PTI - Some pre-season issues
Ian Beckles often interjects his excellent show on WDAE 620, with some delightful insights into his decade playing in the NFL. Great stories about training camp pranks (the Marcus Jones one being the best), training field fights (Tyji Armstrong losing on points to Hardy Nickerson) and other moments from seven years with the Buccaneers.
But Ian also made a superb comment about people predicting stardom for various rookies on the Bucs' current roster. Bulletin boards are full of "Stovall is a steal" and "Zemaitis is a future starter". And it's baloney.
How much footage has the average fan seen of each of our rookies? Come on, be honest - ask yourself the same question. Probably the same two or three plays that ESPN ran on draft day.
And as Ian astutely pointed out, if you had shown his best three blocks from his senior year at Indiana, no way he goes in the 5th round of the 1990 draft but first overall pick.
The Buccaneer scouts and coaches will have watched every play from every game last season. If Davin Joseph took a play off here and there, they will know. If Maurice Stovall cuts off his routes early once a drive when it's a screen to the opposite side, they will have it noted. These guys know what they are doing and are simply so more knowledgable on the subject than anyone else (Mel Kiper included), it's not even worth trying to compete.
You know when it's the start of pre-season because Ty Law signs a one-year contract somewhere in the NFL. This is of course after six months of him telling everyone who would listen, that he wanted a $10M signing bonus and multi-year contract. So Ty signs something "interim" and tells everyone still listening that "they fought the Law and the Law won".
Winner of this month's "Crap British journalism" award is Paul Hayward of The Daily Mail. Having decided to make fun of some of the names in the Open golf championship, he turned to a list of NFL players for a cheap laugh and included the likes of Daunte Culpepper and LaDanian Tomlinson. But he then gave the ultimate name award to Cadillac Williams. Err, earth to Paul Hayward - Cadillac is his nickname you moron.
From the "who gives a monkey's" category comes the news that Terrell Owens has produced an autobiography. Sorry, some muppet of a journalist has listened to Owens mouthing off for a couple of hours and has ghost-written the said book. And it apparently it's full of all the usual rubbish that Owens spouts on a daily basis, provoking trouble, and then wondering why everyone has it in for him. But someone like Owens will never ever get it.
Worst Drown magazine
And if it's pre-season time, then some ex NFL Europe tailback will rush for 60 yards against an opposing 5th string defense in the 4th quarter of the opening game and Worst Drown magazine will immediately annoint this player as the future star of the NFL and why NFL Europe is such a success. And two weeks later, said player will get cut.
You've been great - enjoy the Clash.
Paul Stewart, July 2006.