Author Archives: Vince Quinn

NFL Changes Domestic Abuse Policy Out of Self Interest

GoodellIf you are an NFL player that gets into a domestic dispute, you will be suspended six games. If you do it again, you’re banned FOR LIFE. It’s a wildly popular new policy. It’s also a complete fraud.

The only reason that a new rule was created is related directly to the fact that Ray Rice is a star player that was caught in the act on film. If it had not been for that video this case, while disappointing, would have been just another day in the NFL. Since 2008 there have now been 14 different instances of players getting arrested for domestic violence, though not all were charged.

When you consider that the NFL stepped in at all it’s a bit of an anomaly. Out of those 14 who were charged, the NFL issued two suspensions: AJ Jefferson was suspended four games in 2013 and LeRoy Hill was suspended for one game and lost an additional game check in 2008. Otherwise, all players involved in domestic disputes were punished by their teams. This usually resulted in a release and nothing more. However, in one extreme instance in 2012 the Vikings suspended cornerback Chris Cook indefinitely (ultimately 10 games) for his gruesome domestic attack that left his girlfriend bloodied and in the hospital.

In other words, the system wasn’t broken. In a case by case approach teams—specifically the Ravens—should have handled the issue themselves without the NFL’s direct involvement. Teams have always done so in an appropriate manner. Instead, desperate to maintain an artificially clean image, the league office stepped in.

“I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn’t get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will.” These were the words from commissioner Roger Goodell yesterday as he issued the new policy. Don’t believe it.

Goodell is a man who doesn’t make brash decisions. Before issuing Rice’s two-game suspension he consulted with the Ravens organization, Rice and his fiancee (now wife) Janay, members of the league office, and likely the police as well. He knew every element of this case and decided that two games was fair given the circumstances. Is it truly reasonable to believe that Goodell, the straight-laced, image conscious, disciplinarian, would find himself to be that gravely wrong on his decision? C’mon man! This is nothing but a PR move, don’t buy into it.

Rookie Quarterbacks and the Race to Start

**(Hey so remember when I said that I was stepping away from the Cooler? That was apparently a lie.)

manziel bridgewater bortles

Have you ever seen baby turtles hatch from a nest? It’s frantic free for all. Hundreds of minute-old turtles scramble for their lives on the beach as seagulls swoop down from above and eat them whole. It’s a truly mesmerizing and horrific scene found in nature. The same happens with NFL quarterbacks. There are countless young players from robust programs with their own pages of the record books that are indiscriminately swallowed whole and crapped out onto your car. The benching of Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater, and Johnny Manziel is a welcoming reminder of that fact.

Why? All three quarterbacks were taken in the first round and none of them will be starting on opening day. Many fans will see this news as a disappointment on the player’s part or a poor managerial decision by the coaching staff, which is grossly unfair. Just because it has become the norm for teams to trot out rookie QB’s doesn’t mean that it’s right. The main argument from the angry masses:

“He’s a first round pick!”

I hate this complaint. It’s short-sighted and misguided and generally makes me want to slap you in the face (it’s more rewarding than a punch!). Let me explain by stating a few simple things:

  1. College football and professional football and not the same game. Out of the 11 Heisman winners prior to Manziel in 2012, seven of them have been duds at the NFL level. The other four (Carson Palmer, Mark Ingram, Cam Newton, and Robert Griffin III) have had varying degrees of success. Success in college does not directly translate to the pros. the same even goes for coaches.
  2. First round picks in all sports are based on potential, not immediate impact. Sure, I could use a Thunderstone to evolve my Pikachu at level 5, but my Raichu is not going to be nearly as badass, nahmean? Some top talents need time to develop. Remember Drew Brees in San Diego?
  3. Human error exists. This last fact more or less covers the idea that some players get selected in the first round that have no business doing so. These players were misjudged by often desperate and/or simply bad teams and were then unfairly classified. For examples, consult your local Raiders fan!

With that argument dead and buried, let’s move on to the next major complaint:

“He should get the experience!”

This is slap-worthy as well because the phrase by default means that sitting on the bench is not a means of gaining experience. However, there is value in waiting and watching and learning. The idea of “the game slowing down” is often mentioned by players who are looking to make the leap. The adjustments within the system come naturally, allowing them to play without hesitation. Also, when you consider that a rookie QB has four to five months before the season starts and the majority of that time is spent in shorts against no pressure, it’s reasonable to believe that some aren’t ready to play, no?

So while Bortles, Manziel, and Bridgewater are first round picks and starting experience would be nice, it’s important to understand that sometimes the best way for a turtle to reach the ocean is to zig-zag rather than run a straight line. 

It’s Been Fun, Guys

Hey everyone,

So as you may have heard recently Ray, Turtle and I have been given the opportunity to try a podcast with a big company. While I’m really excited for the opportunity it hurts to say that the Wooder Cooler is now officially on hiatus. I’d like to thank you for taking the time to check in on the Philly sports thoughts of myself and our staff over the past two plus years. You’re–as they said back in the day–“the bomb”.

For all of the people that have made this thing happen: Hank, Ray Boyd, Ransom, Nick, Bill, Pete and Ray McCreavy…thank you. I’m still holding out hope for a drunk podcast.

If you’re looking to catch up on what I’m up to follow my twitter feed @ItsVinceQuinn or check out the new show @SBMShow!

So much love and kisses that it would probably weird you out even if we were married,

-Vince

JOIN US ON THE PODCAST!

This week we’re having a live show!

Look for the link to the show through our social media accounts on Sunday around 3:15 and then listen to us live and CALL IN to our podcast! We’ll be doing the show through blog talk radio. Assuming everything goes well we’ll try to do more of these in the future and other related ideas (Callers only show, live Q and A with a guest) So crack a beer, relax in your living room and enjoy the show this Sunday!

If there’s a question you’d like to have us discuss but can’t make the show leave a comment and we’ll make sure we get to it!

 

The Eagles Window is Smaller than you Think

McCoyEvery team in sports has a window and—in the case of the Eagles—their window to win a title closes after the next two seasons. I understand that on the surface this is not a popular opinion, so allow me to explain before the tar boils and the feathers are plucked.

When a team’s window is discussed in the realm of the NFL the most common thing associated with how much time they have left is based on the age of the quarterback. The Cowboys, for example, are considered to have a few years left because Tony Romo is 33 years old (feel free to giggle). Therefore, the Eagles would have a huge window to win because Nick Foles is only 25 years old. This is wrong.

Continue reading over at CBSPhilly!

 

The Wooder Cooler Is Two Years Old! (Belated)

2Yes, it’s been two years of The Wooder Cooler clogging up your Facebook and Twitter feeds and no one has fought me over it yet so I’ll take that as a good sign. I’d like to thank the people who comment on our posts, listen to our podcast, and make us a regular part of your day to day. You guys are the best (and I’ll probably hug you).

This site has taken some major strides in our second year…we did some work with an ESPN affiliate, both myself and Ray have begun putting our sports writing on CBSPhilly.com, and we’re doing Around the Cooler from a professional radio studio. It’s been wild and exhausting and endlessly enjoyable.

I’ve also fooled around with some things this year whether it be guest writers or podcast segments and anything in between. Like all experiments, some flopped and some were a great success. So while the site hasn’t gone through many major changes in the last few months and I want it to be clear that I’m by no means satisfied with where we are. There’s always a way to get better and I’m open to any avenue that allows us to do that so expect bolder moves over the next year. #TogetherWeBuild

-Vince

Training Camp Preview: Who the Hell is Allen Barbre? Where does he fit?

Chugga chugga, choo choo!

Chugga chugga, choo choo!

Allen Barbre is a local man of mystery. A career journeyman and reserve, Barbre’s name has regularly bubbled up when discussing the Eagles season because he’ll replace the (probably) suspended Lane Johnson. What’s strange is that Barbre’s move to a starting role is a forgone conclusion, yet he played only 82 snaps for the Eagles last season. So who the hell is he? Let me explain.

Barbre first came into the league in 2007. A four year starter at Missouri Southern, Barbre was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round with the 119th overall selection. A tackle by trade, Barbre was a little small for his position at 6’4″, 310 pounds and never received much playing time until the 2009 season in which he started seven games. Given that the Packers let Barbre walk as a free agent after that season, it’s fair to say that he didn’t impress.

In 2010, Barbre had a brief stint with Miami, but ultimately caught on with the Seattle Seahawks. In that time Barbre remained in a back-up role, making seven appearances for the Seahawks before being released on October 1st, 2012.

This is where things really get interesting.

Read the rest of this entry

Learn the Eagles Bread and Butter!

The man digs it.

The man digs it.

In a fantastic piece by Sheil Kapadia over at Eagles 24/7, he breaks down one of the foundational running plays in the Eagles playbook: the inside zone.

Here’s a quick bit of the article:

“It’s something we work on every day,” said offensive tackle Lane Johnson. “It’s always gonna be our bread and butter.”

Johnson estimated that 40 to 45 percent of practice time for the offensive linemen is rooted in perfecting principles associated with the inside zone. Kelce doesn’t think that’s an exaggeration.

“I would say yeah, we really spend a lot of time on our double-team blocking with our offensive line coach and trying to make sure that our offensive line is working together,” he said. “That’s not really exclusive to that play in particular. We do that on a lot of different plays. But that play, especially against a four-down defense, there’s a lot of the double teams that come around and everything. It’d be hard to put a number on it. But we definitely spend a lot of time on it.”

This isn’t close to the full depth of insight that Kapadia provides so make sure to check out the whole article here!

Training Camp Countdown: FrEaKS

Doorways. Not so easy to get through.

Doorways…not so easy to get through at his size.

Training camp begins truly begins next Friday for the Eagles when all of the players on the 90 man roster report for duty. At that point a slow step means a player is too old, routine plays signify Pro Bowl potential, and everyone recalls things like “Remember freaking out at Carey Williams last year for no good reason? That was fun.”

However, before we get back to badgering and obsessing over the main players of the Eagles’ upcoming season I’d like to take the time to mention some oddities and fringe players that make training camp so much fun. These projects and castaways are the type of guys that make the experience so exciting.

For example, there was a time when the Eagles drafted an absurdly athletic tight end out of Florida named Cornelius Ingram. He was 6’4″ and he was fast and I loved him. But little did I know that the Eagles drafted him with the understanding that his torn ACL was improperly repaired from the following year. Essentially, I later discovered, they put him out on the field waiting for him to tear it again so that they could properly fix it.

With Chip Kelly in town, the obsession has shifted from players from lesser collegiate divisions and torn ACLs to generally monstrous players. Here’s a few freaks that will generate buzz in one way or another:

1.Ifeanyi Momah

At 6’8″, 239 pounds at the receiver position, he’s impossible to ignore. Then there’s also the fact that he ran a 4.4 forty last year. Was he a bit of a dud with nuances of the game? Yes. The Eagles didn’t even bother to place him on the practice squad. However, if he shows some progress from last year’s camp Momah could make some noise for the Eagles as a red zone specialist or come off of the bench for the Sixers.

2. Michael Bamiro

Another 6’8″ giant, Bamiro is trying to make his home with the Eagles as a converted guard. In addition to being oversized for his position, Bamiro is a bit of a freak in the way the he avoided the draft last year entirely due to a loophole and then signed with the Eagles undoubtedly because of his connection to William Tra Thomas. Now that Allen Barbre is filling in for Lane Johnson for the first four weeks of the season, Bamiro has a better chance to sneak his way onto the roster—if only for a few weeks.

3. Alejandro Villanueva

Again, 6”9″, 277 pounds. Are you sensing a theme or should I tattoo it onto your face in reverse so that you can read it in the mirror? Another lowly-projected experiment, this US veteran is competing to take on the role as a space eating defensive end a la Clifton Geathers of last season. Like all of these players, special teams will be a factor for this member of the special forces’ chances of making the team.

4. Frances Mays

At 6’9″, 291 pounds, Mays will be in direct competition for Villanueva on the defensive line. Mays, who had six sacks in 21 games with Texas A&M, started playing football when he was 18 and seems like more of a practice squad hopeful than a surprise star. Though we know the saying, “Big people beat up little people”  (Unless, of course, those big people fight me).

The NFL’s Best of the Best: Part Two

As it has been made abundantly clear in the title, this is the second part. If you’d like to check the top 10-6 players in the NFL, check it out here!

So, let’s get into the top five best players in the NFL…

5. Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson, Connor Barwin

When you look at the Minnesota Vikings over the last few years, it’s inseperable from Peterson. He’s been the heart and soul of the team since his modest rookie season of 1,341 yards and 12 TD’s in 2007. Six Pro Bowls and two rushing titles later, Peterson is still dominating the league. His raw power at the running back postion has led to some of the more memorable perfomances of my lifetime–like Peterson’s 199 yard effort against the Packers that fell just short of the all-time single season rushing record. Despite playing with a bad team, he’s still one of the purest elite talents in the league.

4. LeSean McCoy

McCoy

However, Adrian Peterson in not LeSean McCoy. McCoy gains the edge over Peterson because he demonstrates a more rounded game. His cutback ability and vision makes him a a home-run hitter in the run game, His hands and speed make him dangerous in the backfield, and he’s a capable enough blocker that you can’t justify ever taking him off of the field. Now that he’s paired with Chip Kelly, a currently close debate will no longer be a competition. This is Shady’s world.

3. Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers

Ever since he got out from under the thumb of Brett Favre, Rodgers has been nothing short of spectacular. He’s got the arm, accuracy, and poise to dominate in Mike McCarthy’s spread offensive scheme despite an consistently below-average line.

At this point, Rodgers is the Packers. As long as he stays healthy he’ll single handedly take them to the playoffs every year. He’s just that good.

2. Peyton Manning

Divisional Playoffs - San Diego Chargers v Denver Broncos

Though he’s not Peyton Manning. Peyton, despite his age, is still the king at quarterback. His accuracy, resiliency, and leadership have Peyton as arguably the best quarterback of all time.

Then there’s the play calling. Sometimes people say they go from playing checkers to playing chess. In Peyton’s case, he’s gone from toc-tac-toe to Dungeons and Dragons–masterfully creating the traps and terrors that doom an unprepared party.

In short, respect your elders.

1. JJ Watt

JJ Watt

Hands down. Or should I say hands up? After all, Watt’s commitment to batting passes when his pass-rush stalls has become a trademark of sorts. At 6’5″ with a nearly seven foot wingspan, he’s a remarkable pain in the ass to quarterbacks of all sizes.

And then there’s his pass rush. Watt demands double teams (and the not too uncommon triple team) on a play by play basis because he’ll likely destroy the QB otherwise. He had 20.5 sacks in 2012 and another 10.5 in 2013 despite the attention gained from being defensive player of the year. He’s the Juggernaut, bitch–and the best player that the NFL has to offer. All hail the King!

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