The Super Bowl is near and as usual I’m ready for it way before it starts. I’ve tried my best to stay away from the hype, but it will be hard come the weekend. I really want to hear more about how Hank Baskett thinks his wife is hotter than Reggie Bush’s girlfriend. And how many times Dwight Freeney was asked about his ankle at one setting (96 if you were wondering). And I’m really glad that TMZ is there so I can know exactly what time players leave clubs. So I’m hoping to catch up on It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia and maybe buy a fish tank instead of hearing more about Reggie Wayne’s neglected snake (no this isn’t going to be a Greg Oden post).
Here are some tasty morsels from around the league:
Brett Favre: After the Favre lost in the NFC championship game he made sure someone took a picture of his grotesque ankle so he could frame it, and I guess, place it over his mantle. I am of two minds when it comes to these photos. Yes, it’s amazing that he could play effectively with that deformed ankle, but at the same time, why do we need photos of it? To prove how tough you are? To show that if you hadn’t been hurting the outcome might have been different? To elevate the Favrestique to God-like proportions? Get over yourself Brett, you are great, but until you cut a finger off so you can play, keep your injury-porn to yourself.
Jay Cutler: It’s hard not to like Jay Cutler next season with Mike Martz coming in as offensive coordinator. Cutler had a horrific year on many levels, but still ended up as the 12th best fantasy quarterback, ahead of the likes of future Hall of Famer Kurt Warner. I don’t have faith in Cutler as a leader and I’m not betting on him to be the Bears’ savior, but Martz’s track record for making quarterbacks fantasy studs is too good. He took a 34 year old Jon Kitna of the Detroit Lions and made him a 4,000 yard quarterback which gave Roy Williams over 1300 yards receiving and defensive back Mike Furrey over a thousand yards! This bodes well for Hester, Aromashodu, Knox, and even Forte who will be catching a lot of passes, but it doesn’t bode well for young Mr. Greg Olsen. Martz must have been diddled by a tight end in his formative years, because his offense is where TE’s go to die.
Dwight Freeney: He probably won’t practice all week and then he’ll test his ankle on Sunday to see if he can go. I reckon we’ll see him play on third downs for as long as he can and then come out as his ankle slowly expands to Favre proportions.
Jerome Harrison: The Browns GM doesn’t think Harrison has the size to be the main back in Cleveland, but didn’t have any trouble with him being overused in the last few games because he was the Browns only decent player. Maybe they should worry about getting a quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, and an upgrade at every position on the team before worrying about Harrison. They could go out looking for a larger back or give James Davis more work to offset the toll on Harrison. But I still think it’s Harrison’s job to lose and as long as he stays healthy he should get the bulk of the carries.
Jeremy Shockey: He practiced yesterday and looks like he will play and most probably injure himself again while celebrating a 10 yard gain on 3rd and 15.
Michael Vick: He says he is a top 10 quarterback and the Eagles say they want to keep him for next season. Both lies. Vick should believe he’s that good, but no way do the Eagles plan on keeping him as a high paid third string QB. The Rams are looking like the front runner in the Mike Vick sweepst . . . uh, baby shower bingo. Vick would have to be an upgrade over the craptastic law firm of Bulger, Boller and Null. Even if he retains his erratic QB’ing skills his legs and ability to air it out will help free up Steven Jackson.
Brandon Marshall: Josh McDaniels tipped his hand when he sat Marshall down for the last game of the season. Everybody and their dog knows that Marshall is out of there. Couple that with his history of ass-like attitude, or assitude, they will have to give away a player who just had 101 receptions and 10 touchdowns.
Wes Welker: He just had surgery on his knee because the swelling had to go down before plunging the scalpel in. All realistic timetables for his full recovery have him coming back mid-season even though he seems to think he’ll jump off the operating table and do cartwheels all the way home. Trying to project next season’s playing time for Julian Edelman and Wes Welker will be tough. If the team and Edelman are doing well, they will probably make sure Welker is 110% before letting him play, which would probably involve a time machine of sorts.
Matt Leinart: It doesn’t look like the Cardinals will look for another QB to compete for the starting job this off season. Ken Whisenhunt has given Leinart the thumbs up and they will live and die with him. Leinart flashed some ability in preseason and there is no way they will give him the same responsibilities as Warner. With Wells showing signs of running back goodness and Boldin possibly being traded, we will see a much more balanced offense out of Arizona. Whiz took a young quarterback in Roethlisberger far and could do the same with Leinart, but don’t expect huge numbers from him just because he plays for the Cardinals.
Clinton Portis: He still hasn’t been cleared to think too hard due to his last concussion. Even if the Redskins keep him they will have to find some insurance because there is no way he plays a whole season. Willis McGahee is probably looking pretty good to them about now.