Princeton Times

Sports

November 3, 2012

NFL rookie QBs show the ability to run teams

PRINCETON — There was a joke going around in the Concord press box Saturday that the WVU defense had given up 28 points during their off week. That’s an indicator of how things are going for a team when jokes like that are common.

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I never expected the World Series to go the way it did, with a relatively easy victory for the Giants. Give the credit to the Giants’ pitching staff for their control over the Tigers’ hitting. I’m not going to blame the Tigers’ layoff for the loss, because what were they supposed to do? Continue to string along the Yankees like a cat batting at a mouse? They ran up against a better opponent in the Series.

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Going to the NFL, I’m not a fan of the concept of parity, where no team is either outstanding or terrible. Fortunately, the law of averages weighs against such a concept, which makes things interesting to me. As of this writing, the Atlanta Falcons are the NFL’s only undefeated team at 6-0, thanks in large part to some fortunate big plays by the offense and improved defense.

One-third of the way through the season, the five rookie quarterbacks — Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden and Russell Wilson — have definitely shown the ability to run NFL teams. Luck’s Colts have already won more games than they did last year; Griffin’s Redskins are improved and the other three have had their moments (I’m thinking of Wilson beating the Patriots on a last-minute play).

One hopes that this year’s rookie quarterbacks have a better sophomore year follow-up than Cam Newton has had so far. I swear I’m about to go nuts watching ESPN so overcover a guy’s post-game press conferences (It’s about as bad as their coverage of the New York Jets). He’s not calling the plays or running the team’s operations, so get off the subject.

Watching as much ESPN as I do, one gets the feeling that if it wasn’t for press conferences they wouldn’t know what to do on SportsCenter. They just put on a press conference and run it into the ground just to kill time.

Last year’s offensive explosions were an aberration of limited training camp time. The full camps this year has shifted the balance towards the defenses as the trend has been for the better defensive teams to win the games. Chicago is using the defense as a supplemental offensive weapons with six interceptions returned for touchdowns to date this year. The weaker the defense, the weaker the team.

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Going to the NBA Central Division, one major injury has changed the balance of power in the division, as Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls will miss a portion of the year, thanks to a knee injury suffered in last year’s playoffs.

Having said that, the Indiana Pacers look to be the class of the division if George Hill can continue his late season effectiveness (the team was 7-2 with him as a starter) at point guard. Paul George, David West and Danny Granger give the team plenty of weapons and Roy Hibbert is an edge at center.

The Bulls hope Yannick Noah and Luol Deng are over their own injuries, since the latter is the team’s best non-Rose offensive player and the former, their best defensive player. They emphasize defense over offense in Chicago so they might hold on until Rose’s return.

The Milwaukee Bucks could be the surprise team of the Eastern Conference if Monta Ellis develops in his second year with the team and Samuel Dalembert fits in at center.

The Cleveland Cavaliers did well with Kyrie Irving at point guard. Dion Walters might be step two in their building process.

The Detroit Pistons have to hope that Rodney Stuckey is fully healthy, that Jonas Jerebko is also healthy and that Greg Monroe continues to progress.  

Let me know what you think by writing me c/o Jeff’s Sports Corner, P.O. Box 1199, Princeton, WV, 24740. I can also be reached at delimartman@yahoo.com or jharvey1@frontiernet.net or on Facebook.

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