Random thoughts from the weekend....
- First of all, congratulations to Matt Stafford, Knowshon Moreno, Mohammed Massaquoi, Asher Allen, Corvey Irvin, and Jarius Wynn. This was a proud weekend for the Bulldawg Nation, and I can't wait to see what these guys do on Sundays!
- Confession time...I always tear up a little when I see reactions like Aaron Curry's on Draft Day. I can only imagine the emotions that the players and their families must be going through at that moment when they hear their name called as a first round pick in the NFL draft...the moment their dream comes true, the moment their life changes forever, the moment that makes all of the sacrifice, time, money, effort, and hard work worth it. Even if you've known for some time that you would be selected, THAT moment is when it becomes reality. There's something very cool about that.
- The Raiders are remarkably stupid, and like the text message my brother sent to me on Saturday said, "They DESERVE to suck." I've tried thinking about their drafting of Heyward-Bey at #7 from every possible angle, and I have yet to find one that makes sense. Let's say, just for argument's sake, that you like Heyward-Bey more than Crabtree or Maclin. Laying aside the fact that this alone makes you a moron (in my not-so-humble opinion), why not trade that pick to someone who actually DOES want the best receiver in the draft (Crabtree), pick up some additional draft picks, and move down to the middle to late first round? Trust me...Heyward-Bey would still be available. Most teams are actually NOT looking to take track stars with frying pans for hands that early in the draft. On top of having more picks, you could also save money by not having to pay #7 money to Heyward-Bey .
Oh, but they weren't done...ever heard of Michael Mitchell? The defensive back out of Ohio University? Don't feel bad....neither has Scouts, Inc. They didn't even bother to RATE Mitchell...at BEST, he was projected to be a 7th round pick, and was thought by most to be undrafted. Per Peter King in his Monday Morning QB article (which is a weekly must-read for all NFL fans, btw), he mentioned that Mel Kiper had him as the 73rd best safety in the country. Not the 73rd best player...the 73rd best SAFETY.
So the Raiders pick him in the 2ND ROUND.
Yep...they DESERVE to suck.
- I was pretty pleased with the Falcons draft. Six out of their seven picks were on the defensive side of the ball, which makes me want to give Thomas Demitroff a big ole man-hug. First round pick Peria Jerry may step in and start immediately at DT, and at worst he should provide some quality depth. I like what ESPN.com said about him...he may be the most bust-proof pick in the whole 1st round. You know EXACTLY what you are getting out of this guy, as long as he stays healthy...a run-stopping beast who is going to fill space and occupy blockers in the middle. Think of him as a slightly faster version of Grady Jackson. I'll take that.
Only thing I wish would have gone differently is that I wish the Vikings hadn't taken Asher Allen four picks before the Falcons spot came up in the third round...if he was still available, I think we would have taken him.
Here's the bottom line...unlike in years past, I can look at what the Falcons did in the draft and see exactly what their plan is. That's all I ask...drafts are a crapshoot at times, as far as how the players turn out, but I at least want to be able to see a plan at work, and with Demitroff we have that. Thank God.
- Stick a fork in the Hawks, which means Mike Woodson should be DONE. Saturday's performance was absolutely infuriating to watch. Miami went on a 26-9 run at the end of the first half to basically win the game, and during that time I didn't see Mike Woodson do ANYTHING other than stand there with his arms folded and a sour look on his face. No timeouts, no adjustments...NOTHING. What is he being paid for?
We continue to stay in a zone defense, even though Miami is raining open three pointers down on our heads. We continue to have ZERO half court offense, with no real semblance of a plan as far as I can tell. Our offense seems to consist of bringing the ball up, passing to Joe Johnson, and then dribble, dribble, dribble, dribble, dribble, dribble, dribble, dribble, 3 seconds on the shot clock, dribble, shoot/pass to Flip Murray for a desperation jump shot at the buzzer. Kenny Smith said it on TNT after game one of this series...the Hawks are great when they can get out and run, but if they have to execute in the halfcourt they have no shot. And that was after a game that the Hawks WON.
This is nothing new...Mike Woodson has taken this team as far as he can. They are going to lose this series, to a one-man team, but even if they don't Woody has to go. The above paragraph is going to continue to be true, whether we make it out of the first round or not.
- I'm worried about this eye "injury" that Brian McCann is dealing with. I only put injury in quotation marks because it seems nobody can pinpoint what is wrong, only that he has blurry vision in his left eye. The latest diagnosis is an infection, but they've put him on the DL for 15 games...that seems to be an awfully long time for an infection to heal, doesn't it? Hopefully, they can get it taken care of...from a purely selfish perspective, I can't see the Braves having any real success this year without Mac's bat in the middle of the lineup. For his sake, unexplained blurry vision is scary, especially for a baseball player, and ESPECIALLY for a catcher.
- Speaking of the Braves, the highlights of the 1991 World Series were on the MLB network this weekend. Brought back some bittersweet memories...
- Kent Hrbek still being a big stupid lying cheater.
- Ron Gant looking positively TINY compared to how big he would get a couple of years later. Lucky for him, this was about 15 years before the Mitchell Report.
- My Dad pitching Game 1 (that's an inside joke, unless you've ever seen a picture of both Charlie Liebrandt and my Dad...the resemblance was uncanny. This started being less awesome after Kirby Puckett's Game 6 homerun).
- Jerry Glanville, Jamie Dukes, and Prime Time in the crowd at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium, crowing about how the Braves are 2 Legit 2 Quit.
- Atlanta Fulton County Stadium, with the 715 marker over the left field fence.
- The Tomahawk Chop when it was REAL and not piped in. They should have let that thing die when it stopped being spontaneous...they NEVER should have started trying to manufacture it.
- Bobby Cox's weird tinted glasses.
- Steve Avery, with the world on a string.
- Mark Lemke turning into Willie Mays.
- Jerry Freaking Willard with a game winning RBI.
- Smoltz and Morris in a pitching duel for the ages.
I turned it off once Game 7 went into extra innings. Watching that the first time was bad enough.