Blog Entry

Coach Killers, Week 12: beware of untested QBs

Posted on: November 29, 2011 1:00 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 1:00 pm
  •  
 
Coach Killers is your weekly look around the league at those performances, decisions and "Wait, what did he just do?!" moments that put the guy in charge squarely on the ol' hot seat.

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Steve Johnson, Bills

First things first: we have absolutely no issue with Stevie Johnson's touchdown skit. Up till the moment he fell to the ground, at which point it became a 15-yard penalty for excessive celebration. Prior to that, it was original and funny, two things we could use more of in the staid environs of Roger Goodell's NFL.

We can't take our eyes off the cousin Eddie-inspired dickie.
In fact, the biggest travesty -- outside of the way Johnson played on the final drive -- was the mock incredulity and sanctimony from folks who found the dance offensive (Looks at Bob Costas, who we've taken to calling "Sprockets" after that black mock turtleneck number from Sunday night) because Johnson was making fun of Plaxico Burress, who accidentally shot himself in the leg three years ago.

Here's the thing: Plax shot himself in the leg three years ago. It's not like Johnson was making fun of someone with a special-needs child, or a cancer survivor. He was clowning a dude who carried a gun to a night club, and inadvertently put a bullet in his thigh.

Oh, he also served nearly two years for the incident, on concealed weapons charges.


Buffalo Bills WR Stevie Johnson mocks Plaxico Burress' gun incident during a touchdown celebration against the New York Jets on Sunday.

To recap: Johnson's TD dance: hilarious. Getting a 15-yard penalty: not hilarious. Dropping a perfect pass from Fitzpatrick on the Bills' last drive, one that would've given the Bills the lead: unacceptable, especially if you're going to mock the opposition.

Johnson apologized immediately after the game, which doesn't change the final score.

"I was just having fun, and part of having fun ended up being a penalty and a touchdown for the Jets," he said. "It was a stupid decision by myself."

Head coach Chan Gailey, doing everything in his power not to blow a gasket with the cameras rolling, said "I think it was wrong. I told him so. What I hate is that game is remembered for his one action rather than a lot of good things he did in the game. I told him where I stand on it, and he knows exactly."

When asked about possible sanctions against Johnson, Gailey added: "If I were to discipline everybody (for dumb mistakes), there wouldn't be any players or coaches out there. Everybody makes mistakes."

On Monday, ESPN's Merril Hoge went so far as to suggest that Gailey should cut Johnson for his selfish behavior. That ain't happening because despite Johnson's horrible timing, as ProFootballTalk.com's Michael David Smith pointed out on Monday's Pick-6 Podcast, Johnson is one of the few players who made Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis look human in coverage.


Burress, for his part, seemed unaffected by Johnson's end zone interpretive dance.

"I've seen worse, and I've heard worse," said Burress, who spent nearly two years in an upstate New York prison. "So, it doesn't bother me at all. The result I'm looking at is we won the football game ... and he turned around and dropped three wide-open balls to lose it for his team."

Curtis Painter, Colts

At this point, 11 games into the season and still searching for their first win, we're probably piling on. But the Colts don't have to be oh-fer-'11. Not only did they look like a proper football team against the Panthers Sunday, they had a legitimate chance to win an actual football game.

And then Curtis Painter, unable to get out of his own way, derailed those plans with two ill-timed throws -- both interceptions -- during a four-minute span late in the fourth quarter with Indianapolis trailing by eight points.

The first pick came at the Carolina four-yard line with four and a half minutes to go. After the Colts' defense forced a three-and-out, Painter led an 11-play drive that ended with another interception, this time in the Panthers' end zone with 35 seconds remaining.

It's impossible to imagine a scenario that would have Indy sitting at 0-11, even without Peyton Manning. And yet here we are. Painter Bears little of the responsibility for the organization's current predicament; that falls squarely at the feet of Bill Polian and Chris Polian, the architects of the current roster. That doesn't make the latest loss any easier to take.

"I don't know what you can call beyond frustrated," defensive end Robert Mathis said, via the Indianapolis Star.

And head coach Jim Caldwell, who could be looking for work after the season, leaned on feel-good bromides to get him through the latest defeat.

"You can't complain after the ballgame's over," he said. "You've just got to find a way to make it happen. …One of the things you'd like to do is give yourself a chance to win, that you're there at the end and it's just a matter of a play made here or there. I think we did that, but our goal is to win."

If you say so, Jim. We're guessing in your end-of-year meeting with owner Jim Irsay, aspiring to win won't be enough.

Caleb Hanie, Bears

There were certainly worse performance in Week 12, but the absolute worst play, in our estimation, had to be Hanie's delayed fake spike with seconds on the clock and the Bears trailing by five points. The thing is, a delayed fake spike isn't like your run-of-the-mill spike to stop the clock. Turns out, it's intentional grounding. Either you can fake the spike and throw the ball (made famous by Dan Marino), or, you know, actually spike it and stop the clock.

                                           HOW TO vs. HOW NOT TO PROPERLY EXECUTE THE FAKE SPIKE


‘‘We didn’t have any fakes or anything like that,’’ Hanie said afterwards. ‘‘That was just my fault." Forced into duty after Jay Cutler broke his thumb against the Chargers, Hanie also threw three first-half interceptions, which lead to this post-game observation. "It's just not a good time to have a learning experience."

Not helping Hanie's chances for success: offensive coordinator Mike Martz, the man who said he had no intentions of asking Hanie to be Kurt Warner (we thought that went without saying). Martz, it turns out, also had no intentions of crafting a game plan for an inexperienced backup.

Our good buddy Matt Snyder, CBSSports.com's Eye on Baseball blogger and diehard Bears fan, was pretty worked up with Hanie's third interception. Not because it happened near the Raiders' end zone, or that it resulted in three Oakland points before the half, but because Martz had Hanie sprint right before throwing a screen pass to his left across the field. It's not an easy play for veterans well-versed in the offense, never mind a kid making his first NFL start.

Tyler Palko, Chiefs

One word to describe Palko's play the last two weeks: mesmerizing. Clearly, we don't mean that in a "Stop what you're doing, Devin Hester's about to return a punt!" way. More like "Stop what you're doing, spectacular train wreck ahead." And Palko didn't disappoint. He's left-handed, and his throwing motion is reminscent of Tim Tebow's. The difference? Tebow has eight touchdowns to one interception. Palko has six picks in two games. Tebow also has better arm strength and is more accurate.

Tebow also doesn't blame his intended target whenever a pass invariably finds the unintended target, which is exactly what Palko did on three separate occasions Sunday night against the Steelers. It's one thing for a receiver to run the wrong route, or for miscommunication to lead to mistakes. But you watch these throws (here and here) and tell me how anybody but Palko is at fault.

But it was the Chiefs' final offensive play that proved to be the worst. Trailing 13-9 and with about 30 seconds to go, Kansas City was driving. And then Palko happened. Yep, another pick, this time to Steelers cornerback Keenan Lewis. After the play, NBC color analyst Cris Collinsworth thought Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe quit on the play.

You can judge for yourself below, but here's what we're thinking: the ball was so horribly off-target that Bowe went up, realized that he had absolutely no chance to get a finger on it much less catch it, and decided to protect himself. We have no problem with that. Bowe's career shouldn't hinge on the erratic whims of Palko's arm. As NFL Network's Deion Sanders pointed out Sunday night, Palko's the type of quarterback the opposing team make sure gets to the game. "You send a limo for him," Primetime said.


Palko's third and final interception Sunday night. Yep, that was his fault, too.

Facial Hair Fails

This has absolutely nothing to do with job security, but we noticed a sudden influx of mustachioed NFL players (or in Ricky Stanzi's case, hippies) over the weekend. (Click photos to see our best guess at their inspirations.)


For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
  •  
Comments

Since: May 26, 2007
Posted on: December 1, 2011 4:59 am
 

Coach Killers, Week 12: beware of untested QBs

Ok, so i just watched the clip of Tyler Palko's last throw to Dewayne Bowe: that was a joke. The commentators were none to bright either.

Best i can tell, Bowe was running either a deep post route or a skinny post. Either way, he's over the middle of the field against some of the better safeties in the league. For a QB to be successful on this type of throw, he has to step up in the pocket, drive the ball, and fit it into a very tight window.

Palko did none of these. That ball is a good 3 yards behind Bowe. Bowe went up for the ball where he did becanleuse he certainly didn't expect the ball 3 yards behind him. When there was no ball, he had to defend himself from a rib-shattering hit. No, he didn't reach for the ball because A. he couldn't reach it anyways and B. he was more concerned about being exposed in the air and coming down in one piece. Unless it comes out Bowe made his cut his route inside too much, this one is completely on Palko.

On the topic of backup QBs in general, I think this year more than any other should demonstrate to teams how important it is to have an experienced and capable backup on the roster. For exhibit A i look no further than the Indianapolis Colts, currently sitting at 0-11, largely because of the lack of a capable QB under center with Peyton Manning out. Exhibit B1 and B2 would be the Oakland Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs respectively. When Jason Campbell went down, they turned to Kyle Boller only to find out he couldn't handle the job. In the end, they ended up shipping a king's ransom to the Bengals for Carson Palmer. That move may pay off, but at the same time the Raiders do have several holes that those draft choices could fill had they had a capable backup on the roster. Kansas City lost starter Matt Cassel for the season, and due to the lack of a backup with real NFL experience were forced to start Tyler Palko and put in a waiver claim on Kyle Orton to the tune of $2.5M over the next 5 games. Granted, I think this move will pay off too, as I think Orton can succeed in their system and could actually challenge Cassel for the starting job next season if retained. Exhibit Cwould be the Bears, who at one time had an experienced veteran backup. The Bears had Todd Collins last year, and while he did not do well in Martz system showed over his career to be a decent backup. With so many of these teams sputtering with a backup QB, would it not be clear to NFL front offices that it might be in their best interest to fork out some money to a veteran backup?

Now lets look at some of the best backup situations in the league. In my opinion, the Steelers have probably got the best backup situation in the league. Behind starter Ben Roethlisberger they have Charlie Batch-a highly experienced former starter who has proven to be a more than capable backup who can win games while not forcing drastic alterations to the offense. Behind him is Dennis Dixon, a young QB that has had a couple years to learn behind Roethlisberger and Batch and has played well when asked to. On IR for the Steelers is Byron Leftwhich, another player who has shown to be a capable backup during his time with the team. That is a deep group of backups. Any one of them is better than any of the backups listed earlier. Following close behind Pittsburgh is the other team in Pennsylvania, the Eagles. With Vince Young and Mike Kafka backing up starter Michael Vick, this team is set if their top 2 guys go down. Kafka has gotten little playing time in the regular season, but he's shown himself to be a talented young player who could garner some interest in the trade market or free agency. Next up on the list of teams with good backups would be a technical tie between the Bengals and the Lions, though i think the Lions get a very slight edge. The Lions field Shaun Hill behind their starter, and Hill has produced his share of 300+ yard games in his career and doesn't make many mistakes. Behind Hill is Drew Stanton, who has rarely seen the field. However, he has, which is why they get a very slight edge over the Bengals. The Bengals backup is another experienced veteran in Bruce Gradkowski, a QB I very much admire because of the fact he is just a gamer who will lay it all on the line to win. However, their depth behind Gradkowski is suspect, so they slip behind the Lions.






Since: May 26, 2007
Posted on: December 1, 2011 4:57 am
 

Coach Killers, Week 12: beware of untested QBs

Ok, so i just watched the clip of Tyler Palko's last throw to Dewayne Bowe: that was a joke. The commentators were none to bright either.

Best i can tell, Bowe was running either a deep post route or a skinny post. Either way, he's over the middle of the field against some of the better safeties in the league. For a QB to be successful on this type of throw, he has to step up in the pocket, drive the ball, and fit it into a very tight window.

Palko did none of these. That ball is a good 3 yards behind Bowe. Bowe went up for the ball where he did becanleuse he certainly didn't expect the ball 3 yards behind him. When there was no ball, he had to defend himself from a rib-shattering hit. No, he didn't reach for the ball because A. he couldn't reach it anyways and B. he was more concerned about being exposed in the air and coming down in one piece. Unless it comes out Bowe made his cut his route inside too much, this one is completely on Palko.

On the topic of backup QBs in general, I think this year more than any other should demonstrate to teams how important it is to have an experienced and capable backup on the roster. For exhibit A i look no further than the Indianapolis Colts, currently sitting at 0-11, largely because of the lack of a capable QB under center with Peyton Manning out. However, they seem to be in prime position to draft Andrew Luck and have him behind Manning for a year or two. He might not have experience, but i'm inclined to believe he'd be better than Curtis Painter. Exhibit B1 and B2 would be the Oakland Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs respectively. When Jason Campbell went down, they turned to Kyle Boller only to find out he couldn't handle the job. In the end, they ended up shipping a king's ransom to the Bengals for Carson Palmer. That move may pay off, but at the same time the Raiders do have several holes that those draft choices could fill had they had a capable backup on the roster. Kansas City lost starter Matt Cassel for the season, and due to the lack of a backup with real NFL experience were forced to start Tyler Palko and put in a waiver claim on Kyle Orton to the tune of $2.5M over the next 5 games. Granted, I think this move will pay off too, as I think Orton can succeed in their system and could actually challenge Cassel for the starting job next season if retained. Exhibit Cwould be the Bears, who at one time had an experienced veteran backup. The Bears had Todd Collins last year, and while he did not do well in Martz system showed over his career to be a decent backup. With so many of these teams sputtering with a backup QB, would it not be clear to NFL front offices that it might be in their best interest to fork out some money to a veteran backup?

Now lets look at some of the best backup situations in the league. In my opinion, the Steelers have probably got the best backup situation in the league. Behind starter Ben Roethlisberger they have Charlie Batch-a highly experienced former starter who has proven to be a more than capable backup who can win games while not forcing drastic alterations to the offense. Behind him is Dennis Dixon, a young QB that has had a couple years to learn behind Roethlisberger and Batch and has played well when asked to. On IR for the Steelers is Byron Leftwhich, another player who has shown to be a capable backup during his time with the team. That is a deep group of backups. Any one of them is better than any of the backups listed earlier. Following close behind Pittsburgh is the other team in Pennsylvania, the Eagles. With Vince Young and Mike Kafka backing up starter Michael Vick, this team is set if their top 2 guys go down. Kafka has gotten little playing time in the regular season, but he's shown himself to be a talented young player who could garner some interest in the trade market or free agency. Next up on the list of teams with good backups would be a technical tie between the Bengals and the Lions, though i think the Lions get a very slight edge. The Lions field Shaun Hill behind their starter, and Hill has produced his share of 300+ yard games in his career and doesn't make many mistakes. Behind Hill is Drew Stanton, who has rarely seen the field. However, he has, which is why they get a very slight edge over the Bengals. The Bengals backup is another experienced veteran in Bruce Gradkowski, a QB I very much admire because of the fact he is just a gamer who will lay it all on the line to win. However, their depth behind Gradkowski is suspect, so they slip behind the Lions.

So, am I saying every team needs to drop 5M/yr on a backup QB who might never see the field? Not necessarily, but I am advocating that teams examine their roster and see if they could win without their QB. For a team like the Raiders or the Bears that have other strengths such as defense, special teams, or a strong running game, they can probably get by with a relatively inexperienced backup in the short term. However, they should evaluate both short-term and long-term (say a 2 week absence by the starter or an 8 week absence) and determine their plan. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to ship a fourth round pick or so to a team like the Steelers for one of their backups. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to offer young guy like Mike Kafka a contract with a chance to compete for the starting job knowing he will likely be the backup. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to spend a higher pick on a QB than you were planning to have a more capable guy behind your superstar starter. I don't know, but I know this: ticket sales and ratings hurt when the games are basically garbage time.




Since: May 31, 2007
Posted on: November 29, 2011 4:30 pm
 

Coach Killers, Week 12: beware of untested QBs

but we noticed a sudden influx of mustachioed NFL players
During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in Canada and around the world. With their “Mo’s”, these men raise vital funds and awareness for men's health, specifically prostate cancer.

Courtesy of  - Canada or

And your really feeling bored you can check out mine - ... And maybe donate to the cause

*On average men live 4-5 years less than women
*1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime
* 25,500 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year in Canada

I wouldn't normally post but appearantly not everyone knows.

Go Browns



Since: Mar 23, 2011
Posted on: November 29, 2011 1:49 pm
 

Coach Killers, Week 12: beware of untested QBs

Stazni SOOOOOOO looks like Adam Morrison circa his Gonzaga Bulldog daze...







The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com