Speaking of which…

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    It’s the postseason!!!  Yay!!!

    Why aren’t you celebrating?  Oh, right.  There’s no meaningful football being played.

    With all apologies to the XFL, American football will always be associated with the NFL and will remain embedded as such in the minds of every fan who appreciates the game being played at its highest level.  Although these new fledgling leagues can be entertaining from a kitchy sort of perspective, the talent level simply isn’t much more engaging than watching your brother-in-law and his kids play streetball after Sunday brunch.  Die-hard football fans have expectations, and unless the new leagues are procuring talent equivalent to the NFL, they’re simply doomed to fail.  I confess to not having watched it during the inaugural (relaunch?) weekend, but the reports I’ve gotten seem to support that theory.   Speaking of which…

    I’m not sure how this differs from player acquisition practices in any sport.  After all, doesn’t everyone focus on “identifying competitive, high character and motivated players”?  Sure, excessive talent can sometimes supersede character concerns in player evaluation in the NFL; does anyone really think a league boosted by WWE mogul Vince McMahon wouldn’t do the same?  Take a look at any NFL franchise’s roster; there’s sure to be a few “troubled” individuals that were given a chance to redeem themselves.  Some do, some don’t, but if they made it to the NFL to begin with, the odds are that a particular GM chose to overlook their issues in favor of their talent.  Speaking of which…

    The Cleveland Browns are facing an interesting offseason from a character perspective.  In his first public actions as the Browns’ new GM, Andrew Berry reportedly addressed pending restricted free agent RB Kareem Hunt and WR Odell Beckham Jr. about their recent public conduct.  The Browns haven’t cut ties with either player (in Beckham’s case, a near-impossibility), but it remains to be seen what disciplinary routes they could choose to take in the wake of the upcoming draft.  Hunt’s a real talent, but his off-field stupidity is surely becoming worrisome to a franchise desperate to establish character.  Speaking of which…

    Browns DE Myles Garrett met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell yesterday to begin discussion regarding Garrett’s reinstatement from his indefinite suspension following his infamous “bonking” of Steelers QB Mason Rudolph with his own helmet during the closing minutes of a Thursday night game last November.  Garrett has been dutifully quiet during his suspension, presumably because he wants no interference with his return, and also because he seems to be a decent citizen off the field.  The Browns suffered much-reduced pass rush effectiveness in Garrett’s absence; needless to say, they’re certainly ready to welcome him back and turn the page on this admittedly bizarre incident.  Speaking of which…

    The latest reports regarding Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger’s recovery from in-season elbow surgery indicate he’s “early” in the rehab process and has reported no setbacks.  Given this information, one wonders what the Steelers’ mindset is regarding their quarterbacks in general.  Put simply, they know a healthy Roethlisberger offers them their best chance to win in 2020, but if soon-to-be 38 year-old “Big Ben” hasn’t recovered fully, the Steelers will have to go outside their comfort zone and perhaps sign a free agent to fill in.  After last season’s extended – and disappointing – tryouts for backup QBs Rudoph and Devlin “Duck” Hodges, it’s hard to imagine they won’t do something to upgrade at (insert cliches here) the game’s most important position, regardless of their insistence they’re satisfied.  The Steelers simply can’t go another season relying on their defense to do almost everything.  Speaking of which…

    The Ravens wisely locked up S Chuck Clark for three more years after his emergence as the team’s primary “green dot” defensive captain and chief playcaller.  It’s interesting to note fellow S Earl Thomas, the Ravens’ prized free agent acquisition in 2019, was apparently puzzled about why the Ravens wanted to sign him after meeting Clark; his knowledge and dedication to his craft are apparently that vital to the defense overall.  Good for Clark, who seemed to get better every week in 2019.  Here’s my best hopes for a long, fruitful career.  Speaking of which…

    The Bengals’ probable drafting of LSU QB Joe Burrow first overall in the upcoming draft is still being scrutinized in wake of their other substantial needs, but that supposedly won’t sway the front office either way.  This piece essentially confirms what everyone knows about the Bengals; they really do tend to operate with blinders on.  Given the vast amount of negative press the front office routinely receives, this shouldn’t be surprising – fans and haters alike have been lambasting owner Mike Brown’s miserly spending habits and resistance to change for decades.  Haven’t you wondered why the Bengals simply don’t change things to respond to obvious criticisms?  Now we know – they’re blissfully unaware of them.

    Enjoy the week!

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    Ravenous128

    All stories by: Ravenous128

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