The Deflatriots, Cardale Jones, and John Fox
Some random thoughts as the football season comes to an end.
First of all deflate-gate is a joke and I will not add to the idiocy of it by giving it more time than it needs. Nothing will be done except maybe a fine or maybe draft picks. You can't suspend someone for the Super Bowl and its even a bigger joke if they suspended someone for games next season because who cares about a random game next season. If that's the penalty for cheating they would do that every playoff game.
My thought is with the week before and the incident against the Ravens that got no publicity. Jon Harbaugh was so mad about how Belichick cheated in that game he actually got a flag for screaming at the ref. I wish I had the ability to diagram what happened but I'll just try to explain. So when a lineman becomes eligible he or someone from the offense goes up to the ref and him and ref announces it to the whole stadium so that the defense can adjust and guard the player that is now part of the offense and not just a blocker. Well what the Patriots did was whisper it to the ref right before they were going to hike the ball, thereby not giving the defense time to adjust, then hiking the ball, and throwing it to a player who the defense thought was ineligible, so was unguarded. For instance, say Gronk lines up on the right end of the o-line and then they tell the ref at the last moment that he is ineligible and the lineman on the left side of the line is eligible and then hike the ball. Well the linebacker or whoever is guarding him is way over to that side and when they hike the ball the guy way over on the other side of the line takes off and there is no way the defense can guard him or would have any interest in guarding him because as far as they know he is ineligible. The Patriots did this 3 times in the game and got a first down all 3 times it happened. They cheated. And I believe we will see that rule changed for next season.
On to Jones and Fox.
Jones is making a colossal mistake going back to school this year. First off he may not even be the starter, or the second string if the other two guys stay. Second of all he was third string for a reason, because some of the best minds in college football thought the other two quarterbacks were better than him. And third of all, when will his stock be higher than it is now? He just beat 3 top 10 teams in a row and won a National Title. Ask Matt Leinart how smart it was staying an extra year after you win a title and the Heisman. He would have been the 1st pick by the 49ers. Instead he waiting a year and dropped to 10th and ended up having what I think he would consider not the career he had hoped for. Why does the NBA take players out of high school when they were allowed, or after one year in college? None of them are ready to be superstars right away. Why did Zach Levine get drafted when he didn't even start for UCLA and is horrible at basketball. Its this little invisible thing called potential. Kyrie Irving played something like 9 games for Duke and was picked #1 overall. Why? Potential. Cardale Jones is chalk full of potential. He is big, can move, and has a cannon for an arm. That an a National Championship make him very intriguing. I wish him the best of luck but if you never see him playing on Sundays, he will always remember the day he chose to sit on the bench at Ohio State instead of sitting on the bench in the NFL cashing checks. And probably making it rain.
John Fox had a similar situation and similar decision. Striking while the iron is hot and getting maximum value when you are at your peak is the way people get paid in top tier sports. Look at guys like Danny Manning, Andy Enfield and countless others. They make a nice little run in the tournament and turn nice coaching runs into a new job in a power five conference. And major money increases. John Fox did the same thing I believe. Lets look at the Broncos. They have an aging quarterback who is hurt and may even retire! I have no idea who the back up is and if its not Tim Tebow then I don't care. (I know its not him by the way). They have an aging defense, and they have to look at San Diego and KC who continue to get better every year. Then you have the Pats who cheat their way to titles, the whole AFC north division, and an up and coming Indy team. So in my opinion, and probably Fox's, Denver is trending downward, and I could see them missing the playoffs as soon as Payton retires. And if he stayed in Denver, and Manning retired, and they missed the playoffs, and they did worse the next year, all of sudden the whispers start. Maybe people think that he isn't that great of a coach and he rode Manning and a great defense and when that was gone you got a guy who can't win. And then he gets fired, and maybe the buzz on him is way down and he doesn't have a head coaching job waiting for him.
Now think about the Chicago Bears. One of if not the worst team in the NFL by the end of the season. A city that loves football booed their team off the field game after game. So here comes John Fox. They are at rock bottom so they can't do worse. So immediately he will look better than what they had. Even if they win 6 or 7 games the people will say he is getting it going. Then in a year or two he gets them to the playoffs and now all of a sudden he is the Bears savior. They have a good quarterback. They have a great running back and a couple of the best wide receivers in football. The pieces are there, they just need to be locked together. And when he comes in and starts putting them together, he will be the hero. John Fox has shown great foresight by leaving a sinking ship to rebuild a broken one.