John T. Georgopoulos
The Lowdown - Week 4

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Welcome to The Lowdown for Week 4. This is my little corner of the fantasy football universe—feel free to pull up a chair and stay a while!

Tampa Tempest

Last week I speculated that things were not going smoothly for Greg Schiano in Tampa, despite all the official denials. This week, we find that those denials were as legitimate as all those Clinton denials (take your pick of Bill or Hillary).

QB Josh Freeman was benched in favor of rookie Mike Glennon this week. Now, I’m no fan of Freeman’s— at the time he was drafted, I stated I thought the Bucs took him about four rounds too early. But his benching was a huge slap in the face; understandably, Freeman wants a trade. I think it’s unlikely a trade will happen; Freeman earns too much money and, let’s face it, he really isn’t all that good.

You have to wonder how Schiano’s handling of Freeman is affecting the team; not only is he disrupting any team cohesiveness which may have existed, he is painting himself as a huge jerk that doesn’t know how to coach grown men.

I’m still sticking with last week’s assertion that I expect Schiano to be let go at the end of the season; he’s simply too much of a jerk to be the head coach of an NFL team. If he’s lucky, he might be able to find work as a coordinator somewhere.

Next Time, Try DiGiorno

Lions’ leading receiver, WR Nate Burleson (that's right, look it up), suffered a broken arm this week in a car accident that was initiated by… a couple of pizzas.

Apparently, Burleson was driving with a couple of hot pizzas in the seat next to him; at some point, he stopped short. In an effort to protect his pizzas (as any noble gentleman would do), he stuck out his right arm to keep the pizzas from sliding off the seat. I don’t know what 'ol Nate likes on his pizzas, but it must’ve been something meaty because his act of valor ended up breaking his forearm.

But don’t worry, Lions’ fans: Burleson should be back sometime in November. Although, because the Lions’ IR-Return spot is already occupied by Monte Owens (who?), the Lions will have to essentially write off a roster spot while Burleson recuperates. Unless TE Brandon Pettigrew suddenly awakes from his slumber, Burleson may not be coming back to a contender.

False Hope

It’s amazing how many pundits will continue to hype their preseason picks, even in the face of impending doom. I’m talking about all those bobble heads that are trying to convince us that some 0-3 teams still have a shot at “turning it around”… specifically, the Redskins and Giants.

Unfortunately, Adrian Peterson’s amazing 2012 season set the bar for athletes returning from serious knee injuries—if Peterson could come back and be awesome so quickly, surely the same could be expected from Robert Griffin III, right? Wrong… in the first three games, it’s clear that the Redskins offense is mediocre (at best) without the 2012 version of RGIII at the helm. And, it’s not like anyone expected the defense to be good enough to keep games close. Without a 100% Griffin, the team’s lack of talent and depth is obvious—ironically, in part due to the heavy price they paid to acquire Griffin in last year’s draft.

As for the Giants, I expected their defense to be horrible—the loss of safety Stevie Brown and their annual neglect of the LB position are just too much to overcome. But it’s the fragility of the offense that has taken everyone by surprise: the offensive line stinks, the losses of Ahmad Bradshaw and Andre Brown have exposed David Wilson’s shortcomings (fumbles, lack of tough running, no blitz pickups), and Eli Manning’s regression to his “duck and chuck” ways. I know I’m alone on this one, but I have to put some of this on GM Jerry Reese: while he has made some solid draft choices, he’s always left his team without much depth and has simply ignored entire positions (like linebacker). Throw in his conservative approach in free agency and it’s easy to see how things have gone south for the G-Men.

On the bright side, the NFC East is so horrible that an 8-8 season might mean a division crown… but really, the Redskins and Giants could use a crappy season to reload in the 2014 Draft.

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