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Draft Needs: #12 Overall, Minnisota Vikings

Many of the Vikings woes last year can be placed on Favres shoulders.

Season Review: While for many of the teams picking in the top half of the draft, 2010 opened with a lot of hope, the Vikings didn’t make it to week one before cruel, crushing reality set in.  Brett Favre was supposed to repeat his magical 2009 performance, and the team as a whole was expected to get over the crippling interception Favre gift-wrapped to Tracy Porter in the NFC Title game.

As it turns out, getting that far would have been a miracle.  Those expectations began to wither as Favre spent yet another offseason creating drama, away from camps and his teammates.  Other Vikings followed suit, and training camp became a joke as entitlement dominated part of the locker room and alienated the rest, all while Brad Childress stood around and did… nothing.

Then Favre- predictably- came back, and the regular season started and… nothing.  Their only two wins in the first eight week of the season came against equally woeful Detroit and Dallas.  The offense was anemic and the defense porous.  While they were still alive in the playoff race fairly late in the season, and commentators and analysts tried to spin the possibility of a winning streak to close the season, anyone watch knew- it was over.  2011 begins with a new coach, (hopefully) the conclusion of the StarCaps legal battle, the possible retirement of cornerstones of the team, and finally- the end of Brett Favre.

Needs: The biggest is obviously Quarterback.  Their options on the roster are Travaris Jackson, Joe Webb, Patrick Ramsey and Rhett Bromar.  None of those names screams ‘starting NFL quarterback’.  However, they could also be severely depleted along the defensive line- the ‘Williams Wall’ is likely breaking up through a combination of free agency, suspension and retirement, and while Jared Allen and Ray Edwards are certainly a great pair of defensive ends, their production will drop without the Williams clogging up the middle.

However, if you enter the draft in desperate need of a quarterback, you take a quarterback.  Their options at #12 are likely Cam Newton (of Auburn, but you knew that), or Blaine Gabbert of Missouri.  It depends what new head coach Leslie Frazier wants to do, but with receivers Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin, not to mention a receiving tight end in Visanthe Shiancoe, and an established running game with Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart, they have no need of a scrambling quarterback.  They need someone who can stand in the pocket and evade pressure well enough to get the ball downfield.  Gabbert can do that.  He is somewhat raw, so there will be a transition period for him- but at least there will be a real reason for optimism after 2011.

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Welcome to First & Fifteens Draft needs series: For the teams outside the top 10, I am just going to preview their needs and who they might take, and drop the ‘what they will do’ part of it.  The draft is to fluid to predict who they will take- and lots of people try.  So what I will give you is a preview of team needs and what players should fill those needs.  I hope you enjoy!  On to the Texans:

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Super Bowl Thoughts

Another Super Bowl has come and gone, an excellent ending to an excellent year of football- let’s hope the CBA gets done and next year is as good.  So what did we see & learn yesterday?

I saved the best for last.  Yes, I think the Green Bay defense is better than the Pittsburgh defense.  Not across the board, every situation, but in the Super Bowl?  These guys get the job done.  Let’s examine:

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Season Review: As previously mentioned, I love the Washington Redskins.  Which, of course, means I hate Dan Snyder.  Actually, I don’t think hate even begins to cover it.  I hate mushrooms, lite beer and  people who drive to slow in the left lane.  Dan Snyder I want locked in a room with a TV that shows nothing but the last year of Redskins games on a loop.  The way that man- and I use the term loosely- has screwed every facet of this franchise is amazing.  I honestly believe Snyder is a huge Giants, Eagles or Cowboys fan and the only way he can help that team is by destroying a division rival.  So the season review is: There was a new coach who used to be good.  He sucks.  Overpriced free agents did not work out.  The ‘Skins are picking in the top 10.

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Where to start with this defense?  It is the end all, be all definitive of Pittsburgh football.  They play hard, they hurt you and the brains behind the brawn, Dick Lebeau, is second to none.  They face their largest challenge Sunday on the largest stage.  Are they equal to the task? View full article »

Season Review: As a Redskins fan, this gives me great pleasure to write: The Cowboys bombed. After a season started with widespread expectations of the first home-team Super Bowl, it quickly became apparent that even a playoff berth was questionable.  A dismal start to the season lead to Wade Phillips mid-season firing, and he was replaced by Jason Garrett.  My question is, why has no one questioned the fact that a Jason Garrett coordinated offense was inept, but when he made the move to head coach, it was suddenly dynamic?  MY money is on Garrett sabotaging the team badly enough to get Phillips canned, safe in the knowledge that he could run it effectively once he was promoted.  God, I hate the Cowboys.

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The Green Bay Packers came into the season with lofty expectations- A potent offense, a ball-hawking defense, and a young quarterback coming into his own was expected to carry this team to the Super Bowl.  And here they are, but certainly not by the road most expected them to take.

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I never watch the Pro Bowl, which is good, because no one really plays in it anyway.  This year was even worse, when the majority of the players who were actually voted into it managed to get out of it.  In addition, players from the two Super Bowl teams- the teams you expect to have the best players, right?- are excused.  How is this any good?  It’s not a representation of the best players in the NFL, it’s not a good game, it’s not worth anything.  At least Senior Bowl means something to the players involved.  The Pro Bowl doesn’t mean anything to the fans, the players or the coaches.  Just release the names of the players who made it, give them 20 grand and a week in Hawaii.  That’s basically what they get anyway.  Or make it a punt, pass and kick competition.  I might watch that.

Please stop pretending it means anything to anyone.  Just cut your losses and move on.