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Asomugha will be a sizzling commodity
I'm back from a relaxing vacation. Yet, I'm angrier than ever. There are some things going on in the NFL that are driving me insane.
We always have a ton of sizzle and we always have a ton of fizzle every week in the NFL.
Finally, legit optimism is in the air that we are going to have a new CBA by next week. And when we do, we are going to witness history. We are going to have the fastest, most furious, most incredible and chaotic offseason period in league history. For the fan, it is going to be akin to Christmas in July.
And Nnamdi Asomugha is going to get paid.
He is one of the two best pure cover corners in the NFL. He's a class act with no character issues and an incredible work ethic. Teams are going to fawn over Asomugha and chase him with the proverbial bag of cash. His talent, in conjunction with the timing, will make him one of the most coveted free agents in the past 15 years. Seriously. Asomugha is a game changer.
I think there are four legit teams in play, with a few others on the periphery.
He knows the Cowboys' new defensive coordinator, Rob Ryan, well from their days together in Oakland. Dallas needs to make a splash and fill a need at cornerback to get over the hump and back to the playoffs.
Do not discount savvy Thomas Dimitroff and the Atlanta Falcons. A blanket like Asomugha changes everything for Mike Smith's defense on the back end. Remember, Atlanta eschewed defense in the draft to move up for Julio Jones. And the lasting memory of the Falcons' great season was Aaron Rodgers playing pitch and catch in the Dome as if Atlanta wasn't on the field. This could be a championship move.
Matt Schaub told us on the SiriusXM Blitz that he and Texans teammates would try to recruit Asomugha when the lockout ended. Asomugha equals the postseason for Houston. It's that simple. Did you see the Texans' pathetic pass defense last year? Asomugha solves that problem.
The Ravens drafted Jimmy Smith, but Ozzie Newsome and Baltimore can't be eliminated.
Detroit should put on a full-court press, and Jim Schwartz has the Lions moving rapidly in the right direction. But history likely will prevent him from signing there, with Asomugha likely seeking a top-flight organization, similar to the path his friend Charles Woodson chose when he left Oakland for Green Bay.
Remember the offseason chatter exactly two years ago? NFL people were starting to wonder aloud whether Schaub, who was handed a big contract and a starting job in Houston, was really the right choice. The main issue at hand wasn't Schaub's talent or leadership. That was always there. The question was whether he could stay healthy for a full 16 games. It was something Schaub didn't do until his breakout Pro Bowl season in 2009. Now, he's a proven player who's learned the tricks of the trade at quarterback, starting and starring in all 32 games the past two years.
Schaub told us this week on the SiriusXM Blitz during a candid interview that he feels he shed that label. He is fueled by trying to get the Texans over the hump and into the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
Gary Kubiak is on the hot seat. The Texans — with Schaub, Andre Johnson and Arian Foster — have the talent and chemistry to succeed on offense. Wade Phillips was hired to fix the Houston defense. It's officially time for the Texans to make something happen.
Schaub understood where we were coming from. He said, “I absolutely agree with you. We have been saying it now for a couple of years that this is the year, that this is the year. And we have fallen short, two years ago going 9-7, losing out the last week in a tiebreak, and then last year not getting things done and finishing 6-10, losing a lot of heartbreaks there at the last minute. But we just have to have that killer instinct and go and finish ballgames. This is definitely the season for us, with all that we have been through, as a team, as an organization; this is definitely the time, the year, and we have to make sure we go out this week and get it done.”
With the lockout, Schaub has done his part organizing workouts. While he admits it isn't the same as OTAs with the coaching staff, and he's champing at the bit for training camp and for the lockout to end, the quarterback deserves credit for the work the Texans got done.
Schaub says he wants to personally get better in three areas; finishing games, avoiding late turnovers and starting faster. I think the Colts are vulnerable, and if the Texans could ever land Asomugha, I think they would win the division.
2011 could be the year. And we mean it this time. I think.
With rumors circulating about Reed's status and mindset for the upcoming year, we went to the source. The Ravens star safety joined us on the SiriusXM Blitz to give us an update on his health, and Reed gave the Ravens fans exactly what they wanted to hear.
“I feel good, you know, I feel good. You never can tell until you put the pads on and you are running around, honestly, but I mean I feel great. I still have soreness in those spots that I know I have been bothered in, my neck and my hip area, but you got to be smart, you got to know your limitations. You are not always 100 percent when you play on Sundays, so you got to know what you can do and what you can't do. And if you are strong mentally and know the things you can and cannot do on the football field, you can always make adjustments. I am feeling good, I got some time left, about a month before we kick off training camp and everything because I am pretty confident we will be having some type of training camp; so I got some time to prepare and get myself even stronger.”
That's scary stuff considering what the future Hall of Famer has accomplished during his career. He is getting up there in years, and I don't think he'll ever play 16 games again with the way he throws his body around. But as he proved last year, Reed can still be an All-Pro and truly dominate even if he's available for just 10 games, picking off a stunning eight passes.
I'm still in a state of disbelief that the great Jeff Fisher is no longer coaching the Titans. When Fisher and the Titans parted ways, I called it a dark and scary day in franchise history. Bud Adams won, and the Titans and their fans lost. Fisher's teams always had the great ability to overachieve.
But Munchak has truly impressed when I've had him on SiriusXM NFL Radio. He is very confident in his abilities to be a successful head coach. In talking to former Titan Keith Bulluck, the linebacker gushed about Munchak's coaching ability and potential to lead the team. Phil Simms told us he can see the Titans being a true dark horse this season, and he cited Munchak as a reason why. For the record, I disagree with the potential of Tennessee this season, but I think Munchak will have them ready to play, and it goes noted when someone like Simms mentions Munchak and the Titans as an answer to an open-ended question about first-year head coaches who can surprise you.
Maybe it isn't fair to title this paragraph "Ray Lewis." Instead, maybe I should blast the NFL players who voted in the NFL Network's poll for the top 100 players currently in the NFL. Or maybe the league's network needed to explain to the players what they were voting for. Or perhaps all the players should've voted. Hey, I'm just trying to help here, people, because the result of this poll smelled really foul.
I usually don't get so heated about summertime rankings, but this was absolutely absurd and damaged all credibility. Lewis finished as the fourth-best player in the NFL right now. Look, Lewis is a living legend. He is a great, iconic player and team leader. Lewis is on the Mount Rushmore of linebackers, one of the great defensive players in league history, but this wasn't what the poll was supposed to be about.
I think Lewis is currently ranked fourth ... as in the fourth-best defensive player on his own team!! When you rank the Ravens, it's Haloti Ngata, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs and then Ray Lewis at this stage of his career. Lewis can't be ranked as the fourth-best player in the league.
Four years after rightly canning Mike Vick for murdering dogs, the company has hired Vick back as a spokesman.
What a disgrace. I guess cutting ties with Vick was never about Vick setting up rape stands for dogs or landing in jail or disgracing the league. Apparently, Nike dropped him because he wouldn't be starring on the field. Now that Vick is back and better than ever as a player, Nike crawls back with a boatload of cash. Hey, Vick could be the MVP this year, so let's pretend he has a spotless resume. Let's pretend innocent dogs never were killed. That's pathetic. That's the ultimate contradiction. Shame on Nike.
T.O. is 37. He suffered a major ACL injury and just had surgery. I truly believe, regardless of what his agent says, Terrell Owens is finished as an NFL player.
And despite his brilliance on the field and his gaudy numbers, I don't think he is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Heck, I'm not convinced he ever gets in.
Give me Hines Ward over T.O. as a Hall of Famer anytime.
Owens was a distraction and a coach killer in every NFL stop, from Jeff Garcia in San Fran, to Donovan McNabb in Philly, to riding the bicycle in training camp and infuriating Bill Parcells in Dallas, to refusing to practice for Dick Jauron and the Bills, to focusing on reality shows in Cincy.
And speaking of shows, while most players would try to work to get back on the field, T.O. is trying to pitch a sitcom about himself. Yes, Owens told The Daily he is shopping a show in which he would star opposite actors and the show would be inspired by his real-life baby mamas and kids.
Did I just write that?
You can't make it up. Except for the fact that it is T.O., which means it is par for the pathetic course. Owens continues to be a clueless egomaniac.
Even the thought of him wanting to comeback, as was circulated on the league's own website, sent feelings of nausea around the country to scores of football fans.
Favre is an all-time great, but it is over. It's been over for a while. We are done with the drama, forever. Bag it, Favre.