When last we left kooky diet quitter, Peter King, he was telling Sean Payton, a man who hates PK and refuses to speak with him, to fine Jimmy Graham for drawing unsportsmanlike conduct flags with “juvenile” dunk celebrations over the crossbar in a preseason game. Jimmy cost the team meaningless field position! Keelhaul him!
But what about this week? Well Peyton Manning got flagged for taunting a player and yelling FUCK YOU at him. Is there a demand for Peyton to get fined? LOL nope. READ ON.
This week’s nugget dump is titled, “WHY THE NFL’S BEST TEAM WON’T WIN THE SUPER BOWL”. That best team, according to Peter King, is the Seahawks, but Seattle won’t be repeating because repeating is really hard, you guys. What follows is a few paragraphs about how the Seahawks are awesome and loaded with talent, but probably won’t win it all again because shit happens, I guess?
Let’s not forget the poetry of Russell Wilson’s deep, deep, sultry balls:
Such beautiful deep balls, and isn’t Wilson supposed to be a system quarterback or game manager, or whatever negative connotation you can think of when you don’t want to acknowledge he’s a top 10 quarterback in the league after two seasons and one Lombardi Trophy?
Christ. I know Wilson dumped his wife this off-season but no need to hurl your underwear at his face, Peter.
Did that teasing headline lead you to believe that Peter King is actually divulging his Super Bowl pick in this column? Sorry, that almost certainly wrong pick is being saved for the magazine. It will run in Sports Illustrated’s annual NFL preview along with a bunch of other shit I’ll make sure not to read.
Now Peter is back to describing the awesomeness of the Seahawks. He calls Percy Harvin the most dangerous non-quarterback in football, which is highly debatable but still amusing as you would think being this impressed with a team would mean picking them to go back to the Super Bowl, but PK’s belief in chaos theory is just too strong.
Enough C-HOX gushing. We’re on to the Rams, who must cope with (celebrate?) the loss of Sam Bradford for the season. We also get our second Peter King dateline of the column. “OH, THE PLACES I GET TO GO”, Peter King’s favorite Dr. Seuss book.
PK shares a discussion he had with Bradford 12 days ago about last year’s ACL injury. This evidently wasn’t interesting enough to include last week, but then Bradford went and got hurt again. How convenient for Petey! Gotta love when things come together like that.
Peter then gets THE MONEY QUOTE from Bradford’s injury on Saturday.
“My knee,’’ Bradford said, wincing, when the trainers got out there.
There’s a recapping of Shaun Hill’s career because nobody cares about Shaun Hill, even Maryland alums like myself. Peter feels certain the Rams won’t overpay for Mark Sanchez in a potential trade (overpaying in this case being a second- and third-round pick) because PK must stick up for his agent’s son, who just happens to be the Rams GM.
The fun thing about setting second and third rounders as the bar for overpaying for Sanchez is that just a second-round pick would still be overpaying for Sanchez but if that’s “all” the Rams do give up, PK can say it’s a shrewd move because it’s under his ridiculously high threshold.
Anyway, PK says the Rams are sticking with Shaun Hill because he’s comfortable with the offense and they’re already resigned to failure.
But I didn’t get the sense talking to Rams people Sunday that this was a priority, because Hill’s been in the system for five months and a newbie wouldn’t be familiar.
Meanwhile, wasn’t Sam Bradford’s pre-CBA rookie deal just so kooky? It led the league in kookiness!
By the end of this season, Bradford would have started 49 NFL games and sat for 31 of them, and made $65 million in the process; his was the last silly rookie contract before the new CBA made rookie salaries rich but not kooky.
Thank goodness for the end of kooky deals.
This is just sad:
There is a saying on the whiteboard in Rams general manager Les Snead’s office. “Build to dominate using Redskin picks!” it reads.
The Rams have actually gotten a good amount of talent from the windfall of picks they got from Washington in the RGIII trade. And you know what? All that’s helped them to do is become a middling team in a stacked division. They basically got another Herschel Walker trade type bounty of picks and squandered it because they’re stuck in quarterback hell. Football is cruel like that.
Moving on, we get more NFL camp reports which means FIVE MORE DATELINES! YOU WILL ACKNOWLEDGE HOW MUCH PETER HAS TO TRAVEL!
The Cardinals are high on rookie wideout John Brown. There’s a breathless recap of the nerve-wracking process of how the receiver fell to Arizona in the third round, which no one cares about but it’s the sort of story that illustrates PK’s insider status.
Joe Haden tells PK how defensive backs are dealing with the new emphasis on holding in the secondary. This is pretty much the only interesting thing in the column, so naturally it gets the short shrift. Browns DBs wear boxing gloves in practice. Presumably the one who does the best gets to take a shot at Manziel’s face.
PK gets giddy because he asks Texans GM Rick Smith whether he has plans to take advantage of his team’s top waiver priority on players released during preseason cuts and Smith has to weigh his words before speaking. That means something! Unless it doesn’t!
Peter makes up some bullshit to defend the high cost of sending him to training camps:
The Chargers practice wasn’t open to the media for the entire time, because technically they weren’t in training camp when I was there and didn’t have to. But I saw enough. That’s the benefit of being out on the road in the summer, when you can watch players when they’re (mostly) healthy—you can see live what you can’t see as well on TV or on tape. And I’ll remember that beautiful and athletic one-handed catch for a long time.
Not sure what watching that one awesome catch in practice will do to inform your coverage of Keenan Allen other than the fact that you can say you saw it. But he needs something to show his bosses so they keep footing the bill for his annual summer cross-country trip.
Seeing two teams struggle in a preseason game leads PK to start imagining draft scenarios for next year:
And I think: Cleveland GM Ray Farmer could have two of the top five picks in the draft next April. The Browns have Buffalo’s first-round pick from the Sammy Watkins trade. Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston (if he comes out) or Brett Hundley … plus either a bookend tackle from a reportedly rich tackle crop next year, or another defensive piece. It’s way too early to project things like this
but two picks in the top five of any draft is gold—gold, Jerry, it’s gold!—and Farmer might just have made a golden deal to help the Browns of 2015 and beyond, even as the team faces another apparently lean year now.
Thanks for that ridiculous and premature knee-jerk reaction. But wait, it gets better!
Then I think: Manziel versus Mariota in training camp next July. I mean, the national press is going to rent the Courtyard in Berea for a month.
That’s right – the Browns are supposedly going to take ANOTHER quarterback in the first round next year. I mean, total Browns move, but probably irresponsible to be calling it the August before.
And now a rundown of 20 preseason nuggets! 20! PK is the Costco of nuggets. Don’t go to him unless you’re looking for the family size.
4. Matt Schaub’s not the answer, Oakland.
That’s insight you won’t find anywhere else!
Unless the question is: “Which player is going to finish the job to get this coaching staff, and maybe Reggie McKenzie, fired?”
AWWWWWWW SNAP OAKLAND YA BURNT
5. Free Blake Bortles.
Did he start protesting in Ferguson too?
12. Peyton Manning got 15 yards for taunting Saturday, the first such penalty in his illustrious career. Fifteen for excessive quotability I can understand. Taunting? Another thing entirely.
Oh fuck you. Jimmy Graham needs a fine for acting up but Peyton’s penalty gets dismissed with a line that reinforces what a useful person that Pey-Pey has been to Peter King over the years? Peyton was sticking up for a teammate who just got injured which makes his needless penalty noble and befitting a leader! Never mind all that bullshit last week about how penalties cost precious field position in preseason games. Again, all Peter cares about is access.
With that, we are informed of advances in coffee technology. COFFEE CHAW!
20. You know what I noticed in the defensive-line room of the San Diego Chargers on Thursday? Grinds Coffee Pouches. They’re used by players instead of tobacco, little pouches of coffee that give the same kind of energy jolt that the tobacco does … and they don’t carry the danger of tobacco. “Lots of guys use it. They like it. It’s safer,’’ Dwight Freeney told me.
Safer, and yet still incredibly gross. Now that he knows about this, PK is going to be carrying around soda bottles full of his coffee dip spit from now on. I bet he’ll auction one to readers by the end of the year.
We learn Ron Jaworski is an investor in the Chinese football league that is tentatively scheduled to start next year and Cris Collinsworth bought a share of Pro Football Focus because it’s a useful tool in player evaluation for people who don’t have time to actually watch film. WEIRD!
Quotes of the Week
“It’s as drastic a change as anything I’ve seen since I’ve come back to the league. I’m not bellyaching. I’m really not. I just think these points of emphasis are having different consequences than the league thought they would. They are making calls on plays that have nothing to do with the play, sometimes way across the field from where the ball is. It’s a nice try, but it’s too much. There’s going to be a game decided in a crucial situation by one of these calls, and no one wants to see that.”
—Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, on the new officiating points the league is telling its officials to call.
Carroll’s not wrong but it would be hilarious to see one of these calls cost the Seahawks the game against the Packers next Thursday.
Stat of the Week
The Cardinals have to pay linebacker Daryl Washington $7 million of a $10 million option bonus the club exercised in March. Two months after the Cards exercised the option, Washington got suspended for the season for substance abuse.
Talk about an unfair part of the 2011 CBA. The bonus was deferred, but the team will end up paying 70 percent of it—and for a player they are likely never to employ again. Should the Cardinals have had suspicions about Washington? Yes. They should have, and did. But why should they pay $7 million to a player who isn’t playing—and he isn’t playing because he made a personal decision to use some substance he knew was banned by the league?
Oh man, does Peter hate hate HATE it when a player gets money that he doesn’t think they earned. Being a toady for NFL ownership must really be hard on your blood pressure. I mean, there are tons of non-guaranteed contracts and players cut for nothing, but one dude got a couple million he won’t earn. THE SYSTEM’S BROKEN!
ON TO TRAVEL BITCHINGS!
– Frontier Airlines charges $35 for carry-on luggage! AVIATION LARCENY AT ITS MOST BLOODTHIRSTY!
– Peter had to pay a $4.50 at a laundromat in San Diego because water costs are high due to California’s drought. Yet he never bats at eye at forking over more than that several times a day for a Starbucks lardaccino.
– We are furnished with a chart tat details how much money that PK comped to his bosses for each hotel that he stayed at on his training camp trip. Way to soak that corporate account, Petey!
During the tweets of the week, we finally find out which naughty words Peyton used on the field.
After the game, Swearinger was asked what Manning said to him that prompted the 15-yard flag. According to the Denver Post‘s Mike Klis, Swearinger testified, “He said, ‘F me.’ ”
“THAT’S JUST SWEET, SWEET LEADER TALK! MY PEYTON WOULD NEVER SPEAK FILTH UNLESS HE HAD TO!”
At last, the thoughts PK thinks he thinks he thinks he thinks:
Mike McCarthy has preseason courage! He went for two points on each touchdown in the game against the Raiders on Friday. PK thinks teams should always go for two except when taking the extra point means getting the lead late in the game. It’s not a bad strategy but one that isn’t likely to be adopted by most if any NFL head coaches, so PK gets to convince himself that he’s braver than the guys he covers.
PK thinks the Rams deserve more credit for inviting high schoolers from Ferguson to a preseason game and practices, because of course he does. In the meantime, he thinks it will be hard for the Rams not to keep a roster spot for Michael Sam because putting him on the practice squad means other teams can sign him, though PK acknowledges the whole being gay thing will still likely be seen as too much of a distraction for most teams, so the point is rendered moot with impressive speed.
NON-FOOTBALL THOUGHTS PK THINKS HE THINKS!
PK can relate to struggles with weight loss, especially when they relate to the Pillsbury Throwboy:
b. The story of the week comes from ESPN’s Tommy Tomlinson, a terrific inside-the-guy’s-head piece on former University of Kentucky and NFL quarterback Jared Lorenzen’s weight problems.
c. One of the best leads I’ve read in a while comes from the story, and from a man, Tomlinson, who has battled his own weight issues: “Jared Lorenzen and I are in love with the same woman. Her name is Little Debbie, and she makes delicious snack cakes.”
DAMN YOU, LITTLE DEBBIE, YOU TEMPTRESS!
d. It’s the carbs, Jared. Attack the carbs.
Says the man who once tried to lose weight by switching from Guinness to Peroni. By the way, what happened to Peter’s recent vow to his nutritionist to cut down on coffee?
i. Coffeenerdness: Oh, and that vow to keep it to three macchiatos a week? That’s by the boards, unless the week starts on Monday and ends on Tuesday.
This is a man dedicated to a healthy lifestyle. Heed his words, Jared Lorenzen.
Finally, we close out with the regular gratuitous Red Sox talk, pointless comparisons of how much money Kevin Durant makes in endorsements versus NFL salaries and a closing haiku, to which I’m like:
I want more like this!
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