Friday, October 16, 2009

Interview with NFL expert Andy Barch
1. What's been the biggest surprise so far?

It’s a toss up between the Titans starting 0-5 and the Bengals starting 4-1. I figured there would be a drop off for the Titans without Albert Haynesworth in the middle to stop the run, but I never thought they’d go 0-5. They look inept offensively and the play calling has been so vanilla offensively that they’ve become all too predictable.

As for the Bengals, not only are they 4-1 and all by themselves in first place, but they’ve beaten some very good teams along the way, and they’re just a fluke play away from being 5-0. They’ve defeated the Packers in Lambeau, and the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. They also cured their home curse against the Steelers. One cant help but be impressed with their incredible start, and their 3-0 record in their division. After watching the HBO Special “Hard Knocks” on this team, I never saw this coming. That special revealed a lot of interesting things to me, which at the time re-assured my thoughts on the way that team runs their business. After watching a few episodes, I thought sure that team would be 1-4 or 0-5 at this point.

2. The Braylon Edwards trade: Your thoughts?

He had to go. It just wasn’t going to work in Cleveland. As a third overall pick, especially at that position, there is a lot to live up to. He has dropped way too many passes, he’s scored just a few touchdowns since that incredible 2007 season, and he quickly became a cancer in a locker room full of tumors. The fact that they were able to get a special teams player, a half decent receiver and a pair of draft picks for him is pretty impressive. They were probably going to lose him via free agency next year anyways. That team is in need of some bodies, and some hungry players looking for opportunities to thrive.

3. Do you expect Eric Mangini to last in Cleveland?

In the short term, yes. I don’t know what people expect from Mangini. He inherited a group that was completely awful a year ago, and found lightning in a bottle in 2007. He’s trying to change the culture of that team, and so far, it just hasn’t worked. He’s not going to make this thing work overnight, though I know Cleveland fans are expecting that to happen because they’ve been waiting so long for it, and are growing impatient, which is understandable. I think folks don’t buy the excuse that he cant make it happen overnight because they’ve seen other teams go from worst to first a few times over the last five years. However, that kind of stuff doesn’t happen to Cleveland, because it’s a snake bitten city when it comes to sports.

4. Is Jim Zorn really as incompetent as everyone says?

I don’t think so. As you said on your blog a while ago, they are 2-3, and there are a lot of teams that look a lot worse. I think people lost their minds when the ‘Skins lost to Detroit. Look, Detroit was bound to win at some point, and it just happened to be against the Redskins. There are 13 teams who have a similar record or worse than the Redskins at this point. What I’d also like to know, is what has changed so drastically over the past year? Where there that many people lobbying for his departure last season? If so, I don’t remember that. I think people expect more out of this offense, and they just aren’t getting it. They don’t have a lot of explosive playmakers and Clinton Portis is nearing the end of an incredible run.

5. What coaches are in trouble?

Dick Jauron is the first name that comes to mind. They’re extremely conservative on offense, the offensive coordinator he fired after training camp claimed that Jauron wanted him to reduce the number of formations and plays in his playbook, and ultimately the failure to do so is what got him fired by Jauron. Jauron doesn’t have any more scapegoats, and this team has done NOTHING under him since he got the job.
Tom Cable is on the hot seat, not because of the way the Raiders have played (which has been surprisingly competitive and somewhat respectable), but because of these allegations that he injured an assistant coach and threatened to f’ng kill him.
John Fox, for all the obvious reasons. They did a lot things in the off-season to try and keep themselves at the top of the NFC South, but they are treading water at this point and are dangerously close to falling out of the playoff race. He’s been on the hot seat down there for a few years it seems, and I think its about time to turn the page on Jake Delhomme. That’s the kind of decision he’ll have to make here relatively soon if he’s going to keep these guys competitive. A bold move that gets this team back in contention.
Wade Philips-The pressure is there every year in Dallas, and they still haven’t won a playoff game in well over a decade. The way they are playing right now, they might miss the post season for the second year in a row. Jerry Jones doesn’t just want to brag about his new stadium, he wants to brag about the team that calls it home. This team is way too talented to be a .500 team, and that’s what they’ve been for far too long now. If they don’t make some significant strides soon, Phillips is gone.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home