Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Cooper, Caldwell, and Giants

It's interesting to note Jonathan Cooper, an offensive guard, was recently released by the Cleveland Browns and quickly snatched up by the Dallas Cowboys.

If anything, the Cowboys have long been known for having a superior offensive line. And the Browns have long been known as, well, terrible all around. Yet wait a second -- this guy wasn't good enough for Cleveland but apparently is for Dallas? How can that be? The thought here is the Browns missed something. The Cowboys don't often. Example: they saw something in a not so highly rated quarterback in last year's draft that apparently escaped everybody else all the way until the fifth round. Enter Dak Prescott. How's he working out?

Head coach Jim Caldwell of the Detroit Lions has been told he'll be coming back again next year. But did he earn it? Not really. In fact, it could be argued that one event, totally out of his control, wound up working in his favor to get another season at the helm.

That would be the NY Giants defeating the Washington Redskins last weekend, a game the Skins were favored to win. That result knocked the Skins out of the playoffs as a wild card, and let the Lions squeak in. Had it gone the other way, coupled with the collapse of the Lions during their last three regular season games -- all losses in which they were outscored by a 90-51 margin -- it would likely have spelled the end for Caldwell in Detroit.

Caldwell's history speaks for itself. He's been thought of as a successful coordinator when working under other head coaches elsewhere on good teams, but when given the reins of command himself has usually crashed and burned once his new team has fully implemented his schemes. But hey, it's Detroit and the Lions. Even mediocre is great by their standards. Because Caldwell has posted a barely above .500 record while there, it's a wonder they haven't carved out a huge marble statue of him yet to proudly display in front of Ford Field. Another year over .500 and they might rename the stadium after him.

Further, it could also be argued the only reason Caldwell was still around THIS year was because the Lions' owner, the doddering Mrs. Ford, personally took a liking to him. When new GM Bob Quinn was brought in from the Patriots last year, he likely wanted his own head coach. Given Quinn's pedigree with such an elite team, a head coach with Caldwell's dubious past likely wasn't his first choice, to say the least.

The NY Giants made a mini-splash in the news. It seems their receiver corps headed down to Miami to party for a day or so. In itself, nothing wrong with that. Hard working men that take such a beating for a living deserve a little R and R once in a while.

But in the whole scheme of things, it leaves one to wonder. After the Washington game mentioned above, which was in DC, they probably had to fly back to NY. True, the Giants are actually based in New Jersey, but do they even have airports in that state or has the mere physical presence of governor Chris Christie crowded them out?

Nonetheless, said receivers quickly flew to Florida. Then had to make a quick turn around and head back to Jersey. After which, in a couple days, they have to fly to Green Bay for a playoff game this weekend. That's a lot of air miles in a short amount of time. Will it (jet lag) take its toll? Unknown.

Meanwhile, the Packers have been sitting home, or at least at Lambeau Field, likely watching film and game planning for the Giants. To boot, after a slow start this year, the Pack have got many players back from the injury list and Aaron Rodgers has found his stride again (you knew he would, cuz he's too good not to).

On top of that, GB has been super hot, riding a 6 game winning streak to end the regular season, during which they've outscored the competition by an impressive 185-112 tally.

Add it all up and what do you have?

Beats me, but throw in the rabid cheeseheads that will be rooting them on and amping them up and I know who I like to win the game.

By a lot.

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