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Smallthoughts: Rave of the Week…Kansas City Chiefs

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The AFC West has a been a wide ride this season Denver has had their moments, Oakland has had theirs …but Kansas City are the Chiefs of the division. They beat the Oakland Raiders 21-13 to seize firm control of the division sweeping Oakland (beating them twice this season) so they own the tie breaker in the event both teams end the regular season in a tie.

The Chiefs defense, playing without their veteran captain and leading tackler Derrick Johnson, who suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon injury in the second quarter, faced consecutive third-quarter drives starting in the red zone against an MVP-candidate quarterback in Derek Carr and a dynamic Raiders offense.

In holding the Raiders to just one field goal in those two red zone trips sealed the game in a tough gritty performance against their division rival.

“When situations happen like that it’s just, ‘Don’t panic. Stay calm,’ “said  cornerback Steven Nelson “Just do what we’ve been doing and have that killer mindset.” he continued.

“Big win. A huge win. On a short week, this late in the year, to overcome all that and get the win tonight. Defense, I think, played amazing,” quarterback Alex Smith said.

“We’re not going to take it for granted,” outside linebacker Dee Ford said. “We’re not going to take our foot off the gas pedal.”

Smallthoughts: Rant of the Week …Phil Jackson

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I liked Phil Jackson when he was a skinny defensive player for the Knicks back in the 70’s. I liked Phil Jackson better when he coached the Bulls and would bang heads with Pat Riley and then with Jeff Van Gundy. He would say things to tweek the Knicks and I get it was to get a advantage. But I don’t like Phil Jackson tweeking every body from Lebron James to his own star player Carmelo Anthony especially after a win against the Miami Heat in Miami. His timing is like a boxer past his prime in decline…off. Why make the following statement about your own player?
“Carmelo a lot of times, wants to hold the ball longer than (the Knicks want),” Jackson said. “We have a rule, if you hold a pass two seconds, you benefit the defense. So he has a little bit of a tendency to hold it for three, four, five seconds, and then everybody comes to a stop and that is one of the things we work with.”
He gave Carmelo Anthony 124 millions to be what he is a prolific scorer, not the second coming of Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant or Shaq. He reminds of the late George Steinbrenner who would sign a free agent like Reggie Jackson or Dave Winfield and then ripped them for being something they were not. Reggie Jackson was a homerun hitter who struck out a lot and Dave Winfield was a great player but was not Reggie Jackson in the clutch. It took a long time for Steinbrenner to realize he was best served just let the money players be who they are. Phil Jackson isn’t Steinbrenner by any means but he needs to stop talking about other teams players and while he is at it stop killing your own players  as well. It doesn’t serve a purpose of making them better all it does it come decision time drive away a player like Anthony or make other players decide not to come here and get beat up in the press by the team president or have the team president undermine the coach and talk about a system that doesn’t fit the players playing now…and by the way for those of you who don’t know the Triangle which Phil Jackson so gloriously mentions at every turn, he didn’t invent and it was implemented for him by Tex Winter when Winter was a coach on Phil Jackson’s staff with the Bulls.
He has won 11 championships as a coach 2 as a player ironically for the New York Knicks 1969-70 and 1973-74) and he doesn’t let everyone forget it. But even with that many championships you don’t do it alone. You have to have all the right elements to make just one championship happen no less 11. Yet Phil Jackson believes he has done this all on his own. Do you think Carmelo and everyone in a Knick uniform is sick and tired of hearing about how Phil has won so many championship and the triangle ? I am sure they are …because I am sick of hearing it seeing it in print…Enough!
I liked him better when he coached against the Knicks because he was the enemy, now he is the enemy from within …enough already!

Smallthoughts: In Todd We Distrust

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I saw just enough of the Jets- Colts game Monday night to know this team quit on it’s coach, GM, Owner and one of the most passionate and loyal fan base these players will ever play in front of. All the fans ask is play hard earn your money and win . Is that too much to ask? Apparently it is for this roster. Some of the players for years wanted to get paid and finally they did . Mo Wilkerson, Darrelle Revis , and to an lesser extent …Ryan Fitzpatrick. Yet to a man all three are culprits for not at least making representation efforts for their money. If you have been a reader of my post you know I have no problem with ripping the Jets and I am a fan. I want to see this franchise do well.  Since Bill Parcells walked out the door, counting Bill Belechick  the Jets have run through 5 coaches since Belechick went to New England . 5 coaches in 17 years now Todd Bowles makes 6 coaches.
To be fair Woody Johnson has good about hiring first time coaches everyone after Parcells has been first time head coaches in the NFL Al Groh, Herm Edwards, Eric Mangini, Rex Ryan and finally Todd Bowles.It’s been a mixed bag. Problem is with every one of these coaches is they never grow beyond the initial wave of success. Each of them are former defensive coaches who had a distain for their own tightends on offense  and can’t seem to guard the opposing team’s Tight Ends . Bowles strength is supposed to be defense right? What happened? First quarter alone 3 touchdowns to the Tight End…seriously??? No Jet TightEnd has had 3 touchdowns in 3 years but the Colts Tight End had 3 in the first qiauter alone! Shameful.
Defense is supposed to be his expertise yet  he watches week after week Darrelle Revis get beat by guys who two years ago would not have even touched the ball, Quarterbacks wouldn’t even throw in Revis direction. Week after week Bowles watches Revis get beat by guys like Terrelle Pryor a converted quarterback and offers no change in defensive scheme to either help Revis or better yet tell him have a seat on the bench. Could you imagine Bill Parcells putting up with this week after week ? No me neither . In fact as Carl Banks likes to say no scholarships here! The way this is going …Todd Bowles is going to go down as the worse jet coach since Rich Kottie. Yes that bad Jet fans. Bowles makes no in game adjustments or no game to game adjustments for that matter as his 3-9 record suggest.He in over his head when dealing with the New York Media which is the conduit to the fans so he offers nothing week after week as to why bad play continues. I was willing to write this season off as a bad one and bring him back next season. my thought was you don’t go 10-6 your first year and forget how to coach in year 2 …but after this loss to the Colts they didn’t play hard, they didn’t show up and the coach says they weren’t ready to play. Seriously ???Last I look they play once a week …you have six days to be ready to play on day 7. How hard is that to do? That falls on the head coach! They have to be ready to play!
I am on the fence as to saying he needs to be fired at the end of the season, should the Jets play decent the next four games and show some life some effort and Bowles actually coaches like a head coach maybe I would think long and hard to bring him back in 2017. It’s one thing to get outcoached by Bill Belechick , but quite another to get put coached and out played by Chuck Pagano and the Colts , they are beatable, this was a winnable game and all he can say is we got out …kicked??  Cutting CJ Spiller and Jeremy Ross didn’t shake the Jets to their core, benching Darrelle Revis for a full game would, benching anyone not playing hard would. No scholarships remember? It’s one thing to get beat if the opponent is better , then tip your hat and say you beat me , but give effort when coach see no effort week after week he has to do more , say more be more do that nasty heavy lifting that winning coaches do. As a fan do you trust that Bowles is going to do just that? Do you trust that he is a winning coach? I don’t.

Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday …Kevin Mawae

Kevin Mawae played center in the NFL for 16 seasons. He played for the Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets and the Tennessee Titans.

Mawae was originally drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the second round (36th overall) of the 1994 NFL Draft.

Mawae saw his first pro action at right guard against the Oakland Raiders on September 11, and never left the lineup after taking over early in the game versus the Indianapolis Colts. He finished the season playing in 14 games, starting the final 11 at right guard. After the season Mawae earned first-team All-Rookie honors from Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers Association, College and Pro Football Newsweekly and Football News. In 1995 he started all 16 games at right guard, seeing time at center in two games. He was moved to the center position at the start of his 1996 season and remained at that spot for the rest of his NFL career.

In 1998, Mawae was signed by the New York Jets. In his first season in New York, the Jets’ offense averaged 357.2 yards per game (second-best in AFC and fourth-best in NFL), while controlling the ball for an average of 32:17 minutes per game (second-best in AFC and third-best in NFL), also helped running back Curtis Martin to rush for franchise-record eight 100-yard rushing games en route to 1,287-yard season. He started all 16 games. In 1999, he was named to his first Pro Bowl on December 22, he did not miss a play for the second straight season and paved the way for Martin’s then franchise-record of 1,464 yards rushing, and snapped to four different quarterbacks; Vinny Testaverde, Chad Pennington, Rick Mirer and Ray Lucas.

During the 2000 NFL season, he was member of the line that tied Indianapolis Colts for fewest sacks allowed during regular season with 20. Also helped Jets offense average 337.2 yards per game was the 12th best in NFL and the passing offense averaged 245.3 yards per game (sixth in NFL). Mawae earned his second consecutive starting spot as AFC team Pro Bowl center he was selected to the Pro Bowl on six consecutive occasions (1999–2004). In 2002, he underwent offseason shoulder surgery to repair damage to left rotator cuff, he missed two preseason games but kept his consecutive games started streak by making 124th consecutive start in season opener against the Buffalo Bills.

His unbroken streak of 177 games came to an end in October 2005 with a serious triceps injury to his left arm, and he missed the rest of the season. On March 5, 2006, he was cut by the Jets.

Mawae was signed by the Tennessee Titans nine days later on March 14, 2006. In his first season with Tennessee, he helped the offense rank third in the AFC and fifth in the NFL in rushing with 2,214 yards. The Titans set a franchise record by averaging 4.7 yards per carry, and the offensive line, led by Mawae, finished tied for 10th in the league with only 29 sacks allowed.

In 2007, Mawae was voted team captain and started 14 games, helping LenDale White register his first career 1,000-yard season as he finished with 1,110.

In 2009, Mawae was ranked fifth in a Sports Illustrated poll of “dirty players”. The magazine surveyed 296 NFL players to come up with the ranking. Mawae was quoted on the Titans’ site as saying he was “proud” of the recognition because he plays the game hard, but conceded, “I’ve been known to leg whip a time or two. I’ve paid the price for those, both physically and in the pocket.”

On September 10, 2010, Mawae announced that he was retiring from the NFL after 16 years in the league. His last game was the 2010 Pro Bowl.

Smallthoughts:Old School Tuesday spotlights…Kevin Mawae.

Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 241
Games started: 232
Fumbles recovered: 7

Smallthoughts:Old School Tuesday …Randy Rasmussen

They are the unsung heroes on the football field, you can’t measure they value by stats.

One of the most and unappreciated aspects of football is the men who play on both sides of the line both defense and offense. No one pays attention to offensive lineman until…they get beat by a defensive player and it causes a quarterback to be sacked. Yet the importance of an offensive lineman to a quarterback to a running back can not be understated so with that in mind we are spotlighting one offensive lineman New York Jets Guard Randy Rasmussen.

Rasmussen played for the Jets in their AFL Championship game victory over the AFL’s Oakland Raiders in 1968, and started in the third AFL-NFL Championship Game (Super Bowl III), in which the Jets defeated the NFL’s Baltimore Colts. He was the last of the starting Jets players in the game to retire from playing pro football, playing his final game in the 1981 playoffs against the Buffalo Bills. Rasmussen is one of five professional football players in pro football history who attended the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He was the only one of those five to be selected in the NFL draft.

Usually there is a video highlighting the player’s career but in Rasmussen’s case I could not find one available .The only video is super bowl 3 .

Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday  spotlights Randy Rasmussen.

Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 207
Games started: 199
Fumble recoveries: 9
Fumble recovery TDs: 1

Smallthoughts: Rave of the Week …Dallas Cowboys

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Ok before you Cowboy fans go nuts, make sure you under stand something …you got away with one period. Don’t brag , don’t go hey we crushed the Vikings because you didn’t 17-15 says you didn’t The reason you are on the raves list and not the rants this week is simple because in this case it was better to be lucky than to be good. Any of the those breaks you got that could have gone the other way and the Raves of the week would have been the Vikings for tagging your team with it’s second loss.

Smallthoughts: Rant of the Week…Jung-ho Kang

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Usually a rant will be about a player’s performance on the field or a decision by a coach, manager or an executive that adversely affects a team, but this is about a players behavior off the field. According to a published report:

Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung-ho Kang has reportedly been arrested for fleeing the scene of a DUI accident in Korea, according to Yonhap News. Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review has confirmed some of the details.

The 29-year-old Kang was allegedly involved in an alcohol-related accident in the early hours of the morning Friday in Korea. The accident reportedly took place at 2:48 a.m. in Seoul. Kang allegedly attempted to leave the scene, but was caught by police shortly afterward. His blood alcohol level was said to be .084 percent. The legal limit in South Korea is .05 percent. No one was injured in the incident.

Pirates president Frank Coonelly issued a statement saying the club is aware of the situation, and that the organization is “extremely disappointed” in Kang.

“We have been made aware of the very serious charges filed against Jung Ho Kang early Friday morning in Seoul, South Korea.

We are extremely disappointed in Jung Ho and in his decision process during this matter. I know firsthand how foolish and dangerous it is to drive under the influence and am most thankful that, as we understand it, no one was injured.

We will have further comment once we have been able to gather all of the relevant facts and speak with the player.”

What’s the big deal you ask? People get DUI’s right?  Ask yourself this question what right does he have getting behind the wheel of a car drunk beyond the legal limit , then making matters worse by fleeing from the police? Did that help his situation or make it worse. Moral of the story here is you never can be sure what a person whether an entertainer or athlete  is like in their personal life, we often see them in their public face, but once in while their private life comes public and it’s not such a pretty  view.