C.J. Stroud has no obvious weaknesses. And I don’t mean that as faint praise. Stroud is a remarkable athlete who laid down some often eye-popping game tape at Ohio State and followed that up with virtuoso passing performances at the Combine and his pro day. I see no “red flags” for the rookie the Texans hope will be their QB for the next dozen years or so. And that is A Beautiful Right Arm.
But drafting a quarterback in the first round, particularly with a top-five pick, is a historical crapshoot. With the possible exceptions of John Elway and
Andrew Luck (both Stanford guys?), I’ve never seen a QB coming out of college that I considered “can’t miss.” Bottom line? You can always “miss” when drafting a QB.
You can go “boom.” But you can also go “bust.”
Great edge pass rushers are another subject. If what you’re looking for is a reliable blue-chip stock that’s going to produce predictable ROI, former Alabama holy terror Will
Anderson Jr. is just the right guy to balance your “portfolio.” The Texans did a masterful job of pulling off that knockout 1-2 punch with the second and third overall picks.
One more thing about Anderson. Have you seen and heard the way that young man handles himself? He exudes a rare maturity and polish that would reflect well on any organization. I’m not saying he will be the second coming of J.J. Watt. But I’m not saying he won’t be, either.
Combining that draft haul with the hiring of dynamic head coach DeMeco Ryans should reassure Texans fans that the organization is now serious about transitioning from F-Troop to Navy Seals.
Matt Ryan says he’s not retired as a player. Nevertheless, he announced Monday that he has signed on with CBS as an NFL television analyst, effective immediately. Here’s what that means. Ryan might pick up the phone if a team is in a sudden pinch, but that’s likely a wrap for his NFL playing career. Last year’s cringe-worthy disaster with the Colts notwithstanding, we tend to forget how very good he was in his 14 seasons with the Falcons. All we remember is “28-3.” That’s unfair. But that is also reality. Best to you, Matty Ice.
The George Halas Award is presented annually to the NFL player, coach or staffer who has overcome the most adversity. Anybody disagree with Monday’s selection of Bills safety Damar Hamlin? I didn’t think so.
I keep at least a mental list of teams that I think could make a major move this season. The Steelers are on that list. The apparent signing of Mason Rudolph to a one-year extension may not have looked sexy, but it provides Pittsburgh with a veteran back-up quarterback behind second-year man Kenny Pickett. And that’s significant, because it means the Steelers might be able to stay afloat in the NFC North if Pickett goes down for, say, a month or so. For what it’s worth, I’ve always regarded Rudolph a little more highly than most folks. Little things are never little things in the NFL.
This is filthy. I’m keeping an eye on the dispute between the Arizona Cardinals and former team exec Terry McDonough. Let me refresh your memory. McDonough has alleged that Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill ordered him to stay in contact with then G.M. Steve Keim during Keim’s suspension for DWI. That’s a no-no. McDonough claims that his refusal to violate that illegal order ultimately cost him his job. McDonough filed an arbitration claim with the NFL. Messy. But it gets way worse. The Cardinals responded by posting what looks like a full-fledged character assassination attempt on the team’s website, publicly claiming that McDonough’s past includes incidents of “extreme domestic violence,” and abandoning financial responsibility to one of his children, allegations that McDonough denies. Filthy. Well, you know, it’s the Cardinals…TBC.
When I grow up I want to be Josh Allen, who fooled around and hit four homers while taking BP before Monday night’s MLB game in Toronto between the Jays and the Yankees. Never mind that Allen’s backup QB with the Bills, Matt Barkley, who went yard five times. I’d still rather be Josh.
Digital platforms are the future. The NFL announced Monday that it will put a Wild Card Weekend playoff game exclusively on Peacock. Why? It probably had something to do with the $110 million NBCUniversal ponied up.
Nuggets and Lakers tonight in Game One. Yeah, I’m in.
The Astros won. They beat the Cubs 6-4. That’s good! The fact they won on Alex Bregman’s tie-breaking two-run homer in the seventh is even better. Bregs entered that game hitting .212 for the season, and .170 in the month of May. Maybe this will get him jump-started.
I don’t know jack about hockey. But that doesn’t mean I don’t respect the hell out of the sport and its players. And I absolutely agree that winning the Stanley Cup is the toughest thing in sports. Best to the Stars, who Monday night closed out the Seattle Kraken 2-1 in Game Seven to move on to the NHL’s Western Conference Finals against the Vegas Golden Knights.