Not So Chipper – Have you ever had a fantasy team that you knew was good and everyone else knew was good but the more you looked at it, you just knew you could make it better? No one else can see the flaws but you can. They are glaring. So what do you do? You start tinkering with it. You make a little trade here. You drop a player and add a new one there. However, those additions just create other holes so then you continue tinkering, moving players around, trying to find that one perfect combination that will finally make you satisfied.
Then after so much tinkering you get to a point where you know you aren’t really happy with this team you created. It looks nothing like the very good team you had before but now what can you do? You convince yourself this is the team you always wanted and convince everyone around you that the decisions you made that led you to this point were the right ones and while things might be a little rough now, the path to success is within reach. We’ve all been there and Chip Kelly is there right now.
The Irony is Lost – The Seahawks and Packers have both been two of the more dominant teams in the NFC over the past few years which makes the games they play against one another must-see television. We all of course remember the “Fail Mary” play a few years back which the Seahawks were major beneficiaries of. Forgetting one of the bigger blunders in officiating history, Seahawks Pete Carroll launched into a radio interview chastising the refereeing in the Sunday Night match up in Green Bay. Carroll believes the refs made a huge mistake in not awarding the Seahawks the ball after the 4th quarter fumble after the mad scrum. Pete doubled-down and complained further suggesting the refs were wrong in ejecting KJ Wright for retaliating on Richard Rodgers for his touchdown trash talk as well as pointing out a possible interpretation on an off-sides call that netted the Packers a 50-yard pass interference gain. In the end, there is no love lost between these two franchises and we all hope they can meet one more time in the playoffs. Unfortunately for Pete Carroll, his team is 0-2 and they need to start worrying about bigger things than the calls the referees are making.
When the Levy Breaks – When the term “Chilean Parasite” is used to describe why a player on your team is missing games, maybe this just isn’t your season. Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy loves to live life to the fullest and he’s no stranger to exotic and adventurous pastimes. Levy has sledded down a volcano, walked on the wings of a bi-plane, climbed mountains and combed Death Valley in a dune buggy. Unfortunately for the Lions, who signed the Pro-Bowl linebacker to a big money deal just before the season, he has yet to play a snap. The official word is Levy has been dealing with a hip injury but rumors are starting to swirl suggesting that Levy has been poisoned by one of his off-season adventures. This summer Levy traveled to South America and allegedly contracted a parasite in Chile which may be causing a mysterious disease. Broaching this subject at a press conference, Lions coach Jim Caldwell defaulted to his emotionless stare and no comment responses. While the team is not addressing the rumors directly, Levy’s agent has denied that Levy is plagued with anything other than a slight hip injury. Until we see him on the field, I will just presume Levy is making plans to organize a caravan through the jungles of Malaysia looking for a cure to the disease he definitely/maybe does not have.
Hands off Jimmy, Don’t Touch Jimmy – Jimmy Graham had it made in the Big Easy being the focal point of the offense and catching passes from a future Hall of Famer. Graham signed a big money deal to stay in New Orleans for the foreseeable future and everything was right in the world. Graham’s only worry it seemed was to find ways to dunk over the goal posts without being fined or penalized by the NFL. Then the unthinkable happened: Graham was shipped off to the Pacific Northwest in exchange for a 1st round pick and a Pro-Bowl center. While many thought the landing spot was odd, perhaps this was a sign that the Seahawks were going to begin to modify their offense from a ball-control running attack and begin to open things up in the passing game. After and 0-2 start and extremely low production by his standards, Jimmy Graham is not very happy in Seattle. Graham told reporters after the Sunday Night loss that he rather not speak with the media for fear of saying something negative. Needless to say things are not off to a happy start for Graham as a Seahawk.
Money Manziel – Mike Pettine and the Browns talked up free agent acquisition Josh McCown so much this off-season that some people actually started to believe that he could be the answer to Cleveland’s quarterback woes. McCown was the answer that lasted one drive into the season before fumbling while diving into the end zone and suffering a concussion. The people’s champ, Johnny Manziel, came into the game, fresh off a sore elbow preventing him from winning an uphill battle for the starting job in the preseason, and immediately excited the Browns fan base before resorting to the bad habits that made him a questionable option last season. With McCown still on the shelf for Week 2, Mike Pettine had no choice but to give Manziel another shot and the strangest thing happened: the kid actually looked decent. Sure, he’s young and brash and is prone to making boneheaded mistakes but sometimes like last Sunday, the good will outweigh the bad. Pettine confirmed that while Manziel has made a lot of progress he still has to clean things up. Such is life as a young quarterback in the NFL. In the end, the upside of Manziel may be too enticing to ignore. Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo offered that “coaching is overrated” when it comes to Johnny Manziel. Well, of course it is. Let the man play.