Posted on: April 1, 2010 1:09 pm

April = Draft Talks and a trip down memory lane

Here in Philadelphia, April is the start of the warm weather, as well as the NFL season. It is an awesome time of the year. Oh yea...it's the start of baseball season, too, but I'm not here to talk about the back to back NL Champions (#3 coming right up, by the way). The purpose of this post is to discuss the NFL draft.

As we approach NFL draft season, it’s fun to look back at those great draft prospects of yore, the workout warriors and combine heroes who titillated coordinators, coaches, and fans leading up to the big selection day in New York. Instead of speculating about the upcoming draft, I would like to focus on a few diamonds in the rough... One of the biggest draft debates of all time involved a pair of quarterbacks — one a Tennessee prodigy with NFL bloodlines named Peyton Manning, and the other a rocket-armed gunslinger from Washington State named Ryan Leaf.

One of those quarterbacks was cerebral, disciplined, cheerful, and a great locker-room presence. The other was the biggest douchebag in recent sports history, dating back at least to Bobby Riggs, and maybe all the way back to Ty Cobb. The two teams at the top of the draft were the Indianapolis Colts and the San Diego Chargers. The Colts — and this is amazing to think about, in retrospect — gave serious consideration to Leaf over Manning. Colts owner Jim Irsay almost pulled the trigger on Leaf...

The Colts were lucky.

You know the rest. The Colts picked Manning, and Leaf immediately busted, posting some of the worst quarterback performances of all time. The lowlight had to be a game against the Chiefs in which he completed one pass out of 15 attempts, for a total of four yards. His passer rating for that game was said to be a mathematically inexpressible negative number.

He made things worse by routinely exploding at reporters, including one amazing incident in which he screamed at San Diego Union-Tribune beat guy Jay Posner, “Just don’t fucking talk to me, okay? Knock it off!” The resulting oft-played YouTube clip of Junior Seau trying to calm him down is probably the highlight of Junior’s TV career, his new show notwithstanding.

Leaf quickly bounced out of the league and disappeared down the failed-quarterback-prospect rabbit hole, joining such luminaries as Todd Marinovich, Akili Smith, Tim Crouch, and Heath Shuler. But while Shuler resurfaced to become an elected official on Capitol Hill, Leaf ended up with little more than an addiction to painkillers.

He had managed to score himself a job as a quarterbacks coach at West Texas A&M, but last year got busted on various charges of acquiring opioid painkillers illegally. In 2008, Leaf misled several doctors in order to get prescriptions, before breaking into the home of a player who had been prescribed the drugs for an injury, adding burglary to the mix.

Last week, Leaf’s case was finally resolved. He got 10 years of probation, and must complete a lengthy counseling and treatment course in order to stay out of jail. He has since left coaching and is apparently selling vacation packages to corporate clients at a resort somewhere. Give him 17 points on our list.

Ronnie Brown = Moron
Last week, another number-two overall pick was arrested — this time the 2005 version, Miami Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown — for a DUI.

Not much to report here, except that Brown was driving erratically in Atlanta and blew a .158, which meets the legal definition of “shitfaced” in the state of Georgia (the limit there is .08).

He should have talked to Donte Stallworth about what happens when you drive around wasted...

Posted on: December 17, 2009 9:29 am

Perfection can't lose...Colts vs Jags

Some people are picking the Jaguars to take out the Colts, but I haven’t seen any evidence to support that claim. The Jaguars need the game more, but the Colts are a better team. I can’t see Peyton Manning sitting down at any point in this game, if it is still close.  

Passing Attack: The Colts top rated passing offense will square off against the Jaguars in Jacksonville. The question on everyone’s mind concerning Indianapolis is which of their players will play, and how many minutes will they get now that they’ve secured home field advantage throughout the playoffs in the AFC. With three games remaining on the schedule, and with their undefeated record still on the line, it would seem to be a fair assumption that the Colts stars will play a full sixty minutes this week as long as the game remains competitive.

If they happen to hold a two to three score advantage midway through the third quarter or at the start of the fourth, we may see the likes of Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne then head to the sidelines. For the most part however, expect these guys to remain in the game long enough to make a meaningful contribution to your fantasy squad.

The Jaguars allow an average of 239.5 passing yards per game to opponents, which ranks 26th in the league. They’ve also allowed 20 touchdown passes this season, which is among the higher figures in that category. With the Colts offense averaging nearly 300 passing yards per outing expect Manning to have another productive day even should he get pulled early. In fact, the only reason to doubt he’d have a 300 yard performance is if he went to the sidelines early. Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon should also have strong outings against the Jaguars suspect secondary.

Running Attack: Although the Colts have produced 13 rushing touchdowns this season they’ve failed to manufacture much in the way of yardage on the ground. Their 88.0 rushing yards per game ranks 30th in the league, and of all the Colts regular starters Joseph Addai seems the most likely to see reduced playing time throughout the remaining weeks due to his past track record with injuries. He’s also battling a sore knee heading into Thursday night, which gives more reason for caution with him. He’ll remain a threat to score a touchdown in the early goings, but don’t expect too big of a day from as his number of snaps could be more limited than the other Colts starters.

On to the Jaguars…

Passing Attack: The Colts defense may allow 227 passing yards per game, but the Jaguars air attack has been a bit of a roller coaster ride this season. For every strong outing had by Garrard, like his Week 13 performance against the Texans in which he threw for 2 touchdowns and 238 yards without any turnovers, he’s had as equally disappointing ones…like his performance last Sunday against the Dolphins in which he completed just 42.3% of his passes while throwing for 139 yards with no scores.

Further detracting from Garrard’s value is the injury status of his lead receiver, Mike Sims-Walker. Walker had been battling a knee injury, and more recently a calf injury, that has limited his production over the last 3 weeks to a total of 6 receptions for 64 yards without any touchdowns. The third year wide-out who had been enjoying a breakout campaign throughout much of the season is expected to play on Thursday, but the short week doesn’t bode well for him after he made a surprise start last Sunday despite being listed as doubtful heading into that contest against the Dolphins.

With Walker likely to again be at less than 100%, and with Jacksonville wise to keep the ball out of Manning’s hands by controlling the clock with Maurice Jones-Drew, it’d be a bit of a risk to start any members of the Jaguars passing regime and expect meaningful results.

Running Attack: The Jaguars are among the better rushing teams in the league, averaging 4.6 yards per carry and 127.8 yards per game on the ground. The Colts defense meanwhile ranks 17th in the NFL against the run, yielding just over 110 rushing yards per game. While the Jaguars will likely have to take to the air more often than they’d care to against the high octane offense of the Colts, Jones-Drew should still remain the focal point of their offense and manage to come away with at least one score and 100-125 total yards of offense.

Prediction: Indianapolis 27, Jacksonville 17

(that’s right…another win for the Colts)

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com