Playing Hopscotch Today …

As I contemplate the structure of this morning’s rant, nothing coherent comes to mind.  So, I will just go to my clipboard and pick out an item or two and then wing it.  Hey, there won’t be any extra charge for all that excitement…

There was a headline on last week that said:

“MLB Rumors:  10 teams in on Marcell Ozuna”

My reaction when reading that:

  • Only ten?  Does that mean there are 20 teams in MLB who think they have 3 outfielders who are better than Ozuna?

I said earlier this year that if Alex Smith made it to the field in an NFL game even if only to kneel out a game that he should be the Comeback Player of the Year.  Well, now he is the starting QB for the WTFs and he played very well in his first start last week; the loss to the Lions was certainly not Smith’s fault.  All that Smith had to overcome in his return to action was a gruesome leg fracture that took 17 surgeries to correct, a staph infection that put his life in jeopardy, and a nerve injury that gives him a condition known as “drop foot”.  So, how can anything top that sort of return to glory?

Well, here is one to keep track of; it comes from an observation by Bob Molinaro in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot:

Recovery: Trey Mancini’s announcement that after missing 2020 to battle colon cancer he’s ready to report to Orioles’ spring training already is one of baseball’s best stories of 2021.”

If I had asked you back in September which NFL team had the worst QB situation in the league, plenty of folks would likely have answered the WTFs (Dwayne Haskins, Kyle Allen and maybe Alex Smith if he can actually suit up for a game) or possibly the Jets (Sam Darnold and Joe Flacco) or maybe even the Pats (a recovering Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer).  I probably would have argued that it was Jets, but now in November, the NFL team with the worst QB situation is the Chicago Bears.

  • Nick Foles – – assuming he is OK after being carted off the field last night – – cannot get anything done with that Bears’ offensive unit.  He needs a solid OL in front of him and some semblance of a running game to be effective and he has neither.  If you are into crystals and mystical powers, you might convince yourself that Foles has some sort of magical harmony with the latitude and longitude of Philadelphia.  He has had two productive stints there and has never been anything better than marginally competent anywhere else.
  • Mitchell Trubisky had a shining rookie year a winning record as a starting QB and led the Bears to the playoffs in 2018.  Even so, he only averages 202.5 yards per game for his career.  As the starter in 3 games this year, Trubisky threw 3 TDs and 6 INTs and averaged 186.7 yards per game.  I have no explanation as to why he is regressing as a QB, but I am certain that when the topic of “Boneheaded NFL Draft Decisions” comes up, the Bears trading up to take Trubisky ahead of Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson will be part of the conversation.  He has been out with a shoulder injury but is expected to be back in playing condition after the Bears take their BYE Week this weekend.
  • Tyler Bray is the third QB on the roster.  He was undrafted out of Tennessee in 2013.  Until last night, he had been in 1 NFL game (in 2017) where he threw 1 incomplete pass and ran the ball 1 time for 0 yards.  Last night he came into the game when Foles had to leave and threw 5 passes completing 1 for 18 yards.

If you are a Bears’ fan, you cannot be pleased with that roster situation and that led me to wonder about the status of Josh Rosen.  He was a hot property coming out of college in 2018 but had little success with the Cards in 2018 (the team was 3-13 on the season so no one had much success with them) and then made only a cameo appearance with the Dolphins last year.  I had lost track of Rosen until I went looking and found that he is on the practice squad with the Bucs.  On the main roster, the Bucs have 3 QBs – Tom Brady, Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin – so there is just about no chance that Rosen is a key element in the Bucs’ playoff drive.  Why hasn’t anyone in Chicago picked up the phone and called Rosen’s agent?  Is he really that big a bust?

Rosen’s disappearance from public sight reminds me of a Mark Twain observation:

“Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion.”

The mention of Josh Rosen’s residence on the Bucs’ roster makes me think about the Bucs’ defensive coordinator, Todd Bowles.  He spent 4 years as the head coach of the Jets; the first year of that tenure was promising; the Jets finished 10-6-0.  Then the wheels came off the wagon; over the next three years, the cumulative record was 14-34-0.  However, even in the times when it was obvious to everyone – to include the Jets’ players and coaches – that the team was going nowhere, Bowles had the team playing hard.  I said then – and I still think – that he was fired because the roster given to him was guaranteed to fail.

Bowles’ performance in the job has been enhanced to a small degree by the performance of his successor, Adam Gase, which can only be described as nightmarish.  Meanwhile, Bowles has the Bucs’ total defense ranked 3rd in the NFL giving up only 300.3 yards per game and the Bucs rushing defense ranked first in the league yielding only 76.6 yards per game.  I continue to believe that he is a good coach and that he should get another shot at a head coaching job soon.

Finally, since I mentioned Mark Twain above, let me close with another of his pithy observations:

“There’s one way to find out if a man is honest; ask him; if he says yes, you know he is crooked.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



2 thoughts on “Playing Hopscotch Today …”

  1. In the Bears telecast last night I learned that Kirk Cousins was 0-9 on Monday night. Well, he wasn’t great in the win, but it was enough against the Bears. So, he has now won one in a row on Monday night.

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