Quick Bytes: The daily digest of everything you need to know about the Jacksonville Jaguars (and other things).
This is a weird quick bytes. There is a bit of an absence of Jaguars news in the rest of the sports-news-o-sphere, but that doesn't mean there's nothing worth reading. Today's edition attempts to highlight some of the better pieces out there.
If you're dying for Jaguars commentary, I implore you to come back at 12:30 EST, where we'll start a new series here at Big Cat Country examining the state of the 2008 Jacksonville Jaguars Roster!
: I almost wrote an entire post today about my frustrations with SI's Peter King and his Monday Morning Quarterback. This week's incarnation epitomizes my love/hate relationship with Mr. King as he quickly brushes off the nuggets of gold in his article, while spending far too much time spewing nonsense.
This, for example, deserves more research and a full article
...I remember talking to San Diego GM A.J. Smith the night of the draft. "We got our corner,'' he said happily, referring to first-round pick Antoine Cason. You might wonder why Smith was so focused on getting his corner, with two good starters -- Jammer and Cromartie -- in house, even after losing Florence in free-agency to Jacksonville. "I'm a firm believer in this game today that you need three starting corners to win.'' Amen
Yes, absolutely, I've not seen one major sportswriter address the emerging trend of predominant nickel defenses in the NFL. I've yet to see someone talk about the rise of the 4-2-5 as a defensive philosophy rather than a situational formation. Peter, in his defense, did say more than this excerpt, and he even made a handy chart, but he struck on something legitimately interesting and relevant to the game itself.
But rather than stick to what Peter knows, which really is football, he instead moves on to his standard format of underdeveloped thoughts, pop culture references, and Andy Rooneyesque references to the current state of affairs.
Yes, the price of gasoline is high, the Office is a little off-kilter since the writers strike ended, and people get frustrated when they travel. But Peter, and I know you read this, nobody reads MMQB to hear about your thoughts on these issues. * You've got A.J. Smith, Brett Favre, and the Manning Family in your cell phone. You text message players. Tell us about football, please. The Mike Tomlin story is great, but I know I'm not alone in wanting you to stick with what you do best. I've met you in real life, you're not hip there, you don't need to act hip on Mondays.
* Peter King probably does not read Big Cat Country, but if he did, I'm sure he'd listen to me.
: Rick "Goose" Gosselin might be the hardest working reporter I've ever seen. When he goes to the combine, his goal is to talk with every single prospect. You don't see this on TV, but there are times when there are up to ten prospects in the media room at a time, and some only stay for less than five minutes. To meet all of them, Rick must sprint between tables just to keep up with it. It's quite remarkable.
His column for the Dallas Morning News, while Cowboys-centric, is worth reading, simply for his perspective on the game. He also picks the Jaguars to go to the Super Bowl, which I've not heard said seriously in awhile:
Let's go with the Cowboys and Jaguars. The Cowboys improved in the draft on special teams, selecting elite college returnmen Felix Jones and Mike Jenkins, and the Jaguars improved their pass rush. I thought there were four elite edge rushers in this draft, and Jacksonville landed two of them in Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves
I'm going to be freaking out during Training Camp when I start seeing the Jaguars as the "trendy pick", just like the Carolina Panthers were a few seasons ago.
The potential ripple effect that will be spawned by the simmering controversy threatens to impact everything from the amount of throwing starting quarterbacks may be forced to do in camp, to the elevated playing time and risk of injury for veterans this preseason, to the decreased opportunity that rookies will receive in their bids to make an NFL regular-season roster
In a nutshell: Quarterbacks will throw more, veterans will get more snaps, injuries will rise, players will have less in the tank going into the season, and both older veterans and undrafted free-agents will find themselves unemployed as a consequence.
: Even ESPN will get some love from me today. This article, by Elizabeth Merrill, follows a 6th round pick, Xaiver Omon, from draft day to his rookie minicamp with the Buffalo Bills:
His girlfriend, Lauren Williams, suggests they go outside and shoot some hoops. He sinks the first shot, misses the second, then Ludacris bounces on his cell phone. It's a 716 area code, and Omon wonders if it's a prank. The man on the other end is an exec with the Buffalo Bills. Omon doesn't have time to think it's strange, that the Bills weren't at his pro day, and now they're calling. He falls to his knees. Within a couple of minutes, he'll start to cry.
: Charlie Bernstein of JagNation brings us a great quote from Jack Del Rio on our new pass-rushing missile in Quentin Groves. Charlie, who's both an gentleman and a scholar, does a great job over at JagNation, and if you're not reading them you're only getting half the story on the Jaguars. (If you can't tell, we're a pretty tight fraternity of Jaguars writers
Jack Del Rio: "He can play some end of the line 'Sam' but the way a 3-4 team might use him, you can do some of that if you're going to play a reduction front with that. But we didn't draft him with that in mind," Del Rio said. "We drafted him to be a right end, a pass rusher and a guy that if he shows he's capable of stacking the point and fending off tight ends, then we'll put him in position to make plays. We saw enough of that on tape, that he can stack the point. He did do 30 reps on the bench, he does roll his hips and when his hand placement is good, he has plenty of strength at the point.
There you go, Peter King got me going and it turned into a media love-fest with next to no Jaguars news. Sadly, that might happen more frequently as we get deeper and deeper into the dead-zone.
Have no fear though, if you come back in a few hours (12:30 EST), we'll start a new series examining the 2008 Jacksonville Jaguars Roster!