Romeo Crennel Confirms Importance of Preseason: The Cleveland Browns must be wishing, oh how they wish, that they didn’t actually have to play the game with a quarterback behind center. Can’t they just hike the ball directly to a robotic JUGS Machine? Sure, the machine could break down or the ball might get stuck in the gears, but surely the odds of a completion would be better than a pass from Derek Anderson, Charlie Frye, or rookie Brady Quinn. Or maybe they could hike it directly to Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow.
After a long night of debating which QB is the least bad (and a bottle of Aspirin), head coach Crennel has decided the “fairest” way to determine the “winner” of starting the team’s first exhibition game on Saturday is by a coin flip. “I think that (a flip of the coin) is the fairest way to those guys because no one knows who is going to start ahead of time,” Crennel said. No one knows how potential fantasy studs Edwards and Winslow are actually going to get the ball during the regular season, either. Also no word from Commissioner Roger Goodall’s office on Crennel’s proposal to decide NFL games by coin toss.
RB Kevin Jones May Not Suit Up Until Week 7: It’s not official yet, but according to Lions beat writer Tom Kowalski, the talented tailback formerly known as the starter in Detroit will not begin the regular season on the Lions’ active roster. Jones was on his way to bouncing back in 2006 from a disappointing sophomore season before succumbing to the dreaded Lisfranc fracture in December. For the year, he finished with 689 yards rushing (3.8/carry), 61 receptions for 520 yards, 8 touchdowns, and was a solid #2 back for your fantasy squad when healthy. With Tatum Bell now in the fold (as well as Tico Duckett lurking in the background for possible goal line carries), the Lions have no reason to rush KJ back onto the field ahead of schedule.
What does this mean for fantasy prospects in Detroit’s backfield? The team may not be great (or even respectable), but there’s no question the Lions could field one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL this season. If you’ve already drafted and Bell is somehow still on waivers, scoop him up now. He’ll be the starter for at least half the season–possibly longer–and will be catching balls out of the backfield and seeing a lot of draw plays (his specialty) that could yield big gains. For those yet to draft, he’s a great pick in the 8th – 10th round… maybe even a little higher, depending on how the draft is shaking out. You don’t want to invest too heavily as it’s still very possible he isn’t a starter during the fantasy playoffs. The company line out of Detroit is still that Jones is “the guy” when healthy.
As for Jones, don’t reach for him. Maybe, don’t even draft him except to fill out your DL spot. There’s a good chance that a frustrated owner will get sick of “wasting” a roster space and drop him by Week 2 or 3, so you might be able to get him on the cheap and stash him away just in case he comes back like a bat out of hell.
Pacman Jones Just a Normal, Everyday “Risk Taker”: The man just can’t help himself, even when he’s trying to unsmudgeon his name and set the record straight. In a round of promos and interviews surrounding his debut on Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (better known as “Wrastlin’ fer Rednecks”), the rainmaker asserted that you “don’t know me. Nobody knows me… misunderstood. Nobody knows who I am. A player, a gamebreaker, a risk taker, a man.”
Talking by a wrestling ring installed next to his Nashville home, Jones went on to defend his latest athletic endeavor, and disputed his arrest record.
I haven’t been arrested six times. I’ve only been arrested twice. I’ve been accused and people have put warrants out on me numerous other times, but as of today I’m on no probation, I haven’t been charged with anything, so I’m just keeping my head up and make sure I’m doing everything to make sure I’m all right with myself.”
“I don’t know what you all want me to do. Just sit in the house and be miserable all day? I can’t do that. I have to keep my spirits up high. I have a whole family to take care of.”
The only thing for certain is that Jones’ wrestling career is bound to end in glory, and that the former first-round pick has a bright future ahead of him in the NFL.
Joey Harrington to Make Falcons’ Fans Cringe: At approximately 7:10pm this evening, the former third-overall pick will take the field as Atlanta’s new starting quarterback. He’ll likely complete a few of his first pass attempts… and then starting throwing the ball into the turf, gunning it over his receiver’s hands, making poor decisions on any routes longer than 15 yards, and slapping the ear holes on his helmet in disgust.
Trading Matt Schaub made a lot of sense once upon a time, but that was before Ron Mexico’s sordid dogfighting scandal. Now, a team that already had trouble in the passing game with Vick behind center is stuck with a guy who has proven over and over again that he’s just not NFL starter material. We’re setting the over/under on calls for 2006 seventh-round pick D.J. Shockley to replace Joey to begin Week 4.
Cincinnati’s Season Officially Riding on Rudi Johnson’s Health: Good things rarely come out of contests involving the Lions for either team, and Thursday night’s preseason game was no different for the Cincinnati Bengals. Rookie second-round pick Kenny Irons, who the team had high hopes for and was in line to push Johnson for 5-10 carries as the season wore on, is done for the season after tearing his left ACL.
That leaves oft-injured Chris Henry and Kenny Watson as the backups. Henry has always had the talent to succeed in the NFL, but he’s now entering his fourth season and still hasn’t been able to stay on the field. Johnson will again benefit (or perhaps suffer) from a heavy workload in the backfield, and is a solid #1 back on your fantasy roster if you’re stuck in the second half of the first round on draft day.
Fred Smoot is Smiling Again (Thank God): Go ahead, exhale, breathe a sigh of relief: another misunderstood cornerback is happy again. In comments published in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the former Vikings free-agent bust–now third on the Redskins’ depth chart–said that he suffered from depression while playing for Minnesota because he “wasn’t into it,” but that he’s all better now:
“I just wasn’t into it,” Smoot told the Washington Post of his two years in Minnesota. “I hated the place. I was in a depression, believe that? Smiling Fred Smoot goes through a depression?
“But it happened, man, it happened. I was down, and that’s why I made this happen. I went to [Minnesota's] front office and told them: ‘I don’t want to be there no more. We need to work something out.’ And we made it happen. I got out of there, and now smiling Fred Smoot is back.”
We can’t help but wonder, however, if “productive NFL player Fred Smoot” is back, too, because he hasn’t been around in quite some time.