Must Pay Pat Kirwan By The Word,

>> Saturday

because otherwise, there's no excuse for an article this worthless being published in any forum that purports itself as a sports site. Except this one. But, I'm gonna make fun of it, so it's okay. Also, Pat Kirwan looks like Magnum P.I., which is irrelevant but funny nonetheless.

Anyway, Pat Kirwan wrote a column of snippets about the NFL Draft for recently, and I gotta tell you, it's not his best work. Well, actually, it might be, but I'm not too familiar with Pat Kirwan's work.

We're off!

(May 1, 2006) -- The 2006 draft is over and only time will tell which teams had a successful draft. Actually, the right time to analyze this draft is at the end of the 2009 season, but for now it is time to make a few observations about draft weekend.

Original draft of this paragraph: "Nothing I will tell you is worth a shit, but please read on anyway despite knowing that everything after this sentence is completely unsubstantiated conjecture."

Radio City Music Hall: An excellent venue for the draft. A great setting for the fans in the hall and room for the two TV networks to broadcast and give their takes on the proceedings. And by the attendance on Sunday, a reason to continue to stay at Radio City.

Why the hell would anyone care about anything he just said? Is the staff at Radio City Music Hall the target audience for this piece? If so, is this Pat Kirwan's way of telling them 'good job?' Actually, it might be, because the target audience of this column certainly isn't anyone who knows anything about or is interested in football, I'll tell you that. I can't ever remember watching the draft and thinking, "man, the NFL really dropped the ball with the venue selection this year. Clowns."

It appeared that more teams are setting up their draft boards with needs in mind.

How would you like them to set up their draft boards? Listing a bunch of baseball and basketball players, perhaps? What about my needs, Pat? I need you to write articles that don't make me spend my valuable time (lie) writing about how much you suck at your job.

Consequently, the variations on draft boards is greater than ever and so we are surprised where certain players are taken. For example, Donte Whitner is an excellent fit for the Bills, yet many people felt they could get him lower in the draft. Not if no one is willing to trade with you when it's your pick!

Read the last sentence of that paragraph again. That, kids, is what we call in the literate community a 'fragment.' In addition to that grammatical snafu, the sentence itself doesn't make any sense and has nothing to do with what he said before it.

And - Pat, what's with the '!'? Remember, it's not "top of the muffin to you!"

There are a number of decision-makers in the NFL who are young enough to not have any experience in the NFL world in the pre-Collective Bargaining Agreement era. These people only know the world in which veteran players can be lost or gained in the weeks leading up to the draft.

Is there a gag order in the NFL that demands that nobody is allowed to tell these young folks about what went on before the Collective Bargaining Agreement era? Also, just because they weren't working in the NFL before the system changed, does that preclude them from having followed football before it was their job? Explain yourself, Tom Selleck.

They have only worked in an environment that has had a salary cap and have witnessed very good players shown the door for financial reasons rather than skill reasons.

Well, it's kinda good that they have a firm understanding of how that whole system works. Ya know, cuz, like, that's how it still functions, and you'd assume that these people would need a pretty solid grasp of the nature of the business in order to do their jobs.

Then again, you'd also assume you'd have to have something interesting to say about football in order to write for Bottom line: assumptions are dangerous, kids.

Athletes and specialty plays: Let's call it the "Antwaan Randle El factor." The Super Bowl broke wide open when Randle El (a former college quarterback) took a reverse handoff, came around to his right, and threw a pass to Hines Ward for a Steelers touchdown.

I have a better idea. Let's call it the "trick play that happened to work factor." While discussing this factor, let's also ignore the fact that trick plays are basically the equivalent to the hit and run in baseball (see FJM for a good description of this). High risk, rarely successful gimmicks that make you look really smart if they actually work and really stupid when they don't (ask my old man about the Packers' use of the reverse for a more in-depth, more profane analysis of this).

Stay in school (unless you are a going on the first day): Coming out of school early is great if your name is Mario Williams, Reggie Bush, Vince Young, Vernon Davis or any of the other first-round selections.

Note to college athletes: change your name immediately to Mario Williams, Reggie Bush, Vince Young or Vernon Davis. This whole paragraph is really stupid because it can be totally undermined by considering the whole "hindsight is 20/20" axiom. I'm sure most of the kids that came out early thought that they'd be going a lot higher than they did.

Random College Athlete: "I'm leaving school early to declare for the draft."
College Coach: "You can't."
RCA: "Why?"
CC: "Because, your name isn't Mario Williams, Reggie Bush, Vince Young or Vernon Davis, idiot."
RCA: "Screw it, I'm leaving anyway because I have no misconceptions about my talent and no money-grubbers close to me are feeding me misinformation about how early I will be selected."

Big emphasis on special teams: Coaches around the NFL have always been aware of the importance of special teams, but this draft demonstrated that importance with the commitment to special team players, return men and kickers/punters. The Redskins got a great special teams player when they traded up for Rocky McIntosh in the second round and Chicago wasted no time taking return man Devin Hester in the second round.

Or, you could look at it like this: Rocky McIntosh has a good chance to start for the Redskins at linebacker and the Bears made a total reach when they selected a player that has no position on either offense or defense in the second round.

The 3-4 defense in search of outside linebackers: Remember when the Steelers were one of the only teams running the 3-4 defense? They were out looking for those "tweeners" to play outside linebacker and loved all the undersized defensive ends the 4-3 teams didn't want to draft. Now we have 10 teams in some form of a 3-4 scheme and those tweeners go fast in the draft. Cleveland grabbed Kamerion Wimbley (No. 13), Dallas selected Bobby Carpenter (No. 18), the 49ers were quick to pick Manny Lawson (No. 22) and before you knew it, the pool had dried up.

Equally valid 'observation':

NFL offenses are in search of quarterbacks: Remember when the 1845 Iowa Zephyrs (ok, I made that up) were one of the only teams employing a quarterback? They were out looking for those "guys who wanted to throw the ball and goose the center" and loved all the players who could throw the ball well that teams who only played defense and kicked off didn't want to draft. Now we have 32 teams in some form of an 'offense' and those quarterbacks go fast in the draft. Tennessee grabbed Vince Young (No. 3), Arizona selected Matt Leinart (No. 10), the Broncos were quick to pick Jay Cutler (No. 11) and before you knew it, the pool of highly rated quarterbacks had dried up.

See, it's easy to say stuff if you don't worry about it actually making any damn sense.

Setting up for the future: The Philadelphia Eagles have always done a great job of drafting now with an eye on the future. A few years ago, they drafted two corners and two years later released their high-priced veteran corners in a smooth transition. It appears more teams are committed to that kind of philosophy than ever before and I can't help but wonder about a few early selections.

Am I mistaken, or is Pat Kirwan marveling at the way teams draft with the future in mind? Does he expect them to draft guys and then say, "Man, this guy would have kicked ass 5 years ago!"? Pat Kirwan baffles me. Also the phrase "that kind of philosophy?" What does that mean? The philosophy of drafting players that will help your team win on a date sometime after the moment in which you selected him?

Anyway, that's enough for this post. I think reading Pat Kirwan is making me a little bit crazy.

Top of the muffin to ya!


Vinnie 3:57 PM  

"Radio City Music Hall: An excellent venue for the draft. A great setting for the fans in the hall and room for the two TV networks to broadcast and give their takes on the proceedings. And by the attendance on Sunday, a reason to continue to stay at Radio City."

Find a single independent clause in that paragraph. Also, it sounds like a travel brochure.

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