Anyway, congrats to the real Alex Smith for winning the Madden Bowl, my favorite of the dozens of meaningless NFL player contests. Smith beat another rookie, the Raven's Mark Clayton, in the championship game. Normally the contestants select their own teams to play with, but both rookies pussed out big time and played with the Colts.
Weak, very weak.
In the big news of the day, Monte Kiffin just can't stop stealing coaches from Southern California. USC's secondary coach Greg Burns accepted the same position, which had been vacated when Mike Tomlin left to be the defensive coordinator for Minnesota. For background on Burns I went to USC blogger Kyle at TrojanWire.
Burns was a great recruiter; he did a lot to get DB’s excited to come play for SC. He’s a pretty high-energy guy (which tends to be the case for anyone working with Pete Carroll—it’s either get fired up, or get moving; Norm Chow being the one notable exception)
But I guess we have Monte Kiffin to blame for all of this….let’s just hope he’s good enough to let us keep his son Lane, who was a solid replacement for Norm Chow as our OC.
The Bucs other new coach, Jethro Franklin, also coached at USC, but before that he coached five years at Green Bay. For more information on Jethro, I turned to Packers blogger Robert Lalasz:
He had a mixed legacy with GBP, to say the least. Mike Sherman had an unfortunate tendency to hire college assistants who were unproven as pro coaches, and Franklin fit that bill. He's a rah-rah style coach who tends to reach young players better than veterans. The only people who really developed under his tutelage were Aaron Kampman and KGB, although KGB plateaued after his big contract and is now recognized as someone too light to play the run (and has largely been neutralized as a pass rusher).
Franklin had far more failures: James Lee, Joe Johnson, Kenny Peterson, and Cleditus Hunt. Lee and Peterson were wasted high draft picks, and Hunt and Johnson became turds after getting the big money. He left quickly after 2004 for the USC job, which looked like a step down but was probably a good thing because he would have been fired in Green Bay otherwise.
Bottom line: You have to wonder whether he's a college coach masquerading as a pro coach.
Plenty of fat to chew on.
As you know if you a regular reader, I am an avid fan of Tony Kornheiser and, admitedly, I have mixed feelings about him leaving his radio show for Monday Night Football. Much like your small town girlfriend who leaves you for the big city, I'm partially hoping for TK to fail so he/she will return to his/her radio gig.
That being said, TK will be much better than Dennis Miller. Mike Tirico and TK will work very well together, but Joe Theismann will kill Monday Night Football. What's the over/under on awkward conversation between TK and Joe Theismann which start out with Theismann saying something stupid and TK coming back with a smart ass response? I set the bar at 42.
While many people in the Tampa Bay area may not be familiar with his work, John Riggins would be a much better choice than Theismann. Riggo (the MVP of Super Bowl XVII) is more insightful and interesting than his former quarterback, and has better chemistry with TK. Plus, Theismann is the only guy out there with a worse record of picking games than myself.