Tuesday, January 23, 2007

2006 NFL Season Thoughts

So, I've been struggling for a topic to re-energize the Three Hamiltons blog, and I have done zero NFL draft research. That leaves me with summarizing my thoughts on the 2006 NFL season. Given it was my first with the DirecTV Sunday NFL Ticket, I feel that I probably saw more this season than in the past 8-9 (i.e. since those lazy Sunday afternoons in college). So, without further ado, and in hopes of eliciting feedback from my partners in crime, here are my 2006 NFL thoughts (in no particular order):

1. Tom Brady should not have enough time in his schedule to "court" Gisele. End of story. I would be surprise if he threw that last INT in the AFC title game on purpose so he could rush off to Brazil to sunbathe with her.
2. Jon Gruden has officially reached "I'm Keith Hernandez" status. I mean, going into the season with a 6th round rookie QB as your back-up to Chris Simms is like going on a 7 day vacation with 3 pair of boxers. You can make it work, but odds are it's not ending up in your favor. And while were on the topic of Gruden, his offensive philosophy, i.e. horizontal passing, needs to die a quick death. It's dreadful to watch. I definitely did not set the Tivo for the Bucs games, needless to say.
3. LT, as pedestrian as some may think he is (you know who you are), is just a sheer joy to watch play. His mindless post-playoff comments aside, it's refreshing, in a sports world of tattoos, arrests, and entourages, that the best player in the world's best league can remain humble and grounded. He truly is a great example for all the kids out there.
4. Larry Johnson is not Techmo Bo Jackson there Herm. Get a back-up RB and a quarterback for goodness sake.
5. Drew Brees may be the most down to earth superstar on the planet. Peter King's pre-NFC title game interview with him on Inside the NFL was very impressive. Just an outstanding human being who proved any remaining doubters wrong this season.
6. Hate to say I told you so about the Mario Williams over Reggie Bush decision in April, but, well...
7. That being said, Reggie, watch some tapes of LT this winter after he scores. Act like you've been there before son.
8. Nitschke, Butkus, Lambert, Singletary, Lewis, and ...Urlacher. Yes, that seems about right. The kid just continues his assent to the the annals of the greatest MLBs of all time. The picture of him running stride for stride with Seattle WR Darrell Jackson on a seam route in the playoffs will be one of my lasting images of him.
9. Adalias Thomas and Bart Scott are better LBs than an aging Ray Lewis and big-mouthed Terrell Suggs. The media will never get to that story though, not with TO and Peyton to talk about.
10. There is no classier man in the league, or all of sports for that matter, than Tony Dungy, and for that reason I will be rooting for the Colts in the Super Bowl. Even if it means that Manning gets a ring. At least one Manning will because Eli's never getting there. Great trade there Ernie. Hate to see you go out with that one.
11. AJ Smith managed to make me look like a fool with my rant about him this preseason. The Rivers trade looks genius right now (Rivers, Merriman, Kaeding, and Oben for one spaghetti armed Eli), and the season they had was impressive, choke job nonewithstanding.
12. I'll bet Shawn Alexander wishes he'd have given some of his Madden money to the effort re-sign Hutchinson, huh?
13. Poor Art Shell. He deserves better.
14. Leinart + Fitz + Boldin + Edge + Pope + some nice young defensive players (Wilson, Dockett, Dansby, Rolle, Green) + Whisenhunt = finally a real sleeper from the Cardinals. For real this time.
15. Please, for the love of all that's good, Mike Nolan select Dwayne Jarrett. A quickly maturing Alex Smith, with the incomparable Frank Gore and a healthy Vernon Davis and the rookie WR and solid, Ward-like Arnez Battle. That has the makings of my late game Ticket team (after Arizona of course).
16. Michael Vick needs to be a Raider next year. It's just too perfect. Get David Stern on the phone, this needs to happen.
17. Finally, I would be remiss to not address the debacle that was the World Championship defense of my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers. The fact that the Oakland loss (when the defense held the Raiders to less than 100 total yards but Ben had 4 INTs, two for TDs) kept them out of the playoffs was indicative of how the season went. It was disappointing and well documented, so I am not going to waste words on it. I am convinced they are still only a few bit pieces from getting back to the top of the mountain, and with a great new coaching hire and a hopefully quiet offseason for their franchise QB, they will contend next season again. There were many reasons for it, from a distracted coach to an unlucky QB to some undisciplined veterans (you know who you are Porter), but I am convinced they have the type of character players to make some noise for years to come. People forget that some of their best or soon to be best players (Roethlisberger, Miller, Polamalu, Holmes, Taylor, McFadden, Parker, Foote, Keisel) all have 4 years or less in the league, and their veteran stars (Faneca, Ward, Hampton) are all in their prime. And they have now brought in a hungry, energetic, and bright coach to freshen things up. I'm optimistic, and hey, these are the reasons we start every season with renewed optimism (unless you root for the Black and Silver).


At 8:45 AM, Blogger Dan said...

A few quickies
2.) This will lead to a larger post from me
3.) I think LT's right in his recent comments....buuuuut....I think he needs to shutup now.
4.) Not a big fan of Michael Bennett, eh?
5.) No need to add to this
6.) I dunno, man - Houston still has Domanick Williams and the #6 pick this year - they're comin' up!
7.) Sadly, we're old enough to call Reggie Bush "son"....because he's 21...and we're....not....anymore....
13.) I'm not sure he does
14.) Draft OL or DL and they'll be just fine. With Wisenhunt and Grimm...my bet is OL...and Edge has a much better year.


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