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— The ‘big’ news as of this publishing is the benching of RG3. You can tell it’s a slow football news cycle if this is ‘big’ news. My throwaway sentence on the RG3 situation: One horrible QB is replacing another (who used to have ‘life’ pre-injury), and the beat goes on.
Kirk Cousins (20-27 for 190, 1 TD/1 INT) is the worst kind of ‘siren call’ QB for NFL Coaches. They cannot get enough of ‘first guy in the building, and last to leave’ kind of nonsense. That’s not my endorsement for ‘in at 11am, out by 3pm, and missed several meetings’ guy. What I want is ‘most talented guy’.
You take Kirk Cousins working 16 hours a day. I’ll take Tom Brady, and tell him to set his own hours, as long as we are doing well on the field. If Tom needs me at 4am, he can wait until 7am-8am when I get in. We’re not curing diseases or fighting fires here.
The NFL still holds to a lot of 1970s thinking in management, because it’s mostly old money and nepotism running the show. Grinder coaches LOVE Kirk Cousins because he gives 150%, and is a leader. The problem is…he can’t play QB successfully on the NFL level–even if he worked all 24 hours in a day. Some things are not about time—they are about talent. Let me find a talented QB, and then we’ll see if they have character. Most people start that scouting formula the other way around….and don’t really get to the ‘talented’ part. They think that’s what their phone book-sized playbook is for.
NFL head coaching is one of the only professions that your employment will typically last 2-3 years before getting unceremoniously fired, but no one ever jumps up and says, “Hey, maybe we should try something different because this past 20 years pattern of this hasn’t been great for all of us just doing what our mentors did?” Honestly, these head coaches could mail in the job in if they had an elite QB.
Where the FF-was I? Oh, yeah…
Kirk Cousins has to be the luckiest QB alive. He constantly makes terrible throws that he ‘survives’ because of something—DBs falling down, too bright of sun, or whatever. Even with all his luck, he’s still been a dreadful QB in the NFL. In this game, his lone TD pass—an ill-advised pass thrown into traffic. The WR and DB clashed going after the ball when it hits their entangled bodies, and pops up in the air…and landed in passer-by WR Jamison Crowder’s (4 rec. for 41 yards and 1 TD on 5 targets) lap…while he’s moving full speed towards the goal line.
Cousins’ interception in this game was head-shaking. He had at least 2-3 other passes that should have been picked. He is FF-death on a stick. As he moves along with his black robe and sickle, he’s taking Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, Jordan Reed, Alfred Morris, and Jay Gruden FF-down with him. Hey! At least he’s first in the building every day!
Cousins hasn’t been working with the 1st-team a ton these past few years. He has no real chemistry with Garcon-DJax, which he needs because all of his passes are timing/’praying to God the DB doesn’t guess right’ type of passes. The only possible FF-winner (besides the opposing DSTs) is Ryan Grant (5 rec. For 64 yards on 8 targets) might get a minor hot start because he has worked with Cousins on the 2nd-team for a while.
I watched Cousins in this game to see if there was any miraculous improvement. There isn’t. You’d think there would be hope for some garbage time action for FF-purposes, but Cousins isn’t really like that. This is going to be rough with a few false spikes of performance here and there.
I predicted this Cousins issue (that he’s a bad QB) last year, when everyone (including some loyal FFM’ers) thought that I was going to whiff on it during the Cousins FF-love affair of 2014. Sorry! I’ll be wrong again some time, but not on Kirk Cousins.
RG3? Read our ‘Rewind’ article on him from a few weeks ago. Again, I’ll be wrong—just not on this situation.
— The Washington QB noise hides the fact that despite the 31-13 ‘win’ by Washington, the Ravens totally kicked their ass in this game (in the battle of first-teams).
Joe Flacco (8-13 for 137 yards, 1 TD/0 INT) looks fantastic, and…well…see our Draft Guide on where he’s headed for FF-2015.
— In an early red-zone trip, the Ravens ran a play for Nick Boyle (nada). He was open. The ball was overthrown, and Boyle was flagged for a minor P.I. event. The point is: Boyle is going to be this teams starting TE of the future, as I’ve hinted for weeks. He’s already honing in on key looks with the 1st-team—and has been for weeks. I don’t think it means much for Fantasy (because Boyle is not a super-talent), but he will be that guy eventually.
Remember, all the pre-NFL Draft excitement for Maxx Williams? (Cue a solo party horn blown for two-seconds in a quiet room).
— I’m not sure why everyone turned on Javorius Allen (12 carries for 24 yards, 1 rec. for 5 yards on 3 targets) because of this game? He wasn’t as bad as reported. He’s a rookie who is a little lost at times, but he played ‘OK’ considering. I’m not a big fan, but cut him some slack.
Allen committed the major crime of fumbling at the goal line, which is the NFL unpardonable sin. If a RB fumbles, and his teams recovers—no problem. If the RB fumbles, and the oblong, oval sphere bounces into possession of the other team—immediate benching and potential, permanent loss of job.
Allen is not built to be, nor does he have the style of a goal-line runner–so it was silly to begin with.
— A UDFA rookie that we love, ex-Ravens WR DeAndre Carter was cut this week by the team. I was only mildly shocked. (a) The Ravens have a loaded roster of ‘potential/hopeful’ WR talents. (b) Carter was great in OTAs, and looked decent the first week of preseason, but he muffed a couple of kick returns in Week-2—and that is also an unpardonable sin. He also had a chance at making some leaping/diving catches working with crappy QBs in the 4th-quarter in Week-2, but he didn’t make them—he never ‘made a statement’ this preseason. I’m not sure he got a realistic shot to do so. We’ll see if I’m right about him down the road.
Carter may have other issues, I don’t know of any, but I have seen his work at Sacramento State and in Week-1 of the preseason—he’s not only NFL-worthy, he is NFL starter-worthy. The Ravens may have done this to try to slide him quietly on the practice squad…making it seem he’s a joke because he was cut so soon. I guarantee, if I were an NFL GM—he’d be on my team as soon as the period cleared where he was eligible to sign elsewhere.
— Redskins DE/OLB IDP Jackson Jeffcoat (2 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT) again caught my attention this preseason–and not because he had an interception thrown to him like he was a WR, but because he is menacing the QB/Left Tackle on every snap he plays.
Jeffcoat was a pretty talented player for Texas, but battled several labrum issues in college. If he stays healthy, the Redskins have a nice find here.