About This Weekend

"The sad thing is it happens about a half-dozen times a year in this league when (an assistant) is allowed to leave to become a coordinator. Just not here."

"I'll be bummed out. I'll sulk around for a couple of days,"

The above comments are Bucs linebacker coach Joe Barry stabbing the Bucs organization in the back. I would expect a reaction like this from Terrell Owens or Joe Horn, but not from a coach.

In the bigger picture, it will be interesting to see if Barry's comments have any effect on the Buc's ability to hire new defensive coaches. With seven first time head coaches, all from the NFL assistant ranks, a good number of franchises will be looking to hire new defensive staff for two reasons.

First, new coaches like to bring in their own people, which typically involves promoting new blood. Or, more simply put, a vacuum at the top brings new coaches up through the ranks.

Second, three new head coaches (and I'm including Dick Jauron to the Bills) were previously assistant defensive coaches.

Last time around (2001), Monte Kiffin looked to the collegiate ranks to replace his departed staff. Here's hoping the Bucs are as successful replacing their staff this time.

Conference Championship Games

This is why I don't attempt to forecast games. I picked Denver and Carolina, so of course Seattle and Pittsburgh won.

Once again, the team that played better defense and created turnovers won the day. But what really hurt the Panthers and Broncos was a lack of weapons on offense. Pittsburgh was able to shut down the Broncos running game, and both Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie were unable to make plays. Cedric Wilson, a largely underutilized receiver for the Steelers, was able to exploit mismatches yesterday in route to 92 yards and a touchdown.

The Seahawks also depended on receiver who, for much of the season had played a minor role in the offense. Tightend Jeremy Stevens consistently found holes in the Panther's defense and finished the game with 66 yards and a touchdown. The Panthers could have kissed the win good bye when Nate Goings was injured, and Carolina was forced to play their fourth string runningback. Left with only Steve Smith to worry about, Seattle was on the Mighty Midget like white on rice.

Super Bowl XL

For the next two weeks there will be roughly 50,000 columns, 8,000 interviews and a couple dozen Hasselbeck/balding jokes about the Super Bowl. By kickoff you will know what every player had for breakfast and how badly their shit stinks.

I ain't buying that Pittsburgh will dominate Seattle. While it's true the AFC was the better conference this season (again), Pittsburgh is still a six seed and Seattle is the one seed. The regular season does not count for a whole lot at this point, but it has to count for something.

Three of the last four Super Bowls have been decided by three points. The one blowout is the Buc's victory over the Raiders which is an aberration (since Gruden had the advantage of going against his old team).

Parity allowed a number six seed advance to the Super Bowl for the first time, and parity should ensure that the Super Bowl is a close game.


Scott said...

Seedings don't matter so much. The Steelers beat the #3, #2 & #1 seeds in their conference. The difference between a #1 and a #6 could be one game, and in some cases that could come down to one or two plays. Bah.

Steelers by 7. If you want to make some kind of blog to blog wager on it, let me know.

bond,fan bond said...

I bet now you wish Allen would have released Barry. Why did you change your Pewter Pirates link? Just because the guys got a great Buccaneer blog?

Scott said...

The stakes should probably be something involving the sites. Maybe the loser makes an entry giving the other site this over-the-top raving review for their unparalleled skills in prognostication. Or maybe the loser changes their head banner to something of the winner's choice for a day. Something like that. I don't care enough about either team to make this about money. It has to be something less valuable... like pride!

Ski said...

you're on scott, loser has to write a post on the winner's site extolling the winner's "unparalleled skills in prognostication." I'm thinking a minimum of 3 paragraphs in length.

and of course, loser has to link to the post on their site.

you got the steelers, i'll take the seahawks (I get the feeling I'm digging my own grave here).

you on scott?

and bond fan, thanks for the first time comment. I like cutthroat's blog, what are you talking about?

Scott said...

You're on. Are we playing by the spread or just W/L?

bond,fan bond said...

You also have a nice blog, I think you will win your Superbowl wager and Scott will be changing his blog.

Ref. Cutthroat's blog your link to his blog is wrong, that is why I asked if you had a problem with Cutthroat.

Ski said...

ahhh, now i see what you're talking about, thanks mr bond. must have done that a couple weeks back when i was making changes to the sidebar.

my apologies cutthroat, the problem has been remedied.

Cutthroat Pirates said...

A bro, not problem good luck on your wager with scott. I hope the Seahawks win also. Since they entered the NFL same time we did. maybe this is their year.

Ski said...

for the next week, I'll be a band wagon seahawks fan (hell most of seattle is doing the same this week), just to beat scott.

Rizzo said...

I think this should be a better game than everyone thinks it is going to be. ESPN is more interested in TO going to Denver than Pittsburgh versus Seattle, I like Pittsburgh by 3.

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