent QB play. Brodie Croyle had passer rating of 116.1 (really?!), and Joe Flacco had a passer rating of 95.8. Not too shabby.

The 49ers bested the reigning NFC Champs 20-16 in another squeaker. Arizona’s inability to get into the endzone really hurt them. Sounds like the obvious, I know, but the Cardinals kicked three field goals and only got in for six once. Going back to 2004, NFC Champs are a disappointing 2-5 in their season openers. While they may have won the game, San Francisco managed a terrible 0.8 yards per carry on the ground. A disappointing sign for a team looking to pound the ball this season.

Monday night was a night for tight games. The Patriots barely eeked out a win against the hapless Buffalo Bills. Terrel Owes caught the ball twice for 46 yards. An unspectacular start for the eccentric wideout. The closing line for this game was New England by 13. Going back to 2006, New England has been favored by and average of 11.3 points per game for their season opener. In that span, they’ve only covered the spread once.

In other Monday night action, the Raiders showed they do in fact have a pulse. That much can’t be said for their owner, Al Davis. If they were to do a sequel to Weekend at Bernies 2, I think Al Davis would make the perfect Bernie. Track suit up Al! Even the lifeless corpse that is Al Davis can be a bit more optimistic about the Raiders this year. If the Raiders can limit the turnovers, maybe they’ll win a game or two.

You really can’t ask for much more out of the first week of football. There were close games, blowouts, exciting finishes, and plenty to talk about. My hat goes off to the 16 teams that started their seasons off right. My condolenceses to the 16 teams that started their season of on the wrong foot. Don’t worry though, there is plenty of football left to play!

What’s that? Ah — Predictions? Don’t talk about — predictions? You kidding me? Pridictions? September 10, 2009

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With the start of the NFL season mere hours away, it is time for some hard-hitting, top-notch, right on season predictions. These are the kind of predictions you can take to the bank. These are the kind of predictions that retire and stay retired.

AFC North – Baltimore Ravens

I went with Baltimore because picking Pittsburgh was just too easy. The Steelers and the Ravens had the first and second ranked defenses in the NFL last season. The Ravens were second fiddle because the lacked offensive prowess. Baltimore addressed their shortcomings during the off season by drafting OT Michael Oher. Look for QB Joe Flacco to take his team to the next level and win the division.

AFC East – Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins are in a prime position to establish themselves as top dog in the AFC East. New England was top dog, but I believe their stock has dropped after the loss of so many key defensive players (CB Ellis Hobbs, S Rodney Harrison, LB Tedy Bruschi, DE Richard Seymour). Meanwhile, Miami’s secondary improved immensely with the addition of CB Vontae Davis. The Wildcat just became a lot wilder with the addition of QB Pat White. Look for the Dolphins to continue thier end-of-the-regular-season heroics into the start of this season.

AFC South – Indianapolis Colts

The Colts had a bit of a down season last year. Down in the sense they lost to a terrible San Diego team in the Wild Card Round. Peyton Manning will have his team ready to take the division. He has to be a little tired of being the inferior Manning brother. The Titans will push the Colts, but I just don’t think we’ll see them dominate the way they did last season. Tennessee the number one seed in the AFC still feels like a bad dream. It was like 1999 all over.

AFC West – San Diego Chargers

Assuming a team actually wants to win this division, I think San Diego will take the cake. The other teams in the AFC West (Denver, Oakland, Kansas City) are so putrid that they should be forced to take a hiatus from the NFL. During said hiatus, Rodger Goodell should do a clean sweep of each club. Replace ownership (see ya Al “zheimer’s” Davis), can the coaching staff (Can you really call what Josh McDaniels is doing coaching), and scrap the players (NFLPA be damned). From there, give those clubs a couple compensatory picks in the upcoming draft. With an uncapped 2010 season, things should balance out and the clubs will be reborn.

AFC Wild Cards – Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans

These teams were good last year. I have a feeling they’ll make it to the postseason in a fashion befitting my favorite uno card, the wild card (Technically, my favorite uno card is the Draw Four Wild Card, but you get it.)

AFC Champions – Baltimore Ravens

Some would say I’m reaching here, and you’re probably right. I’m going with the Baltimore Ravens to win the AFC. Critics be damned. They’ve done enough to improve their offense. QB Joe Flacco will only improve (A healthy Todd Heap will help.). Their defense will be number one in the NFL this season. That is a winning combination. *swish* Count it!

NFC North – Chicago Bears

DA BEARS. DAAAAAAA BEARS. We will soon find out why Broncos Head Coach Josh McDaniels should have been reading Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” instead of pissing/running all his good players off. McDaniels is a prick. Lovie Smith is not. For that reason alone, the Bears will win the NFC north. If Minnesota cans the gerontology study testing the limits of an 85-year-old, post-menopausal, former NFL great/narcissist, the division might get interesting. If not, to the Bears go the spoils.

NFC East – Philadelphia Eagles

QB Michael Vick will pass for 5,000 yards and 37 touchdowns in his convoluted return to the NFL. Actually, Vick won’t do a damn thing except sit on the sideline and get QB Donovan McNabb a ice-cold Diet Pepsi Max. McNabb is a man, and men get what men want. This division will be one of the more intriguing in the NFL (it always is). I see a close competition between the Eagles and the Giants. By Week 14 we’ll know who the winner is, but I’m betting on the Philly to win this race(Yes, pun intended!).

NFC South – Drew Brees, oops!, New Orleans Saints

While Vick won’t throw for 5,000 yards, ever, Drew Brees will do it, again! First round selection CB Malcolm Jenkins will be starting by Week 3, helping to turn a sorry defense into one that is mediocre. When your offense scores 100 points a game, mediocre is good enough. The Panthers are of no consequence. Tampa Bay is rebuilding sans Chucky. Is Atlanta really an 11-5 team? I say nay. Now I just hope I get Brees in my upcoming Fantasy Draft!

NFC West – Seattle Seahawks

Could one say I’m biased? Yes, one could say that, but here are the facts. The Seahawks were decimated, nay the were obliterated by injuries last season. While 2009 isn’t off to the best start (LT Walter Jones, CB Marcus Trufant, C Chris Spencer, all out), it is a far cry better than how 2008 played out. On top of that tiny fact, Seattle brought in some top-notch talent in WR T.J. Whosyourmama (Houshmandzadeh), LB Arron Curry, and DT Colin Cole. Add a new blocking scheme to the mix (for the run game), and you have a recipe for success. Success, my friends, that will translate into double-digit wins and return to NFC West supremacy. Arizona will falter after Kurt Warner breaks a hip and Matt Lienart has to carry more than his jockstrap. San Francisco cannot sign their first round pick, let alone compete for the NFC West title. And, hmm, I know there is a fourth team in the NFC West. Isn’t there? Oh that’s right. The NFC West only has three teams, special exempt status. What was I thinking?

NFC Wild Cards – New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons.

New York because someone from New York has to make the playoffs or the NFL just cancels the postseason. Atlanta because they were good, and Matt Ryan is too cool for last names. First names only!

NFC Champions – Seattle Seahawks

Arron Curry will be Defensive Rookie of the Year. Matt Hasselbeck will win Offensive Player of the Year. Shaun Alexander will drop from the sky with the winged cleats of Mercury and tote the rock like it’s 2005. No seriously, who else is going to win the NFC? The Bears? The Eagles? Come on, get real.

Super Bowl Champions – Seattle Seahawks

Credibility not withstanding, if the Seahawks can stay healthy (espcially you, Hasselbeck), they can pull this off. My predictions have them pitted against the Ravens. Any team the Seahawks face will have a staunch defense. The Seahawks finally have the tools on offense to overcome any defense thrown their way. It will be a glorious day. The clouds will part, and Seattle will be basked in the diving light radiating from the football gods. All will be well in the world.

Do you think your team got slighted? Well they probably did. Let me know how you think the season will unfold.

Until next time, don’t sit too close to the TV. You’ll go blind and watching football blind is no fun at all.