- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Government OKs Arab-owned company to operate U.S. cargo port
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell’s wife had ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House unveils bill to speed deportations of illegal immigrant children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
- Hillary: ‘Dead broke’ comment was ‘inartful,’ but insists it was ‘accurate’
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
Gloomy forecasts after lockout didn’t pan out
Question of the Day
Remember all the forecasts of gloom and doom for NFL teams after the lockout. Funny how virtually none of it happened.
Rookies weren’t clueless, injuries didn’t spike, and coaching staffs adjusted everywhere except Philadelphia and Indianapolis.
Play was sloppy for a while _ that lasted through much of the season for some of the league’s most inconsistent squads, including playoff contenders in Dallas, New York, Oakland and Tennessee. But it also was one of the more exciting seasons, with frequent big rallies, tons of scoring (until December, at least) and plenty of headline makers.
Hall of Fame defensive back Ronnie Lott believes teams who succeeded in overcoming challenges from the lockout did so from Day 1.
“My observation is a lot of people didn’t pack their lunch pail,” Lott said. “What I mean by that is the teams that packed their lunch pail the first day they blew the whistle, the first thing they learned was fundamentals, the first thing they learned was making sure they could tackle well, making sure they could hit. Jim Harbaugh instituted that right away. The Steelers instituted that right away. The Ravens instituted that right away. The Packers will tell you they instituted that right away, because they were defending something.
“The Eagles, the one thing they didn’t institute … packing their lunch pails. It’s funny, the teams that have instituted packing their lunch pail and playing the game with fundamentals and doing it the right way, are the teams that are now where they’re at.”
Lott makes a particularly valid point concerning the Eagles, who were conceded to have “won” free agency with the signings of prizes such as Nnamdi Asomugha, Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins, Ronnie Brown, Vince Young and Steve Smith. Yet from almost the beginning, it fell apart.
Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy wonders why the upheaval was damaging in Philly and not in other places.
“My original theory was that teams that stayed pat would be much better,” said Dungy, now an analyst on NBC’s “Football Night in America.” “I thought Philadelphia would have some trouble with that many new parts, but look at Carolina, and they had to add players at the most critical position and they did much better than they did last year.
“I don’t know if we can blame Philly’s woes on the lockout.”
Still, not having a full offseason to incorporate those players and their distinct talents had to set back the Eagles some. Michael Vick admitted that recently, saying, “I think we are well put together and well fit. We’re playing together and that’s what it’s all about. But it takes time to build that chemistry, build that unity, that togetherness.”
Indianapolis always seemed to have that chemistry when Peyton Manning was behind center. With Manning’s neck surgeries sidelining him early on, and eventually for the entire season, the Colts never found their way. In fact, they fell into such a funk that none of their stars or coaches or executives was able to lead them out of it, an indictment of everyone in the organization.
“Well, we’re (the front office) certainly to blame if you don’t have quality players at every position and you come up a little short,” Colts President Bill Polian said in October in a radio appearance following a 62-7 loss at New Orleans. “As (coach) Jim Caldwell said after the (Saints) game, everybody deserves blame. We could be deeper at defensive tackle and cornerback. We’ve been bothered by injuries at defensive tackle, but the bottom line is you have to be better. There are other things we are not doing fundamentally, as I just said, that we have to get cleaned up.
“So you have to find a way to play with the guys who are out there. Should we have done a better job? You bet. But we have to make sure we do a better job going forward.”
Beyond those two cases, the lockout pretty much was a big yawn when it comes to impacting the season.
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- GOP Senate candidate: Obama needs to visit Central America
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Kerry's credibility questioned as fighting in Gaza rages
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in defamation case
- Rush Limbaugh: 'There is no journalism anymore'
- California's Jerry Brown cites God, 'religious call' to embrace illegals
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world