Monday, April 30, 2007

Consensus Draft Grades

Guess who had the consensus worst draft in the NFL? Deadskins "win." Danny Boy's really leaving his mark as a GM - further decimating the once-great Redskins.

The fans give the Deadskins an "F" for their draft.

Of course, our "objective" JKD thinks the Bears and the Redskins drafts are comparable. Or he will whine about how we cannot compare apples and oranges, or some other nonsense. The fact is the Redskins organization sucks and this was just another example of how foolish they are.

NFL Draft Grades

Dr. Z grades both the Bears' and Redskins' drafts as a "D"

Yahoo! has the Bears at a "C" and the Redskins at a "D+".

CBS Sportsline has the Bears at a "C" and the Redskins at a "D."

Fox Sports has the Bears and Redskins both at "C".

NBC has the Bears at a "B" and the Redskins at a "C+."

Chicago Tribune had the Bears at an "A-" and the Redskins at a "D."

Here is the bottom line - we cannot judge how good draft class is until the guys get on the field for a couple of years. Most draft picks do not become Pro Bowlers, many are not starters, but many are solid contributors. The Bears simply had more picks than the Redskins and I am quite comfortable with their selections. I suspect that they will have a bunch of contributors out of this bunch. For the Redskins, outside of Landry (who I think is going to be very good), I don't see much.

American Military Death Toll

More than 100 American soldiers killed in Iraq last month. That is what the Bush's war escalation is bringing us.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

NFL Draft Thoughts

Coming out of the weekend, Oakland and New England seem to have improved themselves quite a bit. Although we will have to see what New England will be like given that they sold off all of their principles.

Chicago Bears had a very good draft in my opinion. They got Greg Olsen at tight end in the first round. Then they got some additional help and depth at a bunch of other positions. We'll see who makes the team in the end, but it appears to me that they got a good bunch of players.

Washington Redskins got a good pick in LaRon Landry. But that was about it. They may have some special teamers and some depth improvements, but WHERE ARE THE D-LINEMEN THAT THEY NEED?

Friday, April 27, 2007

No Surprise

There wasn't much of a debate within the Bush Administration before the President ordered the disasterous invasion of Iraq. Nothing new, just another person saying it - this time it is former CIA Director George Tenet.

Economic Growth (GDP) is Nearing Recession

Economic growth came in at just 1.3% for the first quarter. No question the economy is slowing. I have spoken about all of the problems this will have.

Don't look at the Wall Street numbers - they are one indicator, but they are often out of sync with Main Street reality.

I must admit that I have been surprised by stock performance, but feel strongly that a major correction will take the Dow back down to about 10,800 by the end of this year. Let's see what happens.

Briggs to Redskins?

Looks like the teams are talking again and a source said there is a 50-50 chance the trade gets done. I'd love to see the Bears take LaRon Landry or Joe Thomas if he were to slip to #6. I'd also love to see what Briggs could do in the Washington defensive scheme. Also, I'd just love to see the contract that Danny Boy gives a guy who says he doesn't care about winning as long as he gets paid.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Oregon Governor on Food Stamps

OK, he is only doing it for a week. But it is a good means of showing how difficult it is to live on food stamps. The average person on food stamps gets $21/week for their food. For many working poor they are making additional money in minimum wage jobs, but $21/week is not a whole lot.

Gibbsy's Lost It

He should be fired for saying the following:

"You'd love to have a guy who can make an immediate impact, but to be quite truthful, you look at our football team, where could a player step in here right now and say: 'I'm taking over'? Where is that? That makes us feel good. I don't feel panicked that we have to take any one thing. It's hard to say that somebody would just step into any position right now."

THE REDSKINS WERE 5-11 LAST YEAR!!! They cannot find someone who would immediately start with the sixth pick in the draft? Come on, I know the braintrust at Redskin Park sucks, but that is ridiculous.

Start the search for a new coach right now. Gibbsy has officially lost it and needs to retire before he makes an even bigger fool of himself.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch Lies

The Tillman family and Jessica Lynch spoke before a congressional hearing on Tuesday. They blasted the propaganda campaigns that were initiated in their names to fool the American people. Sad how the Bush administration uses troops as political props. If Bush felt strongly about the lying, as Commander-in-Chief he could hold people responsible. He hasn't to date.

And anyone who thinks that Rumsfeld and Bush did not know soon after Tillman's death that it was a friendly fire incident, and not a fierce firefight with Taliban is just stupid. All of the patriotic imagery after Tillman's death and at his funeral was carefully planned. Someone would have told Rumsfeld and Bush that it was all a lie.

Briggs Nonsense

"No Comment" Rosenhaus has been trying to drum up business and claimed on Dan Patrick's radio show that 5 teams were interested in Briggs. But, Bears GM Jerry Angelo flatly denied any such interest.

On Patrick's show, Rosenhaus said Briggs didn't care if he played for a winner or a loser. "We don't have a preference other than get a long-term deal." Nice.

Danny Boy's Thoughts

Danny Boy had his first formal media appearance on the Redskins in some time on Tuesday. Nothing really new . . . we are making progress, we are going to be aggressive, we don't need a GM or changes to the front office. Same old B.S.

Monday, April 23, 2007

LaRon Landry and the 'Skins

After reading the article from Tuesday's Post, it appears that the Redskins like Landry but should pass over him because he may not fit with Sean Taylor. Having two gamblers at the safety position will create some issues (especially with a lack of a pass rush). My guess is that the Redskins will end up with Okoye - which is a pretty good pick - but that Landry will become more of an impact player.

"Surge" Update

Looks like more of our soldiers had freedom march over them. Nine troops killed in a single IED attack. Not surprising that Bushie's war escalation is faltering - every other decision he has made about Iraq has been wrong, why should it be any different now?

Who is in Charge?

So the U.S. military and the Iraqi military were building a wall around Adhamiyah, a Sunni suburb of Baghdad that is surrounded by Shia.

The Sunnis protested and Iraqi prime minister Maliki said there would be no such wall. But, it looks like the wall is going up anyway.

Sovereign country . . . yeah right. Our soldiers are dying to prop up a prime minister that cannot make any decisions for his own country.

Draft is just Days Away

Not much really new. I am sure the Redskins and Bears are working the phones to try to make a deal. For the Bears, I think they would consider moving up and they must be trying to move Briggs. For the Redskins, the best thing for them would be to move down about 5-10 slots and pick up a pick or two in this year's draft.

The only real news in Chicago was that Urlacher supports Briggs' efforts for a new contract. And, there is a story in the Trib about a New Mexico linebacker named Quincy Black (Urlacher is from New Mexico). Sounds like a good prospect, who grew up in Chicago, and there may be some interest on the part of the Bears, but it looks like he would be taken too high if the Bears pick him at either #31 or #37.

The Post had a piece about the Redskins trying to move up to get Calvin Johnson. Horrible, horrible idea. Aside from the fact that they have so much money already invested in their receiving corps, they have many other needs that they could address if they just stay put, or even better move down. If they wanted to move up 4 slots, it would likely cost them next year's #1, plus an additional later round pick or picks. But bad moves are what Danny Boy has become known for, so let's see what happens.

I think draft day will be interesting with some last minute deals, and the very real possibility that both the Bears and Redskins will make significant trades.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Iraq War Escalation to Continue

Not surprising that Bushie is likely to extend his troop escalation. The "surge" (as he has called it) gave the impression that it was temporary. Yet again it was a tricky way to market his troop escalation to the American people. Of course, the majority of Americans do not support the war escalation and want to put in timetables to see American involvement in Iraq end.

Just a final thought, the following are the number of American troop deaths for the first three months of the war, and then the first three months of each year from 2004 to 2007.

2003 (start of war) = 174
2004 = 118
2005 = 199
2006 = 145
2007 = 244

So far in April, there have been at least 66 American soldiers killed.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Bye Bye Gonzo

If Bushie had any sense of decency and compassion, he would put Attorney General Alberto Gonzales out of his misery. They guy testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday and anyone who says it wasn't a disaster did not watch the pitiful performance. Both Republicans and Democrats were unconvinced.

He claimed that he was against the use of the new Patriot Act provision which allowed the Attorney General to bypass Senate confirmation for replacing fired U.S. attorneys, but then couldn't explain why his Chief of Staff implemented the program. He claimed ignorance.

Overall, his explanations strained the bounds of credibility, but the irritating thing about his testimony is how many times he said he "misspoke" on a prior occasion, or that he "could not recall" important details. Lies, damn lies, and even more damn lies if you ask me.

Even if you don't think he should be removed for sanctioning torture, warrantless wiretapping, spying on Americans, losing files, the whole firing scandal, the performance today was an utter embarrassment and demonstrated a guy who has no control over the Justice Department. Just look at the transcript and count the number of times Gonzo said, "I don't recall."

UPDATE:

The reviews are in today and Gonzo was a disaster. The Republicans are not satisfied with his performance. He could not recall things 71 times. Given how much he supposedly prepared for his appearance, that is very hard to believe.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

NFL Draft - 9 Days Out

The NFL Draft is coming fast and a lot is likely to happen in the next week. I think a lot of teams may try to move up because there may be some slippage of guys like Russell, CJ, Peterson, and the Mighty Quinn.

There are some rumors floating around that the Bears will try to move up to take Joe Thomas, who is a blue collar, Big-10 guy who could be their starting tackle for 10 years. The only way I see that happening is if he slips below #7. It is possible, that they would make the Briggs trade with Washington to do it, but they would want Rocky and as part of the deal and it is not clear to me that the Redskins would go for it.

I am sure that the Bears are working the phones trying to figure out how to send Briggs and some picks for moving up.

I would love to see the Bears make a run at LaRon Landry if he were to slip. I wouldn't mind them trading up with Washington to take him. They guy could very well be Troy Palamalu. It is not a position of need for the Bears, but he is awesome, and the more I read about him the more I like him.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Latest from Iraq . . .

carnage and death. What else is new? Bushie's troop escalation (i.e., the surge) won't do anything. Unless we were to magically find and deploy 250,000 more troops (at a bare minimum), there won't be any change.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Draft Thoughts

We are less than two weeks from the draft and will see some deals get done over the next few days and during the draft.

Here is what is going to happen with the first few picks.

1. Raiders pick up Culpepper and trade Moss and Porter for players and picks. Then they draft CJ.
2. Lions take Gaines.
3. Browns take local hero Brady Quinn (they have to sell tickets).
4. Tampa takes Adrian Peterson (risky but explosive)
5. Arizona takes either Joe Thomas or LaRon Landry.
6. Redskins come up and take JaMarcus Nelson. Then they immediately trade Jason Campbell to Oakland for a 7th round pick.

Don't shake your head - it could happen. That is the sad part for Redskin fans.

Redskin Fan Experience

I talked about this a couple of weeks ago, but the Washington Times did a story based on the ESPN survey of teams.

It basically shows that the Redskins organization is one of the worst organizations among the 4 major sports in terms of the fan experience.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Foolishness of Bushie's Iraq Fiasco

We can talk about the civil war Bushie has unleased in Iraq, the dead soldiers and innocent civilians, the lack of WMDs, the corruption of the emerging government, blah blah blah. I want to write about it from a little different perspective.

Yesterday, my family and I were in DC for the baptism of a close friend's son. As we were driving through DC on the way to the church, we passed a high school that had boarded up windows, torn up pavement and sidewalks, broken down basketball hoops, etc. I am sure the inside was much, much worse. Dilapidated is too kind a word to describe the condition of the school. Now this school is literally just about a mile from the U.S. Capitol building and children attend it every school day.

It is a sad fact that in the shadow of the U.S. Congress, where lawmakers have approved over half a trillion for Iraq, we cannot find the funds to re-build our own schools. That is the collateral damage that is resulting from the nonsense that is Bushie's Iraq war policy.

Iraq Worsening

There is more and more evidence that Bush's war escalation strategy (i.e., "the surge") is not working. We'll see, but given the depths of the problems, it is not surprising.

To make matters worse, Sadr has pulled his bloc of ministers from the Iraqi government. So, the Sunnis are basically out and now some of the Shia are out. So American soldiers are dying to prop up an Iraqi government that is basically nonexistent.

There is a great opinion piece in the Washington Post today by retired Marine general John Sheehan in which he explains why he has no interest in the "War Czar" position. In his op-ed, he writes that with respect to Iraq and Afghanistan, the "decision-making process lacks a linkage to a broader view of the region and how the parts fit together strategically. We got it right during the early days of Afghanistan -- and then lost focus. We have never gotten it right in Iraq." It is clear that our soldiers are dying and there is no real strategy that is being followed.

Friday, April 13, 2007

More Bushie Incompetence

The White House is so incredibly dysfunctional. It is pathetic how bad the place is. National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley confirmed that the White House was trying to hire a "War Czar" who would be in charge of overseeing the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Isn't that the job of the Commander-in-Chief? How about the Secretary of Defense? How about the Joint Chiefs?

NBC military analyst, retired Col. Jack Jacobs says, "the sheer stupidity of it is staggering."

So basically, 4 years into the wars, things are going so badly, and Bushie has no idea what he is doing, so he is looking to outsource the job of CIC to someone else. Maybe it's not such a bad idea given how incompetent he has been.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Just When You Think Iraq Couldn't Be Worse!

The Turkish Army is threatening to invade Northern Iraq to battle Kurdish rebels. Man, talk about a mess of a country. The Sunnis are battling the Shiites in sectarian violence. Both the Sunnis and the Shiites are battling American troops who they perceive as occupiers. Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia are supposedly providing aid to our enemies in Iraq.

Now Turkey could invade? Great.

Surge is Failing

There was a bombing today in the Iraqi Parliament cafeteria that killed and wounded Iraqi lawmakers. So much for security within the heavily fortified Green Zone.

Al-Sadr is agitating again and is calling on his Shiite friends to revolt against the American "occupiers." Then of course we have the Sunni insurgents that don't like us either.

The Red Cross has just issued a report about the horrible and ever-worsening conditions of Iraq civilians.

To top it all off, there is little question that April is going to be a particularly bloody month for American troops. And they can now look forward to 3-month extensions because we don't have enough troops to sustain our occupation and Bushie's war escalation plan. So Bushie is basically telling soldiers and their families to just suck it up and sacrifice even more. The thing that is so galling is that Bushie doesn't ask average Americans to sacrifice anything. Most of us live our normal lives and are not even asked to pay more in taxes to fund our war effort or the care of our wounded vets. Since we have to borrow money from foreigners in order to pay for the war, it will be left to our kids to pay for this whole mess.

The fact is that there are no good solutions. If we leave Iraq there will continue to be sectarian violence - but it is there now and there is no way to stop it. Bushie has committed the biggest foreign policy blunder in the history of this country and literally tens of thousands of innocent victims have lost their lives because of his incompetence.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Bears and Redskins 2007 NFL Schedules

The Chicago Bears have a reasonable schedule (surprising given their record last year). The opening couple of weeks look particularly tough - three playoff teams in the first 3 weeks (San Diego, KC, and Dallas), but the rest of the season looks OK. As I look over the schedule, I predict the Bears will go 3-1, 3-1, 2-2, 3-1, during each quarter of the season for an overall record of 11-5.

The Washington Redskins schedule looks reasonable (again not surprising), although their season could end early with two divisional losses in the first three weeks. I predict the Redskins will go 2-2, 1-3, 1-3, 1-3 during each quarter for an overall record of 5-11. Frankly, I think it will be a miracle if they get to 8-8.

Five national games schedule for the Bears and surprisingly there are 3 national Redskin games. There may be some Flex Game changes that affect both teams. The Bears and Redskins meet on December 6. Cannot wait.

Obviously, I will make final predictions as we get to the start of the regular season. A lot will happen with injuries, signings, etc. but these are my initial thoughts.

Bushie Wants a War Czar

But, three generals have already turned down the position that would have them oversee the Iraq War. It is pretty clear that everyone wants to stay clear of the Iraq War mess. If the Baker and Hamilton Iraq Study Group's recommendations were so easily dismissed by Bushie, why would anyone think they could help the President change course?

The quote in the story from retired Marine Gen. John J. "Jack" Sheehan, a former top NATO commander is quite telling:

"The very fundamental issue is, they don't know where the hell they're going."

Sheehan said he believes that Vice President Cheney and his hawkish allies remain more powerful within the administration than pragmatists looking for a way out of Iraq.

"So rather than go over there, develop an ulcer and eventually leave, I said, 'No, thanks.' "

Pacman and Henry Down . . . Tank Next

I have to say I was surprised at the length of the suspensions given to Pacman and Henry - full season and 8 games respectively. Given what they got, I am guessing that Tank is looking at 4-6 games off to start the season, I expect it will be less than what Henry got, but who knows. He'll probably be making a trip to New York as soon as he gets out of jail.

It seems like a pretty good system and I like that the NFL is making an effort to police itself. The good thing about the way Goodell is implementing the system is that he got input from players and the Players' Union has been appropriately coopted. This gives the system even more credibility.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Couple of Thoughts on Bears and Redskins

Well, it looks like the Briggs trade talks have cooled down. I think the Redskins will make one more run at Briggs, but the Bears want Rocky as part of the trade. From what I have read, the Bears had Rocky rated fairly high last year. But, it seems to me that the Redskins want to make some use of him this year.

If they get Briggs, then it looks like Marcus Washington will be a post June 1 cap casualty (he may be anyway given his cap number and his age). Another "core guy" is going to be gone because the Redskins don't know how to manage their cap. It seems to me that Washington and Springs will be gone.

When it comes to the Bears, I think they would like to get things worked out with Briggs for 1 year. Lovie and many of the Bears players are just fine with Briggs. That is one of the great things about having a coach that is not the GM. The GM can be the bad guy and the coach can still work things out with disgruntled players. Then the Bears can draft some quality players at #31 and #37 who should be able to provide some depth and will likely contribute. It seems to me they should just sit tight and draft the best available guys at linebacker, secondary, O-line, D-line, wide receiver - whatever.

I'm Back

Hey folks, I just got back from a week in Hawaii. Perfect weather - as always. Enjoyed the time with the family sitting on the beach.