Archive | April, 2012

My Draft Sleeper: Ben Branson

23 Apr


Branson was made for his position.

If you haven’t heard of him, check out some video on YouTube of Ben Branson, coming out of Missouri State.  This cat is unbelievable.  Look at him as a seventh-round steal, because he is going fast in free agency if everyone lets him get that far.  First off, he has all the intangibles.  Leadership, dedication, and according to his position coach Jarvis Londale, he is a beast in the weight room.  High motor is an understatement.

On the field, he looks a little raw.  But he measures out at 6’6”, 235, seemingly zero body fat, and he runs a 4.4-40.  His open field speed is incredible, and his hand skills and footwork easily make up for a lack of hip fluidity (as Wang has pointed out) that is disappointing at times – although he does display an impressive core rotation.  It is striking the way he gets off the snap with a deceivingly explosive suddenness.  A little coaching, and this kid could be Colston-esque when it comes to pure late-round value.

Now, many scouts are getting scared off by his past, and that’s probably valid.  There’s a reason this machine is going in the seventh round at best.  He got in a couple scrapes with the law back in his hometown in Wisconsin, running with a shady crowd during his high school days.  His grades suffered, and that’s how he ended up playing Juco ball down the road from Iowa State.

A little film study, however, proves that this guy is a real talent, has a gift, and by all accounts, he has really turned it around since landing in Springfield.  He’s low risk, high ceiling, and there’s little downside.  He hasn’t failed a drug test or been involved with the law since he moved to Missouri.  Perhaps that drive to overcome adversity is what has made him so strong at the point of attack.

I like him as a seventh-rounder coming right here to New Orleans.  Loomis won’t miss out on a gifted player like Branson.  Watch out, NFL!  In a few years, I look forward to posting this link all over the internet so everyone can see what a genius I am.  If he’s a failure, well, you won’t remember this, will you? (Besides, I can delete the entire thread post if need be.)

Either way, remember the name Ben Branson.  I suspect you’ll be hearing it plenty in the coming years, no matter where he ends up.

Well-played, Mr. Benson

17 Apr


“Lookit all mah proppity!”

Everyone reading this has probably, at some time in their lives, gone through the dreadful process of test-driving a new car.  Those of us who don’t have the kind of money with which one can buy the “perfect” car usually feel the need to point out the flaws we notice, in a misguided attempt to either justify walking away in a few minutes, or drive the price of the car down.  It usually goes something like this:

“This car generates a lot of road noise.  I didn’t expect that.”

“Check out this speaker system.  Go ahead, turn it up.  Cool, huh?”

“Yeah, that sounds pretty nice!  But this gauge cluster, it’s pretty cheap-looking.  What’s up with that?”

“The tachometer is very accurate though.  Check out this in-dash GPS.”

“Wow!  Give me directions to the Super Dome.  That’s cool!  What were we talking about again?”

Anybody that’s ever had to pay the bills knows by selling people things they don’t really want knows what I’m talking about.  At various times in my life, I’ve sold Kias, Kirby Vacuums, and stuffed Spidermen (don’t ask).  I’ll tell you what it’s about: distraction.  And there’s no doubt in my mind why Benson was able to make a fortune selling cars.

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Drew Brees, or… A Crummy Commercial?!

11 Apr

Oh, the irony.

Yesterday we, the Who Dat Nation, held our collective breath. For about 4 hours. Drew Brees was up next on ESPN! To talk about contract stuff!!!! OmG!! We’ll never get those 4 hours back, because it was all for squat. He was having a press conference to promote his celebrity golf tournament next month. After hours of delays, we got the clip. “Yes, we’re working diligently on a long-term contract that we hope can get done sooner than later, and in the meantime, I just got a few grand for tricking you all into watching ESPN for the entire afternoon.”

Disclaimer: That might not have been an exact quote.

Now look, I don’t have anything against Drew Brees. He’s my hero too. This contract stuff is just business, it’s a little unprecedented, and it takes time. I get that, and I’m not angry (not about that, anyway).

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Pamphilon and Williams: Scum Exposing Scum

6 Apr

Maybe the only good guy left.

Audiotapegate?  Team meetinggate?  Speechgate?  What should we go with today?  This audio tape is such garbage.  It has produced the best faux outrage of any development in the bounty saga, and that’s saying a hell of a lot.  When a guy named “QBKilla” on twitter started hollering about the most “egregious thing in the history of the game,” the hyperbolemeter quit working.  “<<Error: hyperbole unmeasurable>>”  The media are piling on, again, and boy, isn’t the timing perfect.  Shut up.  Everyone just stop it.  Stop pretending every new development is shocking.  The only thing shocking about the Gregg Williams audio was just how bad Gregg Williams was at pregame speeches.  Jesus.  No wonder our defense sucked.  “Uninspiring” is an understatement.

Realize something: I’m not saying that I like what Gregg Williams says in the video.  That needs to be made clear.  If you can’t win a game without targeting another players freakin’ ACLs, you probably aren’t doing your job very well (and we all know the quality of Williams’s work over the last two years).  Sure, it happens a lot.  The Giants targeted concussions specifically within a week of this speech, it was reported heavily, and nothing happened.  Bounties have existed for years; just turn on NFL network for a few minutes and I’m sure you’ll see a pretty lame Top Ten countdown glorifying them in some way between ridiculously-long commercial breaks.  That said, no amount of history or the existence of any culture excuses Williams’s speech.  He was out of control, a lunatic – and I’m glad he is no longer in New Orleans.  But he’s not the biggest piece of trash we’ve heard from in the last 24 hours. We’ll get to that soon.

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Debunking the 3-4 (Make it Stop)

4 Apr


I told you, didn’t I?  Loomis is king, man.  I thought he was done for now, but even I underestimated the guy.  How good do you have to be at your job when a blog anointing you as the one true Football God underestimates your ability?  I had already forgotten about Hawthorne.  We got our guy.  Weakened that franchise-not-to-be-named in that funny-smelling city to the North and East, while making a huge leap on defense ourselves.  And then, when nobody was looking, boom goes the dynamite.  Hawthorne’s a Saint.  The crowd goes wild.


But with that final (or not?) piece in place at the linebacker position, the old phenomenon rears its ugly head.  Every time a team signs an inordinate number of linebackers in one offseason, the fans start howling with joy.  “THREE FOUR!” they proclaim.  Yep, we have more linebackers than we need, so we must be going to a 3-4 base set.  Come on over and sit down.  We need to talk.

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It’s Appeal Week (now with bongos)

2 Apr

As punishment for bountygate, Sean Payton is forced to participate in a Jimmy Buffett concert.

It’s appeal week, Who Dats.  And every one of us has a different opinion on what’s going to happen behind the closed doors of the commissioner’s office.  Will Payton and Loomis and Vitt go in and let the commissioner have it?  Will they throw red paint on the commish’s new suit and be dragged out by their heels screaming “Hypocrite!” while Goodell’s secretary gasps in horror?  Or will they go groveling to the man on their knees, begging for their jobs, as one local media member suggests from atop a horse so high it defies the laws of physics?

I don’t know.  We’ll never know.  One must assume that someone within the organization has actually seen the document that we’re supposed to believe is 50,000 pages long.  (Let’s see.  I have a 500-page ream of paper on my desk right now.  Just eyeballing it, I’d say it’s about an inch or so thick.  Has anyone seen a Fed-Ex guy with an 8-foot stack of paper enter the Saints facility?) 

We haven’t seen that evidence, and judging from this scrupulous league office’s history, there are a dozen interns shoveling paperwork into a burn pit at a pace that would make State Farm executives blush so that we never will.  We’re told that there are emails, and some game notes, and, uh, well, 49,901 more pages of very damning stuff, or something.

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