Monday, August 26, 2013

Saints and Cowboys Wheeling, Billy? Dealing!

Saban and Miles at the top
Glenn Guilbeau came out with his annual SEC Coach Rankings in The Times this morning...shocking no one, Nick Saban is ranked at the top of the chart. It is a little surprising that Guilbeau ranks Les Miles second, one spot ahead of Mark Richt.  

Personally, Richt has done more with a little less than Les over the last two years. To get over the hump in the SEC East, Richt had to make some tough decisions concerning his staff---or face the chopping block himself---and he made the right moves. Like his Georgia counterpart, Les has had a few weak links on staff that received Miles' pledge of loyalty to the detriment of the team.  Les bowed up this year and made a bold move offensively with the Cam Cameron hire. If Cameron works out and the rest of Miles staff perform as they have in their LSU tenure, then---I would rank Miles ahead of Richt. 

But not now.

In addition, Ed Hardy and Tim the Rebel fan were NOT happy with Hugh Freeze tagged two notches below Dan Mullen.  "I" don't have a problem with Mullen ahead of Freeze... I do wonder about Sumlin and Franklin's spots below Mullen. Glenn goes "body of work;" I go "Full A.D.D.", aka, what-have-they-done-for-their-paychecks-recently!

We also delved deeper into the Saints and Cowboys as they, along with all other NFL teams, completed the most important dress rehearsal prior to the regular season.   Poor tackling by the Saints back 8 +  Texans receivers with more alone time than a hipster poet = bad news for the Saints defense.  

Texas-sized version Of Polamalu
There were bright spots---the pass rush seems to have more teeth this year, in particular Cam Jordan.  But the biggest and boldest Saints defender wears #32. Kenny Vaccaro is a play-maker and risk-taker.  I believe the Saints have found their Troy Polamalu---if Vaccaro has 80% the career the Steelers future Hall of Famer has put together, Vaccaro will be a superstar in the league.

New Orleans pass-catchers continue to impress, particularly the younguns' like Kenny Stills, Nick Toon and Andy Tanner. Stills and Toon are locks for the final 53... Tanner has a skill set that is NFL Roster worthy. We wonder if he isn't crunched by the numbers and lost to another team due to his less than stellar special teams ability compared to Courtney Roby and Preston Parker's contributions. Some team will employ Tanner this year---if the roster expanded to 54 players? Tanner is in.

And another big day for Louisiana Tech's Luke McCown.  Along
Luke has looked sharp all preseason
with a solid effort from Tulane rookie, Ryan Griffin, the Saints quarterback depth is finally an asset.  Everyone knows Drew Brees is a top 5 quarterback... but Saints fans know the backup spot has been a concern for a long, long time.  Luke looks more than capable to take over in a pinch and not just keep the seat warm.  I think it's safe to say Luke is as good as or better than several starters in the league heading into week one (Gabbert, Flynn/Pryor, Alex Smith, Weeden, Sanchez/Geno and Buffalo's nightmare come immediately to mind). 

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The Cowboys have to be a little concerned with another injury on defense, albeit the severity of Jay Ratliff's injury isn't known yet.  I've said it once, I'll say it multiple times: If the Cowboys top 15 players remain relatively healthy (play 14 of 16 games), they are a top-flight defense.  The thinness of the roster at some spots (outside of safety) is troubling, especially as prone to injury as the team has been recently.

Fans of the Blue Stars had to like seeing their team ground and pound the Bengals.  The Cowboys running attack will be the operation that separates the wheat from the chaff in the NFC East.
Don't sabotage the Cowboys O, Bill!
IF Callahan doesn't put the Brakes on the run game, Dallas will win the watered down East (Watered down as long as RGIII is bum-wheeled and the Eagles Pac-12 Offense is snuffed out quickly).  Romo is a very good quarterback and could be even more effective if he isn't carrying the weight of the teams' fortunes on his shoulders. Spread the wealth, Callahan! Let the playmakers make plays and the Cowboys will play in January!

Every now and then, on The Tim Fletcher Show, we have earth-rocking news that floats our way---and it has nothing to do with sports. Today was one of those days.  

Billy, our long-time caller, who allowed us all to share in the news of his pursuit of wedded bliss in the Philippines, dropped another bombshell on us:

  • He is going to be a Daddy... of a little Billy, Jr.
Billy, the pastry chef!
That, my friends, is getting it done! Billy and Mrs. Billy have a bun in the oven! Congrats to Billy and we can't wait to take our first call from Junior three years from now when Father and Son disagree on a Les Miles 4th down decision.