When last we left bane of Ape’s existence, Peter King, he was telling us that Seattle can finally be known for something other than coffee because he had some fancy pizza there. Seattle: remote kingdom of coffee of pizza. PK also let us know that Matt Flynn has a 30 legitishness percent chance of working out as the Raiders QB, but that’s 25 legitishness percentile points higher than Carson Palmer. Nevertheless, Peter thinks Carson to Arizona is a great move, because every move is great until Peter King can criticize it after the fact.
But what about this week? Do you know that risky draft picks are a-okay if you’re a GM that Peter King likes? Did you know that every player Tom Dimitroff drafts out-stats the competition. Yes, Peter Kings uses “out-stats” as a verb, so you’ve been warned. If you dare, READ ON.
Now this could be a lot of fun.
Hazing your new Kinglandia writers by making then circumnavigate the globe? “The winner is not the person who travels the Earth first, but rather he who bitches about it most.”
On the night of the first round of the draft, April 25, at Radio City Music Hall in New York, a major motion picture starring Kevin Costner will begin filming.
No wait, I meant Marginally Interesting!
It’s called Draft Day. It’s about the Cleveland Browns dealing for the first pick in the draft, and the frenzied hours around the trade and the pick, and the drama includes Costner playing the general manager of the Browns (he’s cuter than Mike Lombardi).
And, unlike Lombardi, is allowed to deal with media.
I asked a veteran NFL operative who has read the Draft Day script about the movie, and he said, “Pretty realistic.”
“The Jets pick and there’s booing. Really did their homework on this one.”
The movie, with Ivan Reitman directing, will include action filmed at Radio City in the midst of the real action of the 2013 first round.
Wow! Establishing shots!
There will be a series of meetings beginning this week between the movie people and the NFL people to figure out how the whole thing is going to work on draft night.
Discussions of logistics? FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN
And there is a Costner love interest, working in the front office of the Browns, who could give the whole thing its requisite Hollywood touch.
Other than it being a Hollywood movie.
Now for what I have this week:
• Jon Gruden on the “Shaky the Mohel” quarterback class (Florio gets that)
HEY GUYZ ME AND MY BOYFRIEND MIKE FLORIO HAVE SUPER SECRET SEINFELD REFERENCES THAT NOBODY ELSE GETS BECAUSE THE PUNCHLINE IS HIDDEN IN OUR SEMEN.
What makes Gruden Gruden is happening now on TV.
There is a popular show on TV about meth, yes.
You’ll see Jon Gruden at his cocky, snarling, football-smarts best this week, when he continues his must-see-TV series breaking down the top quarterbacks in the draft. Now, this is not to shred Jon Gruden the Monday Night Football color man. At all. This is to praise him for a series I love every year, Gruden’s QB Camp on ESPN. This is what he does best — coach and carouse with and stick the needle in the players we’ll see on NFL fields in the future
“THIS GUY I CALL HIM THE INJECTOR BECAUSE HE LETS ME PUMP HIM WITH HORSE STEROIDS”
That’s what’s great about these shows. The players can’t hide.
Too bad. I would have liked to see an interview where Te’o hides behind a desk and only talks through a sock puppet.
Gruden throws friendly fire at them, but it’s fire.
The term friendly fire implies Gruden and his interviewee are on the same team, which isn’t the case. But if Gruden could get away with throwing literal fireballs at people, he would do it.
They have to respond intelligently, or he’ll eat them up.
A friendly eating, but an eating still.
The other day, one personnel man for a team not interested in drafting a quarterback this year told me, “No way if you want Nassib you think there’s a realistic chance he gets past 41.” That’s the overall slot of the Bills’ second-round pick. The Bills are coached by Nassib’s four-year college coach, Doug Marrone. NFL types think Marrone loves him some Nassib.
“If the Bills really like him, and they think he’s the best guy on the board, why not take him at eight?” Gruden said. Eight is where the Bills pick in round one. “Why take even the slightest risk he wouldn’t be there later?”
Preemptive lulz at whichever team eventually lures Gruden out of the announcing booth.
In the three games, Smith out-statted Nassib, throwing for 295 more yards, but made more mistakes. Nassib’s touchdown-to-interception differential was 7-1, Smith’s 5-5.
Peter King really out-shatted the competition by using out-statted as a verb. Never mind that he contradicts his own point. Yards are stats but touchdowns and interception somehow aren’t, you see.
Jack Pardee’s career was simply amazing.
The man coached in the WFL, the NFL, the USFL, the NFL again, and the CFL. Four leagues.
He lead the league in leagues!
One other story: The Oilers were playing a preseason game one August Saturday evening in San Diego, and after the game, Pardee stuck around the stadium to tape his coach’s show. His PR man, Chip Namias, and PR lieutenant, Dave Pearson, drove Pardee back to the hotel in a rental car. Pardee still was in his coaches’ clothing for the show — coaches’ shorts and a polo shirt. On the way back to the hotel, he asked to stop at a Ralph’s, a grocery store chain, so he could get some beer. They went into Ralph’s, Pardee got two six-packs, and they went to pay. Only one checkout stand was open. So they waited. And waited. An NFL coach, in his coaches clothing, patiently waiting with his two six-packs 10, 15 minutes for the long line to go down, and not complaining.
Uber mensch-y-ness! Coaches, they’re just like us, provided they’re tired as shit and just wanna get hammered after work.
Quote of the Week II
“I would argue that, in my opinion, Mike Glennon could go late in the first round and I wouldn’t have a problem with that at all. As I talk about his attributes, I think he has probably — of the quarterbacks in this class — more of the attributes that you look for than maybe any other quarterback in this class. The thing that stands out with him, first of all, is his functional mobility for a big man is far better than people might give him credit for. You see him move out of the pocket and make throws. The thing I really like about him is his willingness to pull the trigger. You’ve got to do that in the NFL.”
— NFL Films senior producer and tape maven Greg Cosell, who said Friday on NFL Network that he thinks Glennon, of North Carolina State, is a better NFL prospect than Geno Smith or Matt Barkley, the two presumptive top quarterbacks in the 2013 draft.
The all-important tendency for gunslingerin’. Gruden says if you like him, it’d be silly not to take him no. 1 overall. Have to be able to pull the trigger then get criticized for it by the same people later.
Stat of the Week
We hadn’t heard much about the son of Gregg Williams, Blake Williams, since his dismissal by Jeff Fisher as Rams linebacker coach and defensive playcaller after the season — until last week. NCAA Division II team William Jewell College of Missouri hired Blake Williams as defensive consultant and presumptive playcaller. Quite a precipitous fall. Blake Williams might find the job tougher at William Jewell than he had in trying to stop Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson last year.
William Jewell lost by scores of 57-16, 56-0, 53-7, 52-17 and 48-3 in 2012. The team gave up 41.6 points per game, 5.8 yards per rush, and 34 touchdown passes.
Oh noes, some shithead coach’s son wasn’t good enough to hold onto the cushy job his name got him and now he has another, more difficult and less glamorous job. That’s so much worse than being some struggling newbie trying to get your foot in the door.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me II
In 2012, the last full calendar year of his prolific life, film maven Roger Ebert, who died Thursday, reviewed 306 movies. That’s more reviews than he wrote in any year of his Pulitzer Prize-winning life.
There is something inspiring about that.
Indeed. Truly, Ebert wrote more to set an example for the rest of us and not being he was immobile and could barely do shit else.
Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week
I just have to travel more.
Ah, yes, the wanderlust is kicking in. Somedays, Florio just wants to sit in bed with Peter and spoon while trading Soup Nazi lines, but it’s not enough for PK. He must fly the friendly skies, onward to places far afield, but not so far that there isn’t a Legal Seafood within walking distance of the hotel.
Two notes for you, not necessarily what you’re used to reading as travel notes.
Oh, so these will be interesting?
One: The Santa Clara basketball team just finished winning the College Basketball Invitational, one of the sub-NCAA tournaments that someone figured out would be a good way to keep gyms crowded in late March and April. The Broncos won the first game of the 16-team field at home against Vermont. Then, in an 11-day span, Santa Clara won at Purdue (West Lafayette, Ind.), at Wright State (Dayton, Ohio), in Santa Clara against George Mason in the first game of a best-of-three championship series, then lost at George Mason (Fairfax, Va.) in game two, then won at George Mason (Fairfax, Va.) Friday night to win the CBI. That’s 8,427 miles traveled to win the CBI.
Hey, that was interestizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Santa Clara is used to silly travel schedules in the postseason.
The schedules were written in crayon! With stink lines around the destinations! Someone drew a ninja in the margins! Silly!
Two years ago, the Broncos played at SMU (Dallas) in the semifinals of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, then at Iona (New Rochelle, N.Y.) in the championship game. Santa Clara won that one before an announced crowd of 2,440, and 2,202 attended Friday night in Fairfax.
Holy shit, not even Santa Clara gives a shit about this.
Two: Maybe wearing gym shorts and an old hoodie, with an open paper cup of coffee, and a dog laying at my feet, isn’t the proper way to wait for one’s wife outside a Food Emporium grocery store on the east side of Manhattan.
But that’s what Belichick would wear. While hitting on married women in the produce section.
There I was over the weekend, while my wife did a little shopping inside, and a guy walked out of the store toward me and fished out two quarters. “Here you go,” he said.
I said, “No, no, no, I’m good. But thanks.”
At long last, Peter King knows the sting of poverty. No longer is he ignorant of the lives of people who don’t have their own corporate website. He’s ready to pen the instant classic, “How the Other Half Lofts”.
Double Tweet of the Week
“the best coaches don’t stoop to use anger and rage to motivate. Players don’t respond. We ignore those coaches.”
“The best coaches earn the player’s respect from respecting the players. Those coaches win over their players and win over time.”
— @BradyPoppinga, former Packers linebacker, on the Mike Rice mess at Rutgers.
Bill Parcells: “The best players don’t act like jappy faggy fags and write womanly fag shit on the Interjap.” [Smacks player across the face with laptop]
Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think the Jets are delaying the inevitable with the stuff about making Darrelle Revis work out at their facility (via Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork) if he wants his workout bonus. They wan to do so even though he’s probably better off for his rehab at his Arizona facility, and even though Revis in the house will provide the distraction of all distractions during the Jets’ offseason workout program. Why invite mayhem into what should be a period of positive press?
Because it’s the Jets?
2. I think the meaning of Terrell Owens, who turns 40 this year, catching passes from Tom Brady in a Los Angeles workout is this: Owens wants to continue his NFL career. Brady wants to have receivers catch balls from him when he works out. That is all. Not saying it’s impossible that T.O. will end up in someone’s camp, but I highly doubt it, and I highly, highly doubt it will be New England’s.
Thanks for adding nothing to that story. I’m mostly interested in how that throwing session came about. I’d like to think T.O. put up a Craigslist post saying he’d pay an NFL quarterback to toss him passes and work up speculation that someone is interested in him.
4. I think Doug Marrone’s taking Ryan Nassib. I can’t stop thinking that.
It’s becoming a problem. He’s writing it on the walls of the Overlook Hotel.
5. I think I’ll pass this along, with the names not used because I was let behind the curtain of the draft process with this particular team a few years ago for educational purposes and not to reveal who told me this. But in 2001, when Michigan wideout David Terrell was the eighth pick overall by Chicago, I was allowed into the Michigan Pro Day. I’d say there were 60 NFL people at the Pro Day — coaches, scouts and a couple of general managers. I saw two fairly famous scouts there, guys I’d known for a while. Very opinionated guys, both of them. These two scouts didn’t sit in the large meeting between coaches and scouts, and during the Terrell workout, I saw both sitting on the sidelines, not paying much attention to the throws and catches. One of them told me he’d watched tape of Terrell and didn’t like him, and he was quoted the same way before the draft.
The point is, whether he watched a lot of tape and loved the guy or didn’t love the guy, scouts have opinions. They like to share those opinions. In my opinion, I wouldn’t have trusted the two scouts I saw on the sidelines nearly as much as I would have trusted those being worker bees at the workout that day, because the two veteran scouts had such a laissez faire approach to their jobs and had already made up their minds about a player before seeing all the available evidence. Turns out, on Terrell, they were correct. But in general, I trust general managers who make tough and seemingly against-the-grain decisions more than I trust the ones making the predictable decisions.
Who has succeeded more in the past few drafts? Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff made a risky move to deal for Julio Jones, which looks smart now. I didn’t like Indy GM Ryan Grigson at the time for taking a second straight tight end in the 2012 draft, but Dwayne Allen turned out to be one of the best rookies in the league last year. Seattle GM John Schneider took Russell Wilson 75th overall last year, and everyone said he reached for the diminutive Wilson. Some reach. My point: Dimitroff, Grigson and Schneider aren’t biting their nails because Nolan Nawrocki questions a player they like.
Oh yes, of course, fortune favors the bold, except all the disastrous risky Raiders picks that Peter King laid out earlier in his column when detailing how they got themselves into salary cap hell. But the Raiders don’t have PK fluff buddy Tom Dimitroff, so whatevs.
6. I think, as he told the Arizona Republic, Cards GM Steve Keim won’t have many sleepless nights about the quarterback position. Keim said he watched every one of Palmer’s passes for the past three years. That’s 1,479, by my count. And he’s convinced that Palmer has enough arm to play in coach Bruce Arians’ downfield passing offense. Arians, I can tell you, is thrilled. This is the man they wanted, of every quarterback in the market. To get him for a trade-down of 43 slots this year in the draft, dealing a sixth-round pick to Oakland for the Raiders’ seventh-rounder, will be a good trade whether Palmer works out or not.
Pretty sure it’s still a bad trade if Palmer is a disaster.
7. I think Charles Woodson is right. He said the other day he’s not been signed in free agency because teams think he’s too old. What gave it away? The fact you’re 36?
Oh shit. Charles Woodson got nugget-slapped by Captain Obvious.
9. I think (making an exception on my football thoughts of the week to include the loss of a great critic, Roger Ebert)
Why? You have an entire section of non-football thoughts each week. Is this the phenomenon called “bullshit creep” where one type of bullshit starts to seep into and eventually take over another type of inane bullshit?
I do recall reading his piece on Field of Dreams, one of my favorite movies ever. I thought he hit a grand slam with it.
It was four movie reviews in one?
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
c. Paragraph of the Week That Shows How Shallow I Am:
Needed a new title for travel bitchings, I see.
This comes courtesy of critic A.O. Scott of the New York Times, in his elegy of Ebert: “Twitter was the last, and maybe the least, of the discursive forms Mr. Ebert mastered. A journalist for nearly half a century, a television star for three decades, a tireless blogger and the author of a memoir and a cookbook, he was platform agnostic long before that unfortunate bit of jargon was invented. Social media, another neologism and, too often, an oxymoron, was for him a tautology.”
“Hmm, yes, quite. Well put. Bon mots all around.” – Jason Garrett.
d. I shall now define the previous four terms I do not understand, with help from Webster’s Online Dictionary. “Discursive:” moving from topic to topic without order; rambling … “Platform agnostic,” I believe, means that he was unwilling to commit to work on one platform, and he enjoyed and was good at many … “Neologism” is a new word, usage or expression, meaning that social media was just another new tool to communicate for Ebert … And “tautology” means a needless repetition of an idea. Meaning, I think, that all media is social, so why use the term “social media?”
e. Thanks for the vocab lesson, A.O., and I mean that.
f. Well, at least I knew “oxymoron.”
Scott’s writing was way verbose, which is about what you expect from any self-absorbed New York Times arts writer, but c’mon. Perhaps I’m giving PK too much credit, but I have a hard time believing he didn’t know what any of those words meant. Dude has been a professional writer for 30-plus years, constantly drones on about his love of reading. This smacks of him trying to come off as a regular guy. “Gorsh, I don’t know none of these fancy writery book-learnt words. Discursive? That’s when you write insults to look fancy, am I right?”
g. The meaning, it seems to me, is that Roger Ebert was his profession’s Troy Brown. Mr. Versatile, getting the job done in many different media.
Uh… sure. I know when I think of Renaissance Men, my mind immediately goes to Troy Brown. Even though this is PK’s Patriots fandom showing, I suppose I should just be happy he didn’t name some random white utility infielder.
i. Jose Iglesias, 2012: eight hits, 68 at-bats. Jose Iglesias, 2013: nine hits, 16 at-bats.
“Sometimes a baseball player gets off to a hot start that looks jarring compared to the rest of his output! WEIRD!”
k. Get well, Nelson Mandela.
l. Get wise, in a hurry, legislators standing in the way of real gun reform.
Something, get done, about gun control, soonish if possible, because that’s the obtuse suggestion Peter King has.
n. Best drama of the first week in baseball:
Nope. Don’t care.
r. Happy opening day, Fenway.
s. Coffeenerdness: I congratulate you on the new hazelnut macchiato, Starbucks. That’s a keeper.
Keep it up and Seattle will only be known for coffee again.
t. Beernerdness: Saw two baseball games last week, one at Yankee Stadium and one at CitiField. I will now grade the beer selection.
C-minus; Miller/Coors must have bought the pouring rights for the place, because the only thing I found with a touch of originality was Batch 19, its Prohibition-era beer. Not bad. A choice would be better.
Massive corporations have a strangehold on Yankee Stadium? I would have never guessed.
Mets: A. The selection is the best in the majors east of Safeco, my palate says.
Wait, Seattle is known for lofty baseball beer selection as well? Why must this bustling utopia be so remote?
Bypassed the Third Shift Amber Lager for one I love — Brooklyn Lager in a 16-ounce can, currently my favorite lager. Gotta love a stadium with choices outside the mainstream.
Oh shit, Peter King has gone hipster. RIP Hipsterism.
u. I’m a little late for Mad Men. Five years, to be exact. But it feels like a show I should catch up on.
It’s this blasted traveling! It eats into my many other leisurely pursuits. Oh, but that’s the sacrifice a Starwood Preferred man makes.
v. T-minus six days for the new season of Veep.
Veep’s a fine show. I’ll give him that. Now that I actually agreed with PK on something, we better wrap this sumbitch up.
The Adieu Haiku
A key draft nugget:
Syracuse passer’s name is
NASS-ib, not na-SEEB.
It refers to a new word
Like goddamn “out-stat”
I want more like this!
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