SportsChat

Welcome to SportsChat, your place on my space for sports related conversation. I got asked a couple questions about the old ‘NFL football’, so I thought I would write up a quick post to discuss it. Thanks to Bugboy, for the excellent questions!

1. What the hell happened with Brandon Marshall in Chicago last year that they let him go to the Jets for a song? He’s reestablished himself as one of the premier receivers in the NFL this year, with Ryan Fitzpatrick, ffs, as his QB, and it’s made me wonder why Chicago was so eager to drop him.

We really don’t know. I loved Brandon Marshall. I went to training camp and saw him compete. It was a thing of beauty. When Charles Tillman was here, they would push out the #2 guy if someone else would line up vs each other. Nobody wanted to win more than Brandon, who often played hurt. The word is that he was “a cancer in the locker room”. I never played even high school level sports, but I have been on teams where we had “nice guys” on the team and they sucked. When it comes to professional sports, I’m not sure why they can’t put that aside. There have been many teams throughout history who openly disliked each other. Hell, we had Mike Ditka and Buddy Ryan here who famously didn’t get along.

With a new GM and new head coach, they probably wanted to get rid of any strong personalities. I think there might have also been an issue with Brandon traveling to New York on Tuesdays to film Inside the NFL. They also drafted Kevin White with the 7th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Perhaps they didn’t want him influenced by Marshall. That’s a shame because Marshall was instrumental in turning Alshon Jeffery into the receiver he was. Marshall was a leader and a great pro while he was in Chicago.

2. On the Chip Kelly firing: I’m hearing things like inflexible, disciplinarian, didn’t understand the players, etc. Well, if it’s incumbent upon the coach to accede to the players’ demands on how they want to play, isn’t it at least as incumbent upon the players to work with the coach and his gameplan to make it work? Somehow, you never hear that kind of thing anymore. Or am I just being naive in the era of the super star athlete?

I loved the results Chip got his first two years in Philly. I disagree with him shipping off all the talent though. Especially LeSean McCoy who seemed to fit his system like a glove. This past offseason Chip really went crazy in handing a bunch of money to a running back who a) historically never stayed healthy and b) was a power runner. While college coaches typically flame out in the NFL, Kelly had great success his first two seasons. Even this season as it looked like the team was about to self-destruct, they really and beat the Patriots and Bills in back to back weeks.

Pro athletes are among the most pampered people on the planet. Most of them have been told how great they are since they were in Pee Wee league. The real superstars want to be coached hard. It’s the semi-stars, and the guys with lots of talent–but are only in it for a paycheck, who don’t ‘buy in’. The other part is, in the NFL, you have to adapt. Look no further than Tom Coughlin in New York. He was close to being fired for the exact same reasons. He adapted. He had guys like Michael Strahan come to him though. Not sure the Eagles have that kind of leadership right now.

Rumor is: Chip wants to stay in the NFL and has his eye set on Tennessee where former Oregon QB Marcus Mariota is currently at. I have mixed feelings on that, but if he can pull it off, it could be exciting football to watch.

Thanks for the excellent questions. Feel free to drop by again!

If you have a sports related question, feel free to ask away. It may be used in the next installment of SportsChat!

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2 Responses to SportsChat

  1. Bugboy says:

    Looking at Marshall’s statistical record at football-reference.com, we see: 4 years in Denver. Part-timer his rookie year, then an All-Pro type season, 2 more Pro Bowl quality years – and he goes to Miami. Two more solid years there – and he goes to Chicago. An actual All-Pro year his first year there, another Pro Bowl his second year. An off year his third and last year, which was last season, but then, the Bears in general had a “special” year last year – and now he’s with the Jets, and should make the All-Pro team for the second time.

    So, how’s a guy like that keep moving from team to team? Historically, two ways that I can think of: 1. he’s a tool or two short of being the truly great player a superficial look at his stats would suggest. You see this in baseball and hockey a lot, where a guy is really productive offensively, but just isn’t quite the complete player his offensive stats would otherwise indicate. Mark Recchi and Mike Gartner come to mind off the top of my head in hockey, and Juan Gonzalez and Yoenis Cespedes in baseball. Take Cespedes: very good average, great power, and, of course, he just got done slugging the Mets to a National League pennant (sorry about the Cubs loss, Jeff). BUT: his plate discipline isn’t what it could be, and while he’s an average to above average corner outfielder as a fielder, he’s not a superior defender. His raw numbers indicate a mega contract, but dig a little deeper and you see the holes. I really don’t know if this applies to Marshall, but I would note his somewhat-low TD totals, which tells me he’s basically a super-possession receiver, and not quite a gamebreaker. Correct me if I’m wrong on that. Still and all, you don’t get too many guys who have 6 100-plus receiving years in their career, even in the current pass-happy NFL.

    The other reason, of course, is as you mentioned: cancer in the clubhouse, all that stuff. What I find confusing about that is that guys who are like that in the clubhouse usually have issues outside it as well. Any idea whether he’s been in trouble with John Q. Law, or anything else like that?

    Great point about teams that don’t get along off the field/court/ice. You had the ’85 Bears (God I still love that team, even as a New York fan), we (the New York City metropolitan area) had the ’69-’73 Knicks and the Bronx Zoo Yankees. Those Knick teams I’m too young to remember, but the conventional wisdom has always been that for all that they were the ultimate Team on the court, it was twelve men, twelve different taxis when the game was over. It wasn’t even so much dislike, just guys who didn’t have a lot in common with each other.

    As for the late ’70s Yankees…I’m just old enough to remember them, and oh man, what a wild ride. If you can get a hold of it somehow, maybe on Kindle, read Sparky Lyle’s “The Bronx Zoo”, written with Peter Golenbock. One of the great sports books ever, hilarious and eye-popping at the same time. What a bizarre team, but I still love them.

    More on the Chip Kelly thing later, as this is already long enough. Glad you liked the questions. 🙂

    • oxxo910 says:

      Marshall has been a model citizen since he came out and announced he had Bi-polar disorder. The media loved him. He was very candid and honest. The only part (that we don’t know) is how he was in the locker room. There were reports that he was calling out people. The damning part was that Lance Briggs admitted when there was yelling/drama he just left–which to me is a bunch of horseshit if you consider yourself a leader. So, under Marc Trestman, it seems there was a lot of dysfunction on the locker room. I think Brandon was made the scapegoat, and shipped out to the Jets. A good coach would have been able to handle that. I can see why a new regime would want to start with a clean slate, but why not try it out for a year? We will never know.

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